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Community Health


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Weekly Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

By the Numbers

This week we reported seven positive COVID-19 cases, which is two more than last week. Four of the cases were consumers and three were direct support professionals plus 6 of our staff tested positive as well. All three VMRC offices are in counties not exceeding the %5 threshold, so this week mask wearing was recommended but not required in the building and quarterly meetings were required in every county accept for Tuolumne County. 

Office Building Site Status:

  • San Joaquin – No Change - Does not exceed 5% Quarterly Face to Face Required, Masks in the Office recommended not required.
  • Stanislaus – No Change - Does not exceed 5% Quarterly Face to Face Required, Masks in the Office recommended not required.
  • Calaveras – Change - Does not exceed 5% Quarterly Face to Face Required, Masks in the Office recommended not required.

May 09, 2022 

  • San Joaquin – 4.8%
  • Stanislaus – 4.8%
  • Amador – 1.0%
  • Calaveras – 4.4%
  • Tuolumne – 6.4% 

Dear VMRC Community,

For the past couple of years, staff at Valley Mountain Regional Center have been working with Georgetown University on a project focused on Cultural and Linguistic Competence. This work included several community groups participating in a two day session with the Georgetown professors to kick it off followed by extensive group session facilitated by the university. This effort has evolved, and the internal group is now called the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. DDS also required all regional centers to participate in Implicit Bias training for some of their staff. At VMRC we want this to be a meaningful experience where all staff feel free to bring their full selves to work in support of our consumers and families.

While this effort is critically important for a healthy regional center, I am setting up a board driven initiative that will focus on the broader community. I have already reached out to my board members, and I have applicants ready to serve but now I need a few community representatives to join our committee on Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion. 

This committee will provide overall leadership direction for our regional center and our community. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please complete this application. Thank you for considering this call for volunteers.

Margaret Heinz, Board President        

Application for the Committee on Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion


Governor's May Revise

Stakeholder Conference Call

Today the governor's Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHSA), Dr. Mark Ghaly, will be talking to various advocates who receive or provide services to people with disabilities, seniors, and children,  about the governor's amended plans for the state budget that starts on July 1, 2022.

Please join California Health & Human Services Agency (CalHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and CalHHS leaders for a stakeholder conference call on Governor Gavin Newsom's revised budget plan.

We look forward to your participation on this call.

Date: Friday, May 13, 2022 

Time: 1:30 p.m. PDT 

Dial-In Number: 877-918-5755 

Access Code: 2680137 

*Please join the call 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time in order to register with the operator and be placed into the conference. 

VIERNES: El Secretario de la Agencia de Salud y Servicios Humanos de California, Dr. Mark Ghaly, Realizará una Conferencia Telefónica con las Partes Interesadas sobre el Plan Presupuestario Revisado del Gobernador Gavin Newsom para 2022-23. 

Únase al secretario de la Agencia de Salud y Servicios Humanos de California (CalHHS, por sus siglas en ingles), Dr. Mark Ghaly, y a los líderes de CalHHS para una conferencia telefónica con las partes interesadas sobre el plan presupuestario revisado del gobernador Gavin Newsom.


Esperamos contar con su participación en esta conversación.

FECHA: Viernes,13 de Mayo de 2022 

HORA: 1:30 p.m. PDT 

NÚMERO PARA MARCAR: 877-918-5755 


*Únase a la llamada 10 minutos antes de la hora de inicio programada para registrarse con la operadora y participar en la conferencia.


Don't Forget:

Only FOUR DAYS LEFT to apply for the class of 2023 Partners in Policymaking. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in our country's longest standing advocacy training program click on the application button below:

Partners Application: English
Partners Application: Spanish

Upcoming Calendar of Important Events

Caseload Ratio Public Meeting for Plan of Correction

May 31, 2022

Join Zoom Meeting


Caseload Ratio Survey

Meeting ID: 829 7446 6592

Passcode: 572640

Performance Contract Public Meeting

June 6, 2022

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 885 7170 9612

Passcode: 143391

Person Centered Thinking Training

July 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 27

9am - 12pm via Zoom

To Register, Contact Angelique Shear or 209-955-3294

Person Centered Thinking Training Flyer

View our Entire Calendar of Events Here
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Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Early Start Institute

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Registration is now available for the

Early Start Partners Virtual Symposium 2022!

Dates: June 7th and 9th, 2022

Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Location: A computer, tablet or mobile device near you!


Join other Early Start partners, including service coordinators, service providers, and family support professionals, on a unique event platform! Here we’ll gather to explore a comprehensive, real-time professional development and networking opportunity, unlike any other, for the entire Early Start community!

Be sure to register for the ESPS Virtual Symposium today!

Download the 2022 ESPS Brochure for a detailed event and session schedule



Advancing Cultural Humility through Effective Dialogue – David Campt and Allison Mahaley, The Dialogue Company


Part C Federal Policy Updates – Sharon Walsh, Sharon Walsh Incorporated

Concurrent Session Topics

·    Services for children with multiple disabilities

·    Supporting families experiencing homelessness

·    Language development

·    Supporting parents with developmental delays or disabilities

·    Coaching strategies

…and more!

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Early Intervention, Advocacy and the California Budget May Revise

with Teresa Anderson

Tuesday May 17, 2022

12:00pm-1:30pm (PST)

Virtual Event

·    Participants will learn how the CA Budget supports Early Intervention Services, Legislation related to ECE, Rate Adjustment process and Early Childhood Department focus

·    Participants will learn how to participate in the CA legislative process

Participants will learn about constituent involvement in the CA Budget process

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Teresa Anderson is the Public Policy Director for The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration. Over the last 15 years and prior to becoming the Public Policy Director, Teresa worked on a variety of special projects for The Arc of California including; staffing the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Statewide Taskforce and Prevention Committee for the Board of Directors, research on poverty issues among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), increasing advocacy and awareness of sexual assault and abuse of people with IDD, health advocacy and criminal justice issues. Read more here

Are you registered to vote in the upcoming June 7th Primary elections?

Check out:  Voter Registration | California Secretary of State and register by May 23.


Have you checked out the Early Intervention rates on the DDS website? Regional Centers have received the April rates for programs and are in the process of connecting with programs to give them the rates. Have you heard yet?

Can't attend the event live? 

Register to receive access to the recording!


Non-Member: $35

IDA Agency/Individual Member: FREE (you must register)

IDA Parent/Student/New Clinician Member: FREE

(you must register)



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This year marks the 45th anniversary of the publication of the regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In April 1977, protests were held across the state by hundreds of people with disabilities and their families to demand that the Department of Education approve Section 504 to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Now, the DOE has announced their intent to strength and protect rights for students with disabilities by amending regulations implementing Section 504. As noted in the bulletin posted on 5/6/22:

For more than four decades, OCR has worked to eliminate disability discrimination in schools—including public pre-K through high schools, as well as postsecondary schools—by investigating complaints alleging violations of the regulations, conducting proactive investigations, issuing policy guidance, and providing technical assistance. On April 28, the Department announced a resolution agreement with the second-largest school district in the country, Los Angeles Unified School District, requiring it to take steps necessary to ensure that students with disabilities receive educational services, including compensatory services, during and resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the development of the proposed amendments to the Section 504 regulations, the Department is soliciting public input. Interested parties may go to to submit comments. The Department will also hold listening sessions in the coming months.”

Please visit for additional information and to read the bulletin in its entirety.  

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We are excited to announce the following self determination orientation opportunities:


Thursday, June 16, 2022 1PM-4PM English with Spanish Translation


Monday, August 8, 2022 1PM-4PM English with Spanish Translation


Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

The Fresh Start Housing program provides rent assistance to San Joaquin County residents moving into housing. Applicants may be eligible for payment assistance of up to $1,500 a month per household for a maximum period of three (3) months, as funds are available.


To apply or learn more click here, email, or call (209) 468-3700.

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“Special Day for Special People” will be held on Tuesday, July 12th at the Stanislaus County Fair. The fair will be opened from 9:00-12:00 for regional center consumers. The fair will allow (1) caretaker/attendant to accompany the consumer. Please let your Service Coordinator know how many tickets you will be requesting (the consumer and caretaker/attendant). You and your caretaker/attendant will both need a ticket for entry. Your Service Coordinator will need to know your ticket count no later than Thursday, June 2, 2022.

 Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Proclamation naming the month of May as “Older Californians Month”. The Governor shared, The State of California is home to more than eight million residents aged 60 or older who enrich our families, communities, and economy through diverse life experiences, cultures, and contributions. We honor all older Californians who have given decades of time, knowledge, skills, and wisdom to make the Golden State what it is today, and who continue to make an impact across the generations…” We celebrate all Older Californians!

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Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of ASHA members in providing life-altering treatment.


For 2022, our theme is “Connecting People.”

The Calaveras County Transition Fair on May 12, 2022 was an AMAZING day! We met approximately 32 students, plus teachers, family members, VMRC staff and board members, as well as over 15 vendors. We appreciate our community partners, SCDD, Congreso Familiar, SAC6 and FRN for supporting us today. A giant thank you to Josie Craig, Program Manager and her team from the San Andreas VMRC office for creating an incredible and enjoyable event. Here are a few pictures of the students and staff at the event.

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Click Here to Check out our Facebook Page to See the Rest of the Photos From the Day
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SPOTLIGHT ON Jessica Allen


Friends – meet Jessica. Jessica is a fabulous young lady who lives in San Andreas and in very independent. She lives on her own in an apartment. Jessica says it’s fun and nice to be on her own. She enjoys it a lot. Her family and Creative Support Alternatives support her so she is successful in her own place. Jessica shared that she tells her family and staff from Creative Support Alternatives what help she needs and then they support her. She often asks for help with shopping, cooking, going out and doing things, banking and managing her money.


Jessica likes to watch movies like Once Upon a Time, and Mike & Molly. She creates her own recipes and keeps them in her recipe box. One day, she will enter her recipes in a cooking competition, maybe the local fair.

Her goals are to work in the culinary field, and to have an independent cat as a pet. She wants an older cat that can stay home alone so that Jessica can continue to live her independent life, go out and do things with friends and not worry about the cat.


Jessica encourages you to stay positive, keep looking up and enjoy life!!


We look forward to seeing Jessica at the CHOICES Conference, as she is one of the keynote speakers!!  

Community Services Update

Brian Bennett

Director of Community Services

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Monthly Community Services Department Provider Informational Session


Info-Sessions will occur 1x per Month on the FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH

This is an opportunity for ALL VMRC providers to receive information related to changes (rate change info, COVID related guidance, Community Care Licensing updates, general Question and Answer sessions) 


Zoom Link to upcoming Monthly Session       


May 6th 2022, 9-10 am  

June 3rd 2022, 9-10 am  

July 1st 2022, 9-10 am   

August 5th 2022, 9-10 am    


Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)


VMRC needs your input on the implementation of the HCBS Final Settings Rule and Person-Centered Practices! Please share your feedback with us through our new survey. This survey is open to all VMRC stakeholders, including persons served and their families, vendors, and their staff, VMRC staff, VMRC Board Members and local advocacy groups. DDS has offered a new HCBS grant funding opportunity meant to encourage HCBS and Person-Centered Planning implementation for our catchment area and your input is vital to the planning process for this grant opportunity!

VMRC's HCBS/PCP Grant Funding Survey

Additional information about the HCBS Final Settings Rule can be accessed here:


California Department of Developmental Services - HCBS Page

HCBS Advocacy Coalition

HCBS Compliance Assessment Information

DDS in cooperation with Regional Centers is preparing for the implementation of the HCBS Final Settings Rule by assessing vendor settings that provide services to more than one individual in the same setting. This includes providers of residential, day program and employment programs. Between January and August of 2020 vendors were asked to complete an HCBS compliance self-survey. Then in 2021 DDS contracted with Public Consulting Group (PCG) to complete a full HCBS assessment for a representative sample of regional center vendors. VMRC had 60 providers who received this full assessment. Those reports have been received back from DDS and were emailed to providers on May 2nd, 2022. DDS is expected to release a directive in the coming months to regional centers on the remediation process that our vendors with these eligible service codes will need to complete. Once that directive is received, VMRC will disseminate it to our vendors.


Upcoming Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Trainings

The HCBS Final Settings Rule applies to all vendors who provide services in a setting that serves more than one regional center consumer. The intent of the Final Settings Rule is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities receive services that integrate them fully into the community to the same degree as people without developmental disabilities. It ensures quality of life! They also ensure that the residential settings that services are received in are home environments rather than institutional environments. All settings must optimize and enhance choice rather than regimenting it. The HCBS Final Settings Rule protects consumers rights including the right to privacy, dignity, respect and freedom from coercion and restraint. The Final Settings Rule goes into effect March 17th, 2023, all providers with the service codes listed below, must be compliant by that date.


VMRC will continue hosting trainings for Residential Providers, Day Type Services Providers and Employment Services Providers. Service providers under the following service codes are strongly encouraged to sign up for one of the trainings provided. It takes time and effort to implement these requirements. Eligible service codes are Residential: 096, 113, 904, 905, 915, 910, 920; Employment Services: 950 and 954; Day Type Services: 028, 055, 063, 475, 505, 510, 515, 855


The attached flyers have registration links on them for the following trainings. You must register to take the training. Once you have registered you will receive a link for the zoom session on the date you have chosen. For attendance purposes please have each staff taking the training register with their own contact information including their email address. Any last-minute changes to the scheduled trainings will be communicated to the registered individuals by email at the email address they have provided.


HCBS Trainings for Residential Providers

May 17th, 2022, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

 June 7th, 2022, 10:00am - 11:00am

June 16th, 2022, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

July 7th, 2022, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

July 12th, 2022, 10:00am – 11:00am 


HCBS Trainings for Day Type and Employment Services

May 4th, 2022, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

June 7th, 2022, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

July 12th, 2022, 2:00pm – 3:00pm 

Contact Anna Sims, SCSL, HCBS Program Evaluator with questions: (209) 955-3353,

HCBS for Residential Providers April through July

HCBS for Day Program and Employment Providers May through July

DDS and Support Development Associates (SDA) training on the HCBS Final Rule and how it is supported by Person-Centered Planning


HCBS Advocacy Coalition


Contact Anna Sims, SCSL, HCBS Program Evaluator with questions: (209) 955-3353,

VMRC has release their Community Placement Plan/ Community Resource Development Plan projects for 21-22 

Please visit the links to see Request for Proposals

4 bed Specialized Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE)

3 Bed Specialized Children’s Residential Group Home

Housing Services (Children’s EBSH) Stanislaus County

For the full RFP (attachments/ forms) visit

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Statewide Children's Residential Program Provider Meetings


The CRP Provider Meetings will be held via ZOOM on May 26, 2022. There are two different meetings, one for Congregate Care Providers and another for FFA's/Adoption Agencies. 

If you have agency leadership or are a direct care staff, we encourage you to attend. Please follow the steps on the attached flyer to register.

 For additional information or instructions reach out to your local Regional Office or me at


Now Accepting Public Comments:

Quality Incentive Program

DDS is posting proposed quality measures and incentives for service providers for public comment. These measures were developed over several months with input from stakeholders through workgroup meetings.


The measures align with implementation of the Quality Incentive Program, which is designed to support and incentivize a person-centered, statewide service system that provides high-quality, outcome-based and equitable services. 


The draft measures are available for review here.


Please submit comments using this form. Comments will be collected until 5pm on June 1, 2022. If you prefer using email, or need additional accommodations to share your comments, please email


Visit the DDS stakeholder events page for more information about the public comment period, the program, and past workgroup meetings.


California Department of Developmental Services

Stakeholder Events Page

See what's happening on DDS' social sites:

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Emergency Services Updates

Aaron McDonald

Emergency Response Coordinator

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), puts the safety of their customers and communities first.

Join their wildfire safety webinar on Thursday, May 19 at noon where they will share their wildfire prevention efforts and resources available for Blind/low vision customers. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and share your feedback with the PG&E team.

Learn more about their:

•            Planned improvements and partnerships

•            Medical Baseline Program

•            Customer resources

To view past webinar recordings and to view materials, please visit:

To contact PG&E directly, share feedback or if you have a question about their safety work, please email them any time at , call us 1-866-743-6589 or visit

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

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Dear Community Partners,

Please see this information on an upcoming event hosted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities:



The primary audience of this event is people with developmental and other disabilities, and their family members and the professionals that serve them, but all are welcome! 

Fair Housing Rights for People with Disabilities – Part 1

When: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Registration: Zoom Link

In part one we will have a general discussion of California and federal fair housing laws that protect people with disabilities from housing discrimination.

This will include definitions/commonly used terms, reasonable accommodations, how to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and other resources.

Fair Housing Rights for People with Disabilities – Part 2

When: Thursday, May 26, 2022, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Registration: Zoom Link

In part two we will discuss common fair housing issues including source of income discrimination/section 8, harassment, reasonable modifications, criminal history, tenant disputes, and more.

We will also give an update on new fair housing rights and resources.


For additional access and accommodation needs, please email

How to connect to SCDD through Social Media

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Self-Advocacy Council 6 (SAC6)


May Area Meeting of Self-Advocates!

Come Learn About Supported Decision Making with Steve Ruder - UC Davis Mind Institute


WHEN: Friday, May 13, 2022

TIME: 11:00 AM -12:15 PM

WHERE: ZOOM - computer, tablet, cell phone

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 890 3340 7100

                            Passcode: 799292

PDF Version of the SAC6 Flyer Here

Also - VMRC Update by Tony Anderson, Executive Director, and Mental Health Tip of the Day by Dr. Dave!


Family Resource Network (FRN) Update

Lisa Culley, Executive Director

Did you know? The Medi-Cal Program currently offers dental services as one of the program's many benefits. Family Resource Network (FRN) can assist families of children 1-20 years old, who live in San Joaquin County, and have Medi-Cal coverage, through the SJ TEETH program. FRN Care Coordinators can assist families to select an appropriate dental provider, make appointments and support other oral health needs and education. Call the Family Resource Network at 209-472-3674 to speak to a Care Coordinator and start the process to better dental health for your child!  


Local County, State and National Public Health Resources

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