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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, December 15, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

Valley Mountain Regional Center is

Spreading Good Will and Holiday Cheer

This holiday season the staff of Valley Mountain Regional Center, our board, and our entire community has stepped up once again to support our adult consumers in need during the Thanksgiving holiday season and our children and families during the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa holidays. Staff have contributed, out of their own pockets, to help provide our children with special gifts during the holidays. This year a generous donation from the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was added to the collection.

Throughout the year others are helped, when faced with an immediate crisis, often at risk of losing their homes or risking their health and safety, where we are able to provide short-term loans or gifts to help people stay in their own homes. This special fund was created in honor of Dr. James R. Popplewell, who was known for his tremendous advocacy for people with disabilities in our region.

I just made my annual tax-deductible contribution to the Popplewell fund to help continue this tradition, if you’re able, please join me in keeping the tradition alive and honoring the late James R. Popplewell in support of our children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Contribute to the Popplewell Fund

A Quick Update on the Executive Director Search

In case you missed it.

Valley Mountain Regional Center Selection Committee and Board of Directors have completed their selection process for the next Executive Director and have named Leinani Walter. Click on the Announcement Button for details...

Check Out the Announcement Here:

VMRC Executive Committee Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 6:30 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202, Cohen Board Room

Click Here for Virtual Information

VMRC Consumer Services Committee Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 5:00 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202, Cohen Board Room

Click Here for Virtual Information

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

The Road Less Traveled By – How early brain development affects language in autistic children

with Tracey Tasker, MA, CCC/SLP

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

12:00pm - 2:00pm

Virtual Event


Can't attend the event live? 

Register to receive access to the recording!

Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate research from multiple disciplines and develop an understanding of how neurodiverse brains process information differently and what that looks like in the development of early language milestones.


Learner Objectives:

1. Review language brain models

2. Analyze research on the neural underpinning of atypical language development in autistic children

3. Describe how brain differences should drive treatment decisions


Topics to be addressed

·   How brain models have changed and the relevance to language pathways for autistic children

·   Let’s make sure we are all speaking the same language – when do we use pre-verbal, minimally verbal and non-verbal

·   Do the same processes that drive development in typically developing children drive language in autistic children

·   Gesture development

·   Busting neuromyths and finding neurotruths

·   Diversity in neurodiversity – bilingual learners and girls

What does the research say about autism treatment efficacy

First and foremost, Tracey is a mom of two sets of twins; having an autistic son and 29-week preemies are the reasons she entered the field of early intervention. Tracey lives in San Diego with her family and five cats, however, she is originally from NJ and holds a BA in Economics/English and an MBA from Rutgers University, and an MA in Speech-Language Pathology from Montclair State University. Tracey is on an early start eligibility assessment team as well as a seasoned early intervention SLP.  Read more Here

Non-Member: $55

IDA Agency/Individual Member: $40

IDA Parent/Student/New Clinician Member: $30



IDA CE Hours: Nursing, PT, Speech and Language $20 (2 hours)



ADA Requests: Contact IDA @ [email protected]

with ADA request by January 31, 2024

Register Now

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults


Friday, February 9, 2024! 

The Tim Tebow Foundation has a great passion for people with special needs. In 2014 they launched an initiative to create “Night To Shine”, an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs at host churches across the World. This event is 100% FREE to our Honored Guests.

Modesto Guest Registration is CLOSED. Volunteers are still needed!!

Manteca Guest Registration is CLOSED. Volunteers are needed as well.

Lodi Guest Registration is CLOSED. Volunteers are still needed!!

DeDe Platz and the VMRC Transition teams (coordinated by Alice Alcantara) purchased food to donate to 9 families in memory of Joan Justice Brown and Jirii Sakata.  

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

Community Services Update


Brian Bennett, Director of Community Services

VMRC has two opportunities for residential service provider CPP/ CRDP Grants! $150,000 in Start Up funds available for each project.

·     Adult Enhanced Behavior Support Home (EBSH) for females in Stanislaus County


Regulatory guidance and CCH defined:


RFP Information:


·     Adult Community Crisis Home (CCH) San Joaquin County


Regulatory guidance and CCH defined:


RFP Information: Service-Provision.pdf


For the full application please visit

In accordance with Section 12006(a) of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), States are required to implement Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for personal care services and home health care services that require an in-home visit by a provider.


Please be advised, as of June 1, 2023, EVV has been implemented for personal care services and home health care services for providers vendored under service codes 465, 862, 864, 896, 858, 860, and 062. New and existing service providers under these service codes subject to EVV are required to transmit Cures Act compliant data to the State’s EVV system either via CalEVV, free to use state supplied EVV system, or via an alternate EVV system of the provider’s choosing which meets the state’s requirements.


Helpful Links and Resources

Providers subject to EVV need to self-register via the Department’s webpage:


Information regarding EVV including Frequently Asked Questions and additional resources for providers can be found on the Department’s webpage:


For technical assistance, please email: [email protected]; or call (855) 943-6070.


For technical assistance related to using an alternate EVV system, please email: [email protected]; or call (855) 943-6069


For any further questions or concerns please submit inquiries or feedback to the Department directly: [email protected].


VMRC thanks you for your swift attention to this matter. 

Emergency Services and Response Update


Aaron McDonald,

Emergency Response and Safety Specialist

VMRC Emergency Response Services is monitoring what is being forecasted as a significant change in our weather pattern. Here are the details we have currently:

  • A much more active weather pattern returns to many areas of California on Sunday, December 17, and continues through at least late next week as a persistent atmospheric river event develops. Several rounds of rain, mountain snow, gusty winds, and scattered thunderstorms are likely during this time.

  • Specific impacts remain to be determined based on the intensity and longevity of precipitation, but some precipitation could be heavy at times, especially on Sunday, December 17, and Monday, December 18.

Below is helpful information on things you can do to be prepared for storm season:

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

From our Federal Partner- Disability Rights CA


The US Census is looking to make a change in how it collects disability data in the American Community Survey that will negatively impact people with disabilities. It will reduce the count of people with disabilities from 14% to 8%, meaning about 20 million disabled people would not be counted.


This change would affect decisions about disaster preparedness and response, Medicaid, housing and education, to name a few.


This is an urgent matter, and we have a small window to provide input to ask the US Census not to make this change. The deadline to submit comments is December 19, 2023.


Let’s make sure the US Census Bureau knows that the disabled community is opposed to this harmful change. We encourage you to submit a letter from yourself or your organization to make your opinion and voice known. Be sure to share a little about you or your organization.

Please visit this link for an example letter and where to send it:

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