Monthly Archives: March, 2015

“Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research” – The New York Times

fishoilTony Cenicola / The New York Times

by Anahad O’Connor | The New York Times

“Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health.

“But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“From 2005 to 2012, at least two dozen rigorous studies of fish oil were published in leading medical journals, most of which looked at whether fish oil could prevent cardiovascular events in high-risk populations. These were people who had a history of heart disease or strong risk factors for it, like high cholesterol, hypertension or Type 2 diabetes.”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety here.

Ken Burns’ “Cancer: the emperor of all maladies” begins on PBS tonight


Ken Burns’ new production, ‘Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,’ explores the history, future and impact of the disease. It is scheduled to air on PBS stations March 30, 31 and April 1 (WITF and WHYY, at 9:00 pm ). Next Avenue gathered clips from the show, including moving personal narratives of facing the scary diagnosis head on. Watch them below. We also offer an array of articles on coping with cancer, part of a PBS-wide focus on the disease this month. To the right are stories submitted by viewers from around the country. As science brings us closer to a cure, our hope is to connect all of us affected by cancer. – SOURCE: nextavenue

County Health Rankings

How healthy are the residents of Berks County? Of Lancaster County? Of Lebanon County?

Click on the links below to see key county factor comparisons among the three counties and the entire state:

“The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. We believe America can become a nation where getting healthy, staying healthy, and making sure our children grow up healthy are top priorities. We have a vision of an America where we all strive together to build a national culture of health that enables all in our diverse society to lead healthy lives, now and for generations to come.

“The goals of the program are to:

  • Build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health
  • Provide a reliable, sustainable source of local data to communities to help them identify opportunities to improve their health
  • Engage and activate local leaders from many sectors in creating sustainable community change, and
  • Connect & empower community leaders working to improve health.

By clicking here or on the graphic below, you’ll be able to find (and compare) information about every county in the nation and find out more about the “vital health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income, and teen births in nearly every county in America. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities. That is why we also provide the Roadmaps that provide guidance and tools to understand the data, and strategies that communities can use to move from education to action. The Roadmaps are helping communities bring people together from all walks of life to look at the many factors that influence health, focus on strategies that we know work, learn from each other, and make changes that will have a lasting impact on health. ”

county health rankings

Berks – Lancaster – Lebanon area projected to have more than 20% more people by 2040

population growth

The March 2014 report, “Pennsylvania Population Projections 2010-2040” shows remarkable population increases for the Berks – Lancaster – Lebanon Counties area. Based on the population data projection, the area will have 20.7% more people than in 2010.

“Population data are used by public and private agencies and businesses in numerous ways for policy development, project planning, and program evaluation. Policy and program development often require information on how the state’s population is expected to change over the next 5, 10, or 15 years. Data are especially needed to plan for schools, transportation, day care and elderly care centers, work force development, long-term care, and many other areas. While the decennial census and affiliated survey programs are rich sources of data on the social and economic characteristics of Pennsylvania’s residents, each census/survey presents a static portrait of life in the commonwealth at one fixed point in time. Projections provide a way to look at future population.

“If the projections are accurate, the population of Pennsylvania will increase to 14.1 million in 2040, up from 12.7 million in 2010. Almost 72 percent of the increase will be due to domestic net-migration or overseas migrants arriving from 2010 to 2040, with overseas migrants accounting for more than 85 percent of this portion of the increase. The remaining 28 percent of the increase during this period is due to natural increase (births exceeding deaths).

“The projections also provide an analysis of Pennsylvania’s future ‘dependency ratio’ – the ratio of the economically dependent part of the population to the productive part; arbitrarily defined as the ratio of the elderly (those 65 years and over) plus the young (those under 20 years of age) to the population in the ‘working ages’ (those 20-64 years of age). There were 68 children and elderly people per 100 adults of working age in 20102. That number will rise to 86 dependents per 100 adults of working age in 2040.” – SOURCE – “Pennsylvania Population Projections 2010-2040” report.


Department of Aging wrap-up for Friday, March 27, 2015

PA department of aging logo

Each week the Pennsylvania Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the March 27  newsletter.

Scenes from the March “Practical Ethics in Human Services” workshop

On Wednesday, March 25, professionals representing resources providers of the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner networks Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties, received training during a four plus hour workshop facilitated by Christopher Dubble, director, the Institute of Protective Services at Temple University.

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40 professionals from the Link service area assembled in the comfortable environment of the Reamstown Fire Hall‘s banquet hall for the workshop and participated in the interactive presentation. At the end of the workshop, each of the participants were presented with a certificate awarding Pennsylvania Certification Board continuing education units (CEUs).

Here are more photo collages from the workshop.

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The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources − Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area partner network − is your “no wrong door” system: a shared statewide approach for Long-Term Service and Support … for all populations regardless of age, income or ability … including all payers, federal, state, local and private.

Click here to see upcoming workshops on April 2 – April 9 and May 1. There are a few vacancies remaining for these FREE workshops.

Link partners host community conversation: Coping with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias


Free tickets to “Pitch Blond” at Millersville University’s Ware Center this Saturday

Here’s a special reach out to our Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Link Website readers.

Millersville University is reaching out to you with a special offer.

Pitch Blond scheduled for this Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 pm.  Pitch Blond is a portrayal of legendary Hollywood star Judy Holliday by an award-winning actress, Laura Anne Harris.

Simply use the promo code SOCIAL online at when reserving show tickets or call 717-871-7600 and mention “social” for the free tickets.  Subject to availability; group requests please call 717-871-7600 to reserve tickets.

Permanent Homes and Services to Low-Income Individuals with Disabilities

Rental assistance will help prevent unnecessary institutionalization

Harrisburg, PA – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an $8,557,014 award to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to prevent individuals with disabilities from being unnecessarily institutionalized or falling into homelessness.

This grant will provide permanent affordable rental housing and needed supportive services to extremely low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom are hoping to transition out of institutional settings back to the community. The award is part of $150 million in rental assistance to 25 State Housing Agencies.

“This effort builds on my plan to ensure we are protecting our most vulnerable citizens and helping them stay in their homes,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Creating opportunities for affordable housing and independent living for persons with disabilities, seniors, and families across the Commonwealth is a top priority for my Administration.”

The award is made possible through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) program, which enables persons with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of their area’s median income to live in integrated, affordable housing.

“Everyone deserves a stable home,” said Acting DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “Housing that allows individuals with disabilities to remain in the community is a critical resource that helps the Department improve the quality of life for many Pennsylvanians. This funding builds upon our current program and will allow us to serve and additional 200 households throughout the Commonwealth.”

The commonwealth will identify, refer, and support target populations of persons with disabilities who require community-based, long-term care services to live independently. This is one of several recent collaborative efforts between HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We’re grateful to HUD for this funding to provide rental assistance to people with disabilities,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “Providing people the chance to live independently and avoid institutional living not only enriches their lives but has proven to be a more cost effective approach, as well. It benefits both residents and taxpayers.”

The grant reinforces the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the landmark 1999 Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., helping states and local governments to provide services in the most integrated settings appropriate to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Interested individuals with disabilities should visit for more information.

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services news release

“Purple Up!” for military kids on April 15

purple up