2017 Directors Forum & Annual Conference

2017 Directors Forum & Annual Conference

Registration is Open

Cementing the Foundation for Long-Term Services and Supports

November 8 – 10, 2017
The Westin Crystal City
Arlington, Virginia


As states continue to face systems redesign to meet the federal home and community-based services (HCBS) settings requirements and implement state specific transition plans, there are significant opportunities for expanding meaningful community integration and engagement. Implementing these new regulations is also leading to innovations in in quality measurement and quality improvement.

Come learn from federal partners about strategies they are seeing from states continuing to focus on innovative approaches to implementing transition plans, as well as gain knowledge from state I/DD colleagues themselves on ways they are shaping policy and guidance to move their systems forward.

The conference will provide opportunities to:

  • Hear from federal leaders about HCBS direction and support.
  • Learn from state colleagues about state initiatives that support HCBS transition plan implementation.
  • Learn the latest information on trends in long-term services and supports (LTSS). 


Mike NardoneMike Nardone
Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Mr. Nardone's group has primary responsibility for policy development and regulatory oversight over Medicaid HCBS programs. He has a wealth of state government experience holding multiple positions in Pennsylvania, including; Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Melissa L. HarrisMelissa L. Harris
Senior Policy Advisor
Disabled and Elderly Health Policy Group
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

At CMS, Ms. Harris is focusing on Medicaid benefit provision, delivery system issues, and home and community-based services (HCBS) regulation implementation. Prior to this role at CMS, Ms. Harris was the Director of the Division of Benefits and Coverage, and responsible for overseeing implementation of most Medicaid benefits, including benefits provided to individuals in the Medicaid expansion population, and the establishment of national benefit policy.

Ursula L. WrightUrsula L. Wright
Co-Lead, Education & Youth Practice

FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale, lasting social change. Through its combination of customized services, powerful ideas, and learning communities, FSG helps foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate impact. FSG is also a recognized thought leader in creating 'collective impact', which occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem by aligning their efforts using a common agenda and shared measures of success. 

Valerie BradleyValerie Bradley
President Emerita
Human Services Research Institute

Val and HSRI were there at the inception of National Core Indicators (NCI) in 1997 and have been partners with NASDDDS in this endeavor ever since. Ms. Bradley was part of the National Quality Enterprise for 12 years and provided technical assistance to states regarding waiver quality assurance. She is currently working with the states of Georgia and Florida to support statewide quality councils composed of a wide-range of stakeholders including self-advocates and families.


Conference Program

Directors Forum
Wednesday, November 8
(8:30 AM - 4:30 PM)

Annual Conference
Thursday, November 9
(8:30 AM - 5:00 PM)

Annual Conference
Friday, November 10
(8:30 AM - 12:15 PM)


Thursday, November 9, 2017

ACL — The Way Forward

Mary Lazare
Deputy Administrator Administration for Community Living

Melissa Ortiz
Administration on Disabilities Administration for Community Living

Jennifer Johnson
Deputy Director
Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Administration on Disabilities Administration for Community Living
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Ms. Lazare, Ms. Ortiz and Ms. Johnson talked about the agency's vision for the future and how ACL is working to expand and improve opportunities for people with developmental disabilities

Implementation of HCBS Settings Regulations

Melissa Harris
Senior Policy Advisor Disabled and Elderly Health Policy Group
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Ms. Harris provided the status of national implementation activities associated with the Medicaid home and community-based services settings regulation as well as an update on collaboration efforts with states and state associations in both policy and operational issues.

CMS Transition Plans: Moving to Final

Claudia Johnson
Developmental Disabilities Division
Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

Ray Hester, M.Ed.
Program Administrator
Developmental Disabilities Services
Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Erin Leveton
Program Manager
State Office of Disability Administration
District of Columbia Department on Disability Services

Presenters from D.C., Oklahoma, and Kentucky who have recently received final approval from CMS on their statewide transition plans highlighted issues raised during plan approval negotiations and systems change efforts underway. 

NCI at 20 

Valerie Bradley
President Emerita
Human Services Research Institute

Ms. Bradley's presentation included a review of 20 years of National Core Indicators data focusing on the factors that prompted the development of NCI, the importance of outcome data on quality improvement, and a longitudinal look at some of the important trends that NCI has spotlighted. Her presentation also included a video that provides multiple perspectives on the impact of NCI. video

Principles and Approaches to Foster and Sustain Quality Improvement in I/DD Organizations

Steven Staugaitis, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Emily Lauer, M.P.H.
Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER)
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Steve Staugaitis and Emily Lauer reviewed and discussed a variety of important principles for the practical development of a systematic approach to promote and sustain quality within public and private organizations supporting people with disabilities.

Specifically, the presentation focused on: Designing QI systems that effectively use and integrate information and data, the role of leadership in establishing an organizational culture that expects quality and safety, recognizing the critical role of human behavior in preventing errors and providing quality support, examples of some important analytic tools to move beyond simple incident reporting, and how to use these processes to promote and sustain change — examples from real life and some take-away resources were provided.

Person-Centered Systems: The Role of State and Local Administration

Annette Downey
Trainer and Consultant National
Center for Self-Determination
Executive Director of Community Living Services of Oakland County

Christina Dupuch
Chief Operating Officer
Senior Policy Advisor
Vaya Health

Alex Bartolic
Disability Services Division
Minnesota Department of Human Services

Presenters from Michigan, North Carolina, and Minnesota discussed how they changed the thinking, the culture, the measures, and the manner in which a state office engages with local agencies and providers.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Appreciating Systems Change 

Ursula Wright
Co-Lead the Education & Youth Practice

Ursula Wright discussed the importance of taking a systems perspective when solving social problems and how to appreciate the ebbs and flows of the systems change journey. 

Looking Ahead: Long-Term Services and Supports Forecast for 2018 

Connie Garner
Vice President for Disability Policy & Education Policy
ML Strategies Mintz Levin Law Firm

Rodney Whitlock
Vice President
Health Policy ML Strategies

During their time on the Hill, Connie Garner and Rodney Whitlock were leaders in federal LTSS policy, and continue to drive the discussion about our nation's long-term care system. They shared their thoughts about the future of LTC policy in the United States.