Federal, State, and Local Budgeting Matters: Takeaways from the Celebration of Human Services’ Panel of Budget Experts

As Ohio Budget Director Tim Keen began addressing a room full of Northeast Ohio human services professionals, he remarked that the drive from Columbus to Cleveland always bears reminders of the impacts of state investments. Cleveland landmarks like Progressive Field, the “Q,” and Playhouse Square all serve as tangible, brick and mortar evidence of the benefits that public dollars bring...

Collaboration: “Not for the Faint of Heart”

Health and social issues are so complex that no single agency can expect to solve them alone. Limited resources required nonprofits, government, and funders alike to be creative in stretching dollars to make an impact. Collaboration is often regarded as a solution to both the complexity problem, and the resources problem. But as panelists at the Celebration of Human Services...

Exploring How to Ride the Age Wave

At the Celebration of Human Services held on October 20, 2017, three experts on Aging joined the “Riding the Age Wave” panel to discuss the past, present and future needs of older adults and services available. Mary McNamara, Director of the Cleveland Department of Aging, Toni Gelsomino, Director of Lakewood Health and Human Services and Susan Sigmon, Vice President of...

Several Local Health Experts Explored Harm Reduction Strategies

The Center for Community Solutions’ annual Celebration of Human Services featured a breakout session entitled Harm Reduction Strategies in NEO.  Terry Allan, Health Commissioner of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, moderated a panel of local experts discussing their harm reduction programs and impact in our region. Mr. Allan started the session defining harm reduction as strategies intended to lessen...

The New Rules of Waivers and State Plan Amendments

On Tuesday November 7th, the federal Department of Health and Human Services outlined its new criteria for reviewing states’ efforts to experiment with their Medicaid programs. In a press release sent out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Director Seema Verma outlined her “vision” for the Medicaid program, which includes a new approach to 1115 Demonstration Waivers,...

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...