Author Archive: berkslancasterlebanonlink

Saturday webinars | Link Service Area 13 kicks off “Let’s get Tech Savvy” webinar series designed to help you get connected.

baby steps

“In the USA, only 59% of people over the age of 65 use the Internet daily, as opposed to 86% of all adults under 65.”

That’s the entire reason the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area  scheduled the Saturday morning (March 6) webinar. This was the first in a series of planned webinars that are designed to erase and lessen the fears that many people may have about using digital technology.

It’s tough trying to deliver taking training about how to use a smart phone, a tablet or a computer to persons who may not have the technology, the experience or the connectivity. It’s also tough to not have internet access and technological skills needed to find a Covid vaccination site. Or to file an online unemployment claim. Or to schedule a medical appointment.

But the intent of this series of webinars is to lessen the trepidation and the uncertainty of the technology in small bite-sized blocks of 30 to 40 minute online webinars. The Link coordinator hopes that caregivers, family members and agency resources who interact with persons with low or no digital savvy will share the webinar information with them.

For instance, here’s a video recording of Saturday’s “Baby Steps” Webinar:!Agtzmyc10ssBgxni4YdAzYOFpFiO?e=Sdb3wR

The next Webinar will be in two weeks and will be announced at the Link Website and hopefully in local media. For more information about upcoming Webinars, send an email to or call / text: 717.308.9714.

Those who’ve ventured into owning a smart phone know “how many times a day your phone, computer, tablet, watch and other gadgets buzz or ding. It gets annoying and distracting.”

Upcoming webinars will deal with smart phone questions, but here’s a Kim Kommando column that’s especially topical: “How to stop junk text messages and spam for good.”

“‘Providers Don’t Even Listen’: Barriers To Alzheimer’s Care When You’re Not White” – NPR

200489720-001As a researcher at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Alice Mukora says she understands the need to enroll diverse populations in Alzheimer’s research. But that would be more likely to happen, she notes, if people of color had better experiences getting Alzheimer’s care.” – Siri Stafford/Getty Images

by Jon Hamilton

“Many members of racial and ethnic minority groups say they face extra barriers when seeking care for a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American caregivers were far more likely than whites to encounter discrimination, language barriers and providers who lack cultural competence, according to a report released Tuesday by the Alzheimer’s Association.

“‘Among nonwhite caregivers, half say they’ve faced discrimination when navigating through the health care system,’ says Maria Carrillo, the association’s chief science officer. Just 17% of white caregivers reported that sort of problem.

“Black caregivers were most likely to report barriers, followed by Native American, Asian American and Hispanic caregivers.

“One major concern reported by those trying to get treatment or other support for a loved one is that ‘providers don’t even listen to what they are saying, perhaps because of their race, color or ethnicity,’ Carrillo says. ‘What they’re experiencing is actually affecting their care,’ she notes.”

Read this NPR article in its entirety, click here.

VisionCorps offers free programs to Groups and VISIONCORPS OFFERS free eye exams and glasses to qualified individuals

vision corps logo

VisionCorps is offering virtual programs to organizations and employers about its services. The programs, which can be individualized based on the needs of the group, include information on vision problems, living with low vision, employing people with low vision, and tips for living independently with blindness or low vision.

VisionCorps provides programs and services to clients in Lancaster, Adams, Chester, Lebanon, and York counties.

“During the pandemic when it is more difficult to meet in groups, many community groups, churches, and employers are meeting in teleconferences,” said Dennis Steiner, VisionCorps President/CEO. “We can present virtual programs to meet their needs.”

VisionCorps also gives programs in person, when advisable during the pandemic. All the programs are provided free of charge, and all services offered to clients of VisionCorps are free, said Steiner.

“We want people to know about the services we provide,” said Steiner. “We offer education and prevention of blindness services, rehabilitation, and employment to individuals in South Central Pennsylvania.”

VisionCorps programs include a general presentation about its mission and services, specific rehabilitation tips for those living with low vision, and training and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for employees who work with individuals who are blind or have low vision.

To schedule a program or find out more, please contact Linda Conyers at

VisionCorps has a program to give free eye exams and glasses to qualified adults and children in Southcentral Pennsylvania.

“We provide this assistance to individuals in our community who may not be able to afford to get their eyes checked and purchase glasses,” said Dennis Steiner, VisionCorps President/CEO.

“We know that people are suffering during this pandemic and we offer this option as one way to help out.”Steiner said VisionCorps, with help from the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation, connects low-income families in Lancaster, Adams, Chester, Lebanon, and York counties to access free vision examinations and basic frames and lenses.

To see if you qualify for the service, please call VisionCorps at 717-205-4141.“Keeping your eyes healthy is an important part of preserving eyesight,” said Steiner, “and providing vouchers for a full eye exam is one of the many services we offer.” Steiner said VisionCorps offers education and prevention of blindness services, rehabilitation, and employment to individuals. Programs and services are offered to clients ranging in age from birth to seniors, including occupational therapy, tips for living independently and employment opportunities.

In addition, VisionCorps offers virtual programs to organizations and employers about its services. The programs, which can be individualized based on the needs of the group, include information on common eye conditions, living with low vision, employing people with low vision, and tips for living independently with blindness or low vision.

All the programs are provided free of charge, and all services offered to clients of VisionCorps are free, said Steiner.

About VisionCorpsVisionCorps serves individuals who are blind or vision impaired in Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Adams, and Chester counties, through rehabilitation services and/or employment opportunities. VisionCorps’ Enterprise Group focuses on employing people who are blind or vision impaired in manufacturing, food processing, and administrative services. VisionCorps Foundation, the fundraising arm of VisionCorps, provides grants, scholarships, and program support for people

March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.”

womens history month

Shown above clockwise from top right: First WAVES Machine Gun Instructors. Collection: National Archives “Women in the Military” collection on Historypin,-80.14949/zoom:15/dialog:8647025/tab:stories_tab_content/Sojourner Truth, three-quarter length portrait, standing, wearing spectacles, shawl, and peaked cap, right hand resting on cane. By Popular Demand: “Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920 – Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress, Image credit: Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress. Photo by Shawn Miller. – Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California. Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection.

“Learning to Listen to Patients’ Stories” – The New York Times

“Narrative medicine programs teach doctors and other caregivers ‘sensitive interviewing skills’ and the art of ‘radical listening’ to improve patient care.”

listen to patients stories“Waclawa ‘Joanne’ Zak, who now lives in Oxford, Wis., fought in the Polish resistance during World War II. As a teenager, she served as a scout, assessing German troop strength and positions. Later in the war she trained as a nurse and was liberated from a German P.O.W. camp. She told her story as part of the ‘My Life, My Story’ program at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis.” Credit…Andy Manis for The New York Times

by Richard Schiffman

“The pandemic has been a time of painful social isolation for many. Few places can be as isolating as hospitals, where patients are surrounded by strangers, subject to invasive tests and attached to an assortment of beeping and gurgling machines.

“How can the experience of receiving medical care be made more welcoming? Some say that a sympathetic ear can go a long way in helping patients undergoing the stress of a hospital stay to heal.

“’It is even more important now, when we can’t always see patients’ faces or touch them, to really hear their stories,’ said Dr. Antoinette Rose, an urgent care physician in Mountain View, Calif., who is now working with many patients ill with Covid.

“’This pandemic has forced many caregivers to embrace the human stories that are playing out. They have no choice. They become the “family” at the bedside,’ said Dr. Andre Lijoi, a medical director at York Hospital in Pennsylvania. Doctors, nurses and others assisting in the care of patients ‘need time to slow down, to take a breath, to listen.’

“Both doctors find their inspiration in narrative medicine, a discipline that guides medical practitioners in the art of deeply listening to those who come to them for help.”

Click here to continue reading this article at The New York Times.

“My Life, My Story: Advancing the Veteran Experience” – Veterans Affairs

“7 tangible ways to make vaccine website more accessible” – Fast Company

“Vaccine registration websites weren’t designed for the people who need them most. Here are easy fixes that don’t require starting over.”

tangible-ways-to-make-vaccine-websites-more-accessibleSOURCE: AZFree/iStock. Pavlo Stavnichuk/iStock

by Catharine McNally

“Across the U.S., online registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine are failing to consider some of the most vulnerable groups of people: seniors, those with disabilities, and certain racial and socioeconomic groups.

“The online registration processes were launched quickly (rightly so) in response to the rushed vaccine rollout. Usually, rapidly spun-up sites cater to the general public—the mythical ‘average users’—not these specific groups.

“But these groups are the main users of government vaccination registration websites, at least initially. Seniors face confusing, inconsistent, and frustrating registration processes that leave them scrambling to find help from family members, as an NPR story detailed earlier this month. New York, for instance, has a 51-question registration process that leaves many seniors overwhelmed.

“It’s not just seniors who are being left out.” Click here to read this article at Fast Company in its entirety.

Study on County Mental Health Services Released

county mental health services

“On Feb. 24, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) released a county mental health services report on Community Mental Health Services, as required under HR 515 of 2019. This broad-based study focused on Pennsylvania’s county-administered, community-based mental health services by collecting data from various state agencies and all 67 county mental health administrators.

“The report highlights the history of shifting Pennsylvania’s mental health service system from institutions to more whole-person focused, community-based care, allowing for a more holistic approach to combatting mental health conditions. The study noted that community residential services appear to be the most costly, though the self-reported data can create inconsistencies in reporting, which is typical for many human services. Other data on use of short-term private psychiatric facilities, mental illness in county jails and use of emergency rooms by those in mental health crisis helped to demonstrate how caseloads have increased over recent years. County mental health administrators confirmed those findings, discussing the delays in community residential services due to capacity complications, though they stressed that access to crisis services is where a lot of investment is made due to the critical nature of those services to people in distress.

“In addition, 64% of administrators reported an increase in crisis calls since the pandemic began, noting those statistics may not be as telling since people may feel isolated and may not call for help. A majority of administrators anticipated crisis calls will increase over the next year or so and many stressed the importance of capacity for telehealth and telemedicine services, including availability of broadband access as well as psychiatrists in the state, which can contribute to delays in evaluations. Other issues raised by county administrators were also included in the report.

“This report demonstrates that the current state of community-based mental health services is in need, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Counties have continued to advocate for increased funding for community-based county mental health services, a reoccurring county legislative priority.”

SOURCE: Legislative Bulletin, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania

You are invited to attend a RISE PA Regional Webinar

dhs logo

Earlier this year, “Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller announced the selection of a vendor for Resource Information and Services Enterprise – or RISE PA – an upcoming statewide resource and referral tool. RISE PA is a collaborative effort between multiple state agencies, counties, and local non-profits and community organizations, health care, and social services providers. Aunt Bertha, the selected vendor, will create an interactive online platform that will serve as a care coordination system for providers including, health care and social services organizations and a closed-loop referral system that will report on the outcomes of the referrals. It will also serve as an access point to search and obtain meaningful information to help Pennsylvanians find and access the services they need to achieve overall well-being and improve health outcomes.

“When fully implemented, anyone in Pennsylvania will be able to access this tool from their personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices to find information about services and resources, and self-refer to participating social services agencies. RISE PA will also allow service providers to assess the needs of individuals during a physician’s office or emergency department visit, when receiving case management services, or seeking assistance from a community organization, among others. Providers may refer their clients to agencies and be notified of the outcome of their referrals through the system. Most importantly, this is a person-centered, no-wrong-door approach. RISE PA will allow participating providers from local non-profits, health care organizations, local government and faith-based organizations to work together and coordinate care, making it easier for families and individuals to access the help they need.

“Please join PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Miller, and other DHS and Commonwealth officials for an informational webinar. They will share the vision for RISE PA, and how you may become involved.

“Webinars are regional and require registration. Please sign up for the webinar designated for your county. Please help spread the word by sharing this invitation with your contacts!”

RISE PA Stakeholder Webinars

Lehigh/Capital Zone – Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry and York counties.

Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on March 12, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

February is Heart Health Month: Check out these Updated Resources from Quality Insights.

.7tips for bp

understanding your bp

Click here for more.

Thank you, US Census 2020!

census appreciation

We are grateful to receive this recognition from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Service Area 13 (Berks – Lancaster – Lebanon County Link partners’ network was delighted to have Census 2020 outreach representatives present cross-training programs on the importance of the 2020 Census at meetings during 2019.

Learn about your community, your county, your state and the nation. Here are some QuickFacts about Lebanon County, Pennsylvania; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Berks County, Pennsylvania; United States.  QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.