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Man with Special Needs Embraces Inner Artist with Help from HeartShare Medicaid Service Coordinator

May 28, 2015

Impact Stories

Impact Story-Individual Support Services-Man with Special Needs Embraces Inner Artist with Help from HeartShare Medicaid Service

“I took that!” exclaimed John, proudly pointing to a substantial digital collection of photographs that he’s taken over the years. At HeartShare, person-centered planning serves as a blueprint for Medicaid Service Supervisor and Coordinator Olga Golubeva to help John achieve his goals, including pursuing his passion for photography. Traveling throughout the city with his refurbished Nikon, John finds subjects that captivate him. John’s editorial eye has earned entry into the agency’s annual ArtShare for HeartShare exhibition. Some of his acclaimed pieces include a shot of a helicopter humming over Brighton Beach and a playground in the Rockaways, a dynamic and unconventional illustration of an urban landscape. John’s work is often among the first pieces marked for sale at the ArtShare for HeartShare exhibits, the proceeds of which are returned to HeartShare artists, like John, giving them the ability to create additional art for future shows. For years, young adults and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have had their lives planned by other people. Sometimes, in meetings discussing their services, they were spoken about, but not directly addressed, as if being denied their very personhood. HeartShare’s Medicaid Service Coordination Program has addressed this problem by acting as a strong support to people with disabilities, enabling them to become advocates for their goals. With dedicated MSCs like Olga, who actively coordinates his services across peer agencies to best meet his needs and interests, John is able to lead a self-determined, personally meaningful and fulfilling life.