Highmark Walk – Final Update



We had a great turn out at the Highmark Walk event on Saturday, May 18th at the Altoona Curve Stadium and reached all of our goals! Thank you to each person, agency, staff member, family member, and friend that made a donation, we could not have done it without you!

We raised a total of $6,301 (including donations from 11 different agency partners and 48 individuals), a grand total of 69 walkers (virtually and in-person), with 47 walkers on the day of the event, and 9 teams!

If you didn’t have a chance to make a donation, there’s still time! The donation portal will remain open until June 28th. Click here to make your donation!

Sun Protection


Summer is coming! It’s that time of year when many people spend more time outdoors and that means more exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Skin Cancer Prevention Month helps raise awareness about the dangers of unprotected skin exposure and the importance of practicing sun protection to help prevent skin cancer. Without protection, the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Skin damage, such as sunburns and tanning, can increase your risk of skin cancer. Damage to your skin from exposure to UV rays adds up over time, so starting sun protection at an early age is important. If you haven’t included sun protection in your daily routine, it’s not too late to start. As you prepare for the upcoming summer holidays, make sure sun protection is included so that you can enjoy outdoor activities safely. Learn more about protecting your skin this summer and beyond.

Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented.

Stay Sun Safe Outdoors

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours. This includes 10 am to 4 pm, March through October, and 9 am to 3 pm, November through February. Umbrellas, trees, or other shelters can provide relief from the sun.
  • Be extra careful around surfaces that reflect the sun’s rays, like snow, sand, water, and concrete.
  • Wear sun protection gear like a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.
  • Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye problems. Wrap-around sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection by blocking UV rays from the side.
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants or a long skirt for additional protection when possible. If that’s not practical, try wearing a T-shirt or a beach cover-up.
  • Apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sun-screen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 15 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy or overcast days. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

UV rays are strongest :

  • During midday
  • Near the equator
  • During summer months
  • At high altitudes

Remember that sunburns and skin damage can occur even on cloudy or overcast days. If you’re unsure about the sun’s intensity in your area, check the daily UV Index for your zip code on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

Indoor Tanning and Sunbathing
Indoor tanning and sunbathing often begin in the teen years and continue into adulthood. Don’t wait to teach your children about the dangers of tanning. Children may be more receptive than teens, so start the conversation early, before they start sunbathing or indoor tanning.

For example, you can:

  • Help preteens and teens understand the dangers of tanning so they can make healthy choices.
  • Talk about avoiding tanning, especially before special events like homecoming, prom, or spring break.
  • Discourage tanning, even if it’s just before one event like prom. UV exposure adds up over time. Every time you tan, you increase your risk of getting skin cancer.
  • Exposes users to intense levels of UV rays, a known cause of cancer.
  • Does not offer protection against future sunburns. A “base tan” is actually a sign of skin damage.
  • Can spread germs that can cause serious skin infections.
  • Can lead to serious injury. Indoor tanning accidents and burns send more than 3,000 people to the emergency room each year.

The US Food and Drug Administration states that indoor tanning should not be used by anyone younger than age 18. Many states restrict the use of indoor tanning by minors.

There’s no such thing as a safe tan!

Choose Sun-Safety Strategies that Work

Broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher is important, but it shouldn’t be your only defense against the sun. For the best protection, use shade, clothing, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses, as well as sunscreen.

For more information, visit CDC’s Sun Safety Website

To view a PDF version of this article, click here.

General Walking Tips


If you have not walked distances for some time, you should start slowly. Increase the length and pace of your walk gradually. Here are some tips on how to get started and how to prepare for walking.

  • Warm-up activities – start slowly, do a few warm-up exercises and stretches first. Don’t walk immediately after a big meal.
  • Build activity slowly – start with a 20 minute walk then increase gradually. Try to walk at least three times per week.
  • Use the correct technique – walk at a steady pace, swing your arms freely and stand as straight as you can. Your feet should step in a rolling action from the heel to the toe.
  • Shoes and socks – wear thick comfortable cotton socks. Sensible, comfortable and lightweight shoes with support are best.
  • Weather – wear suitable warm, light clothing in the winter and cool, comfortable clothes in the summer. Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat!
  • Water – drink water before and after your walk. Take water with you on your walk, especially in warm weather.
  • Cool down – make sure you cool down after a long fast walk. Do a few stretching exercises.

Reaching your daily and weekly goals — a little at a time.

Here are four simple ways to help you to put in that distance — almost without feeling it — and also obtain the benefits of 10 minutes of consecutive walking:

  1. Park in the space farthest from the door in every parking lot – Whether you’re at the mall, the rec center, your workplace or the grocery store, always park as far away from your destination as possible.
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator – Walking up the stairs will help toward your goal for cardiovascular exercise, too.
  3. Use the bathroom farthest from your desk or station at work – If you work in a large building, this makes a big difference. You can even find bathrooms on other floors in a multi-floor office building — and don’t forget to take the stairs there and back.
  4. Walk during your lunch hour – Take 10 minutes from your allowed lunch time to go for a walk, if you are able.

By the end of the week, you want to achieve, at minimum, a total of 150 minutes of consecutive movement. But you don’t have to follow a structured schedule each day.

One day, you may get a 10-minute walk in during lunch and the next day a 45-minute walk in the morning before work. That’s 55 minutes toward your goal of 150 minutes. Some days, you may not get in those consecutive steps.


To view a PDF of this article, click here.

Summer Food Safety


Summer promises sunshine, heat, and carefree gatherings with families and friends. It also coincides with an increase in food poisoning as warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to thrive. When shopping for groceries or eating outside, make sure to refrigerate perishable food within 1 hour if it’s 90°F or warmer. Read these CDC features for more tips on keeping food safe this summer, whether you’re grilling, planning a party, or attending a fair or festival.

If you’re preparing food in advance for a family reunion, a graduation party, or other event, divide cooked food into shallow containers and store in the refrigerator or freezer to cool it rapidly. Read more of CDC’s advice on safely cooking, preparing, and serving food for large groups.

When grilling, throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices, which can spread germs to cooked foods. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill.

At fairs, festivals, carnivals, and rodeos, follow these tips to have a safe cooking, eating, and drinking experience. Before buying food, be sure the vendor has a license to sell food and that employees wear gloves and use tongs when serving food. Bring hand sanitizers or disposable wipes in case there aren’t any places to wash your hands.

Don’t eat raw oysters. They can contain harmful bacteria that can make you very sick, even if they look, smell, and taste like any other oyster. Learn how to protect your health and avoid vibriosis, a disease linked to eating raw oysters.

Each year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food. CDC tracks foodborne illnesses and collaborates with state and local health departments and other federal agencies to investigate foodborne outbreaks. CDC’s work provides information to improve food safety.


Information obtained from the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/

For PDF of this document, click here.

Party Time Mixes


AUCP’s Fundraising Committee is selling Party Time Mixes (Cocktail Mixes, Dessert Mixes, and Dip Mixes) through the month of June to raise funds towards our Community Fund. The dips are $7 each, they come in a large variety of flavors, and are super versatile which means they can be used in so many different ways.

To place an order, please contact Jocelyn Hartman at jhartman@scalucp.org or by calling 814-619-3398 ext. 1017. All money and orders are due by the June 26th and will be in by July 10th.

Cocktail Mixes:

  • Bahama Mama
  • Birthday Cake
  • Bubble Gum
  • Caramel Cream
  • Fuzzy Navel
  • Hard Lemonade
  • Mai Tai Pineapple Mango
  • Mudslide
  • Orange Dream
  • Pina Colada
  • Sangria
  • Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Sugar Free Mudslide
  • Sugar Free Sangria
  • Sugar Free Watermelon
  • Watermelon

Dip Mixes:

  • Bacon & Onion
  • Bacon Lovers Ranch
  • Buffalo Bleu
  • Cajun Ranch
  • Cheesy Bacon
  • Chili Dip
  • Cracked Crab
  • Dad’s Burgers
  • Dill Dip
  • Garlic Galore
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Guacamole
  • Italiano
  • Loaded Potato
  • Mesquite Peppercorn
  • Onion & Chive
  • Pepper Jack (Spicy)
  • Pizza Pizzazz
  • Prime Rib
  • Ranch
  • SW Jalapeno (Spicy)
  • Taco
  • Texas Ranch (Spicy)
  • Veggie

Dessert Mixes:

  • Apple Pie
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Birthday Cake
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Cinnamon Swirl
  • Cotton Candy
  • New York Cheesecake
  • Raspberry Truffle
  • Royal Hawaiian
  • Salted Caramel
  • SF Banana Cream
  • SF Chocolate Mousse
  • SF New York Cheesecake
  • Sugar Free Raspberry Truffle
  • SF Royal Hawaiian
  • SF Salted Caramel
  • Tiramisu

Highmark Walk – Week 14 Update


It is officially the week of the Highmark Walk 2019 and we are blown away by all of the donations we have been receiving! We can not wait for Saturday to be able to walk with all of our teammates for a healthier community!

Currently, we have:

  • 8 teams
  • 58 walkers
  • $4,932 raised (98% towards our goal!)

We are really looking forward to all the fun that this year brings, but we can’t do it without you!
Would you consider walking with us?

  1. Register as a walker, virtually or in person
  2. Join us, on Saturday, May 18th at the Altoona Curve Stadium
  3. Find sponsors, raise money, and donate!

Click here to register and/or donate today!

New steps to SSI Benefits


The process of applying for federal disability assistance has changed in Pennsylvania and for many applicants, it will become longer and more complicated.

Anyone applying for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income will face an additional step in what already can be a lengthy process. The change is being criticized by disability advocates, attorneys and members of Congress.

Previously, anyone applying for disability assistance whose initial application is denied could request a hearing before an administrative law judge. The average wait from a hearing request until disposition of a claim was roughly 17 months.

Starting April 20, 2019, an applicant denied at this first stage must appeal in a process called reconsideration. If they are turned down a second time, they can request a hearing.

Pennsylvania is one of 10 states that hasn’t had reconsideration since 1999. The process has been reinstated so there is a uniform process for disability claimants across the country, said Daniel O’Connor, a regional spokesman for the Social Security Administration.

Existing applications are impacted by the change and are not grandfathered into the prior process.

For more information, visit the article source at www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services

May Staff Highlight – Roxeen Stewart


This month we are excited to introduce you to Roxeen Stewart. She has been a Service Coordinator out of our Hanover office for almost two years and has a degree in Psychology from Penn State University.

Roxeen was born in Jamaica and now lives in York, PA with her family. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Her mother is her “rock” and all four of her sisters have R.S. as their initials. She also has two nieces and three godchildren. Her biggest goal in life is to get her Masters degree.

As a service coordinator for AUCP, Roxeen serves parts of York County. She enjoys getting to know her co-workers at AUCP and she says that problem solving and being able to find the best solutions for her participants are some of the most challenging parts of her position.

Roxeen is a dedicated service coordinator who is quick to learn and apply feedback. Roxeen has a pleasant disposition and has a wonderful rapport with her participants, providers, and co-workers. Roxeen is viewed as a leader among her peers and, in the past couple of months, has been challenged to assist training new staff. Roxeen is an asset to Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy due to her knowledge, patience, and drive to ensure she is doing the best job possible.

AUCP Continues to grow

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UCP Connections to Independence has made the tough decision to no longer provide Service Coordination services to the central part of the state. They have given AUCP the opportunity to merge this portion of their agency services with ours, allowing AUCP to employ their staff and continue participant services. It is with great pride that we will be onboarding 10 of their former service coordinators and about 350 of their former participants.

We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to grow our agency and we look forward to offering our quality services to more participants throughout the state. Current AUCP participants should not expect any changes in their services due to the growth of our agency.

Help for disabled veterans

Housed in a fleet of well-equipped offices on wheels: the DAV’s Mobile Service Offices, (MSO), travel to smaller towns and rural communities across the country to counsel and assist veterans and their families on the benefits and services available to them.

Aided by Department and Chapter Service Officers, the MSO program provides support to veterans developing, filing and winning claims for benefits, administered under federal, state and local laws. National Service Officers counsel and assist with the development of evidence, completion of required applications and prosecution of claims. Highly trained members of the DAV’s National Service Officer Corps, conduct these workshops.

This exceptional service is available to you free of charge and you do not need to be a DAV member to take advantage of this service.

Current times and locations in PA during the month of May:

  • May 1 | Youngwood, Westmoreland Career Link (151 Pavilion Ln) | 9am – 3pm
  • May 9 | Chambersburg DAV Chapter #78 (2705 Lincoln Way West) |   8am – 4pm
  • May 10 | Hatboro PA State Rep. Thomas Murt’s Office (19 S York Rd.) | 8am – 3pm
  • May 23 | Sharon American Legion (1395 E. State St. Sharon) | 10am – 3pm

Info: https://www.dav.org/veterans/outreach-programs/mobile-service-office/