Council members present:  

Cyndi Phillips; Pat Highley; Veronica Tess Myers; Elaine Williams; Bettina Brownstein; John Lee Roberts; TaVonda Williams


Council members absent:

LaQuita Kulmaczewski; Lisa Hines; Brenda Martin; Kristen Ritchey

Guest:  Robert Eaton, Alexander Myers, John Jones

DRC Staff:  Tom Masseau

Vice-Chair Veronica Tess Myers called the meeting to order at 10:08 am.  

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Minutes from November 15, 2014 were approved – Motion by John Lee Roberts; second by Elaine Williams.

Public Comment

John Jones introduced himself to the Council.  Mr. Jones provided background of his role working with DRA and his role at the national level.  


Agency & Financial Update

Tom provided an update on agency activity and the Booneville Human Development Center Report.  Tom expressed how difficult it was to get organizations to sign onto a letter indicating their support of the recommendations contained in the report.  Tom discussed how the agency has developed three teams – Employment, Community Services and Juvenile Justice/Education – to better focus on the issues and allow staff additional time to become experts on the areas. Over the course of the remaining fiscal year, DRA will begin the process of building and supporting a strong self-advocate movement here in Arkansas to share stories and help educate the public.  

Tom also provided the DRA Audit for FY ending 2014, in addition to the PAIMI Financial statements for the 1st quarter of FY 2015.


DRA Board Meeting Update

This item was tabled pending the arrival of LaQuita.


Council member reports

  • Pat Highley provided an update on a lecture and training she conducted.
  • Veronica Tess Myers has attended a DDS Subcommittee with DRA Staff.  Ms. Myers updated the Council on a segment Channel 4 did on Alexander.  Ms. Myers also spoke at the Community First Choice Press Conference in February.
  • Elaine Williams reported that her Grandparent Group is still meeting.
  • Bettina is working with the Criminal Law Section of the Bar studying mental health issues.


  • John Lee Roberts spoke with legislators on the community first choice option and the lack of available community supports.   



PAIMI Advisory Council Activities

Discussion ensued with Council Members over what activities they could focus on the remainder of the year.  Areas identified included:

  • Lack of Peer to Peer Support
  • Consumer Advisory Councils
  • Events to raise awareness on mental health issues.
  • Build up the consumer movement in the state.

After discussion, it was determined that Council Members would reach out to various Community Mental Health Centers to ask about the Consumer Advisory Councils.  The questions identified were:

  • When does the Council meet?
  • How many Council members serve?
  • Does the Council have funds to attend consumer trainings?

The goal is to begin identifying was the PAIMI Advisory Council and DRA can provide rights trainings to the Consumer Advisory Council members and support their activities.

The following Council Members volunteered to call a Community Mental Health Center:

  1. John Lee Roberts

Counseling Associates 501.327.4889

Counseling Clinic, Inc. 501.315.4224

Delta Counseling Associates 870.367.9732

Health Resources of Arkansas 870.793.8900

Ozark Guidance Center 479.750.2020


  1. Pat Highley

Little Rock CMHC 501.686.9300

Professional Counseling Associates 501.221.1843


  1. TaVonda Williams

Community Counseling Services, Inc. 501.327.4889


  1. Elaine Williams

SE Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare 870.534.1834

SW Arkansas Counseling & MHC 870.773.4655


  1. LaQuita Kulmaczewski (assigned because of region)

SW Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare 870.862.7921


  1. Tom Masseau

Mid-South Health Systems 870.972.4000

Western Arkansas Counseling & Guidance 479.452.6650

John Lee Roberts volunteered to collect all the information from the calls.  All the information needs to be provided to John Lee Roberts by March 27th.

The Council also discussed other activities such as trainings; sharing stories with others; a planned event such as “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”


Future Trainings

Future trainings coming up this year include:  NARPA and the Behavioral Health Institute.



There was discussion regarding the absence of LaQuita and Lisa at the meeting despite both of them coming down to Little Rock on Friday.  Council members were looking for an update to the DRA meeting held in January.  Tom informed members that LaQuita arrived at the January Board Meeting 30 minutes prior to its ending.

Council members expressed concern over the lack of attendance at the DRA meeting and today’s meeting.  After discussion, a motion was made by John Lee Roberts to remove LaQuita as Chair of the PAIMI Advisory Council meeting. The motion was seconded by TaVonda.  Motion was passed.

As a result of the approved motion, Veronica Tess Myers will be the Interim Chair.  An election for PAIMI Chair will occur at the next meeting.  


Next meeting:

The next meeting will take place on May 16, 2015 at the DRA offices from 10 to 2 pm.  


The meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm