Plenary Sessions

Plenary Sessions

P1 – Raising the Bar for Direct Support Professionals

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Tuesday, September 24 • 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Magnolia ABCD

Tracks: CH, ExL, IDD, MH, PDA

Joseph M. Macbeth, The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

As advocates, families, providers, and policymakers find themselves at a critical point in shifting support models for people with disabilities toward individual autonomy and self-direction, this keynote offers a chance to reflect on how the strength of advocacy led the community living movement over the past 40 years. We will also reflect on the changes coming to our system that are driven by funders, families, and people with disabilities, and how service organizations must implement continuous quality improvement practices in their approaches to empowering people to lead self-directed lives. This session will also address some of the issues that direct support professionals (DSPs) across the country are telling NADSP about their work and what they need to be successful — and offer suggestions that promote the notion that “Quality is defined at the point of interaction,” as well as how NADSP envisions that DSPs should walk side-by-side with those they support toward a life of freedom, dignity, and choice. Macbeth will share some stories from the road, and some “uncomfortable truths” to make you consider things a little differently about the work of DSPs.


P3 – The American Problem: Understanding What the Evidence Really Says About Gun Violence, Mass Shootings, and Mental Illness

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Friday, September 27 • 10:45 am – 11:45 am

Red Ballroom

Tracks: CH, MH, DA, IDD, BI, HRF, ExL, LD

John “Jack” Rozel, MD, MSL, Medical Director, Resolve Crisis Services, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

Public discourse and public policy on firearm injury prevention are routinely driven by outlier tragedies such as mass shootings: Orlando, Newtown, Las Vegas, and too many others to list. News media and pundit responses to these events often drive misinformation and inspire misguided and ineffective policy. Exploring the complex interplay between violence, firearms, and mental illness in modern America from the perspective of a forensic and emergency psychiatrist, this presentation explores how evidence-based policies and interventions could have a meaningful impact on firearm injury prevention with minimal impact on Constitutional rights. While this is a less clinical topic, it is invariably timely and salient and is intended to demystify and debunk common misperceptions about the issue held by advocates on both sides of this important problem. An emphasis will be made on interventions which can usefully scale across different types of gun violence. @ViolenceWonks on Twitter.


P2 – A Panel Discussion of The DHS Perspective on Pennsylvania’s Journey Towards Value-Based Payments

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Thursday, September 26 • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Magnolia ABCD

Tracks: CH, DA, ExL, FM, HRF, IDD, MH, PDA

Leesa Allen, DHS, Executive Deputy Secretary
Kristin Ahrens, DHS, Deputy Secretary, Office of Developmental Programs
Kevin Hancock, DHS, Deputy Secretary, Office of Long-Term Living
Moderated by Fady B. Sahhar, PhD | President of XtraGlobex and Acting COO for RCPSO

Three of the leaders of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services will share their perspectives on the progress towards Value-Based Payments (VBPs) and will answer questions from providers. You will learn about the role VBPs play in the management of Medicaid and Medicare spending, as well as how Pennsylvania’s leadership in the physical HealthChoices program has paved the way for the long term commitment to this direction. You will gain a better understanding of how VBPs may apply to your organization today and in the near future.