Next Steps at CP Unlimited: A Message from Joseph M. Pancari
I was honored to be selected to lead CP Unlimited and advance its vital mission. Our work means that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our care receive the best support in every way possible.
In service to this shared purpose, I wanted to highlight some recent takeaways from a meeting with Kerri Neifeld, Commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and her peers, organized by Susan Constantino. Our conversation was an opportunity to discuss how CP Unlimited can continue to play a leadership role in the innovation, development, and accessibility of supports for people with I/DD, and identify the most impactful priorities for the organization.
We presented a concept paper outlining important pathways to greater cooperation between the NYS Office of Mental Health and the OPWDD team, with the goal of offering more comprehensive systems of support and processes for people with I/DD in residences and especially in transitional housing options. By breaking down silos, we demonstrated how CP Unlimited could be a platform for new strategies to intensely and immediately address issues faced, resulting in more effective integration of people supported into local communities. Our proposal also showed varied efficiencies that would conserve time and resources where they are most needed.
When we talk about looking at more inclusive and wide-ranging supports for people with I/DD, one of the most overlooked- and most connected to overall health- concerns dental services. For decades we have advocated for greater access to these supports as we know how difficult it can be for people with I/DD to secure them. Given our extensive work with Metro Community Health Clinics (MCHC), we are in a good position to act as leaders in this space and offered our expertise to OPWDD, which was very well-received.
As we continue our work, I see all of us holding an essential responsibility to the people we support. All of us are advocates, collaborators, and allies and we maintain and grow CP Unlimited as a place where the needs of people who are most vulnerable are attended to with care, respect, professionalism, and love.
Thank you for your support of CP Unlimited, I look forward to taking these next steps together.
Joseph M. Pancari
President & CEO