Friday, July 22, 2011

Contact your Congressperson!

The implementation of electronic Health Information Technology (HIT), required by the Affordable Care Act by 2014, represents a major change to the way that most LCSWs conduct their practices today. The cost of HIT software is estimated to be $44,000 per provider (Office of the National Coordinator, 2010). For physicians and hospitals, this cost will be covered by $2.7 billion which was built into the HITECH Act of 2009.

LCSWs and other mental health clinicians were not included as eligible for these funds, though we are expected to comply with HITECH requirements to receive Medicare payments (and most likely payment from all insurers). S. 539, the Behavioral Health IT Act, will make these funds available to mental health clinicians as well.

This is federal regulations so make sure to contact your FEDERAL congresspersons (not NC Legislators). Let them know to include social workers in an incentives package! To find who represents you federally, click here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Long Time Child Advocate Receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award

Tom Vitaglione Receives High Honor from Governor Perdue

Raleigh, NC - Tom Vitaglione, Senior Fellow for Health and Safety at Action for Children North Carolina and Co-Chair of the Child Fatality Task Force, was honored by Governor Beverly Perdue yesterday with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

"It has been said that John Chapman, or Johnny Appleseed as we know him, scattered seeds of kindness and love across America," said State Senator Bill Purcell, who presented the award to Vitaglione yesterday. "No one has scattered seeds of kindness and love better than the man we honor today, Tom Vitaglione."

For three decades, Vitaglione served in the N.C. Division of Public Health as chief of the Children & Youth section of the Division of Women's & Children's Health. In that capacity, Vitaglione supervised all health programs for the state's youth, including a wide range of prevention and specialized services. He was instrumental in promoting and bringing about the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and was a strong advocate for the Infant Homicide Prevention Act.

After his retirement from the Division of Public Health, Vitaglione co-chaired the Child Fatality Task Force, a legislative study commission working to reduce child deaths, and served as Senior Fellow in Health and Safety for Action for Children North Carolina for 11 years. Vitaglione plans to retire from Action for Children and the Task Force in August.

Vitaglione also serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Malawi Children's Village (MCV), a village-based support program for orphans and other vulnerable children in Mangochi, Malawi. MCV provides shelter, food, safety, health care and education to over 2,000 HIV/AIDS orphans living with members of their extended family in 37 villages. Vitaglione and wife Eve served as Peace Corps volunteers in Malawi from 1965 to 1967 and have been involved with MCV since the project's inception. They plan to spend more time in Malawi after Vitaglione's retirement in August.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is one of the highest honors the governor can bestow on a North Carolina citizen. Created in the mid 1960s, the award is given to residents in recognition of a proven record of service or some other special achievement. Past recipients include such famous Tar Heels as Maya Angelou, Billy Graham, Michael Jordan, Bob Timberlake and Rick Hendrick, along with longtime state employees, prominent business executives and noted politicians, athletes, musicians, actors and advocates.

Action for Children North Carolina is a leading statewide nonprofit organization based in Raleigh and is the 2008 winner of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits' Nonprofit Sector Stewardship Award. Since its founding in 1983, Action for Children has been the leading voice for North Carolina's children. Action for Children is the KIDS COUNT partner in North Carolina and the state affiliate of the national organization, Voices for America's Children.

For more information, visit

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Benefits in Health Insurance

A study, first of it's kind, shows the benefits in providing health insurance to the poor. Click here to read the story from The New York Times.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The case for title protection in Philly

We, at NASW-NC, believe social work is a degree and not a title just anyone can use. Here is a case example from Philadelphia.

Click here to view the article from Social Workers Speak.

Disability Rights North Carolina wants you to weigh in!

Disability Rights North Carolina is North Carolina's protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities living in North Carolina. We provide individual and systems advocacy, including legal representation, to people with disabilities when their rights are violated. We uphold the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws.

Each year, we establish Targets which guide the expenditure of Disability Rights NC's resources for the coming year. The Targets drive the work that we do. They influence which cases we take and to whom we will provide direct representation. In 2010, we received more than 2,100 calls for assistance but had the resources to provide direct advocacy for only 870 callers.

On June 17, 2011, the Board of Directors of Disability Rights NC tentatively approved its Targets for 2012. Those 2012 Targets are now out for public comment. The Board will carefully consider all public input we receive before finalizing our annual Targets.

Our 2012 Targets focus on the impact of the state budget cuts to services for people with disabilities. They also reflect the requirements of our federal funders.

Please let us know what you think about the proposed 2012 Targets by responding to this brief survey at:

If you need assistance in completing this survey, contact Janice Willmott at 919-856-2195.

Thursday, July 7, 2011