August 19, 2019
Creating a Beautiful Space!
By Tammy Ritchie and Eric Fitzpatrick
Creating a beautiful space is hard, especially when starting from scratch! Eric’s new home needed a garden, according to Eric because he loves watching things grow. The space was cleared, supplies purchased and the work begun. Eric learned how to use pruners, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow. It was hard work and Eric never complained. He choose the plants and put them in place. A bird feeder and bath was added for feathered friends to enjoy. Eric loves maintaining it and the new garden, after creating such a beautiful space!
By Jo Grayson
When I was a college professor teaching English composition courses at Eastern Kentucky University, I never put much thought into what some of my students called “green therapy.” My students would enthusiastically write about the benefits of extra recess time in elementary school as many of them would go on to become teachers of young children who need to have that time outdoors. As I would read on my own, I would read the many benefits of “green therapy" even for adults who have several disorders ranging from Attention Deficit Disorder to Depression. So when Chelsea and her friend Eric asked if I would help them build a garden, I was happy to oblige. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to learn, not only about growing your own food, but also to be able to use these plants in the kitchen. As a project my consumer and I were able to learn many things, including what building materials are required to build a raised flower bed. Together, we were able to choose a design we liked from Pinterest and have some professionals help us with using the heavy equipment required. We were able to look at prices to build the most cost effective space. Chelsea and I were able to learn how long it takes to build such a garden. She and Eric were able to choose what plants they wanted to grow. We learned about planting things too early or too late and what effects wildlife can have on a garden. We also learned about soil and fertilizer. After the garden was built they picked out what they wanted to grow, we were able to plant herbs and some vegetables. All in all, this project has helped Chelsea learn new things as well as being a fun project that will benefit Chelsea for years to come, as we learn each year from trail and error.
August 19, 2019
In this edition of our employee spotlight, we would like to introduce two of our program coordinators: Melinda Brightwell and Brian Parker. Mendy oversees services including family home provider and ABI companion care. Brian oversees community living supports, respite, community access, personal assistance, personal care and homemaker services. They oversee these services in the Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown and Bowling Green areas. Mendy and Brian utilize their wealth of experience and demonstrate teamwork, compassion and hard work on a daily basis to ensure each consumer we serve receives quality individualized services. We asked them to share what being a service provider means to them. Here is what their journey means to them in their own words:
I have been in this field for a little over 16 years. After working in the school system for 8 years, I went to work for an agency as a direct support professional. I loved being a DSP, getting to know clients, and building relationships with teams. I then became a house manager, an ADT assistant Director and then started providing medical coordination with the nurse, before coming here to Path Forward. Being a service provider to me means that you look out for your clients and you do whatever you need to do to make sure that their needs are met. I love working in this field. It is so rewarding seeing our clients having meaningful lives and doing things that they want to do such as going on vacations and being able to get out into the community and do the things they choose to do. As the residential coordinator, I love to see my clients placed in a home where they are happy, feel support, and have the family life that some of them have never had before. The life lesson that I have gained from working in this field is that never take anything for granted and always be grateful for the people that you have in your life, sometimes you don’t realize the impact that you can have on someone’s life just by being there.
Bring a service provider to me means helping build positive relationships with the consumers we serve, their staff and team members, and the community. It means helping the people we serve reach their greatest potential and goals. It means advocating for the consumers we serve to have the fundamental rights that everyone else has. Being in the human service field for the last 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes for the better over the years for the consumers we serve. Generational perspectives have changed regarding acceptance, advocacy, community inclusion, and overall quality of life for the consumers we serve. During my journey in this field, I have seen a lot from working in an institutional style facility, establishing staff residences, group homes, being a behavioral technician, house manager, residential director(for over 30 houses), and program director(overseeing a residential program, ADT program, FHP program). There were a lot of good memories made, even through the difficult times. Human growth for the consumers we serve and contractors is what I remember most. I am a pretty laid back kind of guy but patience, listening, and promotion of the best version of myself daily are lessons I have gained on this journey that transcends into my everyday life.
August 15, 2019
10 Years and Counting!
By Alex Sholtz
Path Forward of KY was founded in January 2009 with the goal to provide effective and individualized services to people with disabilities. We began in Louisville with Supported Employment and then as the years passed we continued to add services and 3 new regions, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and the Bluegrass. 10 years on, we now offer Case Management, Behavior Supports, Personal Care, Community Living Supports, Respite Services, Community Access, Acquired Brain Injury Services, Family Home Providers, Ticket to Work and an even more thriving Supported Employment Service, in three Regions.
This decade of work has grown our great team of staff and contractors that embody our mission, vision and values. With a leadership team boasting of more than 75 years of experience in Human Services, and having Brittany lead us on our journey, we look forward to building even greater services and Regions for the exceptional people that we serve. When you get right down to it, it’s all because of rock solid teamwork. After all, that’s the PFK Way!
August 12, 2019
Denise Knight and Teresa Lonkard
Paulette has always been passionate about learning and about achieving her goals. When she learned about the College Connections program through Down Syndrome of Louisville with a partnership with JCTC, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. On May 23, 2019, after almost 3 years of hard work and determination, Paulette celebrated graduating college at Jefferson Community and Technical College. Paulette enjoyed taking part in classes including Life Skills, which she attended with several of her peers. She then chose a variety of integrated courses including African American Music History, Drawing, and History of Rock and Roll. She reported that she loved her music classes and learned a lot. After giving a speech during her ceremony about what graduating meant to her, she celebrated her accomplishment with her family home provider and her siblings. She said it was a “great day” and she was sure to let all of her friends know about her graduation. Paulette shared that her mother had always told her that she could graduate college and she wanted to complete the program for her mother. Paulette is excited to have her certificate of completion and to be a college graduate. She is ready to go out and change the world. Congratulations Paulette!
January 31, 2019
The Supports for Community Living Waiver and the Michelle P waiver are Medicaid paid services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These waivers are intended to assist individuals to live and participate in the community rather than in an institutional setting. Currently, there is a waiting list for both the SCL and MP waivers. There are close to 7000 people on the MP Waiver waitlist and 2500 on the SCL waitlist.
Path Forward of KY is now offering a private pay option for people who need and want individualized services but are not on a Medicaid waiver. We are offering all services that we currently provide through the waivers by the same direct support professionals who provide waiver services.
The services that Path Forward of KY provides are:
Community Living Supports/Personal Assistance/Companion Care: a one on one service that enables an individual to accomplish tasks to increase independence and promote integration into the community. This service offers support and assistance with routine household tasks, maintenance, activities of daily living, shopping, socialization, relationship building, leisure choices, and participation in community activities.
Case Management: assists individuals with disabilities navigate services, benefits, medical appointments, and advocates on behalf of the individual.
Respite: support needed due to the absence of or need for relief for the primary caregiver.
Behavior Support: professionally trained behavior specialist use positive approaches and ABA therapy techniques to help decrease challenging behaviors and increase coping skills and social skills.
Supported Employment: ongoing job support after funding is no longer available through Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. We will assist the individual in maintaining employment in an integrated setting with competitive wages.
If you are interested in learning more about our private pay services you can contact our office at 502-451-2565 or email email@example.com