December 2020 Independence Insider

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December 2020

Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy Service Coordination


END OF YEAR LETTER To our Participants, Supporters, and Staff (both old and new), As the end of the year draws near we would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a peace-filled holiday and to thank you for sticking with us throughout the year. We all know that 2020 was like no other. This year has been filled with a multitude of challenges and victories. Every year is different but this one has been filled with more change than normal, for all of us.

Krysty Kunkel Team UMPC Southwest

Over this past year, we have added many participants, staff, board members, and friends. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and work alongside you. Our passion for helping our participants receive the care that they need to live safe and healthy lives remains strong. We know there will be many continued challenges ahead., but we are so excited about all that 2021 has in store for us – enthusiasm and anticipation are building around new opportunities for our agency. Stay tuned for more details in the new year.

Catelynn Fleming Team UPMC Southwest

Working together this past year has been a pleasure and we’re proud to have you all with us. Best wishes and happiness to you and your families over the festive season. We look forward to a successful 2021! From everyone here at Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy, Happy Holidays!


Staci Dunn Team UPMC Central

•1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped • 24 cups popped popcorn • 1/2 to 3/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candy (4 to 6 candy canes) • Red nonpareils, optional DIRECTIONS:

In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the popcorn and crushed candy. Pour candy coating over top; toss to coat. Pour onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle with nonpareils. When hardened, break apart. Store in an airtight container.

AUCP continues to hire in multiple counties across Pennsylvania. If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a Service Coordinator, please visit for a job description and to apply.


COVID-19 PREPARATION TIPS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES If you or someone you care for are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, take steps to prepare during the COVID-19 outbreak: • Plan what you will do if you or your direct support provider gets sick. Create a contact list of family, friends, neighbors and local service agencies that can provide support in case you or your direct support provider becomes ill or unavailable. • Plan at least two ways of communicating from home and work that can be used rapidly in an emergency. Write down this information and keep it with you. • Have enough household items and groceries so that you will be comfortable staying home for a few weeks, at least a 30-day supply of over the counter and prescription medicines, and any medical equipment or supplies that you might need. Make a photocopy of prescriptions, as this may help in obtaining medications in an emergency situation.

STAFF HIGHLIGHT - GWEN MSOLOMBA This month, we would like to introduce you to Gwendolyn Msolomba. Gwen has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Business from Carlow University and a Masters in Education from Ashford University. She is a supervisor for our AmeriHealth team and our Community Health Workers. Gwen was born and raised in Johnstown, PA. Family means a lot to Gwen! She has three brothers and a loving mother, Jackie who is her biggest fan and supporter. She is also a fun and adventurous aunt and godmother to her three nephews, a great-niece, 3 goddaughters, and 4 godsons. Gwen is the glue that holds her family together. She also has a dog, Zack, and a turtle, Versace (pictured below). For hobbies, Gwen enjoys braiding hair and dancing! She teaches West African Dance at Saint Francis University and a free class at the Bottleworks in Johnstown, PA. One of her greatest passions is to see all children succeed. In fact, her biggest goal in life is to open a recreational center in Johnstown to create a safe place for youth to hang out and learn the skills they need to live on their own. Gwen has been with AUCP for 5 and a half years. She says she loves the team approach that we have transitioned to over the last few years. She enjoys the teams that she is a part of and the flexibility that this job offers. The most challenging part of her position is the process to match participants with the things that they need, sometimes it takes longer than we want it to. If Gwen did not work at AUCP, she would like to be a Behavioral Specialist Consultant. All of us here at AUCP love working with Gwen! She has a great sense of outspoken humor ad is able to maintain her cool in the toughest of situations. Gwen makes work fun and we are so glad that she’s part of our family.

AUCP’s RE-USE IT PROGRAM accepts donations and redistributes medical equipment and assistive technology to the public for free.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS The UCP ELSIE S. BELLOWS FUND is a national program providing funds to individuals with disabilities for assistive technology.

AUCP’s SCHOLARSHIP FUND grants scholarhsips to two high school seniors pursuing a degree in the human services field each Spring.


TOLL FREE: 844.819.4455 LOCAL: 814.619.3398 FAX: 814.262.7174



@AllegheniesUnitedCerebralPalsy @AllegheniesUCP