25 Years of Guardianship Leadership
Teresa Parks, et al.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Illinois Guardianship Association (IGA), an organization dedicated to the mission of promoting the highest quality of ethical guardianship services through education, networking, and advocacy.
Numerous individuals (far too many to recognize here) have played a part in the IGA’s creation and many
were on staff at the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission (IGAC).
To look at the history of the IGA, it is also necessary to examine the origination of the IGAC. The
Governor’s Commission for the Revision of the Mental Health Code of Illinois (1976) set the stage for the
creation of the Guardianship and Advocacy Act, the IGAC, and its programs. Initially, the Commission sought the creation of three different entities: one to provide adult guardianship services, another to address disability rights violations, and the last to handle legal representation. In the end, the Commission pulled all three entities under one umbrella and passed the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Act in 1979 creating IGAC.
Perry Patterson, former Guardianship Regional Administrator for the Egyptian Regional Office in Anna, remembers his initial involvement with the IGAC as follows:
Governor Jim Thompson had appointed a statewide committee named Title XX in an effort to capture federal dollars for human service agencies. The Mental Health Board with whom I was working approved my attending monthly meetings in Springfield. Unknown to me, the Director of IGAC sat beside me at several meetings. I had recently left the Jackson County Mental Health Board and I was asked if I would be interested in a new agency which she led. Being unemployed, it was an easy decision to interview, and I was hired. However, very shortly after, the Director resigned and I was to be interviewed by a new Director, Sandra Klubeck. I was rehired. I still wasn’t sure what the new program, Office of State Guardian, was all about, but I was to start at the office in Anna on the grounds of Choate Mental Health Center. Sure enough, I began work with an office which was an “examining room” with a one-way window! I was given some 300 plus applications for pre-guardianship assessments. It was an awesome challenge, and I began questioning my decision to be the Guardianship Regional Administrator with no staff and a large caseload covering 30 southern Illinois counties. A group of Guardianship Regional Administrators were assigned to create materials. We met often and had a time getting an acceptable manual together. It was truly a field-tested document.
Perry notes the names of a few former administrators involved in IGAC policy development as Norm Bernahl, Kay Buhne, Jerry Copeland, Kathy Eddy, Debra Fullilove, Helen Godlewski, Adrienne Langley, Nelson Mapel, Paul Medlin, John Schnier, Aletha Turner, and Rhonda Williams.
As IGAC grew, consideration of guardianship issues expanded over a larger context, including greater interactions with both county public guardians and family guardians. In 1998, a group of public guardians and staff from the IGAC decided to form a professional association, the IGA.
Here is what Catherine Goebel, former IGAC employee, former IGA board member, and current Human Rights Authority member remembers of those initial efforts:
What I remember is an invitational email, most likely from Helen Godlewski, to be a part of the IGA. The first meeting was held in Chicago at the IGAC office. I remember Helen Godlewski, Bill Scheidemantel, John Wank, Rhonda Williams, and myself being there along with others, including a Legal Advocacy Service attorney. Fred Floreth, a Public Guardian, may have been there, too. It was an organizational meeting, and we agreed to proceed with annual meetings and trainings. I believe we signed an agreement as founding members of the IGA. I believe John Wank was the first President.
Other involved stakeholders included Susan McMahon, an attorney with the Ray Graham Association, Laura Sakas, former IGAC Managing Attorney, and Public Guardians Dan Deneen, Charles Golbert, and Sherri Rudy.
Helen Godlewski, former Director of the Office of State Guardian (OSG) at the IGAC, shares the following:
As I reflect on OSG and the IGA, it was certainly the most interesting and challenging work of my life. So very proud of all of us who improved the lives of our wards! When I started in 1982, most wards lived in large state-operated facilities or larger nursing homes. Over the decades, through consent decrees and changes in funding, we were able to move thousands of individuals into community-based settings. I hope that trend continues for all disability groups.
Through Rhonda Williams, IGAC Managing Administrator, both the IGAC and the IGA became affiliates of the National Guardianship Association (NGA). Rhonda also encouraged the staff of OSG to become certified guardians, and the first certification exams completed by IGAC staff occurred in 1997. Many IGAC staff have been and continue to be involved in the NGA as Board Members and presenters at various NGA Conferences.
The IGA recognizes and thanks the many dedicated individuals who have been a part of this journey!
Elderly Waiver Amendments
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is accepting public comments on proposed amendments to the Persons Who Are Elderly 1915(c) Medicaid Waiver which helps subsidize operating costs for the Community Care Program in Illinois. See: https://hfs.illinois.gov/content/dam/soi/en/web/hfs/sitecollectiondocuments/pnelderlywaiveramend ment.pdf.
The amendments primarily seek federal approval of rate increases for Adult Day Services and related transportation, in-home services, and the associated increase in service cost maximums used to authorize a level of services based on the current needs of an individual under Public Act 103-0102. See: Application for 1915(c) HCBS Waiver: Draft IL.020.07.04 - Jan 01, 2024 (illinois.gov).
Public comments may be submitted to HFS at HFS.HCBSWaiver@Illinois.gov through September 29, 2023.
Family Caregiver Roundtables
The Illinois Department on Aging and its Area Agency on Aging partners in the Aging Network are hosting Family Caregiver Roundtables to gain insight into the needs and challenges of family caregivers.
Attendance is open to adults of all ages who provide some level of unpaid care to an aging parent, spouse, or other family member. As part of your RSVP, please indicate if you are requesting any reasonable accommodations for access and communications needs. Attendees' insights will help shape future policies and initiatives that address the specific concerns of family caregivers across Illinois.
Caregiver Roundtable – Marion Caregiver Roundtable – Centralia
September 15, 2023 (10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) September 15, 2023 (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois BCMW Project BREAD: The Golden Age Senior Ctr. 10400 Terminal Dr., Suite 200 308 McCord & N. Locust St.
Marion, IL 62959 Centralia, IL 60801
RSVP (by September 10) RSVP (by September 8)
(618) 985-8311 firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 532-1853
Caregiver Roundtable – Peoria Caregiver Roundtable – Mount Carmel September 22, 2023 (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) September 25, 2023 (10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) Bradley University - Next Innovation Wabash General Hospital - Board Room 801 W. Main St., Center Room A114 1418 College Dr.
Peoria, IL 61606 Mount Carmel, IL 62863
RSVP by (September 19) RSVP (by September 20)
email@example.com or (309) 674-2071 firstname.lastname@example.org
Caregiver Roundtable – Urbana-Champaign Caregiver Roundtable – Quincy September 26, 2023 (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) September 27, 2023 (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) CRIS Healthy Aging Quincy Senior and Family Resource Ctr.
4116 Fieldstone Rd. 639 York St., Suite 333
Champaign, IL 61822 Quincy, IL 62301
RSVP (by September 22) RSVP (by September 20)
(309) 829-2065 or (800) 888-4456 email@example.com or (217) 223-7904 (ext. 170)
Caregiver Roundtable – Maywood Caregiver Roundtable – Northfield October 16, 2023 (10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) November 2, 2023 (10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) New Hope Christian Ctr. North Shore Senior Ctr.
14 S. 19th Ave. 161 Northfield Rd.
Maywood, IL 60153 Northfield, IL 60093
RSVP (by October 11) RSVP (by October 26)
Cynthia.Ayala@ageoptions.org or (847) 424-5671 or (708) 934-2229
708-934-2229 (ext. 306)
New Public Acts
• Senate Bill 0216 Public Act 103-0064 Effective January 1, 2024 Synopsis:
Amends the Guardianship and Advocacy Act (20 ILCS 3955). Adds Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
information as part of required contents for the guardianship training program.
Amends the Probate Act of 1975(755 ILCS 5). Directs public guardians to complete a one-hour course on Alzheimer's disease and dementia within 6 months of appointment and annually thereafter as a part of certification requirements.
Link: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=216&GAID=17&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=14381 0&SessionID=112&GA=103
• House Bill 2224 Public Act 103-0148 Effective June 30, 2023 Synopsis:
Amends the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200). Provides that unclaimed refunds for erroneous assessments or overpayments shall be presumed to be abandoned and subject to disposition under the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (765 ILCS 1026).
Amends the Probate Act of 1975(755 ILCS 5). Directs representatives to report and remit unclaimed money to the State Treasurer for disposition under the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act when the receipt of a ward, a distributee of an estate, or a claimant cannot be found on and after July 1, 2024.
Amends the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (765 ILCS 1026). Makes conforming changings and various other changes regarding presumption of abandonment, notification responsibilities, and the escheat of abandoned moneys of units of local government and State agencies.
Link: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2224&GAID=17&GA=103&DocTypeID=HB&Le gID=146483&SessionID=112&SpecSess=
• House Bill 1268 Public Act 103-0280 Effective January 1, 2024 Synopsis:
Amends the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5). Permits a person who has been convicted of a felony to act as an executor subject to certain conditions.
Link: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=1268&GAID=17&GA=103&DocTypeID=HB&Le gID=143375&SessionID=112&SpecSess=
• House Bill 2269 Public Act 103-0301 Effective January 1, 2024
Amends the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5). Adds references to “electronic estate planning documents”.
Amends Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act (755 ILCS 6). Changes the short title of the Act to the Electronic Wills, Electronic Estate Planning Documents, and Remote Witnesses Act. Adds various provisions relating to the execution of electronic nontestamentary estate planning documents. Includes new definitions for the following terms: Defines "electronic", "information", "nontestamentary estate planning document", "person", “power of attorney”, "record", "security procedure", "settlor", "sign", "State", "terms of trust", "trust instrument", and "will". Creates the Electronic Nontestamentary Estate Planning Documents Article and includes provisions relating to construction, scope, principles of law and equity, use of an electronic record or signature; recognition of an electronic nontestamentary estate planning document and electronic signature, attribution and effect of an electronic record and electronic signature, notarization and acknowledgment, witnessing and attestation, retention of an electronic record, certification of a paper copy, admissibility in evidence; relation to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, application, and severability.
Link: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=2269&GAID=17&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=1469 86&SessionID=112&GA=103
• Senate Bill 0195 Public Act 103-0475 Effective January 1, 2024 Synopsis:
Amends the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5). Indicates that it is not necessary to file a guardianship petition for a minor if primarily attempting to reduce available resources to qualify for financial assistance at an education institution.
Amends the Educational Planning Services Consumer Protection Act (815 ILCS 616). Makes various changes.
Link: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=195&GAID=17&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=14367 8&SessionID=112&GA=103
House Bill 0219 Public Act 103-0514 Effective August 11, 2023
Amends the Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180). Provides that an action under the Act may be filed to recover punitive damages except in certain instances (i.e., actions for legal and medical malpractice, in an action against a unit of local or State government, or in an action against a local government employee in his or her official capacity.
Amends the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5). Provides that actions for punitive damages for an injury to the person survive. Also clarifies that punitive damages are not available in actions for legal and medical malpractice, in an action against a unit of local or State government, or in an action against a local government employee in his or her official capacity.
Link: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=0219&GAID=17&GA=103&DocTypeID=HB&Le gID=142051&SessionID=112&SpecSess=
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – SSI Rental Subsidy Exception
The Social Security Administration is proposing to expand a rental subsidy exception for In-kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) on a nationwide basis under the Supplemental Security Income Program. This exception is currently in use in Illinois and 6 other states based on recent litigation. Expansion would improve equality and uniformity under this program.
Comments may be submitted online at the following website: Regulations.gov (enter “SSA-2023-0010" in the search bar), and must be received (or postmarked) by 11:59 p.m. on October 23, 2023.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/08/24/2023-18213/expansion-of-the-rental- subsidy-policy-for-supplemental-security-income-ssi-applicants- and?utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list &eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4fc63dd0-25d8-482d-8428-be23a46f827b
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Minimum Staffing Standard for Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish minimum staffing standards for long-term care facilities on September 1, 2023. This action is a part of the Biden-Harris Administration's Nursing Home Reform initiative.
Key provisions include:
• availability of a Registered Nurse (RN) on site 24 hours per day and 7 days per week to provide skilled nursing care to all residents in accordance with resident care plans, subject to limited exemptions
• providing, at a minimum, 0.55 RN hours per resident day (HPRD) and 2.45 Nurse Aide HPRD
• establishing various remedies for noncompliance by nursing homes
• reporting by State Medicaid Agencies regarding the percent of payments for Medicaid-covered services that are spent on compensation for direct care workers and support staff in nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities
• implementation of new requirements on a staggered basis to allow nursing homes sufficient time for preparation
Comments may be submitted online at the following website: Regulations.gov (enter "CMS–3442–P" in the search bar), and must be received (or postmarked) by 11:59 p.m. on November 6, 2023.
https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-minimum-staffing- standards-long-term-care-facilities-and- medicaid#:~:text=On%20September%201%2C%202023%2C%20the,to%20hold%20nursing%20homes% 20accountable
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/02/28/fact-sheet-protecting- seniors-and-people-with-disabilities-by-improving-safety-and-quality-of-care-in-the-nations-nursing- homes/
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)to update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and strengthen prohibitions against discrimination based on disability in health care and human service programs. This action is in part being undertaken to improve consistency with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, the Affordable Care Act, amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, and significant case law.
Key provisions include:
• updating the definition of disability
• clarification of existing requirements prohibiting discrimination based on disability in health care, child welfare, and other human service programs and activities by recipients of financial assistance from HHS
• addition of new requirements prohibiting discrimination in the areas of medical treatment
• clarification of obligations for web, mobile, and kiosk accessibility
• establishment of enforceable standards for accessible medical equipment
• prohibition on the use of value assessment methods that place a lower value on life-extension for individuals with disabilities when that method is used to limit access or to deny aids, benefits, and services
• clarification of obligations to provide services in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities
Comments may be submitted online at the following website: Regulations.gov (enter “RIN 0945- AA15" in the search bar), and must be received (or postmarked) by 11:59 p.m. on November 7, 2023.
https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2023/09/07/hhs-issues-new-proposed-rule-to-strengthen- prohibitions-against-discrimination-on-basis-of-disability-in-health-care-and-human-services- programs.html
Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Kathy Eddy enjoyed a 30-year career working for the Office of the State Guardian. Her last position was that of Guardianship Regional Administrator in Alton, Illinois. She was a National Certified Master Guardian Emeritus. Dedicated to advocacy for persons with disabilities, Ms. Eddy served as an IGA President and worked as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Elder Law.
Her family has set up a memorial fund to benefit Apostolic Christian LifePoints, 2073 Veterans Rd., Morton, IL 61550. This residential facility serving adults with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities has provided care for her family members for decades.
Online condolences and memories may be posted on a tribute wall at www.eliaskallalandschaaf.com.
Autumn Illinois Guardianship Association Conference
The Continuing Education Committee is in the process of finalizing plans for an Autumn Conference which will be held in Springfield on November 8, 2023.
Information about registration will be posted online at https://www.illinoisguardianship.org/ in the future. The Autumn Conference will be an in-person event and presentations will be submitted for approval to award Continuing Education Units and/or Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Credits to those in attendance.
2023 National Conference on Guardianship
The National Guardianship Association will hold its Annual Conference on October 14 – 17, 2023. This conference is being offered in person at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida. Note: The discounted group room rate ends on September 21 and the late registration rate begins on September 22.
Conference Brochure: https://www.guardianship.org/wp-content/uploads/NGA- Conference-Brochure-2023.pdf
Conference Schedule: https://www.guardianship.org/2023conference/