April Staff Highlight

,

Service Coordinator Tara Herwig is our Staff Highlight for April. Tara has been with our agency since August of 2019 when we took over  UCP Connections to Independence where she had been working for about 9 months. She attended Mount Aloysius College and received a B.A. in English.

Currently, Tara lives in Lewistown, PA with her husband Jeremy and their four children; Emma, Evelyn, Benjamin, and Lillian. They also have a dog named Mollie and a cat named Whiskers. Tara enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and trying new recipes, growing her own food, and traveling to new places .  Her family especially loves going to the beach!  She also loves to read and try new things, or find a good movie or Netflix series to watch.

She says that if she didn’t work at AUCP, she would like to write a blog or start her own business. Her biggest goals in life are to question everything in life and make her dreams come true.

Tara likes that she gets to work with like-minded individuals who are passionate about helping others here at AUCP. Also, the flexibility this job offers allows her to work and be at home with her kids. The most challenging part of the job for her was transitioning from an office to working remotely and then trying to outline boundaries at home.

In the short time Tara has been with the agency, we have learned that she is always willing to step up and assist her coworkers. And in everything she does, she does it well. We are so pleased that she is now part of our work family and we want to thank her for all the hard work she does!

National Sleep Week

,

Sleep Awareness Week is March 1-7, 2020. This annual event, created by the National Sleep Foundation, seeks to promote better sleep as a way to increase overall health and well-being. NSF recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults aged 18-64 and 7-8 hours for older adults aged 65 and over.

 

To get a good night’s sleep, follow these simple and effective sleep tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
  • Turn off electronics before bed.

Source:https://www.sleepfoundation.org/

National Nutrition Month

,

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, they invite everyone to focus on the importance of making informed food choices, developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Before a meal, think about what foods you are going to eat. Choose foods that provide the nutrients you need without too many calories. Build a healthy plate with foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein foods.

Consider the following tips to help you get started on your way to eating right:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Make at least half your grains whole
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Vary your protein choices
  • Limit sodium, solid fats and added sugars
  • Enjoy your food but be mindful of portion sizes
  • Be physically active your way
  • Consult a registered dietitian nutrition

Get more information and see how you can be involved: https://sm.eatright.org/NNMinfo

March Staff Highlight

,

Our March Staff Highlight is Hollie Orris, a AmeriHealth Coordinator serving our nursing home participants in Cambria and Somerset counties. She has been with AUCP for 2 years working out of the Johnstown office. Hollie graduated from Mount Aloysius College with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

One thing you will quickly learn about Hollie is that she loves dogs, especially her own. Pictured to the right are her two rescue dogs: a German shepherd named Max (2) and a shepherd collie mix named Bowzer (9). Hollie enjoys reading, everything Harry Potter, spending time with her friends, and shopping and going on bus trips with her mom. She and her boyfriend like taking weekend trips, going to trivia, and trying new restaurants.

In her free-time, she manages fundraisers to help raise money for the St. Michael Fire Hall. Hollie is also on AUCP’s Fundraising committee where she attributes her time and talents to raising money for our Community Fund.

Her favorite things about working at AUCP are her coworkers and being able to assist our participants in living their best lives. The most challenging part of her position is that everyday is different. and sometimes you can’t provide an answer to the participants right away. If she weren’t a Service Coordinator, Hollie would like to work as a Vet Tech.

Hollie always works hard and goes out of her way to help others. We are thankful to have her as part of our team.

February Staff Highlight

,

This month we would like to introduce you to Scott Williams, our Human Resource Manager.

Scott is from Johnstown, PA but has lived in the Altoona and Pittsburgh areas.  Scott is happily married to his wife and together they have a dog named Sophie.  They moved back to Johnstown a little over a year ago when he began working for AUCP.

After receiving an associate in Business Management from Penn Highlands Community College, he went on to Geneva College to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management. One of his biggest goals is to receive his certification in Human Resources and continue growing in his career.

Previous to AUCP, Scott worked in HR at one of the largest referral veterinary hospitals in Pittsburgh and for a private security company.  Outside of his work, Scott enjoys going camping and fishing. He is also an avid fan of Penn State Football and Boston Bruins Hockey.

Scott says that the staff at AUCP are his favorite part of his job. Everyday brings a different challenge, but he loves what he does. Scott has played an integral part in our rapid growth over the last year. He has an easy-going demeanor and is always willing to help. We are all thrilled to have Scott on our team as he has added so much value to our workplace.

February Monthly Awareness

,

National Heart MonthThe leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. In fact, it is the cause of 1 in 4 deaths each year!

Help make a difference in your community by raising awareness.

Join AUCP as we wear red every Friday in February in honor of American Heart Month. We will also be sharing information on how to prevent heart disease. Follow along by searching #AUCPHeartHealthy on social media.

Managed Care Update

,

Community Health ChoicesAs you may know, Community Health Choices (CHC) went into effect throughout the rest of the state on January 1st, 2020. As care professionals we understand how change to your health care can be unnerving at times. We would like to assure you that you are under great care with this transition as we have been through it twice before with other regions of the state.

You should expect that the quality of your services will not change due to this transition. We look forward to the future and the continued success of your in-home care services. If you have any questions or concerns about your care services call our offices at (844) 819-4455.

1.14.20 Blood Drive Update

,

The Red Cross is dealing with a critical nationwide blood shortage. To help offset some of the need, AUCP held a blood drive at our Johnstown location on Tuesday, January 14th, 2019.

Throughout the day, we had 18 potential donors stop by to make their blood donation. Out of the 18, there were 9 successful donations made. That’s an estimated 27 lives saved!

We also had 13 staff volunteers that gave a few hours out of their day to ensure that the day was a success.

Thank you to each person that made a donation and/or volunteered your time. You play an important part in saving lives.

If you couldn’t make it out to the blood drive, we encourage you to schedule a donation today at your local Red Cross. While you’re at it, snap a selfie and tag us on all your social media platforms with #iBleedforAUCP!

Blood Drive 2020Blood Drive 2020

January Staff Highlight

,

Our staff highlight for January is Donna Strause, one of the Service Coordinators who transitioned over to our agency from UCP Connections to Independence about 8 months ago. She lives and works in Selinsgrove, PA area, but is originally from Middleburg, PA. At the age of 52 she proudly graduated from Albright College with a degree in Applied Psychology with a 3.80 GPA (way to go Donna!)

Donna often finds herself surrounded by family and pets! She is a mother, a grandmother of three (ages 15, 12, and 9), and a foster mom to many animals through SOAR Rescue. She says her family is her heartbeat and frequents her grandchildren’s sporting events cheering them on! Outside of her family, Donna loves to workout, scrapbooking, and she makes it a goal to read each night before going to sleep. She is a vegan and prides herself on never eating another sentient being again.

Her biggest goal in life is to retire which she is looking forward to doing in a little over 3 years. Although we’ll be sad to see her go, we’re excited for whatever comes next. Donna says that if she weren’t a Service Coordinator she would teach daycare or pre-school, perhaps even get her Graduate degree in Counseling for at risk children and children with mental health issues.

Donna has been a Service Coordinator now for over six years. Currently, she serves Northumberland, Snyder, and Union Counties. Visiting her consumers is what she likes most about working at AUCP and the most challenging part is the paperwork that accompanies the job.

We are so glad that Donna joined us in 2019 with her skill and expertise. Anyone that meets Donna will find out very quickly that she is compassionate and kind.

Bellow’s Fund – Tracey Palmer

,

At 7 months old, doctors diagnosed Tracey Palmer with Cerebral Palsy on her left side. Despite the doctors reporting that she would never be able to walk, with the help of her mom, Tracey began to walk at the age of three. Starting at the age of 5, Tracey has had over 200 surgeries, and that still didn’t stop her. Today at the age of 56, Tracey walks using a left leg prosthetic, holds two degrees, one in Animal Science and the other in Medical Technology, and is very active in her church as a Youth Director.

Tracey has never felt respected in public when she was using her wheelchair, so when she was presented with the opportunity to get a segway through her insurance, she was all about it. Using the segway gives her the ability to look into the eyes of whomever she’s talking to, go up and down ramps easier, and it is lighter to transport. The segway also plays a huge role in helping her keep up with the teens in her youth group when she attends youth conferences.

Unfortunately, like any battery operated equipment, Tracey’s segway battery eventually died. Since the cost of a replacement battery would have been close to $1,000, Tracey knew she would not be able to afford it. When looking into assistance to replace the battery, she found out that her UPMC insurance and Community HealthChoices plans would not cover the cost of a new battery because it was not seen it as a “medical need.” This is when her Clinical Nurse Case Manager from the UPMC Community Team, Rebecca Cullen, reached out to AUCP to see if we could submit an application through the UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund, a national program offering grants to help people buy Assistive Technology equipment.

After the application was submitted and approved, we were able to purchase a new battery for Tracey’s segway and now she can keep up with the youth from her church and continue doing what needs to be done. We were delighted to work with Tracey and Rebecca and be able to meet her needs in partnership with the UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund.  If you, or someone you know, is in a situation similar to Tracey, you can contact AUCP today to find out how to submit an application. Please contact, Jocelyn Hartman, at jhartman@scalucp.org or by phone at (814) 915-4055.