Care Manager is a Partner

Family inspires Care Manager in her work

Joanne Cuocco, Long Island Care Manager, is helping Michael with Core Competencies: Person and Family Support and Comprehensive Transitional Care. 

Joanne Cuocco’s work with the Probeyahn family stands out as one-of-a-kind. She works alongside Michael and his father, Roy Probeyahn, an ACANY Member and Family Advisory Council member. Their partnership is unlike any other in her caseload. Surprisingly, Roy has become an invaluable asset in her role, demonstrating that Care Management can be a two-way street.

Caregiver turned advocate

Roy is not your typical caregiver. His life’s journey led him to become a passionate advocate for the IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) community. He and his wife Arleen brought up three sons with Fragile X syndrome in the ’60s, a time when institutional settings were the only option for care. Roy’s determination to secure better services for his sons made him a strong advocate. Through his persistence to improve the lives of his sons and others like them, Roy connected with change-makers, administrators at OPWDD, fellow parents, and even legislators.

“He has been the biggest advocate for this population and continues to be…and he’s 84! Roy sees how small changes can help people live the lives they want to live,” says Joanne. She greatly values Roy’s commitment to sharing the latest information he’s learned. She uses this knowledge to help others on her caseload.

Care Management as a partnership

Roy sees Joanne as a partner. “She’s a wonderful Care Manager! Joanne is a real tiger. She gets things done and makes things happen.” Thanks to Roy’s dedication and Joanne’s support, Michael is living his best life. With six Direct Service Providers rotating care in the Probeyahn home, Michael enjoys the assistance he receives.

Roy’s other two sons have passed away, but at his age, his thoughts turn to how he can ensure Michael’s care in the future. Roy points out that Joanne has pushed for the preliminary work to get the necessary future planning done. Joanne worked to secure a day hab program that can be implemented in the event of an emergency, but more needs to be done.

Future planning

Together, Joanne and Roy are breaking barriers by working on converting the Probeyahn home to an IRA under the host agency. In the world of IDD services, this is an unusual move, but this change will ensure that Michael can continue to live in their home when Roy is no longer there. Roy’s heartfelt wish is simple, “I want to know that he will be taken care of when I’m gone.”

With Joanne and Roy on his side, Michael undoubtedly will be.