2012 DSNWK News

A Message from the President Regarding Managed Care


At this time of year, it is normal to look at what we are doing in our lives and make changes to improve our situation. New Years’ resolutions, at their core, are good and intentions to improve our health, our relationships, etc. are usually a step in the right direction. Change, however, is not always as good as it is intended to be. I am compelled to comment on one: the proposed implementation of Managed Care for Kansas Medicaid programs. I am supportive finding the most efficient ways of doing things; however, I believe including our locally managed long term care services into the State’s Managed Care Model will have a negative impact on the lives of people with developmental disabilities (DD).

The State’s proposal to move DSNWK’s services for persons with disabilities into an experimental managed care model called KanCare is planned to take effect in January 2013, but it will begin long before that, and that time is now. National insurance companies are currently in Kansas today working with the Administration to bid for these KanCare contracts. Under KanCare, Kansas will shift responsibilities and resources from state and community oversight into to private health insurance companies. Roughly one third of the State’s entire budget, under this plan, will be handed over to private health insurance companies to manage and oversee. That includes Community DD Services such as those offered by DSNWK. I am concerned by this. The core purpose of this new approach is to save money, but will it?

Not only do these national companies have little or no experience in serving long term needs of persons with DD, they also acknowledge there is little to no anticipated savings to be found by including community DD services under the Managed Care model. Why? Because Kansas has been ahead of this issue for many years, and our current State/Local management model is effective.

In the mid-’90s, Kansas passed the Developmental Disability Reform Act (DDRA) which incorporated many managed care principles into the community DD service system (capitated rates, quality measurement, service access, eligibility determination and on and on). Under that system, local - mostly not-for-profit organizations like Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas partnered with Kansas to administer long term services for persons with disabilities. Under the current Kansas model, this community system has effectively managed program costs for persons with DD and their services.

Here is an interesting perspective: Nationally, the average cost per person spending (for persons in community DD services) went up nearly 18% (for the period 1993 to 2009). In sharp contrast, the average cost per person spending (for persons in Kansas in community DD services) went down nearly 18% since 1993. DSNWK and its State and Local partners have worked hard to be good stewards of the resources we have and we oppose and will continue to oppose handing off effective State/Local partnerships into the management of Insurance companies with no experience in our field.

DSNWK does support and will continue to support the use of those contractors to improve the outcomes for all persons who receive Medicaid medical services. We believe this lies within their area of expertise, and we will work with the Administration to enable that to happen. Shifting oversight of long term services for persons with DD into an experimental program like KanCare in our opinion will place our most vulnerable population at risk, and is therefore not the right thing to do. The right thing to do, for Kansans, would be to urge the Administration to reconsider the direction it is planning, regarding the inclusion of DD long term care services under KanCare, and avoid a misstep which could have adverse consequences for many years to come. Jerry Michaud DSNWK President

“Not Worth the Gamble!” Rally


On March 13th, InterHab held a special ”Not Worth the Gamble!” Rally that featured guest speaker, Wendell Potter. Potter is a former insurance insider and author of the book Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.

The Rally took place at the Ramada Inn in Topeka and gave people the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding KanCare - Governor Brownback’s managed care proposal to overhaul the Medicaid system. The event challenged the concepts of insurance companies becoming reliable stewards of the State’s services for persons with long-term care needs.

In the afternoon, participants visited legislators, delivered advocacy materials and shared their concerns about managed care with Kansas leaders.

Employment Connections to Hold Benefit Sale


DSNWK’s Employment Connections will be holding a benefit sale on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th at the Mall in Hays. The sale will take place in the location previously occupied by the Fashion Bug. All the proceeds will benefit people with developmental disabilities. This is a great way for you to clean out your closets and storage areas! If you would like to donate items, just call Employment Connections at (785) 625-2018. Employment Connections will be picking up items through April 25th. No clothing, refrigerators, freezers or air conditioners please. DSNWK asks that donated items be in working order and useable.

Area Kids Ready for Unified Softball 2012


April marks the beginning of one of the areas most inspirational events of the year - DSNWK’s Unified Softball. Unified Softball is a unique opportunity for children with disabilities and their non-disabled peers to join together and participate in a game of softball. Often times children with disabilities are delegated to the sidelines, rarely having the chance to play. Unified Softball offers them the opportunity to finally get out of the stands and onto the field. A total of four teams participate in several days of fun and true sportsmanship. The games are scheduled for April 22nd and 29th, May 6th, and 13th. All games will be held at the Dusty Glassman Fields in Hays. After providing each child with a team shirt and trophy, all additional funds raised will go into DSNWK’s Children’s Special Needs Fund. The Children’s Special Needs Fund helps families who have children with disabilities. Families who have limited resources can access this fund to help pay for the high costs of equipment and other needs associated with their child’s disability. If you would like to support Unified Softball with a contribution, just send your check to DSNWK, P.O. Box 1016, Hays, KS 67601 and state Unified Softball in the memo line.

Church gives individuals their “Night to Shine.”


Approximately 100 people turned out for the “Your Night to Shine” event sponsored by North Oak Community Church. Individuals served by DSNWK got their chance to “shine” as they arrived to the event dressed in formal wear and were introduced with thunderous applause on the red carpet. Some even got the chance to share their talents, such as singing and dancing, during a banquet in their honor. Individuals were given corsages and boutonnieres, and women received tiaras and a final hair treatment from North Oak volunteers. The event was funded by a special offering taken by North Oak on Christmas Eve.

Duffy Memorial Benefit Ride to he held in June


June 2nd marks a great opportunity for you to ride in memory of former DSNWK employee Jim Duffy. This special benefit ride will begin in two locations (Hays and Atwood) with both groups traveling to Hill City where lunch will be provided and then to Hays. Riders will have the opportunity to purchase poker hands and raffle tickets with proceeds going to DSNWK.

Registration in Hays is from 9:00 a.m until 10:00 a.m. with departure from the DSNWK Administrative Offices at 10:00 a.m. Registration in Atwood is from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. with departure from PDC at 9:30 a.m. All types of vehicles are welcome to participate! For more information contact Sherry Dry

Push Day 2012


On April 25th, Kansans with developmental disabilities delivered a powerful message to legislators that proposed Medicaid managed care will have real impacts on real people. During InterHab’s annual Push Day rally, persons with developmental disabilities reminded policy makers of the powerful adage of “Nothing about me, without me”.

Many of the participants brought a personal item that represented themselves and placed it on the steps of the Capitol. By the conclusion of the rally, the South steps were covered with personal mementos serving as a powerful visual reminder of the persons who will be impacted by KanCare.

HRC to Host Dash 4 Disabilities Fun Run


The Hays Recreation Commission has announced that they will be hosting a Dash 4 Disabilities Fun Run on June 30th beginning at 9:00 a.m. with registration at 8:15 a.m. The Fun Run is for all ages and will take place in front of the Hays Aquatic Park. Cost is $10 if you register by the June 27th deadline and $12 after the deadline. This run will consist of your choice of a 1 mile run/walk or a 5K run/walk. The run will not be timed, and the proceeds go to support the Special Populations programs at HRC. The HRC’s goal is to make their programs free or inexpensive for their participants and in doing so they can provide more opportunities for people in the community with disabilities. Sponsors for the Dash 4 Disabilities Fun Run are: DSNWK, The ARC of Central Plains, SKIL Resource Center and HRC. If you would like to be a part of this fun event, sign up on line at www.hayshrc.org.

Unified Softball is a Hit with Kids!


DSNWK’s Unified Softball proved once again to be a huge hit. The event which takes place throughout the months of April and May is truly one of the most inspirational events of the year. A total of four teams participated is a series of games at the Dusty Glassman Fields in Hays. Over $4000 was raised for the event. Donations helped to offset the costs of the event with all additional money going into the DSNWK’s Children’s Special Needs Fund. This special fund helps families who have limited resources and who have children with disabilities. Funds can be accessed to help pay for the high costs of equipment and other needs associated with their child’s disability.

DSNWK Mourns the Passing of Founder and Board Member Clarence Scheopner


Longtime DSNWK Board Member and advocate for people with developmental disabilities, Clarence Scheopner passed away on May 25th. Scheopner served on the DSNWK Board of Directors since 1973 as the representative for Sherman County. He was a pioneer in seeing that services were available to people with disabilities in northwest Kanasas through his efforts in starting Beamgard Learning Center and Prairie Developmental Center in Atwood. Clarence was a great leader in the state of Kansas who, through courage and determination, touched the lives of thousands, expressed Jerry Michaud, DSNWK President. “His personal connection and long standing dedication through his leadership will be missed.”

DSNWK Receives Grant from Hansen Foundation


DSNWK was recently announced as the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. The grant award will be used to benefit people with developmental disabilities with the purchasing of two portable handicap lifts. “This grant award will support our efforts to continue to provide the highest in quality services for northwest Kansans with developmental disabilities. We are continually grateful for the Hansen Foundation’s support of DSNWK over these many years,” stated Jerry Michaud, DSNWK President

DSNWK Awards Luncheon Set


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas will host its annual awards luncheon on Wednesday, September 25, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Ellis County Fairgrounds in Hays. Awards will be given out to DSNWK employees for years of service. Recognition will also be made for the achievements made by men and women in DSNWK services. Special awards to several area businesses and organizations for their support and the employment opportunities they provide for persons with disabilities will also be a part of the afternoon activities.

McMurtrie and Atwood Community to Receive Awards at InterHab Conference!


DSNWK would like to congratulate Vaughn McMurtrie and the Atwood Community, winners of 2012 InterHab Awards! The winners will be recognized at their Art and Award Ceremony during the InterHab Annual Conference on October 19th at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. Vaughn McMurtrie is being recognized with the Inspirational Family or Guardian Award and the Atwood Community is being recognized with the Kansas Inclusive Communities Award.

Golfers Set to Tee Off in McMurtrie Tournament


The Esther McMurtrie Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, September 15th at 10:00 a.m. at the Ellis Golf Course for with the proceeds to benefit DSNWK’s group homes in Hays. The tournament is a 4 person scramble and is being organized by Friends of DSNWK. The event will include a chance to win a 2012 Freedom RXV Golf Cart with a hole in one. Other activities taking place during and after the tournament include a hot dog lunch on the course, auction following the tournament, flight prizes for the top three teams, and dinner in the club house.

Golf Tournament Raises $17,000 for DSNWK


Organizers of the Esther McMurtrie Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Developmental Services of NW Kansas are pleased to announce that over $17,000 was raised from the event. The 4 person scramble tournament was held on Saturday, September 15th at the Ellis Golf Course and organized by Friends of DSNWK. The event also included a prime rib dinner, auction and dance following the tournament. Proceeds are being used to benefit DSNWK’s group homes located in Hays. DSNWK serves people with developmental disabilities in the 18 counties of northwest Kansas.

DSNWK Celebrates Successes at Awards Luncheon


Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas hosted its annual awards luncheon in Hays on September 25th. Awards were given throughout the afternoon to staff, persons served, and community members. The first awards of the afternoon were given to employees of DSNWK for their years of service. Those staff recognized and listed by location, were: Atwood - Edith Arden, Terri Burget, Virginia Carver, Christine Dean, Mary Krus, Marlene Vrbas Hays - Kimberly Boyle, Wanda Brown, Karen Edwards. Brandon Frick, Melvia Gardner, Barbara Goldsberry, Danny Higgins. Elaine King, Brina Leonhardt, Cody Marintzer, William May, Susan Nebel, Mark Pfannenstiel, Danielle Schremmer, Scott Stults, Audrey Ummel, Crystal Wasinger, Kim Wellbrock, Benjamin Whitmer Hill City - Aida LeClaire, Darlene Post Norton - Alan Brown, Donna Jones, Charlotte Tabke Oakley - Wallace Severson Russell - Annette Anschutz, Rita Avila, Melissa Meyer, Judy Michaelis Stockton - Mary Wise

DSNWK gave special recognition to three staff members who made successful efforts in coming to the aid of persons served by DSNWK in need and providing emergency assistance. Those recognized were: Ashli Buckner and Jenna Jacobs of Hays and Melissa Meyer of Russell.

DSNWK recognized Vince Walker of Hill City for providing 20 years of MANDT Training. Special recognition was also paid to three staff members for their outstanding work with persons with disabilities. Darryl Clark of Hill City, Connie Holloway, David Musgrove and Lance VanKooten of Hays, were presented with the Employee of the Year Awards.

Two $100 scholarship awards were presented to Ashley Howell and Blake Nichols of Hays. These awards were given from the Jerelyn Becker Memorial Scholarship Fund for employees studying in higher education in a field related to serving people with developmental disabilities.

Several awards were given to individuals served by DSNWK for achievement through employment and independence. Those receiving awards and listed by location were: Atwood - Cheri Hutchison Hays - Jessica Bridges, Todd Chaney, Lynn Dietrich, Richard Graf, Stephen Horton, Brenda Hunt, Marsha Jamison, Eric Legleiter, Raylynn Lumpkin, Trudi Mapes Ed McElhaney, Danielle Wittman, Adrian Wolf, Tammy Zadina Hill City - Jenny Cronn, Penny Law Hoxie - Jason Oelke Russell - Robert Woodman

DSNWK presented two Individual Achievement Awards to individuals served by DSNWK. Kayla Geerdes of Hoxie and Ross Mowry of Hays were presented these awards which go each year to one youth and one adult who have shown tremendous individual progress throughout the year.

Several awards were presented to members of area communities during the afternoon. They were: The Hill City Post Office, who received DSNWK’s Employer of the Year Award for their outstanding support of people with disabilities in the workforce.

The Community Support Award, which was presented to a business or individual who has shown DSNWK outstanding support, was given to the Lions Club of Hill City. DSNWK’s Good Neighbor Awards were presented to Daniel Thyfault of Hill City and Virgil Christie of Hoxie who both have shown great natural support to individuals served by DSNWK.

Gerald Hasennbank, an individual served by DSNWK in Hill City also received a Good Neighbor Award for his outstanding community volunteerism.

Fall Fest Reunites Friends Across the Area


A large crowd of smiling faces gathered once again for one of DSNWK’s most anticipated days of the year, Fall Fest. Individuals served by DSNWK, their staff, parents and guardians gathered to participate in a day of fun and friendship at the Ellis County Fairgrounds in Hays on October 23rd. Fallfest, which was made possible through the generosity of Conrade Insurance, Hays Tees and Nex-Tech included a dance, a variety of carnival games and a barbecue lunch. “Fall Fest continues to be an event that individuals served throughout the area look forward to”, stated Steve Keil, Director of Development. “For many, it is their one time each year to see friends from across the area.”

Christmas Project an Annual Success Story


The holiday season will continue to shine bright for persons served by DSNWK as area organizations and individuals purchased gifts for them to open this Christmas. Gifts were purchased by students at TMP-M High School, Central Plains ARC, as well as through contributions raised on the Jim Duffy Memorial Bike Ride held this summer. The focus of the project is for those who have limited family contact and get little for Christmas. In some cases, ornaments are made and placed on Christmas trees with a list of the items that each person would enjoy receiving. “This is always a very rewarding project. I know the individuals we serve really appreciate the kindness of these great community members,” stated Steve Keil, Director of Development.