The Fall 2019 edition of Clipboard is now available online wth stories on DSP and Home Provider of the Year, Alan Greene's Budget Update, Project SEARCH FAQ. Check out the News & Notes, along with photos. Click here to download the color version (pdf).

After three months of discussion, the House and Senate have put forth a revamped budget and the Governor will sign it into law. This final version upholds most of the Developmental Services budget, and includes a Medicaid rate increase to start in January 2020, with another 3.1% increase in January 2021. Both DD and ABD Waitlists are fully funded. Early Supports & Services will also see a small increase in both budget years.

Op Ed pieces:

Foster's (9/27/2019): "A grateful community extends thanks"

Eagle Times (10/4/2019): "A grateful community extends thanks"

Seacoast Online (9/12/2019): "Workforce challenges felt by families"

A note from CSNI (Community Support Network, Inc.):

A Grateful Community Extends Thanks!

On behalf of its members and the individuals and families they serve, Community Support Network, Inc. would like to extend a sincere thank you to New Hampshire’s policy makers for their work in passing the 2020-2021 biennium budget, and for continuing to fund the Developmental Disability Waitlist over the summer to ensure that individuals would receive the supports they need. These bipartisan efforts from the Senate, House, Fiscal Committee and the Governor’s office, culminated in the state budget being signed into law today.

The state budget provides full funding for the Waitlist and ongoing service budgets, and an additional $250,000 for each year of the biennium for Early Supports and Services. The budget also includes the first Medicaid rate increase in thirteen years for the Developmental Services System, which will aid in helping to address the work force challenges that individuals and families are facing.

The advocacy from individuals with disabilities and their families has been instrumental in this process. The legislature and the governor were able to hear about the importance of funding the waitlist and rate increases, and supported developmental services from the beginning to the end of this process. New Hampshire’s families are grateful for their dedication and understanding!

Click here to read the  9/26/2019 budget memo from CSNI.

Project SEARCH will be holding information sessions this fall and winter for those who are interested in finding out more about this job training program.

Project SEARCH is a job training program for individuals between the ages of 20-34 years of age who are receiving services from MDS and who want to gain employment skills. The program combines unpaid internships with classroom learning to provide real world job training. Internships are designed to teach marketable skills that will transfer to a variety of employment settings. Classroom learning addresses topics such as nutrition, budgeting, technology, teamwork, problem solving, wellness, and other things that impact employment. The program takes place at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, and runs from September to June.

Want to learn more? Read the Project SEARCH FAQ or attend one of the sessions. Visit the Project SEARCH information page.

 * November 21, 2019 from 4 to 6 p.m. at MDS, 12 Depot Square in Peterborough
 * January 22, 2020 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, in the Project SEARCH classroom

To register for a session, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Mercy Eckhout at 603-352-1304.

We put out a call this summer to identify caregivers in the Monadnock region who go above and beyond in their work, and embody the MDS mission of inclusion, participation and mutual relationships. Local families and professionals have spoken up with their nominations for Monadnock Region Direct Support Professional and Home Provider of the Year. Congratulations to this year’s DSP and Home Provider of the Year: DSP Roberta Benner and Home Provider Paulette Driscoll.

BertaClose1Roberta Benner of Peterborough has worked for MDS and MCST as a Vocational Trainer for more than five years. In her work, Berta works with individuals to encourage growth, improve employment skills, and increase independence. Because of her efforts and commitment, the people she has supported have greatly improved their social skills, becoming more outgoing, initiating conversations, and gaining confidence. Their work skills have also improved, with Berta’s keen guidance helping them figure out how to perform tasks more quickly and efficiently, and encouraging them to ask questions of their co-workers.

“Berta consistently puts herself in the individuals’ shoes, learning about each one and asking what would interest and benefit them,” says Sheila Mahon, MCST Director. “She considers their perspective when challenging them to use their skills and advocating for their employment.”

In one particular situation, an individual had to go through months of rehabilitation and several hospitalizations because of a serious car accident, and Berta brought in her occupational therapy skills to support this woman both physically and emotionally. Over many months, Berta was on hand to get this individual through a very intense challenge, and she continues to support this woman today.

Berta is committed to supporting individuals to have a voice, to share their gifts with others, and to have meaningful days. She embraces all that MDS stands for.

PauletteCloseupPaulette Driscoll of Keene exemplifies the qualities that are most desirable in a Home Provider – she is graceful, compassionate, dedicated, motivated and always loving to those within her environment. With the full support and assistance of her husband, Paulette has been a Home Provider for Monadnock Worksource for almost seven years. She has provided a safe and nurturing environment for an individual with complicated medical needs and a unique medical condition.

“Paulette and Tom have truly lived the vision of Monadnock Worksource and MDS,” says Rob Gillis of Monadnock Worksource. “The life they have provided to the individual is rich with community interactions, diverse experiences and a comfortable home that helps the individual live as independently as possible.”

According to Carolina Enzler, MDS Adult Services Coordinator, Paulette lays down her life and advocates adamantly for the individual. She has sacrificed her own vacation time and work schedule to tend to this woman’s critical health needs, most recently preventing a potentially life-threatening medical event because of her attentiveness. Paulette’s husband and her extended family consider this woman as part of the family, including her in annual family vacations and celebrations without hesitation. Paulette goes above and beyond in all situations, and demonstrates the importance of relationships, participation and inclusion in all she does.

This year’s slate of nominees from the Monadnock Region included Roberta Benner, Karen Collins, Joel DeRose, Paulette Driscoll, Diane Wilcox Garrapy, MacKenzie Mayhew, and Joseph Sullivan. Congratulations to these outstanding caregivers, and thank you to the hundreds of direct support workers in our region for the amazing work they do each and every day to help those with disabilities live their best life possible.