Monthly Archives: May, 2017

The Department of Education will publish an announcement in the May 22 FEDERAL REGISTER inviting applications under the Veterans Upward Bound Program.

The Department has identified $14.2 million for investment.  Applications are due thirty-days after publication (June 22).  The contact is Kenneth.Foushee@ed.gov.

The Upward Bound (UB) Program is one of the seven programs known as the Federal TRIO Programs. The UB Program is a discretionary grant program that supports projects designed to provide students with the skills and motivation necessary to complete a program of secondary education and to enter into, and succeed in, a program of postsecondary education. There are three types of grants under the UB Program: UB; Veterans UB; and UB Math and Science (UBMS) grants. In this notice, the Department is inviting applications for Veterans UB (VUB) grants only.

The VUB Program supports projects designed to prepare, motivate, and assist military veterans in the development of academic and other skills necessary for acceptance into and success in a program of postsecondary education.

The VUB Program is a critical component of the Department’s efforts to improve college readiness, college access, college selection, and degree completion for veterans. To more strategically align the VUB Program with broader reform strategies intended to improve postsecondary access and completion, and consistent with the Department’s increasing emphasis on promoting evidence-based practices through our grant competitions, the Secretary will also evaluate applications on the extent to which the components of the proposed project are supported by “strong theory”– that is, a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model. We encourage applicants to read carefully the Selection Criteria section of this notice. Resources to assist applicants in creating a logic model can be found here:

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/pdf/REL_20140 07.pdf

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education; public and private agencies; organizations including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth; combinations of such institutions, agencies, and organizations; and secondary schools.

Click here for the pre-publication version of the notice which contains full background and outlines the application requirements and evaluative criteria.

“The steps that can help adults heal from childhood trauma” – The Conversation

recovering from trauma“Taking care of your kids can mean taking care of yourself, too. Shutterstock” – SOURCE: The Conversation

“Prevention is the mantra of modern medicine and public health. Benjamin Franklin said it himself: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’

“Unfortunately, childhood adversities such as abuse and neglect cannot be prevented by vaccinations. As we now know, a large proportion of adults go through adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and can exhibit symptoms such as substance abuse. The symptoms seen in adults can in turn expose the next generation to adverse outcomes – creating a cycle that’s hard to break.

“However, we can limit the impact of ACEs on future generations by taking a close look at what we are doing today – not only for our children, but for ourselves, as adults. Therefore, to prevent adversities for children, we must address the healing and recovery of trauma in adults.”

Continue reading this article at The Conversationclick here.

June is PTSD Awareness Month

Take the mystery out of PTSD: learn what it is, who is affected, and how treatment can help. Find out if you or a loved one has PTSD, and discover ways to get help.june is ptsd awareness month

Raise PTSD_Awareness

National Center for PTSD

“Seven things to do before you or someone you love leaves the hospital” – jus+care

to do list

Diane Archer, justcareusa.org, writes: “It’s hard enough to be in the hospital. Most of us can think only of getting out as quickly as possible. But, leaving the hospital can have its own set of risks if you’re not prepared. So, before you or someone you love leaves, here are seven things that you should do:”

(Click here to read the seven things you should do.)

cms discharge planningClick on the graphic above to download the booklet, Discharge Planning.

“Discharging patients from the hospital is a complex process that is fraught with challenges, and involves over 35 million hospital discharges annually in the United States. Among Medicare patients, almost 20 percent who are discharged from a hospital are readmitted within 30 days, and the cost of unplanned readmissions is 15 to 20 billion dollars annually. Preventing avoidable readmissions has the potential to profoundly improve both the quality of life for patients and the financial wellbeing of health care systems.

“Researchers in the field of Transitions of Care evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches to improve the discharge process. One classification scheme to categorize these interventions is to consider them as: pre-discharge interventions (patient education, discharge planning, medication reconciliation, scheduling a follow-up appointment); post-discharge interventions (follow-up phone call, communication with ambulatory provider, home visits); and bridging interventions (transition coaches, patient-centered discharge instructions, clinician continuity between inpatient and outpatient settings).

“This topic presents an overview of the discharge process, determination of the appropriate next site of care, and review of interventions to reduce the likelihood of unplanned readmissions and adverse events after discharge. Much of the discussion relates to structures of care available in the United States; there is significant variability in the availability of services and types of facilities across geographic areas.”

Continue reading this article, click here to read “Hospital discharge and readmission” at UpToDate.com.

Forgetfulness: normal or not?

Many people worry about becoming forgetful as they age. They think it is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. But forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging.

forgetfullness

Attention area veterans! Did you know there’s a Veterans Mental Health Council? With monthly meetings at the VA Medical Center in Lebanon.

VA mental health council

Click on the graphic above to download the brochure for more information.

“Nursing homes and hospice providers face looming emergency preparedness deadline” – Modern Healthcare

by Steven Ross Johnson

“After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Amedisys decided it needed to upgrade its disaster plan. The national home healthcare and hospice provider began conducting risk analysis and factoring in local potential hazards to develop a plan to ensure staff and residents at its U.S. facilities could weather natural disasters. From this came several changes: greater coordination with first responders, regular drills and closer collaboration with other Medicare providers.

“The plan, which calls for sending disaster response teams to check in on patients at home and bringing them food, water and cleaning supplies, was implemented during last year’s floods in Louisiana. The plan helped keep Amedisys staff and residents safe.

“But now Amedisys and other providers like it are being asked to step up their efforts. Many of the nation’s healthcare providers are facing a deadline to implement new federal requirements that standardize how they handle natural disasters and terrorists’ threats.

“In September, the CMS finalized a rule requiring 17 types of healthcare providers to set new policies that result in better coordination with emergency personnel and frequent tests and adaptations of emergency plans.

“While most experts support the regulations, others worry that many facilities, … ”

Continue reading this article at Modern Healthcare, click here.

Friday Wrap-Up, May 26, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s 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 download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

“Health Care Planning Following a Diagnosis of Dementia” – IKOR

healthcare planning

by Zach Nelson

“Progressive forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, allow the individual diagnosed with the disease to participate in the planning of their care. In this article, we turn our attention to the planning that should be carried out to ensure the individual’s health care needs are met, and their wishes are honored throughout the progression of the disease.

“Sound Financial Planning is the Foundation for Medical Planning

“The average life expectancy following the onset of dementia symptoms is between eight and ten years; however, … ”

To continue reading this article in its entirety at IKORGlobal.com, click here.

 

Governor Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro Announce Launch of Reentry Council

“All too often, returning citizens face enormous barriers that endure long after they have paid their debts to society – and with over 600,000 individuals released from federal and state prisons every year, societal choices about how we treat reentering individuals will have far-reaching implications for all of us. Without effective reentry policies, we risk perpetuating cycles of violence, victimization, incarceration and poverty in our neighborhoods. We risk wasting the potential of millions of Americans whose past mistakes continue to exclude them from the chance to contribute to their communities. That’s why the Reentry Council is dedicated to expanding access to the key building blocks of a stable life – employment, education, housing, healthcare, and civic participation – to give formerly incarcerated individuals a second chance and to create stronger and safer communities for all.” – S0URCE: “THE FEDERAL INTERAGENCY REENTRY COUNCIL : A Record of Progress and a Roadmap for the Future

Federal interagency reentry council

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with  members of the governor’s cabinet and legislators, announced (on May 15, 2017) the launch of the Pennsylvania Reentry Council (PRC), created to educate the public, members of law enforcement and criminal justice, and policymakers on why supporting prisoner reentry efforts is essential to reducing crime and violence. The council will provide a forum for the sharing of best practices on reentry and will help to identify barriers to successful reentry for persons with criminal records.

“In Pennsylvania, 90 percent of the prison population will return to their community,” Governor Wolf said. “And if we are not successful at getting them the services they need to make it home, then all of our work, all the rehabilitative programming, all the money we’ve spent to get them ready to return home is rendered useless. Pennsylvania has had a large but fragmented network of reentry services, but today with the announcement of the Reentry Council, we can unite the state’s multiple reentry partners into one statewide reentry council.”

“For too long, we’ve relied solely on incarceration to prevent crime and violence,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “By working collaboratively with law enforcement, state and local government and communities, we can create new strategies to expand opportunities and assist returning citizens as they reenter their communities, and make our commonwealth safer as a result.”

The Department of Correction (DOC), the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP), the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), 21 regional reentry coalitions, and numerous reentry services providers work regularly to improve the outcomes of reentrants and increase public safety—but often in silos and without clear direction.

Members of these state agencies and the departments of Human Services, Labor & Industry, Education, and Transportation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Victim Advocate, and the existing 21 regional coalitions will be part of the new PRC, which will be the center of reentry efforts for the commonwealth to establish common goals, promote evidence-based practices, and encourage collaboration and coordination across all stakeholder groups. PRC will build on the individual successes of reentry organizations and identify and eliminate weaknesses.

The PRC will work to promote collaboration between federal, state, local, and community reentry stakeholders and identify and implement successful evidence-based reentry programs.

“The reentry process begins upon an individual’s admission into the correctional system and continues through release and into their community,” Governor Wolf said. “To continue Pennsylvania’s historic inmate reduction – over 2,000 individuals since January 2015 – we must expand reentry services and build on the good work already being done by stakeholders. The new Reentry Council will do just that.”

“One of the most impactful ways to lower our recidivism rate is meaningful re-integrative services and removing the barriers to re-integration,” Representative Jordan Harris said on behalf of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “We applaud the governor and the Attorney General for their foresight to establish this council and look forward to working with the council for the betterment of our commonwealth.”

At the state level the Wolf Administration continues to implement policies and expand services to improve reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. Among those efforts, Governor Wolf introduced a ‘Ban the Box’ Fair-Chance hiring policy for state agencies that will remove the criminal conviction question from both civil and non-civil service employment applications for agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction. Ban the Box allows for reentry services in Pennsylvania to work by providing applicants a fair chance to be judged on their qualifications, not their criminal history.

Also, Governor Wolf signed Act 5 of 2016 into law, which removes barriers to employment by sealing minor criminal records for those who have been crime-free for 10 years. Farther reaching ‘clean slate’ legislation is anticipated later this year to provide for “automatic” sealing of non-violent misdemeanor records after 10 years.

Following the press conference, the first meeting of the Reentry Council was held at the Attorney General’s Office. (SOURCE: news release)