About Us

We are professionals with combined experience of more than 50 years serving individuals with developmental disabilities, in both the public and private sectors. Since 2004, Twogether Consulting has served as consultants to both HCS, TXHL, & ICF providers statewide, assisting them in areas of personnel training, quality assurance, survey and audit preparation and recovery, level of need increases-including medical, development of policies and procedures, plans of correction/corrective action plans, systems integrity plans, Assistance with CARE system, billing issues such as: capturing adequate billing, billing errors and omissions. Offsite services options are also available.

Twogether Consulting provides training by webinar and we hold classes statewide for direct support staff, nurses, care coordinators, QIDP/QDDP’s, program administrators, quality assurance staff, as well as “on-site only” classes at the provider’s request.  Twogether Consulting has assisted many new providers with the application process to become a new provider,  “start-up”,  development of their overall program, and policies and procedures.  Feel free to print out our brochure below: Brochure-Twogether -2017  Services flyer: Twogether Consulting Flyer 2017

Our Mission

To help you as HCS, ICF/IID,  TXHML & CFC providers build a more successful business while improving your quality of service delivery to the individuals in your program and remain in compliance with federal and state regulations.

Julie Andrews Blacklock, Owner/IDD Services Consultant

Julie Andrews Blacklock A graduate of Southwestern University with a bachelors in psychology (specializing in Child Life & Development and Crisis Intervention).  From 1988-1992 she worked at Austin State Hospital as a mental health worker.  Julie began her career in the developmental disabilities field as direct care. She worked as a Community Mental Health Case Manager and later on as a Service Coordinator at Austin Travis County MHMR (Now known as Austin Travis County Integrel Care).  Julie also worked with various providers in the private sector in the Austin area as a QMRP for ICF and a Case Manager for HCS & TXHmL.  She has worked in the field of both Mental Health and Special Needs for over 25 years.  She has been a consultant for both programs since 1997, and an owner of Twogether Consulting, Ltd. since 2004.  Please contact Julie Blacklock at: javasbja@aol.com or call 512-294-8032 to contract services with Twogether Consulting.

Annette Holland- IDD Waiver Consultant

We are proud to welcome our newest IDD Consultant:  Annette Holland to the crew!                     *(Annette has recently married and so many of you may remember her as Annette Johnson.)  Annette recently retired from Rescare,  where she worked for almost 25 years.  Her most recent position was as the Executive Director at Rescare in the Austin, Tx Office.  Annette is a graduate from Purdue University with distinction, with a Bachelors of Science in Occupational Education.

Annette’s specialty is primarily in the ICF Program, but she is of course also very well-versed in the HCS Waiver Program as well.  Annette is currently based out of Austin.  She is available for “off-site” consulting services as well as some “on-site” work, primarily DIT’s (Directive Inservice Trainings) for the ICF program, as well as Survey Prep and Plans of Corrections/Corrective Action Plans for the ICF and HCS programs. Annette will be available for off-site services primarily in the following locations:  Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Houston area, as well as the Valley and West Texas.

 

KIMBERLY “Kim” LITTLEJOHN- IDD CONSULTANT

Kimberly is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelors of Science.  Most Recently she worked for Austin State Hospital in Quality Assurance for transitional services and was part of the monthly Resource Management Committee.  A collaborative group with Austin Travis County Integral Care.  She worked at Austin Travis County Integral Care (formally known as ATCHMHR) for over 20 years.   She began her career in the early 80’s as a speech pathologist at Travis State School.  She then worked at ATCMHMR as a QMRP, as well as a residential unit manager.   Kim was the program coordinator and then later the program manager for the Internal Provider side of HCS services with ATCIC for approximately 12 years. She was employed as the program manager for “Youth Empowerment Services” at ATCIC and prior to this position, she was the program manager for home health services at ATCIC for four years and assisted with the initial application process for the home health license.

Kimberly is a member of AAIDD (American Association on Intellectual Developmental Disabilities and was the Texas Chapter president, since 2008 until a few years ago.  She has been on the ATCIC Network Advisory Committee and the ATCIC Business Practices Committee (since 2000). Kimberly has a wealth of knowledge in ICF, HCS, and TXHML.  She also has a lot of experience with budgets, cost reporting, and billable services, so we will finally have someone to answer some of your questions concerning cost reports!

Kimberly is the  specialist for our work with persons wanting to become HCS, TXHML, and CFC providers.  She assists with the HCS & TXHML Application Process and New Provider Orientation, & Training.  Kimberly can also provide “On-site Assistance” with Preparing or Recovering from HCS, TxHmL, and ICF Survey and Billing Audits.   She is available to assist with some most aspects of Billing in the CARE System.  Kimberly has recently started helping Twogether Consulting with “on-site” training sessions on Person Centered IP (Implementation Plan) development as well.

Kimberly is available for consulting services primarily in the Waco, Temple, Austin, and San Antonio areas for “on-site” services, as well as “off-site” services statewide.  Kimberly can be contacted at:  kclittlejohn@gmail.com. Please contact Twogether Consulting at: javasbja@aol.com or call 512-294-8032 to contract services with Kimberly.

 

Zernalyn “Lynn” Palmares- IDD Waiver Consultant & DH/SE Consultant

Lynns pic

 

 

 

 

Lynn worked in California for 7 years doing a variety of jobs in social services for the IDD population.  She worked mainly in Vocational Rehabilitation, Supported Employment and Dual Diagnosis Recovery in California and also worked in some of these types of services in Texas as well.  She has worked in these programs as well as HCS, TXHML and ICF for about the last 15 years.   Lynn is also an expert at “staff rentention” and has recently begun developing some classes/training that we will be available for program directors, owners, and Human Resource staff in the next year through Twogether Consulting.

Lynn started out as a QIDP in the ICF program and then went on to work for 5 years in the HCS program as both a case manager and a Program Director.  Lynn also spent 5 years in Assertive Community Treatment programs in California and Texas.  She has worked in various positions in IDD waiver services in Texas, including:  QIDP, Case manager, Program Director, Vocational/ Habilitation Director.

Lynn is our resident Day Habilitation and Supported Employment/Employment Assistant specialist.  She is also a great source for finding resources in the Denton/Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington area.  She is based in Arlington, Tx.  Lynn is great at thinking “outside the box” and works closely with some of our clients who are Day Hab Providers, Non-Profit programs providing contracted waiver services, especially.  Lynn also helps providers with development and maintenance of their Day Habilitation and Vocational services and has spent a bit of time helping providers of these services prepare for the changes coming in the coming years to these services.  She is also able to help the provider with training and cirriculum to show your staff how to help teach the individuals in the program and for the programming for individuals themselves.

She can also provide guidance with development of your “vocational assessment tools” and assessments that help staff to better understand how each of the individuals in your day program/vocational program learns new skills, which should help tremendously in individualizing their plan of care.

Lynn also assists ICF and HCS providers with Corrective Action Planning & Plans of Corrections mostly in the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington area.  Lynn is our other consultant who works with New Providers/Start Up’s.  Lynn currently is employed with a provider of  the YES waiver in the Arlington provider, and really enjoys working with young persons and co-occuring diagnoses.

Mary Robinson- IDD Waiver Consultant /HCS Waiver Specialist

We are please to welcome another new IDD consultant to Twogether Consulting, Mary Robinson.

Mary has almost 30 years of experience working in the Human Services field, in particular with IDD waiver services.  Many of you may know her from her many years of service at Rescare/Educare.  Mary is originally from the great state of Louisiana!  She attended Slidell Baptist College and received a BA in Theology/Leadership Ministry as well as an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Louisiana Technical Institute.
Mary worked with ResCare of Louisiana for many years in the ICF/IID program as a house manager and later a QIDP.
In 2005 Mary transferred to Educare in Temple when she moved to Texas, where she joined the team as an HCS Case Manager.  She later moved to the Austin location and became an HCS Program Services Manager/Administrator. 
Mary was a volunteer teaching reading and math literacy to single mothers who were working towards obtaining their GED’s,  using the Laubach Literacy Method.
Mary currently volunteers  at The Salvation Army serving meals to people temporarily living at the Salvation Army location.  She also assists with providing the residents with resources and information concerning employment, medical needs, housing, and spiritual counseling.
Mary is also a volunteer with Agape Christian Ministries .  Her role is as a team lead for managing their budget, which has to be submitted annually for approval.  She is also in charge of coordinating every aspect of the budget and scheduling meal delivery. These funds purchase meals for new mothers that are covenant partners of the ministry and for the ordained staff that are sick or have been in the hospital.
Mary is available for off-site services and consultation for the HCS Waiver program via email, phone, and webinar,  as well as some on-site assistance and training to providers.  Mary is located in the Austin/Pflugerville/Round Rock area and will primarily serve this area and San Antonio.

 

Gina Peterson, RN (IDD Waiver/Nursing Home Compliance- RN Consultant)

 

Gina Peterson, RN has been a part of our team for about 6 years now and is one of our main nursing educators for training sessions/classes.

Gina’s primary types of  assistance to the providers are as follows:  Assistance with Nursing Peer Review Process, Developing a Nurse Peer Review Process, Training Nurses in HCS, ICF and TxHmL programs , Training for Direct Support Staff and HH/CC (Host Home Companion Care) Providers in Supervision of Medications and Medical Tasks, Development of Nursing Policies & Protocol for Providers, and CNE Course Development, Survey Preparation and Recovery (in particular Corrective Action Planning for Nursing Citations), Plans of Correction in the ICF Program, DIT’s (Directive Inservice Trainings mandated by state surveyors at times to address serious tags/citations or immediate jeopardy) and Assistance with Immediate Jeopardy.

Gina has over 20 years experience working with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the elderly population. Gina worked as a nurse consultant for HCS providers in San Antonio and Houston TX and for an ICF provider in Livingston, TX.  She has also been very active in the past with PPAT serving on several recent committees.
Gina was a State Surveyor for Department of Aging and Disability Services (Geriatric Surveyor Team an HCSSA Surveyor) from 2008-2010.  She is also an experienced Long Term Care Nurse and was a Regional Director of Compliance for 6 Nursing Homes out in the community as well as an Acting Director of Nurses in Katy, Texas. Gina worked as a Director of Nurses and Home Care Consultant for Quality Nursing Care in Houston, TX for 10 years and most recently in Buffalo, New York for about a year.

In 1994, Gina participated in the Health Care Forum presented by the National Association of Home Care. Gina was one of 51 representatives from HealthRIGHT, an organization promoting national discussion on health care. Gina was chosen by NAHC (National Association of Home Care) as the New York State representative to testify on Hillary Clinton’s subcommitee on Healthcare Reform. The organization went to Washington, D.C. to testify to congress and raise awareness to the Clinton administration of health care problems that American citizens faced on a daily basis. Gina was also a clinical liaison nurse for the Visiting Nurses Association of Western New York.

NF’s (Nursing Facilities) Gina is a Federally Certified State Surveyor (SMQT), by CMS. She is available for assistance with Nursing Home Compliance issues such as: Nursing Home Survey Preparation, Plans of Corrections, and assistance with Immediate Jeopardy Corrections.

Gina has recently also become the sole proprietor of her own business where she helps with a variety of nursing consultation services for the elderly, nursing homes, etc…   She has recently begun providing RN Consultation to Nursing Home Facilities as well, via Twogether Consulting concerning plans of corrections, polices and survey preparation. She is currently based in Galveston, TX. Gina will be available for on-site nursing consultation services primarily in the following locations and surrounding areas: Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi, Victoria, San Antonio, McAllen/Brownsville and  Dallas/Ft. Worth area as well as West Texas. She is available for “off-site” services at any location.

 

Kim Pavlik-IDD Consultant

KimPavlikExecutiveDirector002  Kim’s specialty is the ICF program, but she is also well versed in the HCS & TXHmL programs. Kim has a vast amount of knowledge and extensive experience in the areas of developing policy and procedure, working with budgets and finances for large facilities, oversight of employees and maintaining a good work environment for employees, as well as rules and regulations in the state of Texas and New Mexico concerning IDD services.

Kim received a  Bachelors in Social Work from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.  She also has a Masters in Special Education from Texas Tech University.

From 1991-1998 Kim was the Management and Program Evaluation Services Director at Lubbock State Supported Living Center.

Kim was the IDD Director of Services at StarCare Specialty Health System (formally known as Lubbock MHMR) from 1998 until May of 2013.

Kim is currently the Executive Director of Gentiva Hospice and  lives in Portales, New Mexico (which is not too far from Clovis,  New Mexico and she is approximately 2 hrs from Lubbock, TX).  Kim will be available to serve our providers in much of West Texas as well as Dallas/Ft. Worth area  and neighboring states- New Mexico, Nevada, etc…

Kim can be reached at her e-mail: kimpavlik@att.net, or you may contact Twogether Consulting at 512-294-8032 or javasbja@aol.com.

 

Stacie Coligan-Woosley/ IDD Services Consultant & SAMA Instructor

Stacie C

Stacie joined Twogether Consulting Team in April of 2015.  We are so pleased she is on our team.  Stacie has experience as a Case Manager and a Program Director.

She was a Case Manager for many years at “Forgotten Angels” in Pearland, TX, and built many long lasting relationships with her consumers and their families.  She later became the Interim Prgram Director before moving on to a new career at as an IDD consultant part-time with Twogether Consulting.  Stacie then became the Program Director with Empowerment Options Inc. (in both HCS & TXHmL as well as the ICF program  for the Houston Area).  Stacie later served as the Regional Director for:  Houston, Austin, and Conroe for a good portion of her employment with the company.  She was with Empowerment Options for approximately 3 years.  She has now moved on to bigger and better things as the case manager/case coordinator for a small provider that is very near and dear to her,  “A Treasure of Dreams” and continues to work with Twogether Consulting as both a IDD Consultant and SAMA Instructor.

Stacie is a great Case Manager and she has an awesome record of  “zero” deficiencies for ICF Homes and  “zero” citations for most of her HCS Contracts  she oversaw at “Empowerment Options”.  Stacie is also a certified SAMA instructor and currently she contracts withTwogether Consulting to provide SAMA training.

What is SAMA?

Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression is the response to the needs left unmet. Facilitators and the groups using SAMA are the beneficiaries of the years of development and refinement of what began in 1980 and has been validated by the state of Texas and by facilities throughout the United States and overseas.

This program has emerged through a number of transformations. The original program was designed and piloted at Rusk State Hospital in 1980, by Larry Hampton and was called “Foundations of Verbal and Physical Intervention,” or FVPI.  Rusk was the ideal site for developing the program because it served literally every client population in Texas, including children and adolescent, geriatric, people with acute and chronic mental illness, chemical dependency, mental retardation, and the criminally insane.

To see whether the program was achieving  goals of safety for  clients and staff members, data was checked on the number and severity of injuries to staff and those we served as well as the number of worker compensation claims filed related to aggressive behavior. The data showed that injury rates went down as more people were trained to use the program. Because of its positive results, on September 29, 1981, the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation adopted the program, and it became required training for all service staff as “Prevention and Management of Aggressive Behavior,” or PMAB®.

In 1999, the state revised the materials without the input of the developer of PMAB and took a heavier institutional focus. They also made the materials more instructor intensive and continued to teach elements that he considered outdated. The new materials were understandably focused on the needs of the department and not the needs for risk management of aggressive behavior of the community at large.

Providers were also no longer allowed to take PMAB training through the state, nor allowed to use this in the community setting and were directed to find different behavioral intervention programs.

The primary goal of the Satori method of behavior escalation is to prevent aggression from becoming physically harmful. The emphasis of the course focuses on verbal de-escalation in all interactions.The primary principles of SAMA are:

  • Personal Effects of Anger
  • Nature of Trust
  • Assisting Process (Five Phases to Assess Situation)
  • Protection of Self and Others
  • Containment Safety and Object Retrieval

Safety is the most important element in managing behaviors with SAMA.

To learn more about the SAMA methods, please visit www.satorilearning.com

 

Meghan Jones

Meghan Jones is our awesome Admin. Assistant, otherwise known as our “Jill of All Trades”.  She handles our registration, keeps up with our enormous provider contact list, our company schedule and calendar, and she is our main point of contact for scheduling, other than myself.  We couldn’t make it without our Meghan!