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Physical Disabilities & Aging

PENNSYLVANIA DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES COUNCIL (PADDC) REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS

We are pleased to announce that the first Request for Application (RFA) book for 2022–2026 State Plan is now available for you to download, which includes 13 separate grant opportunities. The deadline to submit applications for these grants is December 1, 2021. Visit here to read more and download the RFA book and other application resources.

In addition, PADDC is offering funding on a rolling basis through our Community Grants Program. Get more information about the Community Grants Program here.

The PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) will hold a 30-day public comment period (October 1, 2021–October 30, 2021) on the draft 2-year modification of the 2020–2024 VR Services Portion of the Combined State Plan. All comments should be sent here.

In addition, virtual public meetings will be held on October 19, 2021, from 1:00 pm–3:00 pm, and October 21, 2021, from 10:00 am–12:00 pm. The meetings will be held via Zoom. Meeting details, including information for CART and sign language interpreting, and a copy of the draft plan will be posted on OVR’s website.

Paid for with Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars.

View The Draft Plan

The statewide Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) agencies have published a list of Regional Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWIC) and accompanying counties supported by that agency:

STATEWIDE WIPA AGENCIES  COUNTIES SUPPORTED 

AHEDD
Joy Smith
Program Director/CWIC
866-902-4333
Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Erie, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Westmoreland
 

Appalachian Regional
Jennifer Tenney
Program Director/CWIC
304-293-4692

Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington
 

Disability Rights Pennsylvania
Phyllis Hilley  
Program Director/CWIC
800-692-7443 Ext 309

 

Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, York 

 

Full Circle Employment Solutions LLC
Ruchi Edwards
Program Director/CWIC
888-466-2942 Ext. 20

Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester

WIPA is designed to enable beneficiaries with disabilities to receive accurate information and use that information to make a successful transition to work. Each WIPA agency has a CWIC who will:

  • provide in-depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits;
  • conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in federal or state Work Incentives programs; and
  • work in cooperation with federal, state, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities.

RCPA has extended the deadline to complete the workforce survey to Monday, October 18, 2021. The survey, which is open to all Human Service Providers in Pennsylvania, covers work force issues for a diverse range of programs, including Mental Health, IDD/Autism, Brain Injury, Drug & Alcohol, and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF). The survey responses seek to gather data related to hiring, retention, vacancy rates, pay structures, vaccinations, and COVID-19 impacts on programs as well as access to care associated with the pandemic.

We thank you in advance for your time in completing this survey and would ask that you share this information with your colleagues, fellow leaders, and Human Resources teams. The more information collected, the more we will be able to provide to stakeholders, which will affect not only RCPA members but all providers within the Commonwealth.

A copy of the results of this survey will be available to all participants at the conclusion of the study. Please complete the survey here. The workforce survey will end at close of business on Monday, October 18, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Director of Children’s Services Jim Sharp.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

On September 28, 2021, AmeriHealth Caritas, which operates Medicaid managed care plans in 13 states and the District of Columbia, launched a new wholly-owned subsidiary called Social Determinants of Life, Inc. The subsidiary will invest in, support, and deploy solutions to help members build resilience, and help improve their health and create a path out of poverty. AmeriHealth Caritas is currently hiring for key leadership positions at the new company.

As the first step for Social Determinants of Life, Inc., AmeriHealth Caritas invested $29 million in Wider Circle in a $38 million funding round, becoming Wider Circle’s largest shareholder. Wider Circle is a California-based startup that builds tech-enabled, hyper-local health programs and peer-to-peer social networks. Its community care model is centered around trust, where culturally competent community engagement leaders and volunteer member ambassadors form groups with their neighbors to inform, support, and motivate one another to be more engaged and proactive about their health. Wider Circle is using the investment funds to continue developing and expanding its model. AmeriHealth Caritas has not released details about how Social Determinants of Life will leverage the Wider Circle model.

Commenting on the funding round, Darin Buxbaum, president and chief operating officer of Wider Circle said, “With the support of AmeriHealth Caritas’s new Social Determinants of Life, Inc., Blue Venture Fund and others, Wider Circle is well positioned to extend our proven hyper-local engagement model to improve health outcomes in communities nationwide.” Wider Circle offers programs to tens of thousands of members in more than 320 communities nationwide across the country

Wider Circle works with Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid managed care organizations and capitated provider organization groups. The company seeks to align with the health plan sponsors through a per engaged member per month payment model. In this model, Wider Circle is paid for each actively engaged member as long as the member remains engaged in the Wider Circle group. The groups meet 10 or more times each year at favorite local public meeting spots, and connect on the phone every other week.

Wider Circle uses an evidence-based, data-driven approach to identify and group health plan members at the local level based on demographic and similar backgrounds. The company hires community engagement and outreach specialists from the same communities to invite health plan members to participate in the local groups. From there, neighbors help the group recruit other neighbors and open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

Trained facilitators build trusted groups of neighbors in a culturally competent manner by engaging members via weekly small-group meetings for six weeks. During this group formation period, the facilitators recruit and encourage able members to become volunteer “ambassadors” to help lead the group and ensure that members are informed about planned meetings and have access to the resources they need. To support the group leaders Wider Circle has employees in every community supported by Area Managers and state and account leadership.

After training, the group members support one another through tailored in-person and virtual interactions. The groups can meet in restaurants, parks, community centers, houses of worship, and other public gathering areas. The group members meet almost every month and chat on the phone every other week.

Wider Circle programs have helped Medicare and Medicaid plan members improve preventative care utilization and vaccine adoption rates while reducing hospital days. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, the Wider Circle groups supported participants facing isolation, delivered more than 180,000 meals, and helped participants access comprehensive social support services.

AmeriHealth Caritas serves nearly 5 million Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, and behavioral health services.

OPEN MINDS last reported on AmeriHealth Caritas in the following articles.

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