People Inc. awarded $1 million to expand health services
People Inc. awarded $1 million to expand health services
Senator Jacobs Announces $1 Million Investment to Expand People Inc.’s Healthcare Services
In response to a need to provide medical services to people with developmental disabilities, People Inc. opened its affiliate, the
Elmwood Health Center, in 1994. As it grew, the facility became a
place for the general public and families in the surrounding community
to seek quality healthcare, in addition to those with developmental disabilities. People Inc. is excited to share that the community will now soon have access to even more healthcare options, due to the state funding that was announced by New York State Senator Chris Jacobs.
On April 20, during a special celebratory announcement, Senator Jacobs shared that $1 million in state funding has been secured to help People Inc. get closer to its dream of an expanded Elmwood Health Center.

To learn more about this exciting news,
click here for an article in Buffalo Business First.

“People Inc. has excelled at providing quality healthcare, first for people with developmental disabilities, and then the general population, for the last 25 years at their Elmwood Health Center,” said Jacobs. “The need continues to grow and I am very pleased that this $1 million will allow People Inc. to significantly enhance their healthcare delivery and realize their vision for the future.”

“It’s amazing when you look at how much we have grown at our Elmwood Health Center,” said Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. president and CEO. “We started here because we saw the need for people with developmental disabilities to get the proper healthcare they deserve and then we began to provide services to people without disabilities because we saw the need. We are addressing the fact that this community is a medically underserved area and that there are critical healthcare issues here. People Inc. and our Board of Directors are so thankful to Senator Jacobs and appreciates that he has a vision, too.”

Almost 25 years since its founding, the Elmwood Health Center provides services to people from Niagara Falls to East Aurora. The Elmwood Health Center provides a wide range of medical, rehabilitative therapies and counseling services for children, teens, adults and older adults.
Pictured L-R: Maria Lopez, People Inc. SeniorCompanion volunteer, and Melissa McMurray, program coordinator.
Bruno Bruni
Volunteers Recognized for Assisting Older Adults
People Inc. relies on its 300+ volunteers, who range in age from their late-teens to their 90s – all to help our agency run smoothly and ensure that a person, program or department is being given the very best support. Volunteer Appreciation Week was April 15-21, but the month overall recognizes the good deeds that volunteers do regularly. Here are just a couple of our volunteers who were recently recognized for providing outstanding assistance and advocacy for older adults:

• Congratulations to Maria Lopez, one of
our Senior Companion Program volunteers, who was recognized this month for her dedicated service during National Service Recognition Day. For the past four years, Maria has shown her dedication to the program, serving more than 30 hours a week with her clients. She is also a volunteer leader who helps fellow companions complete their timesheets and mileage forms, as well as a translator for the monthly in-service meetings to ensure the companions, whose primary language is Spanish, understand the information being shared.

• An Ombudsman volunteer for four years, Bruno Bruni earned the 2017 Older New Yorkers’ Day Award. He has supported countless individuals and their families who reside in nursing homes or assistive living programs in Chautauqua County. Through his tireless advocacy, patient mediation, thorough communication and creative problem solving, Bruno helps residents receive excellent services and live the highest quality of life possible.

Become a Volunteer!
Join our team of volunteers! People Inc. offers year-round volunteer opportunities to support and advocate for older adults in the following programs:

• The People Inc. Senior Companion Program assists older adults, 55 and up and living in Erie County, who need assistance with daily living tasks. Companion volunteers assist participating seniors with grocery shopping, going for walks, light cooking and housekeeping, while providing a break for caregivers. Program volunteers must be age 55 or over, live in Erie County and meet income guidelines. They receive rewarding experiences, training and earn a stipend, mileage and meal reimbursement. To volunteer or learn about upcoming trainings, call 716.768.2381.

• Through the People Inc., New York State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Center for Elder Law & Justice, volunteers called ombudsmen, promote the rights of residents who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. Ombudsmen bring problem-solving skills as they visit long-term care facilities to help residents resolve complaints. Ombudsman volunteers need to be 21 or older.
To volunteer and learn more about training sessions throughout the year, call 716.817.9222, or toll-free at 1.844.527.5509.

To learn about other volunteer opportunities throughout the agency and for requirements, email or call 716.322.7050.
Photo credit: Niagara Frontier Publications
People Inc. Willow Senior Living Celebrates Ten Years
Earlier this month, tenants of People Inc. Willow Senior Living celebrated its ten-year anniversary! The 49-unit apartment building in Wheatfield is like a second family for tenants who shared stories from over the years. Tenants who have lived there for all ten years were honored by site manager, Charlene Johnson, with a commemorative flower. To find out more about this celebratory occasion,
click here for an article in the Niagara-Wheatfield Tribune.

People Inc. manages 20 senior apartment locations throughout Western New York, helping older adults stay close to the community they love and to family members. Apartments are for independent older adults
age 62 and over who are income eligible.

To learn more about People Inc. Willow Senior Living, call 716.694.1486. For information about other locations or for an
apartment application, call 716.817.9090.

In the Community
People Inc. has been an active member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP) for a number of years, supporting its goal of improved business competitiveness and expanded economic activity in the region. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick is a member of their Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, and Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Horrigan is a member of their Government Affairs Committee. The BNP has given non-profits, like People Inc., the opportunity to let elected officials and community leaders throughout the Buffalo Niagara region know the issues that are important to non-profits. To view a recent Tweet,
click here.
People Inc. Featured in Western New York Family Magazine
The Special Needs Child pull-out section of the April 2018 issue of Western New York Family Magazine provides resources that can be used all year long for families and professionals. People Inc.’s Respite Services are featured in the article, “Recharge with Respite Care: Benefits for the Whole Family” (starts on page 34). Additionally, families can learn more about the WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts in the article, “How to Save and Invest for your Loved One with a Disability” (page 36-37). A collaboration between People Inc., Center for Elder Law & Justice and KeyBank, the WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts can help protect the financial future of loved ones with disabilities. Both articles were contributed by People Inc. Marketing Communications Manager Nicole Forgione through a cooperation with the Public Relations Committee of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY. To view this publication,
click here.
Register for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day
The 30th Annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, commonly known as DD Day, will be Thursday, May 24, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls
. Professionals from many area agencies that specialize in services for people with developmental disabilities and other health related industries will be available to provide guidance and information about their services. Hosted by the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York, the keynote speaker is Lawrence Carter-Long, director of communications for the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and an experienced media/communications professional and disability advocate. Various workshop sessions will be held, including several by People Inc. staff. Stop by the vendor fair to talk with our staff to learn more about our programs. For DD Day registration information, click here.
I Love My Job!
Julie feels that her job as an RN clinical coordinator was meant for her, though that wasn’t always the case. Just a few years ago, she was working in human resources before going to nursing school. After graduation, she found an RN job posting at People Inc. and thought she would give it a try, despite not having any experience in the human services field. She soon realized that a nursing career at People Inc. gave her the chance to develop meaningful relationships with those she serves. She found it to be fulfilling work that offers flexibility which, as a new mom, is exactly what she needed. “People Inc. is such a great place for nurses,” she shared. “You don’t know if you’re a person who could fall in love with this type of nursing until you try it!” Want a job you’ll love like Julie?
Click here.
Featured Job of the Month: Community-Based Instructors
People Inc. is currently hiring full and part time, community-based instructors for locations in Cheektowaga, Hamburg and Niagara Falls. As a community-based instructor, you are able to have a flexible schedule and work one-on-one with individuals who have developmental disabilities and are living in their own homes to increase their independence in activities of daily living. To apply for this employment opportunity or view other available openings,
click here.
Afterschool Program Accepting Participants
It’s not always easy finding time to work full days or complete errands. Our Buffalo Afternoon Respite Program, located at 2635 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, offers benefits for families who have children with developmental disabilities.
Currently accepting new participants, the program provides afterschool care for young people with developmental disabilities, ages 5 to 12. Participants enjoy a number of enriching activities, including assistance with homework, arts and crafts, along with fun activities and outings. While their loved one is gaining new opportunities, parents and guardians may get a chance to work late, shop, go to medical appointments or even take time to go to the gym or catch up with
a friend.

The Buffalo Afternoon Respite is available Monday through Friday,
from 2:30 to 6 p.m. For more information or to enroll your loved one,
call 716.683.7100, ext. 240.
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Get into the ‘Swing’ of Things
Our 17th Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament
and Auction will be held on Monday, August 20, at the Orchard Park Country Club, 4777 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park, NY. Spread
the word to see if your company would sponsor a golf team or purchase a tee sign. Another way
to support the fundraiser is by obtaining silent or live auction items, like trips, entertainment events or unique and coveted items! For more information, click here. To assist with our event or if you have questions, contact Melanie Brown at or
call 716.817.7450.
Support People Inc. while Meeting your Retirement Goals
Retirement in the not-so-distant future? Did you know that you can receive a guaranteed income for life, a charitable tax-deduction and tax-free income at a very competitive rate – all while supporting the future mission of People Inc.? It’s called a Charitable Gift Annuity and it is available through our very own People Inc. Foundation. For more information, contact Christine Mathieu, legacy officer at or call 716.817.7256. Feel free to share this information with those you know who are thinking about retirement or will be soon.
Purchase Unique Embrace the Difference® Bracelet
If you’re looking for a unique piece
of jewelry for someone special this Mother’s Day, check out the multi-colored Embrace the Difference® bracelet. For $30, the wrap-style bracelet with beads in a range of jewel tones and a butterfly charm, makes a great gift for someone you care about! Plus, the bracelets can be shipped. Proceeds benefit the People Inc. Foundation. To purchase online or to make arrangements to pick up, contact Jennifer Robinson at or call 716.817.7269.
Fundraiser and Auction Recognizes Museum’s 20 Years
The Museum of disABILITY History’s upcoming Fundraiser and Auction will recognize the one-of-a-kind museum’s 20th anniversary!
The event, emceed by Angela Christoforos of WIVB-TV Channel 4, will be held on Saturday, May 19, from 7 to 9 p.m., at its location, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and desserts, along with an auction and an awards presentation. The Chris Burke Award for Excellence in Disability Advocacy will also be presented.

Chris Burke, an actor with Down syndrome, played Corky on the television show, Life Goes On. He has earned numerous awards and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society.

Tickets are $20 per family
and under 18 free. Various donations and corporate support opportunities are also available.
All funds raised will benefit the Museum of disABILITY History’s educational programming. To purchase tickets, for more information or for event accommodations, contact
David Mack-Hardiman at or
call 716.629.3626.
Tickets Now Available for Headway’s Spring Carnevale
Headway’s Spring Carnevale is fast approaching, and will be held on Thursday, May 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Atrium @ Rich’s in Buffalo, NY. The event is sure to please with plenty of games, food stations, an open bar, lively music, entertainment, silent auction, themed basket raffle and more!

There are a variety of ways for you to become involved with this year’s event, including:
• Provide in-kind donations for inclusion in the themed basket raffle (i.e. gift cards, tickets, wines or liquors, new items of value) or fully assembled, themed baskets.
• Provide in-kind donations for the silent auction (i.e. jewelry, art, travel vouchers, quality vintage or new designer items of value).
• Purchase pre-sale tickets: General pre-sale tickets are $55; Headway member pre-sale rate is $50.
Pre-sale ticket rate ends on Wednesday, May 16. To purchase pre-sale tickets, click here.
• Interested in volunteering? There are still some positions available!

For the last 18 years, this
fundraiser has raised important funds in support of Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc. Headway’s mission is to ensure
that individuals in Western New York with brain injuries, other disabilities and seniors have access to advocacy, resources and support systems to enable them to live
as independently as possible. Headway seeks to educate the broader community about the causes, consequences and means
of prevention of brain injury.

To learn more about the
event, to make a donation
or to volunteer, contact
Christine Melchiorre at or call 716.408.3117.
3rd Annual Veteran’s Symposium
Join People Inc. affiliate, Headway of WNY for its 3rd Annual Veteran’s Symposium: Alternate Therapeutic Approaches for Successful Reintegration. The free event, which takes place on Wednesday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo, features a keynote speaker and four panelists covering a variety of holistic topics, including the benefits of art therapy and yoga. Lunch will be provided. To learn more, click here or to reserve your seat, email or call 716.408.3110.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“People Inc. gets $1 million from state to expand services:” People Inc.’s Elmwood Health Center featured. WIVB-TV Channel 4, April 20, 2018.
“Autism awareness month: programs offered in WNY:” People Inc.’s programs and services featured. WIVB-TV Channel 4, April 18, 2018.
“Changes coming to coordination of disability services:” People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick interviewed. Spectrum Buffalo News, April 4, 2018..


Chicago Tribune:
It’s ‘a pride thing:’ Three Aurora homeowners with developmental disabilities bond as roommates
“All three men have known one another for much of their lives….
But it was when they became homeowners that the bond grew
even tighter.”

CNN: Boy with autism builds world's largest Lego Titanic replica
“Before starting the project, he had difficulty communicating, which he says made him unhappy and lonely. Now, he has confidence and is
giving interviews about his accomplishment.”

Today: Boston Marathon bombings survivors pen children's book featuring service dog
"Together, the couple just released a children’s book featuring the newest addition to their family: Kensky’s service dog Rescue.”