Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award – ACHIEVA / Disability Healthcare Initiative (DHI)

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Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award  – Recognizes a company, institution, organization or agency that is successfully addressing a community health issue.

ACHIEVA / Disability Healthcare Initiative (DHI)

ACHIEVA serves more than 14,500 individuals with disabilities and their families and is the only agency of its type in Southwestern Pennsylvania that provides lifelong supports. From early intervention therapies to in-home support for medically fragile senior citizens, ACHIEVA provides a full spectrum of services for people of all ages and abilities and their families.

•ACHIEVA is the nonprofit parent organization and Southwestern Pennsylvania’s largest provider of comprehensive services and supports for people with disabilities and their families.
•ACHIEVA Support – comprised of the services and supports ACHIEVA offers in Western Pennsylvania.
•ACHIEVA Family Trust – trust services to help families and individuals with disabilities plan for their future.
•The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh (serving Allegheny and Beaver Counties) – providing lifelong advocacy, trainings and education to individuals with disabilities and their families.
•The Arc of Beaver County – providing lifelong advocacy, trainings and education to individuals with disabilities and their families.
•The Arc of Westmoreland – provides services, supports and advocacy to individuals with disabilities and their families in Westmoreland County.

Since its creation in 2005, ACHIEVA DHI has increased access to dental care, improved women’s health care and is now focusing on a particular challenge – health care transitions for youth with disabilities and chronic medical issues.  This time period of moving from the childhood to adult systems is often a struggle for individuals and their families and all statistics indicate that there is a coming surge of youth with these needs.

In addition to the hundreds of individuals who have been screened for cardiac, respiratory, weight management and dental issues, Achieve DHI has compiled key reports to legislators.  These information pieces provide recommendations to direct policymakers to where our systems are in need of improvement.

Disability Healthcare Initiative (DHI) accomplishments at ACHIEVA:
•Created a website [www.personfirsthealth.org] that features a broad range of information and resources for people with disabilities, medical professionals and families on access to health care;
•Supported legislation that mandates private dental insurance payment for anesthesia for children under the age of 7 and people with disabilities.  This legislation passed the PA Legislature in 2012.
•Distributed an information brochure and DVD that created awareness of the access to dental care issue and asked 8,300 PA dentists to become part of the solution by treating more patients with disabilities;
•Provide information about health care issues that impact people with disabilities to the Regional Health Literacy Coalition;
•Chosen by ARC of the US to participate as one of five sites to implement HealthMeet, a national initiative focused on improving the health and wellness of people with disabilities.

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Allegheny County Medical Society
713 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
412-321-5030  FAX 412-321-5323