Elmwood Health Center receives highest certification
Elmwood Health Center receives highest certification
Megan and Christopher Join Sabre Jake McCabe for PSA
Last month, we told you that People Inc. was teaming up with the Buffalo Sabres for a Recruitment Rally on Monday, March 6, in the Lexus Club at the KeyBank Center. To help spread the word about the event, Megan Pope and Christopher Devealt, two People Inc. program participants, spent the day filming a PSA with Sabre Jake McCabe on Thursday, January 19.
Both Megan and Christopher had a blast watching the Sabres practice, meeting players and the team’s head coach. Jake even took Megan and Christopher on a personal tour of the Sabres’ locker room and gave them each a signed stick that he had played with in the past. All in all, the day was a memorable one. “It was fun and exciting to film and be on camera and TV,” Megan said, “I wish I could do it again!” Christopher agreed. “It was great to spend time with the Sabres. Being filmed was an awesome experience.” They both left beaming ear to ear.
We’re thrilled to share with you an exclusive look at the PSA starring Megan, Christopher and Jake. Click here to watch it now. The video will be featured during Buffalo Sabres games from now until the event date and also on the “Instigators,” “John Murphy Show,” social media and more!
Elmwood Health Center Attains Highest Certification Available
The Elmwood Health Center, an affiliate of People Inc., has received notification from the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) that it has successfully met the stringent national quality standards and has once again been awarded Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) status. PCMH Level 3 is the highest level possible! Participation in this NCQA Recognition Program demonstrates that the Elmwood Health Center and its providers value quality health care delivery and the latest clinical protocols to ensure that patients receive the best care at the right time.
The PCMH is a model of care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” NCQA PCMH Recognition is the most widely adopted model for transforming primary care practices into medical homes. Research confirms medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care.
The Elmwood Health Center, located at 2128 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, offers a range of primary and specialty health care services for children to seniors, serving the general community and specializing in services for people with developmental disabilities. 
George Augstell (left) and Dave Mack-Hardiman
Recognition by the National Federation for Just Communities
We are honored that the National Federation for Just Communities (NFJC) of WNY, Inc. recently recognized one of our People Inc. program participants and our Museum of disABILITY History. The award presentation took place during the NFJCs annual Community Leader Awards event on January 25. Several individuals and organizations were recognized, including those who have made significant contributions to the region through volunteer activities, special achievements in the community or through their professional lives.
George Augstell (pictured left), owner and operator of Uncle Bill’s Coffee Stop, located inside the Golisano Center for Community Health, part of the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, earned the NFJCs 2017 Community Leader Business Award. He was nominated for his success as an entrepreneur and his dedication to treating all customers with care and excellent service. George, who lives with Down syndrome, is a participant of People Inc.’s Self Directed Services.
Additionally, the Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., received the NFJC’s 2017 Community Leader Arts/Culture Award. On behalf of the Museum, Dave Mack-Hardiman (pictured right), People Inc. and Museum of disABILITY History associate vice president, accepted the award. The Museum was selected for its advocacy efforts and commitment to building a more just and inclusive region.
We are proud of our award recipients and thankful to the NFJC for this recognition!
People Inc. Now Offers Care Management for Children
At People Inc., we understand that caring for a child who is on Medicaid and has a chronic health condition can be difficult and complex. To help families in our community better manage their child’s health services, People Inc. is now offering care management to families who are on Medicaid enrolled in one of our partner Health Homes – Children’s Health Home of Upstate New York, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Health Home and Oishei Healthy Kids. A Children’s Health Home is not a physical building or home, but rather a virtual network of support that provides a key point of contact, coordinator of services and compassionate care.
Once enrolled in one of our partner Health Homes, People Inc. will link families to a care manager who works to assess the child’s needs and helps navigate the vast array of service delivery systems. Families enrolled in a Health Home can expect to receive comprehensive care management where all of a child’s providers communicate with one another to meet the needs of the child and their family. To learn more, click here.
Call Elected Officials to Encourage Fair Wages for Direct Support Professionals
People Inc. is a proud supporter of the #bFair2DirectCare Campaign, which encourages elected officials to include funding for direct support professional (DSP) wage increases in the New York State budget. As an agency that relies on the dedicated work of DSPs, we need your help to make this possible. You can call the governor, senators and assemblymembers this week and ask them to fund the minimum wage increase that was left out of Governor Cuomo’s initial budget proposal.
Suggested phone script includes: “I am calling on behalf of the #bFair2DirectCare Campaign for a Living Wage. Governor Cuomo MUST provide $45 million in his budget amendments! Funding is critical to the health, safety and well-being of people with developmental disabilities and it's the right thing to do for the people who work tirelessly caring for them.”
Here are the numbers to call:
- Governor: 518.474.1041 and press 2 to speak to an assistant.
- Senate switchboard: 518.455.2800. For a list of senators, click here.  
- Assembly switchboard: 518.455.4100. For a list of assemblymembers, click here.  
To find out how this issue affects families, click here for a WKBW-TV Channel 7 interview with Barbara Delong, a parent and advocate. For an “Another Voice” article in The Buffalo News about the need for a fair wage, by People Inc. Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Horrigan, click here. For updates, follow #bFair2DirectCare on social media.
Providers Needed for Perfect Fit Program
People Inc.’s Perfect Fit Program, a unique residential setting for people with developmental disabilities, is enlisting additional providers throughout Western New York, particularly in Niagara county and the southtowns. The program provides people an opportunity to become certified providers and open their homes and their lives to people with developmental disabilities and other special needs.
The program was featured last month on WIVB-TV Channel 4. To learn more, go to people-inc.org/perfectfit or call Carrie Grant, People Inc. Perfect Fit program director, at 716.817.9011.
Crystal Chapman, a participant of our Supported Employment Program, enjoys her job at Target.
Supported Employment Program Shares its Benefits
People Inc.’s Supported Employment Program employs individuals with developmental disabilities, providing job screening, assessment, development and placement and on-site instruction. We are always looking to partner with new businesses in Western New York and Rochester to employ individuals.
Last month, the program was featured on Buffalo Means Business with Buddy Shula on WBEN-AM 930. Speaking about the benefits of the program were Amy Allen, People Inc. job coach, and Kathie Hartmans, president of Quality Bindery Services Inc., a business that utilizes our program. Kathie shared that she cannot imagine her workplace without the employees she found through our program.
To learn more, contact our Vocational Services Department at 716.817.5750.
Community Resource: “Au-Some Aquarium”
The Aquarium of Niagara offers special evenings dedicated to providing a safe, supportive, sensory-friendly environment where families who have loved ones with autism or other disabilities can meet, learn and have fun together. Families can enjoy a touch tank, sea lion show, sensory and art activities, gluten-free snacks and informational resources from community partners. There are noise canceling headphones available for those who need them. The program was developed as a collaboration between Aquarium of Niagara, Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and several community partners. The price is $10 per family and $2 per person for groups. The Aquarium of Niagara is located at 701 Whirlpool Street, Niagara Falls, NY. To learn more, click here or call 716.285.3575.
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn
Featured Job of the Month: In-Home Behavior Technician
Are you interested in career opportunities within People Inc.? We are currently looking for In-Home Behavior Technicians in Hamburg and Depew. Staff members instruct and supervise individuals with developmental disabilities, including but not limited to, crisis intervention and prevention techniques, functional activities and communication strategies, as well as provide support to families. To apply for this employment opportunity or view other openings, click here
Give $10 a Month or More and Earn Exclusive Supporting Member Benefits
Pledge a recurring gift of $10 a month or a one-time gift of $100 or more to become a People Inc. Supporting Member and receive our exclusive 2017 calendar featuring photos of people we serve and their adorable pets!
As a Supporting Member, you can identify a friend or family member and we will mail him/her a calendar on your behalf. Please include your loved one’s name and contact information in the “note” section of the donation form. Additional benefits include an exclusive Entertainment Reward Card valued at $500 in savings for travel, dining, entertainment and shopping good at more than 360,000 places! Plus, Supporting Members receive admission to our appreciation event in the spring.
To become a Supporting Member, click here. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson, at jrobinson@people-inc.org or by calling 716.817.7269.
Dining Out Raises Funds for Headway of WNY
In recognition of National Brain Injury month, Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Dining Out fundraiser. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30, at select local restaurants, including Bonefish Grill and Ristorante Lombardo. Dining Out for Headway: A Nourishing Event in Support of Headway of Western New York, Inc. is an initiative to raise awareness and help provide supports to those in the area whose lives have been affected by a traumatic brain injury or other related disability. To recommend a restaurant for participation or to learn more, contact Christine Melchiorre, funding and outreach specialist, at cmelchiorre@
headwayofwny.org or 716.408.3117.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.

“Pest houses and quarantine in Niagara County:” Series of abandoned history themed research-based articles by Museum of disABILITY History Founder James M. Boles, EdD. Lockport Union Sun and Journal, February 2, 2017.
“Volunteers needed to Support Seniors in our Community:” People Inc. Senior Companion featured. Forever Young, January 2017.
Sports Illustrated: Young Georgia sportswriter refuses to let disability derail his path to the Super Bowl
“On top of being beyond his years as a sports reporter and one of the busiest college freshmen you’ll meet, Sudge has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair most of the time.”

Today: With no options for their adult son with autism, this couple builds a community
For the growing number of individuals like Jon with significant special needs who are quickly aging out of the school system, the need for support and learning does not just end when they hit a magic birthday.”
Subscribe to our email list.