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Beginning July 2018, Medicaid Service Coordination recipients and their families will be receiving services from a care coordination organization called Person Centered Services.  This change was brought about by New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) which is transitioning from a Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) Model to a Care Coordination Model.

Two years ago, OPWDD solicited feedback from service recipients across the state on how their services could be improved.  In response to universal feedback that services needed to be more flexible and customizable to people’s needs, OPWDD developed the People First Care Coordination initiative in which personalized life plans will be developed for each individual, based on their strengths and values, current supports and what their needs might be in achieving their goals.  All services (healthcare, behavioral health and OPWDD) will be brought together in one coordinated service plan to help individuals achieve their goals.

Person Centered Services is one of several care coordination organizations formed throughout the state in which multiple provider agencies who will work together through a single life plan and a single care manager.  Empower selected Person Centered Services because its mission and vision align with our values, and because it has the capacity to ensure the continuation of current benefits and services as well as enhancement of these services through additional resources and expertise.  For example, added technology will virtually link provider agencies to allow them to see all of the information they need in order to best provide services to the person they serve.

During the changeover, MSC service recipients and their families have been provided with resources on what to expect.  Throughout 2018, OPWDD will obtain feedback during stakeholder meetings taking place across the state.  In addition, resources are available online by clicking here.  Finally, if MSC service recipients and families have questions or concerns, they can relay them via e-mail to the following address:

Empower promises to keep MSC service recipients and their families informed and supported throughout this transition.


Snowflake Basket Auction, March 9 (4 – 8 pm) and March 10 (12 – 5 pm), Volare Lodge, 56th & Kies St., Niagara Falls

Alzheimer’s Awareness Event, March 14, 1 – 3 pm, Empower for Elder location, 8962 Porter Rd., Niagara Falls

Matthew J. Murphy, Jr. Memorial Drive fore Empower Golf Tournament, June 18, 11:30 am registration, 12:30 shotgun start, Niagara Frontier Country Club, Youngstown


Empower is seeking the following for its 300 staff members, two thirds of whom work directly with the people we serve:

Ideas: either for new programs or to enhance existing programs

Needs: material improvements, training, etc that will enhance our current services

Stories: about the people we serve and how we have helped them

To relay your ideas, please contact Elizabeth at (716) 297-0798, ext. 173 or  Thanks!