Fox 29 reporter Joyce Evans, along with her cameraman Shane, spent a few hours at Yellow Daffodil on June 20th. The Yellow Daffodil staff had a great time interacting with the pair and talking about their roles at the shop and life at Woods. Click here to view the segment!
This edition includes a feature story on Jason and Shawn and their life with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a look back at this year’s HOLLYWoods Gala, and much more!
*This blog post originally appeared on www.philly.com.
By: Tine Hansen-Turton, CEO of Woods, Dr. Scott Spreat, Chief of Research of Woods, Kristen Erway, Director of Government Affairs of Woods
The American Health Care Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, would have a devastating impact on the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
While most discussion around the AHCA has focused on insurance access and pre-existing conditions, little attention is paid to how the bill would make the most significant and dramatic changes to the Medicaid program since its inception. Instead of paying the cost of all needed care, the bill would impose per capita caps on federal funding. A per capita cap means that the federal government would determine an amount paid to each state each year for each person enrolled in Medicaid. The same amount would be paid to the state for each individual enrolled; however, the costs associated with each individual vary greatly as a function of that individual’s needs and the services they require.
These caps would create a dangerous and unstable situation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive supports and services via Medicaid funding. Caps would not increase to reflect rising health care costs or to reflect increases from people aging into needing more long-term supports and services. Per capita caps will reduce amounts and quality of services and increase the size of the service waiting list. States would be forced to find funding to make up for reduced federal support, a concerning prospect in a state currently facing a $1.2 billion deficit . And if funding cannot be found, the inevitable cut will occur – and many of the most vulnerable could die.
Pennsylvania’s intellectual and developmental disability service system is already suffering chronic underfunding, with approximately one-third of agencies losing money each year. Over the past 20 years, growth in the Pennsylvania budget for these services has lagged about 65% behind the general Pennsylvania budget. The result is high workforce turnover, excessive vacancy rates, and most importantly, a significant waiting list for services. The ACHA would tip the scales and make surviving in this environment impossible for many of those currently serving these individuals.
The sun broke through just in time to see more than 1,100 walkers, runners, and rollers take their mark for the third annual Run for Woods 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk on Saturday, May 6. In just three short years, the Run for Woods has become one of the largest integrated events in Bucks County and it continues to grow thanks to the support of staff members, sponsors, community members and families of Woods.
A dedicated group of more than 100 volunteers helped the day run smoothly by staffing the course as marshals and assisting with rest stops, registration, and lunch. The Fitness Fair featured 10 kiosks including the Independence Blue Cross Van, which offered complimentary health screenings (glucose, blood pressure and body mass Index) and two of Woods’ social enterprises, the Yellow Daffodil Flower and Gift Shop and BeechTree Bath & Body Products.
At the Opening Ceremony, State Representatives Frank Farry and Gene DiGirolamo and State Senator Tommy Tomlinson presented Woods with a resolution from the State of Pennsylvania recognizing the importance of our advocacy efforts, which ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a choice in where to work.
John Anthony Jensen spoke from his heart when he recounted the harrowing tale of his brain injury and his life now at Beechwood NeuroRehab, a program of Woods. “This day and age, I look forward to getting up every morning and continuing on with the day before’s endeavors and ultimately, my life. Every day is just a really great day at Woods, especially days like today,” he said. “I know it’s gonna sound like Beechwood’s paying me to say this, but in all honesty, this place is nothing but heaven sent…I look forward to getting up every morning and continuing my life.”
Following the run/walk, participants were treated to a delicious lunch of pork ribs and steak prepared by Outback Steakhouse and pasta and chicken prepared by Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Our local Corner Bakery Café in Newtown also hosted a wonderful dessert tent. Entertainment was provided by a group of Woods residents who presented several songs from their recent Disney Cabaret performance during lunch.
Awards were presented to the Top Individual Fundraiser: Whit Park, a Woods resident who raised more than $7300, the Top Fundraising Team, Team Mikey [Faulkner], which raised $14,425, and the Largest Team, the Woodlands Warriors, with 58 participants including residents and staff. Awards were also presented to the fastest male and female runners in 10 age categories.
“For the first time ever, a Woods resident was our most successful fundraiser. Whit Park raised $7300 for Woods Services,” said Hilary Stephens, Vice President of Development. “Whit spent hours on the phone calling friends and family. What a self-advocate! I hope that next year, others will follow his lead.”
Whit has lived at Woods for nearly 20 years and currently works at The Woods Enterprise (TWE) work center and recently started at the Yellow Daffodil Flower and Gift Shop. He enlisted the help of his parents, Penny and Jerry, and his brother, Ross, to spread the word about the Run for Woods and even he was impressed by the amount of money he was able to raise.
“I was pretty amazed myself,” Whit said. “I thought it was a great thing to do to raise money and my goal is to beat my total next year.”
Thanks to the generosity of nine Faulkner Ciocca Dealerships that raised a whopping $90,000 for Woods this year, and a record-breaking turnout, a total of $205,000 was raised for Woods Services. Joe Faulkner and Gregg Ciocca were on hand with their families to ensure that Woods reached its goal. Funds raised at the run/walk support services not currently covered or reimbursed by any funding source (including school systems, private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid) like music and art therapy, field trips and tickets to sporting or cultural events in the community or capital improvements to our buildings and grounds.
“We had a record 755 donors this year supporting our runners and walkers which is more than we have ever had. And the participation of our new community partners, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and the Corner Bakery Café has helped us take the Run for Woods to a whole new level.”
Thank you to everyone who helped make the third annual Run for Woods the best one yet! We look forward to seeing everyone next year!
Langhorne, PA— Woods Services will hold its third annual Run for Woods on Saturday, May 6, 2017, with Faulkner-Ciocca Dealerships once again serving as the Presenting Sponsor. In September, the Run for Woods was presented with three awards from the Best of Bucks contest sponsored by the Courier Times: Best Fundraiser, Best Outdoor Event and Best Family Event. Last year’s event drew more than 1,000 registrants and raised more than $205,000 for educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities for the more than 675 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are served by Woods Services. Families, friends and the local community are invited to participate alongside more than 200 individuals served by Woods by running, walking, or rolling in the 5K or 1 Mile Fun Walk.
The 5K is a flat and fast route that starts on the Woods campus and takes runners, walkers, and rollers through Langhorne Manor Borough and the Borough of Langhorne, both historic districts listed on the National Register. Participants will enjoy the beautiful tree-lined shaded streets of the Boroughs before returning to Woods for the final mile of the Run. Roads will be secured to ensure the safety of all 5K participants and those participating in the 1 Mile Fun Walk will remain on the Woods campus. An awards ceremony, picnic lunch, entertainment, and Fitness Fair will follow the 5K/1 Mile Fun Walk. Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Outback Steakhouse (both located on Tillman Drive in Bensalem) will be on site cooking up their signature dishes for race participants. Desserts will be provided by Corner Bakery Café.
Online registration will remain open at www.runforwoods.org until May 3. The cost is $40 per person and discount registration options are available for children 12 and under. Registrations will also be accepted the morning of the event for $45/person. This is a family-friendly event and all participants ages 7 and up will receive a t-shirt, medal, and an individual online fundraising page with the option to create a fundraising team.