The Empowering Relief of Independence

Date: 09/01/2017


Sunflower Health and Pathways™ are resources to families with children with disabilities

What would you do if you felt that you could no longer assist your child with a disability?

In this day and age, with data demonstrating the success of having people with disabilities stay in their community and live as independently as possible, positive alternatives are available. This includes having care and support provided in their own home. Sunflower Health Plan partners with LifeShare™ to incorporate best-practices – or sometimes innovative approaches – in the care coordination for its members served by Kansas Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services waiver programs.

Recently, LifeShare’s Pathways program and its Supporting Families/Self Direction Pathways facilitator, Ian, was contacted by Sunflower Health Plan’s Care Coordinator Beth Mosier to assist the Faust family in finding the help they needed.

With a grown son living at home, dad was taking time off from his job to assist his son with the activities of daily living. Recently, LifeShare’s Pathways program and its Supporting Families/Self Direction Pathways facilitator, Ian Kuenzi, was contacted by Sunflower Health Plan’s Care Coordinator Beth Mosier to assist the Faust family in finding the help they needed.

Ian, with experience of having hired his own personal assistants, provided Pathways outreach services to the Faust family. With no previous direction on how to move forward, the family listened closely to Ian’s advice, which included placing an advertisement in the college bulletin boards at the local Wichita State University as well as contacting family and friends seeking work to get back to work, he and his family wanted to employ personal assistant services and they required assistance in finding a personal assistant.

After what seemed like a very early success for the family as they began scheduling interviews, a personal setback put this issue on hold for a while. Later, Ian reconnected with the Faust family to see if they still needed assistance. They indicated they still needed his assistance with the process. The mother indicated their current service provider no longer provided self-directed care, and she had switched to another FMS (Financial Management Services) provider. When Ian called the FMS provider to verify everything was set up correctly, he discovered that there was paperwork that had not been completed by the family.

Ian promptly contacted the mother, noting the paperwork needed to be completed and submitted prior to the start of services. He also told her to contact the Community Developmental Disability Organization (CDDO), the organization that determines the eligibility of individuals with developmental disabilities, to update her son’s information.

She followed through the very next day. 

Following assistance from Sunflower’s Beth and Ian, the family did find a personal assistant through the tips Ian provided – ones that had worked for him in the past.  The personal assistant has been working with their son since mid-January. Through all of the steps the Faust family had to take, things are going very well for their son, and there have been no issues with the personal assistant. The family also now has a number of people as backup personal assistants, should the need arise.

Not only was the assistance Ian provided helpful for the family, but it also provided support to Sunflower’s Care Coordinator.  Beth commented, “It was helpful for me to have the support, too, when I was unable to find resources for them. Your suggestions were helpful, sensitive and useful, and the family was able to find a worker with whom they are satisfied and feel comfortable having in their home. Thank you for your support through this process!”

This is just one example of how Sunflower and LifeShare/Pathways make a profound impact on the people they serve. Unfortunately, there are many families who are facing similar challenges in searching for programs and assistance for their loved ones. They may not know where to go or what to do, so they do the best they can until Sunflower and Pathways can guide them along the path to success.

About Sunflower Health Plan

Sunflower Health Plan was established to deliver quality healthcare in the state of Kansas through local, regional and community-based resources, Sunflower is a Managed Care Organization and subsidiary of Centene Corporation (Centene). Sunflower exists to improve the health of its beneficiaries through focused, compassionate and coordinated care. Our approach is based on the core belief that quality healthcare is best delivered locally. To learn more about Sunflower, visit our website at


About Pathways
Utilizing a whole-person approach to long-term care, LifeShare’s Pathways Integrated Care Model is designed to eliminate the silos that exist within the service delivery system through the bridging of network providers, defining quality outcome measures, and maximizing technology to reduce costs and improve communications. To learn how more about Pathways, contact Holly Morsbach Sweeney, Kansas Pathways Director


About LifeShare
Dedicated to the preservation and safeguarding of Civil and Human Rights, LifeShare’s motto is “Real Life for Real People.” Founded in 1995, LifeShare continues its mission to create empowering home and community-based supports for people with developmental disabilities, children in the child welfare system and people of all ages and abilities, particularly those who are often marginalized by society. LifeShare offers a range of services including residential, community-based and in-home support programs, competitive employment, as well as mental health services for children and adults. A national organization headquartered in Manchester, NH, LifeShare currently provides services in eight states (NH, ME, MA, RI, FL, IL, GA, SC) and also consults with Medicaid Managed Care organizations, commercial insurers and state governments. For more information, visit, email, or call 603-625-8825.