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DECEMBER 24-30, 2015

THE CENTRE COUNTY GAZETTE Care for People, from page 1

Submitted photo

DR. MAUREEN MULVIHILL, of Actuated Medical Inc., was selected as Entrepreneur of the Year at the CBICC’s Excellence in Business Awards, which was held Dec. 17 at Mountain View Country Club. Pictured, from left, are CBICC president and CEO Vern Squier, Mulvihill and Videon Central CEO Todd Erdley.

CBICC hands out Excellence in Business Awards From Gazette staff reports BOALSBURG — The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County held its 2015 Excellence in Business Awards Dec. 17 at the Mountain View Country Club in Boalsburg. “It gave us great delight to celebrate Centre County’s business community while specifically recognizing the achievements of this year’s finalists and winners,” CBICC president and CEO Vern Squier said in a news release. “The event is was an opportunity to acknowledge individuals and companies that are supportive of the chamber’s economic development mission and that are helping to drive economic growth.” The Small Business of the Year Award Open container, from page 3 health and safety after the event to determine if it was successful and if projects of this nature should be continued in the future, according to borough manager Tom Fountaine. Borough staff recommended that council approve the request as long as the improvement district submits a final plan for the event, including a risk management plan and alcohol sale control plan. Staff would also like the improvement district to hold the borough harmless for any claims that may arise at the event. At the Dec. 21 meeting, borough council also voted unanimously to decline the State College Area School District’s offer to give

went to Homeland Manufacturing Services. AE Works Ltd. won the Visionary Company of the Year. Videon Central’s Todd Erdley captured the CEO of the Year Award. KCF Technologies Inc. won the Technology Company of the Year Award. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to Dr. Maureen Mulvihill with Actuated Medical Inc. The CBICC also presented a pair of economic development awards. Dan Hawbaker, president and CEO of Glenn O. Hawbaker, captured the Centre County Economic Development Partnership Support Partner of the Year Award, and Penn State President Eric J. Barron won the Economic Development Champion Award. the borough the structure located at 131 W. Nittany Ave. Council also came to consensus on the Holmes Foster Master Plan after a unanimous vote to adopt the modified plan and the resolution to receive reimbursement for consultant fees. After discussing how inclusionary housing would be included, council concluded the meeting with another unanimous vote to approve the conditional use permit for the RISE development project proposed for 532 and 538 E. College Ave. “There’s great support on council for the inclusionary housing ordinance,” said council member Evan Myers. “But I think there is concern in a development like this where there may be a lot of students.”

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balance in favor of home care in the 20152016 budget. Wolf said his goal is to also speed up the process it takes to qualify for these programs — a process that can last up to three months, said JR Reed, director of the Centre County Office of Aging. “There is a drive to re-balance services paid for in the home,” Reed said. “It comes down to people want that, and economically it makes sense.” Not only would the state spend less on Medicaid if people shifted to home assistance, but nationwide statistics also show the elderly prefer living at home. Reed said that about nine out of 10 individuals prefer to live at home. However, many agencies that accept these waivers or government assistance programs are concerned with how the budget impasse is impacting their service. The government agency that Reed works for contracts with local in-home providers to bring clients the lottery-funded Option Personal Care Program. This is a lower level of home assistance that is easier to qualify for than the waiver program. In December 2014, the Centre County Office of Aging had 130 people in this program. This year that number is down to 100 people, with about 65 people on the wait list. “When we get to July, we wait on the new state budget so we know what the funding is going to be,” Reed said. “When we get that funding we can do a new budget and make determinations on how many people we want to take off the wait list, but since we don’t know where our funding is going to be, we have not lifted the wait list.” Care for People Plus, which is a branch of Care for People and provides in-home care to the intellectually disabled, serves individuals on the waiver program and receives some money from the county. “We are concerned about the governor not passing a budget because we are dependent on the county for our growth,”

PAGE 5 said Paul Tobin, the marketing and outreach director at Care for People Plus. “If the county doesn’t have funding from the state then that stifles things.” The Office of Aging does offer a reimbursement program that has openings; however, Reed said his office has a list of other providers it can send out to individuals in immediate need. The office’s 2014 resource book includes 36 of these inhome care organizations, including Care for People. Clients at Care for People are placed much faster than those using a waiver program. Generally, Care for People tries to place clients within 48 hours, Knupp said. For hourly care, the company charges $2.25 an hour, and caregivers then set their own rates on top of that, which generally land around $14 an hour, Knupp said. “We started out at $2 an hour 28 years ago and now we are at $2.25,” Knupp said. “We operate on volume; that’s where we make our money.” Local competition has brought the number of people that Care for People serves down to 45 people, but that’s about double from a few years ago. And, Knupp said that Care for People hopes to bid at the Office of Aging to become eligible to offer the option program when the contracts restarts in about two and a half years. Reed said that the four agencies that the Office of Aging contracts with to offer the options program charge $16 to $20 an hour. While Reed said using independent contractors allows Care for People to keep flexible and reasonable rates, providers that offer the options program manage all levels of care and avoid the insurance risks that come along with subcontracting. However, Tobin said subcontracting gives clients more consistency because caregiver retention rates increase. “They don’t have to pay for insurance or all the benefits,” he said. “Our caretakers can be making almost $15 an hour. This is a real income for them.”

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