Bridges CAP/C Program and Hilltop Home Collaborate with “Money Follows The Person” To Make A Child’s Dream Come True

November 29, 2011 (Raleigh NC) — A child living with complex medical needs will be moving from her

L-R: Maria and her twin sister Nicole.

current residential placement back to her family’s home due to the collaborative efforts of RHA Howell’s Bridges Community Alternative Program for Children (CAP-C), Hilltop Home (a private, nonprofit residential center), and the North Carolina “Money Follows the Person” project.

Money Follows the Person (MFP) is a state demonstration project that assists people who live in inpatient facilities to move into their own communities with supports. The project’s intent is to allow North Carolinians to have greater choice about where they receive their long-term supports.

This marks the first time that MFP has assisted in transitioning a child with complex medical needs back to her home through CAP-C. Much of the credit goes to Holly Lemieux, Executive Director of Hilltop Home, for recognizing that this particular child was ready to return home, and for getting CAP-C to assist in helping the family re-unite.

“This 18-month partnership with Hilltop Home and RHA Howell CAP/C has been a true labor of love,” Lemieux said. “After nine years, this family is realizing their dream of having Maria at home where she belongs. Many thanks to Lena Robertson, RHA Howell CAP/C case manager, for her advocacy in making this happen.”

The RHA Bridges staff has been working closely for months with Trish Farnham, Project Director, and Christy Blevins, Assistant Director for the MFP project, to make this family’s dream a reality.

“Our CAP-C professional team has been working diligently to identify the needs this child will have upon her discharge to ensure a seamless and successful transition back to home,” said John Gibbons, Director of Bridges CAP-C Case Management. “Our case managers also helped to organize home and vehicle modifications to make the environment ready for the child’s return home.”

The modifications included widening doorways, installing a ceiling lift to move Maria safely about the home, building an entry ramp, and modifying the family van to accommodate her wheelchair.

“It has been quite an undertaking for our case managers,” said Gibbons, “but one that has also been rewarding for all of us.”

MFP provided funding of $23,000 to help make this dream a reality. The funds were approved in advance to ensure that the needed modifications could be in working order prior to Maria’s discharge from Hilltop Home and before the effective date for her CAP-C services to begin.

For more information on North Carolina’s Money Follows The Person program:

About RHA Bridges:

RHA Bridges, a program within RHA Howell, Inc., serves as a “bridge” between families, needed services, the Department of Social Services, the Division of Medical Assistance, physicians, and therapists. CAP-C Bridges helps to coordinate the work of home health professionals who provide care for children with medically complex needs through age 21. For more information on the Bridges CAP-C Case Management program, visit or call 919-803-2960.

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for nearly 40 years. Integrity, high standards for quality and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to

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