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Tonya Hales

Bureau Director, Authorization and Community Based Services

Utah State Tax Commission

Direct Phone: (801) ***-****       

Email: t***@***.gov

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Utah State Tax Commission

210 N 1950W

Salt Lake City, Utah 84134

United States

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Background Information

Web References (6 Total References)

A series of questions were answered ... [cached]

A series of questions were answered by Keith and Amy McGuire, Tonya Hales of the Utah Department of Health, and the speakers above:

Tonya Hales of the Utah ... [cached]

Tonya Hales of the Utah Department of Health addressed some of the concerns during the web chat.

"Overwhelmingly, the feedback that we're getting is positive," Hales said about the program, which started in December.
But she admitted there have been "bumps in the road," especially for rural families trying to connect with therapists. Hales explained the program allows for therapists to Skype, or web chat, with such families.
Hales explained that ABA therapy has been supported by many empirical studies, and is the therapy approved by the Legislature.
Parent Angie Watterson discussed her 5-year-old son, James, one of the 250 children participating in the new program. She said she first noticed symptoms after he turned two years old.
Hales said the department will give an update on the two-year pilot program in November to the Legislature.

Watch a replay of a Trib ... [cached]

Watch a replay of a Trib Talk live video chat about the program with Jennifer Napier-Pearce, Tonya Hales of the Utah Department of Health and Utah Autism Coalition president Jon Owen.

Tonya Hales, who oversees ... [cached]

Tonya Hales, who oversees community-based Medicaid services for the Utah Department of Health, acknowledges barriers exist for rural families. But early delays in care were unavoidable because providers didn't have the staff to immediately respond to dozens of families suddenly seeking services, she said.

On June 1, there were 20 families still waiting for their first therapy visit, she said. By the end of June, there were six, some due to tight family schedules or a switch in providers. Initially, Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties didn't receive enough applications to fill their allocated number of slots.
Reporting early progress to Utah lawmakers will be a challenge, Hales said. "But I think we'll have a baseline measurement and six-month update for about 150 to 170 children by this fall."
Most rural and urban families in the pilot program report great satisfaction, she said. "We're happy with the way the program has gone, considering the complexity of it."
O On Tuesday at noon, Jennifer Napier-Pearce will moderate a Trib Talk live video chat at about Utah's free autism treatment program, joined by Tonya Hales, of Utah's Department of Health, and Utah Autism Coalition President Jon Owen.

Agency Members [cached]

Tonya Hales , RN - Medicaid Long Term Care Services

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