With 2016 in our rearview mirror, I want to take a few words and talk about two very significant events for The IC out of many. ThesePhoto of Patricia Yeager, CEO two events impact the people we serve which is why I chose them. First, the success of our CNA school and second, the Veteran in Charge (VIC) program.

The CNA (Certified Nursing Assistants) School was a gamble we took in late 2015. We purchased a very successful and respected CNA school with the hope that we would be able to hire more CNAs to provide services to consumers we were having to turn away. And, in fact, we have been able to do just that. We worked to upgrade the school and the training so that now we graduate nearly 40 people a month. In addition, we provide first aid and CPR training which has been a big hit. This career path is one of the fastest growing careers in the US right now and we are pleased to graduate well trained CNAs to work in people’s homes, nursing facilities, and go on to pursue nursing or even medical degrees. It all starts with a CNA certificate.

The VIC program is another wonderful service that we are pleased to be able to provide. Funded by the Veterans Administration, it is their version of Home and Community Based Services that allow a vet to live successfully in the community with a disability. In addition to attendant services in the home, this program provides funding for services around the house, transportation, and purchases of household items that create independence. Currently, the VIC program is our fastest growing service; we started in July with 3 people, and by the end of December were serving 36, and have since hired a second staff person. Given the number of vets in the Pikes Peak region, this could be a very large program. We are delighted to finally have a way to serve the veterans in our community who have given so much. Helping them stay at home comfortably is a heartfelt joy for all of us.

Now, in early January, we are speeding down the new highway of 2017! We’re looking forward to even more successes that will make housing, transit, health care, and jobs accessible to people with disabilities so that all can reach the goal of independence.

Ready or not, here we go down the road of 2017 into the future! I hope it is a good one.