VIRGINIA PUBLIC GUARDIAN AND CONSERVATOR ADVISORY BOARD
Virginia Department for the Aging
1610 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Richmond, VA 23229
June 7, 2012
John Powell, Esq., Chairman, Marjorie Marker, DSS, attending for Gail Nardi, Paul
Aravich, Ph.D, Debra Holloway, Kate C. Mason, M.Th., Eileen M. Reinaman, Cynthia
Smith, MSW, Dana Traynham, Esq., Thelma B. Watson, Ph.D., DeMaris Miller, Ph.D.,
Kathryn Pryor, Esq.
Debbie Burcham, Karen L Fortier, Esq.
Carter Harrison, Alzheimer’s Association
Catherine Harrison, Department of Rehabilitative Services
Ivan Tolbert, Senior Connections
Katherine Lawson, Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Erica Wood, Esq.
Dorothy Salomonsky, Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Tidewater
Greg Pomije, Esq,
Virginia Department for the Aging Staff
Amy Marschean, JD, Senior Policy Analyst
Janet James, Public Guardian Program Coordinator
Tim Catherman, Director of Administration
Cecily Slasor, Administrative Assistant
Welcome and Introductions
Chair Powell called the meeting to order at 10:10 am. Mr. Powell welcomed members
and guests and asked that they introduce themselves.
Review/Approval March 1, 2012 Meeting
There were no comments or edits to the March 1 minutes. Thelma Watson moved to
accept minutes and Ms. Mason seconded. The minutes were approved unanimously.
Carter Harrison, Alzheimer’s Association and Amy Marschean, JD, VDA
(See list of bills on handout)
Mr. Harrison began the discussion with HB 270 (Peace) that requires the public
guardianship program to adopt person-centered procedures. Ms. Marschean stated the
public guardianship regulations will be amended through an expedited APA action to
effect this change once the law goes into effect July 1. Ms. Marschean noted that the two
agency consolidation bills, HB 1291 (Gilbert) and SB 678 (McDougle), effectuated an
earlier legislative recommendation of the board to change the board’s membership
statute to correctly name the ARC. The consolidation bills left the enabling statutes for
the guardianship board in Title 2.2. Dr. Aravich praised Ms. Pryor and Mr. Harrison on
their hard work and dedication and all their efforts to keep the board intact. Mr. Powell
echoed these comments and thanked all those who worked on the issue. Ms. Marschean
introduced the discussion of the SB 9 (Lucas) that permitted guardians to restrict
visitation and noted that certain advocacy groups had concerns about this bill. The
issue will be further discussed later on the agenda. HB1010 (Ramadan) permitted
concurrent TDO and commitment hearings. However, the bill did not pass and concern
was raised regarding its possible reintroduction next year. Other bills of note included
the numerous financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable adults bills, ombudsman
legislation, the change to “intellectual disability” from “mental retardation,” and the
revision of Title 64.1, which will now incorporate the guardianship provisions from
Tim Catherman, VDA Director of Administration
Mr. Catherman reported on the Governor’s budget introduced in December and its
changes in the legislative process. The General Assembly adjourned in February
without a budget necessitating a Special Session in March for the purpose of enacting a
budget that was finalized by the General Assembly in May. Dr. Aravich asked whether
the elimination of earmarks for JFS and MEOC public guardian programs in the final
budget are going to affect their service delivery? Mr. Catherman stated not for MEOC
and JFS should not be affected under the contracted program with VDA. Dr. Watson
said that we need to stress the importance of the public guardianship in the
DOJ Settlement Update
Amy Marschean, JD
(See handout of United States v. Virginia history)
Ms. Marschean provided an update on the settlement that Virginia has entered into
with DOJ regarding integrating persons with intellectual disabilities into the
community and the plan to close the DBHDS training centers. On May 9, 2012, the
court permitted a parents’ group who are opposed to the settlement agreement to
intervene. On June 8, 2012, the court will conduct a fairness hearing and has invited the
parties to present witnesses. Debra Holloway stated the ARC is in support of the
agreement. Ms. Harrison stated that concerns have been raised about supports being
there for residents and the court has expressed concerns about capacity in the
community. There are currently 999 persons residing in training centers and some have
utilized the Public Guardianship program.
Presentation: Community Integration Plan Update
Catherine Harrison, Director of Community Integration, DRS
Ms. Harrison reported that she is working with the Community Integration
Implementation Team on rewriting the Olmstead Strategic Plan. Surrogate and
supported decision-making is an issue in the Olmstead strategic plan.
Mrs. James stated there are a huge number of statistics, success stories, and cost savings
in the report to the Governor by the board, as well as in the report that VDA submitted.
Dr. Aravich asked that group also should consult the VA Brain Injury Council White
Paper that was submitted to Commissioner Rothrock.
Guardianship Program Update
Janet James, Esq.
Mrs. James reported there are 601 vulnerable adults in the Public Guardian programs.
When Mrs. James monitors the local programs, she looks at the categories: Care of
Clients (quality of life, visitation and staff to client ratio), Client Records, and Program
and Process to include staff qualification and training. She looks at the client waiting
list to make sure it is fair, consistent and non-discriminatory. Mrs. James generally
discussed her March 2012 compliance report of the Arc of Northern Virginia by way of
example. In addition, she noted that JFS of Tidewater has some 60+ indigent clients and
500 or so private-pay clients in their programs. For 2010 and 2011, all of the Public
Guardian programs were in compliance. For $3 million, the Public Guardian program
could serve 537 additional clients.
Nominating Committee Selected
John Powell, Chair
Dr. Paul Aravich and Dr. Thelma Watson were designated by Chair Powell to serve on
the Nominating Committee. Kate Mason, Debra Holloway, Eileen Reinaman
Thelma Watson moved that the aforementioned slate of individuals be presented as the
nominating committee and Demaris Miller seconded the motion. The motion passed
VGA Presentation on Senate Bill 9
Greg Pomije, Esq.
Dorothy Salomonsky, VGAVice President
Ms. Salomonsky sent a letter to the board chair requesting that SB 9 be addressed at this
board meeting as the VGA plans to reintroduce the legislation. In his role as counsel for
JFS of Tidewater, Mr. Pomije stated that he believes that a change in the advance
medical directive statute (§ 54.1-2986.1) in 2009 prevents his ability to seek court
restriction on visitation and, additionally, it is costly to seek court intervention. Ms.
Salomonsky shared examples of cases where they felt visitation restriction was needed.
Ms. Wood noted that in 2011 the National Guardianship Association stated that person-
centered planning promotes social relationships and visitation should not be restricted
unless it is necessary to protect someone from substantial harm. After discussion, Ms.
Smith moved that VDA staff convene a workgroup of stakeholders to consider SB 9 of
the 2012 General Assembly to address issues raised related to the issue of visitation
restriction by guardians. The motion was seconded by Ms. Pryor and passed
Public Comment Period
Katherine Lawson, Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (Board), commented that
their Outreach & Education division is expanding into volunteerism for persons with
disabilities. She stated they are also launching an education initiative about sexual
assault and abuse for persons with disabilities. The Board is working with a builder
from out of state on housing for persons affected by the DOJ settlement/transitioning
from the training centers. They are also doing emergency preparedness training for
persons with disabilities. The Board will soon have a Consumer Directed Care Provider
Directory available. The Board will launch public forums in 2013.
Ivan Tolbert, Public Guardian Program Coordinator from Senior Connections provided
flyers on an upcoming event, a free information session for human service
Janet James extended an invitation to board members to the free training sessions for
public guardians that will take place in conjunction with the July 26th conference below.
Future Meeting Dates: September 6 and December 6
Upcoming Events: July 26, 2012 Virginia Guardianship Association/VA
Elder Rights Coalition Conference, Richmond
Chair Powell adjourned the meeting at 2:10 p.m.