keene-uccLifeArt Lunch Club (LALC) is moving to the United Church Of Christ (UCC), at 23 Central Square in Keene starting Wednesday, December 16. The Church has agreed to provide space for LALC on a year-round basis, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in their downstairs dining room in the rear of the building (where LifeArt held last year’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner). The facility is wheelchair accessible and there is a small parking lot in back including two handicapped spaces.

A special holiday schedule for upcoming meetings at UCC is as follows: Wednesday and Thursday, December 16 and 17; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 21, 22, and 23; and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 28, 29, and 30. There will be no meetings on Christmas and New Year’s Eve or Day.

LifeArt Lunch Club membership cards from the Keene Rec Center will be honored through August 2016. New members will have to purchase a membership card for this new location. Price will remain $10 for this year, and those cards will also be valid through August. Next September all membership cards will increase to $20 per year, with those proceeds to be used for supplies, and to help cover UCC’s heating and electric costs. FYI, any weather cancellations for LALC will follow MDS Transportation and local school closings, as reported on the WMUR website.

“Rejoice everyone! LALC is getting bigger and better!” exclaim both Chad Odle and Bob Vigeant, founders and current hosts.

“Looking ahead to 2016, we’re hoping to move to five days a week as soon as possible,” says Bob. “We’ve got hosts lined up for four of those five days, so we need another person or two – but we will also need backup for all days. I’m looking for folks who can be available on short notice to fill in as needed.”

In addition to backup hosts, the team is looking for donations from LALC members and non-members to purchase supplies including a lock box, a large plastic storage tub, trash bags, paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, paper towels, cleaner, etc.

Many thanks to Chad and Bob for their efforts to bring people together over lunch in a warm, safe environment. Special thanks to UCC members and Mark C. Harris, UCC Church Administrator for opening their doors to LifeArt Lunch Club.

For more information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Step2 MCM logoThe NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), NH Healthy Families, and Well Sense Health Plan will host two public sessions regarding mandatory enrollment in Medicaid Care Management. These informational sessions will be held on Wednesday, December 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at Manchester City Hall; and on Thursday, December 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lakes Region Community College in Laconia. This will be an opportunity for clients and providers to ask questions and meet representatives.

Medicaid Recipients who were able to opt out of Medicaid Care Management are required to pick a Health Plan effective 11/1/15 for coverage to begin on 2/1/15. Click here for more information on enrollment requirements.

When:      Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Where:     Manchester City Hall, One City Plaza, Aldermanic Chamber, Third Floor (map)

When:      Thursday, December 17, 2015, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Where:     Academic Commons, Lakes Region Community College, 379 Belmont Rd, Laconia (map)

This Information Session is open to the public. Registration is being handled by UNH. To register, please sign up at https://www.events.unh.edu/RegistrationForm.pm?event_id=19015.  Space is limited. Please make your reservations for this in-person session to confirm your attendance.

If accommodations are needed for communication access, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.u or call 603-862-4588 at least 5 business days prior to the session. Requests made after that date cannot be guaranteed.

Click here or check your mailbox for the Fall 2013 edition of Clipboard, the newsletter of Monadnock Developmental Services. Contributions to The Clipboard, which is published three times a year, are welcome from the individuals we support, their parents, their families, other community organizations and all departments within MDS.

A judge in Hillsborough County Superior Court will conduct a hearing and rule on DHHS’s request for dismissal of the complaint filed by individuals and families re: Step 2 of Medicaid managed care. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, November 14 starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Hillsborough County Superior Court North, at 300 Chesnut Street in Manchester. Please plan to arrive early, by 8:15 or 8:30 a.m., so that you have time to get through metal detectors at the Court - the hearing starts promptly at 9:00 a.m.  Click here for map.

Click here to go to the CSNI website to read more about the Complaint filed and subsequent news.

Click here to go to New Hampshire Challenge website to read latest issue which includes several pieces on this and other topics of possible interest to families.

Stu Wallace, one of the plaintiffs who is a family member and guardian, discussed why he is involved in the complaint.  When managed care was introduced as an option by the legislature, he didn’t think that DD would be in any way affected. The law seemed to be about acute health care for those using Medicaid. Wallace says that the current DD care system was put together by families and individuals, and this is not what the bill was about. The plaintiffs feel the commissioner and the state have exceeded their authority by including DD in this current plan, as Step 2. According to Wallace, they have expanded the law beyond its original intent – which is NOT something that state agencies should to – that belongs with courts and legislators. It’s not a question of wrong or right; it is a question of an agency or commission exceeding its authority.

At last month’s Statewide Video Conference, plaintiffs and attorneys gathered with more than 100 families from across the state for an update on the complaint. At that meeting, attorneys told the group that the Attorney General’s office replied in September with a request for dismissal saying: “Until it is known what the State has decided to do about DD/ABD/long-term care, interpretation of the statute is not ripe for judicial review.” At the November 14th hearing, the judge will hear from both sides and decide whether to further consider the original complaint against DHHS.

A solid representation from families and individuals at the hearing would help show the Judge the impact of including people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders in managed care. The hearing takes place on Thursday, November 14 starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Hillsborough County Superior Court North, at 300 Chesnut Street in Manchester.

Click here to read a copy of the actual complaint filed.

Enjoy an afternoon of family fun at the Keene YMCA from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Activities include swimming, climbing wall, gymnastics area, and the basketball court.
Light refreshments will be served.

The Keene Family YMCA is located at 200 Summit Street. (click here for map)

This event is made possible thanks to donations from Kennedy Information employees in honor of Anne Griffin, and from the MDS and Partners in Health Family Councils.

The event is free, but registration is required.

Please RSVP to Lurleen at 352-1304 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Linda Quintanilha of Bennington has been chosen to receive the prestigious TASH June Downing Award for her work in fostering inclusive education and opportunities for students with disabilities. She was honored at the 2012 TASH Conference in November in Long Beach, California.

As a mother of two children with developmental disabilities, Ms. Quintanilha has worked hard to learn as much as she can about how to best manage her family’s situation. She freely shares her knowledge with others, and helps them find a voice to express their needs. She is, in particular, a strong advocate for school inclusion, for appropriate funding for services, and for getting families fully involved in the whole-life process to provide better outcomes for those with disabilities. She serves as President of the NH-ABLE chapter, and was recognized as 2011 Advocate of the Year by the Developmental Disabilities Council.

TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy whose mission is expressed in three words: Equity – Opportunity – Inclusion. Founded in 1975, TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect and institutionalization.

This annual award is given in honor of June Downing, a long time TASH member who had a profound impact on families, young professionals, educators and individuals with disabilities. The purpose of this award is to honor the important and courageous contributions of individuals and school districts in advancing inclusive education and equitable opportunities for students pre-school through grade 12, particularly those with the most significant disabilities and support needs. TASH recognizes the path to full inclusion can be challenging, depending on the local community, state and local leadership and other factors.

The Fall 2012 edition of the Clipboard, MDS' in-house newsletter, is now available. Click here to download as a pdf.

You may also download the latest edition of Monadnock Views, our outreach newsletter, published November 15, 2012. Click here to download as a pdf.

DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas has sent a letter to all Medicaid recipients telling them that there will be a delay in the start of the new Managed Care program. Because he can't make an estimate at this point of when things might be ready, he is not yet announcing a new start date. The Step 1 start date of January 1, 2013 is no longer valid, nor is the anticipated January 1, 2014 start date for Step 2 which encompasses DD and long term care.  Click here to for more information and links to letters, updates and articles.

The primary reason for this delay is that the three Managed Care vendors are behind schedule in setting up their provider networks. The three MCOs are Boston Medical Health/NH Well Sense, Centene/Granite State Health Plan, and Meridian/Granite Care.

Anyone with questions should call the DHHS at 800-852-3345 ext. 4344, or 603-271-4344. You can also email your questions to them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Commissioner Toumpas has also provided updates on Managed Care to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) in Boston and to the state's Medical Care Advisory Committee which conveys to this group why DHHS will not be able to start Step 1 of the program on the January 1, 2013.

NH Business Review reported on the delays in getting Managed Care started in its article: "Hospitals, other providers withhold participation in Medicaid managed care program, putting state in a bind."

For updates, visit the CSNI website and the Care Management page on the DHHS website. You should also check the Managed Care page on the MDS website.

DHHS Commissioner Toumpas has sent a letter to all Medicaid recipients telling them that there will be a delay in the start of the new Managed Care program. Because he can't make an estimate at this point of when things might be ready, he is not yet announcing a new start date.* Click here to see this letter dated November 7, 2012.

 

The primary reason for this delay is that the three Managed Care vendors are behind schedule in setting up their provider networks.

The three MCOs are Boston Medical Health/NH Well Sense, Centene/Granite State Health Plan, and Meridian/Granite Care.

 

Anyone with questions should call the DHHS at 800-852-3345 ext. 4344, or 603-271-4344. You can also email your questions to them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Commissioner Toumpas has also provided updates on Managed Care to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) in Boston (click here to read the Nov. 1 letter) and to the state's Medical Care Advisory Committee (click here to read the Oct. 31 update) which conveys to this group why DHHS will not be able to start Step 1 of the program on the January 1, 2013.

 

NH Business Review reported on the delays in getting Managed Care started in its article: "Hospitals, other providers withhold participation in Medicaid managed care program, putting state in a bind." Click here to read the Nov. 2 article.

 

For updates, visit the CSNI website and the Care Management page on the DHHS website. You should also check the MDS website.

 

*The Step 1 start date of January 1, 2013 is no longer valid, nor is the anticipated January 1, 2014 start date for Step 2 which encompasses DD and long term care. 

Local artists and craftspeople came together to display their work for the MDS Arts & Crafts Show on Friday, November 16th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Monadnock Developmental Services, 121 Railroad Street in Keene. Refreshments were served, and those who attend had an opportunity to meet the artists and experience their creative work.

The Arts & Crafts Show includes the work of a number of artists who live in the Monadnock region. Visitors will find artwork, photography, hand-crafted ornaments, knitted items, hand-made soaps, jewelry, note cards and much more.

Stop by this annual show on Friday afternoon, November 16th to meet the artists and their work, enjoy refreshments and do a little holiday shopping. For more information on the MDS Art Show, call 352-1304.

MDS hosted a Community Open House at its Peterborough office in Depot Square (next door to the Toadstool) on Thursday, December 8 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Individuals, families, friends and community members stopped by to see the new offices. These friends enjoyed refreshments from Can-Do Connections and raffle prizes from Willard and Holly Williams of the Toadstool Book Shops, Steve Faccidomo of Grappelli’s, Peter Robinson of Roy’s Market, Steve Yerardi of Maggie’s Market, HCS-Home Healthcare and Hospice, and William Koons Photography. We have opened our doors to share this new space in Depot Square in downtown Peterborough, and we want to recognize and appreciate the community's support of the work of MDS and its partners – helping people with developmental and related disabilities live, work and go to school in our communities.

The Fall 2011 Clipboard is now available online. Click here to download a pdf version of this latest edition. You can also access archives of past editions of Clipboard and Monadnock Views by visiting the Clipboard page -- past editions are listed on the right.

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Hannaford in Keene was among five New Hampshire businesses to receive an Employment Leadership Award at the statewide Employer Recognition Breakfast held October 14, 2010 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. The businesses were honored with the awards for demonstrating exceptional leadership, innovation and/or a commitment to adopting hiring practices that improve employment opportunities for workers with disabilities in New Hampshire.

Diana DeSorcie, Associate Relations Manager at Hannaford, said: “We have a commitment to having an associate base that is a reflection of the community where we do business. We have become known for this inclusive policy and we have consistently received feedback from customers who are loyal to Hannafords because they support this commitment to inclusivity. For some customers, loyalty can include actually choosing a check-out line where one of their favorite associates is stationed because they have built a personal relationship with the associate. That kind of feedback tells us doing the right thing for the right reason can actually be smart business”.

Several of the businesses nominated for the leadership award are familiar names to MDS and the people that we serve in the Monadnock Region: Hannaford, Keene; Monadnock Paper Mills, Bennington; Pit Stop Smoke House, Westmoreland, and Plotkin’s Furniture, Keene.

In addition to Hannaford, Employment Leadership Award 2010 recipients are Brevan Electronics, Inc., Merrimack; CEJ Computer Business Systems, LLC, Merrimack; Havenwood-Heritage Heights, Concord; and Johnson Precision, Amherst. The award recipients were selected from a pool of 23 business nominees submitted by employment providers and partners throughout New Hampshire.

“All the businesses nominated and recognized today are clear examples that workers with disabilities are a positive and productive part of a skilled workforce. We invite more businesses to look beyond disability as a limitation and focus on how workforce needs can be met with skilled workers that include people with disabilities,” remarked Denise Sleeper, Director, Granite State Employment Project, Bureau of Developmental Services.

The Statewide Employer Recognition Breakfast and the Employment Leadership Award, now in its second year, acknowledges the efforts of Granite State businesses that are actively implementing disability employment practices. The Employment Leadership Event in Concord was co-hosted by the Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions, as part of the Granite State Employment Project, with the goal of improving employment outcomes for able workers with disabilities.

lifeartnov2010web
For the fourth year in a row, LifeArt has worked with the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce for their annual holiday “lights up” event on Saturday, November 13th. More than 40 lighted and bowed wreaths were affixed to the light poles around Central Square and down the center median of Main Street. LifeArt volunteers, led by Marie Moody, were responsible for putting new lights on each of the wreaths.

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On Thursday, October 28th the MDS Children’s Service Coordination team put together a thank-you brunch for the employees of Kennedy Information in Peterborough. For ten years Kennedy employees have been sponsoring MDS families at Christmas, making the holidays more joyful for many in need in our region.

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Lost in Laconia made its Monadnock region debut in November with standing-room-only showings, on November 1st at the Peterborough Community Theatre and on November 15th at Keene State College’s Alumni Center. The hour-long documentary tells the story of Laconia State School, from its inception as the NH School for the Feeble-Minded in 1901 to its closing in 1991. It also airs several times on Keene Cable Channel 8 during the week of November 21st.

 

Ted McGreer, whose son has autism, recently donated generously to Monadnock Developmental Services – Children’s Services. This $1,000 contribution represented a portion of Ted’s total April sales, and was linked to World Autism Awareness Month.