Newsline Volume 31, Number 1

Conference & Workshop Information for Families Raising Children & Youth with Special Health Needs

By Beth Dworetzky, Massachusetts Family-to-Family Health Information Center

Joining Voices Conference
The Massachusetts Family-to-Family Health Information Center will host its annual Joining Voices conference on November 3, 2010 at the Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center in Shrewsbury, MA. This free event, for families raising children and youth with special health needs, is a fabulous networking and learning opportunity. Rosalie Edes, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Disability Policies & Programs, Executive Office of Health and Human Services will give the keynote address about the importance of family involvement in helping to shape programs that meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.

In preparing for this year’s conference, the Family-to-Family Health Information Center posted a survey asking families for input about workshop topics. In response to family feedback, workshop topics will address outreach to diverse families, medical home, guardianship and its alternatives, parent-to-parent, transition, and more.

During lunch, participants will have an opportunity to join one or more topic-specific networking sessions about respite, support groups, strategies for encouraging family leadership, care coordination, and maximizing health insurance benefits.

MassHealth Workshop
The Family-to-Family Health Information Center is now scheduling its “Making Cents of Healthcare Financing” workshop for the fall and winter. This workshop, presented free of charge, provides an overview of the MassHealth system, eligibility and the application process, explains coordination of private health insurance benefits with MassHealth, and how to make an informed decision about services.

To schedule a workshop or for conference updates, call Beth at 1-800-331-0688, ext. 210, e-mail or visit