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Wisconsin Residents Recognized for Leadership in Promoting Self-Direction in Long-Term Care



Cindy Bentley, John Mezydlo each selected to receive national Self Direction awards

Two of Wisconsin’s fierce advocates for living life to the fullest extent of your ability are recognized nationally for their efforts. Organizers from National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Applied Self Direction announced the selection of Cindy Bentley, (Milwaukee, WI) and John Mezydlo (Ixonia, WI) to each receive one of only ten prestigious awards presented at the bi-annual Self Direction Conference in Baltimore. Applied Self Direction provides practical expertise intended to create and operate self direction programs that run effectively and efficiently for individuals and states.

“Wisconsin has long been a leader in long-term care, and our partnerships with people like Cindy and John help ensure people with disabilities are empowered to make their own choices, and pave the way for personal success,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Linda Seemeyer.

NRCPDS Program and Financial Management Services (FMS) Members selected Bentley (link is external), a member of Wisconsin’s Long Term Care Advisory Council, as the recipient of the Outstanding Involvement in Self Direction award for her exceptional contribution to advancing self-direction and supporting self-directing participants. Bentley is a passionate advocate for living a self-determined life. A member of IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct), a self-directed program option for adults with long-term care needs, Bentley serves as Executive Director of People First Wisconsin, a statewide self-advocacy organization for people with disabilities.

Wisconsin Long Term Care Advisory Council Chair Heather Bruemmer said Bentley’s contribution to the Council has been invaluable. “Her knowledge and insight into challenges faced by people with disabilities brings a crucial perspective to the group.”

NRCPDS Program and FMS Members selected Mezydlo (link is external), an IRIS consultant with The Management Group (TMG), to receive the Excellence in Information and Assistance award. Mezydlo’s passion for helping others achieve personal goals is fueled by his own experience living with a physical disability. An active member of his wheelchair rugby team, Mezydlo is recognized for his ability to make genuine connections with others, and help guide them toward fulfillment through independence through knowledge and resources.

Curtis Cunningham, DHS Assistant Administrator of the Division of Medicaid Services Long Term Care Benefits and Programs, said, “Cindy and John are a great example for all people, of what it means to live life to the fullest. We are lucky to have these bright and passionate minds working with our program.”


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