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Community Health

Advisory Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Weekly Message from the Executive Director

By the Numbers

Great News! For the second week in a row we have had zero positive cases for our consumers. Last week two Direct Support Professionals (DSP) tested positive, but this week no DSP or VMRC staff tested positive, which means for the first time in a year we have zero cases reported. Thank you to everyone who continues to work so hard to keep our community safe by making major sacrifices staying at home for over a year, and most recently, by helping get vaccination information out to people with concerns and for doing all we can with the vaccinations to those who wanted it. About two thirds of our seniors have gotten their vaccinations, and overall 40% of all our consumers, but 47% of our consumers have yet to report if they received the vaccine yet, which gives us a good chance of reaching that goal of 70%. To learn more about the vaccination visit the DDS Data page.


Cal-OSHA Action

Last week I reported that Cal-OSHA would be considering a change in the workplace regulations that were anticipated to come into alignment with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governor's Executive Order N-07-21. The order rescinds the stay at home orders and rescinds the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The board met and voted to change the policy to align it, but in addition the Governor declared an executive order that made the board's vote effective immediately, by-passing the public comment period and adding that "Unless they show symptoms, fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or be excluded from work after close contact with a COVID-19-positive person." As of June 15th the governor declared that vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear masks in public, there will be no social distancing requirements, and no capacity requirements (except for some mega events).


So Where are We with Day Program Services in Our Region?

Our day program providers are extremely dedicated to the consumers and families they serve and have been preparing for their onsite reopening for some time. They have been getting their mitigation plans approved, having consumer team meetings, and working with families and residential and transportation providers to get their services ready for the people they serve. After meeting with day programs, transportation professionals, and other providers it is becoming clear that there are many things that have to occur to bring back our services fully. Consumer's team meetings are challenged with availability of team members to schedule hundreds of meetings, transportation infrastructure to recruit and hire enough qualified drivers, direct support professional recruitment, and hesitancy on the part of some consumers and families about being with people who are not vaccinated. Many have set site goals for openings for mid-July and early August and this will clearly take effort from everyone to meet the person-centered needs of consumers.


Juneteenth New Federal Law

And finally, did you hear…? This week, on Wednesday, congress moved legislation, with only 14 opposing votes in the House, recognizing "Juneteenth National Independence Day" (June 19th) as a national holiday, on to President Joe Biden. The president signed the bill on Thursday and created the nation's 12th federal holiday. Juneteenth is observed as a demarcation date officially and finally ending slavery in America. "Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states. (AP News June 16, 2021)" During the signing ceremony President Biden said, "This day doesn't just celebrate the past. It calls for action today. I wish all Americans a happy Juneteenth." As our regional center and others continue our efforts toward cultural competence, it’s important to take a moment to recognize and celebrate this new holiday and the ending one of our country's most significant injustices towards African Americans, and speaks to our intentions to be better. 

Tony Anderson

Executive Director

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Case Management Update - Children

Our Team is Excited to Share the Following Self- Determination Orientation Training...Including Two in Spanish!


Tuesday, June 29, 900 AM - 1200 PM, English with Spanish Translation


Friday, July 9, 100 PM - 400 PM, in Spanish


Saturday, July 24, 1000 AM - 100 PM, English with Spanish Translation


Tuesday, August 3, 900 AM - 1200 PM, in Spanish


Monday August 9, 200 PM - 500 PM, English with Spanish Translation


Thursday September 30, 200 PM - 500 PM, English with Spanish Translation


Learn the Signs. Act Early

The CDC has developed an online milestone checklist so that parents can see what milestone their child has reached. Check it out at:

Summer is Here! Autism Speaks has Developed a Guide to Successful Transition for Your Child!


Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Case Management Update - Adults

Covid Vaccine Clinics


Adventist Health (Lodi Memorial) is partnering with the Lodi School District today (6/18) to hold a vaccination clinic at McNair High School. Both 1st and 2nd doses, ages 12-15, 16-17, and 18+. If you know anyone interested, they can register at the link below.


Helpful information to obtain current information about COVID vaccination sites:

  • Text this number #438829
  • In the message, enter the zip code of the location you prefer to access a vaccination site 

The text message response will be locations of vaccination sites in and around your preferred location.


Community Resources


On June 25 from 12pm – 3pm, there will be a community resource fair and food bag giveaway. Please join Second Harvest of the Greater Valley and The Salvation Army at the Village Oaks Center, 6225 Harrisburg Place, Stockton. There will be community organizations passing out resources and informational items. There is also a produce and assorted food bag giveaway for the first 200 people.


The National Center on Law and Elder Rights presents Emergency Rental Assistance Programs and Other Tools to Prevent Evictions of Older Adult Tenants


When: Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 11:00-12:00 P.T./2:00-3:00 E.T.


This webinar will provide an overview of tools available to prevent evictions of older adults as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, including temporary state and local protections and the federal government’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). In this training, participants will learn about ERAP eligibility and about some of the obstacles that have prevented older tenants from accessing ERAP assistance.

Participants will:

  1. Understand that when the CDC eviction order expires, there are still other tools available to keep older tenants housed;
  2. Comprehend how the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program works;
  3. Learn the importance of staying in close touch and collaborating with legal services providers specializing in eviction defense; and
  4. Know where to find information and resources about eviction protections and local Emergency Rental Assistance programs.



  • Lisa Sitkin, Senior Staff Attorney, National Housing Law Project
  • Patti Prunhuber, Senior Housing Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging


Closed captioning will be available on this webcast. A link with access to the captions will be shared through GoToWebinar’s chat box shortly before the webcast start time.


This training will be presented in a WEBCAST format to accommodate more participants. Due to the high volume of participants, computer audio will be the only option to listen to the presentation. No telephone call-in number will be provided. Please plan accordingly. Thank you. 

This webcast will be recorded and available on our website shortly after the presentation. The recording and training materials will also be emailed to all registrants within a few days after the training.

The webcast will take place on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET and will run for one hour.

Register Here

The Importance of Sex Education for People With Developmental Disabilities


As children with autism and other disabilities get older, they are often developmentally behind their peers. This delay in development can make it difficult for caretakers and teachers to know when (if ever) it is appropriate to talk about sexuality with kids and teens on the spectrum. Unfortunately, the common path has been for parents to ignore the subject and assume their child or teen does not have awareness or the need to discuss their bodies and sexuality.


While this may be common practice, professionals point out that avoiding the sex talk can leave autistic and intellectually disabled individuals even more vulnerable to potential abuse. Stephanie Mitelman, M.A., Certified Sexuality Educator argues that sex education for the developmentally and intellectually disabled community may be even more critical than sex education for the general population.


For all individuals, including those with autism and developmental differences, knowledge is power when it comes to bodies and sexuality. Even if it may be uncomfortable, as parents, educators and leaders in the disability community we must start having these discussions and help our loved ones to be safer, happier and more autonomous.


This information is shared by The Mighty, The Mighty is a safe, supportive community for people facing health challenges and the people who care for them.

Christine Couch (she, her, hers)

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

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Clinical Update

Saving lives one vaccine at a time!! 😊

We had our last vaccine clinic for the Stockton Office last Tuesday, June 15th. A total of 122 vaccines were administered. It was another successful vaccine clinic made possible because of the tireless efforts of our volunteers who show up on each of these vaccine clinics. Enormous “THANKS!!!” to our volunteers: VMRC staff, Board of Directors, and community partners: DRAIL, B.E.S.T., SCDD North Valley Hills Office, FRN, SAC6, DRC, UCP, ICC, CLASP, Therapeutic Pathways, Gamaliel of California and Fuerzas Unidas, who helped make it possible. As always, VMRC is grateful to Safeway Pharmacy (Albertson’s Companies) and their staff who served as our vaccine provider and partnered with us during the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at our VMRC Offices!

We are looking forward to our last vaccine clinic event on June 25th, Friday, at the Modesto office. This will be an indoor vaccine clinic. Remember to register prior to coming.

The California Community Living Network had a webinar on COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A with Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, a brilliant physician who has a passion for advocating for the marginalized communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a great webinar, and she has answered the questions in simple terms with an excellent explanation on why there are individuals who are not immediately convinced on getting the vaccine. Understanding where they come from helps in addressing their concerns and helping during this time.

SANDIS COVID-19 Tracking Data:

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Please continue to stay safe and healthy.

Claire B. Lazaro, MSN, RN, NP, PHN, FNP-C

Director of Clinical Services

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Tips for Caregivers for Vaccination Day

Age 12+ Consumers VMRC Walk-In Vaccination Clinic

Modesto 2nd Dose, Friday, June 25th, 11am - 3pm

What to Expect at the VMRC Vaccination Clinic

·        Upon arrival you will be asked to check-in and if those getting the vaccine have pre-registered.

·        You will be asked to provide the first and last name of those who will be getting the vaccine, identification, proof of age, and possibly insurance or Medi-Cal information.

·        If you have not completed a consent form you will be asked to complete the form before being directed to the next station. Not having the consent form can increase your wait time.

·        You will be provided with a CDC Vaccination Card, for the first dose. For the second, dose, you will be asked to show the CDC Vaccination Card. This will be given back to you for your records.

·        Once check-in is complete, including providing/completing the consent form, you will wait for an available Pharmacist to administer the vaccine. The wait may take 5-10 minutes depending on your appointment time.  

·        When it is your turn, a Pharmacist will take your vaccination consent form and CDC Vaccination Card.

·        The Pharmacist will retain your vaccination consent form and give back the CDC Vaccination Card for your records.

·        If there are multiple individuals in your party getting the vaccine, you will be asked who wants to be first.

·        If there are multiple consumers getting the vaccine, we ask that you identify any consumer that has had history of behavioral issues during medical procedures, or may be less receptive to vaccine administration, so the vaccine can be administered to them first.

o  Note: It may be beneficial to schedule separate appointments for these consumers with a reduced number of individuals in the party.

·        The Pharmacist will have the consumer sit on a chair. They will have the vaccination needle, bandage, and cotton swab with alcohol for sterilizing the injection site.  

·        The Pharmacist will ask in which arm the consumer would like the vaccine and ask them to roll their sleeve up, if necessary.

·        The Pharmacist will sterilize the area with the swab, place a bandage, and administer the vaccine.

·        Once the vaccine is administered, you will be directed to sit in the waiting area and asked to wait 15 minutes to confirm there are no adverse reactions to the vaccine.

o  Note: The Pharmacist may ask you to wait up to 30 minutes, depending on medical history.

·        For First Dose administration a VMRC Staff or Community Volunteer will assist you with scheduling your second dose during the waiting period.

How to prepare for Vaccination Day

·        Preregister for the vaccine clinic and complete a vaccination consent form

·        Plan to have the consumer dressed in clothing that makes vaccine administration quicker and easier.

o  Examples: Tank top where sleeve doesn’t have to be rolled up or t-shirt that can be quickly rolled up prior to administration.

o  Note: Sweaters, zip up hoodies, and long sleeves make administration more difficult and could lengthen the process.

·        If the consumer benefits from social stories, please create and use a social story the days leading up to Vaccination Day.

·        Bring preferred items to the vaccine clinic to aide in distracting/redirecting attention away from needle during vaccine administration.

o  Examples: Favorite videos/movies on tablet device, headphones, toys, or manipulative items that can be held in hands (ex: play-doh, fidget spinners, sticker books), favorite snack or treat that can be opened and consumed during vaccine administration.

·        Bring activities to occupy time during waiting periods.

·        If the consumer is known to have issues with compliance during medical appointments, or you suspect potential non-compliance during administration, it will be beneficial to have an additional family member or familiar individual present to assist with prompting and redirecting.

·        If the consumer can tolerate outings of longer durations, plan a preferred destination for after successful vaccine administration.

o  Examples: Favorite drive-thru restaurant, ice cream parlor, park, store, etc.


Vaccination Day Considerations

·        Have completed vaccination consent form with you and easily accessible (THIS WILL REDUCE YOUR WAIT TIME ONCE YOU ARRIVE TO THE VACCINE CLINIC).

·        Have consumer’s preferred items loaded in vehicle prior to leaving for appointment.

·        Have activities available to engage with during wait times while at the clinic.

·        Have all necessary documents easily accessible upon arrival (e.g., Identification Cards, Insurance Cards, Social Security Numbers, completed vaccination consent form, CDC Vaccination Card if second dose).

·        If you are planning a special/preferred outing after successful vaccine administration, and the consumer can tolerate delays, let them know where you will be going after the vaccine clinic.

·        Have consumer dressed in tank top or t-shirt. If wearing a sweater or long sleeve, have consumer’s shoulder easily accessible prior to check-in.

·        If possible, have a preferred family member, staff, or other preferred individuals present to assist with redirecting the consumer.

·        Have preferred items/activities easily accessible to use as a distraction during vaccine administration.

o  As the Pharmacist approaches to administer the vaccine, prompt, and direct attention away from the needle and toward the preferred item or activity.

·        Provide verbal praise, attention, and reassurance before, during, and after the vaccination process.

¨     Reminder: VMRC Staff, Community Volunteers, and Pharmacists administering the vaccine cannot physically redirect, physically prompt, or physically restrain the consumer during the vaccine administration. VMRC Staff, Community Volunteers, and Pharmacists can distract and redirect attention from the needle during that time, but any physical touch or guidance must be provided by family member and/or familiar individual who arrived with the consumer.

¨     If you have additional concerns that the consumer you are bringing to the Vaccination Clinic may engage in problem behavior during vaccine administration, or you need further guidance on how to prepare for Vaccination Day at the VMRC Vaccination Clinic, please contact VMRC Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Liz Herrera Knapp, at (209) 955-3652.

Additional Resources to Prepare for Vaccination Day

Liz Herrera Knapp, M.A.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Community Services Update

Weekly Service Provider Informational Zoom Session hosted by VMRC’s Community Services Department EVERY FRIDAY at 9:00 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 921 3684 6701

Resource Development News

VMRC has posted a Survey related to its 2022 Community Placement Plan (CPP) and Community Resource Development Plan (CRDP).

There are THREE WAYS to give feedback related to resources needed to support VMRC consumers of all ages:

1. If you already receive routine e mail messages from “Constant Contact” you will receive the Survey – open the Survey and respond.

2. Follow this Link to complete the Survey:

Letter to Stakeholders – Valley Mountain Regional Center – VMRC

3. Attend VMRC’s Board of Director’s meeting on Monday June 21st at 6:00 pm to provide feedback during the “public comment” portion of the meeting.

Board Meeting information and Letter related to CPP/ CRDP can be found here:

Letter to Stakeholders – Valley Mountain Regional Center – VMRC

Extreme Heat and Your Health

Be mindful of the heat and potential effects on your body - the heat can increase potential for fires in many areas. Below are some tips and advisories related to heat and links to each of VMRC’s five county areas office of emergency services, including resources such as “cooling centers.” 


Be aware of yours and others’ risk for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and fainting. To avoid heat stress, you should:

  • Drink a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes and at least one gallon each day.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. They both dehydrate the body.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Stay cool indoors ‐ if your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
  • If you feel dizzy, weak, or overheated, go to a cool place. Sit or lie down, drink water, and wash your face with cool water. If you do not feel better soon, get medical help quickly.
  • Work during cooler hours of the day when possible or distribute the workload evenly throughout the day.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat illness. It happens when the body can’t control its own temperature and its temperature rises rapidly. Sweating fails and the body cannot cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency care is not given.

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but can include:

  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)

If you suspect someone has heat stroke, follow these instructions:

  • Immediately call 911 for medical attention.
  • Get the person to a cooler area.
  • Cool the person rapidly by immersing him/her cool water or a cool shower or spraying or sponging him/her with cool water. If the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him/her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
  • Do not give the person alcohol to drink. Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
  • If emergency medical personnel do not arrive quickly, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
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Amador County Guide

San Joaquin County Heat Advisory Guide

Calaveras County Cooling Centers and Tips :

Stanislaus County Guide

Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services

Brian L. Bennett

Director Of Community Services

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North Valley Hills Update

Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

SCDD-sponsored bill that would end subminimum wage just passed the Senate!

SB 639 by Senator María Elena Durazo and co-sponsored by Disability Rights California is now off to the Assembly.


We are grateful for all the Senators that voted to pass this bill including Senator Connie M. Leyva who said, "Let's find a way to make it work... All work has value. These people are showing up and working hard every day, and all we are asking is that they make minimum wage."

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How to connect to SCDD through Social Media

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Family Resource Network Update from

Lisa Culley, Executive Director

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PDF Version Here

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PDF Version Here

Self-Advocacy Council 6 (SAC6)


Weekly Virtual Chat


Let’s Check In with each other!

WHEN: Friday, June 18, 2021

TIME: 11:00 AM -12:15 PM

WHERE: ZOOM - computer, tablet, cell phone


Join SAC6 to hear about "When things re-open, what will it be like? What do we need to know?


Tony Anderson, Executive Director, VMRC

Meeting ID: 821 7190 5822


Passcode: 737835 (MUST ENTER PASSCODE) OR you can call in:

TOLL FREE NUMBER TO CALL IN 877 853 5257 US Toll-free

PDF Version of the SAC6 Flyer Here

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Update from the Self Determination Advisory Committee

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PDF Version of Flyer Here

COVID-19 Update

Valley Mountain Regional Center

·    746 positive consumer cases and 27 deaths

·    34 positive VMRC staff cases

·    4 positive volunteer cases

·    303 positive provider cases and 1 death

Local County, State and National Public Health Resources

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