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Autism Research Grant Aims To Improve Life for Young Adults

A promising program developed at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Excellence in Autism Research, aimed to significantly improve the quality of life for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), has been awarded a prestigious five-year research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The program, known as the Perspectives Program, is a joint project of the School of Social Work and the School of Medicine. It helps young people with ASD navigate the transition to adulthood through non-drug, psychosocial interventions. These interventions are designed to help them acquire skills to better interact with others, more effectively manage their emotions and have greater confidence... Read More

Southwest Regional Medical Center is recognized by THE SAFECARE Group®

Southwest Regional Medical Center (SRMC) has been named by the SafeCare Group as a 2014-2015 100 SafeCare Hospital in the 'under 100 bed' category. This national designation places the hospital in the top 2% nationally for hospitals under 100 beds as it relates to the selection criteria.

"We are incredibly proud of this designation and all of our physicians, nurses and employees who worked so diligently to earn it," expressed Cindy Cowie, CEO of SRMC. "I see our employees go above and beyond each and every day to ensure we are providing the best care possible. This designation validates... Read More

Southwest Regional Medical Center to Join Washington Health System

(Waynesburg, Pa.) May 4, 2015 – Officials from Southwest Regional Medical Center (SRMC) announced today that current owner RegionalCare Hospital Partners has entered into an agreement with Washington Health System (WHS) for Southwest Regional Medical Center to become a part of Washington Health System. It is anticipated this transaction will be completed on July 1, 2015.

According to Southwest Regional Medical Center CEO Cindy Cowie, "We live in a rapidly changing healthcare environment and new regionally focused alignments like this are becoming imperative to the delivery of care in local communities. Over the last several months, the leaders of all three involved parties determined that the best way to ensure a strong future for the delivery of healthcare in Greene County... Read More

Magee-Womens Imaging Services to Launch at UPMC McKeesport

This spring, the McKeesport and surrounding communities will have access to a wide range of imaging services offered by Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC with the opening of a full woman’s imaging site at the hospital.

In March, Magee-Womens Imaging at UPMC McKeesport will begin offering services for women, including mammography, breast ultrasound, radioactive seed localization and bone density scanning. Building upon the recent addition of Magee-Womens Surgical Associates to the hospital, the imaging services support UPMC’s commitment to women’s health in McKeesport and the surrounding communities.

“This partnership with Magee means women in McKeesport and the nearby communities won’t have to travel to Pittsburgh for most of their imaging needs,” said Mark Sevco, president, UPMC McKeesport and UPMC East. “UPMC is committed to bringing the highest quality care to all of our patients. With this new site, the women will have access to same day appointments, high-quality readings that can lead to more accurate diagnoses, state of the art technology and subspecialty trained physicians.”

In April, UPMC McKeesport will hold an open house for members of the community to learn more about their imaging options.

“Access to a fully equipped imaging site means women can stay close to home while still receiving superior care,” said Leslie Davis, president of Magee and executive vice president and chief operating officer of UPMC’s Health Services Division. “We know that too often women concentrate on keeping their families healthy and run out of time to care for themselves. We hope that by bringing the strength of Magee’s services to communities serviced by UPMC McKeesport, we are making it easier for women to access the care they need and deserve.”

New Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Offers Hope to Kids From Around the World With Rare Diseases

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has established a Center for Rare Disease Therapy, focused on providing new, sometimes breakthrough treatments for infants, children, adolescents and young adults from around the world who have been diagnosed with rare diseases and disorders.

“Patient families travel from all over the world to Children’s Hospital looking for hope and answers, especially when they can’t find it at their local hospital. We are different in that we have developed expertise in every single aspect of pediatric care,” said David H. Perlmutter, M.D., physician-in-chief and scientific director, Children’s Hospital, and Distinguished Professor and Vira I. Heinz Endowed Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Pitt School of Medicine.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a rare or “orphan” disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. Today, there are nearly 7,000 different rare diseases and disorders, with more being discovered every day.

Children’s treats a multitude of rare diseases, including Byler disease, combined immune deficiency syndrome, Hurler syndrome, Krabbe disease, glycogen storage disorders, maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), and many more.

In addition, the center actively collaborates with physicians and institutions engaged in researching and diagnosing rare diseases in children and supporting them and their families. One example is the ongoing collaboration with the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pa. In collaboration with the clinic, Children’s became the world’s first hospital to establish a liver transplantation protocol for patients with MSUD and now more than 50 children with MSUD have received liver transplants here. By concentrating on specific rare diseases, like MSUD, the new center is able to bring together its experts and form necessary collaborations to focus on the advancement of innovative therapies.

For more information on the Center for Rare Disease Therapy, visit www.chp.edu/rarecare.

Washington Health System Offer Patients New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution

Washington Health System will be the first facility in Western Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF).The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been approved to significantly reduce hospital admission when used by physicians to manage heart failure.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly monitor the PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from their homes to their health care providers allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“We are very excited to offer this state of the art technology to our patients with heart failure. The CardioMEMS HF system gives the heart failure team an opportunity to intervene before the symptoms of congestive heart failure occur” said Dr. Michael Campsey M.D., Director of Cardiology Services at Washington Health System and physician who performed the procedure.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.

The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

You can reach Washington Health System Cardiovascular Care at (724) 225-6500.

St. Barnabas Announces Partnership with World-renowned Neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon

GIBSONIA – St. Barnabas Health System (SBHS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Maroon, world-renowned neurosurgeon, nutritional expert, concussion specialist and brain health expert, has partnered with St. Barnabas effective January 1, 2015 to develop a community-based brain health initiative called “The Cognitive Brain Health Program.”

The goal of this initiative, states Dr. Maroon, “Is to provide scientifically-proven methods shown to aid in preserving brain health even as we age and to introduce healthy brain interventions that can last a lifetime.”

The initiative will emphasize four major brain health areas: changes in diet and the proper use of dietary supplements, brain specific physical activity, elimination of environmental pollutants that target the brain, and improved stress management.

“This is a program of empowerment. We don’t have to accept that conditions like adult-onset diabetes, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease always comes with aging,” states Dr Maroon.

Coordinating the program at St. Barnabas will be Karen Tabacchi, Senior Vice President for Clinical Services. Dr. Maroon and Jeff Bost, his neurosurgical physician assistant, will oversee the program’s development.

For more information please contact: Robin Taylor, Director of Public Relations, 724-444-5580, rtaylor@stbarnabashealthsystem.com; or Shelli Sommariva, Marketing Manager, 724-443-0700, ext. 5244, ssommariva@stbarnabashealthsystem.com.

Allegheny Health Network Nurse Practitioner to Receive Kerry Stoner Award, Recognizing Long Commitment to Caring for People with HIV and AIDS

PITTSBURGH (Jan. 15, 2015) - Stuart Fisk, CRNP, Director of Operations for the Center for Inclusion Health of Allegheny Health Network and a nurse practitioner with the Positive Health Clinic at Allegheny General Hospital, has been selected to receive the Kerry Stoner Award from the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, honoring his longtime commitment to caring for patients with HIV and AIDS.

Fisk will receive the award March 26 at the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force’s 29th annual benefit at J. Verno Studios. The Kerry Stoner Award is presented annually to honor a person who has, through a longtime dedication to the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force’s mission, and has shown commitment to Kerry Stoner's legacy and vision. Stoner, a tireless HIV/AIDS activist who died of complications from AIDS in 1993, was a founder and the first executive director of PATF.

Fisk has been involved in HIV activism, research, nursing, and prevention since 1988 and has provided hospice, nursing and medical care for persons living with HIV disease since 1992. He helped to develop a number of innovative programs to provide compassionate and state of the art care for these populations, both in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, CA. He has focused on the provision of high quality medical and behavioral health care for persons with HIV infection and co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders.

He has been involved in the development of the Positive Health Clinic at Allegheny General Hospital since 1999.

This year's event at J. Verno Studios begins at 6 p.m. with a VIP reception featuring enhanced service and food provided by All in Good Taste Productions with Emmy-nominated chef Bob Sendall. General admission begins at 7:30 p.m. and features hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, the Kerry Stoner award presentation, and a performance by Elite Show Band. VIP tickets are $325 and general admission tickets are $175. Tickets can be purchased at www.patf.org or by calling 412-345-0593.

Allegheny Health Network Oncologist Offers Patients With Advanced Abdominal Cancer a New Surgical Option

PITTSBURGH (Jan. 13, 2015) Allegheny Health Network surgical oncologist Suzanne Schiffman, MD, is now offering Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) to patients with advanced, difficult-to-treat cancer. HIPEC is a specialized technique that can significantly extend survival rates for some patients with metastatic disease.

Used at only a select number of hospitals nationwide, HIPEC begins with a surgeon removing all visible cancers from the peritoneum, or abdominal lining, called cytoreductive surgery. Heated chemotherapy is then delivered directly into the abdominal cavity, where it can destroy any undetected cancer cells. It may be used to treat cancer that begins in the abdomen, mesothelioma, or cancers that typically metastasize to the abdomen, such as ovarian and colorectal cancer.

A study published in the June 2013 edition of Cancer Medicine found five-year survival rates of 38.2 percent for patients with Stage IV colon cancer treated with HIPEC. Historically, five-year survival rates for patients with colon cancer that has spread to the peritoneum have been near zero.

“HIPEC can bring hope to patients desperately in need of options, and we are happy to offer it to patients at Allegheny Health Network,” said Dr. Schiffman. “For carefully selected patients, used in a multidisciplinary approach, it is a safe approach to metastatic cancer that is resistant to traditional treatments.”

During the procedure, which can last from 6 to 12 hours, the surgeon painstakingly removes all visible signs of cancer from the patient’s peritoneum. The abdominal cavity is then bathed with heated chemotherapy drugs for about 90 minutes, allowing it to reach areas of hidden cancer cells. Heating the medication increases its therapeutic impact, making it more easily absorbed. The surgeon then drains the solution and closes the incision. Chemotherapy delivered this way generally causes fewer side effects than intravenous chemotherapy.

“Patients with advanced cancer should discuss with their physicians whether an aggressive treatment such as HIPEC is the right choice for them,” Dr. Schiffman said.

Dr. Schiffman is on staff at Allegheny Health Network’s Allegheny General Hospital, West Penn Hospital and the Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion. She can be reached at 412.359.3115 (AGH and West Penn) or 412.362.8677 (Wexford.)

Allegheny Health Network, Celtic Healthcare Inc., Announce Joint Venture to Combine Home Health and Hospice Assets in Western Pennsylvania

Officials of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Celtic Healthcare, Inc., a Mars, PA-based subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC), announced today the formation of a joint venture that will combine each organization's home health and hospice assets in the western Pennsylvania region to create a new, fully integrated and industry-leading provider of post-acute care services operating under the AHN brand and managed by Celtic's support service and leadership team.

Founded in 1995, Celtic Healthcare is a comprehensive, Medicare-certified skilled home health and hospice service organization with operations throughout Western, Central and Northeast Pennsylvania, Montgomery and Baltimore counties in Maryland, and parts of Missouri and Illinois.

Celtic provides a complete spectrum of home health, palliative and hospice services across its broad geographic footprint, including medical, surgical, wound and mental health nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social services, dieticians and home health aides; palliative care; and physical, emotional & spiritual end-of-life hospice care and support.

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Bacterial or Viral Lung Infection? UPMC Studying Blood Test That Could Reduce Antibiotic Use

A new blood biomarker test that indicates whether bacteria is the cause of a patient's lung infection is now being studied at UPMC Presbyterian, launching a national multicenter trial. The information could help doctors decide when to prescribe antibiotics and possibly reduce overuse of the drugs, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Patients who go to hospital emergency departments (ED) with coughs and breathing difficulties could have pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or even congestive heart failure, explained principal investigator David T. Huang, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of critical care medicine and emergency medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Aaron Brown, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Franziska Jovin, M.D., associate professor of medicine, will lead the study in the ED and hospital.

"Doctors prescribe antibiotics more often than they would like to because it can be really hard to tell if a patient has a lung infection or a non-infectious disease," he said. "Also, viral infections look very much like bacterial infections, and X-rays typically cannot distinguish between the two. This study will examine whether a novel biomarker can help doctors make more informed decisions about using antibiotics."

More than 1,500 lung infection patients will be needed to complete the Procalcitonin Antibiotic Consensus Trial (ProACT), which will eventually be expanded to include approximately 10 other sites across the country.

Patients diagnosed in the ED with a lung infection and who are not critically ill will be asked to join ProACT. If they agree, patients will be randomly assigned to either get usual care or to also have a blood test to measure the level of the protein procalcitonin, which previous Swiss studies have shown is high with bacterial infection and low with viral infection. The result and a recommendation about antibiotic use will be available within an hour to the treating ED physician. If the patient is admitted to the hospital, follow-up procalcitonin levels will be checked and made available to the treating hospital physician. The research team will call study patients twice within 30 days of the ED visit to check on their health status and the period of antibiotic use, if any.

"The final decision to use or not use antibiotics is up to the doctor, who also will be taking into account the patient's medical history and other factors," Dr. Huang said. "My hope is that we'll find that patient outcomes are as just as good, while antibiotic use declines."

ProACT is funded by a $5 million, five-year grant, and a one-year trial planning grant, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Washington ENT Moves to New Location to Accommodate Growing Need in Washington, PA

Washington Ear, Nose & Throat, a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and balance disorders, is proud to announce their upcoming expansion, which will result in a move to a new and bigger facility. The move will take them to 80 Landings Drive, Suite 207, in Washington, with their facility located inside the Washington Health System Outpatient Center (WHS) at Meadows Landing.

"With an expanding team of audiologists and physicians, the practice's growth over the past 12 years demanded more space in order to accommodate our patient base and continue providing exceptional care." Explains Dr. Howard Goldberg. The new facility is almost double in size and will include additional exam and procedure rooms for physicians, along with additional testing and treatment spaces for the audiologists. The new location will also allow the practice to maintain its close proximity to Tri-State Surgery Center, one of the facilities in which their physicians operate.

"Our new facility will allow us to see more patients in a timely fashion, and they will enjoy the convenience that comes with the new location's easy access to Route 19 and the additional parking areas," says Dr. Edward Stafford. "Our patients' comfort and satisfaction is a top priority, and this move will help us to better meet their needs."

Washington Ear, Nose & Throat will be holding a building-wide open house at a date in the near future that is yet to be determined. "The open house will give us an opportunity to welcome current patients to our new space and to meet individuals from the community interested in finding out more about our practice and meeting our staff," says Stafford. "We are excited to be expanding our services and accommodating the ear, nose, and throat needs of the Washington community."

Washington Ear, Nose & Throat's new address is: 80 Landings Dr, Ste 207, Washington, PA 15301

Eating Baked or Broiled Fish Weekly Boosts Brain Health, Pitt Study Says

Eating baked or broiled fish once a week is good for the brain, regardless of how much omega-3 fatty acid it contains, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings, published online recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, add to growing evidence that lifestyle factors contribute to brain health later in life.

Scientists estimate that more than 80 million people will have dementia by 2040, which could become a substantial burden to families and drive up health care costs, noted senior investigator James T. Becker, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine. Some studies have predicted that lifestyle changes such as a reduction in rates of physical inactivity, smoking and obesity could lead to fewer cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of cognitive impairment in the elderly. The anti-oxidant effect of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in high amounts in fish, seeds and nuts, and certain oils, also have been associated with improved health, particularly brain health.

“Our study shows that people who ate a diet that included baked or broiled, but not fried, fish have larger brain volumes in regions associated with memory and cognition,” Dr. Becker said. “We did not find a relationship between omega-3 levels and these brain changes, which surprised us a little. It led us to conclude that we were tapping into a more general set of lifestyle factors that were affecting brain health of which diet is just one part.”

Top Masters in Healthcare Administration Highlights 30 Most Technologically Advanced Hospitals

Thirty of the world's most technologically advanced hospitals are featured in a new web article launched by Top Masters in Healthcare Administration. The list of "30 Most Technologically Advanced Hospitals in the World" highlights facilities around the globe that utilize the latest in high-tech medical equipment and innovative healthcare. The purpose of the article is to excite and motivate those who are researching masters healthcare degree programs.

Following are the "30 Most Technologically Advanced Hospitals in the World" named in the article:

1. El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California
2. Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, India
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
4. Anadolu Medical Center in Kocaeli, Turkey
5. Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California
6. Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
7. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota
8. Clemenceau Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon
9. Gleneagles Medical Center in Tanglin, Singapore
10. Asklepios Klinik Barmbek in Hamburg, Germany
11. Wattanosoth Cancer Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
12. Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio
13. Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Stanford, California
14. Ramkhamhaeng Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
15. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts
16. Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California
17. UCLA Health: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California
18. Guyis and St. Thomasi in London, U.K.
19. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas
20. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
21. Vale Hospital in Hensol, South Wales, U.K.
22. Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut
23. Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
24. St. Jamesis Institute of Oncology/Leeds Cancer Centre in West Yorkshire, U.K.
25. Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul, South Korea
26. Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Portland, Washington
27. Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey
28. Upper River Valley Hospital in New Brunswick, Canada
29. Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital in The Chesterfield in Bristol, U.K.
30. University of Missouri Health System: University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri

The full article is available here.

Moms In Training

If you are a busy mom looking for a reason to run, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Western PA and West Virginia has a program for you. The Moms in Training program is designed to give moms the training they need, the opportunity to meet new moms in a social environment, and support for their fundraising efforts that benefit lifesaving patient services programs and cancer research. This is a modified version of the highly successful LLS 'Team in Training' program, designed specifically for moms. Currently, the LLS of Western PA and West Virginia is recruiting moms who want to train to run or walk a 5K (or further), meet other moms, and raise money for this cause. Moms in Training will meet on Saturday mornings during the summer starting in July at Pittsburgh parks (such as Schenley Park) for 75-90 minutes. Moms In Training will be participating in the Pineapple Classic 5K on September 20, 2014 at Hartwood Acres. There will be an info session on June 7 at Pittsburgh Poison All Stars, 1 Herron Avenue.

Visit our website: http://mntwpa.wix.com/moms-in-training-pgh. Contact Jordan Corcoran at Jordan.Corcoran@lls.org or (412) 395-2886 for more information, questions or to sign up!

Allegheny Health Network Offers "Virtual" Dermatology Consultations Through Exclusive Partnership with DermatologistOnCall

Allegheny Health Network announces a partnership with DermatologistOnCall®, an online dermatology telemedicine service that provides patients with quick and convenient access to board-certified skin care specialists.

Three Allegheny Health Network dermatologists will join the DermatologistOnCall® network of dermatology providers to afford patients with more efficient access to dermatology services, delivering a diagnosis and treatment plan to patients within three days.

Through the Allegheny Health Network website, patients will have around-the-clock access to the service which uses a safe and secure online platform.

Patients provide a brief medical history, specific information about their current concerns and upload photos of their condition. After reviewing the patient's information, a board-certified dermatologist provides a diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan, including counseling on the condition and prescriptions for medication, within three business days. When medically necessary, the dermatologist will refer the patient for an office visit.

The site's dermatologists can address more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair and nails, including common problems such as acne, shingles, hair loss, poison ivy, and psoriasis.

Participating Allegheny Health Network dermatologists include Judith Small, M.D.; Shery Varghese, M.D., and Therese Wilson, M.D. Patients may access the service via the Allegheny Health Network website at www.ahn.org/dermoncall.

UPMC Physicians Implant Pennsylvania's First Wireless Pacemaker

UPMC electrophysiologists are the first in the state to implant a catheter-delivered, leadless pacemaker to treat life-threatening bradycardia, a slow heartbeat that reduces blood flow to the brain and body.

The Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is a wireless device that detects a slow heartbeat and sends impulses to the heart to maintain a normal rhythm. The procedure was performed at UPMC Shadyside in mid-April on an 86-year-old man as part of the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing trial. UPMC is one of only six U.S. centers selected for participation in the international trial for patients who need a pacemaker. The device was the ninth implantation of the novel leadless pacemaker in the U.S.

"One advantage compared to traditional pacemakers is that no incision is required. That can help reduce infection complications. This pacemaker eliminates the need for a lead, which is more prone to failure over time than any other part of the pacemaker system," said Andrew Voigt, M.D., assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, lead surgeon for the procedure and electrophysiologist at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. "This minimally invasive approach simplifies the implantation procedure, does not require sutures or cause the appearance of a scar, and may improve patient satisfaction."

In the U.S., the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System will not be commercially available until the successful completion of this clinical trial and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The trial is seeking to establish the safety and efficacy of this novel, miniaturized pacemaker system.

Volunteers of America Working Order Program Wins International Business Incubator Award

Working Order, a program of the Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, has been named National Business Incubation Association's 2014 Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year in the general and special focus category. The National Business Incubation Association is the world's leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship.

Working Order's goal is to increase opportunity for self-employment for individuals with disadvantages and/or disabilities who find traditional employment requirements difficult due to acquired or developmental disabilities. Opportunities for traditional employment can be limited by transportation challenges, unpredictable changes in health, a life-long or newly acquired disability and/or the need for additional support on the job. Working Order has proven that the option of self-employment creates additional opportunities for meaningful community engagement and full inclusion in the workforce, for people with disabilities. The program provides coaching, training and referral to resources which help individuals become successful business owners resulting in increased independence and improved quality of life through entrepreneurship.

Since 1996, Working Order has served 636 persons in the greater Pittsburgh area and helped 203 participants launch and/or grow their businesses in fields including graphic design, bookkeeping, tax preparation, grant writing, virtual office assistance, hair dressing, cleaning services, massage therapy, sculpture, portraiture, dog training, lawn care, accessibility construction, career transition coaching, golf instruction, event planning, geriatric care managing and more.

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