Archive for October 2011

New Faces @ NESCO

Cheryl Batterman

Cheryl Batterman

Although it took us several months to find a replacement for Liz Mensing, we’ve finally hired another strong staff member!

Alyssa Bordeleau has a Bachelors in Social Work from Concordia University, with minors in Social Welfare and Justice Public Policy. She also completed Specialized Cultural and Diversity Training at the University of the Nations (Maui, HI). She has extensive experience working with senior adults through Home Instead Senior Care (caregiver), Woodside Manor Assisted Living (dietary aide), and Cedar Springs Health & Rehab Center (Social Work intern).

Alyssa is fluent in Spanish and loves to travel, as proven by her impressive and expansive travel log: Peru—Was a resident of Peru as an English Professor, studied Spanish at a Lima university, and took online classes from the United States for an entire school year; she’s also made multiple return visits. Nicaragua—Translated for a VOSH eye clinic and worked on a construction crew for a community development project/refugee camp for two weeks. Mexico—Has made multiple trips, working to develop impoverished communities, delivered basic resources to impoverished communities, and fundraised to give financial support to local programs. Philippines—Volunteered with a community development project, worked to combat social injustices with local schools, churches, and community leaders; she also taught English at an orphanage. Thailand—Raised funds to sustain a community development program established in three remote villages on the border (humanitarian trip). New Orleans—Volunteered for Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief by conducting “home visits” to members of the community (advocacy, counseling, and needs assessments).

Alyssa’s hobbies include art, photography, painting, music, and traveling. She also enjoys playing several sports: golfing, biking, hiking, softball, basketball, volleyball, and “anything outdoors.” Welcome!


NESCO is extremely fortunate to be the hosting agency for our first Masters of Social Work student!

Porsia Vang is currently in her last year in graduate school at UW-Madison and is required to complete a 400-hour internship during the 2011-2012 academic school year. She selected NESCO for her internship due to our strong Case Management program but also our two Cultural Diversity programs (African American and Latino). Porsia is fluent in Hmong and “conversational” in Spanish—which she hopes to improve this year during her internship by working with our Spanish-speaking seniors.

Originally from Green Bay, she enjoys watching football (what a surprise!). She will work this semester on Mondays (8 am-2 pm), Wednesdays (8 am-4 pm), and Fridays (8 am-noon)—while also taking several graduate level classes! “I’m amazed with the numerous community resources for senior adults—I look forward to learning about them all during my year at NESCO,” Porsia said.

Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Period Date Changes

Sarah Oestmann

Sarah Oestmann

It’s already time again to enroll in or change your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan!  In previous years, that enrollment period has been between November 15 and December 31st.  However, in an effort to avoid a rush of applicants so close to the holidays, the annual enrollment has been changed to October 15 through December 7th.  This annual enrollment period is for people who already have Medicare and haven’t had a Medicare Part D Plan and need to enroll in one, or for people who want to change their Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

How do you choose a plan?

Medicare has created a ‘plan finder’ website that allows you to search for a Prescription Drug Plan that meets your needs.  The ‘plan finder’ website can be found at :

How can you enroll?

In order to enroll, you will need to contact the plan provider directly and enroll either over the phone or through a paper application.

Need help searching for a plan? 

Mary Beth, a volunteer from the Madison community, will be offering her time to assist residents of the North/Eastside side, search for an appropriate plan. Mary Beth will be in the NESCO office on Tuesdays from 9am-12pm; and Wednesdays from 1pm-4pm.  Please call NESCO at 243-5252 if you are interested in setting up a time to meet with Mary Beth.

Need help paying for your prescriptions? 

You can apply for ‘Extra-Help’, also known as the ‘Low-Income Subsidy’ through the Social Security Administration Website.  You can complete this application online at  or you can call 1-800-772-1213.

Besides Medicare Part D, are there other options for obtaining prescription drug coverage?

Yes!  Some people choose to enroll in SeniorCare.  SeniorCare is Wisconsin’s Prescription Drug Assistance Program. Those persons 65 and older who meet the enrollment rules can enroll.  The rules are: you must be a WI resident, you must 65 years of age or older and you must pay the $30 one-time annual enrollment fees.  The amount you pay for monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance depends on your income.  To learn more, you can visit the website for the department of Health and Human Services for Wisconsin at:   or you can call the Senior Care customer service hotline at 1-800-657-2038.