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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 a 74% decrease in positive cases with only 15 total cases (ten consumers and five direct support professionals. However, one person with a disability was hospitalized (vaccinated and boosted) and sadly, another consumer passed away (vaccinated but not boosted). This was a very sad reminder that even though the impact of COVID is much less than it was the last couple of years, it is still a dangerous virus for some of us including many people with developmental disabilities.

Working to Improve Oral Health Outcomes

Last week I attended the conference, Achieving Equitable Oral Health for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Promise, A Pledge, A Plan.

This was an extraordinary event with medical and oral health professionals from all over the country working to remove the stigma and prejudice people with developmental disabilities suffer. Not only were there health professionals strategizing, the event included public officials like the state dental officer Jay Kumar, D.D.S., M.P.H, and Jeanette Diaz, the Dental Liaison from the Department of Developmental Services.

To learn more check out these great resources they provided us...

Oral Health Resources

CDA secures historic state budget wins for dentistry, oral health access

The California 2022-23 state budget signed today by Gov. Gavin Newsom includes all of CDA's priority asks, making significant gains for dentistry and oral health with: Major investments in health care workforce development. $50 million to build and expand facilities and infrastructure to provide care for dental patients with special health care needs.

Read More

We Need You

We're making progress but we have a long way to lower those caseloads, please help us. If you know someone who has a passion for ensuring people with disabilities have full access to their communities and their families are supported as important allies in full community participation at all ages, then please send them our way. We need them. Click on this button below to learn more about the great opportunities at VMRC.

A career at VMRC is a click away

Sponsorship Applications are Due by 5:00 PM Today (Friday, September 9th)!

You Can Still Register for a Resource Table Until Wednesday, October 19th at 5:00 PM

Above Flyer in PDF Here

You can also sign up to be an event sponsor or register for your resource table through our Disability Resource Fair page of our website.

Thank You to Our Platinum Sponsors

Thank You to Our Gold Sponsors

Thank You to our Silver Sponsors

SEIU Local 121

Thank You to our Bronze Sponsors

Malonzo Eldercare

Clinical Update

Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

More Slots Available!!

Modesto: September 29, 2022

Vaccine Clinic – indoor. Offers flu, and COVID vaccine. Anticipating to have the bivalent covid vaccine that covers Omicron variant.

Date:      September 29, 2022

Time:     10 am to 1 pm

Location: VMRC Modesto Office, 1820 Blue Gum Avenue, Modesto, 95358


VMRC Vaccination Clinic Flyer in PDF

Consent Form English             Consent Form Spanish

Stockton: October 29, 2022, together with the Disability Resource Fair.

General Info/Instructions for UOP School of Pharmacy’s

IN-PERSON Medicare Health Fair Appointment

There will be a variety of services offered during our in-person Clinics this year including:

CORE SERVICES: These services are the heart of our Clinics and are the most extensive in nature:

·        Medicare Part D Plan Review- We will review ALL available Medicare Part D drug plans based on a beneficiary’s medication utilization pattern, preferred pharmacy(ies), and other personal characteristics to see if we can lower the beneficiary’s out-of-pocket prescription drug costs under the Part D benefit.

·        Comprehensive Medication Review- We will systematically go through all of a patient’s medications (prescription and over-the-counter) to look for things like possible drug-drug interactions; advise on medication safety; and educate and instruct them about proper medication use, drug timing, and common side effects. We will also answer all of their medication related questions and create a personalized medication record in their preferred language!

o  The above two services are usually coupled together (though anyone can take advantage of only one should they want)

-         Average Length of time for the services:

·        ONLY Part D: 45 minutes

·        ONLY Comprehensive Medication Review: 45 minutes

·        BOTH Part D and MTM: 1 hour 15 minutes

Hence, the need to make appointments for these services is critical. Please contact your VMRC Service Coordinator to help register you.

·        For those making an appointment for the Part D/Medication review it is REALLY IMPORTANT to tell them to bring their new Red/White/Blue Medicare Card, all of their medications (actual vials/containers and not just a medication list is preferable), and the most recent copy of their lab values with them on the day of the event. Also, if they already have a MyMedicare account created, we’ll need that information as well (we can also help to retrieve/create it if need be)


ADDITIONAL SERVICES: All of the following services will also be provided at each Clinic. For each of these services, patients will be served on a first come first serve basis. There is NO NEED to make appointments for any of the following services as the turnaround time for each is rapid:

·        Vaccinations

o  Note: the flu vaccine will be FREE

·        Bone Density testing

·        Blood Pressure testing

·        Cholesterol testing

·        Diabetes testing

·        Opioid Risk Assessment/Narcan distribution

Moreover, we will be offering the following:

o  Diabetes testing supplies (e.g., Blood glucose monitor, test strips, lancets)

o  Blood pressure machine


·        We will be implementing a variety of safety procedures (these will be sent to you in a separate document).

·        The services at the Clinic will be provided by student pharmacists who will be overseen/verified by licensed pharmacists and faculty from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy.

·        Each Clinic is targeted to Medicare beneficiaries, but we will not turn away other adults wanting to take advantage of our services.

·        We will do our best to be able to accommodate all language and special needs.

·        There is NO cost for our services.

·        If they would like to receive more information about all of the events that we have scheduled, or you feel like they have questions that you are not sure how to answer please ask them to call this number: (209) 910-DRUG (3784) to leave a voicemail and we will return their call.

Stay cool

Message from DDS.

Prepare for an Emergency

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Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Thomas & Friends Franchise Adds First Autistic Character, Bruno the Brake Car

By Ethan Shanfeld

Thomas the Train is getting a new friend, as the iconic British television franchise “Thomas & Friends” introduces its first character with autism, Bruno the Brake Car. The character is voiced by Chuck Smith, an autistic actor.

According to Mattel, Bruno will play a “vital role” in “Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go,” a reboot of the long-running animated series “Thomas & Friends” that debuted in 2021. Bruno will also appear in the franchise’s YouTube series, music album and “Thomas & Friends Storytime” podcast.

Read More Here

What’s New in the Early Start Neighborhood!

ICYMI: Last week we posted about a Very Well Family article from 2020, on How to Survive (and Thrive) When You’re Sleep Deprived. The posting included information about explanations, statistics, how sleep deprivation’s affect health, and tips on how parents can get more sleep. So check out How to Survive (and Thrive) When You’re Sleep Deprived. The parents you serve will thank you! 

Visit Early Start Neighborhood at:

Above Flyer in PDF Here

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution. For over 200 years, the Constitution has served as the supreme law of the land. The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights and other amendments, define our government and guarantee our rights. Each year, on September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. In addition, September 17-23 is also recognized as Constitution Week. During this time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages Americans to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen.

California Memorial Project 20th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony 

Come join us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the California Memorial Project’s Remembrance Ceremonies! Disability Rights California’s Peer Self-Advocacy (PSA) program will honor our peers who lived and died and those who currently live at state institutions without the dignity and recognition they deserve. This year we will highlight the importance of personal autonomy and individual freedom as we share the history and progress of the California Memorial Project and personal stories, poems and artwork from our peers. Let’s celebrate their lives, give them a voice and harvest hope for our future.

Live Caption, Spanish Interpreter and ASL Interpreter Available


September 19, 2022

1:00 PM

Register Today

About the webinar:

From the 1880’s to the 1960’s, over 45,000 people with mental health and developmental disabilities have lived and died at California state institutions. They were identified with numbers, not names - often in mass or unmarked graves. Today, up to 6,000 of our peers currently live in California state hospitals against their will. Come join us as we celebrate our peers and give them a voice through their personal stories, poems, and artwork. Honoring them with a moment of silence, let’s acknowledge, recognize and give hope to our peers for a future that respects our personal autonomy and freedom of choice.

“Let no person ever again be removed from the community by reason of disability…”


Andy Imparato – Disability Rights California’s Executive Director

Disability Rights California’s Peer Self-Advocacy Program Staff – Senobia Pichardo, Debi Davis, Rosy Tellez, Maria Garcia, Brent Chamberlin, Zofia Trexler, Claire Haider, Jode Keasler, Robyn Gantsweg

LaMar Mitchell – Former Napa State Hospital Resident & Current Community Member

Wesley Chesbro – Former California State Senator, Sponsor of California Memorial Project legislation - Senate Bill 1448

Joni Detrant – Director of Oregon State Hospital Memorial Project

Joana Arcangel – Peer Advocate and Disability Rights California’s Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council Public Member

Special Tribute to Sally Zinman – Pioneer of the Peer Movement

Artwork, Stories & Poems from our Peers

Additional Presenters – To be announced

Artwork, Stories & Poems from our Peers with the collaboration of PSA program staff

Community Services Update

Brian Bennett

Director of Community Services

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VMRC START Program Launch - Monday October 3, 2022


                CA START is a crisis prevention and response program for individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and behavioral health needs. This program launch will provide an overview of the START Model, information regarding implementation, and specifics about the program’s current progress and plans. It will also include a START model-specific training called a Clinical Education Team conducted by leaders in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The Center for START Services provides two free UNH CEUs for attending this training.   

PDF Version of Above Flyer Here

VMRC Community Resource Development Plan Request for Proposal

Service Provider needed to implement supports and services in a licensed Enhanced Behavior Supports Home for Children, to be located in Stanislaus County.

Children’s Enhanced Behavior Supports Home – Service Provider RFP – Stanislaus County – August 18, 2022

Continuing Education Opportunity


VMRC has coordinated with Willie Hausey Training Institute and is excited to offer the following training to service providers:


Grief, Loss and Bereavement In Covid-19 (2 Hours) On-Line

September 27, 2022 – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Additional training will be offered in the future. Please visit the website to see the complete course list:

VMRC’s Quality Assurance Department is offering Vendor SIR Training on Tuesday September 13th 1-3 p.m. and Wednesday September 28th 9-11 a.m. Staff can earn 3 CEUs for this course and the training is $ 15/registrant. Registration links are below:


Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Location: Zoom link provided on Monday, September 12, 2022, to email address provided during registry.

Cost: $15 per participant

Registration Link:


Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Location: Zoom link provided on Monday, September 27, 2022, to email address provided during registry.

Cost: $15 per participant

Registration Link:

The Disability Thrive Initiative is presented by California Disability Services Association and Easterseals of Southern California, in collaboration with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Initiative is generously funded by the California Department of Developmental Services and San Diego Regional Center. FREE WEBINAR Expanding the Vision for Employment Services

September 14th 3:00-4:00 pm

DDS is hosting an EVV webinar on September 27, 2022, from 3pm-4pm. The webinar will provide a back-to-basics review of EVV as well as updates on implementation activities for personal care and home health care services, including the Self-Determination Program.    


Spanish and ASL interpretation will be provided. For additional accommodations, please email two weeks prior to the webinar. 


Please click the link below to register.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

3:00-4:00 pm

Via Zoom


For questions, please email


Thank you.

PDF Version of Flyer Here

HCBS for Day Program and Employment Services Training

HCBS for Residential Providers Training

PDF Version of Flyer Here

Above Flyer in PDF Here

Above Flyer in PDF Here

Emergency Services Update

Aaron McDonald

Emergency Response Coordinator

National Preparedness Month: September 2022 “A Lasting Legacy”

Launched in 2004, National Preparedness Month (NPM) is The Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA ( national annual preparedness outreach. NPM is managed and sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign. The Ready Campaign, in conjunction with the Ad Council, aims to educate and empower Americans during NPM and throughout the year to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. National Preparedness Month culminates on September 30th with National Preparedness Day, the National Day of Action.

The National Weather Service - NWS is proud to be participating in NPM. By doing so, they want to make sure YOU are prepared in case of a disaster (natural or man-made). If you haven't taken the time to think about how different disasters could affect you, then they challenge you to take the necessary steps to become informed and develop a plan for yourself, loved ones, pets and those we serve at VMRC. These simple steps could SAVE YOUR LIFE! Last week we covered: Staying Informed: Learn Your Risks & Responses ( for those of you that missed it and would like for information please check out the VMRC Health Advisory from 9/2/22 and not to worry we will review it all on the 9/30/22 Health Advisory).

Step 2: Make A Plan

Making a plan can be daunting and overwhelming because it can feel like we are inviting an emergency or disaster to happen. The reality is when we feel that way we are in a place of fear: fear pf the unknown, fear of not wanting to have to deal with the emergency or disaster. With the status of things in the area we live it is becoming all too clear for Californians that they will be involved in some type of disaster or emergency, the only question that remain is what type of emergency or disaster it will be. One of the keys to reducing that anxiety and stress is to plan. By panning we make sure that have a record of all our important information in one location. Writing your plan down is a good first start, the best thig you can do once this plan is created is make sure to share the information with your friends and family. Share it with people close and far from where you live. You can never have too many allies during an emergency or disaster. This also give those trusted contact insight into where to find you should something happen. If for some reason you are not any of the places you have located on your plan this will also alert these trusted contacts to start a search for you & contact emergency personnel if needed.

FEMA has put together a great template for making your plan at: . The information you provide is not saved, stored or shared by any government agency.

You may not be together when disaster strikes, so it’s important to know how you’ll reconnect if separated. Use the link above form to create a Family Emergency Communication Plan. Take this a step at a time, that is a key to developing a successful plan. Additionally, if you live in an area with for that one dangerous threat could cause a disaster or emergency look at customizing a version of you plan for each one of those type of occurrences.

Next week (9/16/22) we will cover: Step 3: Building a Kit.

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

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California State Council on Developmental Disabilities'

Second Annual:

There Should Be A Law Contest!

Ever had a problem in your daily life and thought, "There should be a law to fix this!"? Send your problem and solution to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) for a chance for your idea to become the next California state law!

Q: What ideas can I submit for the contest?

A: The idea must benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Q: Who can enter the contest?

A: Anyone can enter the contest.

Q: How do I enter the contest?

A: Submit your idea online to:

When is the deadline?

Friday, September 30, 2022


The idea(s) chosen by the Legislative and Public Affairs Committee will become SCDD's top legislative priority for 2023 and may become the next state law! We will include the winner in the legislative process and guide them through the bill's progress.

How to connect to SCDD through Social Media

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Family Resource Network (FRN) Update

Lisa Culley, Executive Director

Family Resource Network (FRN) is hiring for Family Resource Specialists. Use your skills as a parent or close family member with others who are raising children with disabilities and differing needs. Family Resource Network provides information and resources, training, and parent-to-parent support to other parents in areas including education, regional center services, medical, and much more. Positions are flexible, and can be full or part time. FRN has received funding for several new projects, and is expanding staffing. For more information on available positions, email

SAC6 Update!

CHOICES Institute

Conference Update- questions 473-6950                                                   August 2022

Save the Date!  

CHOICES Institute will be holding its 35th ANNUAL Conference on FRIDAY, April 14, 2023


Theme for CHOICES 2023?




The CHOICES Conference Planning Team has begun meeting to work on details.


WE would love to hear from you!


Call the CHOICES line 209-473-6950 and leave a message or Email

                New mailing address: CHOICES Institute 2529 W. March Lane Suite 105 Stockton, CA 95207


Local County, State and National Public Health Resources

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