2010 Gold Star Award
November 2, 2010
|Lisa Bernhardt and Adrienne Hallett accept their 2010 AUCD Gold Star Awards|
Adrienne Hallett, MTS and Lisa Bernhardt, MPP, awarded 2010 AUCD Gold Star Awards
Adrienne Hallett, MTS, and Lisa Bernhardt, MPP, professional staff of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, received the 2010 Gold Star Award today at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference.
The AUCD Gold Star Award is presented to a Capitol Hill staffer who exemplifies a true partnership in crafting strong public policy. This award recognizes the staffer for his/her professional and personal efforts to craft policy and implement programs with input from AUCD and the greater disability community, thus supporting AUCD in achieving its mission to advance policy and practice for and with people living with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.
From the presentation ceremony:
Since 2001, Adrienne has served on the Majority staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies. Her oversight responsibilities include the Health Resources Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and AmeriCorps. Most recently, Adrienne helped to advocate for the highest possible funding level for the Prevention and Wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act, provisions that were advanced by her boss, Chairman Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa and long-time friend and champion of the disability community. Because of her efforts, the Senate funding bill (not yet passed) provides a significant amount of funding for research on prevention and public health, programs that improve the health and wellness of all people, including people with disabilities, and workforce provisions, such as loan repayment for primary care professionals and specialists.
Adrienne has also been, and continues to be, instrumental in ensuring that sufficient funding is provided for the Combating Autism Act of 2006 to expand existing and establish new Leadership Education and Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs in states that do not have one. Since the Combating Autism Act was signed into law, the number of LEND programs have increased from 35 in 2006 to 39 in 2010. Funding for the LEND program has increased by $7.5 million over the period since enactment.
Because of Adrienne's work on appropriations hundreds of professionals have received advanced training to work with individuals on the autism spectrum. This training was made possible by increased funding to the LEND programs through the Combating Autism Act. Workforce development is a critical issue in improving the lives of all those affected by autism, Adriane's work on the Combating Autism Act has greatly increased our ability to meet that need.
AUCD thanks you, Adrienne, wholeheartedly for working with our Association and the disability community to support and advance programs that foster independence and the quality of lives of people with developmental and other lifelong disabilities."
Lisa is a Professional Staff Member for the Majority on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education. During her past ten years on the Subcommittee Lisa has had oversight and funding responsibility for a wide range of social service and health accounts. Her current responsibilities include negotiating funding levels for programs relating to the Older Americans Act, healthcare quality, substance abuse and mental health, bioterrorism and pandemic influenza. However, prior to this year, the University Centers for Excellence were also in her portfolio.
Lisa has always actively reached out to AUCD and the UCEDDs to get information about the research, education, and training needs of people with developmental and other disabilities. She has a great relationship with the Iowa UCEDD. Having worked on both sides of the aisle, for both Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Tom Harkin, Lisa works in a non-partisan fashion, focusing on the needs of individuals and programs, not politics.
Over the past six years, funding for the UCEDD program has increased by over $11 Million, allowing the UCEDDS to add an additional 6 Centers to the network. A $1 Million increase is included for the UCEDDS in the FY 2011 Senate Labor H Appropriations bill. Because of these increases, university centers for excellence are able to support additional training initiatives for critical and emerging national needs, such as improving supported employment, developing effective services for people with autism spectrum disorder, and supporting returning veterans. In addition, the Administration was able to fund two small minority-based partnerships which will focus on research, training and services and for minority populations with disabilities.
AUCD thanks you, Lisa, wholeheartedly for working with our Association and the disability community to support and advance programs that foster independence and the quality of lives of people with developmental and other lifelong disabilities."
Established in 1971, AUCD is a membership organization comprised of three national networks of interdisciplinary, university-based Centers dedicated to research, education, leadership training, policy development, and direct service for people with disabilities.