“The healthiest county in each US state” – Becker’s Hospital Review

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its 2019 County Health Rankings March 19.

The rankings use state and national data to compare U.S. counties on more than 30 measures across four areas: health behaviors, clinical care, physical environment, and social and environmental factors. Measures include access to care, income, and alcohol or drug use. The list ranks counties in all 50 states based on their performance on these health measures relative to the health of other counties in each state.

County Health rankingsClick on the graphic to view a comparative of Berks, Lancaster & Lebanon County’s Health Rankings as a .pdf file.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in Madison, has shared updated County Health Rankings annually since 2010.

Below is a list of the county with the best health outcomes in each state. Take a deep dive into county health outcomes per state by clicking here.

SOURCE: Becker’s Hospital Review

“It’s time for cameras – nursing homes, assisted living, and home care” – Aging in Place Technology

This is an opinion statement from Laurie Orlov’s blog at Aging in Place Technology Website.

Caregiver-Balance word cloud

Where the baby (or elderly family member) may be.  The WSJ investigation of Care.com has only added a level of urgency about the risky business of finding and placing caregivers in homes. Consider the Care.com CEO’s egregious assertion that “Care.com is a marketplace platform, like Indeed or LinkedIn.”  Really, finding someone to watch your baby or your aging father is analogous to finding a worker to fill a job opening in your IT department or seeking a manager to fill out your org chart? And having nasty problems with convicted criminals taking on caregiving roles, resulting in occurring in multiple states, but never aggregating those into a nationwide picture of a horror show, until research into incidents was done by a Stanford MBA student? Read that link, please.

“What’s wrong with this picture of oversight? Fixing the Care.com background checking fiasco will take ‘more than babysitting money.’ No kidding. It will take vote-with-their feet feedback from the firm’s investors and especially the customers.”

Read this opinion column in its entirety here.

“Students with disabilities call college admissions aheating ‘Big slap in the face’” – California HealthLine

Cropped view of group of teenagers taking a test

by Barbara Feder Ostrov and Ana B. Ibarra

“For Savannah Treviño-Casias, this week’s news about the college admissions cheating scandal was galling, considering how much red tape the Arizona State University senior went through to get disability accommodations when she took the SAT.

“‘It felt like such a big slap in the face,’ said Treviño-Casias, 23, who was diagnosed in sixth grade with dyscalculia, a disability that makes it more difficult to learn and do math. ‘I was pretty disgusted. It just makes it harder for people who actually have a diagnosed learning disability to be believed.’

“Federal prosecutors have charged 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in a nationwide bribery and fraud scheme to admit underperforming students to elite colleges. Some of the parents charged, the FBI said, paid to have their children diagnosed with bogus learning disabilities so they could get special accommodations on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.”

Click here to continue reading this article at California Healthline

“Why Americans are refusing to pick up the phone” – OZY.com

“Robocalls are rising sharply in the U.S., and there’s no disconnect in sight.”


by Addison Nugent

“New York artist Jennifer May Reiland’s phone rings all the time. While that gives the impression that she’s a very popular lady, the constant calls she gets aren’t from real people: They’re robocalls or telemarketing algorithms trying to sell her something. While this is a daily annoyance for many, Jennifer’s relationship with robocallers goes even deeper. ‘I work at a bookstore and for a while, I guess robocallers were spoofing our number because we would get multiple calls each day from people demanding angrily, “Why did you just call me?” and when I said we didn’t, they refused to believe me,’ she says.

“As strange as this situation was, it wasn’t the fact that a robocall agency had stolen her work’s phone number that surprised Reiland. It was the fact that all of these people had actually answered their phones. ‘It mainly just amazed me that people actually call back unknown numbers that called them!’ she exclaimed. ‘I assume all unknown numbers are robocalls at this point.’”

Keep reading this article at OZY.com, click here.


“Always connected with thousands Of ‘friends’ — yet feeling all alone” – California HealthLine

Sad man in park with couples in background

by Sharon Jayson

“AUSTIN, Texas — Connor Wilton moved here for the music scene. The 24-year-old singer-guitarist “knew zero people in Austin” and felt pretty lonely at first.

While this capital city is one of the nation’s buzziest places and ranks at the top of many ‘best’ lists, Wilton wasn’t feeling it. He lived near the University of Texas at Austin but wasn’t a student; he said walking through ‘the social megaplex that’s UT-Austin’ was intimidating, with its almost 52,000 students all seemingly having fun.

“‘You definitely feel like you’re on the outside, and it’s hard to penetrate that bubble,’ Wilton said.

Read this article at California Healthline in its entirety — click here.

Tips for finding fulfilling employment when you have a disability

tipsPhoto via Unsplash

by Jenny Wise

Having a disability shouldn’t prevent you from going after your career goals. While your job search will likely look very similar to that of someone without disabilities, you may face a few unique challenges along the way. Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running with your job hunt and land a position where you can let your skills shine.

Focus on What You Do Best

Anyone looking for a job should focus on their strengths above all else. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind the kinds of things you need in an ideal work environment and narrow your search to jobs where your disability will not limit you in any way. But it’s also crucial to think about the things you can do best! Avoid fixating on your limitations. Make a list of your greatest strengths to help you decide on a career field where you will thrive.

When you eventually go for an interview, use these strengths as your jumping off point. Talk about all of the things you can do well. Consider coming up with a short, but powerful, elevator pitch that reflects the unique ways you can benefit the company. Think about what drives you, why you are motivated to try your best every day, what aspects of the job you’re passionate about, and why you would be the perfect fit for the job. This really shows hiring managers that you’re driven to succeed.

Be Confident

Hiring managers love to see that a potential employee is confident in their abilities. You can display this confidence by addressing your disability in your interview and demonstrating how it does not affect your ability to do great things. If you feel uncomfortable disclosing your disability, that’s okay too! You don’t have to tell your interviewer anything you don’t want to. However, many people feel their confidence soar when they use their disability to show how they’ve overcome challenges or dealt with judgment in a constructive way.

Asking questions is another great way to show interviewers that you’re extremely driven. Do your research on the company and come prepared with a few questions about the organization. This really shows that you know what you’re talking about. You can also ask questions about development opportunities, professional responsibilities, and what success in the position would look like.

Craft a Skills-Based Resume

If you haven’t been employed for a while or you’ve switched jobs a lot in the past, a skills-based resume is your best bet. Instead of listing work history and education in chronological order, a skills-focused resume displays the targeted skills that make you uniquely qualified for the job. Adjust your resume for each job you apply for, listing a different combination of skills tailored to each position. Check out this article from Career Sidekick for help tailoring your resume to a specific job.

On your resume and in your interview, try to show your skills rather than simply telling about them. Avoid using clichés such as “hard-working” or “strong attention to detail.” Instead, use facts, numbers, and results to display your accomplishments.

Know Your Rights

As you go through the job-hunting process, make sure you have a solid understanding of your rights as a person with a disability. There are several federal laws that protect you from discrimination both during the job application process and in the workplace. For example, employers cannot reject you just because you cannot perform tasks that are not essential to the job position. Your employer must also make reasonable accommodations to help you do your job, like adjusting work schedules or modifying equipment. You can learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act on FindLaw.

Companies today are realizing the valuable talents and skills that people with disabilities bring to their businesses. While it may have been extremely challenging to find work in the past, the future of employment for people with disabilities looks promising. More and more companies are providing accommodations, advancement opportunities, and accessible tools for people with disabilities, allowing them to thrive in jobs they enjoy.

An idea that’s time has come? | “Rethinking What Makes a Great Roommate” – AARP

“Many older adults own homes with rooms to spare and could use some help around the house. Young, helpful renters need safe, affordable places to live. Nesterly is helping them find one another.”

co-housing“PHOTO BY GARY BATTISTON, CITY OF BOSTON – Brenda, an empty nester, and Phoebus, a Ph.D. candidate from Greece, used the Nesterly website to become housemates in her Boston home.”

“Noelle Marcus and Rachel Goor, urban planning graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology turned business partners, wanted to put their skills to use in addressing two housing crises: the paucity of affordable housing and the financial difficulties faced by older people who don’t want to give up their homes.

“The result: Nesterly, a website that connects older people who have rooms to spare with young and lower income people seeking medium-term affordable housing. ‘Homeshare with another generation: The easy, safe way to rent a room,’ states the site’s homepage.

“Launched in 2016, in partnership with the city of Boston, the service stems from the chaos of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast hard in October 2012. At the time, Marcus noticed that Airbnb was asking its hosts to house people whose homes were in danger from the storm.”

Continue reading this article at AARP, click here.

OPINION: “Mindfulness is not a fad. Try it.” – The Boston Globe


by Andy Puddicombe

Be present, be patient, be gentle, be kind . . . and everything else will take care of itself’ were the words of my teacher as I left behind my life as a Buddhist monk, some 15 years ago, to set out on a very different kind of adventure, one that would eventually lead to me getting married, having children, starting the Headspace meditation app, and moving to America.

“People often ask which I prefer: the simplicity of a monastic life, or the chaos of a working, family life? But life is not like that. Outside of extraordinary or unfortunate circumstances, our happiness is not typically defined by where we live, what we do, or what we possess.

“But instead of looking inward — recognizing that our experience of life is defined by our perception — we chase or hold on to things that we think make us happy, while running away from anything we believe makes us unhappy. This creates a never-ending cycle of hope and fear, leaving us exhausted, stressed, and no closer to the peace of mind we seek. So it’s worth considering how to step out of that cycle.”

Continue reading this opinion piece, click here.

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is coming in January 2020.

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is coming in January 2020.

beginning 2020

The counties included in the third and final phase of the program’s implementation are:

  • Lehigh/Capital Zone: Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, York.
  • Northeast Zone: Bradford, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuykill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Wyoming.
  • Northwest Zone: Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, Warren.

What you need to know:

CHC information for providers or participants can be found at www.healthchoices.pa.gov. The website will be updated as events are scheduled, so please check back often.

Click here to take our online trainings and read CHC fact sheets.

Access a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about CHC by clicking here.

Contact a CHC managed care organization (CHC-MCO) to become part of their provider network:

AmeriHealth Caritas | Phone: 1-800-521-6007  email: chcproviders@amerihealthcaritas.com

Pennsylvania Health & Wellness | Phone: 1-844-626-6813  email: information@pahealthwellness.com

UPMC Community HealthChoices | Phone: 1-844-860-9303  email: CHCProviders@UPMC.edu

Sign up and encourage your peers to subscribe to CHC emails here. By signing up, you will receive regular communications regarding CHC distributed from the Office of Long-Term Living.

Here’s a schedule of what’s coming in 2019

Late Spring/Early Summer 2019

Save the date for our upcoming provider summits in the Northeast, Northwest, and Lehigh/Capital zones. These summits are educational conferences specifically for providers to learn more about CHC. More information regarding times and locations coming soon!

Lehigh/Capital Zone

Monday, May 13: Harrisburg Area Community College

Tuesday, May 14: Shippensburg University

Wednesday, May 15: Kutztown University

Thursday, May 16 (Transportation Session Only): Kutztown University

Northwest Zone

Monday, May 20: Edinboro University

Tuesday, May 21: Lock Haven University

Wednesday, May 22: University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

Thursday, May 23 (Transportation Session Only): University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

Northeast Zone

Tuesday, June 4: East Stroudsburg University

Wednesday, June 5: University of Scranton

Thursday, June 6: Bloomsburg University

Friday, June 7 (Transportation Session Only): Bloomsburg University

Summer 2019

An introductory flyer will be sent to participants identified within the CHC population. View the flyer by clicking here.

Fall 2019

  • Notices and enrollment packets will be mailed to participants.
  • Information on the LIFE program will be sent to potentially eligible participants.
  • Informational sessions will be held for participants to learn about CHC and how to select a CHC-MCO.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

DD-Awareness-MonthArt by Gary Murrel

“Each March, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), partners with Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) to create a social media campaign that highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.

“The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live. DD Awareness Month covers three main areas: education, employment and community living. Throughout the month of March we will use these themes to guide our weekly content.”

Read this article in its entirety at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.org.