About Twogether Consulting
Twogether Consulting exists to help HCS, ICF/IID, TXHML and CFC providers build a more successful business while improving their quality of service delivery to the individuals in their program and helping them remain in compliance with federal and state regulations.
We are professionals with combined experience of more than 50 years serving individuals with developmental disabilities, in both the public and private sectors. Since 2004, Twogether Consulting has served as consultants to both HCS, TXHL, & ICF providers statewide, assisting them in areas of personnel training, quality assurance, survey and audit preparation and recovery, level of need increases-including medical, development of policies and procedures, plans of correction/corrective action plans, systems integrity plans, Assistance with CARE system, billing issues such as: capturing adequate billing, billing errors and omissions.
The Twogether Team
Julie Andrews Blacklock
Julie Blacklock is a graduate of Southwestern University with a bachelors in psychology (specializing in Child Life & Development and Crisis Intervention). From 1988-1992 Julie worked at Austin State Hospital as a mental health worker. Julie began her career in the developmental disabilities field as direct care.
She worked as a Community Mental Health Case Manager and later on as a Service Coordinator at Austin Travis County MHMR (Now known as Austin Travis County Integrel Care). Julie also worked with various providers in the private sector in the Austin area as a QMRP for ICF and a Case Manager for HCS & TXHmL. She has worked in the field of both Mental Health and Special Needs for over 25 years.
She has been a consultant for both programs since 1997, and an owner of Twogether Consulting, Ltd. since 2004.
IDD Waiver Consultant
Annette Holland recently retired from Rescare (Educare-Austin), where she worked for almost 25 years. Some of you may remember her as Annette Johnson. Her most recent position was as the Executive Director at Rescare in the Austin, Tx Office. Annette is a graduate from Purdue University with distinction, with a Bachelors of Science in Occupational Education.
Annette’s specialty is primarily in the ICF Program, but she is of course also very well-versed in the HCS Waiver Program as well. Annette is currently based out of Austin. She is available for “off-site” consulting services as well as some “on-site” work, primarily DIT’s (Directive Inservice Trainings) for the ICF program, as well as Survey Prep and Plans of Corrections/Corrective Action Plans for the ICF and HCS programs. Annette will be available for off-site services primarily in the following locations: Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Houston area, as well as the Valley and West Texas.
Annette will also be working with persons applying to be an HCS &/or TXHML Provider and who wish to go through the Application Process and New Provider Orientation, and Training.
Zernalyn “Lynn” Palmares
IDD Waiver & DH/SE Consultant
Lynn worked in California for 7 years doing a variety of jobs in social services for the IDD population. She worked mainly in Vocational Rehabilitation, Supported Employment and Dual Diagnosis Recovery in California and also worked in some of these types of services in Texas as well. She has worked in these programs as well as HCS, TXHML and ICF for about the last 15 years. Lynn is also an expert at “staff rentention” and has recently begun developing some classes/training that we will be available for program directors, owners, and Human Resource staff in the next year through Twogether Consulting.
Lynn started out as a QIDP in the ICF program and then went on to work for 5 years in the HCS program as both a case manager and a Program Director. Lynn also spent 5 years in Assertive Community Treatment programs in California and Texas. She has worked in various positions in IDD waiver services in Texas, including: QIDP, Case manager, Program Director, Vocational/ Habilitation Director.
Lynn is our resident Day Habilitation and Supported Employment/Employment Assistant specialist. She is also a great source for finding resources in the Denton/Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington area. She is based in Arlington, Tx. Lynn is great at thinking “outside the box” and works closely with some of our clients who are Day Hab Providers, Non-Profit programs providing contracted waiver services, especially. Lynn also helps providers with development and maintenance of their Day Habilitation and Vocational services and has spent a bit of time helping providers of these services prepare for the changes coming in the coming years to these services. She is also able to help the provider with training and cirriculum to show your staff how to help teach the individuals in the program and for the programming for individuals themselves.
She can also provide guidance with development of your “vocational assessment tools” and assessments that help staff to better understand how each of the individuals in your day program/vocational program learns new skills, which should help tremendously in individualizing their plan of care.
Lynn also assists ICF and HCS providers with Corrective Action Planning & Plans of Corrections mostly in the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington area. Lynn is our other consultant who works with New Providers/Start Up’s. Lynn currently is employed with a provider of the YES waiver in the Arlington provider, and really enjoys working with young persons and co-occuring diagnoses.
IDD Waiver Consultant / HCS Waiver Specialist
RN (IDD Wiaver / Nursing Home Compliance)
Gina Peterson, RN, has been a part of the Twogether team for over 6 years and is one of our main nursing educators for training sessions/classes.
Gina has over 20 years experience working with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the elderly population. Gina worked as a nurse consultant for HCS providers in San Antonio and Houston TX and for an ICF provider in Livingston, TX. She has also been very active in the past with PPAT serving on several recent committees.
Gina was a State Surveyor for Department of Aging and Disability Services (Geriatric Surveyor Team an HCSSA Surveyor) from 2008-2010. She is also an experienced Long Term Care Nurse and was a Regional Director of Compliance for 6 Nursing Homes out in the community as well as an Acting Director of Nurses in Katy, Texas. Gina worked as a Director of Nurses and Home Care Consultant for Quality Nursing Care in Houston, TX for 10 years and most recently in Buffalo, New York for about a year.
In 1994, Gina participated in the Health Care Forum presented by the National Association of Home Care. Gina was one of 51 representatives from HealthRIGHT, an organization promoting national discussion on health care. Gina was chosen by NAHC (National Association of Home Care) as the New York State representative to testify on Hillary Clinton’s subcommitee on Healthcare Reform. The organization went to Washington, D.C. to testify to congress and raise awareness to the Clinton administration of health care problems that American citizens faced on a daily basis. Gina was also a clinical liaison nurse for the Visiting Nurses Association of Western New York.
Gina is a Federally Certified State Surveyor (SMQT), by CMS. She is available for assistance with Nursing Home Compliance issues such as: Nursing Home Survey Preparation, Plans of Corrections, and assistance with Immediate Jeopardy Corrections.
Gina’s provides assistance with Nursing Peer Review Process, Developing a Nurse Peer Review Process, Training Nurses in HCS, ICF and TxHmL programs , Training for Direct Support Staff and HH/CC (Host Home Companion Care) Providers in Supervision of Medications and Medical Tasks, Development of Nursing Policies & Protocol for Providers, and CNE Course Development, Survey Preparation and Recovery (in particular Corrective Action Planning for Nursing Citations), Plans of Correction in the ICF Program, DIT’s (Directive Inservice Trainings mandated by state surveyors at times to address serious tags/citations or immediate jeopardy) and Assistance with Immediate Jeopardy.
Gina has recently also become the sole proprietor of her own business where she helps with a variety of nursing consultation services for the elderly, and nursing homes. She has recently begun providing RN Consultation to Nursing Home Facilities as well, with Twogether Consulting concerning plans of corrections, polices and survey preparation.
Gina is currently based in Galveston, TX. Gina will be available for on-site nursing consultation services primarily in the following locations and surrounding areas: Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi, Victoria, San Antonio, McAllen/Brownsville and Dallas/Ft. Worth area as well as West Texas. She is available for “off-site” services at any location.
Kim received a Bachelors in Social Work from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. She also has a Masters in Special Education from Texas Tech University.
From 1991-1998 Kim was the Management and Program Evaluation Services Director at Lubbock State Supported Living Center.
Kim was the IDD Director of Services at StarCare Specialty Health System (formally known as Lubbock MHMR) from 1998 until May of 2013.
Kim’s specialty is the ICF program, but she is also well versed in the HCS & TXHmL programs. Kim has a vast amount of knowledge and extensive experience in the areas of developing policy and procedure, working with budgets and finances for large facilities, oversight of employees and maintaining a good work environment for employees, as well as rules and regulations in the state of Texas and New Mexico concerning IDD services.
Kim is currently the Executive Director of Gentiva Hospice and lives in Portales, New Mexico (which is not too far from Clovis, New Mexico and she is approximately 2 hrs from Lubbock, TX). Kim is available to serve our providers in much of West Texas as well as Dallas/Ft. Worth area and neighboring states.
IDD Services Consultant / SAMA Instructor
Stacie joined Twogether Consulting Team in April of 2015. We are so pleased she is on our team. Stacie has experience as a Case Manager and a Program Director.
She was a Case Manager for many years at “Forgotten Angels” in Pearland, TX, and built many long lasting relationships with her consumers and their families. She later became the Interim Program Director before moving on to a new career at as an IDD consultant part-time with Twogether Consulting. Stacie then became the Program Director with Empowerment Options Inc. (in both HCS & TXHmL as well as the ICF program for the Houston Area). Stacie later served as the Regional Director for Houston, Austin, and Conroe. She was with Empowerment Options for approximately 3 years. She has now moved on to bigger and better things as the case manager/case coordinator for a small provider that is very near and dear to her, “A Treasure of Dreams” and continues to work with Twogether Consulting as both a IDD Consultant and SAMA Instructor.
Stacie is a great Case Manager and she has an awesome record of “zero” deficiencies for ICF Homes and “zero” citations for most of her HCS Contracts she oversaw at “Empowerment Options”. Stacie is also a certified SAMA (Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression) instructor and currently she contracts with Twogether Consulting to provide SAMA training.
Meghan Jones is our awesome Admin. Assistant, otherwise known as our “Jill of All Trades”. She handles our registration, keeps up with our enormous provider contact list, our company schedule and calendar, and she is our main point of contact for scheduling, other than myself.
Meghan will also begin assisting Annette Holland and Julie Blacklock with the HCS and TxHmL provider applications. We are so lucky to have her, and we couldn’t get by without our Meghan!