September News from LIFEPlan’s CEO

A Focus on Connecting and Navigating Change Together 

Summer has come to an end and a new school year is beginning. Change is a constant in all our lives; a reality our members and families are familiar with. Your LIFEPlan Care Manager is dedicated to helping you navigate changes in many ways.

As the pandemic ends, LIFEPlan’s focus is on helping new people seeking LIFEPlan services. In addition, our Care Managers are actively guiding members as they return to previous services or plan for new, updating plans and linking to provider organizations.

A positive change of note is the NYS budget which provided much needed support to the direct support workforce. We are hoping this will help agencies fill the many vacancies experienced during COVID and support new people coming into the system.  It has been very challenging for Care Managers to identify service providers with staff, and we know this is a frustration for many members. While telehealth contact was used during COVID to protect the members’ health and that of your Care Managers, we are excited about resuming meetings in person and getting to know all of you better.

The new bivalent COVID booster and separate flu vaccinations are now available. We urge all of our members to discuss these vaccinations with your healthcare professional. If you need assistance to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Care Manager.

Strategic Plan & Election News

OPWDD has released their draft of the strategic plan, which includes suggestions submitted by many groups, including LIFEPlan. We look forward to seeing the final version and are hopeful the plan will address issues including the creating more housing opportunities, better employment supports, improvement in self direction, and increased focus on issues facing children.

As you are aware, we are heading into an election period. We encourage all of our members to register and to vote. People with IDD can receive supports in exercising their constitutional right to vote and participate in our democracy.

I go to the poll with my son each election and we vote together. It is important that we know the stance our elected officials take on supporting people with IDD, and their commitment to fund the supports and services that they need. Members can request absentee ballots and your Care Manager can help you register if you have not already done so.

As fall begins and we approach the end of 2022, LIFEPlan Care Managers are here to assist you through every change, advocacy initiative, and by improving supports to help you or your loved one live the best life possible. 

As always, please reach out if I can help in any way.