ACHIEVA and HealthMeet

 Your Health Matters

Volume 2 Issue 22                                                                                    December Edition




In This Issue
Diabetes: Risk Factors
Learn More About Health Concerns
Two-Part Series on Dementia
FDA Targets Trans Fat
HHS Awards Funds to Expand Access to Care
The Arc Joins Navigator Resource Collaborative
Info on Health, Wellness & Access to Healthcare
HealthMeet Calendar of Events

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Diabetes: Risk Factors, Prevention & Management



More than eight percent of Americans have diabetes and about 35 percent of American adults have prediabetes.  Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Without healthy lifestyle changes, those with pre-diabetes may develop diabetes.


To protect your health, get information about:


Risk Factors - Family history, blood pressure, and other factors can affect your chances of developing diabetes.  Take a quick test to learn your level of risk.


Prevention - The onset of Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or delayed through moderate weight loss, good nutrition, and exercise.


Manage Diabetes - If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, learn how to stay healthy and keep the disease under control.


Statistics - Get some basic facts, including the prevalence of Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes.

Help Us Learn More about Health Concerns for People with I/DD! 

New Online Assessment Tool Seeks Caregiver's Perspective.


The Arc of the United States is seeking caregiver views of the health status of the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) they support.  If you or someone you know is a professional, paid, unpaid or family member caregiver of someone with I/DD, we invite you to take a short, confidential online assessment to help us collect valuable information about caregiver views of the health status of people with I/DD.


In exchange, you can use the assessment as a tool to help you evaluate any "red flag" health concerns you may have about the people for whom you provide care.  While this checklist should not be used in the place of seeing a doctor, it can be a handy way to identify concerns.

The information you provide as part of the assessment will be used to find out more about the role of caregivers and the health concerns that impact people with I/DD across the United States to help develop appropriate and accessible tools for all caregivers to use in the future to help promote the health of people with I/DD.


By participating in this assessment, you give The Arc permission to use this information to help better understand and evaluate health issues impacting people with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers.  The information provided is confidential and will never be used to identify individuals.  However, you will have the opportunity to provide contact information if you choose so that we may send you information about The Arc and its health promotion programs.


Questions?  Please contact Jennifer Sladen at  Find out more about The Arc, our HealthMeet project and our work to serve people with I/DD and their families at


Two-Part Webinar Series on Dementia in Individuals with I/DD

Part 1 - Dementia in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities


Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 2 - 3:30 p.m. EST

Presenter: Ronald Lucchino, PhD - President of the Board for Southwest Florida Area Agency on Aging, Sarasota, Florida


Dr. Ronald Lucchino, Ph.D. joins us to give a comprehensive overview of dementia. In this webinar he will describe behaviors and symptoms of dementia, the different types and risk factors to misdiagnosing an adult with an intellectual disability with dementia.  Examples will be given to show the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia in adults with I/DD as opposed to the general population.


Register now!

Part 2 - Understanding Behavioral Changes in Adults with IDD and Dementia


Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 2 - 3 p.m. EST

Presenters: Kathryn Pears - Founder and CEO of Dementia Care Strategies, and Dr. Kathleen Bishop - PI for the Program on Aging and I/DD at Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center


This webinar dives into the behavioral aspects of dementia in persons with I/DD.  Dr. Kathie Bishop and Ms. Kathleen Pears will team up to go into detail regarding symptoms and behaviors associated with dementia in this population, and how sensory challenges can often be misinterpreted and associated with dementia.  Environmental factors that can contribute to certain behaviors will be introduced as well as changes that you can make in an individual's environment that will help to reduce specific attributes as well.


Register now!

 FDA Targets Trans Fat in Processed Foods

From the


Partially hydrogenated oils, which are a major dietary source of trans fat, may soon become unapproved food additives. 

Over the past decade, many companies have reduced the amount of trans fat in their products, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that further reducing trans fat could prevent thousands of deaths and heart attacks each year. 


Learn about the Food and Drug Administration's preliminary findings on partially hydrogenated oils and find out what you can do to avoid trans fat.


HHS Awards Affordable Care Act Funds to Expand Access to Care

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $150 million in awards under the Affordable Care Act to support 236 new health center sites across the country. These investments will help care for approximately 1.25 million additional patients.  

Community health centers work to improve access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.  Community health centers play an especially important role in delivering health care services in communities with historically high uninsurance rates.  Community health centers are also on the front line of helping uninsured residents enroll in new health insurance options available in the Health Insurance Marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, through expanded access to Medicaid in many states, and new private health insurance options and tax credits.


As community-based and patient-directed organizations, health centers are well positioned to be responsive to the specific health care needs of their community.  Through the Affordable Care Act's commitment to expanding access to high quality health care for all Americans, these grants will support the establishment of new full-time service delivery sites.


Health centers also link individuals to care through outreach and enrollment, assuring that individuals in their communities have the information and assistance they need to enroll in care through the Health Insurance Marketplace.   Today, approximately 1,200 health centers operate more than 9,000 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21 million patients in every State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin.  Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have added 4 million patients and more than 35,000 new full-time positions.


Health Center New Access Point grants, listed by organization and state, are available by clicking here.


To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit  


To learn more about HRSA's Health Center Program, click here.

The Arc Joins Navigator Resource Collaborative

The Arc is excited to be part of the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC), a new resource for people helping the uninsured to gain coverage through the health insurance marketplaces.  The collaborative is led by the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) and is supported by a one-year grant from the  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Later this year and into 2014, The Collaborative intends to develop training and technical assistance materials to respond to the need for cross disability training for people who are helping with the enrollment process.  The Collaborative will address issues particularly important to people with disabilities such as the interplay between the private marketplaces, Medicaid and Medicaid alternative benefit plans, the need to carefully compare plans especially in the rehabilitation and habilitation benefits, the pharmacy benefits and mental health and substance abuse parity. 

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