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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, February 17, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

Hugely Successful Hiring Day

Last year the legislature and the governor made a huge commitment to fund the caseload ratios in regional centers down to what the state’s contract with the federal government says it should be. It was the first time in modern history that the state took such a significant step forward on this issue. Since July our professional team in human resources, and our case management program managers have been working tirelessly to hire and train for 70 expansion positions and dozens of backfill positions all for the purpose of providing people with disabilities and their families with the quality service and attention necessary to better meet their needs. Yesterday VMRC held our first ever hiring event and by all accounts it was a huge success.

So many people came together to plan out this hiring event, to promote the open positions, and attract the best candidates for our consumers. According to Bud Mullanix, Director of Administration, “we had 100 people attend the event and the hiring managers made 20 contingent offers on the spot and the Children's teams are making another 10 employment offers.” Candidates came from San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties which means this year since July 1st we’ll be adding about 90 people to our team. Even though we anticipate some small percentage will not pass the background review process we are still extremely excited to be so close to getting our ratio to what our community truly needs for the first time ever.

This type of major achievement doesn’t happen on accident, and we need to thank the following team members who made this successful hiring day happen:

These are the people I have on the list to help that day:

Our entire HR team, Elizabeth Diaz, Aaron McDonald, Enos Edmerson, Cindy Strawderman, Doug Bonnet, Jacinta Groves, Julie De Diego, Angie Shear, Amy Browning, Terri Miniaci, Gaby Lopez, Linda Barr, Neidra Clayton, Katina Richison, Nikki Gillespie, Cindy Jimenez, Tricia Simmons, Lynda Macabales, Mary Ann Gonzales, Danielle Wells, Chrissy Lopez, Olivia Held, Karen Jensen, Lena Dobson, Jessica Coronel, Dave Vodden, Erin Martin, Whitney Costley, Mark Crear, and special thanks to our interviewing managers:

1)     Nikki Gillespie (early childhood/0-5)

2)     Danielle Wells (early childhood/0-5)

3)     Cindy Jimenez (early childhood/0-5)

4)     Tricia Simmons (early childhood/0-5)

5)     Olivia Held (children/ 5-16)

6)     Jessica Coronel (Modesto transition/ 15-23)

7)     Dave Vodden (transition/ 16-23)

8)     Whitney Costley (transition/ 16-23)

9)     Karen Jensen (adults/ 23 and up)

10)  Erin Martin (adults/ 23 and up)

11)  Mary Ann Gonzales (adults/ 23 and up)



Our board president, Margaret Heinz and Department Directors, Bud Mullanix and Tara Sisemore-Hester also attended and supported the event.

The Director's Travels

The February 17, 2022 board communication on the director's activites...

Upcoming VMRC Public Meetings

Board of Directors Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 6:00 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Click Here for Zoom Information

Consumer Services Committee Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 5:15 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Click Here for Zoom Information

Executive Committee Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 6:30 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Click Here for Zoom Information

Purchase of Services (POS) Expenditures Community Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 2:00 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Click Here for Zoom Information

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

If you're looking for a few minutes of love to add to your day, you can check out our Valentine's Day Variety Show ❤️

2023 Transition Fair Dates, Times, and Locations are Set! See the Flyers Here!

Above Flyer in PDF Here

Above Flyer in PDF Here

Above Flyer in PDF Here

The DEI Corner


Mark Crear, DEI Manger

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Self Determination Orientation


Would you like to know how Self Determination Works?

Come Learn About the Program

Self Determination Trainings

3 CEU Units offered for vendors who pre-register

Register in advance for this webinar:

Thursday, March 16, 2023 from 1 PM-4PM via Zoom English with Spanish Translation

Friday July 7, 2023 from 9AM-12PM via Zoom English with Spanish Translation

Tuesday September 26, 2023 from 9AM-12PM via Zoom English with Spanish Translation

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please contact Angelique Shear at (209) 955-3294 or for questions. 

One session of training is mandatory if you would like to participate in Self Determination.  

Above Meet and Greet Flyer in PDF Here

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

Calling all LMFT and LCSW!!!

We are in need of you! There was a virtual Info Session

explaining the role of the LCSW and LMFT.

Click this link: Information Session Recording: LCSW and LMFT Positions – 02/14/23.

If you are an LCSW or LMFT, you are invited to apply to these positions. Click the link below for job description and application:

LCSW: Application form for Family Wellness Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

LMFT: Application form for Family Wellness Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT)

Calling all Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs!!!

We need you and people involved in your family and care. Please come to this focus group and tell us what we can do collectively to improve your health and wellbeing.

When: March 1 at 1:30 pm

Where: Cohen Board Room, VMRC Office, 702 North Aurora Street, Stockton, CA

Please RSVP to Angela Njoroge at (209) 955-3632 or by Feb. 26, 2023. Snacks will be served.

THANK YOU, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center!

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center will stop the collection and reporting of COVID-19 data on March 10, 2023.[1] For over two years, this website has been the source of 24/7 data not just in our country but globally. It has been our trusted source of data during those critical years of the pandemic. Thank you to Laura Gardner who thought of creating a dashboard, and to Ensheng Dong, who created the dashboard, and the whole team who has contributed and helped as it grew. Click this The Team Behind The Coronavirus Tracker [2] to learn more.

[1] JHU HUB. Feb. 10, 2023.

[2] NPR. April 13, 2020.

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Ending… What Now?

The COVID-19 public health emergency will expire on May 11, 2023, according to the White House. What does this mean for the public? Sharing this article from the Expert Insights of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health[1]:

Experts broke down some of the changes we can expect in this Time Article.[2]


  • People without health insurance will no longer be able to get free COVID-19 vaccines through state Medicaid programs. 
  • People on Medicare and Medicaid will continue to receive free vaccines. 
  • People with private insurance: Vaccines and boosters will be covered when using an in-network provider. 

COVID Tests: Currently, people with private insurance or Medicare can get reimbursed for up to eight rapid tests.


  • It’s possible insurance companies may continue to cover tests, if they are distributed by select in-network providers. 
  • Medicare beneficiaries will start paying for a portion of tests.
  • Medicaid will continue to cover the cost of tests ordered by a doctor, but at-home test coverage will vary by state.

Remember: U.S. residents are still eligible to order free at-home tests [3] until the PHE ends, so it may be a good idea to keep some on hand.


COVID-19 Treatments:

  • Privately insured: COVID-19 treatments (including antiviral therapies like Paxlovid) will continue to be covered.
  • Medicare Part D: Antiviral treatments will be covered until the federal supply is depleted. After that, beneficiaries will have to pay for a portion.
  • Medicaid: Only treatments approved by the U.S. FDA will be reimbursed. Medications under EUA will also vary by state.

 Hospital Care:

  • Medicare reimbursements that hospitals received during the pandemic will end with the PHE, and patients receiving COVID-related hospital care could see higher bills. 

“The virus doesn’t care whether there’s a public health emergency declaration or not,” Sharfstein told AARP.​​ It’s important to stay up to date on vaccines, watch out for symptoms, and test yourself if you’re going to be around vulnerable people, he says.


[2] Time Article. January 31. 2023. 

[3] Get Free COVID-19 at-home tests.

Community Services Update

Brian Bennett

Community Services Director

Request for Proposal (RFP) to Qualified Providers for Coordinated Family Supports (CFS)



-Minimum Wage Increase Notice-

Effective January 1, 2023, 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 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 using the provided worksheet. You may also view Minimum Wage information on DDS’ website:

All rate adjustments must be submitted to VMRC no later than March 1, 2023. Should you have any questions about this notice, please contact Corina Ramirez in Community Services, via email or phone (209) 955-3398.

DDS Letter - Minimum Wage Increase Effective January 1, 2023

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

Above Flyer in PDF Here

Don't Forget to Register for CHOICES 2023 on Friday, April 14th!

Above CHOICES Registration Form in PDF

Family Resource Network (FRN) Update

Lisa Culley, Executive Director

Is your child turning 3 soon? Join FRN for a parent workshop on Building Bridges: Transitioning Your Child From the Early Start Program! Learn about the process of advocacy, what's happening during the months leading up to your child's 3rd birthday, the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process, and ongoing services available through VMRC. You will walk away from this training with knowledge that will give you a great foundation for the next stage of parenting your child with special needs. Attendees will receive a Building Bridges workbook to complete as you prepare for your child's transition. Spanish interpretation will be available. This training is on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, virtually on Zoom. Register by clicking the link on the flyer, calling the FRN office at 209-472-3674 or by email at

Above Building Bridges Flyer in PDF Here

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