top of page
GSA Poster Final

GSA 2022 


Baltimore, Maryland

Session: Self Direction: The Promise, the Future 

Presenters: David Huges, Human Services Research Institute; Erin McGaffigan, University of Massachusetts Boston/Collective Insight, LLC; Julie Schnepp, Mental Health Partnerships, Mollie Murphy, Applied Self Direction

Self-direction options have existed in Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports since the early 1970s. Today, every state in the US has at least one program with self-direction and many states have several. Self-direction has led to improved quality of life for individuals and caregiver satisfaction, and reduced nursing home and institution utilization in programs across the country. This session examined how self-direction delivers promise when utilized in new and innovative ways and for populations previously not formally served by self-direction, particularly persons with serious mental health conditions. A mental health services researcher and current self-directing participant shared their perspectives on mental health self-direction’s impact on individuals and systems. Further, this session examined the critical role of stakeholder engagement in designing services that meet the needs of the people they serve, providers of services, Managed Care Organizations, and states.

Leadership Presentation

Let's move through the research process together to improve the design and delivery of policies and programs.

Crystal City, Arlington, VA

Session: Understanding the Factors of Participant Engagement in the Design and Implementation of Public Programs: Lessons from Cash & Counseling

Presenters: Erin McGaffigan, Ph.D., Researcher and Consultant, Boston, MA; Christina Battista, President, National Participant Network; Kevin J. Mahoney, Center Director, National Resource Center for Participant Direction, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work; Candace Ricard, Chief, and Toni Bennett, Program Manager, Medicaid Waiver Compliance Section, Louisiana Bureau of Health Services Financing

Federal funders often require that individuals in need of services be engaged in the design of public programs, and this expectation is recently evident in the newest acute and long-term service and support models found within the Affordable Care Act. This workshop summarized the findings of a three state in-depth study on participant engagement practices within Cash & Counseling programs. The programs examined were diverse in length of existence, enrollment size, populations served, and engagement practices. According to this research, multiple factors influenced the perceptions of state employees, advocates, and program participants pertaining to the meaningfulness of engagement and its related outcomes. Various person, process, and environmental factors influence outcomes, whether they are positive or negative. 

bottom of page