SDS websiteOnline version
SDS Newsletter January 2018


My crew and I have been criss-crossing the state, from Barrow to Ketchikan and Dillingham and back, for many months now to tell program participants and their families about new federal opportunities for home- and community-based services programs, then about the results of the study SDS commissioned on the options.

I feel like a therapist – everywhere we go, I strive to give people hope. Yes, times are lean, budget-wise, but we’ve been working very hard for years now to make our operations as efficient as possible. This will help us stretch limited resources, and make our programs as sustainable as possible so they are there in the future for the Alaskans who need them.

Now, the result of all this work to make services more sustainable in tough economic times is on the horizon. Read more in our story about new HCBS options pending for this spring.

Another great advance is the Harmony data management system, newly in use.

It’s SDS staff who are making these transitions to creative new options a reality, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work.

May your new year be filled with kindness and good humor.



Duane Mayes, Division Director
Senior and Disabilities Services


Harmony is online! SDS' new data management system started Jan. 16

Finally! SDS staff have started using Harmony, the division’s new data management system that has been in the works for years. The system replaces several old data-tracking systems — some paper-based. Read more...


Upcoming trainings: Harmony and more

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions “Learn how to use Harmony”? The SDS training unit is ready to help harmonious use of SDS’s new data management system happen in your near future! Read more...

ADRCs and STARs: The front door to SDS

A new Fairbanks ADRC is coming in summer 2018!

Alaska’s Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) and STARS (Short-Term Assistance and Referral Services) agencies are doing a great job at being the front door to SDS services, said SDS Director Duane Mayes. The agencies prescreen Alaskans who need supports of one kind or another to determine who could be connected with easy-access community programs right away, and who should proceed with the involved process of applying for SDS programs like Medicaid waiver services. Read more...

HCBS reforms on the horizon for spring

The two new programs, Community First Choice and the Individualized Support Waiver, are both slated to begin in spring, around March or April. Read more...

Recruiting for APS manager

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate to be the manager of our Adult Protective Services unit? Please encourage them to apply! This position is responsible for planning, development and management of the statewide Adult Protective Services Unit and General Relief Assisted Living Program.

Duties include program planning, development, administration, and outreach to community partners.

Former manager Kelda Barstad moved to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. She took a position that was left open when former SDSer Amanda Lofgren moved from the Trust to become director the Alaska Pioneer Homes Division in the summer of 2017.


Welcome to our new administrative operations manager

Welcome, Hilary Porter! Hilary has been onboard as our new administrative operations manager since Aug. 16, 2017.

She’s responsible for managing the division’s administrative functions and works closely with SDS leadership managing the division’s budget.

“My goal is to ensure the administrative staff continue providing the outstanding level of support already taking place in the division,” Porter said, and that the team makes “an ongoing effort to be more efficient in how we conduct business and manage the division’s budget.”

Porter was born and raised in Juneau. She started with the state in 2005 as an administrative clerk then administrative assistant for the Department of Education and Early Development. Next she was a leasing officer in DHSS’ Finance Management Services division.

“I really enjoyed working in procurement and decided to continue that career track,” she said, which lead her to become a Procurement Specialist III at the Department of Revenue, then a Procurement Specialist IV in the Department of Administration for three years where she had full responsibility and management of the department’s procurement functions.

Fun fact: Outside of work, everyone calls her Porter, not Hilary.
Favorite sports to watch: Basketball and soccer.
Favorite sport to play: Soccer.



The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act took effect as state law Jan. 1, 2017.
The CARE Act supports family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The law requires hospitals to:

Alaska became the 32nd state or territory to sign the CARE Act via Senate Bill 72. The bill’s requirements can be found in Alaska Statute 18.20.500- 18.20.590.

AARP, which supported the legislation, has an Alaska-specific CARE Act wallet card you can download and keep with your insurance card to have info handy if you need it.

The State of Alaska, Senior & Disabilities Services
Employee & Provider Newsletter
240 Main Street, Suite 601 - Juneau, AK 99811-0680 - (907) 465-3372
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