Flu Update

Flu activity is picking up across the country, with widespread infection in 24 states. Between about 6 and 7 million people have been sick with flu, up to half of those people have sought medical care for their illness, and between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized from flu according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC.)

If that news has you worried about your own chances of coming down with the virus, you can still protect yourself. Go get a flu shot if you haven’t already. That’s right, it’s not too late and there is no reason for putting off a flu vaccine.

The Harbaugh Family

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Through the Holiday Blessing’s fund, AUCP was able to purchase two batteries for ceiling lifts for the Harbaugh family from Fairfield, PA. The family consists of mother, Charity, and her five adult children, three of which have Cerebral Palsy. Charity has been their primary caregiver since her late husband’s passing four years ago. Even with help from her oldest daughter and youngest son, she definitely has her hands full.

In the house, ceiling lift systems are used in order to transport her children to different rooms and in and out of bed. Due to constant use, the batteries tend to die out quicker than they can be replaced. At one point, with only two working batteries, Charity was having to transport the batteries from one lift to another while putting herself into unsafe situations in order to do so.

Although the new batteries didn’t alleviate all of the family’s challenges, AUCP was blessed to be able to extend a helping hand during their time of need. The oldest sister, Cindy, says “it’s definitely been a rough time, but the batteries have been a huge benefit.” Working with their AUCP Service Coordinator, the family continues to pursue resources and ways to maintain their family and keep them together living in their own home.

 

If you would like to give towards our Community Fund that allows us to “bless” individuals in our communities, follow this link and donate today!

Re-Use It Donations Needed

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Did you know? Our Re-Use It program allows us to redistribute lightly used medical equipment and assistive technology to individuals of all ages that are residents of Pennsylvania.

All of the inventory has been donated to us and it’s our job to redistribute the items to individuals that do not have the financial means to obtain it themselves.

Currently, we are in need of:

  • manual wheelchairs 
  • shower chairs
  • rollators (walkers with seats)

If you or someone you know have any of these items and are looking to donate them, please contact Anne Holtzman at (844) 819-4455 Ext. 1506. All donations are being accepted in our HANOVER office and are tax deductible.

To learn more about the program and to view our available inventory, CLICK HERE.

AUCP AmeriHealth Training

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Our AUCP AmeriHealth team participated in a two-day training at AmeriHealth Caritas Pittsburgh Headquarters earlier this week. The team was provided with intensive training and had the opportunity to do team building with AmeriHealth Caritas and other contracted Service Coordination entity staff. The broad training refreshed our team’s memory on many of the processes set in place as well as exploring new areas to better equip them in providing quality care and services to our participants who have AmeriHealth Caritas as their MCO provider under Community Health Choices.

 

Pictured from left to right: Hollie Orris, Nursing Home Coordinator; Kay Freedman, Service Coordinator; Linda Freidhoff, SC Supervisor; and Lauren Pennewill Service Coordinator.

Employment First

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Pennsylvania recently created the Employment First objective so participants receiving long-term services and supports have the option to work. If you are eager to work, but are not sure where to start, call your service coordinator or our office at 814.619.3398 to see what options are available to you.

Community Health Choices

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Community HealthChoices (CHC) coordinates your health care coverage to improve the quality of your health care experience — every participant has the opportunity to choose one of three Managed Care Organizations (MCO) including:

Each MCO uses a group of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers to meet your health care needs.

Change can be frightening, especially when it comes to your health. We can offer you the assurance that you are under great care when you are with AUCP.

Deciding which Managed Care Organization (MCO) will be the right fit for you is your next step, here is some insight from our supervisors:

“What makes PA Health and Wellness stand out is their Medicare program, Allwell. This is for dual eligible participants and offers comprehensive health care and prescription coverage.”

– Gwen Msolomba, PA Health and Wellness Supervisor

“AmeriHealth Caritas is dedicated to assisting their participants on getting care, staying well and building healthy communities with the focus on person centered planning when accessing services for each participant.”

– Linda Freidhoff, AmeriHealth Supervisor

“UPMC offers comprehensive services and supports available to participants. They also have value-added benefits, such as smart phones and smoking cessation programs… ”

– Jessica Pulliam Petrunak, UPMC Supervisor

CHC rolled out in the Philadelphia region this January and will be rolling out in the rest of the state January 2020. For more information call 1-833-735-4416 or visit www.HealthChoicesPA.com.

 

UPDATE: 1/28/19 – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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Harrisburg, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today warned Pennsylvanians about misinformation regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits during the partial federal government shutdown.

“Misinformation is being spread to try to take advantage of the confusion surrounding the partial federal government shutdown,” said Secretary Miller. “If you receive SNAP benefits, these benefits do not expire at the end of January and will be available as long as you do not spend the entire benefit.”

February benefits for SNAP were dispersed to Pennsylvanian recipients on January 16 and 17. These benefits will be available through February as long as recipients have a remaining balance. SNAP funds do not expire at the end of each month and are able to be spent for a calendar year.

DHS has received calls from SNAP recipients who believe that benefits must be spent by January 31 or they will expire. This is untrue, and any information being circulated suggesting otherwise is false. The early February payment will be available beyond this month as long as funds are not fully spent, and SNAP recipients must remember that this payment needs to last for all of February.

“It is imperative that SNAP recipients budget their benefits,” said Secretary Miller. “Planning meals ahead of time, looking for coupons in-store circulars or online, and signing up for a store’s discount or bonus card can help your benefit go further. If SNAP recipients find themselves in a difficult situation, many charitable food organizations are preparing to meet this need if the partial federal government shutdown continues.”

On January 8, 2019, DHS received notice from the USDA that February SNAP benefits will be fully funded, but that these benefits needed to be issued by January 20. DHS worked closely with its vendors and were able to issue the February benefits to electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards by January 18. This early issuance is for SNAP recipients’ February benefit and will be the only benefit issuance SNAP recipients will receive for the month of February. Clients will not receive a SNAP benefit on their regularly scheduled February issuance date. DHS sent a letter to SNAP recipients last week to notify them of this change.

SNAP benefits beyond February will be determined based on the availability of USDA funds. The department is awaiting information from the USDA on plans for March benefits should the partial federal government shutdown continue.

DHS continues to process applications for all benefits during the shutdown. Recipients should continue to report changes and submit any semi-annual reviews or renewals they receive during this period to not risk an interruption of their benefits in the future.

Clients with questions about their benefits can contact their local County Assistance Office or can call the statewide customer service center at 1-877-395-8930. Clients who reside in Philadelphia should call 1-215-560-7226.

AUCP August Newsletter 2018

 

Samuel McKoy-Johnson

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Source: FOX 43, Jossie Carbonare / June 1, 2018
Taking big steps and beating the odds.

18-year old Samuel Mckoy-Johnson suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, making his bones easy to break and confining him to a wheelchair. But this June — he did something remarkable.

Johnson was able to take steps across the stage to receive his high school diploma at Spring Grove Area High School in York County.

“I’ve been through a lot of stuff, a lot of operations, a lot of surgeries, but you know, through it all I made it, I’m here, and I get to walk across the stage,” said Samuel McKoy-Johnson.
From walking hallways — to standing minutes at a time to build his endurance— Johnson has spent the last year going to physical therapy— twice a week — to prepare for the big day. “I knew that’s what I wanted to do and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me,” added McKoy-Johnson. His therapist, Stacy Fisher says she’s seen a lot of grit and determination to get him where he is today.
“Seeing him right after school, seeing him on the good days after school, on the bad days after school and that he still pulls it out, does what he needs to do with therapy, even though he may not have had the best day,” said Fisher.

“It’s amazing to see the transformation from where we started to right after he had surgery to where we are now it’s just amazing and is a true testament to his good hard work,” added Fisher.
Giving the ultimate life-lesson to each person he crosses paths with: to keep fighting, pushing and never give up. “He always says mom, I am ok, I am not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself so I am very proud of him, very proud,” said Tasha McKoy, mother.
His next steps? He’s headed off to college at Harrisburg Area Community College “The same work ethic I put in to be able to walk across this stage is the same work ethic I’m going to put in throughout life,” added Johnson.

So to anyone facing a challenge:
“Where there is life there is hope, and if there is will, there is always a way,” said Johnson. “Don’t let anything stop you, always stay true to yourself, stay focused, have self confidence and you can accomplish anything,” he added.

Barb Smith of Hooversville, PA

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This month, we would like to introduce you to our participant Barbara Smith from Hooversville, PA. Barb lives with Cerebral Palsy and is one of the most talked about and loved participants around the Johnstown office. When Barb enters the room, you know it. With her silly jokes and enjoyable personality – you are sure to be laughing when she’s around.

When Barb is not cracking jokes, she is most likely playing her computer games, taking pictures, or dancing! It is also rumored that she is one to beat at Monopoly and is very creative with plastic canvas crafts.

Barb lives at home with her Mom, Dad, her older sister Mary, and 2 cats (Max and Crazy Tail.) She has another older sister, Lisa, that she enjoys visiting whenever possible. Barb enjoys going to the Truck Shows and being a part of the community around her. This year, Barb and her family decided to join AUCP for our Highmark Walk that was held downtown Johnstown. It was such an enjoyable time having Barb and her family join us, they made the day even better!

There are so many good things that can be said about Barb, she is truly an amazing individual. All of us here at Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy are blessed to have her as one of our participants and more importantly, part of our family.