UCP National Names Armando A. Contreras As The Next President & CEO

Contacts: Diane Wilush 678 313-3078
 Richard Forkosh
314-402-0528


 
 UCP National Names Armando A. Contreras As The Next President & CEO 
(Washington, DC) – United Cerebral Palsy, Inc., (UCP) the leading national organization which advocates and promotes the inclusion and full citizenship of individuals living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, announced today that its Board of Trustees has named Armando A. Contreras as President and CEO effective June 5, 2017. Contreras is currently the CEO of UCP of Central Arizona and will replace Richard Forkosh, who is currently serving as UCP Inc., Interim CEO. “We are delighted to have Armando join UCP as the new President and CEO,” said Diane Wilush, Chairman of UCP National’s Board of Trustees. “The selection process was rigorous, and Armando is the perfect choice; his leadership at UCP of Central Arizona and track record of organizational management, fiscal responsibility, and his mission driven focus will continue to build a strong future for UCP National. Most importantly, Armando is devoted to serving and empowering people with disabilities and he truly embodies everything our organization stands for.” “It has been a privilege, honor and a true blessing to have served as the CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona for the past seven years,” said Armando Contreras. “I am abundantly grateful to have worked with purpose-driven, passionate staff that are committed to enhancing the lives of thousands of children, teens and adults by providing the resources necessary to build a life without limits! I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Richard Forkosh for his executive leadership and exceptional integrity during his term as Interim CEO. I look forward to working closely with the UCP National Board, Affiliates and Staff to address the priorities at hand, set goals and build a pathway to sustainability. As the CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona for the past seven years, Armando has increased net assets, built internal capacity, standardized business processes and enhanced the trust and communication in the organization. Contreras was instrumental in executing an agreement with Circle K, a major fundraiser collaborator of UCP’s for over 30 years, responsible for expanding therapy services for underserved children at the state of the art, UCP Downtown clinic, and diversified the organization’s grant and philanthropic base. Contreras has significantly increased UCP’s community awareness of the vital programs and services offered by UCP not only within the philanthropic circles, but also with public officials and key stakeholders in the disability community. Today, UCP of Central Arizona is one of the most highly respected agencies in Arizona serving children, teens and adults with various disabilities.
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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 70 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with 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 Launches “Speak for Yourself,” a PCORI-Funded Project to Establish a Patient-Centered Research Network for Individuals with Disabilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  Contact: Randi Moore, (202) 494-4638

Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2016) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has launched Speak for Yourself, a two-year project funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award to address the various barriers to access that discourage or prevent individuals with disabilities from participating in medical research.

Speak for Yourself is a movement that will build a network of individuals with disabilities who are trained and empowered to become directly involved in medical research that improves their health outcomes.

“People with disabilities have long expressed the desire not only for more opportunities to participate in research, but for a voice in the decision-making around the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of disability-focused research. Speak for Yourself aims to empower people with disabilities to work alongside researchers to ensure that the future of research meets the needs of real people,” said Stephen Bennett, UCP’s President and CEO.

Speak for Yourself will include various opportunities for online engagement and access to resources on research participation. Each year of the project will culminate in a one-day convening bringing together advocates and researchers to collaborate on how to build a more dynamic relationship.

“To promote health equity among people with disabilities, we need to pursue research that is meaningful to those most affected. To do so, people with disabilities must have a say in the research process. Speak for Yourself is a part of the solution to transform science and promote patient-centered outcomes,” said Katherine McDonald, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health at Syracuse University.

UCP believes that relevant and well-informed patient-centered clinical research is essential to advancing healthcare access, quality, and choice for individuals with disabilities. A patient-centered approach to research that encourages individuals with disabilities to provide input on the gaps in evidence, best practices, and direction of disability-focused research is central to creating a life without limits

More information about Speak for Yourself can be found at http://mylifewithoutlimits.org/speak-for-yourself/

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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 a network of affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day. 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. For more information, please visit http://ucp.org.


About The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

 

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY AND AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES INTRODUCE AMERICA’S SUPERCOMMITTEE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

AAPD Contacts:
Lara Schwartz, 202-521-4309, lschwartz@aapd.com
Frankie Mastrangelo, 202-521-4308, fmastrangelo@aapd.com

United Cerebral Palsy and American Association of People with Disabilities Introduce America’s Supercommittee

Engaged Citizens Work to Preserve Medicaid by Sharing Stories,Encouraging Participation

Washington, D.C. – (September 21, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) introduce America’s Supercommittee, a group of six engaged citizens who are lending their voices to the fight to preserve Medicaid. Over the next two months, the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “Supercommittee”), composed of six senators and six members of the U.S. House of Representatives, will deliberate and craft proposals concerning the federal budget. They are likely to recommend trillions of dollars of spending cuts, and could recommend major cuts to Medicaid. UCP, AAPD and the disability community, including our families, friends, and supporters, are engaged in a campaign to preserve Medicaid, which provides millions of Americans with disabilities the tools to remain healthy and participate in our communities.

America’s Supercommittee members will share their perspectives on the importance of Medicaid and personal stories, in an effortto educate the public, the media, and Congress about preserving Medicaid.   The public is encouraged to send questions and also share personalperspectives and stories at the America’s Supercommittee website, http://ucp.org/public-policy/america-s-super-committee. The site contains information about how to contact members of Congress, and information about the congressional Super committee’s meetings and deliberations.

The members of America’s Supercommittee are:

  • Robert Coward, Washington, DC: An Air Force veteran and DC native, Robert Coward has advised federal and local officials on accessibility and health care. “Medicaid offers people with disabilities real freedom and choices. The quality health care Medicaid provides allows us to live in our communities and lead independent lives.”
     
  • Richard Donovan, New York, New York: Rich Donovan is Managing Partner and principal owner of IPS, a strategic consultancy that works with business and government to create value in the disability marketplace. Donovan also acts as Chief Investment Officer of WingSail Capital, a new investment management firm that uses a disability lens to find outperformance in global markets. “The world of disability has changed since 1950, and legacy programs like Medicaid must adapt to those changes. Society has an opportunity to use this moment of focus on fiscal sustainability to reshape programs that aren’t delivering on promises to position people with disabilities to deliver the value inherent within them.
     
  • ”David Feinman, Washington, DC: David Feinman is Senior Legislative Associate for The Jewish Federations of North America. He is a member of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition Steering Committee. “Considering the challenges the “Super Committee” and the rest of the Congress face coming to a consensus on most issues, it is critical that they hear from people who want to have a constructive conversation.”
     
  • Jessica Norwood, Stow, Ohio:  Jessica Norwood is working toward her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Kent State University. She also works as an office aide at two child development centers. Medicaid provides Jessica with a personal aide who assists her with driving, college work, and tasks at home. She participates in a program that connects parents of people with disabilities and adults who have disabilities. “I want you to understand that including people with disabilities in our communities benefits everyone.  Medicaid helps so many people to live fully in our communities and contribute,” said Norwood.
     
  • German Parodi, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  “Without Medicaid, I wouldn’t be able to go to college, work, and be a contributing member of my community. This is about our basic civil rights—the right to be free and to live full lives.”
     
  • Amelia Wallrich, Chicago, Illinois:  Amelia Wallrich attends Northwestern University Law School.Previously, she attended the University of Illinois and completed an internship with Senator Richard Durbin. Wallrich explains, “Our country’s financial stability doesn’t have to be at odds with genuine reform and making people’s lives better.”

“Americans with disabilities and their families are relying on Supercommittee legislators to preserve Medicaid’s vital lifeline which allows eight million people to participate in community life, remain healthy and live to their potential–American values of opportunity, fairness and dignity,” said Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy President & Chief Executive Officer. “The Supercommittee will compromise American values if it cuts Medicaid’s critical health and long-term care initiatives, upon which those now eligible rely, thus forcing people to leave their homes and live in institutions—at greater expense to taxpayers.”

“We have to let our elected leaders know that we are watching and they are accountable to us,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “The real Americans on America’s Supercommittee are sending a clear message:  our leaders must not erode the opportunities that Medicaid provides millions of Americans with disabilities. Members of Congress are going to hear from thousands more people just like them, and they need to listen,” he added.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services 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 is the nation’s largest cross-disability organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change.” Visit www.AAPD.com for more information.

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ABLE Happy Hour on Wednesday Supports Life Without Limits for People with Disabilities

MEDIA ADVISORY: Request for Coverage & Attendance  

ABLE PROGRAM & EVENT CONTACT:
Michael Piel: 202-973-7110, mpiel@ucp.org

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114 (direct), LCozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168 (direct), AKubertSmith@ucp.org  

ABLE happy hour on Wednesday supports life without limits for people with disabilities  

Raffle Prizes Include an iPad, Nats Tickets & Restaurant Vouchers  

Washington, DC (September 13, 2011) – ABLE, the young professionals network of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, will host the ABLE Young Professionals Network Inaugural Happy Hour, Wednesday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Madhatter DC, 1319 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC.

  • WHO:       ABLE, the young professionals network of UCP  
  • WHEN:     Wednesday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.       
  • WHERE:   Madhatter DC, 1319 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC.
  • COST:      $10 donation

 

ABLE is a group of young professionals committed to supporting UCP. Members advance UCP’s mission to create a life without limits for people with a spectrum disabilities, and they find opportunities to increase education and awareness of disability issues. There are no membership fees; and, members are asked to support UCP in the following ways:

  • *volunteering at local affiliates and in the community;
  • *attending social events (happy hours, lecture series, etc.); and
  • *participating in fundraising opportunities.

ABLE offers young professionals in the Washington, DC area a chance to network with others who sharing the same passion, allowing them to become knowledgeable on the issues and gain valuable experience. Learn more at ucp.org/about/able.

About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP and its nearly 100 affiliates advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. We work 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, we 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.  

 

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Don’t Sacrifice People with Disabilities in the Budget Deal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United Cerebral Palsy Contacts:
Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, LCozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973 7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

American Association of People with Disabilities Contact:
David Hale: 202-521-4305, dhale@appd.com

Don’t Sacrifice People with Disabilities in the Budget Deal

The majority of Medicaid funds are used for the eight million Americans with disabilities who benefit from the program

Washington, D.C. – July 22, 2011 – As negotiations around the debt ceiling and budget continue, the American Association of People with Disabilities and United Cerebral Palsy urge lawmakers not to sacrifice people with disabilities in the budget deal.

“There are a lot of choices to be made in any final budget deal, but we want elected officials to explain how they would justify tax breaks for corporate jets if they deny a person with a disability a wheelchair,” said Helena Berger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AAPD. “Cuts to Medicaid would slash essential services that make it possible for people with disabilities and their families to be productive and contributing members of their community.  For a person with a disability who wants to work, who wants to get out there and contribute to her community, to be responsible for herself—we can’t say to that person ‘no, this country doesn’t value what you have to offer’.”

“This country makes a commitment to a life of opportunity for every child born today. If that child has a disability, Medicaid is their safety net. By gutting Medicaid, elected officials are betraying their promise not only to those children, but also to American families who rely on that support to be contributing members of society; it becomes an empty promise," said Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy’s President & Chief Executive Officer.

Individuals and their families who benefit from Medicaid – and who are examples of the millions affected – are available for interview:

  • Anna Libenow of Providence, Rhode Island, who relies on personal assistance paid for by Medicaid that lets her work and volunteer in her community;
  • The Hetrick family of Columbus, Ohio, who depends on Medicaid for assistance for their son Micah, who has Down syndrome, so his mother Sue can go to work and support their family; and
  • Linda and Javi Guzman, who count on Medicaid to provide an aide and life skills training for Javi, while Linda works.

 

These families are real-life examples of the increased cost of not having Medicaid as a safety net. If Medicaid and other entitlements are slashed, Anna Libenow, Sue Hetrick and Linda Guzman aren’t the only Americans who might have to quit their jobs. Millions of other Americans might have to do the same because of lack of supports.

The majority of Medicaid funds are used for the eight million Americans with disabilities who benefit from the program.

Polling shows that the majority of Americans oppose cuts to Medicaid, e.g.: A Washington Post-ABC News Poll found that 69 percent opposed cuts to Medicaid to reduce deficit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_04172011.html.

Both organizations are encouraged by President Obama’s latest statement during today’s University of Maryland Town Hall, where he said there are a certain set of equities they are not willing to sacrifice, including core commitments to Medicaid:

27:51 – http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/PresidentialTownHallMeeting

 “…Now we’re not going to solve the entire debt deficit in the next ten days. So there’s still going to be more work to do after this. What we’re doing is to try to make sure that any deal that we strike protects our core commitments to Medicare and Medicaid recipients, to senior citizens, to veterans. We want to make sure that student loans remain affordable. We want to make sure that poor kids can still get a check up, that food stamps are still available for folks who are desperately in need. We want to make sure that unemployment insurance continues for those who are out there looking for work, so there are going to be a certain set of equities that we’re not willing to sacrifice…”

Learn more about the real life Faces of Medicaid:

Hear their recorded stories:

 

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services 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 force for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more, visit the AAPD website: www.AAPD.com.

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