Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council
Henrico Mental Health

Brenda Laws, Secretary, called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She welcomed everyone and announced, “the exciting news-we have new VICC members!” VICC members introduced themselves.

Part C Update

Part C Coordinator Recruitment

Shirley Ricks reported that the Part C Coordinator’s position has been vacant since Anne Lucas’ departure in January 2003. The office received forty-eight (48) applications for the position. Those applications were screened to six (6) applicants who will be interviewed on 3/26/03 or 4/2/03. The interview panel will be comprised of a council coordinator, a parent, an EIIMT (Early Intervention Interagency Management Team) representative, an MR (Mental Retardation) director or representative, and a Part C staff member. It is hoped that two applicants will be selected for second interviews and that the process will be completed by mid-April.

Part C Presentation to VACSB (VA Association of Community Services Boards)
Shirley Ricks reported on the presentation to the VACSB that took place in January 2003. Approximately one hundred (100) participants, including CSB executive directors and MR directors, were present. The goal of the presentation was to work towards a partnership with CSBs and the Part C office. The power point presentation (available as handout and on Part C website) included information on:

Application for Federal Part C Funds/EIAC Meeting
Mary Ann Discenza reported that the EIAC (Early Intervention Agency Committee) met last week. The budget for FY 03-04 was presented and approved. The Part C office is preparing the final budget in the required format for submission to OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs). This is due 5/23/03. 

Mary Ann Discenza also reported that a challenge with the budget is that one of the federal requirements is detailed information regarding the interagency nature of the budget (what other agencies are contributing to the budget). The Part C office has had conference calls with other states to attempt to figure out how to collect this funding information. Other states have reported equal difficulty calculating this information. The Part C office requested an extension to the deadline while they developed a methodology to accurately collect the data. The request was not granted and this budget information will still be a required part of the application.

Deborah Sprang asked for clarification regarding the deadline. Mary Ann Discenza responded that the Annual Report is due 3/31/03. The budget is due 5/23/03.

Pat Dewey reported that the Secretary of Health and Human Services attended a portion of the EIAC meeting. She noted that everyone was excited and impressed that Secretary Woods attended. It reinforced that early intervention IS a Governor’s priority.

Mary Ann Discenza explained that ITOTS (Infant and Toddler Online Tracking System) is a web-based data collection system that is preparing to move into Phase II. This work, spearheaded by Jeff Harlow, was presented as a part of the budget that has been approved.

Jeff Harlow reported that the Part C office has been working for a few years to try to develop a web-enabled data system to allow localities to better capture accurate data regarding children in the system. ITOTS, Phase I was the replication of the ICDF (Individualized Child Data Form), which is an intake form that is used to determine the annual child count which is used for budgeting purposes. The goal of ITOTS, Phase I was to reduce errors, standardize the collection of data across forty (40) localities, and increase the availability of the data.

Phase II of ITOTS will focus on data elements that are the most functional, useful, and broadly needed. The workgroup has developed a design that is a service coordination tool that tracks information about babies during their time in early intervention. This information includes such data elements as IFSP dates, services being received, IFSP review dates, etc. It will eventually also have the capacity to generate a trigger for the service coordinator to update procedural safeguard forms and other mandated paperwork requirements. Jeff Harlow noted that the workgroup is currently looking at which portions of ITOTS, Phase II will be implemented first. There needs to be a balance on budgeting, training time for providers, etc. He further noted that one of the major goals of this process is to answer the questions, “What does it cost to do this business currently?” and “What will it cost to conduct this business five (5) years from now?”

Glen Slonneger questioned if Phase I is currently being completed by everyone in the field. Jeff Harlow responded that everyone is entering the data but the workgroup is now learning about its effectiveness. The early indications are that it is saving a lot of time. Benefits, however, cannot yet be truly recognized because the first reports are currently being generated. Jeff Harlow further noted that there is a process built in to look at the effectiveness of Phase I. Shirley Ricks reiterated that this data is the method for obtaining the December 1st child count.

Glen Slonneger noted that at the Finance Committee last week, Jeff Harlow discussed the additional work associated with Phase II. Glen Slonneger clarified that Phase II will provide the needed data to determine the cost of operating the EI system. He noted that the difficulty will be in weighing the sound financial data that can be taken to the General Assembly with the time elements that will be imposed upon providers to collect the needed information. Jeff Harlow agreed and further noted that plans are in place to try to reduce the burden on providers. Currently, many providers are collecting two sets of data. One set for their CSBs and another set for the Part C system. The ITOTS workgroup is attempting to work with DMHMRSAS to electronically transfer data elements and reduce the collection of duplicative data. Additionally, the Family Survey is becoming fully automated to allow families to access that data collection source independently. This reduces a step for providers and makes collection more efficient.

David Mills requested that if council coordinators have additional data that they would like reported to please contact him. They are working to develop data reports that best serve those who need the data. 

Deborah Sprang questioned whether in gathering and moving data around, ITOTS will be HIPPA (Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act) compliant. Jeff Harlow responded that the subcontractor for the data collection system is fully aware of HIPPA regulations. Additional HIPPA trainings are being offered and Jeff Harlow will attend. Shirley Ricks noted that there is a need to get information to personnel at DMHMRSAS who know the logistics of HIPPA compliance and they will review the plans and processes. Brenda Laws further noted that the issues with HIPPA compliance have been considered since the initial planning stages of ITOTS.

Wanda Pruett questioned the interagency component of the data system and asked whether the information can be used across agencies to assist with the budget question regarding fiscal support from other agencies. Shirley Ricks responded that other agencies do not collect data specific to the birth to three population because their consumers represent a broader group. She noted that this has been one of the main difficulties in responding to the interagency budget question. Jeff Harlow also responded that at a technology level, ITOTS has been designed to allow sharing of dating but this is not being utilized currently.

A question also arose as to the requirements from HIPPA versus FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.) Shirley Ricks noted that the preliminary information is that HIPPA regulations are more stringent than FERPA and, therefore, supercede FERPA regulations. 

Bethany Cooke asked who would have access to the information in the data system. Jeff Harlow replied that currently local councils exclusively control access to the data. They have an access code to obtain and input information about babies in their locality. During Phase II, parents will have access to reply to the family survey. Bethany Cooke expressed concerns about many people having access to information about children enrolled in the system. Jeff Harlow noted that the Part C office has purposefully remained very strict about who can enter and access data. Localities can only access information that is applicable to their locality. Jeff Harlow also indicated that they are considering an encryption system that would significantly increase security. If this encryption system is used, the child’s identifying number, such as SSN, would automatically convert to a different number prior to the SSN leaving the screen. The encryption process is irreversible and totally encoded. The new number then becomes the child’s identifier. Wanda Pruett noted that when she heard about the potential encryption system, as a parent, it eased her mind that the information submitted prior to the new identifying number could not be accessed. Brenda Laws thanked everyone for their hard work on this committee.

Partnership for People with Disabilities Contract for Training
Shirley Ricks noted that three years ago, the agency heads asked the Part C office to develop an interagency system of training to avoid duplication. The Part C office approached VIDD (Virginia Institute for Developmental Disabilities) at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) and the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC) to develop a service coordination curriculum to ensure that competencies for service coordinators met the needs of the EI system. Since that time, a curriculum has been developed, pilot tested, and delivered in three additional localities across the state. The Part C office is proposing to continue with VCU through the Partnership for People with Disabilities (formerly VIDD). A second phase of this contract is to host the annual EI conference. Feedback from the first conference from the field was that the conference was successful. Plans are underway for the second annual EI conference. Dr. Willie Bragg asked about membership on the ITC and Cori Hill provided information about members.

Budget FY 03-04
(Mary Ann Discenza provided a budget handout to VICC members only as it is still in draft form.) Mary Ann Discenza reviewed the budget noting that the total FY 04 funding is $13,021,728.00. This includes $1,000,000.00 allocation for direct services from DSS and $125,00.00 from state funds for direct services. Additionally, Virginia has a pot of money that is called “one time funding.” This year, the Part C office will pull down approximately $2,500,00.00 from one time funding. Total budget: $13,021.728.00.

Mary Ann Discenza further clarified that the budget is divided into three major categories with funding as noted:

Direct Services- $11,344,037.00
Administration Funds- $371,176.00
Required Program Support Services $880,221.00
(includes VICC costs, public awareness, training and technical assistance)

Shirley Ricks noted that the bulk (approximately $8.2 million) of allocated money is going to the field for direct services. She further noted that this is the budget that agency heads have approved. Wanda Pruett questioned how the $8.2 million compared to what was spent last year. Shirley Ricks responded that this is still being tracked as expenditures are still coming in.

Public Comment
Kathy Phillips representing the Council Coordinators’ Association (CoCoA) presented the following public comment (italicized information is provided verbatim from written comment provided)

CoCoA is the association representing the coordinators of the local Part C Interagency Coordination Councils throughout Virginia. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in finding the means to fund appropriate early intervention services for all of Virginia’s infants and toddlers with disabilities under Part C. We are very grateful for the additional funds that have been made available throughout the state, which have enabled many areas to be in compliance at this time, as well as to meet the growing needs. It is important to note, however, that the early intervention system continues to be in crisis situation, and we hope that there will continue to be very close monitoring of the financial status of services around the state.

CoCoA also encourages the VICC to continue to be aware of the fact that there are costs and consequences (intended and unintended) to every new form and process that is introduced or that might be considered for Part C implementation. It will be especially important to identify the costs and consequences to providers in all of the agencies providing Part C services with the proposed next steps in the expansion of iTOTS (sic). CoCoA strongly supports the fine work that the iTOTS (sic) group has provided to date, as well as the need to have concrete data for long-range planning and decision making. At the same time, it is felt to be critical to identify up front the cost of gathering this information and who would bear the burden of funding it, in dollars, personnel, and other resources.

Regarding the proposed 2004 Part C Contract, CoCoA has requested through the Public Comments process that the requirement to access additional financial resources be revised to only include those funding sources for which there is clear and sufficient information for localities. CoCoA has specifically requested that Title IVE be removed from the Part C Contract. In addition, it is requested that any other sources that localities are required to access should be clarified sufficiently so that each of the 40 Local Interagency Coordinating Councils do not have to spend a significant amount of time researching them, when in fact they may not be a viable option for funding for early intervention services.

Finally, CoCoA would like to formally request representation by a local Part C Council Coordinator on the Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council (VICC). As important stakeholders and implementers of Part C services, council coordinators have a unique perspective that we believe needs to be included as a member of this important advisory group.
Thank you for the opportunity to express the views of our association.

Response to Public Comment
Shirley Ricks responded that these requests will be taken under consideration. The Part C office will look at the public comment across the state regarding the 2004 Part C contract. They will work with the Performance Contract office to ensure that “we are on the right track.” Shirley Ricks noted that she heard the point regarding, “chasing dollars.”

Additionally, Shirley Ricks responded that the Part C office will attempt to obtain council coordinator representation on the VICC. They will try to get this issue addressed within the next thirty (30) days.

In response to the data and ITOTS concerns, Shirley Ricks responded, “The points you’ve raised are all issues we are dealing with daily.” She noted that comments from the field are being heard but it is also important to note that data is what is driving this system currently. Kathy Phillips responded that Wendi Wilson-John, Part C Project Coordinator, from ODU is coming to their locality to attend an evaluation and IFSP meeting to show her the time requirements, paperwork, etc. Shirley Ricks indicated that it may be a good idea to get more data people out in the field in more areas to see these processes.

OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) Annual Performance Plan
Shirley Ricks reported that OSEP requires states to submit an annual report of accomplishments, plans for improvement, etc. This annual performance plan is due to OSEP on 3/31/03. In Virginia, we have integrated this information into one work plan that includes the state self-assessment as well as outcomes for Virginia’s priorities. 

Mary Anne White provided a brief history on the work plan process: Each year the VICC holds a retreat to develop outcomes. When the VICC met in September, the work plan was forty-five (45) pages in length and included the work of five (5) VICC subcommittees. The VICC charged the Part C staff to integrate the work plan using four (4) questions or priorities:

  1. Will it jeopardize the long-term existence of Part C if we don’t do it?
  2. What is affordable?
  3. How can we meet the Governor’s priority of serving children?
  4. What will make a difference quickly but not lose sight of long-term needs?

The work plan was reduced to two major themes: funding the system and service delivery. The proposed work plan (attached) is now an integrated plan for multiple years. Mary Anne White noted that the Part C office is asking OSEP to accept this document as Virginia’s plan. 

Pat Dewey questioned the blank spaces on page seven (7) under “Supporting Documentation to Verify the Evidence of Change.” Mary Anne White noted that this was covered elsewhere and can be deleted. Deborah Sprang commended the Part C office for their work on this task.

A discussion ensued as to the approval process requirements. Mary Anne White reported that the OSEP guidelines require VICC approval. Dr. Pat Abrams questioned Table 1, Status of Program Performance. Mary Anne White replied that these are indicators from the self-assessment that Virginia completed. Beth Tolley added that the cluster areas are not exactly the same as two years ago when we completed the self-assessment. Some indicators were optional, some were baseline, etc. Mary Anne White indicated that nothing new was added, simply restructured. Dr. Pat Abrams noted that this was a long process by many people and new VICC members should use it as good background for the work that is being completed. Sharon Shuttle inquired if the VICC could approve the work plan, knowing the work that was completed. Glen Slonneger then moved “that we adopt the annual report including the integrated work plan with the recommended changes and we submit to OSEP by 3/31/03.” Dr. Colleen Kraft seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Brenda Laws commended everyone on their work.

Nominating Committee
Brenda Laws reported that a nominating committee needs to be formed to develop a slate of VICC officers, including a chair, co-chair, and secretary. Shirley Ricks volunteered to chair the nominating committee and requested assistance from 2-3 other people. Glen Slonneger and Pat Dewey volunteered. Shirley Ricks indicated that if anyone is interested in serving in any of these capacities, to please notify her. Pat Dewey questioned who is eligible for these positions. Shirley Ricks responded that only persons appointed by the Governor can hold an office. EIIMT members are not eligible. Bethany Cooke inquired which members were not new to the VICC. Shirley Ricks responded that Brenda Laws and Dr. James Blackman were the two returning VICC members and they have the opportunity to serve as an officer as do any of the new appointees. Brenda Laws noted that details about the officers’ terms, duties, etc are in the VICC by-laws. Shirley Ricks encouraged members to review the by-laws and direct any questions to the Part C office.

Family Report
Wanda Pruett reported that families have received the service guidelines draft and are providing input. Additionally, the budget for early intervention continues to be a topic of concern for families. Parents have also shared concerns regarding identification/data collection through ITOTS. 

Wanda Pruett also noted that ARCFIP has received many phone calls regarding the new VICC membership. She indicated that it is nice to have parent representation from all areas of the state and questioned if there would be re-submission for a parent from Northern Virginia as that parent was unable to accept the nomination. Shirley Ricks responded that they will ask for a parent from Northern Virginia at the same time they request a council coordinator representative. Delly Greenberg offered to assist in locating a parent from this part of the state.

Other Business
Beth Tolley announced that the services guidelines are being revised and will be reviewed for a second edition. She also reported on the two day training, “Moving from Theory to Practice” which is open to all. Deadline for registration is 3/14/03. Training sites are in Richmond, Abingdon, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Tidewater, and Northern Virginia.

Dr. Willie Bragg noted that in the budget under training and technical assistance, she did not see anything related to diversity. Shirley Ricks responded that the Part C office had a cultural diversity specialist but this position was cut with the budget cuts. Brenda Laws noted that there were two cultural diversity workshops at the EI conference. Beth Tolley added that the Kaleidoscope curriculum was developed and diversity was incorporated into the training. In addition, this information is included in the annual report and the goal is to incorporate it across all activities. Dr. Pat Abrams noted that DOE (Department of Education) has funded the development of a cultural diversity curriculum that was piloted last year and is preparing to be launched. She suggested that we invite trainers to the next VICC retreat for an awareness level of training. Diane Evans, Highlands Coordinator, noted their locality recently conducted diversity training. David Mills reported that the cultural diversity session from the EI conference is available on videotape for loan.

Bethany Cooke thanked everyone for the opportunity to serve. She thanked the Governor and the people who led the orientations and VICC reception last night. She also thanked the providers in her locality, noting that her son is getting excellent services. Bethany Cooke concluded saying, “I hope to make a difference and make changes and represent families of Southwest Virginia.”

Brenda Laws noted that yesterday there was an orientation for parents and new members. There was a reception and swearing in ceremony as well. Brenda Laws reported that it was “a joy to see new faces who bring new energy and ideas.” She applauded providers in the field who continue, “plugging along on a shoe string budget.” She thanked everyone for participating and thanked the Part C office for arranging the details. 

Dana Yarbrough reported that the FS&A (Family Support and Advocacy) committee is in need of a new provider co-chair. Pam Johnson must step down due to job duties.

Wanda Pruett noted that pictures from the VICC reception will be available on the ARCFIP website under “Recent Events.”

Council coordinators from southwest Virginia reported on the New Horizons conference on 5/15/03 in Abingdon. Karen Gaffney will be the keynote speaker. All are invited to attend.

Deborah Sprang moved to adjourn the meeting. Pat Dewey seconded. The motion passed.

March 12, 2002 VICC Meeting Attendance

VICC Members
Dr. Pat Abrams   
Dr. Willie Bragg  
Bethany Cooke  
Pat Dewey 
Delly Greenberg
Dr. Colleen Kraft
Brenda Laws
Miriam Owens 
Shirley Ricks
Sharon Shuttle
Glen Slonneger
Deborah Sprang
Sandra Binns Whitaker

Attendees                                                     Committee Membership 

Wanda Pruett 
Dana Yarbrough                                                         FSA, PA 
Sheila Nelson                                                             PA, FS&A

Council Coordinators
Mary Lou Hutton (Cumberland Mountain) 
Kathryn Kiser (Dickenson)
Nancy Bailey (LENOWISCO)                     Integrated Trng Collab., Autism Initiative
Molly Richardson (Mount Rogers)
Kathryn Kiser (Dickenson)
Katy McCullough (New River Valley)                     LRDS, Finance Task Force
Heidi Graham (Roanoke)
Brenda Crockett (Chesapeake)                                         LRDS 
Alison Standring (Rappahanock)                     MIMS, Integrated Data, CoCoA, LRDS
Diane Evans (Highlands)
Kathy Phillips (Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck)
Liz Fletcher (Henrico)                                                     Data Workgroup
Beth Reed-Treadway (Blue Ridge)

Michelle Wood
Leslie Snead

Lillian Drew
Nancy Tobin
Wendy Oatis (MCV Medical Student)
Debbie Burcham

Administration/TA, etc.
Jeff Harlow                                                                             CIMP 

Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia Staff: 
Mary Ann Discenza, Acting Virginia Part C Coordinator
Beth Tolley
Mary Anne White
Karen Durst
Bev Crouse
David Mills
Cathy Fisher
Cori Hill