The U.S. Department of State awarded a new “Performance Management and Evaluation Services” IDIQ during the last week of FY 17 to several small and large businesses. WRMA is excited to be a member of one of the winning Small Business teams, leveraging WRMA’s more than 30 years of expertise in evaluation, training and technical assistance, performance measurement and staffing support services. The IDIQ is worth up to $75Million over 5 years with the Small Business Set-Aside Areas include Civilian Security, Rights & Stability and Management initiatives. WRMA looks forward to supporting the State Department’s mission to “Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community,” by amplifying best practices of successful programs and ensuring staff have the tools and resources to advance U.S. foreign policy.
WRMA congratulates the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service for the publication of the “Extent of Trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for 2012-2014.” WRMA was pleased to support this study effort, providing research and analytics services for the publication’s findings and final report, examining the rate of trafficking in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- The rate of trafficking was 1.5 percent of total SNAP benefits, an increase from the estimate of 1.3 percent in the 2009-2011 study;
- The total value of trafficked benefits increased to an estimated $1.1 billion annually, reflecting the overall growth in SNAP participation and benefits, and the slightly higher trafficking rate;
- About 11.8 percent of all authorized SNAP stores engaged in trafficking.
WRMA has supported the Food and Nutrition Service division of the USDA for more than 5 years, having completed multiple studies in the areas of program integrity and IT feasibility studies.
WRMA is pleased to congratulate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living (ACL), on its release of the first Federal report on nationally collected data on the maltreatment of older adults and adults with disabilities. ACL released this report on August 29, 2017 at the National Adult Protective Services Association conference. The conference participants expressed their enthusiasm regarding this monumental moment with a standing ovation.
This initial report is the first in a series of reports based on first-year data submission to the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS). This is the first comprehensive, national reporting system for Adult Protective Services (APS) programs.
In partnership with ACL, and as the primary contractor, WRMA has been supporting this important effort since 2013. ACL, in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), contracted with WRMA in 2013 (contract #HHSP23320095656WV) to implement a 2-year effort to design, develop, and pilot a national reporting system for APS. After the successful pilot, ACL contracted with WRMA to run the National Adult Protective Services Resource Center (contract #HHSP233201500042I) to fully implement NAMRS and to provide expert technical assistance and guidance to assist in enhancing state APS systems. This included improvements in APS practices, APS services, the collection of APS data, and supporting states with NAMRS submission.
NAMRS is a voluntary data reporting system collecting data from state and local APS programs. Forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories contributed data to NAMRS in its inaugural year. Please note, we refer to the states, district and territories collectively as “states”. This extremely successful level of voluntary participation reflects the value that leaders in the field of adult maltreatment place on this data.
On behalf of ACL, WRMA engaged states and began providing training and technical assistance in preparation for the national implementation of NAMRS. Office of Management and Budget approval was received in March of 2017 and states submitted data for the Federal Fiscal Year 2016 (Oct. 2015-Sept. 2016) by April 2017. ACL and WRMA were very aware of the desire to see data quickly and made a concentrated effort to develop an initial report by August 2017, within four months of the submission of data.
The WRMA NAMRS team recognizes and appreciates the tremendous effort by the states, District of Columbia, and territories in preparing and submitting the data. We value our work with ACL and the continued opportunity to collaborate to improve the quality of data collection. WRMA shares the vision with the APS community that with quality data comes invaluable information that will ultimately offer better protection, improved programs, and increased support for older adults and adults with disabilities.
WRMA played an active role in the 2017 National Conference on State & Territory Child Care Administrators. This year the conference focused on the past two years of implementing the Child Care and Development Fund Reauthorization and what lessons can be learned from research data, technical assistance and examples of innovative administration practices. Building on WRMA’s work managing the National Center on Subsidy Innovation & Accountability (NCSIA), WRMA took part in the planning committee and played key roles in leading presentations on topics including Criminal Background Checks, 12-Month Eligibility/Wait Lists, Market Rate Surveys/Alternate Methodologies, and Efficiencies and Coordination of Federal Funding Streams. Sponsored by the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, all 56 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia meet annually at this premier conference. This was a team effort with Bob Frein and Leigh Ann Bryan participating in the STAM planning committee and staff presenting at major sessions at the conference, including Theresa Campisi, Mary Beth Jackson, Brad Kramer, Jeanie Mills, Leigh Ann Bryan, and Bob Frein.
WRMA will be presenting at the Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association this coming November in Washington, D.C. Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Dewey, this panel will highlight key issues in the ongoing development of three U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-funded projects that collect, analyze, and report key information on vulnerable populations. Panelists representing the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, and the Children’s Mental Health Initiative will lead a dynamic discussion. Topics will include: 1) the consensus building and negotiation process between contractors, federal agencies, states, researchers, and other stakeholders to determine data needs; 2) building and regularly updating systems to collect and store data that may change over time based on funding priorities and other themes including key project successes and challenges.
On June 6-9, 2017, WRMA staff presented at the “One Child Many Hands Conference” hosted by the Field Center at the University of Pennsylvania. WRMA’s panel was entitled Partnering for Impact: Identifying Opportunities for Early Intervention. Our panel included three papers which used evidence-based findings to advance prevention efforts within child welfare. Two of our papers used National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems data – providing a retrospective analysis identifying characteristics associated with child fatalities, and an analysis of child maltreatment perpetrators focused on predictors of recidivism. Our panel provided cross-context research findings to elucidate early indicators of maltreatment and facilitate child maltreatment prevention programs. WRMA presenters included Jennifer Dewey, Ph.D., Nicole B. Fettig, Ph.D., and Gila R. Shusterman, Ph.D. as well as Mary Jo Ortiz providing analysis support.
Traumatic Brain Injury — Performance Measures for Results: With the increased and well-deserved attention to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in communities across America, WRMA is excited to be supporting the work of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). WRMA’s experts are planning, designing, and developing performance data measures for the Traumatic Brain Injury State Implementation Partnership Grant Program. WRMA is tasked with ensuring that the measures developed are feasible for the TBI grantees and fit with other existing measures collected as part of ACL’s overall performance plan.
Child Care — Enhancing Access, Safety & Accountability: WRMA is pleased to be providing technical assistance to American Indian and Alaskan Native Tribes that support implementation and operation of the Child Care Development Block Grant funds. We are providing our significant experience and expertise in supporting child care eligibility programs and processes in Tribal settings. WRMA is also designing and developing a monitoring system that includes a robust database, data warehouse, reporting functions, and a user-friendly dashboard approach. Lastly, as the lead for the National Center on Child Care Subsidy Innovation and Accountability, WRMA is designing a pilot web-based technology solution that will allow States and Territories to exchange confidential criminal, sex offender, and child abuse and neglect information for child care employees who previously lived in another State or Territory.
Strengthening the VA’s IT Infrastructure for America’s Veterans: As part of a task order supporting the VA’s Enterprise Systems Engineering (ESE) mission, WRMA focuses on system optimization, improvement of design, testing, integration and interoperability throughout the enterprise and provides engineering services to the ESE team. Our corporate leadership’s expertise in staff augmentation and our passion for the VA have come together for the benefit of our nation’s veterans.
WRMA, Inc. welcomes Mr. Karl Urban as Senior Research Manager. Mr. Urban’s primary area of focus will be leading the technical assistance efforts of the Adult Protective Services National Technical Assistance Resource Center (APS TARC). WRMA was recently rewarded a four-year contract from the Administration on Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to operate the APS TARC. Mr. Urban’s experience leading the Texas APS program, one of the leading programs in the country, will help ensure establishment of a high-quality Resource Center with the goal of improving the quality of APS services around the county. “Mr. Urban will contribute planning, performance management and policy analysis to other projects, particularly in the areas of aging and long-term services and support. We are excited to have his expertise as WRMA moves forward into serving adult aging populations,” said Judy Sebastian, CEO of WRMA Inc.
Prior to joining WRMA, Mr. Urban had a 25-year career in Texas state government, culminating in serving as a Director and Assistant Commissioner in the Adult Protective Services program. Prior to APS, Mr. Urban worked on aging and disability issues, including serving as Manager of Policy Analysis and Support at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Deputy Director at the Texas Department on Aging, and as a member of multiple state councils including the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Mr. Urban’s experience has also included planning, policy analysis and evaluation, and consulting positions at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Office of the Governor. Mr. Urban has been presenter/trainer at numerous conferences and meetings including those of the U.S. Administration on Aging, American Society on Aging, Texas Conference on Aging, Texas APS Conference, among others, and has testified before Congress and the Texas Legislature on numerous occasions.
About WRMA, Inc. WRMA, Inc. is a woman-owned small business with more than 30 years of experience and expertise in research, evaluation, performance measurements and monitoring, and IT analytic services. Our clients include federal, state, and local governments as well as non-profit organizations (including foundations) and for-profit corporations. WRMA’s primary mission is to provide system-wide improvements in support of the delivery of health, development, and human service programs, particularly for at-risk and disenfranchised populations.
On March 26, 2015 WRMA was awarded a new task order by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Evaluation Methods of Part C Fundsproject. With partner The Mission Analytics Group, WRMA’s technical expertise and experience in support of RWHAP positioned the company to secure this new partnership with HRSA.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States. Treatment advances have made it feasible to end new infections while treating HIV as a chronic disease. Given that nearly 1 in 7 individuals are unaware of their HIV infection, and of those aware, only 40% are retained in medical care and 30% are virally suppressed, there is still much work to be done. WRMA recognizes that the RWHAP plays an essential part in addressing these gaps to effectively respond to the HIV epidemic.
The purpose of this project is to address the lack of historical variation in Objective Review Committee scores and subsequent allocations while incorporating a model that addresses the methodological and policy issues noted above. Key goals of the project fall into five areas: (1) To link funding to current indicators of need; (2) To ensure that the limited RHWAP Part C EIS funding is spent on delivering services in geographic areas and to those patients most in need; (3) To ensure that the costs of providing care per patient based on geographic and other healthcare financing issues are factored into the funding awarded to each RWHAP Part C EIS grantee; and (4) To provide incentives for grantees to focus on programmatic results along the HIV CARE Continuum.
Currently, WRMA and the Mission Analytics Group (WRMA-Mission Team) are collaborating on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s Part A Supplemental Funding-Feasibility Study of Proposed Framework for Allocation of Funds Responsive to Need for the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) of HRSA. In addition, the WRMA-Mission Team recently completed the study Understanding and Monitoring the Interrelationships between Funding Streams in Ryan White-Funded Clinics for HRSA. This study was done to understand how RWHAP grantees provide outpatient health care and essential support services to uninsured and underinsured clients as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes the healthcare funding landscape, as this may require changes in the RWHAP.
WRMA is pleased to continue supporting HRSA in efforts to ensure that vulnerable populations living with HIV have access to critical care and other support services to help ensure a high quality of life.
In March 2015, WRMA was awarded the Program Support Center (PSC) Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The PSC IDIQ is effective beginning in March 2015 for 5 years, with 5 option years, concluding in 2025. WRMA has successfully held the PSC IDIQ previously and is excited to continue supporting the work of the Department and its operating divisions.
The PSC IDIQ is anticipated to have a ceiling of $500 million over its lifetime. The IDIQ will support the mission of HHS—promoting the health, welfare, and income security of the American people. The Department, its operating divisions, and agencies implement and advise on programs that support the well-being of all Americans.
A woman-owned small business, WRMA has worked closely with the Department across multiple operating divisions including the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Providing rigorous research and evaluation services for the well-being of vulnerable populations in the United States, WRMA’s 30 years of expertise supports programs that promote child welfare, substance abuse treatment and prevention, and the creation of customized data monitoring systems for at-risk populations. “WRMA is excited to continue partnering with HHS leadership as it seeks to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable communities,” said Judy Sebastian, CEO of WRMA. “We look forward to supporting, children, families, and communities across the country.”