Member Advocacy Council (MAC)
B – UFC/ALTCS has a Member Advocacy Council
The council is made up of members just like you. It is also open to your family and/or representatives. The purpose of the council is to provide a place where you can share feedback about our services. You can be an advocate for issues that impact you and our members. Your input helps us in areas such as, but not limited to, education materials and internal processes that affect the way services are delivered.
How to Join
Contact your ALTCS Case Manager if you would like to join.
Upcoming MAC Meetings
May 9, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
August 8, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
Stay connected through our MAC Bulletin! Please continue to check back weekly for new bulletin posts.
02/01/2023: ALTCS MAC Meeting
Join us for the upcoming ALTCS MAC Meeting on February 14th for some great information and a fun activity!
Did you know February is Heart Health Awareness month? Don't miss a presentation from The American Heart Association on keeping your heart healthy. You can also learn more about the Pyx Health application and Companionship Program. Pyx Health offers some extra support when you need it, along with many other great benefits. We will also have fun creating a "Stained Glass Heart" paper activity, so invite a family member and create heart-felt memories. Our ALTCS MAC meetings can also be your opportunity to be heard. Share your thoughts on how we can better serve you, our members.
Log in to 2nd Quarter ALTCS MAC Meeting here.
08/04/2022: Fourth Quarter Meeting Rescheduled!
Our quarterly Member Advocacy Council (MAC) meeting has been moved from August 9 to August 17, 2022. Please see the invite below for more information.
08/11/2022: MyBanner Care Portal
Do you know that as a B – UFC/Member you have access to the MyBanner Care Portal? Make your life easier with the MyBanner Care Portal. The member portal is convenient, accessible, and secure 24/7!
Member Portal Features:
- View Eligibility and Benefits
- PCP Change Request
- Request Member ID Card
- Update Contact/Demographic Info
- View Authorization Status
Click HERE to set up your account now
07/07/2022: 988: Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
What you should know about the mental health emergency number.
We’ve all had times when we felt overwhelmed, hopeless, and even like we didn’t want to live anymore. Sometimes it’s because we don’t have enough money and safe place to stay. Or we have struggles with alcohol or drugs. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. Even if it’s in the middle of the night.
Starting July 16, that will be as easy as dialing 988. Just like calling for an ambulance using 911. This new number will get you help for an emotional crisis right away.
Dialing 988 will be available no matter what state you live in. You will be connected to someone who can talk with you, provide support, and get you resources. They can even send someone to
you in person if you need extra help. You can text a message to 988 if you aren’t in a safe place to talk or would rather text than talk. There are interpreters if you speak a different language than English, such as Spanish or Urdu.
Banner – University Family Care/ALTCS values and respects each of our members. There are many covered benefits available to members in crisis, even if they are not getting behavioral health services now. Ask to talk to a Behavioral Health Care Manager. They can help you find the care and services you need within the Banner network. Please call our Customer Care Center at (833) 318-4146, TTY 711.
07/14/2022: Heat Illness and Older Adults
Heat illness is a preventable condition but has been the number one weather-related cause of death in the United States. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), heat illness causes more deaths than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. From 2009 to 2019, over 2,000 deaths were caused from exposure to excessive natural heat. Of deaths among Arizona residents, 34 percent occurred in older adults over the age of 65. The Heat and Older Adults Safety Toolkit (HOAST) was created to provide older adults and caregivers information to stay safe in the heat.
What is Heat Illness?
Heat illness occurs when the body becomes too hot and is no longer able to regulate its own temperature. There are several types of heat illness; three of the most common are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Why are Older Adults More Vulnerable?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states older adults, those aged 65 and older, are particularly vulnerable to heat illness. Age is a risk factor because older adults do not adjust as well to changes in temperature compared to when they were younger. They are also most likely to have a chronic medical condition that alters the body's normal response to heat. Prescription medicine use is also common in older adults. Some prescription medicines can impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or can inhibit perspiration.
Indoor Heat Exposure
Indoor heat exposure is a major contributor to heat-related deaths in older adults. According to Yip et al. (2008), one third of deaths during the 2005 heat wave in Arizona happened indoors; 81% of these fatalities occurred in older adults. The EPA states that elderly people spend 90% of their time indoors, therefore maintaining an appropriate indoor air temperature is important.
Chronic Medical Condition
Individuals with certain medical conditions can also be more vulnerable to heat effects.
• Cardiovascular Conditions
• Respiratory Conditions
Talk to your health care provider to find out what medications you take that will interact with the heat. Below is a list of medicines that are known to be affected by heat.
• Sleep Aids
• Parkinson's drugs
• High blood pressure medicines
Click Heat and Older Adults Safety Toolkit (HOAST) and scroll to the bottom of the page for more information.
07/21/2022: Understanding Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that consists of weakened bones and increased fracture risk. It's sometimes called a "silent disease" with few, if any, noticeable changes to your health to indicate you have it. In fact, the first indication of osteoporosis often is when a bone breaks.
Although it can strike at any age, osteoporosis risk increases for people over age 50. Women, especially white and Asian women, are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, however anyone can still be at risk of developing this condition.
Taking steps to build bone health while you are young can literally make or break what will happen to your bones as you age. However, at every age, a healthful diet and regular weight-bearing exercise are important, helping to ensure bone tissue continues to build.
Bone Health and Diet
Bones may seem dry and dull, but they are far from it. They are constantly under construction; certain cells break down bone tissue and other cells use the calcium and nutrients from foods you eat to build new bone. If you are not physically active or getting the nutrition you need, bones will suffer — becoming less dense, weaker and more likely to fracture.
Calcium, the major nutrient needed to form new bone cells, is vital for bone health. Bones store about 98% of the calcium in your body. Some calcium-rich foods and beverages include milk, yogurt and cheese, and calcium-fortified soy milk. Other sources include soybeans, dark green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified tofu. Calcium needs change at different stages of life:
• Children ages 1 to 3 need at least 700 milligrams of calcium a day.
• Children ages 4 to 8 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.
• Children ages 9 to 18 need at least 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day.
• Adults ages 19 to 50 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.
• Women over age 50 and men over age 71 need at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day.
Calcium cannot build bones alone. It works with other nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium and magnesium to increase bone density and strength.
Foods vs. Supplements
Supplements can't duplicate what foods offer naturally. If you don’t drink milk or consume other dairy products, make sure you're eating plenty of non-dairy sources of calcium and calcium-fortified foods and beverages. Consult with your doctor about taking a calcium supplement with vitamin D, especially if you have reached menopause or post-menopause.
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you choose the best supplement for your bones and talk with your health care provider to determine if you may be at risk for osteoporosis.
07/28/2022: You’re invited!
Our next quarterly MAC meeting is right around the corner and we invite you to join us. We want to hear from you and provide you with helpful information.
Below are the details for the next meeting. Let your case manager know if you would like to participate. Your case manager will provide what you need to attend the virtual meeting.
Tuesday August 9, 2022
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Via Microsoft Teams
03/03/2022: Social Determinants of Health
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are defined as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.
SDOH are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources throughout local communities, nations, and the world. Differences in these conditions lead to health inequities or the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.
For 2022, the ALTCS MAC has included education on one or more SDOH in every meeting. At our last meeting, we discussed “Employment Services and Supports” as a part of Economic Stability and Social and Community Context.
We invite you to attend our next ALTCS MAC Meeting where we will talk about Social Isolation. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 10, 2022 via Microsoft Teams. If you would like to attend, please reach out to your ALTCS Case Manager or contact our Customer Care Center at (833) 318-4146, TTY 711.
03/10/2022: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the colon or rectum, it is called colorectal cancer. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.
Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives.
Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment works best. About nine out of every 10 people whose colorectal cancers are found early and treated appropriately are still alive five years later.
If you are 45 years old or older, get screened now. If you think you may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about when to begin screening, which test is right for you, and how often to get tested.
03/17/2022: St. Patrick's Day Recipe
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a simple and healthy recipe from the folks at Eatright.org. Enjoy!
Colcannon - Mashed Potatoes with Greens Recipe
By Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND
Colcannon, a classic Irish dish, combines ever popular mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage, and is a terrific complement for corned beef, roasted chicken, lamb or ham. Tip: Either choice — kale or cabbage — is traditional, but kale makes this dish greener and more nutrient-rich.
2 pounds baking (russet) potatoes, peeled, cut in 3-inch chunks
2 medium parsnips or carrots, peeled, cut in 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or soft margarine, softened
¼ cup low-fat milk
½ teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped fresh kale
⅓ cup chopped green onion
- Before you begin: Wash your hands.
- Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes and parsnips are tender but not falling apart. Drain; add butter, milk, mace, salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, blanch the kale in a medium saucepan by immersing it in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain.
- Mash the potatoes and parsnips with a potato masher or fork. Add kale and green onion; mix well.
- To reheat if needed, cover mashed potatoes and place over very low heat for 5 minutes. Fluff with a potato masher or fork before serving.
- Leave peels on potatoes and carrots, if desired, for more fiber. Since parsnips typically have a wax coating, they need to be peeled.
Calories: 190; Calories from fat: 40; Total fat: 4.5g; Saturated fat: 2.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium 220mg; Total carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 5g
Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND, is author of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide and 365 Days of Healthy Eating.
Source: eatright.org | The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
03/24/2022: Foods for Eye Health
Do your eyes have all the nutrients they need to help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other sight woes? Read on to learn about some of the top foods to promote eye health.
Contributors: Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN
But don't count on popping a pill to reduce your risk! To get these nutrients — your best sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are from whole foods, since it may be a combination of nutrients within that provide these benefits.
Kale: See the Light
This leafy green is a source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are related to vitamin A and beta-carotene, and may help protect eye tissues from sunlight damage and reduce the risk of eye changes related to aging. Other good sources of these nutrients include dark green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, turnip greens and spinach, broccoli, peas, kiwi, red grapes, yellow squash, oranges, corn, papaya and pistachios. Your body needs fat to absorb lutein and zeaxanthin, so be sure to eat them with a bit of unsaturated fat such as a drizzle of olive oil or a few slices of avocado. And kale also contains vitamin C and beta-carotene, other eye-friendly nutrients.
Sweet Potatoes: The Color of Health
Beta-carotene gives these tubers their orange color. Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Sweet potatoes not your favorite? For beta-carotene, try other deep orange foods, such as carrots and butternut squash, plus dark green foods including spinach and collard greens. Liver, milk and eggs are also sources of vitamin A.
And, similar to lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and vitamin A are absorbed best when eaten with a little healthy fat such as olive oil.
Strawberries: Help You "C" Better
Fresh, juicy strawberries are a good thing for your eyes, and contain plenty of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that may help lower your risk of cataracts. Also, be sure to load up your plate with other vitamin C-rich foods including bell peppers, broccoli, citrus (such as orange and grapefruit) and cantaloupe.
Healthy Fats: Include sources of Omega-3s
Besides helping with the absorption of certain nutrients, some healthy fats also contain omega-3s. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may be beneficial for eye health. Include salmon or other types of fatty fish two to three times per week. Other foods that include this type of healthy fat are walnuts (which also contain eye-healthy vitamin E), flax and chia seeds.
03/31/2022: Elderly Safety
As we enter into warmer weather, we should take time to prepare. Read the article below for helpful information from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The elderly population is extremely vulnerable to the hot sun and temperatures of Arizona. The temperatures within Arizona can reach above 100 F for almost half of the year. These levels of excessive heat can result in dehydration, exhaustion and even heat stroke.
Heat Safety Tips
The American Red Cross has several safety tips to prepare for days with excessive heat:
- Have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. It's also a good idea to wear a hat or carry an umbrella.
- Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high protein foods.
- Avoid strenuous activity. If you do activity, do it during the morning or later in the evening. Take frequent breaks.
- Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay out of the direct sunshine.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on neighbors during heat waves, especially the elderly, the ill or people who don't have air-conditioning.