December Staff Highlight

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For the month of December, we’d like to introduce you to Kristine DePalma, Team UPMC Service Coordinator, as our Staff Highlight. Kristine has worked at AUCP for a little over a year out of our Monroeville office serving the northern part of Westmoreland county and the northeast part of Allegheny County. She has a BA in Psychology from Ohio University.

Kristine is originally from Ohio, but currently lives in Greensburg, PA with her husband, Aaron, and their 3 four-legged felines; Mynie, Luckee, and Jonny. Just last month Kristine and Aaron celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary (Congratulations!) When Kristine isn’t spending time with her family or hard at work, she enjoys going to the beach, crocheting and crafting, watching movies, reading and writing books, listening to music, and even singing! She says that her goal in life is to walk the path ahead of her the best she can and be true to the future God has in front of her.

Her favorite part of working at AUCP is the team work. She says the support she gets from her coworkers is priceless. The most challenging part of her position is both setting and meeting expectations. If Kristine wasn’t a Service Coordinator she would like to be a writer, teacher, or trainer. We’re glad she works here because she is a great team player and is active in other committees throughout the company. Kristine is known as having a friendly attitude and her kindness spreads across the agency.

November Staff Highlight

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Our November staff highlight is Jessica Pulliam Petrunak from Windber, PA. Jessica has been with the agency for 5 years starting out as a Service Coordinator, to Lead Staff, to Supervisor, and recently promoted to Programs Manager.

Jessica graduated from Penn State University with an A.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and a B.A. in Organizational Leadership with a minor in Sociology. She has been married to her husband, Mike, for 8 years and they adopted a dog named Willie 3 years ago (pictured above.) Some of her favorite hobbies include cooking and crafting. Her biggest goal in life is to never stop learning and evolving as a person. Her colleagues would say that if she didn’t work at AUCP, she should work for Google, but Jessica says she’d love to teach at a high school or college level.

Her favorite part about working at AUCP is that everyday is completely different and it keeps her on her toes. The thing she finds most challenging about her position is the same thing she finds most rewarding and that is supporting staff through their own challenges and barriers.

Ask any of her coworkers and they would agree that Jessica is often the first person they turn to when in a pinch or need assistance in navigating through a difficult situation. Jessica is a wellspring of knowledge and can quickly generate new and useful ideas. She is well respected amongst our staff and is a compassionate and tactful leader. We appreciate her humor and ability to create an atmosphere of growth.

October Staff Highlight

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This month’s Staff Highlight is Corri McGinnis, from Team UPMC Healthchoices. Corri has worked with us for almost 3 year,

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). Some things that Corri enjoys doing include 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.

September Staff Highlight

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Each month, one of our favorite things to do is highlight one of our staff members. We take pride in the awesome work that they do and want to take a moment to show them off.

This month, we’d like to recognize Emily Chawtek. Currently, Emily works under the UPMC Community HealthChoices as a Service Coordinator in Blair County. Previously, Emily was our Referral Specialist walking individuals through the enrollment process and connecting them to available community resources.

Born in Pittsburgh, Emily now lives in Altoona with her husband, their 3 year-old daughter named Lucy (whom she’s pictured with on the right), and Bonzo the boxer. Emily graduated from Shippensburg University with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies. When she’s not busy working, Emily enjoys crocheting, reading, swimming, and playing hide and seek. Her biggest goal in life is to travel as much as possible.

Emily has worked at AUCP for the past 7 years and says that her favorite part of being a coordinator is getting to know her participants and the resources Blair County has to offer. The most challenging part of her position is the paperwork! If she weren’t a coordinator she’d like to be a teacher.

Ask anyone and they would agree that Emily is phenomenal at any job that she does. She is known as having a super kind personality and her peers look to her for her honesty and helpfulness. Emily, thanks for all that you do. We enjoy having you as part of our team!

August Staff Highlight

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You might remember that about a year and a half ago we merged with an agency in the Hanover area. This merger gave us the opportunity to hire on some of their great staff, among them was Jessica Backus. Jessica now serves as our Office Manager and holds down the fort at our Hanover office.

Jessica is a graduate from Shippensburg University with a major in Psychology. Currently, she lives in Gettysburg, PA. A fun fact about Jess is that she is the youngest of five children! During her free time, she likes to keep busy by reading, watching movies and television, doing puzzles, and spending time with her family and friends. Jessica’s biggest goal in life is to go back to school to receive her Master’s degree and work as a Criminologist.

At AUCP, Jessica loves the great team atmosphere that she works in. Jessica also ensures that our policies and processes are accurate for each program. She says that this is the most challenging part of her position, but we think that there’s no better person for the job because of her attention to detail and superb writing abilities.

Jessica is a fun addition to our team and has greatly attributed to the quality of our agency.

July Staff Highlight

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valerie johnston

This month, we are happy to introduce you to Valerie Johnston. Valerie has been a Service Coordinator with AUCP for the past five and a half years, working out of her home in Clearfield county. The Johnstown office gets the pleasure of seeing Valerie at least once a week when she travels to the office to work.

Valerie graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) with a dual major in Psychology and Criminology. She has been married to her husband, Dale, for 31 years and together they have a daughter, Alysia, and a son, Justin. If it were up to Valerie, she would be full-time “Mammy J” to her grandson, Nash. When she’s not busy with work and chasing her grandson around, Valerie enjoys gardening, four-wheeling, traveling, and striving to be happy and worry less.

Currently, Valerie serves Clearfield, Jefferson, Centre, Clinton, Clarion, Lycoming and Forest counties. She says she loves being a Service Coordinator and enjoys working with her participants and their family members. The most challenging part of her position is keeping up with the paperwork and notes that accompany the work.

Valerie is funny and is a team player. She is quick to offer assistance to other staff and is very knowledgeable about the job and services provided.

Cancer Survivor’s Day 2019

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On Sunday, June 2nd, cancer survivors and supports will come together to celebrate life and raise awareness on National Cancer Survivors Day.

A few of our staff members have been touched in significant ways by cancer and this year we would like to honor them for their strength and determination in battling their cancer diagnoses. Click on their names below to read their full story.

Tina Trimbath, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Katelyn McClain, Breast Cancer
Linda Freidhoff, Breast Cancer

June Staff Highlight

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Teil UhringFor the month of June, we would like to introduce you to Teil Uhring, a Service Coordinator out of our Pittsburgh office serving Allegheny County through UPMC Community HealthChoices. Teil graduated from Clarion University with her B.S. in Rehabilitative Sciences, is currently working towards her M.S. in Clinical Counseling, and hopes to one day obtain a Ph. D. When she is not busy with work and school, Teil enjoys reading, cooking, and being outside as much as possible.

Teil has worked at AUCP for two years now and aside from helping people, she loves the team approach that we offer and the support system it offers to the staff. The most challenging part about being a service coordinator is remembering that they are not to fix problems for the participants, but rather provide the tools to do so. If she were not a service coordinator, Teil would like to work with at-risk adolescents or in a women’s shelter.

Teil is known as being diligent and great with critical cases. She is a fantastic trainer and peer to her colleagues. All of us agree that she is a valuable part of our AUCP family and are excited for all that her future has in store.

May Staff Highlight – Roxeen Stewart

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This month we are excited to introduce you to Roxeen Stewart. She has been a Service Coordinator out of our Hanover office for almost two years and has a degree in Psychology from Penn State University.

Roxeen was born in Jamaica and now lives in York, PA with her family. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Her mother is her “rock” and all four of her sisters have R.S. as their initials. She also has two nieces and three godchildren. Her biggest goal in life is to get her Masters degree.

As a service coordinator for AUCP, Roxeen serves parts of York County. She enjoys getting to know her co-workers at AUCP and she says that problem solving and being able to find the best solutions for her participants are some of the most challenging parts of her position.

Roxeen is a dedicated service coordinator who is quick to learn and apply feedback. Roxeen has a pleasant disposition and has a wonderful rapport with her participants, providers, and co-workers. Roxeen is viewed as a leader among her peers and, in the past couple of months, has been challenged to assist training new staff. Roxeen is an asset to Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy due to her knowledge, patience, and drive to ensure she is doing the best job possible.

April Staff Highlight – Jennifer Hauser

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For our April Staff Highlight, we would like to introduce you to Jennifer Hauser, a Service Coordinator covering our UMPC Community HealthChoices (CHC) participants in the Somerset County area. Jen is from Hollsopple, PA and attended Clarion University for Rehabilitative Services with a concentration in Gerontology.

Each day, Jen goes home to her three children; Savannah (8 years old) her “emotional perfectionist,” Nevada (6 years old) her “ornery instigator,” and Harrison (3 years old) her “little curious adventurer,” and her loving husband, Josh. During her free time, Jen enjoys playing sports, sitting down with a good book, and playing the piano. Her most important goal in life is to raise good, loving, and successful children who love God.

Jen has been a Service Coordinator at AUCP for a little over three years. She says if she did not work here she would like to be a nurse. Jen enjoys working with her team of coworkers stating that each of them has the other’s best interest at heart. The most challenging part of her position is prioritizing the participants’ needs when they are in vulnerable positions.

Jen is a blessing to AUCP; she is known for her compassion and diligence by her participants. Her colleagues boast of her impressive memory and helpfulness. Jen, we are thankful to have you as part of our AUCP team!