Celebrating New People Inc. Health Services Building
Celebrating New People Inc. Health Services Building
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DSP Week: A Message from our President and CEO
25 DSPs Selected to Receive Awards

I’m so happy to share news about Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week, which took place the week of September 12 to 18. This annual celebration is a time to highlight DSPs around the country who make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At People Inc., we’re lucky to have some of the most dedicated and hardworking staff in Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. These heroes are the heart and soul of our mission, and we’re proud to have them as part of our team – assisting people to meet their goals, overcome challenges and achieve independence.
This is the seventh year that People Inc. sought nominations to recognize the quality supports provided by our exceptional staff. Our Senior Leadership Team reviewed a record-breaking number of nominations, including stories shared by people we support, coworkers and family members. Thank you to everyone who took time to submit nominations! After careful consideration, the following 25 employees were selected and each received a $1,000 award. Congratulations to
our winners! They are: Thomas Bartus, Ashley Brown, Kristen Cavanaugh, Douglas Dubose, Glenda Durham, Pandora Gibson, Robert Harker, Dayle Huber, Elena Jackson, Tamara Keem, Renee Marranca Michael Mayflower, Dashana Moore, Courtney Neubauer (Pawlak), Brenda Olmstead, Tara Polakiewicz, Dana Rivera, Russell Sanders Elizabeth Shearer, Colleen Sondel, Caleb Tate, Deborah Taylor, Emily Wittman and Christina Zamoyski.
If you would like to express appreciation for the work of our frontline direct support staff, you are welcome to submit a note. I also invite you to review the stories in this e-newsletter, featuring some examples of our incredible DSPs, as well as agency news and updates.

Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO, People Inc.
Learn More about our DSPs
Here are a few of the stories from award-winning People Inc. employees who were previously recognized for their exceptional work and dedication, providing essential supports to people of
all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Want a job you’ll love?
Visit people-inc.org/careers.
Teddie Blue, an employee of People Inc. for more than five years, supports people’s character, choices, strengths, independence, interests and needs. As a primary instructor in a Day Program and now a Residential team leader, Teddie truly believes in the mission and culture of People Inc. and supports people daily by exemplifying compassion, flexibility, creativity and trustworthiness. Additionally, Teddie enjoys helping people explore their creative side and excels at handling situations as they arise with quick thinking and adaptability.
A photo of Christiann McCabe
Christiann McCabe, an employee of People Inc. for nearly two years as
a self-determination assistant, provides personal care and skill-building assistance, as instructed by the people she supports and enjoys helping them to achieve their goals. A very reliable and positive person, Christiann strives to create a bond of trust with those she serves through her special calming nature and attentiveness. She always takes the extra initiative and ensures that the people she works with are happy and living to their best potential. Christiann recommends People Inc. because of how rewarding it
is to make a difference in a person’s life, the many skills she has learned and the ability to make close connections.
A photo of Connor Ziegler
Connor Ziegler, a self-determination assistant for more than five years at People Inc., assists a person living in the community with day-to-day tasks and activities allowing them to build skills, while also pursuing hobbies and interests. Connor’s hardworking, honest and compassionate nature is apparent in everything he does. He goes the extra mile to think about the present and future needs of the person he supports. Connor enjoys the creativity of his role and the opportunity to make every day worthwhile for the person he supports. He recommends working at People Inc. because it allows you to support people in need and experience the satisfaction of making a difference.
A before and after image of the new building.
A photo of Brian Clayback, general manager, Person First Mobility; Dr. Elizabeth Kapral, DDS, MS, director, Special Needs Dentistry, ECMC Dental/Oral Oncology; Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO, People Inc. and Raymond Ganoe, president and CEO, Evergreen Health.
Pictured left to right, Brian Clayback, general manager, Person First Mobility;
Dr. Elizabeth Kapral, DDS, MS, director, Special Needs Dentistry, ECMC Dental/Oral Oncology; Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO, People Inc. and Raymond Ganoe, president and CEO, Evergreen Health.
Ribbon-cutting photo in front of the new buidling.
Celebrating New People Inc. Health Services Building
We are pleased to partner with outstanding organizations to bring you the new People Inc. Health Services Building! We unveiled our new building on Tuesday, September 14, along with our great partners Evergreen Health, People First Mobility and ECMC Dental, which are all part of this new state-of-the-art medical building to help improve the health of our community.

The People Inc. Health Services Building, a newly-constructed medical facility, located at 800 Hertel
Avenue in Buffalo, NY, corner of Elmwood and Hertel Avenues, is a culmination of a goal set years ago through fundraising and seeking the best partners. The location will allow people to access a variety of much-needed health services and inclusive care, all under one roof.
People Inc. Rehabilitative Health Services and Evergreen will welcome patients at the new building on Monday, October 4. Pharmacy services through Evergreen will also be offered at a later date. This building will continue to be owned by People Inc., with the primary care clinic and pharmacy operated by Evergreen. The building will include: People Inc. Rehabilitative Health Services and Counseling Services, as well as People First Mobility, a medical business providing durable medical equipment and wheelchairs. Additionally, ECMC Dental is part of the expanded health services, offering dental services opening later this year.
We’re grateful to all of the funders of our People Inc. Health Services Building project: NYS Department of Health, Congressman Chris Jacobs NYS Senate Funding, First Niagara Foundation/KeyBank, People Inc. Foundation, John R. Oishei Foundation, B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, Independent Health Foundation, M&T Bank Foundation, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation,
James H. Cummings Foundation, Garman Family Foundation, J. M. McDonald Foundation, Maria Love Convalescent Fund and Josephine Goodyear Foundation.
To learn more, check out stories from The Buffalo News, Spectrum News Buffalo and RiverRock Times. View event photos on our People Inc. Facebook page.
Telling the People Inc. Story:
Then/Now Series Feature

Over the years, People Inc. has enhanced and expanded its programs, services and initiatives to support even more people to live, work and thrive – promoting independence, access to supports and health services, as well as affordable, safe housing. As our agency’s 50th Anniversary celebration continues, we’ll share a snapshot of how things were then and now throughout the rest of the year.
Then: In 1970, a small group of parents and professionals joined together to address the needs of people with developmental disabilities and created an agency formerly known as Services to the Mentally Retarded in Erie County (SMREC), which would later become People Inc.
Now: As a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, People Inc. provides programs and services to thousands of people of all ages and abilities in Western New York and
the Greater Rochester region. Services include: Residential, Children and Young Adult Services, Community Habilitation, Day Services, Vocational Services and Supported Employment, Family Advocacy Services and Supports, Respite, Self-Directed Services, Health Services, Services for Older Adults, Affordable Apartments and various Business Solutions. As other organizations affiliated with our agency, services were preserved in the community and expanded to meet the needs of even more people.
More of our agency’s Then/Now series is included in a photo album on the People Inc. Facebook page.
People Inc. Named One of WNY’s Healthiest Employers
People Inc. was recently honored by Buffalo Business First as one of Western New York’s Healthiest Employers. Pictured from left to right are Katina Klopfer and Cheryl Stiller, Human Resources, who attended the recent award ceremony. Thank you to all our staff who help to promote wellness for themselves and people they support!
Attendees at the golf event in action on the golf course.
Grateful “Fore” Support
We are so thankful to everyone who participated in the People Inc. Foundation 19th Annual Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament, held on August 16, at the Orchard Park Country Club. A BIG THANK YOU to all the sponsors, supporters and volunteers, who helped make the day a HUGE success! It was a beautiful day and we couldn’t have done it with YOU! Event proceeds benefit our programs and services that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults.
Many thanks to our Hole-In-One Sponsors: Savarino Companies, LLC, Parkview Health Services, Allied Mechanical, Long Associates Architects and Upstate Pharmacy, Ltd., and to our Eagle Sponsors: United Business Systems, CSS Construction, Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc., Towne Automotive Group, Contract Specialists, Inc., ePlus Inc./Cisco, D.V. Brown & Associates, Flaherty Salmin CPAs, Dobmeier Janitor Supply, Inc., Hodgson Russ LLP, Barclay Damon LLP, KeyBank and USI Insurance Services.
A photo of Terrance Hasan holding a
People Inc. formed Partnerships to Make COVID-19 Vaccine Accessible for those with Disabilities
On behalf of our agency and the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York, People Inc. helped coordinate vaccination efforts to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thomas Ess, People Inc. vice president of Emergency Management Safety and Security, and Terrance Hasan (pictured), who receives support from People Inc. and is also an employee of our agency, shared the process in an article from WBFO.
the cover of the 2020 Annual Report.
Reflect with People Inc. 2020 Annual Report Online
The past year revealed a great deal about human strength and perseverance. People Inc. is made of up of an incredible team – our frontline heroes, clinicians and administrative employees – who each play an important role in ensuring the safety of the people we support. Our partners and supporters have also played a huge part in our success. Our 2020 People Inc. Annual Report focuses on three words that have aptly defined the previous year: Resilience, Responsiveness and Results. Learn more about our accomplishments, how we delivered on our mission through challenges and our agency’s growth.
In the Media: Being a Resource to the Community
Local news media stories have recently included information from People Inc. and agency representatives. Our team of staff is pleased to share information and their expertise:
“In-person visits have returned, but telehealth rates remain strong. Here’s why.” People Inc. Associate Vice President of Clinical Practice Annette Phillips shared information. Buffalo Business First, September 9, 2021.
“‘Special Needs’ Vs. ‘Disabled’: A Search for Respectful Verbiage:" Person-first language is the focus of this story with insight from People Inc. Assistant Director of Marketing Communications Nicole Forgione. In Good Health, September, 2, 2021.
“The Next Chapter for Robert and Bixie:” Robert Kneitinger, an author/illustrator who receives services form People Inc. is featured. The Council on Quality and Leadership Inc., August 10, 2021.
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Updated Guidance and Resources
Our focus remains on the safety of the people we support and our staff. The People Inc. team will continue to operate in a proactive, precautionary manner, with a primary goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people we support and our staff throughout the global pandemic. For ongoing agency updates, refer to the Coronavirus section of our website. Thank you for your continued observation of the protocols that best keep the people we support and our staff as safe as possible.
The following resources are available:
  • Families are welcome to call group homes and programs with specific questions.
  • A special Coronavirus Phone Line is available for families to call at 716.817.7445.
  • An afterhours Coronavirus hotline is available for families and people enrolled in our Day Habilitation Programs and Vocational Services to share questions. The number is 716.529.6505.
  • A special email address, COVIDconcern@people-inc.org, is available to have concerns addressed.
  • The People Inc. Advocacy Department continues to help people who receive supports stay connected and informed through Zoom video and phone conferences. Our Advocacy Phone Line is available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions by calling 716.322.7070.
Fall In Love With A New Career!
Join People Inc. to Make an Impact

It is a great time for you – or someone you know – to fall in love with a new career at People Inc. We are seeking compassionate, energetic and creative people for full time, part time and per diem positions across Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. There is a place in the People Inc. family for people with all skill levels – from entry level to years of experience. Direct support professionals, clinical and behavioral staff are needed to help people with disabilities achieve their goals! People Inc. offers paid comprehensive training and a wide variety of flexible and consistent/flexible positions, which are great for college students to gain hands-on experience and for people returning to the workforce. Staff earn generous PTO and PTO buyback. Some of the other great benefits provided by People Inc. include health insurance and retirement plan with match, along with lots of rewarding experiences. A starting hourly rate of $15 per hour is available for select direct support positions. A sign-on bonus of $750 is now offered for some designated direct support positions and a $375 sign-on bonus for part time. For designated program management positions, a sign-on bonus of up to $1,500 is also available. (Note: The sign-on bonus is subject to change and/or may be discontinued at any time). There are also immediate opportunities for LPNs, RNs, Children’s Services case managers and residential supervisors, just to name a few. Take the next step to grow your career today! To view People Inc. employment openings, go to people-inc.org/careers or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
Rendering of the Oakwood Apartments.
People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments in Blasdell Accepting Applications
Move-in this fall – attend our Application Day

Are you or a loved one looking for maintenance-free living? People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments is accepting applications for a move-in this fall! Located at 15 Oakwood Avenue in the village of Blasdell, NY, the apartments are for people age 55+ and who meet income eligibility.
An Apartment Application Day for this new housing opportunity will be held on Saturday, October 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at People Inc. Lilly Senior Living, 36 Arthur Avenue in Blasdell. Attendees can complete an application on the spot and review any eligibility questions. It is recommended to bring a valid identification and proof of income. COVID-19 precautions in place. All attendees are required to wear a mask.
People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments include one- and two-bedroom units. Section 8 vouchers are accepted. Our apartment units include a brand new refrigerator and stove, plus safety features and laundry facilities. And, yes, furry friends welcome – tenants may have one small pet! Seven units are reserved for people who are frail elderly/homeless and in need of support services.
Download an application from our website in English or Spanish. Our staff are happy to review eligibility requirements. For more information, email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890.
Grant Street Apartments kitchen
Affordable Apartments Accepting Applications
Locations in Erie and Niagara Counties

People Inc. Affordable Apartments provide reasonably-priced, safe apartments in our community to those who are income-eligible. Each apartment consists of one or two bedrooms, kitchen with appliances, bathroom and a living/dining area. Some of these communities are for people 18 and over and others have an age requirement of 55 and over. Adaptable apartments available, with some that are specifically designed for people who have mobility and vision challenges or for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Our Affordable Apartments Services located throughout Erie and Niagara counties, are accepting applications.

Locations for the Olmsted Apartments, managed by People Inc., include the following (preferences for people with physical disabilities or vision impairments are provided):
Austin Manor Apartments: 395 Tonawanda Street,Buffalo, NY
Elizabeth Harvey Apartments: 525 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, NY
Gratwick Manor Apartments: 840 Tonawanda Street, Buffalo, NY
Haskell Stovroff Apartments: 30 Alpine Place, Cheektowaga, NY
Nelson Hopkins Apartments: 5562 Davison Road, Lockport, NY
The apartments listed below, with requirements, are also accepting applications:
Grant Street Apartments, 25 Grant Street, North Tonawanda, NY: 18+ years of age and who are income-eligible, physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled.

Highland School Apartments, 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY: 18+ years of age and who are income-eligible, traumatic brain injury (TBI), physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled.
Currently, a two-bedroom unit with hearing and vision accommodations is available.
Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: 55+ years of age and who are income-eligible, physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled. Market rate units available. Varying rates apply, based on income.

For more details, contact us today by email at housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890.

An older adult holding her kitten.
People Inc. Senior Living Accepting Applications
Multiple Locations throughout Western New York
Do you have a parent or elderly loved one who needs to downsize from their home or remove the worry of household maintenance? Our People Inc. Senior Living provides maintenance-free apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. Many locations throughout Western New York are currently accepting locations, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo (border of Cheektowaga) and South Buffalo, Gowanda*, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport (border of Amherst), Springville and Wheatfield (border of North Tonawanda). (*Our Gowanda location provides HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit apartments for seniors age 62+. Accessible unit available. Amenities vary. TTD/TTY: 1.800.662.1220).
Two benefits of People Inc. Senior Living are affordable rent based on income and safety features. As an added cost savings, some utilities are included. There is also a day-time manager and a live-in caretaker for building emergencies. Tenants are welcome to have one small pet. If additional supports are needed, tenants may utilize a unique benefit through People Inc. Senior Living Service Coordination at no extra charge to assist with various services.
If you or your loved one would like to learn more, email Seniorliving@people-inc.org or call 716.817.9090.
Rendering of the Oakwood Apartments.
Volunteers Needed to Help Older Adults
Want to assist older adults to remain independent in their own home? The People Inc. Senior Companion Program welcomes volunteers 55 or over, who live in Erie County and meet income guidelines to assist older adults with grocery shopping, light cooking and housekeeping. Additionally, our volunteers have the opportunity to reach out to recipients virtually through our program’s “Phone Connection” initiative. Trained volunteers earn a stipend, mileage and meal reimbursement. To join us or for more information, contact Alissa Yax at ayax@people-inc.org or call 716.768.2381.
News from Deaf Access Services
The Global Flag of Deaf Communities
Students from St. Mary's attending the event.
Events at Deaf Access Services
To help promote Deaf Awareness Month, Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc. has encouraged the community to be more involved to support people who are Deaf.
Deaf Access Services hosted a flag-raising ceremony on Monday, September 20, at Buffalo City Hall. The ceremony was also presented by People Inc., St. Mary's School for the Deaf and the Erie County Office for People with Disabilities. The Global Flag of Deaf Communities was proudly raised – it symbolizes the following: The shape in the middle represents a hand, which is used by people who communicate through Sign Language. The light blue represents how the Deaf community cherishes Sign Language. The gold symbolizes light, hope, knowledge and enlightenment. The dark blue indicates Deafhood, an individual and collective journey to combat audism and embrace Deaf gain. Staff members, people we support and community members attended the event. We are so proud to be a part of such an important initiative to help make the City of Buffalo accessible for everyone! Learn more about Deaf Awareness Week happenings on the DAS website.
In an effort to spread awareness and bring attention to the Deaf and hard of hearing community, the “Walk for DAS” event will be held during the morning of Saturday, September 25, at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY. The event, part of the nationwide initiative, Walk4Hearing, is being held to help all of Western New York gain a greater understanding of the need for access to local programs, services, resources and reasonable accommodations. With your support, DAS is able to ensure that advocacy and support services continue for the Deaf and hard of hearing community members. There’s still time to register!
For more information about available programs and trainings through Deaf Access Services, email Office@wnydas.org, call 716.833.1637 or videophone at 716.335.9192. News and event updates are posted on the Deaf Access Services Facebook page.
NEWS from Headway of WNY
Headway Support Groups Moving to Wednesdays
Bi-monthly support groups hosted by Headway of Western New York, an affiliate of People, are moving to the first and third Wednesday of each month, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The next meeting is Wednesday, October 6. To join these groups, send your name, phone number, email address and meeting date(s) you would like to attend to support@headwayofwny.org.
Virtual connection instructions will be provided to your email address. If you have questions,
call 716.408.3120.
The Summer/Fall 2021 edition Headway’s biannual newsletter is available online, featuring a recap of their Night Spring Silent Virtual Auction, various news and staff updates.
Headway assists people and families with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), other cognitive conditions, seniors and veterans. The agency offers a variety of services to the Western New York community, including: support groups, identification of supports, educational programs, waiver programs, symposiums, outreach, special fundraising events and a bi-annual newsletter. Keep up-to-date by going to Headway’s website and following their Facebook page.
NEWS from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.
A veteran experiencing the therapeutic healing power of hands on horse contact.
Veterans’ Programs Offer Healing
Recently, Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center (LTRC), an affiliate of People Inc., hosted Veteran groups from the Wounded Warrior Project/Project Odyssey® for Veterans’ Program workshops.
The Veterans’ Program at LTRC teaches emotional and mental balance using horses. The therapeutic power of horses can help veterans navigate the healing of emotional wounds. The goal of the program is to translate time spent with a horse into a meaningful, healing relationship that improves overall health. Using the horse as a therapeutic element, veterans focus on a variety of one-on-one and hands-on activities with their horse partner. Veterans learn about coping skills, building trust and improving overall mental health and well-being.
Located in East Aurora, NY, LTRC is a 38-year-old 501(c)(3) non-profit therapeutic horseback riding facility. LTRC provides horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for people of all ages with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Stay up-to-date with Lothlorien by liking their Facebook page.
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