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HCS SERVICE COORDINATION CHOICE AWARENESS NOTES



Response by Gail Cunningham, Managing Director of Good Home Community Living

WHAT IS YOUR ORGANIZATION'S MISSION STATEMENT OR PHILOSOPHY?

Mission: To provide quality care based on an understanding of the needs of our Consumers, and the mechanisms for meeting those needs.

Philosophy: We accept, believe, and act in concert with the concepts of individual Rights and Freedoms. A disability does not negate an individual's right to the highest level of quality of life.

WHAT LED YOU TO SERVE INDIVIDUALS DIAGNOSED WITH MENTAL RETARDATION?

I visited a number of both State and Private institutions. This tour left me with one driving thought that has caused me to devote my life since then to developing and providing services to persons with disabilities, "There has to be a better way to treat people".

HOW DID YOUR ORGANIZATION RECEIVE HCS CERTIFICATION?

I applied for and was awarded a contract September1998.

DO YOU HAVE A REFERENCE LIST OF FAMILIES THAT I COULD TALK TO REGARDING THE SERVICES YOUR COMPANY HAS PROVIDED TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBER?

Yes. This information is available through our office. Please call (713) 734-5770 or 1-866-585-9693 or 1-888-548-0135 pgr to request a copy, or you can write to Good Home Community Living PO Box 721169 Houston, TX 77272-1169

WHAT TYPE AND/OR LENGTH OF EXPERIENCE DO YOUR STAFF MEMBERS HAVE SERVING INDIVIDUALS DIAGNOSED WITH MENTAL RETARDATION OR DUAL DIAGNOSIS?

Gail Cunningham has 18 years of experience. Good Home Community Living has 9 individuals with over 5 years experience. The majority of our staff has over 5 years experience in working with developmentally disabled individuals, however, there is such a significant difference between the traditional institutional model and the HCS model. The nature of this experience includes provision of direct care staff, program management, and program development.

COULD I SEE A LIST OF YOUR CONTRACTORS?

A list of current contractors is available through our office. Please keep in mind that our program is not exclusive in nature and is community-based. By this I mean that an individual consumer and/or legally responsible person has the right to have input into the decision as to from which they receive services. For example, if an individual coming into our HCS program has a specialized service provider they desire to continue to provide them services, Good Home Community Living will make every reasonable effort to contract with that provider to ensure continuity of treatment. Not all situations are workable, but we will put forth an honest effort.

IS YOUR STAFF TRAINED IN REGARD TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIORS, FIRST AID, CPR, CHOKING, ETC.?

Good Home Community Living staff is trained to use non-violent responses to aggressive behavior, and to use physical contact intervention only as a last resort. All staff is trained in First Aid, CPR, and choking interventions' and is trained in the philosophy of HCS. Staff is trained on an individual basis to meet the special needs of the consumers they serve, for example, tube feeding, transfer of non-ambulatory individuals, physician and/or nurse delegated medical treatments. (Delegations consistent with the appropriate professional certification board.)

WHAT TYPE OF STAFF/CONSUMER RATIO WILL YOUR PROGRAM PROVIDE?

The worst case will be 1 staff to 3 consumers. Based on circumstances and consumer need, the staff to client ratio can be 1 to 1 or better.

WHAT PROCEDURES WILL STAFF IMPLEMENT IN A CRISIS SITUATION?

Response to a crisis situation will vary upon the nature of the crisis. Good Home Community Living maintains written procedure statements for health, emergency, fire, injury, and other foreseeable crisis. In addition, staff backup is available 24 -7 by telephone. Our registered nurse and program director are available to staff and families 24-7.

IN CASES WHERE A GUARDIANSHIP STATUS EXISTS HOW WILL YOUR COMPANY ENSURE THE GUARDIAN'S OPINIONS ARE IMPLEMENTED?

Good Home Community Living recognizes the role of the guardian and requests that the Guardian, LAR and/or interested family members and / or friends participate as a part of the team that plans and monitors service delivery. If the guardian requests are consistent with the standards of the Program but contrary to the request of the majority of the team, the guardian's request will be implemented with an advisory statement being issued by the majority of the team and forwarded to the Texas Medicaid Administration Office. If the request is not consistent with the standards, the request will not be implemented with out authorization from the Texas Medicaid Administration Office. Every effort will be made to complete the consultation with the Department of Aging And Disability 24 hours of a request initially determined by the Program Director not consistent with the HCS standards. Additionally, a written summary will be provided to the guardian within 5 working days.

DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE AWAKE STAFF ON THE PREMISES 24 HOURS?

Yes, if the consumer resides in an HCS defined alternate living facility. In other situations such as the family home and/or foster care living arrangements, consumer needs will dictate the level of staff support.

ARE THERE ANY LIMITATIONS REGARDING THE TIMES I AM ALLOWED TO VISIT?

No. Except under certain court ordered situations. For example, if an abusive parent has had their rights terminated or restricted by a court of law, the instructions issued by the court will be followed.

WHAT TYPE OF PROVISIONS IS THERE FOR PRIVATE PHONE CALLS?

Individuals receiving HCS services have an explicit right to privacy, including mail, telephone, and personal visits. Individuals may have private phone line or choose to share a phone line with their housemates.

WHAT TYPE OF LEISURE/RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES WILL BE AVAILABLE TO CHOOSE FROM?

Simply what ever there is for the general public. Our HCS program is truly a community-based program. Staff will be made available to accompany consumers on an as needed basis. This is one of the circumstances considered in our response to the staff to consumer question. Our consumers have enjoyed outings ranging from movies, museums, camping, fishing, bingo, bowling, Special Olympics, swimming, dances, shopping, rodeos, baseball, football, basketball games, out t eat, church, state and county fairs, parties, site seeing, cookouts, game rooms, city & state parks and zoo's. It depends on the consumer and their choice. We make weekly suggestion lists available, and for those individuals unable to express a choice or interest, the IDT is responsible to assure that they participate in leisure and recreational activities.

WHAT TYPE OF TRANSPORTATION DOES YOUR COMPANY PROVIDE?

We meet the needs of the consumer. We rely on Public Transportation to a large extent, and contract with special needs transportation providers whenever required.

 

DO THE VEHICLES COME WITH A LIFT FOR NON-AMBULATORY INDIVIDUALS?

We simply meet the needs of the consumer. If a vehicle with a lift is needed, we make sure that one is available.

IS THERE A DIETITIAN AVAILABLE FOR CONSULTATION ON SPECIAL DIETS?

Yes. The HCS program requires dietitian services. Both our Registered Nurse and our Dietitian have extensive experience in working with individuals with special diet requirements. This includes method of feeding (oral or tube), texture (regular, chopped, ground, pureed, liquid), and content (restricted, high fiber, calorie content, cholesterol aware, and low salt, etc.).