Member Focuses on Health and Wellness

Christine Biernacki is helping Michael Garing with Core Services: Care Coordination and Health Promotion and Referral to Community Supports.

Michael lives on Long Island and has done much to overcome obstacles to increase his independence. But Michael has had a recent wish to develop his sports and fitness talents further. He’s doing that with Care Manager Christine, who is helping him with health and fitness.

Sports Focus

A head and shoulders shot of an older woman.
Christine Biernacki

Michael is active in his job as a sanitation worker. He lives in his own apartment and takes great pride in maintaining his personal space.

“Michael’s focus is health and sports,” says Christine. “He wants to learn how to cook to make nutritious meals instead of ordering from DoorDash every night.”

Christine says Michael has always had an interest in sports. He played tennis in high school and now regularly invites his younger brother to join him in playing basketball.

Rediscovering Bowling

A youn man appears in a head and shoulders shot
Michael Garing

Christine is helping Michael connect with another sport he loves. “There’s a volunteer opportunity to assist a team of kids with developmental disabilities to learn more about bowling. Michael is an avid bowler, and the best part of the situation is the volunteer opportunity is at his old high school,” said Christine. “I thought, how perfect is this? Michael can walk down the same hallways that he used to walk when he was younger and help others like him.”

Christine says this would be a big development for Michael to be around people, giving him the confidence he needs to be more social. The bowling team is a unified sport, which means Michael will be helping kids with special needs develop their bowling talents while teaching neurotypical kids. “I know that Michael will be an inspiration to both.”

Volunteering in the future

Although the opportunity won’t open up until next year, Michael is excited about helping his old high school and teaching kids to bowl. For now, Michael is in a bowling league with his coworkers.

Christine added, “He’s thrilled about the opportunity to give back to his community. It’s a chance for him to be the expert.”