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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, July 21, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

Remembering Donald Roberts During Disability Pride Month 2023

As we get closer to the end of Disability Pride Month I want to put a spotlight on Donald Roberts who was a good friend of mine years before I arrived at Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC). He was an advocate with a disability who had a wonderful way of bringing policy conversations down to the level of those who would most impacted by the decision. He redirected so many policy conversation that became "theoretical" to focus on the impact on people with disabilities.

I'll always remember the time a parent in the Partners in Policymaking program was moved to tears because she started to see the rich life that Donald had and the difference he made in society but it conflicted with her own belief about her child's future and contributions he might make. Donald helped her realize that everyone with a disability can live a rich and fulfilling life but it helps to have family and or friends who believe in them. Her thinking was forever changed because of Donald. Besides his prolific art, one of Donald's major contributions was his advocacy in the California Memorial Project. Donald made videos urging policymakers to give people with disabilities respect and dignity with a proper burial remembrance with their name to be marked forever instead of the single headstone over the mass graves in state hospitals.

In memory of Donald during Disability Pride Month.

Video about Donald Roberts was a major advocate throughout CA and the nation.

The Director's Travels

The July 24, 2023 board communication on the director's activities...

A Big THANK YOU to ALL that Have Already Agreed to be a Sponsor!





VMRC Board of Directors Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 6:00 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

Announcing Our Provider Community's Third Professional Conference, Moving Forward


We are so excited to announce that our local provider coalition, the Coalition of Local Agency Service Providers (CLASP), has been hard at work to put together their third provider conference. This one will be called “Moving Forward” 2023 and will be their first major provider conference in three years. This is an opportunity for our provider community to come together to learn about policy issues and innovations in providing person-centered services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families.

The event includes one of the national thought leaders on Person-Centered Thinking, Carol Blessing of Cornell University and John Raffaele and Joe Macbeth from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, talking about the important role of Direct Support Professionals in connecting people with disabilities to their communities. We were also very excited to learn that one of our most popular speakers on creative approaches to person-center supports for people with complex needs, Lynn Seagle, will be one of the featured morning keynotes and our DDS Director Nancy Bargmann will cap off our morning with a lunch keynote.

CLASP does so much to support the provider community and it’s an honor to work with these leaders who have dedicated their careers to serving people with IDD and their families in our region. This conference is an excellent example of how our providers focus on continuous improvements in service delivery in our community. Special thanks to Candice Bright and Liz Herrera Knapp for their leadership in making this happen.

Conference Landing Page
Conference Registration
Sponsorship Information

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

Community Services Update


Brian Bennett, Director of Community Services

VMRC is actively seeking the following service types:

Development Grant Opportunities:

VMRC will be releasing two exciting opportunities for service providers as part of our CRDP / CPP Plan

For the full application, please contact Brian L. Bennett

A proposal application conference will be held Tuesday August 22nd from 2:30-3:45 using Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Brian for the link!

Social Recreation Opportunity

Made possible by a Grant from the Department of Developmental Services

Attention All Service Providers! VMRC’s Community Services Team will host a monthly information session to provide updates and to respond to questions related to all service types. These meetings will be held on Microsoft Teams and will be on the fourth Friday of each month , from 9-10 am. If there are topics of interest, please notify your Community Services Liaison or Division QA Manager, Katina Richison or Division Resource Development Manager, Robert Fernandez  to join, click HERE:

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app, or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 281 428 411 222 Passcode: fEcVsj


Upcoming discussion items:

Friday July 28, 2023:

·       The change of ownership process for all vendors

·       Administrator/ Director changes

·       Consultant changes in residential settings

Emergency Services Update


Aaron McDonald, Emergency Response and Safety Specialist

Here is my submission for the week. I am laying it out below & also attaching the docs for whatever works best for you.

Starting today we will see the return of EXTEREMLY hot weather,, with many areas of California experiencing heat above 100 degrees through the weekend . The Governor’s office has shared a list of cooling centers in each county, where people can go to get relief from high temperatures: .. 

Additional information is available on the Department of Developmental Services Emergency Preparedness website:

Drowning prevention information is available here: . Increased temperatures lead to increased energy usage that can lead to unplanned power outages, plan ahead should your power go out.

The DEI Corner


Mark Crear, DEI Manger

Wednesday, 19 July

This begins the first day of the new year on the Islamic lunar calendar. The Islamic lunar calendar dates from the Hijrah, the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in A.D. 622. Years in the Islamic lunar calendar are called Hijrah years and are designated as anno Hegirae (Latin for "in the year of the Hijrah"), abbreviated "A.H." Since Islamic holidays are based on the lunar calendar, a holiday may occur twice in the same Gregorian year.

Recognizing the Festival/Holiday: Any sweet dessert is an appropriate gift. Muslims do not drink alcoholic beverages.


Best Regards,

Mark Crear, Ph.D. (He/Him/His) 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager  

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

Californians with Disabilities Win Big with the Creation of the

State’s Employment First Office!

The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), along with a coalition of disability advocate partners including California APSE, Disability Rights California, IRI Mentorworks (Integrated Resources Institute), PathPoint, and Progressive Employment Concepts, Inc, championed what began as a proposal to the legislature and ended in the successful creation of the Employment First Office.

Read the complete news release here:

SCDD is a proud sponsor of this important event! Get a team together and join us!

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