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DHS News July 2013     

Kudos: Brooke Rhodes

Brooke Rhodes, Community Integration Specialist in the Office of Behavioral Health, has garnered kudos inside and outside of DHS for her exceptional work in assisting in the complex case of a woman diagnosed with autism after her elderly mother had to be placed in a nursing home.

Lu Randall, Executive Director of ABOARD’s Autism Connection of PA, wrote a letter in praise of Brooke to DHS Director Marc Cherna, Executive Deputy Director Patricia Valentine and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The woman, who is in her 60s, had not been diagnosed with a disability and therefore did not have a connection to support services, such as Medical Assistance.  She further had been taught, as a defense, to be wary of people. Brooke gained the woman’s trust, assembled a team of professionals to help the woman, and followed through to make sure the woman had all she needed to stabilize her life.

Without Brooke’s work, “I believe (the woman) would be living, at risk of victimization, in a homeless shelter by now. It is entirely possible she would be injured, dead or in jail,” Lu wrote.  “Thanks to Brooke, (the woman) is safe and has what she needs to survive and even thrive without her mother’s care.”



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