The Opioid Epidemic

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Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania will receive a $55.9 million State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Wolf administration was highly motivated to acquire and once awarded the grant was directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) to administer the grant.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work Pennsylvania is doing to battle the heroin and opioid epidemic and this grant will help significantly as we continue that fight, allowing us to increase the types of initiatives we implement and expanding our reach for prevention, treatment, and recovery,” Gov. Wolf said.

Pennsylvania’s focus is attacking the epidemic of opioid use disorder, knowing that it needs to remove the stigma of the disease of addiction and increase the programs and build new ones to provide more treatment, more access to community supports, and more success stories to ultimately win this battle.

 

*AUCP does not own the rights to this document. Adapted from PA Govenor News, posted on September 20th, 2018.

Hurricane Florence’s Impact in Pennsylvania

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The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency supplemented staffing in the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center to monitor conditions as remnants of Hurricane Florence moved through the state and were ready to respond to resource requests from impacted counties.

We have had a historically wet year, with much of the rain coming in the last few weeks,” said Governor Wolf. “Some parts of the state were under a flash flood watch, ……….” According to the National Weather Service, periods of heavy rain could have roadway or flash flooding.
Motorists were advised to use www.511PA.com and clicking “Incidents.” 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.

Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to follow ReadyPA on Twitter @ReadyPA and Facebook for the latest on the weather and how to prepare. PennDOT cautions motorists to never drive through flooded roadways, as it takes just two feet of fast-moving water to float a car. Anyone who drives around barriers intended to close a road can face increased penalties if emergency responders are called to rescue motorists who disregard traffic control signs.
With the consistent rain in PA, please use the information provided to make sure your future travels are risk free.

 

*AUCP does not own the rights to this document. Adapted from PA Govenor News, posted on September 17th, 2018.

Opportunities for People Using SNAP at Farmers Markets

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“A person’s diet plays a critical role in a person’s development and long-term health outcomes. Nutritious, healthy foods are less expensive than medicine, but can be as effective for preventing or managing some health conditions,” says Department of Human Services, Secretary Teresa Miller. Additionally, “Farmers markets make fresh, nutritious, locally sourced food more accessible in all communities, including traditionally under-served areas.”

SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, helping more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians purchase food from their local grocery stores and farmers markets. Farmers markets give SNAP recipients the power to purchase nutritious, locally sourced food with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Access cards, and some farmers markets across the state are able to accept SNAP benefits at up to double their normal value through Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants from the United States Department of Agriculture.
In turn, SNAP has a positive impact on state and local economies by supporting grocers and local farmers markets. Across Pennsylvania, more than 10,000 authorized retailers participate in SNAP. SNAP benefits are 100 percent federally funded.

 

*AUCP does not own the rights to this document. Adapted from The PA Department of Human Services, an article posted on August 26, 2018.

Medical Assistance Benefits for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD)

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For people with disabilities, finding a job or returning to work can be a challenge. For a long time one of the biggest obstacles to working was health care coverage. Earning too much money meant risking losing health care benefits. However, there is an option: Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD).

MAWD lets Pennsylvanians with disabilities take a fulfilling job, earn more money and still keep their full medical coverage. With MAWD you can keep Medical Assistance while you work, even if your earnings increase above the limits. You do not have to choose between a job and your health.
How to apply? You can apply for benefits online in a quick, easy and secure way using COMPASS. Contact your local county assistance office (CAO) or caseworker to apply, or to find out more about how MAWD can help.

Call the Department of Human Services HelpLine at (800) 692-7462 for more information. TTY/TTD users can call (800) 451-5886.

Eligibility To be eligible for MAWD, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age but less than 65
  • Be employed and receiving compensation
  • Have a disability that meets the Social Security Administration’s standards*
  • Have countable income below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines**
  • Have $10,000 or less in countable resources (resident property and one automobile are not countable assets)

* Disabilities may include physical or developmental disabilities, mental health or intellectual disabilities.
** Contact your caseworker or local county assistance office(CAO) for more information. You can apply for benefits online in a quick, easy and secure way using COMPASS.

What’s the cost?

You pay a monthly premium for coverage under MAWD, since it functions like health insurance coverage for someone working. But the premium is affordable – just 5% of your countable monthly income. That is a reasonable cost for the coverage you need to keep working.

Benefits may include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Emergency care
  • Mental health services
  • Dental services
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Hospital stays
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Hospice services
  • Medical transportation services

For a copy of the brochure: http://www.dhs.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/c_255794.pdf

 

*AUCP does not own the rights to this document. Adapted from The PA Department of Human Services.

A Victory for People with Disabilities and Seniors

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Governor Tom Wolf said Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Decision to allow his 2015 homecare executive order to proceed is a victory for seniors and people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. The decision is a victory for seniors, people with disabilities, and homecare workers. It provides choices for seniors, improves home and community-based care and attracts more qualified homecare attendants.

With Pennsylvania’s older population growing, by 2030, one in four people in the state will be age 65 and older, and half of those will need some form of daily care. To meet this need, Governor Wolf signed an executive order in January 2015 as a first step. Since the order was signed, the departments of Aging and Human Services have been successfully implementing programs to expand services for older Pennsylvanians, reduce long-term care costs and ensure seniors have choices about where to age, as well as launching an online homecare directory.

Part of this plan was the launching of Community HealthChoices (CHC) in the southwest region in January 2018. Many of you know about and are part of CHC in that region. CHC will eventually impact the lives of 420,000 Pennsylvanians, 94 percent of whom are dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. CHC program will be rolled out in SE Pennsylvania in 2019 and the remainder of the state in 2020.

The state’s online homecare directory, PA Link to Community Care, features service and support categories, including Advocacy, Behavioral Health, Employment, Finance, Health Care, Housing, In-Home Services, Legal, Meals, Protection from Abuse, Support Groups, and Transportation.

 

*AUCP does not own the rights to this document. Adapted a Press Release, published on August 21, 2018.

10 Surprising Facts about Cholesterol

Red heartbeat symbol graphic illustration

September is Cholesterol Month, here are some surprising facts about it! 

By Tammy Worth
Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD

  1. You can’t live without it.
  2. One out of every three adults has high cholesterol.
  3. High cholesterol could be genetic.
  4. Even children can have high cholesterol.
  5. Sweating can raise your cholesterol levels.
  6. Supplements may work to lower cholesterol – but slowly.
  7. The number of people who should be on cholesterol-lowering meds is on the rise.
  8. The woman depicted in the “Mona Lisa” may have had high cholesterol.
  9. Women’s cholesterol levels fluctuate over their lifespan.
  10. Your cholesterol levels might be on the borderline.

Read more by visiting: https://www.everydayhealth.com/high-cholesterol/symptoms/things-you-didnt-know-about-cholesterol/

​Learn how to manage your cholesterol from the American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/pe-abh-how-can-i-improve-cholesterol-ucm_300460.pdf 
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