Local News Briefs

WI Staff | 10/6/2010, 12:59 p.m.

TheARC Receives $1.87 Million Award for National Autism Resource Center

The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced yesterday that The Arc would receive an award of $1.87 million for fiscal year 2010 to establish a national resource and information center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.

The Arc, in collaboration with several key partners will implement an innovative and dynamic initiative, called Autism NOW: The National Autism Resource and Information Center to engage and leverage a national network of disability, aging, military, and family organizations to deliver information and resources relevant to individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

"The Arc and our partners are primed and ready to build a dynamic resource to address the needs of people with ASD and other developmental disabilities through this national network. We are proud to have the opportunity to launch Autism NOW, a much needed resource.

It is especially significant that self-advocates will have a meaningful role in leading, implementing and realizing the goals of this innovative project," said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc.

The project will be led by Ann Cameron Caldwell, Ph.D., the Chief Research and Innovations Officer for The Arc and Tonia Ferguson, Special Projects Director. "The new National Autism Resource and Information Center will fill a great need in the autism community by providing high-quality resources and information on community-based services and interventions for people with ASD and their families.

The Arc understands the challenges that families face; and we also recognize the vast contributions that people with ASD and other intellectual and developmental disabilities make to our societies and communities," Caldwell said. "We are proud to have people that identify as having ASD or other intellectual and developmental disabilities (self-advocates) as full partners leading and implementing this initiative."

"Autism is a heart-wrenching condition that presents special challenges for many families," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "We want families to know that we are listening to them, and the release of this grant award, brings us one step closer to providing the resources needed to improve the quality of life for people with ASD and other developmental disabilities."

D.C. Primary Care Association Hosts 13th Annual Meeting

The DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA) is hosting its 2010 Annual Meeting -- presented by Kaiser Permanente -- from 9a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thu., Oct. 7, at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave. Northeast. In their thirteenth year hosting distinctive, change-making conferences that are free and open to all, DCPCA will present three awards - Champion of Change, Distinguished Caregiver, and Distinguished Community Advocate - during the luncheon portion of the agenda.

The conference will showcase our groundbreaking work in health care quality, technology, capital development, and workforce initiatives that make us a leader in the movement to achieve health equity for all in the District. The event theme Eyes on the Prize: The Road to Health Equity symbolizes their long-term commitment to realizing a health care system with guaranteed access to primary care and no disparities in health outcomes for anyone in the District.

Attendees will also enjoy a lunchtime performance by legendary singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples - a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient.

Congresswoman Edwards: Maryland Receives $4 Million in Prevention and Public Health Grants

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) announced today that Maryland is set to receive $4 million dollars in prevention and public health grants as part of the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health fund. The grants are awarded under six health professions programs administered by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The programs are designed to build the primary care workforce and provide community-based prevention. States receive funding to support comprehensive workforce planning and implementation strategies that best address local current and projected workforce shortages.

"Investments in preventive care are an essential component of the Affordable Care Act and instrumental in curbing rising health care costs," said Congresswoman Edwards. "Maryland needs this funding to help address planning and workforce shortages in our communities, including in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.

These grants take us a step closer towards ensuring that all Marylanders have access to the preventive care they need and that our hospitals can expand their primary care capacity. After six decades of failed attempts at reform, The Affordable Care Act is ushering in a new era of accessible, affordable, quality health care for all Americans."