Local legislators recognized for supporting individuals with disabilities

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Pictured left to right: Sen. John Milkovich, Laura Seabaugh (wife of Rep. Alan Seabaugh), Rep. Dodie Horton, Rep. Larry Bagwell, Susan Gatti (wife of Sen. Ryan Gatti), Wayne McMahen.

Several members of the local state legislative delegation were recognized at Holy Angels Residential Facility in Shreveport on Thursday afternoon.

The event was held as a special appreciation in recognition of local Louisiana law makers for their commitment to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Holy Angels residents, participants, families and staff of providers, Arc of Acadiana, and Evergreen all recognized state legislators who committed to supporting rate adjustments in HB1, The General Appropriations Bill, with a “Top Advocate Award.”

“Parents and families of individuals with disabilities depend on Medicaid for services. Some Louisiana State Legislators are working to help organizations that serve those with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the reimbursement they need to remain in business. This event is an opportunity for us to say ‘Thank You,’ to them directly and publicly,” Kristen Powers, director of development for Holy Angels, said in a press release.

The state began reducing reimbursement rates in February 2009. Every year since then, providers have appealed to the Louisiana Department of Health, particularly the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Management and Finance as well as the Louisiana Legislature, to provide funds to address the needs of those served.