UPDATE: 12/02/2022, 4:46 p.m.

The event will take place on Thursday, December 8, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at HHS’s Prairie Hills Plaza offices, (1237 West Divide Avenue, Suite 6), in Bismarck.

The original story had an incorrect date.

ORIGINAL: 11/29/2022, 4:00 p.m.

BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — During the first half of 2022, North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) stated that their Disability Resource Link was contacted by 6,839 individuals specifically seeking information about in-home and community-based support services — that’s almost as many people as the entire population of Watford City.

In response to the outcry, the Department’s agency programs did their best, helping to improve the quality of life of many North Dakotans with disabilities. Their resources allowed 2,893 individuals to live at home with support services and helped 62 others move from nursing homes back into community housing with much-needed support. Despite this, however, there are still many who have gone without the needed support thanks to factors beyond their control — with a lack of affordable housing and in-home support service providers being two major hurdles that must be overcome.

According to a press release from ND Health and Human Services, they are inviting adults with physical disabilities, advocates, care providers, and any concerned individual to take part in a listening and discussion session in order to raise awareness of these challenges and outline solutions to them.

During this meeting, HHS Aging Services’ Section Director Nancy Maier will show highlights from the state’s most recent report to their federal partners, review planned benchmarks for year three of their agreement, and inform all participants about HHS’s latest efforts to support and enlarge caregiver support — including the use of a new qualified service provider support hub, rate studies, and incentive grants.

Following these points, Medicaid care levels and their annual redetermination requirements will be brought up, as will the ‘person-centered planning’ that HHS team members use while working with those seeking to move out of nursing homes or remain in their communities with support.

The meeting will also feature a representative from the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, who will discuss the state housing needs assessment. The general assembly will conclude with open time for stakeholders to share questions, concerns, and recommendations.

The event will take place on Thursday, December 18, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at HHS’s Prairie Hills Plaza offices, (1237 West Divide Avenue, Suite 6), in Bismarck. Attendees are asked to enter from Door 2. The meeting can also be attended virtually or by telephone. For details on joining the meeting online, visit this page.

Individuals who would like to attend the event, but require disability accommodations, can contact Michelle Curtis at 701-328-8679, 711 (TTY), or mimcurtis@nd.gov. More information on disability resources can be found by visiting this link or emailing carechoice@nd.gov.