LEADING DISABILITY GROUPS USE NEW MEDICAID REPORT FINDINGS & RESROURCES AS GUIDE IN ADVOCACY FOR PROGRESS, AGAINST FAILURES IN STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH ID/DD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: 

Kaelan Richards, UCP: 202-973-7175,

Lara Schwartz, AAPD: 202-521-4309, lschwartz@aapd.com

LEADING DISABILITY GROUPS USE NEW MEDICAID REPORT FINDINGS & RESOURCES AS GUIDE IN ADVOCACY FOR PROGRESS, AGAINST FAILURES IN STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH ID/DD


The Case for Inclusion should be used a tool to determine how to build state support and service systems that work for Americans with intellectual and development disabilities                                                                                            

Washington, DC (May 23, 2012) – While progress has been made and there is more quality assurance of services provided, some states are failing to adequately serve Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), according to The Case for Inclusion 2012, a new Medicaid report released today. United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) are calling on advocates to use The Case for Inclusion as a tool to determine how to build state support and service systems that work for people. The findings for 2012 reveal that:

  1. While progress has been made, there is room for improvement: 36 states can now show that 80% of the individuals with ID/DD in their states are served in the community;  

     

  2. States are becoming more involved in ensuring the quality of the services they provide: 29 states have established a comprehensive quality assurance program to measure the outcomes of the community services they deliver;  

     

  3. But there is still more to do, particularly in providing services: waiting lists for critical community services continue to climb with more than a quarter of a million, or 268,000, people with ID/DD.

The 2012 report tracks the progress of community living standards, and it shows that the states with the best services and supports for Americans living with disabilities are Arizona, Michigan and California. The lowest performing states are Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi, which have remained at the bottom of the rankings since The Case for Inclusion was first published in 2006.  

While many states appear to be financially stable, the coming intersection of an aging population, people living with disabilities, and limited financial resources, will have a significant impact on the country’s entitlement programs. 

The report examines data and outcomes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), ranking each on a set of key indicators, including how people with disabilities live and participate in their communities, if they are satisfied with their lives, and how easily the services and supports they need are accessed. By taking these factors into account, the findings develop a comprehensive analysis of each state’s progress or failures in providing critical services to individuals living with disabilities.

Since 2006, these rankings enable families, advocates, the media and policymakers to fully understand each state’s progress or lack of improvement, and help to protect successful efforts against unwise funding cuts, as well as guide future reforms to promote inclusion and enhance the quality of life for these, and ultimately all, Americans.

“Each year, UCP publishes The Case for Inclusion as part of its continuing efforts to advocate for civil rights protections and public policies that provide support for individuals living with disabilities, ensuring fair and full citizenship for all Americans,” said UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett. “The Case for Inclusion clearly identifies the states that are successful in providing the supports and services that people living with disabilities need, as well as states that are struggling. I urge all states and advocates to utilize The Case for Inclusion as a tool to strengthen their efforts, and to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

“It is critical that states honor their obligations to people with disabilities by providing comprehensive and high-quality services through their Medicaid programs. That is why people with disabilities and our allies are fighting to preserve and improve Medicaid at the state and federal levels. The Case for Inclusion makes clear that some states are falling short and provides a roadmap for advocacy. AAPD encourages our community, members, and supporters to use this tool in our continued efforts to preserve the vital services and supports that enable eight million people with disabilities to live the lives we deserve,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. 

Online features, reports and data:

The 2012 report and data from all previous reports is available on UCP’s website using a robust new web module and design at ucp.org/public-policy/the-case-for-inclusion. Users can:

  • Compare state & national data

  • View state scorecards 

  • Interact with the ranking map 

  • See highlights of the 2012 report, top and bottom 10 states, most improved states and those with biggest drops, and  facts about the best performing states

  • Advocate for areas needing improvement in states, and promote achievements that maintain high quality outcomes, like eliminating waiting lists and closing large institutions

  • Download the full 2012 report and previous reports 

Users can pull individual state outcomes and measures, track each state’s performance over time, and compare states among one another and to the US average. The Case for Inclusion data, tables and graphs are exportable and printable as needed for personal and professional use. 

For further detail about the report itself, there will be a press briefing at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT). Author Tarren Bragdon will provide insight into the rankings and data, which advocacy groups and individuals can use to raise awareness for key outcomes for people with disabilities.

  • Toll-free: 1-888-450-5996

  • Participant passcode: 786597

# # #

About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country’s largest cross-disability membership association, organizes the disability community to be a powerful force for change – politically, economically, and socially. AAPD was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.

UCP’S NEW REPORT SHOWS PROGRESS, FAILURES OF STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

CONTACT: 
Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175,

UCP’S NEW REPORT SHOWS PROGRESS, FAILURES OF STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES

 

The Case for Inclusion analyzes and ranks states on services for Americans with intellectual and development disabilities                                                                                             

Washington, DC (May 23, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released The Case for Inclusion today, an annual report that tracks the progress of community living standards for Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), and there will be a press briefing at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT). Author Tarren Bragdon will provide insight into the rankings and data, which advocacy groups and individuals can use to raise awareness for key outcomes for people with disabilities.

  • Toll-free: 1-888-450-5996
  • Participant passcode: 786597


The findings for 2012 reveal that:

  1. While progress has been made, there is room for improvement: 36 states can now show that 80% of the individuals with ID/DD in their states are served in the community;
     
  2. States are becoming more involved in ensuring the quality of the services they provide: 29 states have established a comprehensive quality assurance program to measure the outcomes of the community services they deliver; and
     
  3. But there is still more to do, particularly in providing services: waiting lists for critical community services continue to climb with more than a quarter of a million, (268,000), people with ID/DD.

The 2012 report shows that the states with the best services and supports for Americans living with disabilities are Arizona, Michigan and California. The lowest performing states are Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi, which have remained at the bottom of the rankings since The Case for Inclusion was first published in 2006.

While many states appear to be financially stable, the coming intersection of an aging population, people living with disabilities, and limited financial resources will have a significant impact on the country.

The report examines data and outcomes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), ranking each on a set of key indicators, including how people with disabilities live and participate in their communities, if they are satisfied with their lives, and how easily the services and supports they need are accessed. By taking these factors into account, UCP is able to develop a comprehensive analysis of each state’s progress or failures in providing critical services to individuals living with disabilities.

Since 2006, these rankings enable families, advocates, the media and policymakers to fully understand each state’s progress or lack of improvement, and help to protect successful efforts against unwise funding cuts, as well as guide future reforms to promote inclusion and enhance the quality of life for these, and ultimately all, Americans.

“Each year, UCP publishes The Case for Inclusion as part of its continuing efforts to advocate for civil rights protections and public policies that provide support for individuals living with disabilities, ensuring fair and full citizenship for all Americans,” said UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett. “The Case for Inclusion clearly identifies the states that are successful in providing the supports and services that people living with disabilities need, as well as states that are struggling. I urge all states and advocates to utilize The Case for Inclusion as a tool to strengthen their efforts, and to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

New online features, reports and data:
The 2012 report, in addition to data from all previous reports since 2006, is available on UCP’s website using a robust new web module and design at ucp.org/public-policy/the-case-for-inclusion. Users can:

  • Compare state & national data
  • View state scorecards 
  • Interact with the ranking map 
  • See highlights of the 2012 report, top and bottom 10 states, most improved states and those with biggest drops, and  facts about the best performing states
  • Advocate for areas needing improvement in states, and promote achievements that maintain high quality outcomes, like eliminating waiting lists and closing large institutions
  • Download the full 2012 report and previous reports

Users can pull individual state outcomes and measures, track each state’s performance over time, and compare states among one another and to the US average. The Case for Inclusion data, tables and graphs are exportable and printable as needed for personal and professional use.

Importance, methodology and advocacy:
In the 1999 case Olmstead v. L.C., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that institutionalizing individuals living with disabilities that can benefit from, and want to live in the community, was discrimination. The Case for Inclusion was developed in response to this decision, and ranks how well each state’s Medicaid programs serve Americans with ID/DD. These individuals, including the aging, deserve the same freedoms and quality of life as all Americans.

In rankings, each state and DC is analyzed and ranked based on five key outcome areas: promoting independence, tracking quality and safety, keeping families together, promoting productivity, and reaching those in need.

Significant takeaways from the 2012 ranking:

  1. All states still have room for improvement, but some states have consistently remained at the bottom since 2007, including Arkansas (#49), Illinois (#48), Mississippi (#51) and Texas (#50);
     
  2. 36 states now meet the 80/80 Community standard, which means that at least 80% of all individuals with ID/DD are served in the community, and 80% of all resources spent on those with ID/DD are for community support;
     
  3. As of 2010, 11 states have no state institutions to seclude those with ID/DD, including Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon (new this year), Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and D.C. In addition, Minnesota closed its last remaining institution in June 2011, and another 12 states have only one institution each;
     
  4. 22 states now meet the 80% Home-like Setting standard, which means that at least 80% of all individuals with ID/DD are served in their own home, a family home, family foster care, shared apartments, or in other small group settings with fewer than three residents;
     
  5. 29 states participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) model, a comprehensive quality assurance program that includes standard measures to asses outcomes of services (nationalcoreindicators.org);
  6. Only 15 states were supporting a large share of families through family support (at least 200 families per 100,000 of population). This is important because those support services provide assistance to families that are caring for children with disabilities at home, which helps keep families together and people with disabilities living in a community setting;
     
  7. Just nine states have at least one-third (33%) of individuals with ID/DD working in competitive employment, which best recognize and support work as key to a meaningful life. These states include Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington; and
     
  8. Waiting lists for critical services continue to climb and show the unmet need of individuals living with ID/DD and their families. More than a quarter of a million people (268,000) are on a waiting list for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). To address this need, states’ HCBS programs would need to collectively increase by 46%.

# # #

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org

Press Briefing Wed. 1:00 p.m. EDT: UCP’S NEW REPORT SHOWS PROGRESS, FAILURES OF STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES

MEDIA ADVISORY: Press briefing

CONTACT: 

Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

UCP’S NEW REPORT SHOWS PROGRESS, FAILURES OF STATES SERVING AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES

The Case for Inclusion analyzes and ranks states on services for Americans with intellectual and development disabilities

Washington, DC (May 22, 2012)United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) will release The Case for Inclusion and host a press briefing with the author on  Wednesday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET. This annual report tracks the progress of community living standards for Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Author Tarren Bragdon will provide insight into the rankings and data, which advocacy groups and individuals can use to raise awareness for key outcomes for people with disabilities.

WHO:            UCP

WHAT:          Press briefing with The Case for Inclusion author, Tarren Bragdon

WHEN:         1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT)

WHERE:       Toll-free: 1-888-450-5996

                       Participant passcode: 786597

# # #

About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

UCP APPLAUDS PRINCIPLES ON RESTRAINT AND SECLUSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: 
Kalean Richards: 202-973-77175,  

 

UCP APPLAUDS PRINCIPLES ON RESTRAINT AND SECLUSION


Department of Education issued principles document to help educators, parents and stakeholders shape policies

Washington, DC (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) congratulates the Department of Education and the Obama Administration for taking a proactive stand on protecting our nation’s students by highlighting the use of positive behavioral supports in schools.

Achieving a safe learning environment that is free from abuse should be the objective of every school, and the Department’s 15 principles issued in today’s guiding document are a step forward in reaching that goal. As noted by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), there is no evidence that using restraint or seclusion is effective in reducing the problem behaviors that cause these techniques to be utilized. Furthermore, there have been cases of alleged abuse, including deaths, related to the use of restraint or seclusion of children in public and private schools.

“I applaud the Department of Education and the Obama Administration for issuing this document, which will act as a guide for teachers, parents, and policymakers on behavioral interventions in schools. By using these 15 principles to determine school policies and actions, the use of restraint and seclusion in our schools will be carefully regulated and hopefully eliminated. As the GAO points out, these techniques are not only ineffective in preventing negative behaviors, but can lead to tragic consequences when used inappropriately,” said Stephen Bennett, UCP President and Chief Executive Officer.  “These principles are important for all our students, not just students living with disabilities. Every student should be able to learn and grow in a safe environment, and be given the opportunities they need to reach their fullest potential.”

###

About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

Department of Education Releases Guidelines on Restraint and Seclusion

In a press release today, the US Department of Education released guidelines that schools should follow to enure the safe and carefully considered use of this controversial practice in dealing with children with behavioral problems.

As noted by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), there is no evidence that using restraint or seclusion is effective in reducing the problem behaviors that cause these techniques to be utilized. Furthermore, there have been cases of alleged abuse, including deaths, related to the use of restraint or seclusion of children in public and private schools.

Read the full resource document from the Department of Education.

Read the UCP Press Release about the new guidelines.

UCP Guides Affiliates, Partners & Allies Through New Approach to Serving People with Disabilities to Achieve Full Inclusion, at Annual Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, lcozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

UCP Guides Affiliates, Partners & Allies through New Approach to Serving People with Disabilities to Achieve Full Inclusion, at Annual Conference 

 

 

Attendees explore new thinking about research, education, employment and services

 

Washington, DC (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) guided its affiliates, partners and allies to transitioning to a new approach to serving people with disabilities, during the 2012 UCP Annual Conference, themed Transitioning to Tomorrow, April 25-28 in Washington, DC. The conference explored new ways of thinking in research, education, employment and services in order to create a better future for people with disabilities.

Highlights:

  • More than 150 participants–UCP affiliates, partners and allies–gathered in Washington, DC to tackle a new approach to successfully serve people with disabilities.

  • UCP presented Awards for Excellence to nine recipients, including affiliates, individuals and companies, whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission, along with the help of three actors:

    1. Emmy-nominated actress Cheryl Hines, a UCP Celebrity Ambassador and member of the UCP Board of Trustees;

    2. Actress Meredith Eaton, known for her breakout role in the ABC hit series Boston Legal, and granddaughter of one of UCP’s founders, Nina Eaton; &

    3. Actor RJ Mitte, a UCP Celebrity Ambassador, known for his role as Walter White Jr. in the Emmy-nominated AMC drama Breaking Bad.

  • Five new members were appointed to UCP’s national Board of Trustees.

  • Photos are on Facebook, and information is online.


Press releases that follow:

  1. UCP Presents Awards for Excellence at 2012 Annual Conference

  2. UCP ELECTS FIVE NEW MEMBERS TO NATIONAL BOARD

  3. VGO AND UCP DEMO ADVANCED ASSISTIVE CONTROL SOLUTIONS FOR  ROBOTIC TELEPRESENCE          

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, 

UCP Presents Awards for Excellence at 2012 Annual Conference 


Recognizes exceptional activities, achievements and dedication to
exemplify the UCP mission

Washington, DC (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) presented the Awards for Excellence at UCP’s 2012 Annual Conference, last week in Washington, DC. The Awards for Excellence are presented annually to UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to educate, advocate and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

“UCP is proud to honor leaders in advancing the civil rights movement by promoting full inclusion for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, UCP President & Chief Executive Officer. “The Awards for Excellence are a tradition that UCP take seriously; the winners truly help make UCP’s mission a reality by advancing independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities.”

The eight 2012 UCP Awards for Excellence were presented to the following nine recipients at the Opening Reception and the Awards for Excellence dinner and presentation, during the Annual Conference, themed Transitioning to Tomorrow.  

  1. The 2012 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award was presented to Rick Forkosh, Executive Director of UCP Heartland, for his leadership and strong commitment to UCP. The award is presented to an exceptional executive director in memory of Kathy Maul, a remarkable executive director at UCP of Suffolk who died young and left a legacy of leadership ability and strong commitment to UCP. Forkosh received a painting by artist, Maurice “Mo” Higgs, as part of Art Enables, a studio and gallery in Washington, DC for emerging artists with developmental disabilities.

    Forkosh began his career working in the disability field in 1979, managing a group home with eight men. Soon later, he was promoted to Assistant Director of Residential Services, until 1983, when he joined UCP’s St. Louis affiliate–now UCP Heartland–in as Director of Adult Services. Forkosh was appointed Executive Director in 1985, and since then, the agency’s $750,000 budget now has around $9.75 million under management. UCP Heartland has won several awards at the local, state and national level for some of its new and innovative programs and supports under Forkosh’s leadership and has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for the past 30 years.

    “It is clear that Rick has proven leadership ability, but what about Rick the man?” asked UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett, during the Opening Reception at the 2012 Annual Conference. “His peers would call him passionate about the mission, tenacious about civil rights, a formidable executive with a dry sense of humor, and a gentle giant of a man who loves a good debate! I remember one Monday morning years ago, calling Rick to touch base, and when I asked how Rick was doing, he explained he wasn’t so well. It turned out that he had been up driving UCP clients around all Sunday evening after an agency had closed, and he was trying to find them a place to sleep. You don’t hear about type of dedication often, and Rick is a UCP executive who has dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities, no matter the circumstance.”
     

  2. The 2012 Chair Award was presented to The Medtronic Foundation, and is given to an individual, organization or company whose impact and support for UCP and its mission is deemed exemplary by the national Board of Trustees Chair. The Medtronic Foundation received a painting by artist, Darnell Curtis, as part of Art Enables.

    Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation stand as a model of aligning corporate philanthropy with the needs of the real people they serve. Medtronic has a long-time commitment to innovation, pushing the boundaries of medical technology to transform the lives of people with disabilities and chronic disease. The company’s sponsorship of the Medtronic Foundation and its work has created strong supports for patients and families, including many in the UCP network. Through programs like PatientLink, the Medtronic Foundation builds awareness, educates and advocates on behalf of patients and their families, to improve the lives of people living with chronic disease and disabilities.

    “UCP has been proud to partner with Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation to bring vital resources to people that need them most,” remarked Bruce Merlin Fried, Chair of UCP’s national Board of Trustees, during the Opening Reception at the 2012 Annual Conference. “We are grateful for Medtronic’s foundational support of our programs, including My Child Without Limits and now Brave Kids.”
     

  3. The 2012 Ritter Legacy Award was presented to UCP of Maine for its monthly YouTube UCP NEWS broadcast. The award honors an affiliate that has produced exemplary communications through a variety of media that increase public awareness about people with disabilities, the programs of the affiliate and the national UCP brand through the use of the official UCP logo, colors and messaging.

    UCP NEWS was created with a goal to share news and information related to UCP of Maine’s agency and mission, on both local and national levels, expanding the UCP message in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Utilizing the popular YouTube media platform, UCP NEWS has the ability to reach people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, friends, neighbors and even elected officials online. Because of UCP NEWS, UCP of Maine is able to raise awareness and advocate in a more modern way, reaching across many generations.
     

  4. The 2012 Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award was presented to UCP of San Luis Obispo County for its CIP Tours program, resulting from its extraordinary contribution to the quality of life of people with disabilities, enabling individuals served to become more independent, productive or integrated into the family or community.

    CIP Tours is a program that allows adults with disabilities to have inclusive vacation experiences. There are 12 big trips each year, which have included Disneyland, San Diego, Las Vegas, Jamaica, Alaska and many Participants save money in advance and participate in the trip planning, and support staff is trained to promote full independence and inclusion of all participants. CIP Tours CIP Tours provides a true vacation experience for individuals with disabilities.

    Nina Eaton was one of UCP’s founding members and passed away only a few weeks ago. Nina’s granddaughter, Meredith Eaton–a movie and television actress, known for her breakout role in the ABC series Boston Legal and the movie Unconditional Love–attended the Awards for Excellence to present the award in honor of her late grandmother.

    Speaking about her grandmother, Meredith Eaton, remarked, “Nana frequently spoke about her wish for a more accessible world for the disabled community. Imbued with a sense of compassion and determination, she always felt there was still so much more to do… Her imprint on this organization is ever lasting and the stories that we all have about this gorgeous, white haired lady with the effervescent smile and humanistic spirit will live on in our hearts forever.”
     

  5. The 2012 Outstanding Youth Award was presented to Brooke Arnold, nominated by UCP of Baton Rouge, for significantly enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through care giving, volunteerism, advocacy, innovation or fundraising.

    Arnold has been an unwavering supporter for families of children with disabilities served by the UCP of Baton Rouge for nine years — quite a feat considering she is only 19 years old. As an individual with a disability, Arnold uses her experiences overcoming challenges to inspire and encourage those around her. She has formed and participated in support groups for parents and individuals with disabilities and even started her own popular Facebook support group called CP and Me. Arnold has volunteered at UCP of Baton Rouge’s Capably Arts program, co-led a Siblings group, spoken as part of a fundraising appeal at an annual breakfast event, and participated in UCP of Baton Rouge’s 5K Run, Walk & Roll. She even secured a grant from the Clay Aiken Foundation for a wheelchair accessible swing for a local playground. Arnold changes perceptions of people with disabilities by living her life with an unparalleled “can do” positive attitude, increasing CP awareness in her community and becoming a role model for others. 
     

  6. The 2012 Universal Accessibility Design Award was presented to Patrick Baechle of Baechle & Associates, for designing the Alleghenies UCP Blair County Community Service Center. The award is presented to an individual, business, government or governmental agency that has provided leadership developing a universally accessible environment by creating new tools modifying the environment, enhancing independent living or achieving a barrier-free environment.

    The Center was designed beyond meeting building codes and ADA accessible standards by Baechle & Associates to make a more enjoyable environment for those who strive for dignity and independence while living with a disability.

    Enhanced features were incorporated to accommodate those with special needs, particularly those who have difficulty interpreting and reacting to sensory information, reaching and manipulation disabilities and poor coordination abilities. Some of these features include additional room in corridors for large wheelchair turning, exceptionally spacious restrooms with simple push button locks and door openers, a strobe light fire alarm system, impact resistant walls, an accessible kitchenette, a vehicle canopy and a curbless sidewalk at the drop off area.

    These and other planned facility improvements show creativity and innovation while exceeding the accessibility standards. Because of the insight put in to the facility’s design, the final product meets the needs of multiple generations and multiple facets of the community, including those with and without disabilities.

    The community center provides a fully accessible space for Alleghenies UCP programming, training and public events, including assistive technology demonstrations and training, certified personal care aide training, consumer art workshops, computer classes for individuals with disabilities utilizing available adaptive equipment, consumer cooking classes and many more community supported social clubs, entertainment events, support groups, public gatherings and trainings.

    “Thanks to the work of Pat Baechle, the Alleghenies UCP Blair County Community Service Center furthers the UCP mission to support individuals with disabilities, and the center supports community needs by treating all persons with respect and raises public awareness for the need to accessible facilities,” said Bruce Merlin Fried, Chair of UCP’s national Board of Trustees, before presenting Baechle with his award, during the Awards for Excellence dinner and presentation.
     

  7. The 2012 the Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year Award honors exceptional individuals who, through volunteering, has made an outstanding contribution to UCP. 2012 had so many exceptional nominations that the Awards Committee chose two recipients.

    The first awardee was Tim Noonan, nominated by UCP Central Pennsylvania. Noonan has donated more than 1,600 hours of service over 10 years to the betterment of the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania’s Perry and Cumberland counties. Noonan is the co-founder and co-chair of the Cumberland-Perry Residential Task Force, an initiative seeking residential solutions for people with intellectual disabilities. He worked to expand the scope of the Task Force to include Employment and Respite services and secured funds so these essential programs are provided to families at minimal cost. As a result of his hard work and determination, more than 120 individuals were placed in one of 15 new group homes, 12 apartments and in family living arrangements. Many other people received the support they needed to live fuller lives in their community, receive job training and placement and support transitioning from school to adult life.

    The second Ethel Hausman award recipient is Micki James from UCP of the Inland Empire. James has been a UCP volunteer for more than 60 years. Along with her late-husband Dennis James, she played an integral part in UCP’s history, and her impact has been incredible. Her son, Brad James, accepted the award on her behalf.
     

  8. The 2012 Life Without Limits Award was presented to Bonnie Peterson, nominated by UCP of Central California, as an individual with disabilities who has demonstrated leadership and achievement of such caliber as to be a significant role model to individuals with and without disabilities.

    Peterson was born in 1949, when children with disabilities were not encouraged to expect to have lives as full productive citizens. However, Peterson gracefully overcame every obstacle that came her way. She built a life that included a marriage of more than 40 years. She and her late husband lived their lives as full citizens, and they educated their community to the reality that people with disabilities are simply people.

    Peterson is a mother, a grandmother, a business owner and an active community volunteer, whose compassion and care seemingly know no limits. She is also a published author. In We Climbed Every Mountain, Bonnie shares with the world what it has been like to live her life as a person with a disability. She describes in her book, and exemplifies in her journey through life, that no obstacle is too great no matter what the odds against one may be. Bonnie has not just accomplished ordinary things in extraordinary ways, but she has taken hold of the extraordinary and made is part of an ordinary, “just like any other person” kind of life.  

 

Individuals who volunteered significant time with UCP affiliates were also recognized as Victory 100 winners. In 2011, Victory 100 winners included 182 volunteers from 13 UCP affiliates, who volunteered a total of 28,120 hours. Each volunteer dedicated at least 100 hours of service by participating on a board, assisting in fundraising activities, and performing other needed volunteer work.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, 

UCP Elects Five New Members to National Board

New cohort brings depth in changing landscape for people with disabilities


Washington, DC
 (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) elected five new members to its Board of Trustees during its 2012 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, including the following:

  • Michael A. Burke, Jr. is a co-founder and principal of Thrive Office, a newly formed innovative, shared workplace community based in New York City, focusing on emerging trends in the workplace based on the evolving preferences of a new generation of workers. His background is in commercial real estate and direct sales. Previously, Burke worked in the commercial office brokerage business in the Washington, DC metro region for Cassidy Turley and Avison Young. Burke has a personal relationship with the disability community as his youngest brother has CP.  Throughout his professional career, he has been actively involved in multiple philanthropic organizations centered on disability issues and advocacy, and was a key component in founding ABLE, UCP’s young professionals outreach program.

  • Ruth Gullerud is retiring this month as Executive Director of UCP of West Central Wisconsin, where she has worked since 1977. Previously, Gullerud was an advocate and guidance counselor with the Women’s Community Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; a member of the Wisconsin State Board for People with Disabilities, a member of the Wisconsin Exceptional Education Council for Department of Public Instruction, and a member of the Board of the Accreditation Council on Services for People with Disabilities. Gullerud currently serves on the Eau Claire County Advisory Committee on Specialized Transportation and the Wisconsin Alliance for Self-Determination.  A recipient of several outstanding leadership and management awards, Ruth had the pleasure of hosting the Ruth Gullerud Show, focused on the world through challenges of disability.

  • Melvin “Chip” Hurley has over 30 years of healthcare and management experience in accounting, auditing and consulting with two “Big 4″ professional services firms (18 years at E&Y and four years at PwC); two national consulting firms (nine years at Navigant Consulting and currently at Berkeley Research Group, LLC); and three years corporate management experience with Helix Health, a five-hospital integrated healthcare delivery system. He has extensive experience in leading hospital improvement projects, supporting mergers and acquisitions of hospitals, providing litigation support, and conducting audits of hospitals. Hurley previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of UCP of Central Maryland, and as a licensed CPA, FHFMA, Hurley currently serves as Chair of UCP’s Audit Committee.

  • Linda Cox Maguire has been a consultant at Maguire Associates since 1985 where she leads initiatives in global markets and heads up projects across company service lines. She began her career in the corporate world, before she returned to higher education where she served in leadership positions in admissions for nine years. Maguire chaired the Board of Trustees at Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., is corporator at a local hospital, and is currently vice president of the Board of Directors for UCP of Metro Boston, of which she has also been past president. Maguire received her bachelor’s degree from Douglass College of Rutgers University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Boston College.

  • Rob White is Chief Executive Officer of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a UCP affiliate based in Sydney, Australia. With 26 years of service with the organization, and 12 as CEO, White has a deep appreciation of the key issues that face service providers, government, clients and families. Cerebral Palsy Alliance was the first international affiliate of UCP. Since 2005, the affiliate’s Research Foundation to raise funds to promote international research into prevention of and cure for CP, raising over $23 million (AUD) and approved $4.9 million (AUD) in research grants to international researchers in the field of cerebral palsy, to date. White has been an active member of the National Disability Services New South Wales State Committee for 11 years, previously held the position of President of Cerebral Palsy Australia, and has sat on a number of state and national committees serving the interests of service providers in the disability field. White has a Masters in Psychology and an MBA.

Coming off the national board at the end of the fiscal year on September 30 are Bruce Merlin Fried, Board Chair; Michael Burke Sr., Vice Treasurer; and Cheryl Hines, who will remain in her capacity as UCP Celebrity Ambassador. All plan to remain very engaged with UCP support, advocacy and events.

To view UCP’s Board of Trustees, please visit ucp.org/about/board.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org
Ned Semonite: 978-831-3195, nsemonite@vgocom.com           

VGo and UCP Demo Advanced Assistive Control Solutions
for
Robotic Telepresence


Organizations have partnered to develop new tools for people with disabilities to expand their independence


Nashua, NH & Washington, DC,
(April 26, 2012) – VGo Communications, the leader in robotic telepresence, and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) today announced a partnership to collaborate and work together to define and deliver accessibility enhancements to VGo’s robotic telepresence solution. A demonstration of prototype voice activated remote robotic telepresence driving controls will be seen by attendees of the 2012 UCP Annual Conference, Transitioning to Tomorrow, in Washington, DC.

“We saw what VGo was doing for homebound students and realized that with some usability enhancements, VGo could be a dramatic life altering tool for many people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, UCP President and CEO. “Imagine the opportunities and quality of life improvements for people who currently cannot go places because their disability prevents access or makes it too expensive. UCP is excited to be working with VGo to make this technology available to people with disabilities so they can live life without limits.”

“We’re very excited about jointly developing specific usability enhancements for people served by United Cerebral Palsy,” said Peter N. Vicars, CEO of VGo. “Our users today find controlling a VGo with their computer mouse or keyboard keys very easy, but indeed not everyone can use a computer in a traditional way.  We know how impactful VGo has been for students that are homebound and can’t go to school.  Soon VGo can be available to other disabled people so they can move around in a distant place without first having to get themselves there.”

For more information about VGo, visit www.vgocom.com.

About VGo
VGo Communications, Inc. develops and markets visual communications solutions for the workplace. The company was founded in 2007 by experienced successful veterans of the visual communications and robotics industries. VGo has leveraged the recent trends of widespread wireless high speed networks, lower specialized component costs and the universal acceptance of video as a communications medium to become the Robotic Telepresence market leader.

With the VGo solution, an individual’s presence is replicated in a distant location such that they can interact and perform their job in ways not previously possible. Now they can see, be seen, hear, be heard and move around in any remote facility –just as if they were there. VGo enables: healthcare providers to deliver lower cost services and improved quality of care, businesses to increase productivity of remote and travelling employees, and homebound students to attend school – all with a great user experience and at an affordable price.

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Independent Sector Announces the Selection of 2012 American Express NGen Fellows

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2012

Contact: Kristina Gawrgy Campbell; 202 467-6144; KristinaC@IndependentSector.org

Independent Sector Announces the Selection of 2012 American Express NGen Fellows

(Washington, DC)—Independent Sector is pleased to honor the 12 outstanding under-40 leaders from IS member organizations that comprise the 2012 American Express NGen Fellows Program. In its fourth year, this selective fellowship program continues to build the next generation of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders as part of IS’s NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now initiative.

The 2012 American Express NGen Fellows are:

  • Ellie Buteau, Vice President-Research, The Center for Effective Philanthropy, Cambridge, MA• Tammy Gregory, Vice President, Quality and Health IT, American Heart Association, Dallas, TX

  • Michael Hill, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, United Cerebral Palsy, Washington, DC

  • David Lee, Policy Advocate, Feeding America, Chicago, IL

  • Katherine Michonski, Director, Business Council on Climate Change, San Francisco, CA

  • Dara Munson, President & CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, MI

  • Alejandro T. Reyes, Counsel, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Washington, DC

  • David Ringer, Media Relations Director, National Audubon Society, New York, NY

  • Jennifer Sigler, CFO/COO, GlobalGiving Foundation, Washington, DC

  • Eric Stowe, Founder & Executive Director, A Child’s Right, Seattle, WA

  • Lindsay Torrico, Manager, Public Policy, United Way Worldwide, Alexandria, VA

  • Vivian Vasallo, Vice President, Housing, AARP Foundation, Washington, DC

The American Express NGen Fellows program gives emerging leaders an exceptional opportunity to strengthen their capacity for future impact. Over the course of nine months, fellows collaborate with other talented under-40 leaders, interact with established mentors, and contribute to Independent Sector’s work on nonprofit impact and leadership.

“Each year, I am impressed by the caliber of extraordinary young leaders selected for the American Express NGen Fellows program,” said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “I look forward to welcoming these talented leaders to our highest echelons, learning from them, and partnering with them to improve life for all.”

The American Express NGen Fellows Program offers these twelve professionals a rare opportunity to strengthen their capacity for future impact. Its programming, anchored by the IS Annual Conference, offers a comprehensive program that develops fellows’ capacity to lead in turbulent times, strengthens their professional networks, and elevates NGen accomplishments on a national level. Over the course of their fellowship, they will also embark on a major keystone project that will positively impact the sector.

“The nonprofit sector plays a critically important role in addressing many of today’s biggest challenges,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “Independent Sector and the

NGen Fellows Program offer a great way to focus on strategies that can develop the next generation of leaders and help nonprofits deliver on their full potential to serve the communities in which we all live and work.”

The program runs August 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013, anchored by the IS Annual Conference on November 11-12 in San Francisco.

American Express, the lead sponsor of the American Express NGen Fellows Program, is a major contributor to the development of emerging nonprofit leaders through their Foundation’s philanthropic giving initiative committed to leadership.

Learn more about the American Express NGen Fellows Program.

Read the bios for each of the 2012 American Express NGen Fellows.

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Independent Sector is a leadership network of 600 nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good. Our nonpartisan coalition leads, strengthens, and mobilizes the sector; we advocate for public policies that fortify our communities; and we create unparalleled resources so staff, boards, and volunteers can further their missions and increase their impact. IndependentSector.org.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.

One of American Express’ three philanthropic platforms, Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow, recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit sector. American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.

CIRCLE K FLORIDA DONATES MORE THAN HALF A MILLION DOLLARS TO UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY AFFILIATES IN FLORIDA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, lcozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168,

CIRCLE K FLORIDA DONATES MORE THAN HALF A MILLION DOLLARS TO
UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY AFFILIATES IN FLORIDA

Presentation at annual fundraising event underscores support 

for people with disabilities in Florida communities

Fort Myers, Fla. (May 10, 2012) – Circle K Florida, the largest corporate supporter of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), presented UCP affiliates with an oversized check for $552,837.73 during an awards dinner and ceremony at the company’s FishStix 2012, an annual golf and fishing tournament at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers, Florida. The amount represents the proceeds that were raised from last year’s FishStix event and funds raised through canister donations and other in-store promotions from June 2011 – March 2012.

The check presentation ceremony included Circle K Florida executives, Regional Operations Directors and Store Managers; UCP executives from the Florida affiliates that benefit from Circle K Florida donations; and executives and staff from UCP’s national office in Washington, DC.

UCP shared a special video highlighting UCP clients from six UCP Florida affiliates that were featured in UCP and Circle K’s “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign this year. The campaign celebrates and promotes the tremendous difference that Circle K has made in communities across Florida by featuring the story and photo of a UCP client on each coin collection canister that lives in the region that that particular store serves. The campaign helps emphasize that Circle K customers who donate at the register are supporting those in their immediate community.

“Without Circle K’s support, there are many types of services that we provide that we couldn’t continue to provide. Circle K Florida has such a huge impact – hundreds of thousands of people are impacted by their support, just in our territory alone,” said Craig Byrd, Executive Director of UCP of East Central Florida, in the video. 

“Circle K Florida cares deeply about the communities where we have stores and operate,” explained Darrell Davis, Vice President of Circle K Florida. “It is paramount for Circle K Florida to give back to the people that we serve, and our decades-long partnership with UCP will continue to raise funds that serve local people with disabilities, making Florida communities stronger and inclusive of everyone.”

“UCP is grateful to Circle K Florida for its unwavering support of our affiliates serving people with disabilities in their local communities,” said UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett. “The partnership with Circle K Florida is unlike any other corporate partnership, because Circle K Florida’s culture has made fundraising for UCP a part of the company culture for thousands of Circle K employees over decades, significantly furthering UCP’s mission to advance independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

Acclaimed actress, comedian, author and disability advocate Geri Jewell was on hand to entertain attendees and celebrate the importance of Circle K Florida’s partnership with UCP. Ms. Jewell is best known as Cousin Geri on the NBC sitcom, “The Facts of Life” and was the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a prime time series. She began her career doing stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in 1978.

After her ground breaking role on “The Facts of Life,” she has appeared on such shows as “The Great Space Coaster,” the Emmy award-winning movie Two of a Kind, “Sesame Street,” “21 Jump Street,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Strong Medicine,” and the HBO hit series, “Deadwood.” Ms. Jewell just recently released her autobiography, I’m Walking As Straight as I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond. Just this week, the book was acknowledged with a first place prize in the memoirs category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Ms. Jewell entertained the audience with stories from her varied career in Hollywood and experiences as a person with a disability. She emphasized that the real disabilities in life are prejudice, negativity and hatred.

UCP-Circle K Partnership

When the Circle K Corporation purchased the UtoteM chain of convenience stores in 1984, Circle K management adopted UCP as the company’s designated charity. Today, UCP remains Circle K’s charity of choice in the Florida and Gulf regions. Circle K stands as UCP’s largest corporate sponsor, having raised more than $40 million over the life of the partnership through coin collection canisters at retail sites and with special events like golf tournaments, casual days, bake sales and car washes.

Circle K and UCP use campaigns that aim to deepen Circle K Florida’s connection to the community and increase support for the UCP affiliates in the region. The “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign helps to celebrate and promote the tremendous difference that Circle K Florida has made in communities across Florida. Each coin collection canister in every Circle K Florida store features the story and photo of a UCP client living in the region, which each particular store serves. Circle K Florida customers donating at the register see a true example of one of the many UCP clients that their donation helps to support in the immediate community.                               

This type of targeted campaign that ties donors to outcomes is designed to trumpet the good work of Circle K as a community partner and good corporate citizen. At the same time, it raises public awareness of UCP and the services it provides to people with disabilities, and raise crucial funds that will change their lives for the better. View all canister inserts online at: ucp.org/get-involved/whysupport/circle-k-adopt-a-child-adopt-a-life-campaign.

The “Be a Star” campaign, ran last fall through the holiday season, whereby Circle K Florida patrons were able to purchase a “star” that includes coupons for in-store use on select products. The stars hung throughout the stores to help raise awareness of Circle K’s support of UCP, visualize the significant impact people can have in the lives of people with disabilities in their communities, and encourage other customers to support. This campaign reinforced Circle K Florida’s philosophy of giving back to the communities of which they are a part, by inspiring individuals to support those in their community who need it most.

UCP presented Circle K with its 2011 Chair Award in recognition of a partnership that has spanned three decades and seen the convenience store chain donate tens of millions of dollars to the charity. The Chair Award is UCP’s highest honor and is given by the Chair of UCP’s National Board of Trustees for exemplary commitment to UCP’s mission, as part of UCP’s annual Awards for Excellence, presented to UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission.

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

Born Too Soon: Global Action Report on Preterm Birth

The World Health Organization recently released, Born Too Soon: A Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. The report features the first-ever estimates of preterm birth rates by country and is authored by a broad group of 45 international multi-disciplinary experts from 11 countries, with almost 50 organizations in support. This report is written in support of all families who have been touched by preterm birth. Findings show that rates of preterm births are increasing however premature babies can be saved now with feasible,cost-effective care. An Executive Summary highlights the key findings of the report.