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. Julie was also previously an HCS provider herself for several years. She has worked in the field of both Mental Health and Special Needs for over 30 years. She continues to also provide expert legal witness services concerning various IDD program standards. In addition, Julie sits on various provider human rights committees and consumer advocacy/advisory committees.
She has been a consultant for both programs since 1997, and an owner of Twogether Consulting, Ltd. since 2004.
ICF/IDD Waiver Consultant
Marcus Denman has been a part of the Twogether Consulting team for about the past 5 years and is one of our most knowledgeable consultants. Marcus has over 25 years of experience in providing services for persons with IDD as well as other at-risk populations. He also has many years of business management experience as well.
Marcus has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration as well. He began his career as direct support and later stepped into a QMRP role in the ICF program, and eventually became a Program Director. He has worked for the local authority in Harris County as a service coordinator and as program director. Marcus has worked with providers all over the state of Texas during his career, including The Village Learning & Achievement Center as well as Arrow Ministries for many years.
Marcus’s strong points are program structure/design, budgeting, staff development and training, rules and regulation compliance, and customer service. He has worked in the profit and nonprofit sectors as it pertains to providing care for people with IDD. He has an excellent track record when it comes to building programs and initiating valuable business connections. Marcus is currently the Human Resource Manager for an HCS provider in the Houston area.
Marcus is currently based in the Houston TX area. Marcus will be available for “on-site” consultation services primarily in the following locations and surrounding areas: Houston, Galveston, Sugar Land, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas/Ft. Worth. . He is also available for “off-site” services at any location. Marcus assists providers with many issues. Some of these include but are not limited to: Plans of Corrections, Directive Inservice Trainings, Direct Support Staff Training in the Group Home, Initial Group Home Opening & Admissions, Policies & Procedures, Survey & Audit Prep or Recovery, New Provider Start-Up, Billing In The CARE System and more.
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 is able to assist with the application process for both the AMH-HCBS (Adult Mental Health) and YES (children’s mental health) waiver and really enjoys working with young persons and co-occuring diagnoses.
IDD Waiver Consultant / HCS Waiver Specialist
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.
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.
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!