WNY: 716.826.6245 | NYC: 212.938.1444

Community Integration Counseling


Community Integration Counseling (CIC) is an individualized service designed to assist the Waiver participant in working through the emotional difficulties and stresses of living in the community after adjusting to life with  Alzheimer’s / dementia, chronic illness, or a disability. It is available not only to the Waiver participant, but to their family caregivers as they, too, are adjusting to a new role and set of responsibilities.

Community Integration Counseling is specific to discussing and providing an outlet for dealing with change, providing new perspectives, and developing appropriate goals.

This service also focuses on helping participants and family members understand what each side of the caregiving equation means.

CIC helps to improve the following:

  • 1The family support (or the person providing care) and the stresses associated with helping to provide care for the participant
  • 2The Waiver participant’s / family support’s understanding of the nature of the disabilities
  • 3The Waiver participant’s / family support’s possible feelings of helplessness, sense of loss of previous abilities, changes in social-life, adapting to role changes, the managing of the challenges of cognitive difficulties

How can we help?

Feel good knowing we’re there when you can’t be there.

Some of Our Team

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Priya Pinto, PhD

Priya has an extensive background in working with individuals with disabilities, including individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injury. Priya started in the field as a vocational evaluator, but that opportunity opened the door to several others, resulting in a broad based experience that included case management for multiple client needs, assisting clients with setting and achieving personal and vocational goals, offering support and resources to help obtain and retain employment in the community, and behavioral assessment along with positive, proactive behavior support and management.

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Sandy Swartwout, MS Ed MHCP

Sandy has been a part Allwel’s team since 2009, with the roles of Community Integration Counselor, Positive Behavior Intervention & Support Specialist, and Independent Living Skills Trainer. Sandy has been leading the clinical team as the Western New York region and New York City regions Director of Behavioral Health, while still engaging with our participants in the field. Sandy is a fundamental component of our care team providing services to TBI, NHTD waiver participants and behavioral health clients including the NYS HARP program. Sandy combines her Bachelor’s in Psychology/Education, MS Ed in Education and Community Mental Health Counseling, NYS Permanent Certification in Special Education, NYS Mental Health Counselor permit and PBIS certification with over 32 years of experience in providing counseling and behavioral supports.

Director of Behavioral Health