CareLink Community Support Services kicked off its 60th anniversary during a lively breakfast at The Inn at Swarthmore on Friday, October 19. The morning’s program featured remarks from the agency’s President & CEO Eileen Joseph, Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary for Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services Lynn Kovich, CareLink service recipient Cassandra Brown, and CareLink Board Member Joyce Kravitz.

Speakers Eileen Joseph, Joyce Kravitz, Cassandra Brown, and Lynn Kovich

Event speakers Eileen Joseph, Joyce Kravitz,
Cassandra Brown, and Lynn Kovich

“It was partnership that created CareLink and it is partnership that has gotten CareLink to nearly 60 years of providing trusted and valued services to adults living with mental illness or developmental challenges,” Eileen Joseph told the group of more than 70 human services professionals, higher education administrators, business associates, and representatives from legislator offices throughout the Delaware Valley, including Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle.

“We have grown from modest roots in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, to offering community-based services throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey,” Ms. Joseph continued. “Thank you all for helping us kick off CareLink’s 60th year of quality community-based support.”

CareLink Board Member Paul Mattus, CareLink President & CEO Eileen Joseph, and PA State Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle

CareLink Board Member Paul Mattus with Eileen Joseph and Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle

The event, which also served to mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month, featured an inspiring personal account from Cassandra Brown, a participant in CareLink’s education and employment services.

“CareLink is dedicated to helping people with disabilities, and that’s the truth,” said Ms. Brown. “I had suffered a traumatic brain injury, so I had a problem with recall, and that’s how I viewed myself: I’m forgetful, I can’t concentrate. In fact, that’s what some of the other support programs I attended reiterated to me every day—what I was. That was the difference when I came to CareLink. The staff here wasn’t telling me what I was every day, they were telling me what I could be, what I was going to be, what I’m capable of doing. They’re wonderful career specialists.”

Lynn Kovich also acknowledged the agency’s commitment to supported employment in her remarks. “CareLink is a huge proponent of supported employment and psychosocial rehabilitation, which is part and parcel for people being able to live in the community,” she explained. “Pennsylvania is an ‘Employment First’ state and we have an overall plan with the Department of Human Services. Our goal is to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to work in the community, and we have a number of initiatives that are happening in that vein.”