Supporting Families

Marina 6

Is Family Support Also a Social Determinant of Health?

Friday, November 3
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Marina 6

Target Audience: Family Members

Individuals with ID/DD not only need good clinical care but also assistance to support their identity, autonomy, relationships, opportunities and community participation. These are equally necessary for good health and a good life. Current thinking in the area of “Social Determinants of Health” includes development of positive social networks; stable, affordable and safe housing; a competitive integrated job where one feels productive and valued and transportation to get there; and, access to healthy food and the ability to pay for it. There is growing recognition of the relationship between these determinants and health outcomes. Regardless of disability, most of us depend on family, however our family is defined, to help establish us in the world. Yet in the Medicaid system, services tend to be authorized and provided specifically to the individuals with I/DD and not extended to support the family as a whole. This has an impact on how individuals, families and MCOs develop individualized support plans.

Managed Care organizations are innovating on the idea that good health is not accomplished in isolation. Good clinical care and positive health outcomes are influenced by the social aspects mentioned above. As we continue our thinking in this direction, it is critical to consider the role of families in building social supports for their family members with disabilities - to also consider family support a “social determinant of health.” Several important questions emerge:

First, how can managed care support individuals with ID/DD and their families to create networks that offer them the resources they need to lead self-determined, healthy lives?

Second, what information do individuals and their families need, and what types of decisions do they need to be prepared for to ensure their health care plan offers opportunities in housing, employment, food security and social networks that will result in positive health and quality of life outcomes?

Third, how can managed care support the caregivers in the family?

This panel will explore, with audience participation, how managed care organizations can improve supports with and for families. Areas discussed will cover good person-centered planning, supported decision making strategies, exploration of opportunities in housing and employment, improving caregiver supports, and how focusing on family support as a social determinant can improve health outcomes for individuals with I/DD.

Learning Objectives:

Patricia D. Nobbie

Director, Disability Policy Engagement
Anthem, Inc.
Washington, District of Columbia

Pat is the Disability Policy Engagement Director at Anthem conducting stakeholder engagement in states involved in implementing managed care models of supports and services for people with I/DD, foster children, older adults and others. She has previously worked for the Administration for Community Living (ACL), for Senator Jay Rockefeller as a Kennedy Fellow and for the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities on policy and projects for people with I/DD. Pat's daughter Mia, who has Down syndrome, keeps her in line.


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Kathy Brill

Executive Director
Parent to Parent USA
Washington, District of Columbia

Kathy Brill, Executive Director of Parent to Parent USA, is mom to three daughters. Her youngest, Alexa, was born three months premature and uses numerous personal and assistive technology supports to assist her in being successfully and fully included in all aspects of her home, school, community, and employment. Kathy was Director of Parent to Parent of PA for 7 years, which hosted the International Parent to Parent Conference in 2002. Kathy currently serves on the National Advisory Board on Improving Health Care Services for Seniors and People with Disabilities; is a board member of Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health; and serves on several family support and disability advocacy committees. She holds masters degrees in Education and Political Management with a concentration in Grassroots Advocacy.


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Is Family Support Also a Social Determinant of Health?

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