Friday, May 30, 2014

How Obamacare worked out in Utah

Only 357 Utahns signed up for insurance on healthcare.gov last October, the first month the website opened for business. Thousands more seeking insurance were derailed by online errors and long waits. You couldn’t buy Obamacare insurance even if you wanted to.
Fast forward to the end of March and Utah’s enrollment total reached 84,601.
How did it happen?

First, healthcare.gov got a major overhaul in December. Second, many Utahns got free help from trained enrollment experts, including the navigator program created to support underserved communities.

One of those navigator teams was Take Care Utah (TCU), a state-wide consumer assistance network organized by the Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP), United Way of Salt Lake 2-1-1 and the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH).

By answering basic questions, speaking to community groups, and arranging one-on-one appointments, TCU’s navigators helped tens of thousands of Utahns understand and access their new insurance options.

They helped people like Amanda, whose brain tumor had made her uninsurable.

And Denise, a working, single mom who wanted to stay healthy for her daughter.

And Jeff, who just launched his own business.

Sometimes it took days to troubleshoot tricky applications and sign people up. But TCU’s hard work and success is reflected in Utah’s final enrollment total, and the many steps that made it possible.

Read entire article at: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/57978499-82/utah-health-insurance-community.html.csp

Narrow networks: A balancing act


A new report shows that the narrow networks offered in many health marketplace plans have helped keep premiums low for consumers. At the same time, limits on in-network providers can place the health and finances of some people at risk. Researchers at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute recommend a three-pronged approach to balance access to care with affordability, including: limits on the time and distance one must travel for care, transparency that allows for plan comparisons, and improved monitoring and accountability.
Learn how plan networks can lead to quality care at a lower cost >

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CDC Funding Opportunities

Three more community prevention grant opportunities have been posted by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) (five thus far).  One more obesity-related funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is expected this week.  All relevant information on the grants is accessible through the following linkNote the different dates and times for potential applicant conference calls. 
  • Diabetes Prevention - State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease and Stroke, financed by the Prevention and Public Health Fund.  A total of 18-22 awards are available, totaling $280 million over four years, with an average annual award of $3 million.  "Funds will be used to support environmental and system approaches to promote health, support and reinforce healthful behaviors, and build support for lifestyle improvements... and also support health system interventions and community-clinical linkages that focus on the general population and priority populations."  No letters of intent required, and applications are due by July 22nd.  An informational conference call is scheduled for Thursday, May 29th, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (EDT).  Call-in number: 1-877-784-3233, passcode: 9833862. 
  • A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country, also financed by the Prevention Fund.  Approximately 24 awards are available for a five year program with two types of awards averaging $325,000 and $850,000 annually.  "The primary purpose of this funding is to establish or strengthen and broaden the reach and impact of effective chronic disease prevention programs that improve the health of tribal members and communities... {through} a combination of policy and environmental approaches, community clinical linkages and health system interventions.  No letters of intent required, and applications are due by July 23rd.  An informational conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, May 28th,  2:00 - 3:30 p.m. (EDT).  Call-in number: 1-800-779-8307, passcode: 3508689.  
  • Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), financed in part by the Prevention Fund.  Funding is available for the three year initiative for 15-20 basic implementation (average annual award $400,000) and 30-40 comprehensive implementation (average annual award $800,000) grants.  Funds will be used to strengthen "existing capacity to implement locally tailored evidence- and practice-based, policy, systems, and environmental improvements in priority populations experiencing disparities in chronic diseases and associated risk factors."  Letters of intent are due on June 6th and applications on July 22nd.  An informational conference call is scheduled for Friday, May 30th, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (EDT).  Call-in number: 1-877-918-9241, passcode: 5073952. {note - this is updated call-in information, changed from the FOA}   
  • Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH), included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.  The program will provide $50 million/year through 30 to 40 cooperative agreements for three years through "evidence- and practice-based strategies to create or strengthen healthy environments that make it easier for people to make healthy choices and take charge of their health.  Grantees will include governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations and projects will serve  large cities and urban counties, small cities and counties, American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages."  Annual awards will range from $100,000 to $4 million a year.  Letters of Intent are due on June 5thand applications on July 22nd.  An informational conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, May 28th, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. (EDT). Call-in number: 888-324-7573, passcode: 5878439. 
  • National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Preventionproviding $10 million/year for three years "to support four to eight national organizations and their chapters/affiliates in building and strengthening community infrastructure to implement population-based strategies to improve the health of communities."  Two types of projects will be funded: community capacity building and implementation awards, aimed at supporting locally driven planning and action among selected chapters/affiliates; and dissemination and training awards, aimed at providing tools and trainings to support funded chapters/affiliates and their community coalitions in improving local policies, systems, and environments."  Letters of Intent are due on June 5th and applications onJuly 22nd.  An informational conference call is scheduled for FridayMay 30th, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. (EDT).  Call-in number: 888-955-8965, passcode: 9658383.

Utah’s Primary Care Network (PCN) will open enrollment for all adults on June 2

Utah’s Primary Care Network (PCN) will open enrollment for all adults on June 2.  PCN will continue accepting applications until further notice.

PCN is a primary preventive health coverage plan for uninsured adults.  Benefits include primary care physician services, prescriptions, dental services, eye exams, birth control, and general preventive services.

For more information or to apply, call 1-888-222-2542 or visit www.health.utah.gov/pcn.

25th Anniversary Juneteenth Festival

Next month is 25th Annual Statewide Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival, being held on June 13-15, 2014 at Weber State University, in Ogden.  The theme for this special tribute is "Nyansapo, Honoring the Wisdom of our Elders". 

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration marking the end of slavery in the US, having its origins in Galveston, Texas.  Two years following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by president Lincoln, Army General Gordon Granger and his troops were dispatched to the area to find Blacks still enslaved.  He issued General Order #3, thereby granting freedom to the slaves.  A huge celebration broke out, on that day, June 19, 1865 and continues through today.  

Juneteenth is a recognized state holiday and/or observance in all but eight states in the United States with Utah being one that hasn't joined the movement to date.  We have requested that Governor Herbert, sign an Executive Order, to recognize Juneteenth Day in Utah in commemoration of our 25th Anniversary celebration.

Juneteenth provides an opportunity for all to come together and not only celebrate our history and heritage, but to share valuable information with our community.  We invite you to participate by having a vending or information booth, serve as a volunteer, or invest financially, to help make this Silver Anniversary a Success! 

Enjoy local and national performing artist representing numerous genres, ethnic cuisine, film festival with discussions, health & wellness pavilion, Mr. & Ms. Juneteenth Scholarship Pageant, youth and adult activities and competitions, art display, theatrical presentation, "I Am Jane", Father's Day Gospel Tribute, FAFSA completion and financial aid workshops, to name a few.  

Contact Betty Sawyer at 801-644-1402 or email bettysawyer@weber.eduState GEAR UP Partnership Weber State University - Davis for more information.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ACA's First Open Enrollment Period: Why Did Some People Enroll and Not Others?

A new survey conducted by PerryUndem Research/Communication and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment, provides fresh insights into why some individuals enrolled in health coverage during the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period and why some individuals did not.

The survey, conducted April 10-28, 2014, among 671 newly enrolled individuals and 853 who remained uninsured, is the first in-depth examination of these populations and explores their attitudes, knowledge, and experiences with enrollment, costs, and health coverage.

Key Findings
  • There was a high demand for health insurance during the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period. Those who enrolled were willing to put time and effort into the process.
  • Those who enrolled had more information. For example, the newly enrolled were more than twice as likely to know about the availability of financial help to lowand moderate-income people than those who did not enroll (56% vs. 26%).
  • Individuals enrolled for many reasons, particularly the law/fine. As many as 40% indicate they might not have enrolled without the mandate. Other important motivations: being able to see a doctor and avoid big medical bills.
  • Many newly enrolled individuals felt enrolling was easy – but others faced difficulties. While 69% of the newly enrolled thought enrolling was “easy,” some of those who tried but did not enroll successfully found it confusing.
  • Three-quarters (74%) of the newly enrolled feel confident they can afford their premiums. They are also more than four times as likely to say their plans have enough doctors than not (56% vs. 13%).
  • Healthy people enrolled. The self-reported health status of those who enrolled and those who did not was similar.
  • Most of those who did not enroll (61%) wanted coverage. They wanted to enroll but could not find anything or say things got in the way of enrolling. Fifteen percent did not even know they could enroll. Only 15% did not want coverage.
  • Affordability concerns kept many away. The top reason why some people did not even look for coverage was the perception that they could not afford insurance.
  • Latinos and young adults (18-29) lagged behind in knowledge but wanted coverage. Latinos particularly valued in-person enrollment assistance. Young adults were more motivated by the fine than others.
  • More than eight in ten of the uninsured (84%) may be open to enrolling next time. Only 14% say they will not look for coverage.

Job opportunity: bilingual case manager targeting farmworkers

Bi-Lingual Case Manager-assist Migrant & Seasonal Farmworkers with education, training, and employment services.

Job Requirements:
Must care about people and be willing to do whatever it takes to help, bilingual Spanish/English, computer literate, Work a Flexible Work Schedule (sometimes days, mostly evenings, sometimes weekends, and up to 11 multiple-day trips per year, and long distance driving 2 to 4 days per week ), Work well with a variety of people, complete tasks as assigned, follow rules and regulations, meet deadlines, follow directions, good organizational skills. Pass a background screening. Good Driving History. Must have your own car, and be over 21 to meet insurance requirements.

Tasks:
Outreach, recruitment, fill out long applications, record keeping, teach people in English and Spanish and with translators in other languages and coordinate services with agencies, employers, farmers, and Farmworkers.

Desired:
Farmworker experience and knowledge, general office skills, patient, flexible, dependable, people-person, detail oriented, self motivated, compassionate, good presentation skills, able to learn quickly & work without supervision. You can get paid to make people's lives better, and every day that you go to work, you have the opportunity to make a difference.

This is a $13 temporary position with potential for transition into full-time, permanent, benefitted employment for the right person.

Send resume, cover letter and 3 references to:
Futures Through Training, Inc. attention Corrie
1140 East 36th Street, Suite 150
Ogden, Utah 84403.

No Phone Calls Please.
Must be received by noon on 6/27/2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Disaster preparedness is important for pregnant moms and families with infants

Are you a pregnant woman, or a parent with an infant? Do you know what to do in case of a disaster? Emergencies and disasters can be stressful, especially if you are pregnant or caring for an infant. Making plans ahead of time and knowing what to do when a disaster occurs can help keep you safe during an emergency.

Our new fact sheet series from APHA's Get Ready campaign and the March of Dimes provides basic, easy-to-read information on what you need to know before, during and after a disaster or other emergency. Developed with the March of Dimes, the fact sheets include general information as well as tips for specific disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes. Read and download the fact sheets, check out our Q&A with the March of Dimes and listen to our podcast.

Friday, May 16, 2014

New Grants Available

The Office of Minority Health administers grant programs to support projects that implement innovative models to improve minority health and reduce health disparities.

The following grant announcements have been posted for applications.

Announcement Number:  MP-CPI-14-003
Opportunity Title: Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities Initiative
Estimated Funding Level: Up to $2,700,000 
Expected Number of Awards:  10 - 13 
Announcement Description: The purpose of the Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities (PICC) Initiative is to identify, assist and educate minority populations about the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) and coverage opportunities made possible by the Affordable Care Act. The PICC Initiative will support organizations, partnerships and coalitions that will develop and provide comprehensive information and education sessions to minority consumers relative to the Marketplace; disseminate CMS or state-developed information to increase awareness of the Marketplace and, where appropriate, provide updated materials to more effectively offer culturally competent services specific to underserved communities, including translation services.  Successful grantees will assist individuals from underserved and/or hard to reach populations in applying for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, providing guidance on financial assistance and coverage options to reach minority populations who are targeted for enrollment. These funds may not be used to support individuals funded as Navigators for the 2014 Open Enrollment period in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.Due Date for Applications: June 16, 2014
Apply on grants.gov

Announcement Number:  MP-YEP-14-001
Opportunity Title: 
Minority Youth Violence Prevention:  Integrating Public Health and Community Policing Approaches (MYVP)
Estimated Funding Level: Approximately $4 million
Expected Number of Awards: 8 – 10Announcement Description: The Office of Minority Health (OMH) jointly with the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), announces the availability of Fiscal Year 2014 funds for the Minority Youth Violence Prevention: Integrating Public Health and Community Policing Approaches (MYVP). MYVP will support program interventions developed through adaptations, refinements, and modifications of promising violence prevention and crime reduction models that are tailored to at-risk minority male youth (ages 10-18) and integrate a problem solving approach - such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) problem-solving model or the COPS Office Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment (SARA) problem-solving model. These approaches should simultaneously address public health and public safety concerns and be tailored to at-risk male youth. A technical assistance webinar will be held for potential applicants to the MYVP program on Thursday, May 29, 20144-5:30 pm ET.
Due Date for Applications: June 13, 2014 
Apply on grants.gov

Announcement Number:  MP-YEP-14-005
Opportunity Title: Youth Empowerment Program II (YEP II)
Estimated Funding Level: Approximately $4 million
Expected Number of Awards: 8 – 16
Announcement Description: YEP II seeks to address unhealthy behaviors in minority males (10-18 years) at-risk of violence and provide them opportunities to learn skills and gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles and enhance their capacity to make healthier life choices. YEP II intends to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of strategic partnerships in improving the health status of at-risk minority male youth by addressing youth violence and the resolution of conflicts in a nonviolent manner, low educational attainment, school suspensions and dropout, refusal skills with respect to reduction in substance abuse, counseling and behavioral health, cultural beliefs associated with sexual risk behavior among males, and enhancing the community’s capacity to facilitate and sustain mentoring support services for at-risk minority male youth. The initiative will support an evidence-based program aimed at improving the expected life outcomes for at-risk minority male youth. 
Due Date for Applications: June 13, 2014 
Apply on grants.gov

Announcement Number: MP-CPI-14-001
Opportunity Title: Eliminating Disparities in Lupus through Education and Training for Health Professionals (ELHDI) 
Estimated Funding Level: $2 million Expected 
Number of Awards: 1 
Announcement Description: The purpose of the ELHDI is to eliminate lupus related health disparities among racial and ethnic populations disproportionately affected by this disease. This overall purpose will be achieved by disseminating a national lupus education program to health professionals and student trainees in targeted schools and health care system and practices. 
Due Date for Applications: June 9, 2014 
Apply on grants.gov


Announcement Number: MP-CPI-14-002 
Opportunity Title: HIV/AIDS Initiative for Minority Men (AIMM) 
Estimated Funding Level: $1.5 million 
Expected Number of Awards: 4 – 6 
Announcement Description: The AIMM Initiative specifically addresses the unmet needs of young racial and ethnic minority men who have sex with men (MSM) between the ages of 20-29 and young minority males living with HIV/AIDS or at high risk for HIV infections. The AIMM Initiative will establish a comprehensive Integrated Center for Care and Supportive Services (ICCSS) that employs evidence-based disease management and preventive health program and supportive services to reduce the transmission of HIV; address gaps and fragmentation of HIV/AIDS treatment; reduce HIV/AIDS stigma and barriers to culturally and linguistically appropriate care; social determinants of health that impede treatment adherence; preventive opportunistic infections; and improve clinical outcomes of MSM and young minority males living with HIV or at risk for HIV infections.
Due Date for Applications: June 9, 2014 
Apply on grants.gov

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Eating Fruits and Vegetables May Help Prevent Stroke

Fruits and vegetables consumption are inversely associated with the risk of stroke,” according to a study published in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association. A research review covering 20 studies examining more than 760,000 people worldwide found the risk of stroke decreased by 32 percent and 11 percent for every 200 grams of fruits and vegetables consumed, respectively. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Webinars on the Health Care Law

The HHS Partnership Center has updated webinars on the health care law for faith and community leaders. All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session. 

To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred topic from the list below and submit the necessary information. After registering you will receive an e-mail confirmation containing information about joining the webinar.  Please contact us at ACA101@hhs.gov if you have problems registering or if you have any questions about the health care law. You may also join the webinar by telephone only. All webinars are one hour. To view this notice online, go to http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/resources/aca_101-invite.html

Keeping Women Healthy: The Promise of the Health Care Law 
May 13 at 2 pm ET 
(1 pm CT, Noon MT, 11 am PT) 
To Join By Phone Only, Dial: 1-480-297-0022, Access Code: 605-113-788 
For those joining by phone only, the Pin Number is the # key. 

Learn about how the health care law can improve the health of women, including providing free cancer screenings such a mammograms, colonoscopies and PAP tests; providing breastfeeding support and equipment; and well-women visits at no 
cost to women. Information on how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health can connect women to health information will also be shared. Please send your questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to May 13 at noon ET. 

Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured 
May 29 at 1 pm ET 
(Noon CT, 11 am MT, 10 am PT) 
To Join By Phone Only, Dial 1-646-307-1706, Access Code: 564-494-667 
For those joining by phone only, the Pin Number is the # key. 

The health care law has created special enrollment periods for those who experience special circumstances such as graduating from college and losing health insurance, getting married and needing coverage for a spouse, losing employer insurance or turning 26 and losing coverage on a parent’s health plan. Join this webinar to learn more about special 
enrollment periods and how to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For those who are uninsured and don’t qualify for the special enrollment period, learn what resources are available and when and how to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Please email ACA101@hhs.gov by May 29 at 10 am ET with any questions. 

Got Coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance 
June 4 at 2 pm ET 
(1 pm CT, Noon MT, 11 am PT) 
To Join By Phone Only, Dial: 1-415-655-0057, Access Code: 141-203-101 
For those joining by phone only, the Pin Number is the # key. 
Many people now have health insurance but may not know how to use it. This webinar and conference call will discuss how to read your insurance card, how to find a doctor, what you need to know in making an appointment and what to do in case you have a health emergency. Key terms will be discussed as well as recommended health screenings. Please send your questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to June 4 at noon ET. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

New study finds eliminating employer mandate won’t affect ACA much

New research shows that dropping the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate would scarcely affect the number of people who have health insurance. Dropping the mandate would also reduce employer incentives to suppress workers' hours and incomes. Urban Institute researchers estimate 250.9 million people will be covered without the mandate, compared to 251.1 million with the mandate.
Why not just eliminate the employer mandate? >

National Women’s Health Week

National Women's Health Week

May 11-17, 2014

Join the Office on Women’s Health in celebrating National Women’s Health Week! Share these five key prevention messages:

  1. Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
  2. Get active.
  3. Eat healthy.
  4. Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  5. Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

Visit www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw to find out more!

Friday, May 9, 2014

New HHS data show quality improvements saved 15,000 lives and $4 billion in health spending

Hospital Readmissions Fall by 8 percent among Medicare beneficiaries
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that new preliminary data show an overall nine percent decrease in hospital acquired conditions nationally during 2011 and 2012.  National reductions in adverse drug events, falls, infections, and other forms of hospital-induced harm are estimated to have prevented nearly 15,000 deaths in hospitals, avoided 560,000 patient injuries, and approximately $4 billion in health spending over the same period.

The Affordable Care Act is also helping reduce hospital readmissions.  After holding constant at 19 percent from 2007 to 2011 and decreasing to 18.5 percent in 2012, the Medicare all-cause 30-day readmission rate has further decreased to approximately 17.5 percent in 2013.  This translates into an 8 percent reduction in the rate and an estimated 150,000 fewer hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries between January 2012 and December 2013. 

These improvements reflect policies and an unprecedented public-private collaboration made possible by the Affordable Care Act.  The data demonstrates that hospitals and providers across the country are achieving reductions in hospital-induced harm experienced by patients.  

HHS will continue to accelerate delivery system reform efforts by working with nationwide partners to capitalize on these promising results so that the nation continues on the path of increasing patient safety and reducing health care costs while providing the best, safest possible care to patients.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

USDA Announces Breastfeeding Program Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $60 million in grants to support state breastfeeding programs for mothersenrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The funding will support peer counselor programs in which WIC participants provide mother-to-mother support for addressing barriers to breastfeeding, which research shows may reduce infant’ risk for obesity later in life.

For a complete list of funds for each state including Utah, visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov/pressrelease/2014/fns-0001-14

Monday, May 5, 2014

ADA Grant Opportunity

ADA Foundation Announces New Semi-annual Grant Opportunity to Nonprofits Working to Improve Oral Health in their Communities

The ADA Foundation (ADAF) invites U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that work to improve oral health to apply for a grant through its new Semi-annual Invitational Grant Program. The application deadline is July 31. 

ADAF will consider grant applications from organizations whose projects align with the ADAF’s goal of improving oral health through one of the ADAF’s four mission pillars: Charitable Assistance, Access to Care, Research and Education. In addition to alignment with the ADAF’s mission, applications will be evaluated based on criteria including clarity of the project description, reasonableness of the work plan and outcomes, the expectation of clear results and measurable outcomes, originality and creativity, presentation of a comprehensive and realistic budget, and other criteria the evaluating committee deems relevant in light of the ADAF mission pillar with which the grant request aligns. 

The dollar amount of any grant will depend on the number of applicants, the budget needs presented in the grant request, and the amount of funds available for such misson pillar category at any given time. All ADAF grant awards are within the sole discretion of the ADAF Board of Directors.

Interested organizations should download and review the ADAF Semi-annual Grants Program Guidelines and Application document from www.adafoundation.org and submit their proposal no later than the July deadline.

Children’s Autism Program Now Accepting New Applicants

For Immediate Release
May 5, 2014

Media Contact:
Kolbi Young

Children’s Autism Program Now Accepting New Applicants
Medicaid Autism Waiver Program Opens Enrollment 

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health’s (UDOH) Medicaid Autism Waiver program is open for enrollment and will accept applications until Sunday, May 18to fill 35 openings in the program.  The program was originally funded as a two-year pilot project, but was made an ongoing program during the 2014 legislative session (House Bill 88). The program provides treatment for approximately 290 children, ages two through six, who are clinically-diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  

Since its implementation, the Waiver has provided services to more than 300 children statewide.   During the first year of measurement, outcomes were extremely positive in both verbal and behavioral trajectories for the enrolled participants.  The program provides intensive individual support for children with ASD, as well as respite care for families.  Data have shown that early, intensive treatment gives children with ASD the best chance to reach their full potential.  

“The difference from a year ago is just unbelievable,” said one Utah mother whose six-year-old son has been enrolled in the program since it launched in October 2012.  “He is learning coping skills and learning to ask and take ‘no’ as an answer. It’s giving us as a family the tools to help with his issues and struggle. It’s a family process and not just about him.”

To enroll in the program, applications must be received by Sunday, May 18.  Applications can be submitted online at www.health.utah.gov/autismwaiver.  Parents can also print the application and submit it by fax (801-536‐0153) or by mail (UDOH, PO Box 143112, Salt Lake City, UT 84114).

Applicants are not selected on a first come, first served basis.  Once the application period ends, if more than 35 applications are received, random selections will be made by geographical area based upon on each local health district’s population, to ensure statewide access.  Children currently participating in the program will not need to re-apply.  

To be eligible for the program, a child must have a clinical diagnosis of ASD and be a Utah resident with a date of birth between December 1, 2007 and May 31, 2011.  The child must also not have assets (bank accounts, trust funds, etc.) of more than $2,000 in his or her name. Unlike traditional Medicaid, a parent’s income and assets are not considered when determining the child’s eligibility.  Children currently enrolled in traditional Medicaid will not be automatically eligible for the program and will need to apply.  
Another Utah mother of a four-year-old son added, “It has helped my child by helping him learn things that he wouldn’t be able to do on his own. He was totally nonverbal and now he is saying words.  It’s been a game changer for us and given us a lot of hope and help after having difficulties with autism.”

# # # 

-- 
Tom Hudachko | Public Information Officer
Utah Department of Health

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Refugee Health and Social Determinants of Health Highlighted in Report

A recent Utah Health Status Update highlights refugee health in Utah.  It also included an OHD analysis showing how local crime rates is related to birth outcomes.  See it here: http://health.utah.gov/opha/publications/hsu/1403_Refugee.pdf

Special Issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Focuses on Health Disparities

See http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0417-health-disparities.html 

Lowest college enrollment in a decade


woman in library
Why Education Matters to Health

Why is education such a major factor in shaping health? The links are complex – and tied closely to income and to the opportunities people have to lead healthy lives in their communities. Smaller social networks, higher neighborhood crime rates, and exposure to childhood trauma are just a few reasons why those with fewer years of education tend to live sicker, shorter lives.

Last year, just 66 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college—the lowest proportion since 2003.

Explore the reasons why education matters to health >