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Community Health

Advisory Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Weekly Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

By the Numbers

This week we reported a 61% drop in the numbers of positive cases for consumers and Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). This is great news and hopefully a sign that the omicron variant has peaked for our community as it has throughout the state. However we sadly reported another death this week which is also reflected in the state's trends showing hospitalizations still elevated and the death rate slowly increasing (Sacramento Bee February 2, 2022). We reported 110 consumers with positive tests and 56 DSPs, one consumer was hospitalized, one consumer passed away, and half were vaccinated and half were not.

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Happy Lunar New Year

Last Tuesday was the beginning of Lunar New Year celebrations also known as Chinese New Year. This is the "Year of the Tiger" and children born under this designation are said to be "brave, strong and competitive and often believed to be natural leaders." This is a wonderful tradition that includes great celebrations, foods, well wishes for others, respect and honor of ancestors, and optimism for a lucky year. Over 2 billion people celebrate the Lunar New Year in China, East Asia and all over the world. For all those who celebrate Lunar or Chinese New Year we wish you all a happy and lucky New Year. To learn more about this important cultural event check out this Scholastic Video below...


This week we got notice from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) about an exemption for live-in staff to not have to comply with the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) rule. Personal care services and home health care services that come into a person's home have to use this EVV system to show they arrive at work and when they leave. This began for regional center personal care services last month and will start for our home health care services in about a year.

The letter we got this week says that while paid live-in staff do not have to follow this rule, the provider agency must fill out a form that confirms (attestation form) they employ a paid live-in staff.

Here's a copy of the form that says they hire paid live-in staff: "Attestation" form and here's the letter from DDS: EVV Letter

The Department of Developmental Services has identified the regional center personal care 

services and service codes subject to EVV as: 

• 465 Participant-Directed Respite Service, Family Member; 

• 862 In-Home Respite Services, Agency; 

• 864 In-Home Respite Worker; 

• 896 Supported Living Services; 

• 858 Homemaker; 

• 860 Homemaker Service; and,

• 062 Personal Assistance.


Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

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SPOTLIGHT on Anthony Owens!

Meet VMRC board member Anthony Owens. Anthony has received VMRC services since he was a kid, for as long as he can remember! Right now VMRC helps him with transportation and other services that help him live independently. Anthony isn’t currently working but he has worked for the City of Stockton. He chose to stop working in order to focus on his education. In December 2019, Anthony graduated from Stanislaus State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Anthony shared that he had to overcome his doubts and his families fears but his mom was supportive and told him God can do anything as long you have faith. Friends, Anthony has faith!! He has achieved so much and continues to strive for more. In fact, the doctors told his mom when Anthony was born, he will not walk, he will not talk. Anthony’s mom believed in him and she had faith!


Anthony encourages each of you to want more. He wants to help others believe in themselves and says you should keep pushing. There are people out there who will doubt you, who won’t have the faith, but you gotta do it – just show them! Believe in you and keep pushing!


Anthony has applied for the masters program at Stanislaus State University and he wants to obtain his MFT to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He wants to work with people who were born disabled and with people who were born able and then became disabled. Anthony believes you and others can do so much! He says we don’t know our limits until we try.


Anthony says he has been very blessed. He attended Delta College and learned that he couldn’t just sample classes and explore different careers – this costs money! He learned that his gifts are talking and listening to people. He wants to use his gifts and support people and counsel them the right way, not the stereotypical way.


Anthony enjoys his friends, watching movies and getting out. The pandemic has made this a bit difficult, but before the pandemic Anthony went skydiving! He said it was terrifying at the jump but when they pulled the parachute, it was beautiful. He had no words to describe the beauty. It’s ok to be terrified, you might just see the beauty after all!


Anthony shared that he enjoys being on the VMRC board of directors. It gives him an opportunity to network, build relationships and help. Anthony looks forward to in-person meetings and getting to know other board members.


Congresso Familiar

Families who are Spanish speaking and receive VMRC services – do you need an iPad and technology training? Please reach out to Congreso Familiar. Their email is or call them at 510-806-8590.  

"Programa de Préstamo de iPads para familias hispanohablantes del Centro Regional de Valley Mountain

Los padres / cuidadores con un miembro de familia que es cliente del Centro Regional de Valley Mountain podrán participar en un programa de préstamo de iPads para apoyar su acceso a nuestras capacitaciones virtuales." 

Low to No Cost Internet and Devices

VMRC wants you to know about this important resource especially during these days of remote services, tele-medicine, tele-psychology, remote education, remote employment opportunities, and for getting access and integration into today’s social media community. You May Qualify for Home Internet for as Little as $10 to $20 a Month! Type in your Zip Code and answer a couple of questions and find out what kind of deals you can get in your area: CLICK HERE

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Community Services Updates

Brian Bennett

Director of Community Services

(Resource Development and Quality Assurance)

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Self-Registration Notice

regional center personal care services and service codes subject to EVV are:


•              • 465 Participant-Directed Respite Service, Family Member.

•              • 862 In-Home Respite Services, Agency.

•              • 864 In-Home Respite Worker.

•              • 896 Supported Living Services.

•              • 858 Homemaker.

•              • 860 Homemaker Service; and,

•              • 062 Personal Assistance.


Please see the attached from the Department of Developmental Services- Technical questions from providers can be directed to or by phone at (855) 943-6070.

If you have any questions regarding this correspondence, please contact

Link to the Letter on Electronic Visit Verification Self-Registration

COVID Testing Distribution- San Joaquin County Licensed Homes ONLY

Community Care Licensing Division has coordinated with Valley Mountain Regional Center to assist in the distribution of the antigen tests in San Joaquin County, at our Stockton office, 702 N Aurora St. Stockton CA 95202 in the following order:

  • Facilities whose name begins with the letter A-D Wednesday February 9th , 9am-12 pm
  • Facilities whose name begins with the letter E-L Wednesday February 9th , 1 pm-4 pm
  • Facilities whose name begins with the letter M-R Thursday February 10th , 9am-12 pm
  • Facilities whose name begins with the letter S-Z Thursday February 10th , 1 pm-4 pm

*Please bring a copy of your facility license to verify the licensed capacity.


Should you have any questions regarding the distribution details listed above, please send an email to Or contact VMRC’s Emergency Response Coordinator, Aaron Mc Donald

Testing Distribution Notice

Community Services Training Opportunities and Service Provider Information


Weekly Community Services Department Provider Informational Session


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


Zoom Link to upcoming Monthly Sessions:

February 4th 2022, 9-10 am                       

March 4th 2022, 9-10 am                 

April 1 2022, 9-10 am                        

May 6th 2022, 9-10 am  

June 3rd 2022, 9-10 am  

July 1st 2022, 9-10 am   

August 5th 2022, 9-10 am    

October 7th 2022, 9-10 am  

November 4th 2022, 9-10 am  

December 2nd 2022, 9-10 am  


Zoom Link to upcoming Monthly Sessions

January 2022 Minimum Wage Increase Notice

Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in California will increase based on the number of employees an employer has. Many vendors may be eligible to request a rate increase in order to adjust employees’ pay to comply with the new minimum wage. Please see the attached directive from the Department of Developmental Services for information on how to submit a request to VMRC.  See the VMRC “About US- Announcements” page for the worksheet specific to your services.


All rate adjustments must be submitted to VMRC no later than March 1, 2022. Should you have any questions about this notice, please contact Corina Ramirez in Resource Development, via email or phone (209) 955-3398.

Minimum Wage Letter

Upcoming Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Training Opportunities

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 (insert here) 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

February 10th, 2022, 9:00am – 10:00am

February 15th, 2022, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

March 17th, 2022, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

March 22nd, 2022, 10:00am – 11:00am

HCBS Trainings for Day Type and Employment Services

February 8th, 2022, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

March 15th, 2022, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

HCBS for Day Program and Employment Providers January through March 2022

HCBS for Residential Providers January through March 2022


Clinical Services Updates

Claire B. Lazaro, MSN, RN, NP, PHN, NP-C

Director of Clinical Services


Testing Clinics!

Thank you so much to all the volunteers – VMRC staff, SAC 6, SCDD North Valley Hills Office, Family Resource Network, Valley Caps - at our Stockton and Modesto Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing Clinic! We had a total of 55 individuals at both offices got tested. 

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Thank you everyone who helped this week. Great work Aaron McDonald the new Emergency Response Coordinator who did an excellent job coordinating volunteer efforts with our partners in the community.

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COVID Conversations

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to talk to someone about COVID safety or to discuss with other people how to beat this global pandemic but you're afraid the conversation won't go well? Here's a few helpful guides on how to approach these conversations and what to avoid that might just close others down to wanting to listen to you.

These helpful COVID Vaccine messaging / conversation materials attached here were compiled by Alameda County Public Health.

5 Key COVID Messages(English)
5 Key COVID Messages (Spanish)
3-5-3 Method for Vaccine Conversations

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

Oral health is a window to our overall health. Although preventable, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing are important but are not enough. Children should visit the dentist two times a year. There are issues only a dentist or hygienist can identify. Need help finding a dentist for a child or adults who is on Medi-Cal Dental insurance? Watch the video below!

this is a video showing how to find a Medi-Cal dental provider near you.
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Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

The Early Start Personnel Development Webinar Series

January – April 2022: Cultural Humility Series

The focus of the Early Start Personnel Development (ESPD) Webinar Series 2022 is Cultural Humility. The Cultural Humility series provides training, reflection, and networking activities to address implicit bias, build competencies for culturally responsive interactions, and promote equity and inclusion.

More information:

Who May Participate?

The Cultural Humility series is open to all members of the Early Start community:

Early Start service providers, service coordinators, family support professionals, and administrators;

family members and caregivers; and

professionals from other systems serving young children and their families.


How Much Does Participation Cost?

There is no cost to California residents to register or participate in Early Start Online courses, including the Webinar Series. Registration is currently available only to California residents.

CPEI Online

Cultural Humility Series Transition from Early Start Open Access Courses View All Courses and Products Transition from Early Start This course covers all aspects of a child and family's transition from Early Start in a flexible, self-paced format. This course increases knowledge and awareness of the roles, responsibilities, and requirements of all parties involved in a child's transition at age three.

Read More

Self-Determination Orientation Opportunities:


Self-Determination Program (SDP) Coaching Meetings in January 2022

Important Self-Determination Terms


Service Coordinator (SC)- Service Coordinators are individuals who are assigned to people who we assist to help them reach their potential. Service coordinators are responsible for helping individuals and their families access information and make decisions and choices about desired outcomes. They also help them develop plans for working toward these outcomes and for identifying and accessing the services and supports necessary to achieve them.


Participant Choice Specialist (PCS)- Is a Regional Center case manager who specializes in Self Determination. Each person participating in Self Determination has an assigned PCS who assist individual with everything related to Self Determination. They can assist in completing a Person-Centered Plans. They also can answer questions individuals have in the process of developing their spending plans. They are a support for individuals involved in the Self Determination Program  


Independent Facilitator- Is a person that is not part of the regional center who helps a participant implement their plan. The Independent Facilitator can assist with completing an individual’s Person Centered Plan. They will also assist with developing a spending plan as well as finding securing community services for individuals.


Circle of Support- Is a committed group of community members, who may include family members, meeting regularly with an individual with developmental disabilities to share experiences, promote autonomy and community involvement, and assist the individual in establishing and maintaining natural supports. A circle of support generally includes a plurality of members who neither provide nor receive services or supports for persons with developmental disabilities and who do not receive payment for participation in the circle of support. 


Developmental Milestones Checklists for Babies and Young Children

  • CDC’s Milestone Tracker App | CDC Milestones matter! Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing.
  • This set of age-based handouts includes a “What to Expect” chart for each age range, frequently asked questions, a research summary, and information about common parenting challenges for each age and stage.
  • This checklist is developed by It lists the milestone checklist by age and within four topics: motor, sensory, communication, and feeding.
  • Stanford’s quick reference of developmental milestones is sorted by age and topics based on gross motor, fine motor, communication/social, and cognitive/adaptive development from birth to 5 years.
  • The Whole Child has created a guide that shows the ages by which most young children develop certain abilities. Information is sorted by Physical, Language, Social and Emotional categories.
  • Help Me Grow Minnesota has created a site that explains how babies develop at their own pace and each milestone shows a range of skills that is typically seen in infant development. The site explains how babies may not meet every milestone but can still be progressing normally. The milestone tracker comes in different languages.
  • by the American Academy of Pediatrics lists 10 Physical, Social, Emotional & Cognitive Milestones to Watch for as the child grows.
  • John Hopkins developmental milestones provides parents and caregivers examples of how they can support their child’s learning, development and emotional security with lots of positive interaction and age-appropriate activities that practice specific skills.


January 14 & January 18th (2 Day Event) ~ Can We Coach? Yes We Can! 

As professionals working in early intervention, we strive to provide high quality and individualized, family-centered services. “Embedded Coaching” makes that possible, but it takes practice, competence, and confidence! We all benefit from community dialogue and support in order to refine and enhance our work with families (be it in-person, virtual, or hybrid)! Wherever you find yourself along the coaching continuum (new/green, highly skilled, or somewhere in the middle), this course provides a platform for attendees to identify their strengths and also to collectively hone skills for effective and fulfilling work in early intervention.


YOU have the option of registering for BOTH days OR you can attend Day 1. Details below!

For more information and registration

January 22 ~ Saturday Morning Listen

Join us to chat about the importance of the work that we do and ways to support our children, families, and ourselves.              


·    Come 15 minutes early (8:45) to visit and learn more about IDA

·    There will be a theme to discuss for most of the hour

·    We will reserve part of the hour for open sharing

·    We will divide into breakout groups if more than 12 people attend

·    We will set the next months theme at the end of our hour


For more information and registration

January 24 ~ 7th Annual IDA Policy Update

7th Annual IDA Policy 2022 Update

Monday January 24, 2022



Join us to hear and discuss current policies and regulations that providers need to know in 2022 at the Federal, State and Local Levels.


For more information and registration

February 8 ~ Leadership Conversation Series

IDA is launching our next set of lunchtime brown bag discussions. Join your Early Intervention Leadership Colleagues from noon to one for virtual conversations and information-sharing regarding administrative and operational challenges facing EI programs.


For more information and registration

February 10 ~ Cortical Visual Impairment and Routines-Based Strategies

Research tells us that young children learn best when learning is embedded into day-to-day routines. The same philosophy applies to children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). Join us in exploring a variety of strategies that can support visual access, the understanding of what is being seen and the development and expansion of concepts within the child’s daily routines. Learn about how to increase the child’s overall perception of their surrounding world.


For more information and registration

February 25 ~ Mom, Interrupted: Evaluating and Supporting Postpartum Trauma and Mood Disruption

This training will explore variables that contribute to postpartum mental health, both protective factors and risk factors. We will discuss how to evaluate postpartum needs of mothers and their partners involved in the early intervention program. Attendees will learn about neurological changes related to pregnancy, birth, and birth trauma and how those changes create new mood, sleep, and relational patterns. Finally, we will examine case studies to understand the variety of perspectives and symptoms for women coping with postpartum mental health needs.  


For more information and registration

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North Valley Hills Update

Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

Now underway and through February, the African-American Conference on Disabilities! This free, virtual conference covers numerous topics. Sign up for the seminars that interest you.


It's time to register for the 2022 virtual African American Conference on Disabilities (AACD) throughout the month of February.

This conference is a FREE event!

Hosted by The Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Arizona Center for African American Resources (AZCAAR), the AACD is the only comprehensive conference in the U.S. that addresses the intersection between race and disabilities.

You can register for 12 sessions via the links below. The first session will start on February 1st and the last session will be on February 17th. 

CLE credit will be available for the sessions noted. CART and ASL Interpretation Services will be available for each session.

For questions, please contact Renaldo Fowler at

View Sessions and Register Here
Become a Sponsor for this Event

How to connect to SCDD through Social Media

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Self-Advocacy Council 6 has published their Chatter Newsletter for January 2022. Check it out and see your self-advocates in action throughout our region. Click here to download the SAC6 Chatter.

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Self-Advocacy Council 6 (SAC6)


Weekly Virtual Chat


Come and Meet the staff at Disability Rights California/Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy

WHEN: Friday, February 4, 2022

TIME: 11:00 AM -12:15 PM

WHERE: ZOOM - computer, tablet, cell phone

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 826 7662 7732

Passcode: 653419

Also–VMRC Update by Tony Anderson & Mental Health Tip of the Day by Dr. Dave & Peter Hackett

PDF Version of the SAC6 Flyer Here

PDF Version of the SAC6 Flyer for February 11, 2022


Family Resource Network (FRN) Update

Lisa Culley, Executive Director

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San Joaquin County (SJTEETH) Project

Family Resource Network (FRN) is able to assist families of children with special needs and disabilities with dental care coordination. Our staff can help with things like choosing an appropriate dental provider, making appointments and assisting with follow-up, if needed. Please contact FRN at 209-472-3674 or 

Local County, State and National Public Health Resources

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