County Council HHSA Committee hears testimony on topics of Child Support and an update from Board of Developmental Disabilities

The Cuyahoga County Council Health and Human Services and Aging (HHSA) committee heard testimony on two very important issues at the November 1, 2017, meeting. The Office of Child Support Services testified first, with Director Deborah Watkins requesting an approval of a $660,245 contract with Hyland Software.  The contract would allow the agency to continue working with Hyland Software to...

The Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty: Mentorships and Early Childhood Programs Providing Pathways out of Poverty

The Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty concluded its sixth hearing on October 26, 2017. The task force heard testimony from subject matter experts Susan Zelman, executive director of the Ohio Department of Education, and former State Senator Shannon Jones, who now serves as the executive director of Groundwork Ohio. Zelman, who previously served 10 years as the state...

State Commission Seeks to Prevent Malnutrition Among Older Ohioans

Last year, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill (sponsored by Senator Gayle Manning) that established a Malnutrition Prevention Commission, the aim of which is to prevent malnutrition among older adults in the state and identify opportunities for health care cost savings related to the problem of malnutrition. The commission met for the first time in August, and is chaired...

Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee: Behavioral Health Redesign Beta Testing

On October 19, the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee (JMOC) met to continue the conversation regarding the progress of Ohio’s Behavioral Health Redesign. In the presentation offered by the state before next week’s commencement of beta testing for claims, the state outlined metrics they have will be using to document their progress including number of patients covered by sign-ups, number of...

The Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty: The Impact of Dropout Recovery Schools

The Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty (STFEP) met on October 12 to discuss the impact dropout recovery schools have on students in poverty. In addition to the testimony from dropout recovery schools, the committee heard testimony from former State Representative Jim Buchy, who presented on the benefits of agricultural education. By incorporating agri-science and programming, the George Washington...

The Budish Administration Unveils 2018-2019 Biennial Budget at Committee on the Whole

The Cuyahoga County Council Committee on the Whole met on October 10, 2017, as the budget process for the 2018-2019 biennial budget is now underway. The meeting began with 10 of the 11 Council members in attendance (Councilman Schron was absent). The Committee heard an overview of the proposed budget by County Executive Armond Budish. The county executive laid out...

The Commission on Infant Mortality

The Commission on Infant Mortality met Wednesday, October 11, for the first time in over a year and a half.  The commission focused on the work that began with the passage of Senate Bill 332, focusing on what has happened since the last meeting (April 28, 2016) and what the state has been doing regarding implementation of the bill. The...

The Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty: The State’s Superintendent Weighs In

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty heard from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria. From the start, Superintendent DeMaria challenged the committee by saying there is “no more important challenge that we must address.” Having set the tone for the remainder of his presentation, the superintendent dug into district, building, and...

Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee: Medicaid Budgeting and the Behavioral Health Redesign

On September 21, the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee (JMOC) met to discuss the state budget process and the Behavioral Health Redesign and, on September 22, the state convened one of its regional forums on the redesign for providers. These two events can demonstrate how policy is discussed in the context of committee and the practical effects these discussions may have...

Budish Administration Unveils Five-Year HHS Strategic Plan

The first Health, Human Service and Aging (HHSA) Committee meeting in several months took place on September 13, 2017, with a presentation from Tom Pristow, director of the Department of Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services, unveiling the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Service Strategic Plan. The plan is a result of legislation pushed by Cuyahoga County Councilman Dale Miller,...