Monday, June 6, 2016

InterHab Brings On New Staff

Christopher Gunn comes aboard to help InterHab and its members push forward towards a better future for the I/DD community.

Tim Wood, Executive Director, announced that Christopher Gunn has joined InterHab as General Counsel and Director of Communications.  In that role, he will oversee InterHab's legal prerogatives and public messaging.

Chris comes to InterHab from private practice, where he provided counsel on immigration, probate, and civil issues.  He is a graduate of the Washburn School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor and Certificate in Business and Transactional Law. Prior to law school, he taught high school English.

While not a native Kansan, Chris has proudly adopted Kansas as his home state.  He originally hails from North Dakota--as he says, "close enough to the Canadian border to appreciate a good hockey game."  

Outside of the office, Chris and his wife Annie spend most of their time trying to keep pace with their two children, ages 7 and 4, who never seem to tire.  When time permits, he can usually be found doing something musical, or chasing that great dream of every English teacher--writing a great American novel.

Through his professional life, Chris has dedicated himself to helping others bridge the gap between where they are in life and where they want to be.

If you would like to contact Chris, he can be reached by email at, or by phone at (785) 235-5103.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Miss Unstoppable winner to be featured in Miss Kansas parade

Rebecca Oare, 17, playing the violin in
the talent portion of the 2016 Miss
Unstoppable Pageant hosted by the
ARC of Sedgwick County
Last month, 26 contestants participated in interview, runway, talent, and evening gown categories and showed what it means to be Unstoppable.

The Miss Unstoppable pageant is a friendly competition for women and girls with intellectual/developmental disabilities, ages 6 and up that provides an opportunity to showcase poise and talents, learn self-confidence, develop social skills, network and have fun while they take the stage.

Rebecca Oare, 17, was crowned the overall winner and will be highlighted along with the Miss Kansas contestants in the 2016 Miss Kansas Parade on June 10.

KDADS and KDHE asking for feedback on KanCare

Kansas is preparing to renew the KanCare Medicaid program and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) need input and ideas about the renewal, and about potential changes that are being considered.

State staff will be hosting feedback sessions at locations across that state, where they will provide updates and information about KanCare. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide feedback about the renewal process.

Each location will include a 1-3 p.m. session and a 5:30-7:30 p.m. session. The same information and opportunity for feedback will be shared at each session.

Tuesday, May 24
Ramada Hotel & Convention Center
420 SE 6th Street

Wednesday, May 25
Marriott Wichita 
2100 Corporate Hills Drive

Kansas City
Jack Reardon Civic Center (Hilton Garden Inn)
520 Minnesota Avenue

Thursday, May 26
Rose Garden
2350 East 8th

Pittsburg State University
1701 South Broadway 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Area professionals recognized for their contributions to the community

Kansas professionals in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities are in the news this month for their outstanding support to the community.

Kathy Brennon of Tri-Valley Developmental Services was honored with the 2016 Community Service Award, presented by the Erie Chamber of Commerce.

Sharon Spratt of Cottonwood Inc., was inducted as a 2016 Lawrence Business Hall of Fame Laureate by Junior Achievement of Kansas for her dedication for the Lawrence community and for serving as an inspiration for Junior Achievement students.

Starkey CEO Colin McKenney was presented the Professional of the Year award by the Arc of Sedgwick County at their annual "Arc Awards" in Wichita.

Last week, Cary Odell from Johnson County Developmental Supports won ANCOR’s 2016 recognition award for the Direct Support Professional of the Year for the State of Kansas.

Kathy Brennon, Tri-Valley Developmental Supports, with her Community
Service Award from the Erie Chamber of Commerce. 

Cottonwood's Sharon Spratt will be inducted as a 2016 Lawrence
Business Hall of Fame Laureate by Junior Achievement of Kansas 

Starkey CEO Colin McKenney was presented the
Professional of the Year award by the Arc of Sedgwick County

Cary Odell, Johnson County Developmental Supports, won ANCOR’s
 2016 recognition award for the Direct Support Professional
of the Year for the State of Kansas

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Member Job Posting: CDDO Director

Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We focus on individuals’ abilities, provide choice driven supports, and advocate alongside people to live and work in our community.  JCDS is currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of Community Developmental Disabilities Organization (CDDO) Director.  Responsibilities include:

Maintain a provider network and CDDO service capacity; interpret and relay funding decisions to staff, affiliates and members of the public; collaborate with County departments and agencies to address regulatory or legal compliance matters; assess service capacity resource needs for CDDO affiliates.

Serve as a member of JCDS Senior Management Team; develop and manage the network strategic plan in providing leadership of the CDDO; collaborate on strategies to address current and future operational  issues including long-term and short-term strategic initiatives; assist in the County budget and planning processes.

Represent JCDS and Johnson County Government interests in local and statewide development and committee activities including annual contract negotiations with outside agencies (e.g., KDADS); participate in the Johnson County Transition Council and Community Coordination Team; provide testimony at hearings or special committee meetings locally or at the State.

Direct and lead Community Developmental Disabilities Organization (CDDO) operations in effectively addressing consumer, family, and affiliate service access issues and Quality Assurance matters; initiate and facilitate problem solving discussions and develop strategies that lead to actionable decisions; provide systemic leadership to Johnson County affiliate providers; serve as a liaison with local organizational staff and state officials concerning consumer crisis situations; review and submit crisis recommendations to the State.

Supervise CDDO staff: hire new employees, evaluate performance and provide feedback and coaching to staff; resolve employee relations issues; delegate assignments and monitor workload; make recommendations for formal corrective action.  

Job Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in Special Education, Rehabilitation, Business, Psychology, Human Services, or a related field is required.  Master’s degree in Special Education, Rehabilitation, Business, Psychology, Human Services, or a related field is preferred.

Five years of experience working in the IDD field or a related field is required.  Three years of strategic leadership experience in public administration or a human service agency is required.  Must have experience with and knowledge of regulations and funding options, preferably in Kansas.

Experience can substitute for education and education can substitute for experience.

Apply Here

Thursday, April 28, 2016

KDHE could face cuts under Brownback's options

Gov. Brownback looks to KDHE cuts in response to
 budget shortfall. File photo by Orlin Wagner - AP 
One way Governor Sam Brownback is suggesting the state patch it's budget hole includes a $35 million cut to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

According to KHI News, the cut will likely force KDHE to reduce payments to the three managed care organizations that administer KanCare, the Medicaid program in Kansas. The companies likely would pass on those cuts in the form of lower reimbursements to health providers.

In addition to the KDHE cuts, Brownback would also take $185 million from the state highway fund, and cut spending to state universities by 3 percent, about $17 million, for the fiscal year beginning July 1. That would continue a 3 percent cut he ordered earlier this month.

Read more. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Legislative Update: lawmakers preview Governor's budget recommendations

Gloom and criticism overcome the fading voices of false optimism; Medicaid provider rate cuts are on the table.

Tim Wood and Barb Conant of InterHab, attended this morning's Administration briefing of the joint legislative budget committees. The briefing was not warmly received by legislators.  Democrats were highly critical of the poor budget cutting choices being demanded by another round of lowered revenue expectations. Legislative GOP leaders were grim and seldom was heard an encouraging word (and yes, Governor, the skies are NOT sunny today).

In addition to picking on his recurring targets (universities, highways and pension funds) the Governor's people admitted today that yes, it is likely that Medicaid provider rates would be the only area to cut in the KanCare program.

The budget committees are meeting separately this afternoon and into tomorrow. More will be reported when more is known about how they intend to approach this mess.

All in all, things are getting darker in the Statehouse. One question remains as to whether the tiny candle of common sense will survive which has continued to shed a little glimmer of light on the glaring need for tax adjustments. But maybe even the bigger question is this:

Have Kansans in all walks of life finally had enough of the wrecking ball of State budget cuts?

For sure, these items can be reported to your community supporters:

Medicaid cuts will hurt providers, and will damage critically needed services for Kansans with disabilities. State legislators MUST do something to bring fiscal stability back to the State to assure that budget instability will be resolved and to protect Kansas citizens from program failures.