Thursday, September 15, 2011

Featured program for September newsletter: Aged and Disabled/Traumatic Brain Injury waiver

We will be introducing the health information specialists for the family to family health information center at Family Voices Indiana over the next few months. Their biographies will also be included on our website. Every contractor at our center is a mother of a child(ren) with special healthcare needs and/or disabilities. We have personal experience navigating the systems and services in Indiana. We look forward to learning more about your families as well.

Ofelia Jimenez feels blessed to be part of the Health Information Specialist team. In doing so she feels that she will be able to share what she knows with other parents and learn from other families as well. For more than ten years, she has been an active member of the Board of Directors of The Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana, where she currently serves as the Vice President. Alongside other parents she also helped create a group called "HOPE" (Hispanic Organization of Parents of Exceptional Children). The purpose of the group is to serve as a support group for families that have children with special needs. They hold different activities and educational meetings for kids and their families. She currently serves as the Vice President of HOPE as well.

She and her husband live in East Chicago and have three kids. Their eldest, Edgar, is attending Purdue University Calumet. He is set to graduate this upcoming spring and is preparing to take the Law School Admissions Test. Their daughter Jackie is in her second year at Valparaiso University as a Pre-Med student. Their youngest daughter Nataly is 17 years old and has Down Syndrome. She is currently attending East Chicago Central High School. She is a very active girl. She participates in girl scouts, cheerleading, and dance. At HOPE events, she spends her time taking care of the younger kids. Every Saturday she also helps all the younger kids that have disabilities learn how to dance at the Ballet School. They are always looking for ways to challenge her up to her potential instead of her focusing on her limitations.

Emily McKinley joined Family Voices as a Health Information Specialist in July 2011. Prior to taking on this role, Emily enjoyed her experiences as a medical writer, focusing on psychiatric disorders and interventions; serving as a Volunteer Program Manager for two organizations: MCB Camp Pendleton and a continuing care retirement community; and dappling in freelance writing, editing and organizational management.

Emily has been a lifelong volunteer and is proud to have advocated on behalf of many individuals and for many organizations including: Easter Seals, military spouses and families, children residing in emergency foster care shelters, Toys for Tots, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, animal shelters, and others.

Emily currently resides in West Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband and two sons. Her youngest son receives services through First Steps, and Emily and her family are immensely grateful for the support of and interventions modeled by their care team. She hopes to bring similar comforts and knowledge to other families who are tackling special healthcare needs.

Featured Program: Aged and Disabled/ Traumatic Brain Injury Waivers

Indiana has two different types of home and community-based waiver programs, medical and developmental. The type for children and adults whose needs are primarily medical in nature is called the Nursing Facility(NF) Level of Care or Medical Model Waivers. There are two Indiana Medicaid Waivers requiring NF Level of Care– the Aged and Disabled (A&D) Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Waiver. To be eligible for the A&D or TBI Waiver an individual must need Nursing Facility level of care, meaning the person would be at risk of being placed in a nursing facility without the services provided by the waiver.

If you think your family member may be eligible for a Nursing Facility Level of Care Waiver you can apply by calling the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for an application. It is a short phone interview. Call 1-800-986-3505 to identify your local office.

Individuals who are eligible for the developmental waivers may also be eligible for the medical waivers, depending on their needs and level of care. It is allowable to have one waiver while waiting for another. However, you can only access one waiver at a time.

A Family Voices health info specialist is happy to help you better understand the program. Feel free to call us at 317 944 8982 or email

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FS Medicaid Waivers Aged (1)

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