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Wed Feb 12 12:53:31 UTC 2014


MICHIGAN PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY SERVICE, INC.

BOARD OF DIRECTOR=S MEETING

ANNUAL MEETING

 

September 17, 2013

 

 

Directors Present: Kate Wolters, 1st Vice President, Tom Landry, 2nd Vice President, John McCulloch, Treasurer, Pam Bellamy, Secretary, Ron Bush, Terri Lynn Land, Kathy McGeathy, Susan Odgers, Stoney Polman, Jane Shank, Veda Sharp, Rick Swegles

 

Directors Absent: Donna DePalma, Michelle Huerta, President, Frank Turnage

 

Staff Present:  Michele Brand, Elmer Cerano, Mark Cody, Camilia Limas, Michelle Mull, Chris Rodriguez, Nicole Shannon, Ashley Steffen

 

Guest: Selena Schmidt, PAIMI Council member

 

Website Overview

 

Ashley Steffen gave an overview of the new MPAS website during lunch. Ms. Steffen distributed an overview of total visits to the website since its launch, stats of unique visits, page views and average time a visitor spends on the website.  

 

John McCulloch would like to see a better assessment brought forward in six months.

 

I.  Call to Order

 

The meeting of the MPAS Board of Directors was called to order by 1st Vice President, Kate Wolters.

 

II. Introductions



Introductions were made.  

 

III. Agenda

 

The agenda was presented for review. Kate Wolters added to the agenda Executive Session to the end of the meeting.



MOTION BY Terri Land TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED.   SECOND BY John McCulloch. MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

IV. Minutes

 

The Board reviewed the minutes of May 21, 2013. 

 

MOTION BY Rick Swegles THAT THE MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 26, 2013 BE APPROVED AS SUBMITTED.  SECOND BY Stoney Polman.  MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.  

 

V. President’s Report

Kate Wolters gave recognition to Susan Odgers who has been on the board for 17 years. Ms. Wolters introduced Susan’s husband, Tom and State Representative Schmidt. 

 

Elmer Cerano gave a few words in recognition of Susan and her accomplishments.  He stated Susan has been on the board for 17 years and her role of public policy has been exceptional. She has been to D.C and she and her work has been a great asset to the board.  

 

Ms. Wolters presented a plaque to Susan. Representative Schmidt presented Susan with a tribute on behalf of State Senator Walker and himself.

 

Susan thanked staff and board members. Susan came to MPAS first as a client after an incident at a hockey game and her friends referred her to the agency.  She will continue to refer individuals our way and stay in touch.

 

Kate Wolters gave recognition to Rick Swegles who has been on the board for 16 years.

 

Elmer Cerano gave a few words of recognition on Rick’s work, the history of the bylaws and his trips to D.C. for Hill visits.



Ms. Wolters presented Rick with a plaque.  Kevin Gardner, State Senator Pavlov’s office and Laura Haynes, State Representative LaFontaine’s office presented a tribute to Rick in recognition of his years on the board and service.

 

Rick Swegles gave a brief history of how he became involved with MPAS through his father who has been proud to be part of the organization since it was first Chartered. This will be his father and Rick’s final board meeting. Mr. Swegles knew of the organization from his parents and it is his distinct privilege to have sat at the table with each of us.

 

 

VI. Executive Director Report

 

Priorities

 

Elmer Cerano reported that every two years the agency goes through and identifies priorities of what the agency should be doing.  The second year is used to fine tune the priorities, however, in preparation for 2014-2015 we are conducting a more broad survey process in setting the agency’s priorities.

 

Chris Rodriguez passed around the priority survey feedback.

 

Chris reported that the priority survey solicitation was sent out via Survey Monkey to over 500 folks. The survey was also on the agency website and Facebook page, sent to disability agencies and phone calls were made to encourage individuals to go online and complete the survey.

 

Responses were received from 146 individuals, which is a 94% increase from last year.

Chris’s team met with the Information and Referral team to get their perspective of what the priorities should be due to calls that come in. He also solicited the PAIMI Council.

 

Since responses from persons with disabilities were limited, additional surveys will be sent to the state psychiatric hospitals.

 

Proposed Priorities for FY 2014

 

Michelle Mull reviewed the proposed priority summaries with the board. Ms. Mull explained that the information provided does not include the activities and case selection criteria under each of the priority areas.

 

Priority #1 Eliminate Abuse/Neglect

 

Objective A - continuing

Objective B - proposed to remove the objective although going to continue under other activities. This objective was not needed on its own. 

Objective C - continuing

 

The agency is making progress on eliminating abusive or neglectful employees by filing complaints against their professional licenses when applicable. Elmer stated the goal is to not allow individuals with history of abuse and neglect of persons with disabilities to work with vulnerable populations. 

 

Targeted monitoring of additional facilities was added under the priority. When monitoring, teams will be looking for specific things, like corporal punishment, hog tying, etc.

 

Priority #2 – Improve Rights-Protection Systems

 

Ms. Mull stated that rights protection was a high survey response. The PAIMI Council had given feedback on that priority.

 

There were no major changes to priority #2.

 

Kathy McGeathy asked if Objective 2C has to do with just dual eligibility (Medicare/Medicaid). Michelle stated it relates to any rights protection system. 

 

Priority #3 – Eliminate Employment Barriers and Protect Rights

 

Under Objective 3B we have added a focus on sheltered workshop and the subminimum wage issue 14c. The agency will get additional guidance from our national organization, NDRN.

 

Priority #4 – Improve Access to Necessary Services

We have taken out the word “necessary” and changed to “Improve Access to Services.”

 

It was stated that housing has been an increased issue. Under Objective 4A, have added housing and segregation to the objective.  Individuals will have access to services, including housing, to support them in the community and prevent institutionalization or segregation.

 

Mr. Rodriguez stated that question is whether Medicaid funds can be used to support people in segregated environments.

 

Mr. Cerano stated that MPAS position is that federal dollars cannot be used to segregate people based on their disability. 

 

Kathy McGeathy asked what Objective 4B covers.

 

Michelle Mull stated that that is an issue related to accommodations, we do take work in those areas, relates to the voting and polling places. We do accept cases and provide information and referral on how to get the services.

 

Priority #5 – Ensure the Right to a High Quality Education

 

There is no drastic change to the priority.

 

We have added targeted outreach to Flint and Detroit Public Schools. We have received lots of calls from those areas.

 

Ms. McGeathy would like to connect MPAS with the Disability Network when doing outreach in Flint.

 

Ms. Odgers asked what the implications of the Affordable Care Act will be. Ms. Mull stated that we don’t really know and not sure what the issues will be yet for persons with disabilities, many of whom already qualify for Medicaid services.

 

Ms. McGeathy asked if there was anything else added as a result of the survey reports. 

 

MOTION BY Kathy McGeathy TO APPROVE THE PRIORITIES AND OBJECTIVES AS REVIEWED AND SUBMITTED. SECOND BY Pam Bellamy.  MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

Elmer thanked Michelle Mull for all her work on the priorities and looking at data and analyzing.

 

 

VII. Public Comment

None

 

 

VIII. PAIMI Advisory Council

 

Jane Shank reported for the Council. At the last meeting the Council continued discussion regarding gun violence and mental health illness.

 

The Council was asked at the May board meeting to come back with recommendations for MPAS positions on registries of people with mental illness and mental health background checks for gun registries. 

 

The Council reported that they can not make a recommendation on the perceived relationship between mental illness and gun violence. 

 

Ms. Shank noted that the PAIMI Advisory Council took the issue very serious and refocused its energy on access to mental health treatment.

 

Susan Odgers asked if any Advisory Councils from other P&As have a position of this. Ms. Shank state she had not seen or heard of anyone. 

 

They recommended that MPAS focus on de-stigmatization of seeking mental health treatment and increased availability of appropriate mental health identification, interventions and treatment.

 

MOTION BY John McCulloch TO RECEIVE AND FILE THE REPORT OF THE PAIMI COUNCIL.  SECOND BY TERRI LAND. MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

Standing on Possible Future Litigation

 

Elmer introduced Nicole Shannon, staff attorney who is here to report on the standing on possible future litigation.  He stated that we are not asking the board for approval on the litigation. The information is provided to protect against challenges to MPAS standing on possible litigation. 

 

Nicole Shannon reported that the PAIMI Advisory Council has a unique role and their role is to inform the agency. Mark Cody and Nicole Shannon met with the Council at their last meeting to report on possible future litigation on conditions at Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital.

 

There has been recent case law that says a protection and advocacy agency that wants to take legal action in their name must ensure that they have a PAIMI Advisory Council and the Council must be informed and inform the Board.

 

Michele Brand asked if they have to be documented discussions. Ms. Shannon stated that the guidelines are unclear. The Legal Team just wanted to make sure we had an item on an agenda and made it in the minutes and that the organization has been informed.

 

 

IX. Committee Reports

 

A. Budget & Finance Committee

 

John McCulloch reported for the Committee on the interim financials and balance sheet. Mr. McCulloch reported that the agency is 7% under budget and TBI is significantly overspent.

 

MOVED BY John McCulloch TO RECEIVE AND FILE. SECOND BY Tom Landry. MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

John McCulloch presented the proposed budget for FY 2014.  

 

On the expense side, contracts services have increased for maintenance and upgrades of the agencies IT Department.

 

Kathy McGeathy asked if we are doing the Social Security work for a fee. Michele stated that the agency is investigating rep payees under a contract from NDRN.  The agency receives a set fee per review. We watch our costs very carefully to assure that our income exceeds our expenses.

 

Susan asked if we have in the budget to improve the phone system for the board members during meetings.  Michele stated that we do not have control over how the conference center phones work.  Susan would like the board to pilot a meeting via videoconference. Staff agreed to look into the possibility of video conferencing.

 

MOTION BY Tom Landry TO APPROVE THE 2014 BUDGET. SECOND BY Mark Lezotte.  MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

Board Meeting Times and Food

 

The Budget & Finance Committee had a discussion regarding the costs for food at meetings. The Committee discussed with the board the fact that we traditionally have late morning meetings running through lunch. It was suggested to move the meetings earlier in the day from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. without lunch.

 

There are two options to consider. Option 1, under federal rules, we could use unrestricted funds to supply food. Option 2, which is a recommendation from committee; move meetings to earlier during the day which would end by lunch time.  Those traveling far will receive a per diem for lunch as is the current practice.

 

Mr. McCulloch recommended that the agency identify a facility that provides teleconferencing capacity and that future board meetings be held from 10:00-12:00 (except for the February Legislative Board meeting). 

 

Ms. Wolters reminded board members to read their board packets prior to the meeting and staff provides additional information that is not included in their written reports. 

 

McCulloch asked if we need a formal motion or just an understanding.  Ms. Wolters stated that since the meeting time and location are determined by the president, a formal vote is not necessary.

 

B. Audit Committee



Mark Lezotte stated that the December meeting will include an action item on Audit Committee.

 

C. Public Policy Committee

 

Mr. Rodriguez reported that Michigan’s Medicaid expansion legislation has passed.

 

Medicaid Expansion was narrowly passed on the Michigan Senate Floor.  It did not get immediate effect. It will not be effective until April 1, 2014.  Although the bill did not look exactly how we had preferred, it is still a significant accomplishment for the people we represent. 

 

Federal level

 

The Workforce Investment Act is up for re-authorization. This Act holds beneficial supports for people with disabilities. 

 

Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is currently being adopted in the U.S. Senate.

 

The ratification requires 2/3 support in the US Senate. If passed it would create certain guidelines by which countries around the world could model the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Michigan’s Senators Levin and Stabenow are in support of the ratification.

 

State policy

 

MPAS has been meeting with targeted legislators to create legislation to eliminate nursing home abuse and neglect.  

 

DNR – Do Not Resuscitate

 

Mr. Rodriguez has spent a great amount of time educating legislators on MPAS concerns with language in the pending DNR legislation. He has met with every Michigan Senate office explaining how the bill could negatively impact people with disabilities.  

 

Establishment of Mental Health Courts

 

MPAS has been following a group of bills on establishing mental health courts in Michigan. MPAS is in support of the Mental Health Courts. These courts have been successful in lowering recidivism rates by allowing qualified offenders the opportunity to receive mental health treatment as opposed to incarceration. MPAS is working to make a few small changes to the bills and educating the legislature on the benefits of having these programs.

 

Stoney Polman reported that the Tribal Courts have instituted mental health courts and youth in the mental health system were given an elder mentor.

 

 

C. Board Development Committee:

 

Mark Lezotte reported for the committee.

 

ON BEHALF OF THE MPAS BOARD DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE, I MOVE THE NOMINATION OF JANE SHANK TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.  SUPPORT BY JOHN McCulloch. MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

ON BEHALF OF THE MPAS BOARD DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE I MOVE THE NOMINATION OF THE FOLLOWING MPAS OFFICERS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING OCTOBER 1, 2013 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 31, 2014 AS FOLLOWS: 

 

Kate Wolters, President

Tom Landry, 1st Vice President

John McCulloch, 2nd Vice President

Mark Lezotte, Treasurer

Jane Shank, Secretary

 

SUPPORT BY TOM LANDRY.  MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

Mark Lezotte reported that the Bylaws call for the automatic removal of board members after the third missed meeting.  Frank Turnage has missed the last three previous meetings.  Staff and board members have made numerous attempts to communicate with Mr. Turnage with no success. No action is required. Mr. Turnage’s seat on the board has been declared vacant.

 

Mark Lezotte stated that the Bylaws have an Emeritus and Honorary category but there is no clarity on how to use them.  The Committee is will discuss whether board membership categories they should be better streamlined and defined.  

 

The Committee is still trying to locate an individual with financial expertise background. They will be trying to reach out to bankers, CEOs, etc.

 

Ron bush has recommended an individual from the Arabic community. Mark will be meeting with her.  Preliminary connections have been made in SE Detroit from the Hispanic community.

 

Kathy McGeathy asked if we look logistically are what other areas are not represented. Mr. Lezotte responded that we still need individuals from Northern Michigan (U.P. and northern half of Lower Peninsula) and an individual with a development disability.

 

X. Old Business

None

 

XI. New Business

None

 

Move to Executive Session. Motion to move into Executive Session by John McCulloch. Second by Tom Landry.

 

Meeting adjourned at 2:33.

 

Minutes prepared by:                                                                                                                

                                    Camilia Limas, Executive Secretary                   Date

 

 

Minutes approved by:                                                                                                               

                                    Pamela Bellamy, Secretary                                Date

 


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