People living with intellectual or developmental disabilities can now receive enhanced services and support through People First Coordination, enacted on July 1. These services are coordinated by the Care Coordination Organizations, made up of seven regional health care providers across the state. For the north country, LIFEPlan in Utica is the service provider.

The CEO of LIFEPlan, Nick Cappoletti, said up until this point, New York state primarily helped with finding physical health opportunities for these individuals. However, the services needed go far beyond this.

“Many people would need a combination of disability services and complex medical needs, such as physical, behavioral, specialized and clinical services,” Mr. Cappoletti said. “Their health needs usually get met pretty easily, but with all of those other needs, the families are on their own.”

By having these seven regional providers, rather than 350 smaller providers statewide, Mr. Cappoletti said he has the opportunity to develop a comprehensive network for individuals to utilize.