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Assistant Director of DEIB Speaks at DEI Summit

PHP's Assistant Director of DEIB Speaks at DEI Summit

Photo of Nicole Smart, Assistant Director of DEIB

Partners Health Plan prioritizes a culture of respect and inclusion for its employees, members, families, and stakeholders. To support this commitment, the organization has established a department dedicated to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB).

Nicole Smart, the Assistant Director of DEIB at Partners Health Plan, was honored to speak at the University Athletic Association (UAA) DEI Summit in New York City. Her presentation titled "Authenticity in Action and Owning Yourself" encouraged participants to engage in a roundtable discussion focused on cultivating authenticity, fostering inclusivity, and promoting psychological safety. The session explored practical tools such as understanding personal values, identifying strengths and areas for growth in authenticity, and implementing techniques to facilitate open and honest communication.

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Celebrating and Supporting #Pride2022

​​​​​​​As allies and self-advocates, it is important to remember that LGBTQ+ rights should be celebrated and supported year-round. From organizational policies to legislation, more work is needed to improve inclusive practices that address LGBTQ+ needs. 


DDAM 2024

Message from the CEO

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Dear Members, Families, and Friends,

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) has chosen this year’s theme for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM); “A World of Opportunities, we’re celebrating people and working together to remove obstacles. Our goal is to build a community that’s committed to creating a world where everyone can do well and succeed.”

This aligns with our mission and our work to advocate for the rights of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) so they may live life to the fullest! Our entire team is focused on supporting and empowering Partners Health Plan members and families.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities represents a variety of conditions, including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and many others. The individuals we support require various specialized IDD care coordination support and services to meet their unique needs. This requires advocacy, which is at the heart of our work.

We advocate for individuals with IDD so they may have safe and secure housing, employment opportunities, access to tailored IDD medical and mental healthcare, behavioral support services, and other services that are essential for managing chronic conditions.

Our work champions inclusivity and accessibility to enable individuals with IDD to live independently, achieve their life goals, participate in society on their terms, and fully engage in their communities. At the core, we recognize members for their abilities and contributions!

On behalf of the entire Partners Health Plan team during Disabilities Awareness Month, we are grateful for members, families, and friends who support our mission to assist individuals with IDD live quality lives. Thank you!


Kerry Delaney

Disability Pride Month 2024

July 2024

Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month is celebrated in July to mark the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that was signed into law on July 26, 1990. This landmark legislation prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and promotes their full participation in all aspects of society, including employment, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the incredible diversity, strength, and resilience of the disability community. This month is all about raising awareness, fostering inclusion, and embracing the unique talents and perspectives of all individuals with disabilities.

Let's amplify voices, share stories, and work towards a more accessible and equitable world for everyone. Whether you're attending events, participating in discussions, or simply learning more, every action counts. Together, we can make a difference!

Do you have an INSPIRING story to share during Disability Pride Month in July? We would love to feature your story on how you are triumphing in your journey to living the life you choose in our Stories That Matter Series.  

Share YOUR Story

Employee Resource Group Colorful Connections Participates in Capital Pride 2024

Employee Resource Group
Colorful Connections Participates
In Capital Pride 2024


The organization’s all-inclusive ERG was established to create a supportive, inclusive, and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ employees and allies.

The group took to the streets of Albany’s Washington Park to represent and embrace the organization's culture of supporting individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) of all gender identities and expression during the Capital Pride 2024 Parade march.

  • Devaughn Tara Lorelai Pride March 6 9 24 2

  • David Wager Tara Pride March 6 9 24

  • Employees Capital Pride Parade David Wager Khari Constantine Tara Juliano Lorelai

  • Khari Constantine David Wager Pride Month 6 9 24 2

Message from the CEO: Juneteenth

Message from the CEO

Juneteenth 2023

Dear Members, Families, and Friends

This year we mark the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth. Also known as Black Independence Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth combines the words "June" and "nineteenth" and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

In 2020, the New York State Governor signed legislation to make Juneteenth a state public holiday. In 2021, the President signed a bill into law making it a federal holiday. We also made this an official holiday and our offices will be closed on Monday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth for us to learn, celebrate, and reflect on its historical significance and importance. Click here for information on this important holiday and its value. Click here for details on events in communities across New York State.

Establishing Juneteenth as a corporate-wide holiday was one of many actions we have taken to promote understanding and foster mutual respect. Our mission and values are not just words. They are the core of who we are and what we stand for in building a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible world. We accomplish our mission by providing exceptional care coordination so individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their families can live quality lives. Weaving the threads of equity and justice into everything we do is core to our mission and vision.

Individuals with IDD are at the highest risk of being excluded from society. Our dedicated care managers are removing barriers to achieve acceptance and inclusion for the members and families we support so they may live quality lives.

All our employees are committed to advancing our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) strategy. We are strengthening the connections that bind us so we may further energize fulfilling our mission to promote the flourishing of individuals with IDD and their families. We are building a solid foundation where everyone feels included and welcome.  We are committed to advocating for inclusion through our DEIB initiatives and advocacy!

We hope you’ll join us in honoring the Juneteenth holiday. We encourage you to use Juneteenth as an opportunity to take a step back and make a commitment to do all we can to combat racism and the hatred that it represents. Change and progress are possible if we learn from our history. On Juneteenth, let us uplift, value, and support each other to create an inclusive, kind, and safe space for everyone.

In Gratitude & Community,

Kerry Delaney

Message from the CEO: Juneteenth 2024

Message from the CEO

Celebrating Juneteenth 2024

Dear Members, Families, and Friends,

Across the country today, June 19, we mark the 159th anniversary of Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, as it is also known. Juneteenth, a combination of the words "June" and "nineteenth," celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in the United States. Our offices are closed to demonstrate our commitment to racial justice and to support our core values in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).

Establishing Juneteenth as a corporate holiday is one of many actions we have taken to promote understanding and foster mutual respect. Our foundational DEIB work is shaping a transformative culture to advocate for greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our workplace and in support of members and families.

On June 13, we held our first DEIB Round Table for external stakeholders. The event provided a forum to listen and gather issues that matter to members and families. These diverse insights and perspectives will help to inform our advocacy strategies for members and families to ensure they represent the diverse perspectives of our members. 

Our advocacy platform is built on a strong foundation of championing disability inclusion and bringing about meaningful change for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). In our proactive efforts, we are advocating for safe and affordable housing, meaningful employment, education, access to culturally competent holistic health care, and adequate funding in the IDD delivery support system. We are committed to advocating for individuals with IDD so they may participate fully, safely, and free from prejudice in their everyday lives.

Let us gather and celebrate this Juneteenth to reflect on the history and contributions of the Black and Latin American communities. The 2024 national Juneteenth theme, “Their Wildest Dreams,” honors the achievements of freed slaves and their descendants. It is a reminder that our history is important and that while some progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. Click here for details on 2024 Juneteenth events in New York State communities that will provide opportunities for us to learn, celebrate and reflect on the holiday’s historical significance.

Our commitment to members and families is embodied in our values. These values help us demonstrate our priority of helping people with IDD live life to the fullest and on their terms. On Juneteenth, and beyond, let us discover our similarities and find new ways to shine our light and support each other!

In Gratitude & Community,
Kerry Delaney, CEO
Kerry Delaney, CEO