MAC Bulletin

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.

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
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Prescription Medicines

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.

  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics
  • Sleep Aids
  • Parkinson's drugs
  • High blood pressure medicines

To learn more, visit Heat and Older Adults Safety Toolkit (HOAST) and scroll to the bottom of the page for more information.

Source: Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) 

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.

Bone-Building Nutrients

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.

Source: | The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 

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.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

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.

Do you know how to prevent colorectal cancer? Take CDC’s quick quiz! Click here to take the quiz.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

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 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


  1. Before you begin: Wash your hands.
  2. Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
  3. 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.
  4. Meanwhile, blanch the kale in a medium saucepan by immersing it in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain.
  5. Mash the potatoes and parsnips with a potato masher or fork. Add kale and green onion; mix well.
  6. 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.

Cooking Note

Leave peels on potatoes and carrots, if desired, for more fiber. Since parsnips typically have a wax coating, they need to be peeled.

Nutrition Information

Serves 6

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: | 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.

Source: | The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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.

Extreme Heat

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.

Source: Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) 

12/02/2021: MAC Update

On November 2, 2021, we held our quarter 1 meeting in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness! Health plan staff, members and their caregivers participated in an important discussion about Alzheimer’s. The Banner Alzheimer’s Institute facilitated a helpful and informative presentation and provided information about available resources.

We invite you to participate in upcoming MAC meetings! We want to hear your feedback on our services and provide you with access to helpful information and resources.

Contact your ALTCS Case Manager if you would like to participate in any of the meetings below:

Upcoming MAC Meetings

  • Quarter 2
    February 8, 2022
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
  • Quarter 3
    May 20, 2022
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
  • Quarter 4
    August 9, 2022
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams

12/09/2021: The Holidays and Alzheimer's During COVID-19

The holidays are often filled with sharing, laughter, and memories. But they can also bring stress, disappointment, sadness — and due to the COVID-19 pandemic — heightened risk for spreading the virus, especially for older adults who tend to have underlying health conditions. A person living with Alzheimer’s may feel a special sense of loss during the holidays because of the changes he or she has experienced. At the same time, caregivers may feel overwhelmed by maintaining traditions while providing care and adhering to safety precautions.

The safest option is to avoid in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of your household, as there are other ways to stay socially connected. A holiday is still a holiday no matter where it is celebrated.

  • Vaccines 
  • Adjust expectations
  • Celebrate while physical distancing
  • Connect through technology
  • Take extra precautions for in-person gatherings
  • Familiarize others with the situation
  • Involve the person living with dementia
  • Adapt gift giving

Source: Alzheimer’s Association 

12/16/2021: Coffee Lovers

Whether you MUST have your daily cup of joe or you enjoy one from time to time, you may want to continue reading to see what our friends at have to say about the benefits of coffee!  

Benefits of Coffee

Wake up and smell the … antioxidants?

If you think your morning cup of joe provides nothing more to your body than a jolt of caffeine, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your daily cup may provide some additional benefits as well. Drinking moderate amounts of coffee has been linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.

And those antioxidants? Although researchers have yet to determine the exact mechanisms behind some of the disease-preventing effects, it is important to keep in mind that these compounds may be exerting other beneficial effects, such as acting as an anti-inflammatory. Coffee also contains small amounts of some nutrients, including potassium, niacin, and magnesium.

Making your coffee a vehicle for fat-free or low-fat milk is one way to increase your daily calcium and vitamin D intake. If your diet does not include dairy, a fortified soy beverage is a calcium-rich alternative. Just be mindful if adding sweetener since coffee drinks can be a source of added sugars.

So how much java is too much? Three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee provide about 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the most that is recommended per day for healthy adults. Certain groups, such as people with hypertension and the elderly, may be at a higher risk for negative side effects of caffeine and so should consider limiting their intake. Pregnant and breastfeeding women will also want to limit caffeine and should discuss their intake with a healthcare provider. Due to coffee being a stimulant, it is not recommended for children and adolescents.

Source: | The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 

12/23/2021: Happy Holidays

MAC - Happy Holidays

12/31/2021: Happy New Year

MAC Bulletin NY Post

06/04/2021: What is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day?

The countdown has started for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)! What is WEAAD? WEAAD was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Banner – University Health Plan case managers have teamed up with local Elder Abuse Coalitions to spread awareness and provide community resources to communities we serve. 

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse 

06/10/2021: Signs of Elder Abuse

Emotional & Behavioral Signs

  • Increased fear or anxiety
  • Isolation from friends or family
  • Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
  • Withdrawal from normal activities

Physical Signs

  • Dehydration or unusual weight loss
  • Missing daily living aids (glasses, walker, or medication)
  • Unexplained injuries, bruises, cuts, or sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions and poor hygiene
  • Unattended medical needs
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Sexually transmitted diseases without clear explanation

Financial Signs

  • Fraudulent signatures on financial documents
  • Unpaid bills
  • Unusual or sudden changes in spending patterns, will, or other financial documents

Resources and Support for Reporting Abuse:

Programs such as Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are here to help. Report suspected abuse in the community to the local Adult Protective Services agency and report suspected abuse in a long-term care facility to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. For serious and immediate emergencies, call 911.

To connect to a local or state reporting number, contact the Eldercare Locator at  or at (800) 677-1116.

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse

06/24/2021 Prevent Elder Abuse

  1. Listen to older people and caregivers to understand their challenges and provide support
  2. Educate one another about the signs of abuse and how to get help
  3. Report suspected abuse or neglect as soon as possible
  4. Build a community that fosters social connections and supports
  5. Reach out to professional services for support where available

For more information, visit the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) Microsite.

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse  

05/05/2021: Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May is also the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. It’s a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III.

It’s common to celebrate by eating and drinking traditional Mexican dishes and drinks. Here is a healthy spin on a traditional Mexican dish courtesy EatingWell. We hope you enjoy!

Click Here for the full recipe! 

05/13/2021: Diabetic Foot Care 

People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Even ordinary problems can get worse and lead to serious complications.

Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, so you can injure it and not know it. Poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes may also cause problems.

Take good care of your feet and see your doctor right away if you see any signs of foot problems.

Take Care of Your Feet

When you have diabetes, caring for your feet is very important in avoiding serious foot complications. Take care for your feet by doing the following: 

  • Wash your feet thoroughly everyday
  • Dry them thoroughly, and don’t forget to dry between your toes
  • Moisturize your feet, but avoid moisturizing between your toes 
  • Keep your toenails trim, and use an emery board to file down sharp edges
  • Check your feet for sores, cuts, blisters, corns, or redness daily and let your doctor know if you find any of these 
  • Wear moisture wicking socks 
  • Before putting your shoes on, check for sharp objects (i.e., small rocks) 
  • Wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub your feet

While you’re at it, avoid these:

  • Don’t walk around barefoot
  • Don’t soak your feet
  • Don’t smoke

Know the Basics


Although it can hurt, diabetic nerve damage can also lessen your ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Loss of feeling often means you may not feel a foot injury. You could have a tack or stone in your shoe and walk on it all day without knowing. You could get a blister and not feel it. You might not notice a foot injury until the skin breaks down and becomes infected.

Nerve damage can also lead to changes in the shape of your feet and toes. If your foot doesn’t fit comfortably in regular shoes, ask your doctor about special therapeutic shoes or inserts, rather than forcing your feet and toes into shoes that don’t fit and can cause more damage. Learn more about neuropathy.

Skin changes

Diabetes can cause changes in the skin of your foot. At times your foot may become very dry. The skin may peel and crack. This problem is caused by nerve damage that affects your body’s ability to control the oil and moisture in your foot.

After bathing, dry your feet and seal in the remaining moisture with a thin coat of plain petroleum jelly, an unscented hand cream, or other such products. Do not put oils or creams between your toes. The extra moisture can lead to infection. Also, don't soak your feet—that can dry your skin.


Calluses occur more often and build up faster on the feet of people with diabetes. This is because there are high-pressure areas under the foot. Too much callus may mean that you will need therapeutic shoes and inserts.

Calluses, if not trimmed, get very thick, break down, and turn into ulcers (open sores). Never try to cut calluses or corns yourself—this can lead to ulcers and infection. Let a health care professional on your diabetes care team cut your calluses. Also, do not try to remove calluses and corns with chemical agents. These products can burn your skin.

Using a pumice stone every day will help keep calluses under control. It is best to use the pumice stone on wet skin. Put on lotion right after you use the pumice stone.

Poor circulation

Poor circulation (blood flow) can make your foot less able to fight infection and to heal. Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden. You can control some of the things that cause poor blood flow. Don't smoke; smoking makes arteries harden faster. Also, follow your diabetes care team's advice for keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

If your feet are cold, you may want to warm them. Keep aware that, unfortunately, if you have nerve damage, your feet may not be able feel heat properly and it is easy for you to burn them with hot water, hot water bottles, or heating pads. The best way to warm cold feet is to wear warm socks.

Some people feel pain in their calves when walking fast, up a hill, or on a hard surface. This condition is called intermittent claudication. Stopping to rest for a few moments should end the pain. If you have these symptoms, you must stop smoking. Work with your diabetes care team to get started on a walking program. Some people can also be helped with medication to improve circulation.

Exercise is good for poor circulation. It stimulates blood flow in the legs and feet. Walk in sturdy, well-fit, comfortable shoes, but don't walk when you have open sores on your feet.

Foot ulcers

Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes. Remember, even though some ulcers do not hurt, every ulcer should be seen by your doctor right away. Neglecting ulcers can result in infections, which in turn can lead to loss of a limb.

What your doctor will do varies with your ulcer. Your doctor may need to take x-rays of your foot to make sure the bone is not infected. The ulcer may also need to have any dead and infected tissue cleaned out. You may need to go into the hospital for this cleaning. Also, a culture of the wound may be used to find out what type of infection you have, and which antibiotic will work best.

Keeping off your feet is very important. Walking on an ulcer can make it get larger and force the infection deeper into your foot. Your doctor may put a special shoe, brace, or cast on your foot to protect it.

If your ulcer is not healing and your circulation is poor, you may be referred to a vascular surgeon. Managing diabetes is important since high blood sugar (blood glucose) levels make it hard to fight infection.

After a foot ulcer heals, treat your foot carefully. Scar tissue from the wound will break down easily. You may need to wear special shoes after the ulcer is healed to protect this area and to prevent the ulcer from returning.


People with diabetes are far more likely to have a foot or leg amputated than other people. The problem? Many people with diabetes have peripheral artery disease (PAD), which reduces blood flow to the feet. Also, many people with diabetes have neuropathy, which makes it so you can’t feel your feet. Together, these problems make it easy to get ulcers and infections that may lead to amputation. Most amputations are preventable by checking your feet daily, regular care and visits with your doctor, and proper footwear.

For these reasons, take good care of your feet and see your doctor right away if you see any signs of foot problems. Ask about prescription shoes that are covered by Medicare and other insurance. Always follow your doctor's advice when caring for ulcers or other foot problems.

One of the biggest threats to your feet is smoking. Smoking affects small blood vessels. It can cause decreased blood flow to the feet and make wounds heal slowly. A lot of people with diabetes who need amputations are smokers.

Source: American Diabetes Association 

05/20/2021: Sun Safety

Sun safety has previously been a topic of discussion at our MAC meetings. As we make our way into the warmest time of the year, we would like to remind you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from the heat. Watch this helpful video from the Arizona Department of Health Services’ SunWise Program. 

04/08/2021: Pollen and Your Health

Hello Spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. For some this means sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose or ears among other seasonal allergy symptoms related to pollen exposure. Let’s take a look at what the CDC has to say about pollen and your health.

What is pollen?

Pollen is the grains or tiny seeds of flowering plants, trees, and grasses. These seeds can be carried on the wind and can cause various symptoms, or none at all, in individuals who are exposed to them.

What health problems can pollen cause?

For people with hay fever, also known as “allergic rhinitis,” breathing in pollen can cause sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. Pollen exposure can also result in “allergic conjunctivitis” in some individuals, causing red, watery, or itchy eyes.

Pollen exposure can also cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and for whom pollen is an asthma trigger.

How can I protect myself against pollen?

If you are allergic to pollen, or if you have asthma, you can take steps to protect yourself:

  • Check pollen forecasts on local news and online sources and plan to spend less time outdoors when pollen levels will be high.
  • Take your allergy and/or asthma medications as prescribed by your health care provider.
  • Don’t touch your eyes while you are outside and wash your hands when you go back inside (before you touch your eyes).
  • Shower after being outside to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Change your clothes after being outdoors.
  • Keep windows closed during pollen season.
  • Use high-efficiency filters in your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Make sure your HVAC system can use high-efficiency filters and that they don’t violate the system’s warranty.

Source: CDC 

04/15/2021: Sun Safety

Warm weather is here, and it will only get warmer! Check out the flyer below for some simple steps to protect yourself.  

For more sun safety tips visit the SunWise program page on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

04/22/2021: Healthy Recipe

Looking for a healthy and delicious snack recipe? Hummus is a nutritious snack that you can enjoy in different ways – with corn chips, pita chips, fresh vegetables, or whole wheat bread.

Try out this Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

The recipe above can be found on the AZ Health Zone website along with many other healthy recipes. Click here for more AZ Health Zone recipes.

04/29/2021: Community Resources

You may be eligible for farmers market coupons if you:

  • Are 60 years of age or older
  • Participate in Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

To learn more, visit Arizona Famers Market Nutrition Program.

03/26/2021: Advance Directives

Advanced Directives are your written treatment wishes. This is done when you are able to make decisions for yourself. We respect your right to accept or deny medical care. Your physicians will be able discuss your treatment choices. You will be in charge of preparing your Advanced Directive.

The two most common Advance Directives are the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney. The Living Will gives information about whether you want or don’t want life sustaining procedures if you have a condition that cannot be cured or improved. A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to name a person you trust to decide what type of treatment you will get if you are unable to decide for yourself.

These forms can be found at two (2) state approved websites: 

Step by Step Advanced Care Planning 

What do you need to do for Advance Care Planning?

  • Visit your provider
  • Talk about the care you want to get in case you get sick and can't speak for yourself
  • Your family or friend can attend your visit
  • At the visit your provider will explain your illness and what your options are
  • Together you can decide to put your plan into writing to make sure your choices are known
  • Plan how to share your choices with family, friends, and your other providers
  • This optional advanced care planning visit is covered by your health plan

03/31/2021: Fall Prevention

Check for Safety

Each year, more than one in four older adults aged 65 and older will fall. Among older Americans, falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury. This represents 29 million falls, 3 million emergency department (ED) visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths.

If you haven’t already, check your home for possible safety risks. Use the helpful checklist below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Source: CDC 

02/19/2021: Love of Reading Month

Do you like to read?

February is love of reading month! Did you know that the reading is linked to positive effects on overall health?

Research shows that regular reading:

  • Improves brain connectivity
  • Increases your vocabulary and comprehension
  • Empowers you to empathize with other people
  • Aids in sleep readiness
  • Reduces stress
  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Fights depression symptoms
  • Prevents cognitive decline as you age

Need something to read? Checkout our newest member newsletter by clicking here!

02/23/2021: Depression

What is the difference between normal sadness, grieving and depression?

Let’s see what the experts at the American Psychiatric Association have to say:

Here is a very simple way to tell the difference…

Everyone experiences a range of emotions over the course of days and weeks, typically varying based on events and circumstances.

  • When disappointed, we usually feel sad
  • When we suffer a loss, we grieve

Normally these feelings ebb and flow. They respond to input and changes.

By contrast, depression tends to feel heavy and constant. People who are depressed are less likely to be cheered, comforted, or consoled. People who recover from depression often welcome the ability to feel normal sadness again, to have a “bad day,” as opposed to a leaden weight on their minds and souls every single day.

Source: American Psychiatric Association 

01/06/2021: Socks for Seniors

We’d like to take a moment to recognize our B – UFC/ALTCS Case Managers for their positive contribution to local communities! Every year, case managers hold a Sock Drive and drop donations to local assisted living facilities.

This year, a total of 727 pairs of socks where collected! To go along with the socks, case managers and their families got creative and made holiday greeting cards! We appreciate our case managers, their families and all who donated. 

We would like to recognize some of our top donors:

  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • Adult Protective Services
  • Blanca Arias
  • Hospice Compassus

Thank you! 

Socks for Seniors

01/07/2021: Healthy Lifestyle Resources

Thinking about embarking on a healthy living journey? See below for a list of local resources that may be available to you at no cost!



  • Diabetes Self-Management Training Center
    Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center
    (928) 348-8777


  • Produce on Wheels Without Waste (P.O.W.W.O.W.)
    (928) 424-5466

La Paz


Chandler Regional Medical Center

  • Center for Diabetes Management
    (480) 728-3535
  • Diabetes Self-Management Education Program - Comprehensive
    (623) 521-5867
  • Scottsdale Healthcare Diabetes Center / John C. Lincoln Deer Valley & North Valley
    (480) 323-4800 Ext. 1



Santa Cruz


01/14/2021: MAC Going Virtual

It’s been a long time since we have come together and although in-person meetings are cancelled, we can still come together virtually and hear what our members and communities have to say! 

Meetings are open to B – UFC/ALTCS members, peers, family members, community agencies, providers, and other community representatives. MAC meetings dates are posted quarterly on the main MAC Page. Below is the quarterly schedule for 2021. 

Quarter 2

February 16, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams

Quarter 3 

May 18, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams

Quarter 4 

August 17, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams 

Please contact your ALTCS Case Manger or our Customer Care Center at (833) 318-4146 if you would like to participate in the MAC virtual meetings. We look forward to hearing from you!

01/18/2021: MLK Day

Today we honor a dream. Today we celebrate the inalienable rights of all humanity to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

MLK Day-865301622

01/28/2021: How to File a Grievance

Call Customer Care if you have a specific grievance or dissatisfaction with any aspect of your care. Examples of grievances are service issues, transportation issues, quality of care issues and provider office issues. Interpretation services are available in any language at no cost to you. You may call Customer Care to file a grievance (complaint) or voice your compliant at the MAC meetings. You may also file your grievance in writing by mailing it to the address listed below. Your grievance will be reviewed, and a response will be provided no later than ninety (90) days from the date that you call us at (833) 318-4146.

By Mail:

Banner – University Health Plans
Attn: Grievance & Appeals Department
2701 E. Elvira Road
Tucson, AZ 85756

By Phone:

Call the Customer Care Center (833) 318-4146, ask for Grievance & Appeals

By Email: 

BUHPGrievances&[email protected]

If B – UFC/ALTCS denies a requested service, you will get a letter called the Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOABD). You can also file a complaint about the adequacy of the Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOABD111) letter, for a denial of service by B – UFC/ALTCS.

For more detailed information about grievances click here to go visit our Grievances & Appeals page.

08/24/2020: COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings have been placed on hold. We miss the interaction with our members, providers, and community representatives. We look forward to the time when we can safely gather again. Meanwhile, we have created a special MAC direct mail piece just for you! This is scheduled to be mailed by September 30, 2020.

9/28/2020: You've Got Mail

The MAC direct mail piece was sent September 21, 2020! We hope you find the information helpful. Please continue to check our website for future MAC Updates. The digital version is available below.

11/05/2020:  MAC Memory

We miss you! Right around this time last year we kicked off our Quarter 1 MAC Meetings. Here are some pictures to look back on and reminisce the great times we had. We are hopeful to be able to gather again soon and capture new memories!

We want to hear from you and know how you are doing. Remember you can contact our Customer Care Center or your ALTCS Case Manager for assistance with your health care needs.


11/12/2020: B – UFC/ALTCS in the Community

Look at what our ALTCS Case Managers have been up to! Case Managers teamed up with local Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities in Yuma and had residents design, color and paint hands. The hands were used to decorate a Promise Garden for the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimers Walk

11/18/2020: Prepare for the Flu

Prepare for The Flu

If we were still holding MAC meetings, we would certainly be having a discussion about Influenza (the Flu). Here are some points we have discussed at previous MAC meetings:

  • Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus
  • Influenza is spread mainly from person to person, through droplets made when people sneeze, cough, or talk
  • Prevent spreading the virus by washing your hands often and covering coughs and sneezes
  • Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces including doorknobs, phones, remotes, etc
  • The single best way to prevent the Flu is to get a vaccine every year
  • The Flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (contains killed virus) You cannot get the Flu from the vaccine
  • About two weeks after receiving the vaccine, antibodies develop that protect you against the virus

Get your Flu Shot!

Checkout our 2020 Flu Resources and find out how you can qualify to earn a $10 Subway gift card just by getting your Flu shot!

  • Go to the Home Page
  • Scroll down to News & Events
  • Click on Flu Resources

OR Click Here!

11/25/2020: Thanksgiving Tips

Weather it’s a virtual gathering, just immediate family or a party of one, we want to wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! In addition to COVID-19 precautions, there are some other safety tips to keep in mind. Click here to read about Top Tips for Safe Stuffing. 


12/03/2020: Pyx Health™ Mobile App 

During the holiday season it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the happenings and pressures. The added concerns around COVID-19, and the need to take precautions to stay safe, may add to your stress. Today we thought it would be nice to remind you as you to take care of yourself. Here are some tips from our friends at Pyx Health:

  • Take care of yourself physically- this can improve your mental health
  • Eat nutritious meals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
  • Get enough sleep- Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression
  • Practice good coping skills- try one-minute stress strategies, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer
  • Break up the routine- although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule

Last but not least… Download the Pyx App! - When you download the app, Pyxir – Pyx's intelligent robot will be with you at every step. Pyxir can help you:

  • Laugh, feel less lonely and be a friend whenever you need it
  • Connect with your family and friends to give you support
  • Find a provider
  • Connect you to local resources for food, housing, employment, and financial assistance

Download the app here! 

12/10/2020: December Holidays Around the World

Although Christmas is the most celebrated Holliday in the US, let’s look at what other holidays are celebrated throughout the world in just December alone! You may celebrate some of these yourself or know someone who does.


Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. Those who took part in the re-dedication witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued to burn for eight nights.


Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. From there, he combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to form the basis of Kwanzaa.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day takes place on December 26. Only celebrated in a few countries, the holiday originated in the United Kingdom during the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were opened and their content distributed, a tradition that still happens in some areas. It was also the day servants were traditionally given the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families.


Ōmisoka, New Year’s Eve, is considered the second-most important day in Japanese tradition as it is the final day of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, the most important day of the year. Families gather on Ōmisoka for one last time in the old year to have a bowl of toshikoshi-soba or toshikoshi-udon, a tradition based on eating the long noodles to cross over from one year to the next.

Source: WorldStrides Educational Travel and Experiences 

12/18/2020: Area Agency on Aging

Are you familiar with your local Area Agency on Aging? Resources such as; 24 HR Senior Help Line, Adult Day Health Care, Ameri Corps, APS Care Coordination, Benefits Assistance, Congregate Meals, Family Care Giver Support Programs and many more are available to you! See below to find your local Area Agency on Aging Information:

Cochise, Graham, Greenlee & Santa Cruz Counties

Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO)
(520) 432-2528

La Paz & Yuma Counties

Western Arizona Council of Governments (WACOG)
(800) 782-1886

Maricopa County

Area Agency on Aging, Region One
(888) 783-7500 or (602) 264-HELP (4357)

Pinal & Gila Counties

Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC)
(520) 836-2758

Pima County

Pima Council on Aging (PCOA)
(520) 790-7262

This information can also be found in your B – UFC/ALTCS Member Handbook.

12/22/2020: Prior Authorization Requests

PA Infographic

12/23/2020: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christmas  The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe. 

  • Check the COVID-19 infection rates in areas where attendees live on state, local, territorial, or tribal health department websites. Based on the current status of the pandemic, consider if it is safe to hold or attend the gathering on the proposed date.
  • Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow people from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others not from their household.
  • Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings as much as possible. Even outdoors, require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
  • Avoid holding gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather, or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
    • For additional information on increasing ventilation, visit CDC’s information on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.
    • Winter weather can be cold, wet, and unpredictable. Inclement weather makes it difficult to increase ventilation by opening windows or to hold an event outdoors.
  • If setting up outdoor seating under a pop-up open air tent, ensure guests are still seated with physical distancing in mind. Enclosed 4-wall tents will have less air circulation than open air tents. If outdoor temperature or weather forces you to put up the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open or rolling up the bottom 12” of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a wind break.
  • Require guests to wear masks. At gatherings that include persons of different households, everyone should always wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose, except when eating or drinking. It is also important to stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household at all times.

We may celebrate differently this year, but the spirit is the same. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!