Reinventing Quality 2021: Lessons Learned from 2020: Managing and Leveraging Disruptions. Baltimore, MD, August 8-10, 2021

View the video below for a recap of Reinventing Quality 2014

2014 Reinventing Quality Conference
Conference Materials

View/Download the Conference Programpdf (17.8 MB)

Index of Available Presentations
(Addtional Presentations will be added as we receive them)



Breakout A

Transition from Traditional to Person-Centered Supports

Creating Blue Space: The Intentional Act of Individualizing Supports
Pam Walker, Syracuse Universitypdf, Hanns Meissner, The Arc of Rensselaer Countypdf

It is now apparent that a simple logical plan cannot ignite the kind of social action that is necessary to realize valued outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Therefore, the question remains: how can legacy service providers bring forth a state of evolved practice that leads to citizenship for all persons with disabilities? This session offered some insight into the transformative journey of intentionally individualizing supports and creating the space to do so. The session introduced the topic of shifting contextual frameworks and shared the lessons learned about creating the room for re-thinking, innovation, and implementation of new support models. One agency's calling to support individuals with disabilities as citizens of their communities and the difficult journey in challenging old models to create room for new ideas was shared.

Federal and State Initiatives

Using New Medicaid Options-The 1915(i) State Plan Amendment for Children with Autism
Moderator: Robin Cooper, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Debra Tsutsui, Michigan Department of Community Health, Lisa Grost, Michigan Department of Community Healthpdf, Jane Gallivan, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Lisa Zimmerman, Delaware Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, Marie Nonnenmacher, Delaware Department of Developmental Disabilities Services

Presenters from Michigan discussed how the state designed a 1915(i) State Plan Amendment to create an autism benefit for young children that operates concurrently with a 1915(b) managed care specialty supports and services plan, as well as lessons learned during design, and the first year of implementation.

Presenters from Delaware described the 1915(i) State Plan HCBS Amendment providing a cross-disability array of supports focused on integrated employment. This new program serves individuals ages 14–25, promoting cross-system change and is a key element of Delaware’s Employment First Initiative.

Creating and Managing a Culture of Quality

Using Data for Risk Management: Making People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities More Safe and Secure
Moderator: Valerie Bradley, Human Services Research Institute

Wayne Zwick, Liberty Health Carepdf, Gerry Morrissey, The MENTOR Network, Jonathan Wilwerding, Mission Analytics, Renee Kurjiaka, California Department of Developmental Servicespdf

This panel included a description of three different approaches to risk management–two at the state level and one approach applied in a large multi-state provider. The speakers showed how they employ data from incident management and mortality review systems to improve practice, detect trends, identify training needs, and increase the ability to prevent future health and safety issues.

Breakout B

Federal and State Initiatives

Building a Community System for Everyone: Minnesota's Initiative to Create a Cross Disability and Aging Service System
Moderator: Barbara Brent, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Alex Bartolic, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Jean Wood, Minnesota Department of Human Servicespdf

Minnesota’s Department of Human Services has worked with stakeholders over a period of six years to create a seamless system to meets the needs of children and adults. Speakers described the challenges of honoring the differences across populations while working toward standardization that builds fairness and equitability into the service system.

Creating and Managing a Culture of Quality

Leading Practice on Comprehensive Approaches to Personal Outcomes Improvement
Sam Hedrick, RHA Howell Inc., Carol Clayton, CMT Healthcare Informatics, Jeanine Buford, Keystone Human Services, Wendy Swager, Soreo, Patrick LaVoie, SVP Contractor Management Servicespdf

This panel included presentations from provider organizations that have developed, or are in the process of developing comprehensive approaches to assessing their performance both organizationally and in terms of their impact on the lives of the individuals that they serve.

Person-Centered Practice

Changing to a Person-Centered Culture in Large Agencies
Moderator: Angela Amado, University of Minnesota

Steve Vernikoff, Center for Family Support, Mary Beth Lepkowsky, Tri-Counties Regional Centerpdf

A large agency providing services to individuals residing in New York and New Jersey and a regional center in southern California are undertaking large scale system-wide organizational culture changes to implement more person-centered practices and design. Their history of implementing person-centered practices, what has changed as a result of efforts to date, challenges they have faced, and advice for others who are considering or working on such changes was described.

Direct Support Workforce

Moving Mountain Award Winners: Building Successful Workforce Development Programs
Cindy Mowris, Anderson Center for Autism, Don Traynor, The Resource Center, Peggy Terhune, Monarch, Incpdf

The Moving Mountain Award recognizes best practices in direct support professional (DSP) workforce development that results in improved outcomes for people being supported. Representatives from three winning organizations that have addressed DSP workforce challenges in unique and exciting ways shared their strategies for designing and implementing the programs, as well as reporting on the outcomes and successes as realized by DSPs and people receiving services. Participants had an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how strategies may be replicated within their own organization.

Inclusive Communities

Building Community Inclusion Through Places of Worship
Moderator: Bill Gaventa, Evergreen Life Servicespdf

Shelly Christensen, Inclusion Innovations

Places of worship are at the forefront of creating welcoming communities for all people, including those with developmental disabilities. An overview of the many types of approaches in which congregations use to expand inclusiveness, hospitality and welcome was provided, with specific examples of meaningful inclusion from the Jewish community.


Strengthening Self-Advocacy
Moderators: Liz Weintraub and Dawn Rudolph, Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Ari Ne’eman, Autistic Self-Advocacy Networkpdf, Chaqueta Stuckey, Self-Advocate, Vicki Turnage, Advisor, Max Barrows, Green Mountain Self-Advocates

Three regional self-advocacy groups are funded by the federal Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) to help make self-advocacy organizations stronger. These groups shared their experiences in helping other organizations to get funding, develop more leaders in advocacy, support more diverse advocates to get involved, and use more technology in outreach.

Breakout C

Federal and State Initiatives

Implications of the New Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Regulations
Moderator: Nancy Thaler, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Ralph Lollar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servicespdf

This session was an opportunity to dialogue directly with officials from Centers for Medicaid and Medicate Services (CMS) about newly published regulations defining community and the implications for home and community-based services and the people who utilize them.

Direct Support Workforce

Five-Year Longitudinal Training Study: Quality Training Leads to Quality Outcomes
Amy Hewitt, University of Minnesota, Derek Nord, University of Minnesotapdf, Lori Sedlezky, University of Minnesota, Joe Macbeth, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

Longitudinal research findings and perspectives of direct support professionals (DSPs) on training, ethics, and how to improve quality within your service organizations were reviewed. A recent five-year longitudinal training intervention illustrating the success of a blended approach to competency-based training was explored alongside stories of the reality of DSP daily experiences and the ethical decisions they must make.


What are we Learning from the Community of Practice with Six States on Supporting Families Across the Life Course
John Agosta, Human Services Research Institute, Yoshi Kardell, Human Services Research Institute, Mary Lee Fay, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, Sheli Reynolds, University of Missouri-Kansas Citypdf

Participants learned about the National Community of Practice on Supporting Families, which is focused on building capacity to create policies, practices, and systems to better assist and support families that include a member with intellectual disability across the life course. This session provided an overview of the national framework and lessons learned from the six states that are participating in the National Community of Practice.


Employment Innovations: A Provider Perspective
Moderator: Rie Kennedy-Lizotte, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Jeannine Pavlak, New England Business Associates, Jolene Thibedeau Boyd, Community Involvement Programspdf, Gail Fanjoy, KFI Maine

Providers described their experiences designing and implementing cutting edge supports, such as customized employment and self-employment. Information about the challenges they experience in sustaining innovations and strategies they use to move their work forward in complex and changing environments was also reviewed.

Breakout D

Creating and Managing a Culture of Quality

Assessing Quality in Managed Long Term Services and Supports: What Have We Learned?
Moderator: Chas Moseley, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Servicespdf

Beth Jackson, Truven Health Analytics, Pat Rivard, Truven Health Analytics, Dana Cyra, Community Care of Central Wisconsin

Panelists outlined the recommended principles governing managed care for people with disabilities and explored the results of a national review of quality management requirements and practices in Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Support programs. A Managed Care Organization described the ways in which they assess the quality of their providers and the satisfaction of their members.

Behavioral Health Supports

Positive Strategies for Supporting People with Challenging Conditions
Jeff Cross, Benchmark Human Services, James Wiltz, Benchmark Human Services, George Harris, Benchmark Human Services, Teresa Rodgers, Missouri Department of Mental Healthpdf, Julia LePage, Missouri Department of Mental Health

A successful provider organization reviewed the planning, development, risk prevention, and ongoing communication and commitment needed to keep people safe, promote meaningful lives, and maintain strong systems accountability. Missouri’s initiative to expand training, support and oversight of positive behavior support services was also described.


Recognizing the Role of Family in Achieving Employment Outcomes for Family Members with IDD
Rie Kennedy-Lizotte, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, Suzzanne Freeze, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Sheli Reynolds, University of Missouri-Kansas Citypdf, Mary Lee Fay, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Panelists explored the direct and indirect role families play in impacting the trajectory towards positive adult outcomes and discussed specific tools and strategies that states are using to engage families in employment outcomes.

Breakout E


Prioritizing Employment Outcomes through the Financing of Services: State Employment Leadership Network (SELN)
Moderator: Suzzanne Freeze, University of Massachusetts-Boston

John Butterworth, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Rie Kennedy-Lizotte, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, Jean Winsor, University of Massachusetts-Bostonpdf

Representatives from the State Employment Leadership Network shared lessons learned in rethinking the methodologies for financing employment services as states address implementation of employment first practices.


Promoting Optimal Wellness for Everyone
Sue Walker, Hammer Residences, Kathy Kelly, United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Stephanie Kohl, Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres, Gail McPeake, Koinonia Homes, Patti Matzinger, Koinonia Homes, Sue Kelly, Delmarva Foundation, Eddie Towson, Delmarva Foundationpdf

Presenters discussed strategies for creating a culture of person-centered, healthy living practices within provider organizations to give individuals with disabilities positive control over their health.

Behavioral Health Supports

Positive Behavior Support: How We Define It and Implications for State Policy and Practice
Moderator: Chas Moseley, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

David Rotholz, University of South Carolina, Rachel Freeman, The University of Kansas, Chas Moseley, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Servicespdf

This session was a research to practice overview of a recent landmark study on the state positive behavior support definitions and practices, and the strategies being used by several state developmental disabilities agencies, in collaboration with NASDDDS to improve policy and practice. Participants heard about the documented need for change and positive behavior support strategies and approaches being used by states to improve positive behavior support delivery such as state to state collaboration to improve technical assistance and the alignment of evaluation strategies.

Closing Plenary Session

Ensuring Quality in Rapidly Changing Times: Changing Demographics
Barbara Wheeler, University of Southern California UCEDDpdf