ACHIEVA and HealthMeet

 Your Health Matters

Volume 2 Issue 21                                                                                      October 29, 2013




In This Issue
What Does It Mean to be Well?
New Medicaid Report
Healthcare Transition
What is Health Literacy?
Survey Seeks Information on Health
New Tool to Help Prevent Flu
Women Be Healthy
HealthMeet Calendar of Events

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What Does It Mean to be Well?

When we think of wellness we describe it as a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit. It is an active process. We need to chose wellness and healthy living.


Remember that exercise is the most important thing we can do for our well being.  Exercise helps you stay in shape, helps your joints and keeps your mind alert. Individuals with disabilities are often at a disadvantage when it comes to health and that makes exercise even more vital.  There are many ways to exercise and finding what works for each person is important.


The recommended amount of exercise is 30 to 60 minutes each day of the week.  Even if you start small with 10 minutes at a time, and slowly increase time spent in physical activity, you will be on the road to better living.  The best way to accomplish this is to set aside time each day to do something that you enjoy that will increase your heart rate.


New Medicaid Report Available

Medicaid provides health and long-term care coverage to more than 66 million low-income Americans.  Medicaid accounts for one in six dollars of all health care spending in the US.  A new report issued by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured is available by clicking here.

Healthcare Transition

The successful transition to adult health care services for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) is becoming a key area of concern as more people with disabilities are living well into their adult years.  One of the six core outcomes for CYSHCN identified by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau was: ''Youth with special health care needs receive the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including adult health care, work, and independence.'' 


Many resources exist to make this process more easily understood. One such resource can be found here.


What is Health Literacy?

To have health literacy means you are able to receive and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.


The Facts:

  • 88 percent of adult English-speaking Americans need help understanding health care information 
  • People with low health literacy skills have a 50 percent increased risk of hospitalization compared to those who have adequate health literacy skills
  • 70 percent of all consumers fail to adhere to prescribed medications, often because of social, financial, physical, and other factors.  The average health care cost for a low-literacy patient is $13,000 vs. $3,000 for a patient with adequate health literacy skills 

For health care consumers, the best thing is to become more involved with your health care. Simply asking questions of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can do a lot to help you be healthy.  Click here for the brochure from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) which is a great place to start.


Health care providers, along with insurance companies and policymakers, have the greatest opportunity and capacity to improve health outcomes by providing easy to understand health information. Health information needs to be:

  • Accurate

  • Accessible

  • Actionable

The AHRQ's Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit gives you all of the tools you need to begin helping patients to be more health literate.

Survey Seeks Information on Health & People with Disabilities

The Arc's HealthMeet initiative , which aims to reduce health disparities among people with I/DD, is launching a short, internet-based survey for family or staff caregivers of people with intellectual disabilities.  This survey asks questions about health status of people with intellectual disabilities in different areas that are noticed by caregivers, but can also be used as a checklist to help caregivers identify red flags about the health of the person you care for. 


The survey takes about 15 minutes and is free of charge.  Click here to take the survey now.

New Tool for People with I/DD to Help Prevent Flu

The Arc of New Jersey, working under The Arc's HealthMeet program, has created a useful tool to help individuals with I/DD protect them during flu season.  This easy-to-read flyer offers tips for how to prevent flu in direct, accessible language and is available on The Arc's website as well as through The Arc of New Jersey. 


The Arc of New Jersey is one of several chapters participating in HealthMeet, a program to help reduce health disparities faced by people with I/DD and funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (Grant #1U59DD000993-01).

Women Be Healthy: A Promising Intervention to Promote Cervical & 

Breast Cancer Screening for Women with ID

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2 - 3 p.m. EST

Presenter: Susan Parish, PhD, MSW

In this webinar Susan Parish, Director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, will be reviewing the Women Be Healthy project and test results.  Women Be Healthy offers classes and resources for women with ID and their health professionals. 


These resources help women learn how to better express their health concerns to their physician and to be more prepared and informed about their health and body.  Susan will discuss the prevalence of cervical and breast cancer screening in women with ID and why it is so important.  Barriers to this type of care will also be given along with information regarding the significant racial disparities in mammography for women with ID. 


Click here to register.

Back to Work with SSDI...It Doesn't Have to Be Scary!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3 - 4 p.m. EST


Presenter: Tai Venuti, MPH - Manager of Strategic Alliances; Allsup


No tricks during  this webinar.  If you have Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and are interested in going back to work, don't let "scary thoughts"  stop you.  This webinar will address  common concerns SSDI beneficiaries have about returning to work.  It will  provide a snapshot of the current employment environment for people  with disabilities and describe resources available to help individuals  obtain and maintain employment.


Click here to register.                                

What's for Dinner? Planning for Success in Health Eating

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2 - 3 p.m. EST

Presenter: Joan Guthrie Medlen, MEd, RDN, LD, Medlen Consulting & Registered Dietitian


It's dinner time.  The person you support is really hungry.  You scrounge through the fridge to find something to make.  It's either empty or what is there takes too long to make.  What do you do? Is fast food or pre-prepared food really an easy and healthy choice?  Is it really what the person you support would choose if they weren't so hungry?  Sometimes it feels like a big catch 22 with no good solutions. In this webinar you will learn ways to set everyone up for success in a person-centered way.  Healthy eating and informed choices start with the people we support.


Learning Objectives:


At the end of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the "Choose Three" method of balancing a meal
  • Create a planning system for meals
  • Infuse person-centered practices into the menu planning process 
Click here to register.                                

Website Offers Information on Health, Wellness & Access to Healthcare

A website, managed by ACHIEVA (The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh) offer resources and information for individuals with disabilities, families and healthcare professionals and others interested in healthcare for people with disabilities. Website address is  

            HealthMeetCalendar of Events

Please see our HealthMeetŪ Events page for a full calendar of all upcoming events at:

We encourage you to share this publication with other people and have them become a reader and subscriber.  Click here to join.

Nancy Murray
President, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh
serving Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland Counties
(412) 995-5000 x424