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February 2017
Ohhhhh, We're half way there!  Ohhhh Ohhhh, through winter that is. (C'mon, you know you sang it too.)

  We have some exciting news to tell you all about!
Remember all the way back to last month when we told you that we had been busy recording an HMIS New User Training and Quiz that new HMIS users could complete on their own prior to receiving a log in? Well, it is now available on our website! Now, when new staff are ready to begin entering data into the AWARDS HMIS database they will no longer need to wait until a scheduled training is held. Although we will still be offering them for those who want to attend. Our policy requiring written permission from a supervisor and a signed user agreement being submitted prior to receiving a log in is sill in effect, with the addition that if a new user completes the recorded training on their own time they will also have to complete a new user quiz and submit their test results (much like the annual user review) as well. The recorded training can be accessed from the Training page located within the HMIS section of our website.  

  Wait..... Did someone just mention the Annual User Review?
We still have some users that have not completed the user review and submitted the required paperwork. Effective February 15th, any users that have not completed and returned the user review quiz and signed user agreement will have their log in's disabled, If you have not done so yet you can find both items here Please complete and return both to your Customer Service Rep (Sue or Kelli) no later than 5:00pm February 15th. 
 Agency and Data Sharing Agreements were mailed out on January 13th to all of our participating agencies. If you have not received yours yet please contact your Customer Service Rep to request a new copy.

  We have some more exciting updates, changes, and deployments being released this year. Here is a brief update of what is going on behind the scenes with our software provider Foothold Technology....

  "2017 is promising to be a busy year for HMIS. There is already talk about completely new comprehensive Data Standards coming in the fall. The Point In Time report was updated in January, and several other reports are being updated or released in April. On April 1st, the old APR will finally be retired and communities will all begin using the new APR. Some significant changes are being made to the new APR and will be explained in the coming months. A new "HMIS Data Quality" report will also be available by April 1st, which will look at the percentage of missing data, the timeliness of data entry, and the number of inactive records. This new Data Quality report will be both a standalone report and part of the new APR. April 1st will also bring the release of the new PATH Annual Report Survey (ARS)."
  Sounds exciting right? Your CRHMIS Team is committed to remaining up to date with all new policy changes and updates that will take place through out 2017, and as always will be available to provide on-going support, training, clarification, and guidance for our users. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Your CARES Regional HMIS Team

PS.... Terry has posted the Data Completeness reports for 10/1/16 - 1/31/17 on our website, so head on over and take a look. If you do not see your homeless dedicated or homelessness prevention program on the report it is because there was no missing data. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Get to know your HMIS Team!
Questions and Answers with
Nancy Chiarella - Executive Director

1. Where are you from?
   Live in Delmar NY, grew up in Maryland
2. Do you have any pets?
      3, all adopted. 2 dogs and a cat. We also foster kittens with the help of the CARES HMIS team.
3. What is your favorite movie?
     Too many to name. Shawshank Redemption a feel good movie, and a classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
4. What book are you currently reading?
      Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
5. What is the best way to spend a Sunday?
    Lots of coffee, settle in for CBS Sunday Morning Show, then yoga. All before carting 3 teens around
6. Do you have a favorite band/singer?
   Band - U2  Singer - Barbara Streisand 
7. What is your favorite childhood memory?
    Summers on Cape Cod with my family - every year we vacationed for 2 weeks in the same spot
8. Did you do anything exciting over the summer?
   Every summer we vacation at my parents home on the Cape. My favorite thing to do is walk the Mayflower Beach in at low tide with my family, the shoreline is endless, then come back at night for the sunset
9. If you could meet anyone (past or present) and ask them only one question, who would that person be and what question would you ask?
    Eleanor Roosevelt - Why did she decide to take on a life's work of helping people, seemingly ahead of her time. 
10. Coffee or Tea? 
  Coffee! Never tea

Upcoming Events
You can register for any upcoming training(s) by visiting the events calendar at caresny.org

February 20th President's Day - CARES office will be closed

There are no New User Trainings scheduled for the month of February as Kelli will be out of the office in the middle of the month. 

AWARDS TIP: Informed Consent and Data Sharing
We have modified the Informed Consent and Data Sharing Release form based on feed back from our users and the new form is now available in the HMIS User Resources section on our website. 
The feed back we received was that the form may appear confusing to some clients and AWARDS users. We have separated the informed consent and data sharing sections of the form with distinct headings. While working with the HMIS Advisory Committee on the creation of this consent and release it was decided that it would be best not to add more paper work for our clients than necessary, which is why there is only one form. 
We are asking that clients initial on the line provided indicating that they were informed that the agency participates in the CRHMIS database, and that their data will be entered into the secure and private database to better assess and serve their needs. Indicating that this was explained to them is separate from allowing/not allowing their data to be shared with other agencies, and the level that they agree to have their data shared, if applicable. Clients will need to sign this release indicating their decision and the same data share indication must be selected on the data sharing page upon completion of the admission record within AWARDS. If your agency/program is not participating in data sharing the client will not need to sign the release and the data sharing level selection within AWARDS will be left to the default of option C that the client does not agree to have their data shared. 
If you have any questions regarding Informed Consent or Data Sharing please contact Allyson Thiessen, Director of HMIS and Services athiessen@caresny.org
Foster Kitten Update
So it has been over a month with no kittens in the office... And while that really is a good thing (homeless kittens are finding homes) it is eerily quite in our offices. Milo is growing like a weed, and is your typical 6ish month old. Kelli has given up trying to have nice things. It's just not worth it. Toothless is a love bug, and loves all his new brothers and sisters. He is also soaking up all the love from Allyson and her family. Blue, oh Blue.... Hands down our favorite of the foster kittens. No lie, he is probably 3-4 times the size he was when he went to his fur-ever home. His parents adore him, and have even modified a part of their home to make him happy!
Rather than pictures of our foster updates here are some internet kittens that make us smile every time we see them. How cute are they?!?!?!?