Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern PA to be featured on PA Independent Living Radio Show during Epilepsy Awareness Month
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and Friday, November 20, 12:00 to 1:00 PM, Mary Loughlin, Northeast Resource Coordinator, and Daniel Dougherty, Patient Educator, with Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania (EFEPA) will join PA Independent Living online radio show host Karla Porter, to talk about living with epilepsy, available services, and the work of EFEPA.
Mary Loughlin started to volunteer for the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern PA in 2000 while actively looking for help & resources for her son, Michael, who had just been diagnosed with epilepsy. Retiring after 32 years with Verizon as a Technician she stepped up her volunteer time and eventually became the Wyoming Valley Coordinator in 2004.
Dan Dougherty resides in Glenside, and is a graduate of Cheltenham High School in Wyncote. He has lived with epilepsy for more than 30 years. Dan is a volunteer Epilepsy Advocate with the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern PA. Dan has honed his public speaking skills through being an active member of Toastmasters, and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow in 2014, by the Glenside Rotary for his work in epilepsy awareness.
PA Independent Living Radio Show is streamed live Fridays at 12:00 pm EST by The Arc of Luzerne County.
Click here to visit PA Independent Living Radio Show.
The Special Kids Network (SKN) is working with a group of parents, agencies, and others, to improve the safety of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) who are receive school transportation on special buses and vans in Pennsylvania.
In order to improve bus stop safety, they want to hear from parents, educators, transportation personnel, nurses, and anyone familiar with this mode of transportation for children and youth with special health care needs and have developed a short survey to gather opinions and stories.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Also, please share the link with other families through email and social media, send it to your school district transportation director and ask that they forward it to their contracted bus service.
It is hoped that a wide range of individuals will respond to provide a better understanding this issue.
The deadline to complete the survey is December 4, 2015.
The survey is located here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZT2BZC7
Request for Information concerning Financial Management Services under all home and community-based waivers and Act 150 Attendant Care Program
Pennsylvania has a long history of offering self-directed services under home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs. Self-directed services allow participants to make choices to manage their own services and employ their own direct care workers (DCWs).
With self-direction, participants can recruit, hire, train, supervise, and fire their own DCWs. A financial management services (FMS) provider acts as the employer agent and handles the employer-related fiscal and administrative tasks, including processing timesheets, making payments, managing Social Security and tax withholding from DCWs’ paychecks, paying and filing employment taxes, and managing the workers’ compensation insurance process for participants.
Today the Department of Human Services (DHS) is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) related to the current FMS agreements and we are looking for your input.
We are evaluating the FMS agreement in the Aging, Attendant Care, COMMCARE, Independence waivers, and the Act 150 program - all administered by our Office of Long Term Living, as well as the Consolidated and the Person-Family Directed Support (P/FDS) waivers administered by our Office of Developmental Programs.
DHS is soliciting your feedback on how to improve FMS and broaden our perspectives regarding potential strategies and solutions to enhance participant choice, enhance the quality and efficiency of this program, and integrate FMS into the future managed long-term services and supports delivery system, known as Community HealthChoices (CHC).
As we look to improve how services are delivered to Pennsylvanians, we believe this RFI will contribute to our goals of:
The RFI is available by clicking here.
The Board of the PA Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition has announced the appointment of Deborah Allen as the new Executive Director of the organization. Allen is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University and holds a BS in Rehabilitation Services.
Prior to her appointment, Allen worked at Keystone Autism Services as their Children’s Division Director, in which she oversaw four programs including Early Intervention, Family Based Mental Health Services, BHRS, and High Fidelity Wraparound Services.
Previously, Allen also held the position of Behavioral Health Membership Specialist/Associate Director at PCCYFS, worked at the Capitol Area Behavioral Health Collaborative as their Clinical Director, and for the Commonwealth of PA at the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Developmental Programs and Department of State.
Allen resides in Perry County and will assume her new role as Executive Director on Monday, November 23. Her email address will be email@example.com.
Guest post by Dan Dougherty, Glenside, PA
Have you ever lost your car keys and were faced with the prospect of not knowing how to get to work, school or meeting a friend for lunch? How did you feel? Since I was diagnosed with uncontrolled epilepsy thirty (33) years ago, I have dealt with this limitation on a daily basis.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes sudden unexpected electrical charges to the brain, resulting in what is commonly known as a seizure. It doesn’t “get the press” that it is due and, therefore, you may be surprised to learn that, in the United States alone, there are nearly three (3) million reported cases. To put it into context, that is more than the total number of people suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) combined!
Throughout the ages, up to the early twentieth century, individuals suffering from this disorder were treated as if they were possessed by the devil or were mentally challenged and placed in an asylum for the rest of their natural lives. For many years, because of this stigma, many people would be too embarrassed to admit that they had epilepsy.
Thanks to modern technology, we have moved beyond the fears and superstitions of the past. Doctors can locate and identify injured portions of the brain that cause seizures and develop an appropriate treatment plan. A majority of people with epilepsy have brought their seizures under control with medication and live relatively normal lives.
Thanks to my faith and the loving support of my family, I have met the challenges and accepted this cross God has given me as a gift to speak openly, as an advocate, about the limitations that come with epilepsy. I am reminded of those hopeful words: “When God closes a door, He always opens a window”.
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. For more information about epilepsy, you can visit the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern PA online, or call 215-629-5003.
Editor's note: For more information and other areas of service throughout the Commonwealth click here.