Wyoming Department of Health: Public Forums to focus on coming changes to Disability Programs; Riverton event set April 16th

WDH-verticle(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is planning a robust series of discussions about changes coming to programs offered for state residents with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries. One of the discussions is planned in Riverton at Central Wyoming College on the evening April 16th.

Currently, WDH provides services through an “Adult Developmental Disabilities Waiver,” a “Child Developmental Disabilities Waiver” and an “Acquired Brain Injury Waiver” using a combination of state and federal Wyoming Medicaid dollars, according to a news release from the WDH.

A law approved by the Wyoming Legislature and the governor earlier this year called for a redesign of current programs. Two new waivers are being developed: a capped “Supports Waiver” and a “Comprehensive Waiver.” Current waiver participants will be transitioned to the new waivers between January 2014 and July 2015.

“We are looking to use existing funding to help more people in need of services who are currently on waiting lists while also making improvements that support independence and enhance the quality of life for participants,” said Chris Newman, Behavioral Health Division senior administrator with WDH.

Newman announced a series of public forums, which are being offered together with the Wyoming Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, to discuss the waiver redesign effort:

·         Casper, April 4, 6:30-8 p.m., Parkway Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Natrona and American rooms, 123 West E Street

·         Gillette, April 10, 6:30-8 p.m., GCM 120 Presentation Hall – Gillette College, 300 West Sinclair

·         Riverton, April 16, 6:30-8 p.m., Wind River Room 116 – Intertribal Center, Central Wyoming College, 2660 Peck Avenue

·         Evanston, April 17, 6:30-8 p.m., Evanston High School Seminar Room, 701 West Cheyenne Drive

·         Bridger Valley/Mountain View, April 18, 6:30-8 p.m., Uinta County School District #4 Board Room, 129 2nd Street

·         Cheyenne, April 24, 6:30-8 p.m., Holiday Inn, South Fork and Shoshone ballrooms, 204 West Fox Farm Road

·         Jackson, April 30, 4-5:30 p.m., Teton County Commissioners Chambers, County Admin Bldg, 200 South Willow

·         Cody, May 1, 4-5:30 p.m., EOC Room in Park County Courthouse Addition basement, 1002 Sheridan Avenue

“We realize many people may have questions about the planned changes,” Newman said. “We want to talk with current waiver participants and their families, as well as people on the waiting lists, about the new waivers’ design and gather input on services and preferences.”

For service providers, two special forums are planned in Cheyenne on April 23.  National experts will lead a discussion on changing service delivery to become more outcomes-based with a focus on increasing independence, self-sufficiency and quality of life. Providers are encouraged to RSVP for one of these sessions to Jamie.staunton@wyo.gov.

More information and updates on the waiver redesign project are available online at http://www.health.wyo.gov/DDD/index.html. Residents may also offer input through an online survey available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BHDWaiverRedesignSurvey or by sending an email to bhdmail@wyo.gov.