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Board of DD Announces Free and Reduced Price Meals Policy

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County Board of DD – School of Hope students in grades one through 12 will begin school on August 23, 2017. A full day of classes is scheduled with bus service available. Cafeteria service will be available at the school. Breakfast is free. Lunch prices are $2.75 for students; and reduced lunches at 40 cents.

Belmont County Board of DD – School of Hope today announced its 2017-2018 program year policy for Free and Reduced-Price Meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. The school office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the Federal Guidelines are eligible for free and reduced price meals.

Application forms are being distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free and reduced-price benefits, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. A complete application is required. Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds for a child must provide the child’s name, the SNAP or OWF case number and signature of an adult household member on the application. Households which do not receive SNAP or OWF funds must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult signing the application or state “none” if the adult does not have a Social Security Number, the amount and source of income received by each household member, (state the monthly income) and the signature of an adult household member. If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application.

FREE HEALTH CARE: Families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for FREE health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start & Healthy Families programs. These programs include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse and more. Please call 1-800-324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information can also be found on the web at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm. Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services.

The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program official. To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with the receipt of federal funds. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at any time during the school year. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws.

Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits.

Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household’s income. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals or milk for them, contact the school for more information.

Under the provision of the policy, Sharon Wallace, Food Service Coordinator will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the household has the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from:

Pamela McCort
68421 Hammond Road,
St. Clairsville, OH 43950-8783
740-695-0407 ext. 335

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.

Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible and if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for free or reduced-price benefits if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 


 

BELMONT – HARRISON – NOBLE
COUNTY BOARDS OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Rising Above Trauma Focus of Training

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – People with disabilities experience more abuse than others, yet their needs often go undertreated or minimized, even though the trauma continues to have an impact on their lives years after the abuse occurred. This fact has led the BHN Alliance to adopt a Trauma-Informed Care approach to supporting people with disabilities and why it is bringing two leading authorities on trauma-informed care to its annual staff in-service in March.
Mary Vicario and Carol Hudgins-Mitchell of Cincinnati-based Finding Hope Consulting will address the gap in training available to communities by turning current brain chemistry research into practical interventions for people with developmental disabilities who have experienced trauma.

Through her ongoing trauma training at Harvard Medical School, Mary Vicario, LPCC-S takes the latest trauma research and works with her audience to share and develop interventions that can be used in a variety of settings by those who work most closely with traumatized people of all ages and abilities. She has trained on trauma worldwide for 25 years.

Carol Hudgins-Mitchell, M.Ed., LSW, NBCCH is a Certified Trauma Specialist who works with children and families around issues of trauma, grief and facilitating attachment.

Carol has over 30 years of experience in trauma treatment with a specialty in early childhood, relational and play therapy.
The BHN Alliance Staff In-Service will be held at Thoburn United Methodist Church in St. Clairsville on March 28th. Lunch will be provided for the all-day training.
A limited number of seats are available to provider partners across the Alliance. For more information, call Darlene Pempek at 740-695-0407, ext. 330.

 


 

Board of DD Announces Free and Reduced Price Meals Policy

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities today announced its 2016-2017 program year policy for free and reduced-price meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast. The Board office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the Federal Guidelines are eligible for free and reduced price meals.

Application forms are being distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free and reduced-price benefits, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. A complete application is required. Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds for a child must provide the child’s name, the SNAP or OWF case number and signature of an adult household member on the application. Households which do not receive SNAP or OWF funds must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult signing the application or state “none” if the adult does not have a Social Security Number, the amount and source of income received by each household member, (state the monthly income) and the signature of an adult household member. If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application.

FREE HEALTH CARE: Families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for FREE health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start & Healthy Families programs. These programs include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse and more. Please call 1-800-324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information can also be found on the web at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm . Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services.

The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program official. To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with the receipt of federal funds. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at any time during the school year. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws.

Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits.

Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household’s income. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals or milk for them, contact the school for more information.

Under the provision of the policy, Sharon Wallace, Food Service Coordinator will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the household has the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from:

Pamela R. McCort, Hearing Official
Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities
68421 Hammond Road
St. Clairsville, OH 43950
740-695-0407 ext. 335

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.

Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible and if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for free or reduced-price benefits if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 


Trauma-Informed Care Training

Mark your calendars now for the annual DD Advocacy and Awareness Day that will be held March 8, 2017 in Columbus. This is an annual event at the Ohio Statehouse designed to educate and empower people with developmental disabilities, their families, and community members. The morning program features speeches from prominent advocates, state policymakers, and community leaders. The event is funded by a grant through the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Pre-registration is required for attendance, and a limited number of tickets are available. Registration for the 2017 event has not opened.

 


School of Hope Ready for New Year


ST. CLAIRSVILLE – All School of Hope students in grades one through 12 will begin school on August 24, 2016. A full day of classes is scheduled with transportation available.

Cafeteria service is available at the school. Breakfast is free. Lunch prices are $2.75 for students with reduced lunches priced at 40 cents.

For information on the School of Hope, a service of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, call 740-695-0407, ext. 355.

This institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider.

*****


2015 Awareness Proclamation Issued

The Belmont County Commissioners issued a Proclamation marking Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month at its March 18th meeting. Representatives from The Hampton Inn, St. Clairsville, accepted the Proclamation and talked about the value workers with disabilities have brought to their company. Pictured from left: Commissioner Ginny Favede; Stephanie Work, General Manager of The Hampton Inn, St. Clairsville; Corey Baker, Hampton employee; Commissioner Matt Coffland; and Maxine Russell, Operations Manager of The Hampton. The Belmont County Commissioners marked Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month on March 18th by issuing a Proclamation encouraging all citizens to see the value people with disabilities bring to the community.

Make the Connection. Ready. Willing. Able. is the 2015 awareness theme in Belmont County. It emphasizes the importance of connections in every person's life, especially when seeking a job, a place to live or ways to volunteer and contribute.

Accepting the Proclamation were three people who represented the positive outcomes that occur when someone makes an employment connection.

Stephanie Work, General Manager of the Hampton Inn Wheeling/St. Clairsville, was accompanied by Operations Manager Maxine Russell and employee Corey Baker. Work noted that the Hampton has hired several workers with disabilities and they are valued employees.

"We couldn't be more pleased," Work said. "Corey is a great worker and we love having him work for us."

"The Hampton Inn understands the value of a diversified workforce," said Stephen L. Williams, Superintendent of the Belmont County Board of DD. "They made the connection, employed several people with disabilities and have found their company has benefitted."

In issuing the Proclamation, Commissioner Matt Coffland recognized Baker for being a role model for others with disabilities who are seeking jobs in the community. Commissioner Ginny Favede pointed out the significance of awareness activities that call attention to what people with disabilities are capable of doing and the important role the Board of DD plays in helping each person realize their goals and ambitions.

***

 

 

COMMISSIONERS ISSUE EMPLOYMENT PROCLAMATION

 

The Belmont County Commissioners issued a Proclamation in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month at their October 22nd meeting. The Proclamation was presented to two local employers who understand the value of hiring workers of all abilities. Pictured at the reading of the Proclamation were, from left: Leslie Applegarth, New Horizon Animal Hospital; Commissioner Mark Thomas; Amanda Willis, New Horizon; Gary Holubeck and Jamie DeVault of St. Clair Lanes, Commissioner Ginny Favede and Commissioner Matt Coffland.

Commissioner Favede noted that raising awareness is key to helping people with disabilities prepare for and find jobs in the community where they work alongside everyone else and contribute to the local economy.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is "Expect. Employ. Empower."

 

 

 

PEOPLE FIRST CHAPTER MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Belmont CBDD Superintendent Stephen L. Williams (pictured in back) is shown with the leadership of People First Belmont County at the chapter's 10th anniversary celebration. Williams presented a certificate of achievement for 10 years of outstanding advocacy by the local chapter to its president, Greg Hocking (second from right), and Pat Jobb, the chapter's first president. Advisors Mary Lou Kent (left) and Linda Burge are also pictured. 
Jody Graham and Tim Rutter welcomed Deputy Director Monty Kerr to the 10th Anniversary celebration of People First Belmont County chapter on August 12th. Monty Kerr served as Superintendent of the Belmont County Board of DD when the chapter formed in 2004. It was named Ohio Chapter of the Decade at the People First of Ohio 10th Anniversary in 2008. 

 

Belmont County Board of DD Earns Highest State Rating

The Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities has earned a five-year accreditation award, the highest award bestowed by the state, for the quality supports and services it funds or provides to people with disabilities.

Following a comprehensive and rigorous review conducted late last year by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the team of surveyors from DODD determined that the Belmont County Board achieved substantial compliance with minimum standards and met or exceeded standards in DODD's areas of excellence, resulting in the five-year accreditation.

Only a few of the 88 county boards in Ohio achieve five-year accreditation status.

"We are pleased that what we do for people with disabilities has been recognized in this way," said Stephen L. Williams, Superintendent of the Belmont County Board of DD. "And we share this award with our provider partners, who are locating opportunities for people to achieve what they want out of life."

Key positives identified by the state reviewers at the Belmont County Board of DD were leadership, strategic planning, strong collaboration and community options.

A seven-member board of directors oversees the Belmont County Board of DD. Marlin Harper serves as president with Cynthia Touvelle, vice-president, Annette Wiater, secretary, and Amy Dias, Robert Quirk, Phil Andes, and John Rataiczak.

The Belmont County Board funds and/or provides supports to over 500 people with developmental disabilities, like autism, Down syndrome and other physical and intellectual disabilities. To learn more, log onto www.bcbdd.org

The Belmont County Board of DD is part of the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of DD) in which the three county boards share certain administrative functions including Superintendent, Service and Support Administration, and Quality Assurance. The Harrison and Noble County Boards of DD were reviewed at the same time and also received five-year accreditation awards.

 
 Board vice-president Cynthia Touvelle and Superintendent Stephen L. Williams

CREATIVE STYLE OF ARTISTS WITH DISABILITIES ON DISPLAY

The office at the Belmont County Board of DD is much more attractive, thanks to artists with disabilities at Tomorrow's Corner. They created five large, canvas paintings that now hang in the lobby, including this Mixed Media piece that depicts the four seasons and was created by the artists pictured here.

Artists who fu lly participate in creating art like this are paid royalties when they are sold. Similar artwork, home décor and more are found at The New Corner Store, a gift shop in downtown St. Clairsville, that sells art created by people with disabilities. The New Corner Store, a subsidiary of Tomorrow's Corner, is seeking to expand into a larger space so all members of the community can join in the art program. Contact Lisa Kazmirski at 740-695-1110, for information.

 

 

 

  

 

 


 MVP POTENTIAL IN EVERY PERSON

MVP Potential

By Stephen L. Williams
BHN Alliance Superintendent

LeBron James is arguably the most talented basketball player in the world and his decision to return to Ohio to play in Cleveland is a big deal. The expectation is that a return of "King James" brings the potential for the Cavaliers to win a National Basketball championship. We shall see.

There were people around the young LeBron– his circle of support made up of family, friends, coaches, and the community –who recognized his potential and supported his efforts to become the best that he could be. Potential is a funny thing. It doesn't take you anywhere. It is simply a possibility until it is developed into something else. Then it can become almost anything, like a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player.

In many ways, developing potential is what is happening in Ohio through Employment First. This initiative is about recognizing the talents within every person with a disability; putting supports in place that develop their skills; discovering opportunities in the community, and expecting success.

In July, President Obama signed a new federal bill into law. In it, young people with disabilities can no longer go directly into a sheltered workshop from high school. Instead, they must be given what they need to develop their interests and abilities and then assisted in trying a job in the community. This is exciting for some parents and guardians and uncomfortable for others, whose loved ones have been in sheltered work settings for years. It can be difficult to see how Employment First will work for them. We understand. It is important to remember that this is a process. The day service providers you have come to know and trust are thoughtfully developing plans to provide community options.

The law also requires that county boards, public schools, vocational rehabilitation providers and others work together to identify potential and grow talents. The Belmont, Harrison and Noble county boards have been identifying potential and developing abilities for some time now. Since 2010 we have helped young people with disabilities, ages 14 to 25, explore careers and sample jobs while still in school through our Bridges to Transition initiative. We have seen remarkable success as these young adults are now on the job making real wages in the community.

As we move forward, the BHN Alliance and its provider partners will be the "shoulders" upon which people with disabilities can stand as they develop their skills and are given opportunities to work, learn, live and contribute in the community. We believe this is the right thing to do, because we see MVP potential in every person we support.

Just like LeBron.

 

 


 


Elected Officials Hear About Value of 
Work from Employees

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Three legislators heard about the value of work for people with developmental disabilities when they attended an Employment First luncheon, hosted November 1st by the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities).

U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-6), State Rep. Jack Cera (96th District) and State Rep. Andy Thompson (95th District) were invited guests at the event where information was shared about Employment First, a statewide initiative that is raising expectations and making employment in the community the first and preferred option for people with developmental disabilities.

Five employers and their employees were also present. Yvette Gray and Pat Jobb, both active members of People First Belmont County, spoke about the importance they place on having a job and what it does to improve their lives.

Gray, who has been employed for 13 years at Mehlman Cafeteria, said "You can be anything you want to be, just don't let anybody sit you out."

Jobb, who has worked at Walmart for three years, said a good job means people can do and have the things they want in life.

"If you want to be independent, you've got to work," Jobb said.

The five employers - St. Clair Lanes, New Horizon Animal Hospital, Walmart, Burger King, and Mehlman Cafeteria - were lauded for seeing the value in hiring workers with disabilities and presented with US House Proclamations and Ohio House Commendations by the legislators.

Susan Pugh, Deputy Director, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities; Monty Kerr, Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and Pete Moore, Ohio Association of County Boards, also had remarks about the Employment First initiative and what it is doing to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

"We thank our legislators for taking time to learn why competitive jobs are so important to people with disabilities and what we are doing to locate opportunities for them to work alongside everyone else in our community," said Stephen L. Williams, BHN Alliance Superintendent. 

Employment St Clair 2013 022

US Congressman Bill Johnson and State Rep. Jack Cera and State Rep. Andy Thompson were present at the BHN Alliance's Employment First Luncheon on November 1st and took that opportunity to recognize five local businesses for hiring workers with disabilities. The elected officials heard about the value of work for people with developmental disabilities and presented US House Proclamations and Ohio House Commendations to the employers and their employees.

Congressman Bill Johnson (left) presents a U.S. House Proclamation to St. Clair Lanes employee, Jamie DeVault (center), and St. Clair owner, Gary Holubeck, recognizing the business for hiring workers with disabilities.

Employment Burger King 2013 012 Burger King manager Lisa Lucas (center) and employee Ronda Canter listen as Congressman Bill Johnson reads the Proclamation honoring Burger King for hiring workers with disabilities
Yvette Gray spoke about the importance of work for people with disabilities at the Employment First Luncheon and then accepted the US House Proclamation from Congressman Bill Johnson and Ohio House Commendation on behalf of her employer, Mehlman Cafeteria. Pictured, from left: State Rep. Jack Cera; State Rep. Andy Thompson; Yvette Gray; and Mehlman owner, Jay Mehlman.
New Horizon Animal Hospital employee Amanda Willis (center) and office manager, Lesley Applegarth listen as Congressman Johnson reads from the Proclamation he wrote honoring New Horizon for hiring workers with disabilities.
Walmart at St. Clairsville was honored by the three elected officials pictured here following the presentations made at the Employment First Luncheon on November 1st. From left: Congressman Bill Johnson, State Rep. Jack Cera, State Rep. Andy Thompson, Walmart employee Pat Jobb and Walmart General Manager Dean Holtsclaw.

 

 


 

DiLeo Delivers Compelling Message on Employment

  DiLeo 2013 NR
  Dale DiLeo (center) was the keynote speaker at the BHN Alliance's Fall In-Service held October 18th at Ohio University Eastern, St. Clairsville. Pictured with DiLeo are Kristen Helling, Employment First Project Manager for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and Stephen Williams, Superintendent of the BHN Alliance. Helling gave a presentation on Ohio's Employment First initiative.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Nationally-recognized author and disability consultant Dale DiLeo delivered a compelling message on the benefits of community employment for people with developmental disabilities when he spoke at the BHN Alliance's Fall In-service on October 18, 2013. Nearly 200 people representing the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities), providers, educators and others attended the in-service held at Ohio University Eastern, St. Clairsville.

Employment First is the initiative that was launched by Governor John Kasich that made community employment the preferred outcome for people with developmental disabilities.

"We need to graduate kids into jobs," DiLeo said, adding that each person should be asked what kind of job he or she wants when considering life after high school.

He urged those present to expect people with disabilities to have a skill that can be used at a real job in the community. He added that when people are given opportunities to work alongside others, they rise to the level of expectation of their employer.

DiLeo is the author of Raymond's Room, the critically-acclaimed book about ending segregation of people with disabilities. His most recent publication is Employment First: Building a Culture That Expects Job Success.

 

 

 

 

 


 

BHN Alliance Receives Grant


ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Ohio Departments of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health and Addiction Services presented a grant award today (August 14, 2013) to the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities) and the Belmont-Harrison-Monroe Mental Health and Recovery Board that will enable this partnership to create a coordinated plan of care for at-risk youth with a developmental disability or mental illness.

DD MH Grant 2013 017John Martin (second from left), Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, traveled to southeastern Ohio on August 14th to announce a $500,000 grant to the BHN Alliance and the Belmont-Harrison-Monroe Mental Health and Recovery Board. The grant will enable the partners to create a coordinated plan of care for at-risk youth with a developmental disability or mental illness. Pictured with the Director are grant partners, Helen Ring (left), Superintendent of the Monroe County Board of DD; Linda Pickenpaugh, Executive Director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board; and Stephen Williams, Superintendent of the BHN Alliance

John Martin, Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, announced the $500,000 grant to over 40 people who gathered at the offices of Southeast, Inc., St. Clairsville.

Martin said 38 proposals were submitted in the Strong Families, Safe Communities project and only seven were awarded grants.

"Congratulations on the excellent proposal you put together and the impact it will have on families," Martin said.

He noted that the local proposal was strong because of the current relationship between the partners.

"You were already working together, taking steps to move forward and this gave you a leg up on a lot of proposals we saw," Martin added.

The local partners will use the funding to create a team approach across all agencies to serve children and youth who have intense service needs due to a mental illness or developmental disability.

In addition to Director Martin, speakers included BHN Alliance Superintendent Stephen Williams and Linda Pickenpaugh, Executive Director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board.

Pickenpaugh noted that the strongest part of the local proposal is the collaboration that already exists between the partners.

"I guarantee you that the money will be centered around the kids," Pickenpaugh said, adding that the goal is to avoid out-of-home placements.

Williams noted the grant puts resources in place to serve families effectively close to home.

"We will be able to offer in familiar surroundings what children in crisis need," Williams said. "Parents will no longer have to endure separation from their child at a time when they need love and support the most."

The grant will fund intensive care coordination, crisis stabilization and treatment, therapeutic mentoring, and family respite and support for children in Belmont, Harrison, Noble, and Monroe counties.

Strong Families, Safe Communities is funded by Governor Kasich's initiative to commit money from Ohio's Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) awards to develop targeted strategies to stabilize youth in crisis and develop long-term treatment plans that help children and their families live happy and healthy lives.
The three county boards of developmental disabilities that make up the BHN Alliance are the primary funders of support for more than 700 children and adults with developmental disabilities in Belmont, Harrison and Noble Counties. The Belmont-Harrison-Monroe Mental Health & Recovery Board is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services in Belmont, Harrison and Monroe counties.

 


BOARD WELCOMES NEWEST MEMBER

Philip J. Andes of Shadyside was welcomed as the newest member of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities at its meeting on February 14th. Andes was appointed by the county commissioners to a four-year term that will run through December 31, 2016.

Andes is president of the Andes Insurance Agency in Shadyside. He served two terms as president of the Independent Insurance Agents Association and has served as secretary/treasurer of the association for 30 years. He has held various leadership positions within the Lions Club, where he served as president and treasurer as well as District Zone Chairman. He is a member of the Shadyside Masonic Lodge and serves as treasurer of the Ohio Valley Friends of NRA.

At the Board's re-organizational meeting in January, Marlin Harper was elected president, Cynthia Touvelle, vice-president, and Annette Wiater, secretary.
The Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in the Board offices at 330 Fox-Shannon Place, St. Clairsville.

 

 

 


 

 Commissioners Support DD Awareness Month

Belmont County Commissioners

Belmont County Commissioners proclaimed Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month alongside self-advocates with People First. Pictured, from left, are Commissioner Ginny Favede; Mary Lou Kent; Commissioner Charles R. Probst, Jr.; People First President Pat Jobb; Sally Smith; Brian Kozak; and Commissioner Matt Coffland.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Belmont County Commissioners adopted a proclamation during their Wednesday meeting honoring Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

Commissioner Ginny Favede noted that opportunities for citizens with developmental disabilities to learn, work, live and volunteer increase with the support and encouragement of the community. She added that the entire community benefits from the skills and abilities people with disabilities share when opportunities are presented. All citizens are encouraged to support such opportunities in education, employment, housing and recreational activities.

"These types of things are so very important," said Pamela McCort, communications coordinator, Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, noting the importance of providing opportunities. "That's the key for all of us throughout our lives."

Several self advocates were present. Pat Jobb of Martins Ferry, president of People First, accepted the proclamation. They noted the importance of acknowledging the people, not the disability.

"When we look beyond disabilities and really give people opportunities to succeed," McCort said.
The commissioners commended the organization and its mission in raising awareness and increasing consideration of all people.

 

 


2013 Exceptional Students Honored

Eleven students from across Belmont County were honored for their achievements at the 2013 Exceptional Student Awards program, held May 9th at the Belmont Career Center. The event is presented each year by the Belmont County Special Educational Advisory Committee.

Earning the honor this year were the following: Leah Steele, Barnesville; Jewel Lynn, Belmont County Alternative Program; Taylor Kucera, Belmont Career Center; Casey McCallister, Bellaire; Sean Heaton, Bridgeport; Brandon Robinson, Fox Run School for Academic Achievement; Colton Hagan, Martins Ferry; Nancy Erickson, School of Hope; Zach Holloway, Shadyside; Katie O'Connor, St. Clairsville; and Mark Trabert, Union Local.

The Exceptional Students for 2013 are pictured here. Seated in the front row, l-r: Nancy Erickson, Katie O'Connor, Leah Steele, and Jewel Lynn. Standing: State Support Team Representative; Sean Heaton, Taylor Kucera, Casey McCallister, Colton Hagan, Brandon Robinson, and Stephen Williams, Belmont County Board of DD Superintendent. Not pictured are Zach Holloway and Mark Trabert.

 


imagine 2012The Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards along with the 15 other County Boards in Region V (southeastern Ohio) and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities have spent the last two years working together on a project that will have significant meaning to the people we serve in the future.


A comprehensive review of the system of support - how we have operated in the past and what we want the future to be - has resulted in the imagine Project, a new way of thinking that will ultimately transform the developmental disabilities' system in Ohio.

Imagine is about spending less time on paperwork and more time with people. Imagine is about doing away with long, unproductive ISP meetings and developing flexible plans. Imagine is about new technology that will empower the person, provider, family and the SSA. Imagine is about respecting the person and building meaningful relationships within his or her circle of support.

The core concepts of imagine are what the BHN Alliance has focused on for several years. Simply stated, it is a common sense approach that acknowledges the wants and needs of the person first, and then framing supports so life takes shape the way he or she sees it, not the system.

With support from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the governor, barriers are being removed and the system is being redesigned to support this innovative, collaborative, respectful, common-sense approach to supporting people with developmental disabilities.

imagine is entering its pilot phase and you'll begin hearing more about it in the coming months. A pilot, or test run, of this new process of developing supports for people with disabilities has begun in Belmont County. Many staff members have received training in Person Centered Thinking (PCT) and important quality concepts, as well as the use of tools that will help individuals, families, providers and the County Board work together.

If you would like to learn more about the imagine Project concepts, click on www.tiny.cc/imagineTheTimeisNow. You can also check out the new website/blog at www.justimagineit.me 



BHN Alliance Receives Recognition


Officials from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities were in Belmont County February 7th to recognize the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities for being pioneers in the field of shared administrative services. A Visionary Leadership Proclamation signed by Governor John Kasich and Ohio Department of DD Director John Martin was presented to each county board in the BHN Alliance. Present for the recognition ceremony were the following. Standing, left to right: Belmont County Commissioners Chuck Probst, Matt Coffland and Ginny Favede; Jay Rodak, president of the Belmont County Board, and Dan Ohler, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of County Boards. Seated: Monty Kerr and Zach Haughawout, Deputy Directors with the Ohio Department of DD, and Stephen Williams, Director of Operations, BHN Alliance.

A successful collaboration between the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, known as the BHN Alliance, was recognized recently by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities with a Visionary Leadership Award for being pioneers in the field of shared administrative services.

Ohio Department of DD officials were on hand at the Belmont County Board of DD on February 7th to present the recognition to Jay Rodak, president of the Belmont Board; Robin Bowdish, president of the Harrison County Board; and Bryan Chandler, Noble County Board president. Also present to share in the honor were Belmont County Commissioners Chuck Probst, Ginny Favede and Matt Coffland and Noble County Commissioners Bob Nau and Gary Rossiter.

The BHN Alliance, the first collaboration between two or more county boards of DD in Ohio, was created to promote financial efficiencies because of decreasing revenue and increasing needs of people with disabilities.

Zachary Haughawout, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Communications at the state department noted how difficult it is to be the first to try something new.

"The Governor always talks about shared services and holds up the developmental disabilities' field as an example of good stewardship over taxpayer dollars," Haughawout said. "It takes a certain amount of character and courage to go first and we appreciate your willingness to be a leader."

The Belmont and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities began sharing a Superintendent in 1993. Today, all three county boards now share nine administrative personnel and functions, including Superintendent, Service and Support Administration, financial management, and human resources.

Stephen Williams, Director of Operations for the BHN Alliance, recognized the support given by the Ohio Department of DD, the county commissioners and the service providers who share the Board's vision for people with disabilities.

"When we become more efficient, we can direct more dollars into supports for people with disabilities that will improve their quality of life, and that's the bottom line of what we are here to do," Williams said.

Also present for the ceremony were Dan Ohler, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of County Boards and Monty Kerr, Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Direction, who presented the awards.

 


 WILLIAMS NAMED BCB SUPERINTENDENT

 Stephen L. Williams has been hired as Superintendent of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, effective July 1, 2012.

Williams has worked in the developmental disabilities' field for 23 years and been involved in nearly every aspect of it, from service planning and delivery to business management and leadership. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from The Ohio State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Ohio University.

Williams headed several initiatives during his career at the Belmont County Board. He played a key role in development of the transition plan that privatized Adult Services in the county. He created the Belmont board's office of Provider Development and Support and served as its first Director. In that post, Williams developed the Partnership for Quality Services Initiative, a quality assurance program that supports the provider network by encouraging a process of feedback and then providing incentives that are tied to the satisfaction of the people served. He also developed the Board's Partnership Grants, which provide funding support to schools, agencies and individuals actively engaged in direct support of people with developmental disabilities.

"Steve has demonstrated his commitment to the progress of the Board through his hand-on leadership," said Jay Rodak, president of the Belmont County Board of DD. "More importantly is his compassion for those we serve. I know he will continue to lead by example."

For the last year, Williams has served as Director of Operations for the BHN Alliance, the collaboration between the Belmont, Harrison and Noble county boards wherein certain administrative functions are shared. He will serve as Superintendent of the Harrison and Noble County Boards as well.

County boards of developmental disabilities are operated as separate administrative entities in Ohio. They are governed by seven member boards of directors that are responsible for hiring the Superintendent, who is the chief executive officer.

As incoming Superintendent, Williams said he will work to maintain financial stability, continue to break ground with new initiatives, and be an agent for positive changes in the lives of people with disabilities at the local and state levels.

"I am pleased and humbled to have been chosen for this position," Williams said. "It is a privilege to work on behalf of people with disabilities in all three counties."

Williams and his wife, Penny, are the parents of two sons, Zachary, a student at West Virginia University, and Logan, a St. Clairsville Middle School student.


 People First Honor Burian

  Jesse Burian of Flushing was named Ohio "Advocate of the Year" at the annual People First Conference held in Wilmington on March 22-23, 2012.

People First of Ohio is a statewide advocacy organization whose role is to help individuals with developmental disabilities learn how to express their needs and advocate for their rights with others in the community. They accomplish this by forming relationships with legislators and other advocacy groups and state agencies. There are chapters in counties across Ohio and over 500 chapter members and other individuals attended the conference this year.

"Jesse was chosen for this honor because he works hard to support People First's efforts to help individuals with disabilities take their rightful places in the community," said Mary Lou Kent, advisor of the People First Belmont County Chapter.

Burian serves on the state People First Board and is a member of the Belmont Chapter. He is employed in the janitorial department at Belco Works, Inc., St. Clairsville.

The People First Belmont County Chapter meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Ohio Valley Mall community room at 6 p.m. It is supported in part by the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities. To get involved or learn more, contact Mary Lou Kent at 740-695-0500.

The People First of Ohio Mission:
We believe that all people with disabilities should be treated as equal and be able to speak up for what they want by serving as leaders and working together as a team with all members of the community.

 


Sensory Room Dedicated to Memory of Phillip Thompson

Phillip Thompson will never know the impact he is having on the lives of his fellow citizens with developmental disabilities. He will, however, be long remembered for his generosity.

Phillip Thompson received services from the Belmont County Board of DD for many years before he moved away. When Phillip passed away in 2003, the Board learned soon after that it was the recipient of a generous cash award from his estate. The funds, which were dispersed through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, had to be used for the direct benefit of people with disabilities.

The Board had wanted to create a sensory environment for people with severe disabilities. This fund allocation enabled the Board to do so. A state-of-the-art sensory room bearing Phillip Thompson's name is located in the Board offices and contains bubble tubes, tactile boards, a waterbed, leaf chair, and fiber optics for the benefit of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The Phillip Thompson Sensory Room was created in honor of the man whose generous gift is enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. A plaque hanging in the room reads:

Sensory Room

Dedicated to the Memory of

Phillip H. Thompson,

whose generous financial gift created this sensory environment for people with disabilities.
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." Albert Pike

 

 

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