A Holiday Blessing 2022

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Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy (AUCP) has a goal of supporting the participants they serve as well as the community at large to celebrate a joyful holiday season.  In order to achieve this goal AUCP has created Holiday Blessings.  Holiday Blessings is an agency-wide program which provides the selected applicants with the gifts and food needed to have a joyful holiday season.    

 

Staff Highlight – Promotions

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We are pleased to announce the promotion of Caitlin Yorio to the position, Supervisor for Team Amerihealth Caitlin joined Connexus Human Services Network/ AUCP 11/30/2020 and has served in the role of a Lead Service Coordinator for the past seven months and always willing to step-in when needed, assist anyone, or just give some good advice.

Caitlin has excelled in every aspect of the position. Her passion and work ethic are great qualities that she continues to demonstrate each and every day.

We are also pleased to announce the promotion of Autumn Nichol to the position, UPMC Hub 1 Supervisor. Autumn joined Connexus Human Services Network in February, 2021 and has served in the role of a Service Coordinator for UPMC SW.

We are also delighted to announce the promotion of Cara Smith to the position of UPMC SW Lead – Hub 1. Cara joined Connexus Human Services Network/AUCP in August of this year and has served in the role of a Service Coordinator. In this very little time frame, Cara has excelled in every aspect of the position. Her passion and work ethic does not go unrecognized.

Last but not least… Caitlin McCoy a Service Coordinator for AmeriHealth Joined Connexus Human Services Network/AUCP in October 0f 2021 also had a promotion in October of 2022 to Lead Service Coordinator.

These promotions recognize the contributions that these staff members have made to Connexus Human Services Network & AUCP during their tenure with the organization and were all effective on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. We look forward to their continued success! Congratulations!!!

Staff Highlight – Cait Farber

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This month for our Staff Highlight, we are featuring one of our new Community Health Workers, Cait Farber. Cait was the HUB spotlight for the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health. Below are some excerpts from her interview. You can read the full article on their website at www.1889jeffersoncenter.org/.

Tell us about yourself. What drew you to the Community Health Worker position in the first place?

My name is Caitlyn, but I like Cait. I’m 27 years young, a lifelong Cambria county native, and a tired psychology student. I’m a very proud mother of two beautiful and bossy toddlers that were my inspiration for my recent joining of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children).

It was early on that I found my passion for helping people. I spent most of my life clawing my way out of poverty, generational abuse, and overall bad luck. Eviction, abuse, single parent life, homeless, unemployed… I’ve been there. It’s so hard to pull yourself out of it, but it’s not impossible. It’s what makes me a competent and successful community health worker. I’m not here to tell you how to live. I’m an everyday member of our community who has used the exact resources I refer my participants to. The moral of my story would absolutely have to read, “Be who you needed.” I am who I needed.

What do you feel is the most important quality for a CHW to bring to the table when working with a participant?

The most important quality to have to be a CHW is genuine compassion. Sometimes we are put in situations that challenge us, and you will need to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You need to care more about your participants more than checking all the boxes and meeting a quota. We are all people who have struggled like the people we serve. This means we can relate to the people we serve on a personal note. To be a community health worker, you have to be strong, resilient, determined but also cordial, receptive, and patient.

What is the most challenging part of being a CHW?

The most challenging part of being a CHW is finding a barrier or a gap in services but having little power to change it quickly. We want to be aware of the mind, body, and soul cohesively, but also individually, as each participant has their own life. This includes physical health, but also social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Giving to Frontline Workers

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Recently, our agency had the opportunity to donate to a great cause, providing a small token of appreciation to the doctors and nurses who work tirelessly in the ICU at Conemaugh Hospital.  With our assistance and members of the community, 75 gift bags were provided in just three days.

February 2021 Staff Highlight

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For the staff highlight for the month of February, we would like to introduce you to Da-Trice Burns. Da-Trice has been a Service Coordinator at AUCP since March of last year working for team UPMC in the central region of the state.

Da-Trice lives in Hermitage, PA, but was born in Sharon and then moved to Ohio for elementary school and from there finished high school in Tampa, Florida. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and 60 credits in elementary education from Theil College in Philadelphia, PA.

Da-Trice has a wonderful family that consists of her fiancé, 4 children (ages 17, 16, 14, & 8), a 2-year-old miniature pinscher/chihuahua mix named Ace, and a kitten named Cain. Like any proud mom, Da-Trice boasts about how awesome her children are. Their schedules are full of high school and college classes, cheerleading and softball, and of course a few video games in the mix, too! Outside of spending time with her family, she enjoys reading, meditating, and listening to music.

When asked what her biggest goals in life are, she says she loves to make those around her smile and be happy. She also wants her children to succeed in life and to go further than she could ever imagine for herself.

Working at AUCP over the last year, Da-Trice has really begun to enjoy getting to know her participants, assisting them with their concerns, and feel like she has made a difference in their lives. She also loves the team that she works with, the teamwork makes the job so much more enjoyable. The most challenging parts are the sometimes overwhelming workload and not being able to handle situations for her participants that are out of her control. If she were not a Service Coordinator, Da-Trice says she would like to be a clinical psychiatrist with her own practice.

Participants have stated that Da-Trice is a wonderful person! She works diligently to help them, is in-tune with their needs, and always follows-up when she says she is going to. Her supervisor says she is a great addition to the UPMC team and we agree! We’re glad she is part of the AUCP family!

Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy Receives NCQA Accreditation for the Second Time

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Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy (AUCP) has once again been awarded accreditation of Case Management for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) by the National Committee for Quality Accreditation (NCQA). This accreditation is a comprehensive, evidence-based program that is awarded to programs that meet NCQA’s Standards and Guidelines. It addresses how the organization delivers efficient, effective person-centered care that meets each participant’s needs, measures the quality improvement to support people living in their preferred setting, and meets the state’s Managed Care requirements.

This is the second consecutive time that AUCP has been awarded this accreditation, this time with a perfect score. We owe our success to our hardworking staff and their dedication to our participants and the quality of services provided.

For more information on the Accreditation of Case Management for Long-Term Services and Supports, please visit NCQA’s website.

2020 Annual Report

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AUCP’s 2020 Annual Report: New Opportunities is LIVE! For your convenience, you are able to view the report on your desktop or on your mobile device via Issuu.

In the report, you’ll find a full list of AUCP’s programs and services, a quick look at survey results from our participants, our accomplishments and challenges, a snapshot of our 2018-2019 finances, fundraising initiatives and stories, & so much more!

Click here to read now. Please contact us at info@scalucp.org to leave your feedback, we look forward to hearing from you.

Recipe of the Month: Peppermint Popcorn

AnchorIngredients:
  • 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.

Foster Love Project Donation Drive

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Throughout the month of September, we held a donation drive for the Foster Love Project in Pittsburgh. The Foster Love Project is a donation center that doubles as a “store” for foster kids and parents. Since 2014, they have provided 12,000 placement bags that are used to ensuring that kids are able to take a bag of new belongings with them when they change homes. Additionally, they have had around 2,000 kids come through the center where they are able to shop for clothing, toiletries, toys, and other necessities!

AUCP staff participated in the donation drive by purchasing items off of an Amazon wishlist. The agency agreed to double their donations, plus $100. We ended up donating over $800 worth of items (shoes, toys, and toiletries, etc.)

On October 15th, we made the trip to their facility in Pittsburgh to drop off the donations. While there, they gave us a tour of their facility and allowed us to take a few videos to take all of you on a little virtual tour. We invite you to watch the video here on Facebook.

If you would like to learn more about the Foster Love Project, volunteer, or make a donation, visit their website. They are always looking for support in order to continue providing love in action to foster youth.