In her previous position at Sunflower Diversified Services, Brandi Demel, R.N., concentrated on providing medical services to the non-profit agency’s clients.
Today, she is caring for even more people as they strive for higher levels of independence at work and at home.
Demel is the new director of case management at Sunflower; previously, she served for almost five years as medical services coordinator.
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
“I now have the opportunity to provide different types of services to a wider range of people,” Demel said. “We evaluate each person’s status in virtually every aspect of their lives, and then set goals in collaboration with clients and their families.
“I want to educate families about how they can help prepare their children for school and adulthood,” she added. “For example, we can work with parents and schools on individual education plans. We advocate for families to ensure special-needs students get what they need to be successful.”
On a recent day, 106 people were relying on Sunflower’s case management services – from age 3 on up. While the number varies, it is usually in this neighborhood.
“Case management sets goals and suports all the services offered here at Sunflower,” Demel noted. “We consider the residential, employment, medical and educational needs of our clients.
“In the process, we advocate for each person to ensure their physical, emotional and social needs are met,” she added. “We also work closely with managed care organizations. Coordination of Sunflower programs and other community resources is a huge part of this.”
Case managers also help people secure resources such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, state funding, subsidized housing, food stamps vocational rehabilitation and more.
Jon Prescott, Sunflower executive director, noted that case management is the cornerstone of the agency’s services.
“Each individual’s plan makes it very clear that we advocate for our clients first and foremost,” Prescott said. “Having Brandi as our new director of case management is a special blessing because of her experience as a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree.
“She is bringing to our case-management team a unique insight and complete understanding of the medical needs of our clients,” he added.
Sunflower provides case management even to people who do not use its services. It is the only entitlement program.
The non-profit agency is in its 51styear.