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PALS September 2015 - Variety Children's Charity & Medical Assistance (MA)

PALS Meeting Minutes

September 15, 2015 6:30 p.m.

Market District Café - Waterworks Mall


Shayna MacCleary: Variety Children’s Charity – FREE Adaptive & Mobile Equipment Funding and other great programs.

Variety Charity originated in Pittsburgh as an entertainment and social club. On Christmas Eve 1928 a baby girl named Catherine was left at the Sheridan Theatre here in Pittsburgh with a heart wrenching note from her mother. Discovered by the theatre manager and the ten men of the Variety Club, the baby girl was taken in by her "godfathers" and named Catherine Variety Sheridan. Even after finding a loving adoptive family, donations of clothing, toys, food, and money continued to pour in. The gentlemen of the Variety Club assisted other disadvantaged children with the donations and the international Variety Charity was born.

Currently Variety Pittsburgh offers three programs, My Bike, My Stroller, and My Voice.

Variety's "My Bike" Program is an initiative to provide children with disabilities who are eligible with adaptive bicycles that are individually customized, so they may have the freedom of a bike and the joy of riding alongside friends and family.

Variety's "My Stroller" Program provides adaptive strollers to eligible kids with disabilities. Typically, a family must choose between having a wheelchair or adaptive stroller. So, as a wheelchair is more necessary, an adaptive stroller allows for easier "on-the-go" transportation and participation in daily activities.

Variety's "My Voice" Program was officially unveiled in Western Pennsylvania on November 14, 2014. Currently, the funds are specific to iPad communication devices.

Variety Charity Pittsburgh offers many family friendly "Peak Moments" events like Halloween and other Holiday parties. Registration is required please visit

Variety Charity Pittsburgh no longer offers grants.


Medical Assistance, navigating your way through.

Online Resources

phlp.orgPennsylvania Health Law Project: PHLP provides free legal services and advocacy to Pennsylvania residents having trouble accessing publicly funded health care coverage and services.

PHLP Medical Assistance Eligibility Manual - Pennsylvania Health Law Project easy to follow manual to help users navigate their eligibility for Medical Assistance.

QUICKSCREEN - Use the PHLP QuickScreen tool to find out if you might qualify for one the state health insurance programs available in Pennsylvania. With this program, you can screen for eligibility under Medical Assistance (including waiver programs) and CHIP. Also, at any time, you can go to the state COMPASS Website to submit an online application directly to the state.

APPLICATION FOR BENEFITS - See what an application for Benefits looks like.

PHLP FAQs - Frequently asked questions regarding Medical Assistance in Pennsylvania.

APPEALS - How to appeal a coverage decision made by your Medical Assistance plan.

Changes in Medical Assistance - In March 2015, Pennsylvania welfare offices started sending letters to most adults who have Medical Assistance (MA). The letters tell people how their MA will change in the next weeks and months.

Medical Assistance Transportation Program: MATP The Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) provides rides to medical services at no cost to you. This manual provides important information to help users better understand MATP.


Open Forum: Participant Questions, Comments, and Discussions

Cathy Nader-Syiek provided this great resource; iTypingGames is an online typing program for people of all ages to become more proficient typist.

There is a new classroom at Fox Chapel Area High School with an attached Sensory Room.

A parent is looking for a tutor for a high school student specially needing assistance in homework organization and Social Studies skills. If you have any leads please comment below or send PALS an e-mail.

Many parents indicated their older children have had success using the LiveScribe Pens for note-taking.

A parent recommended the book Math on Call to better assist your child with math homework.


NEXT MEETING: October 7, 2015 Roots of Faith 800 Main St Sharpsburg PA 15215 9:30 a.m.

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