By Julie Alexander, Lead Independent Living Services Coordinator
During the month of April and into May, the IndependenceFirst Long Term Care Advocacy Team presented the last two sessions in our Long Term Care Brown Bag Lunch Series.
On April 26, Hope Lloyd and Elizabeth Mamerow from Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) spoke about the DRW Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. They described the assistance DRW can provide in appealing denials or mediating issues with Family Care providers, as well as how to work with the Include, Respect, I Self Direct (IRIS) program and the assistance DRW can provide when people are having difficulties. Twenty-nine community members with and without disabilities joined us to learn about options for navigating these programs to get their needs met and maintain their independence.
On May 3, Sue Gadacz from the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division gave a presentation on “Wisconsin’s Perspective on Health Care Reform.” About 30 people with and without disabilities heard this excellent presentation and gained many insights on how Wisconsin and the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division in particular will be affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when some of the pieces of this legislation are implemented in January 2014. The audience also learned how Governor Walker’s proposed budget would impact services and options for people with disabilities in our state.
All in all people enjoyed attending and learned a lot from our Long Term Care Brown Bag Lunch Series. We were privileged to offer CEUs for this series. The Long Term Care Advocacy Team will work on future Brown Bag Lunch offerings in the coming months. Stay tuned.