Connections - 06.25.20

Across the Board: Piloting Toward the Future

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by Gabrielle Sedor, COO

ANCOR’s Board of Directors held their summer retreat virtually on June 15, powering through what was meant to be a day and a half agenda in the span of a few hours together via your favorite video conferencing platform that starts with a “z”.

The Board and staff had been looking forward to time together this summer to check in and get to know some of the newer board members like Mark Matulka, Kelly Jepson and Jon Fisher. Staff were eager to hear from ANCOR leaders about how the association could best continue to support its members through the pandemic and beyond. And, like all good agendas, there was quite a bit of business to attend to as well. Here are the highlights.

Board Chair Robert Budd has a tradition of starting each meeting with an opportunity for Board members to share what’s happening with them and their organizations. Board members shared challenges ranging from an uptick of positive COVID-19 cases in their states to having to evacuate homes and protect and comfort staff and people supported in the midst of unrest caused by the murder of George Floyd; Minnesota members and colleagues found themselves on a different set of frontlines this month. Board members wondered if there might be a role for ANCOR to be a leader in conversations around race and equity.

Several common themes emerged from the virtual roundtable: Board members, to a person, shared their gratitude for the resilience of their staff at home and the leadership of ANCOR which has resulted in an unprecedented $15B tranche allocated to Medicaid providers from the third federal stimulus relief package. (True, HHS seems to be still working out the kinks. Rest assured, ANCOR is at the table, working to ensure as many of its members as possible receive the funds that have been committed for this purpose.)

The Board was briefed on the #ForgottenFaces campaign which has generated over 1 million impressions on social media, saw 12 letters to the editor and 11 op-eds published in key congressional districts, and saw ANCOR staff interviewed for stories in Forbes, PBS Newshour, and The Hill, just to name a few. With confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the uptick in several states, we see this campaign continuing to ensure that I/DD supports aren’t overlooked as Congress works on future packages, like the HEROES Act.

The Board’s Governance Committee presented a CEO Succession Policy as well as Policy Updates for ANCOR, all of which were approved. This was a good time for the Governance Committee to clear its plate considering the work that lies ahead as it relates to the 100% membership model which, as of June 15, is no longer a pilot program but rather a permanent membership option for state associations and their members. The 100% membership model pilot was a three-year pilot program in which a state association could offer ANCOR membership to all of its provider members under one membership fee, paid by the state association. Eight state associations from seven states participated in the pilot.

Over the last three years, ANCOR has seen incredible membership growth as a result of the pilot, which has resulted in increased member engagement and, most importantly, the ability to generate grassroots advocacy and congressional reach. The increased advocacy power of ANCOR as a national voice has absolutely facilitated several of the policy accomplishments we’ve seen over the last several months. The ANCOR Board saw the 100% membership model pilot as a win-win-win for national and state associations as well as their members, and found no reason not to move forward with it as an option available to any state that’s interested.

Interested? Contact me directly at [email protected] for more information.