May Independence Insider

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Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy Service Coordination

May 2020

O V I D - 1 9 U P D AT E NEW FACES AT AUCP CSince the Coronavirus outbreak, Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy quickly adapted

Da-Trice Burns Team UPMC

Robin Middleton

Team PA Health and Wellness

Bonnie Iorfido

Team AmeriHealth & PA Health & Wellness

Lillian Williams

Team PA Health & Wellness

to the changes that came along with it. We continue to follow guidelines set by our government and affiliate agencies to ensure the health and safety of our participants and employees. As of May 1st, our staff continues to work from their homes with limited staff rotating office days, as needed. Our Service Coordinators were already working from home the majority of the time and were prepared to continue doing so. All other staff have been provided resources and equipment to work from home with little to no disruption in their day-to-day jobs. As you may have noticed, we have increased our weekly phone calls in effort to ensure that each participant has a backup plan for emergencies and to ensure health and safety. To meet the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) and Managed Care Organizations (MCO) required calls, the agency hired a few temporary Intake Specialists to assist with completing calls. Although our day-to-day may look different, our mission does not change; to assist our participants in meeting their basic needs, enhancing their quality of life, and promoting their independence. Our participants' health and safety is our main focus and as an agency we take pride and seeing this happen. The MCO's have provided positive feedback about the way we are handling the new guidelines set in place. We are very proud of the hard work our staff does at all times, but especially in our current circumstances. As an agency we are prepared to face whatever the future holds. We continue to monitor incoming news, learn how to best respond, and implement changes that will best support our participants and employees. Should you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to call us toll free at (844) 819-4455.

HIGHMARK WALK UPDATE Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Highmark made the difficult decision to cancel all of the events for the Highmark for a Healthy Community Walk of 2020. This included both the Pittsburgh and Laurel Highlands walks that AUCP was set to participate in. Due to this, AUCP is going to be hosting two Virtual Highmark Walk weekends on Saturday, May 23rd- Sunday, May 24th and Saturday June 6th Sunday, June 7th! By registering to walk with us, you are continuing to make an impact on your community. For more information on how we are making the virtual walk possible, head on over to our website at or visit us on social media!

AUCP continues to hire in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Cumberland, Huntingdon, and Lawrence. If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a Service Coordinator, please visit for a job description and to apply.

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WAY S T O C O N N E C T D U R I N G T H E C O R O N AV I R U S As you know, staying at home and avoiding crowds is necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but it can lead to negative emotions. If you or a loved one is starting to feel the effects of being confined at home, try these suggestions for connecting with others during the outbreak. 1. Schedule virtual visits with friends and family. With apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and HouseParty you are able to live chat with the people that mean the most to you from anywhere in the world! 2. Play your favorite games online. Using sites like or apps downloaded on your smartphone, you can play your favorite games. 3. Attend events online. Sites like Facebook, Youtube, and offer the capability to attend live streamed events from around the world right from the comfort of your own home. 3. Communicate the old-fashioned way. If you don’t have access to smartphones or computers, consider sending a hand-written letter or card to loved ones instead. If you like to volunteer, letter-writing can also be used to spread messages of hope. There are a number of different nonprofits that are accepting letters to send to people all over the world. Finding ways to stay connected with others during the Coronavirus can be challenging. Try using these strategies to feel less isolated and to stay connected with loved ones and others around the world. Sources:|

S TA F F H I G H L I G H T - A N N A S M I T H Our May Staff Highlight is Georgiana (Anna) Smith. Anna will be at AUCP for one year this month and has quickly worked herself into a Lead Staff position for our PA Health and Wellness team. Anna earned a degree in Psychology from Carlow University. She serves participants in Beaver County and parts of Pittsburgh. Anna has been with her husband, Zach, for ten years and they will be celebrating their 5 year wedding anniversary this month! (Happy Anniversary!) Together they have 2 children, Sienna (4 years old on May 21st) and Roman (a little over a year old). Anna is usually found playing with her children or hanging poolside over the summer. When she has the time, she enjoys reading, gardening, decorating, and shopping. Her biggest goal in life is to know that she has been able to help someone who needed it. She also hopes to raise her children to be kind, compassionate, generous and loving people who are accepting of individual differences no matter what. If she did not work at AUCP, she’d like to try her hand at being an interior decorator or an adoption counselor. The way that we work as a team across the agency is what she likes the most about working at AUCP. She says that recently, the most challenging part of her position is being able to assist her team members that are still in training as all training needs to take place via video chat. Her supervisor and coworkers describe her as hardworking and willing to go above and beyond to help her participants. Always quick to assist and help where she can, Anna has definitely become a reliable and trusted coworker on her team and across the agency. We can all agree that our agency has been positively impacted by having her on board and we look forward to what the future holds!

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS AUCP’s R E - U S E I T program accepts donations and redistributes medical equipment and assistive technology to the public for free.

The U C P E L S I E S . B E L L O W S F U N D is a national program providing funds to individuals with disabilities for assistive technology.

AUCP’s S C H O L A R S H I P F U N D grants scholarhsips to two high school seniors pursuing a degree in the human services field each Spring.



TOLL FREE: 844.819.4 455 local: 814.619.3398 FAX: 814.262.7174

Office Locations: Johnstown, Hanover, Altoona, Pittsburgh, & St. Mary’s

@AllegheniesUCP @AllegheniesUnitedCerebralPalsy @AllegheniesUCP

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