As part of the Provider Engagement Team here at MediSked I often get to visit our Provider Partners onsite as well as occasionally attend Provider Partner-hosted conferences. This year, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 Rooted in Advocacy Conference, hosted by The Arc of North Carolina. It was a truly incredible weekend where everyone had a seat at the table and an opportunity to share their voices and some awesome dance moves!
This year MediSked sponsored five scholarships for people to attend the Rooted In Advocacy conference. I had the opportunity to meet all the scholarship recipients and hear a little about themselves and what they are up to. Two people were on their way to graduation from a bachelors and a master’s program, two were community advocates and one very supportive parent advocate. You can check out our social media to learn more about our awesome scholarship winners!
The full weekend conference focused on ways to improve choice, opportunity and realization of life goals to the entire intellectual and developmental disability community. The conference opened with a three hour panel discussion on the move toward Managed Care and what the current status of the transition is in North Carolina. The panel included representatives from some of the major MCO’s (Managed Care Organizations) in North Carolina – Optum, Centene, WellCare, Healthy Blue and VERTESS.
Many states are at very different stages when it comes to working with MCO’s and no two states follow the exact same model. I was excited to hear that the MCO’s represented on this panel are making sure that they have a deeper understanding of the entire intellectual and developmental disability community. It was encouraging to hear them speak about the importance of Person-Centered Planning and Person-Centered Living. The panelists focused on the importance of taping in to local resources and community. This is so much more than health care, and it seems like they got that.
Next up was an amazing keynote speaker, Shelley Moore. I have never heard of Shelley Moore before this conference but I am so glad to know about her. Her presentations at the conference were story based and included her personal experiences as a special education teacher and educator. Shelley focused on the larger context of communities and effective practices of inclusion. She reminded us all that you live inclusion, you don’t do inclusion and that we need to make our school settings look more like modern day society. I couldn’t agree more! Our classrooms need to shift to be more inclusive and our communities need to continue to become more inclusive. Our communities shift and evolve as younger generations come out of school and step into leadership roles.
During the keynote, Shelley asked us to turn and talk to our table mates and put forth some great questions for us to consider. As I pondered her inquiries, it dawned on me on how homogenized my elementary, middle and junior high school experiences were. I was raised in a very diverse community, but the schools that I attended did not reflect that. After sitting through her sessions, I felt like I missed out on experiences and didn’t learn some important lessons until later in life in the absence of true inclusion. If you are interested in Shelley tell her stories, you can find her doing a few TEDx talks and other presentations online, she is worth googling!
Other highlights from the conference included sessions on technology in the home and budgeting for your dreams and healthy relationships. The lunch time vocal and dance performances were a wonderful way to loosen up.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Rooted in Advocacy Conference to feel the buzz in the room and connect with our friends in North Carolina!
Lee Iannone is a Provider Engagement Specialist with MediSked and enjoys working with MediSked partners all over the country; helping providers use MediSked Platforms fully as well as help communicate new features and feature enhancements to MediSked Products to users. Lee has been with MediSked for over 4 years and really enjoys visiting with Provider Partners across the country.