October Independence Insider 2019

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Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy Service Coordination

October 2019

Independence Insider NEW FACES AT AUCP

Pipsmy Phimmachack Team OLTL

Darrie’l Hadley Team OLTL


Good evening and welcome to Dracula’s Chalet. Aristocrat and recently retired bloodsucker, Count Dracula is your new host, owner and lounge singer. Faithful friends are there to lend a hand. Unfortunately business hasn’t exactly been booming. But when a bus breaks down near the hotel with both Van Helsing’s great grand-nephew and Muffy the Vampire Slayer onboard, it creates a situation of monstrously funny proportions. Will Dracula’s night club career die when exposed to the light of day or will he just keep on vamping. DATE: Saturday, October 19th Location: 119 Jari Drive Johnstown, PA 15904 Doors open: 5:30pm Tickets: $35 includes dinner & 2 adult beverage tickets (21 and older with ID) To purchase tickets, go to www.scalucp.org/murdermystery or call Jocelyn Hartman at 814-915-4055. All proceeds will support AUCP’s Community Fund that was created to benefit community members who are experiencing financial need.

staff highlight Ashley Malkin Data Entry Clerk


Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes -- it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it. Let’s raise awareness in support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you need assistance or want to talk to someone about domestic violence, call 1-866-331-9474 to speak with a trained peer advocate.

This month’s Staff Highlight is Corri McGinnis, from Team UPMC Community HealthChoices. Corri has worked with us for almost 3 years, currently serving the Johnstown, Seward, and New Florence locations. She has a dual major in Public Health and Psychology from Slippery Rock University. One day, Corri would like to get a Master’s Degree in epidemiology and study the trends of diseases, as well as, our responses to public health concerns. Corri lives in Strongstown, PA with her fiancé Jason, their 3 cats (Shadow, Foxy, and Mr. Fix It), and their two dogs (Gracie and Wrangler). Corri enjoys going to concerts, seeing plays and musicals with her friends, as well as, being outdoors going kayaking, hiking, and biking. Her biggest goal in life is to travel as much as possible and experience new things. When they’re not working on house projects, Corri and her fiancé enjoy camping or planning their next vacation. This past June they traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee where they hiked a total of 35 miles and even got engaged! Corri says that there are many things she enjoys about working with AUCP, but her top reasons include interacting with her participants and feeling like she is a part of a team that wants to make a difference in the community. The most challenging part of her position is the constant changes under the MCO’s. There are so many wonderful things to say about Corri, she is truly a team player and cares about both her participants and her coworkers. With her cheerful personality and kind demeanor, Corri is a great benefit to our agency.

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HAPPENINGS C A M B R I A C O U N T Y, PA Please note: Some of the events listed below are not free; we recommend reaching out to the locations to see if there is a cost to attend.

5 - Food Truck Festival | PNG Park | 3-7pm 5 - The History of Marvel Comics | Community Arts Center Cambria County (CACC) | 1-3pm 5 - Harvest Festival | Faranda’s Farm, Holsopple | Saturday’s in October 6 - Fall Foliage Ride | Ghost Town Trail | 2pm 11-12 - Johnstown Haunted History Tours | Central Park | 6-10pm 12 - Coptober Fest | PNG Park | 12-8pm 18 - Downtown Johnstown Farmer’s Market | Central Park | 9am-12pm 19 - Murder at the Drac Shack Chalet Dinner Party | AUCP Johnstown | 5:30pm 19 - Edgar Allan Poe | Dillweed B&B, Dilltown | 6:30pm 19 - Movie in the Park: Beetlejuice | Central Park | 8pm 22 - AmeriServ Halloween Parade | Downtown Johnstown | 7pm 23-24 - Sesame Street Live | 1st Summit Arena | 5:30pm 26 - ARTober Fest | CACC | 11-4pm 26 - Spirits of Staple Bend Tunnel Tour | Staple Bend | 6-9pm Be on the lookout next month for events in Centre County. Interested in learning more about a specific topic? Have a great story to tell? Email us today at jhartman@scalucp.org.

Participant Highlight - Michael Kiel

When he was just 19-years-old and a college sophomore, Michael Kiel, just so happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. On a mid-April night in 1993, Michael was shot in the side of the neck outside of a convenience store, leaving him completely paralyzed from the neck down. This occurrence may have changed the entire trajectory of his life, but it did not change who he is at his core. Today, Mike is in his mid-40’s with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Rehab Counseling. He is currently working as a Rehab Specialist for the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation at the Hiram G. Andrews Center in Johnstown, PA. His job is to work with other individuals with disabilities that are attending vocational school and assisting them in identifying life obstacles. In his free time, Mike enjoys playing chess with his nephews and being with his friends and family. He has come to realize that who he is with is always more important than what they are doing. Over the last 20-some years, Michael has had a lot of time to think about his perspective on life, find a special sense of humor, and share his story with those around him. As a way to cope with his injury, Mike began to write about his life events before, during, and after his spinal-cord injury. In August of this year, he released his first book, “Challenge the Moment”, which is available for purchase on Amazon and in-store at Classic Elements in downtown Johnstown. This book serves as a memoir full of stories of his life and is said to be “brutally honest and painfully descriptive,” and at the same time “relentlessly positive, funny, and charming.” Michael says it offers a broader perspective on life and encourages the readers to enjoy the journey along the way. As an agency that works with people with all forms of disabilities, whether they are disabled since birth or due to some sort of tragedy, we have to agree with Mike that perspective is such an important attribute to how one goes throughout their life. When we asked Mike what piece of advice he would give to our readers, he responded in the following quote: "There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less." - Kurt Hahn. Thanks for being willing to share your story, Michael - there’s so much to be learned from the stories you’ve allowed the world to experience through your words.


Each year in the United States, more than 245,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. Get informed this October on how you can lower your breast cancer risk. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more today: www.cdc.gov/cancer

community programs Our Re-Use It program redistributes The UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund is a and accepts donations of medical national program that provides funds to equipment and assistive technology. individuals with disabilities for the purchase of assistive technology equipment.

AUCP’s Scholarship Fund granted to two high school seniors who are pursuing a degree in the human services field each Spring.

For more information on the above programs, please contact our offices today at (844) 819-4455.


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