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  • 11/29/2018 With Open Enrollment underway, many consumers may be faced with questions as they consider their health care coverage options for 2019. In order to take full advantage of your options this year, it’s important to know what’s changed in health care and the best way you can adapt to those changes.
    CareSource, a nonprofit, multistate health plan, wants to help you find and afford the best health insurance for you and your family. While the percentage of consumers without health insurance has decreased by half since 2013 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are still about 45,000 people in Indiana without insurance coverage. If this is you, and you are on the fence about buying health insurance through the Marketplace, here are some tips when considering enrollment this year.
  • 11/29/2018 It’s that time of year again. The 2018 Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) county committee elections are officially underway and we’re asking for your help. Please take a few minutes to vote in your local county committee election. FSA county committees are a vital and direct link between our farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Earlier this summer, we put out a call for nominations for individuals who would be willing to serve on the committee. Elections are held annually in every county when FSA accepts nominations for a certain Local Administrative Area (LAA). The area up for election rotates each year. Nominations have been made and now it’s time for you to decide who will fill this role. 
  • 11/28/2018 Christmas is coming fast but try to slow down. Before you know it Christmas will be over. 
    Most of us live our lives in a hurry. We hurry to finish school, hurry through meals, hurry through the work week and hurry into retirement. In a twinkle of an eye we have hurried through our lives. The clock cannot be reset. The past is in the past and you can't change yesterday. You can relish, rejoice or regret about yesterday but you can't change the past. Actually you might not want to or you might tweak a few days if you could but you can't. 
    If you could you, might have spent an extra hour at the lake or an extra day on vacation. You might have given an extra hour to passing ball with your kids or staying an extra hour to help mom clean up the kitchen. You might retract some words that came out of your mouth in a moment of frustration. The scenarios are numerous when we look back. 
    We can only look ahead.
  • 11/15/2018 Recently, we had the privilege of attending a workshop hosted by the National Organization for Rare Disorders’ Rare Action Network (RAN). At the workshop, we were able to meet with other members of the rare disease community, learn more about advocacy, share what drives each of us to be advocates for rare diseases, and, perhaps most importantly, speak with Senator Todd Young (R-IN).  We shared what life is like on the front lines of a debilitating illness and heard from him in return, “Your agenda is my agenda.” We were thrilled to see Senator Young so engaged because the rare disease community—patients, caregivers, and medical professionals—counts on people like Senator Young and his colleagues to champion its cause. In fact, in many ways, our lives depend on people like Senator Young. Thirty-five years ago, senators in the very same position as Senator Young drastically impacted our lives by enacting the Orphan Drug Act. 
  • 11/3/2018 

    There have been several myths floating around town regarding the 2018 School Funding Referendum, so we asked Dr. Beth Niedermeyer, Superintendent of Noblesville Schools, to give us the facts:

    Myth: The 2016 referendum was supposed to give raises to teachers
    Fact: The 2016 referendum was about maintaining staff positions and programming and was a reduction in the referendum rate. 2016 referendum dollars are being spent exactly how we said they would be—to maintain 150 staff positions and programming in art, music, physical education, STEM, media services and more. Funds are also being used to cover some transportation expenses.

  • Guest Column - Why are high-quality teachers leaving Noblesville?
    9/20/2018 We have a serious challenge at Noblesville Schools that we have been struggling with since 2017. High-quality teachers are leaving our district in the midst of a significant, statewide teacher shortage.
    Replacing expert teachers when they leave isn’t as easy as it used to be, and this is especially true of teachers with specialized skills sets like science, technology, engineering, and math. Evidence and experience have decisively shown that strong teachers are the most important factor in student academic and interpersonal success, so their loss is especially troubling. 
    In the last 18 months 70% of teachers who left Noblesville Schools left specifically for a higher salary. The increase they left for was substantial and they didn’t have to go far.
  • 9/6/2018 The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, a sliver of the farm bill, is at risk. Alongside small businesses across the country, we’re asking Congress to support and restore funding of RMAP in the final farm bill.
    This program offers access to loan capital through grants to organizations that provide training, technical assistance, or small loans to rural businesses nationwide. Since its creation in 2008, this funding has helped more than 2,100 small businesses in nearly every state create jobs and generate economic returns for their local communities.
    According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses across the country employed nearly 56.8 million individuals in 2013. That same year, businesses that employed five to nine individuals created a surge of 84,020 additional jobs. U.S.’s small businesses are a driving force in the local economy, and it is important that programs supporting small businesses remain funded.
  • 8/1/2018 

    Dear Friend, 

    I wanted to let you know that I will soon be hosting two IN05 “Connect with Your Congresswoman” (CWYC) events. Any resident of Indiana’s Fifth District is welcome and arrival time will determine the order of your visit with me.

    Marion County: Monday at 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., in Lawrence at the Lawrence Readiness Training Center, 9920 E. 59th St., Lawrence. 

    Grant County: Aug. 13, at 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., in Marion at Ivy Tech Marion, 261 S. Commerce Drive, Marion.

    During “Connect with Your Congresswoman,” I meet with constituents one-on-one or in small groups in various towns and cities across the Fifth District.

    These events are a great opportunity to discuss your priorities for the various issues currently before Congress. It is important to me that my staff and I hear from constituents and use this opportunity to more thoroughly learn about the issues you care about.

  • Important thoughts from Special Olympics Hamilton County coordinator
    3/7/2018 I was born and raised in Hamilton County. Except for my college years, I’ve always lived here. Now that I’m a grandma, I probably always will. I never realized the uniqueness of Hamilton County until I became involved in Special Olympics. Even after 24 years, I’m still amazed by the many differences.
    Did you know we are the 4th most populated county in Indiana? We are also in the top 1% of US counties in income per capita. 
    Both Carmel and Fishers have been named top cities to live and raise children. We are extremely fortunate to have many resources and opportunities available to us. I would consider us spoiled. Some of you might find being called spoiled offensive. You shouldn’t. It’s only offensive if you allow being spoiled to make you a brat. Or, if you allow the positive position that we’re in to make you complacent. Being spoiled is wonderful, but we must take those advantages and make them work for us.
  • 2/17/2018 Note: This is the first in a three part series on Depression and Parkinsons 
    Caregivers and those battling Parkinsons Disease (PD) cite depression as an insidious but all too often neglected facet of the disease. Medical specialists often focus on the physical aspects of PD and do not ask about, much less aggressively treat, this common symptom. Yet studies show that up to 90% of those with PD suffer from Depression and up to 40% of their caregivers report depression as impinging on their quality of life. 
    Depression does not just lower mood, which in turn affects work, activities, general productivity, and relationships; the physiological impact of depression can lower functional ability and even cognition. Depression is characterized by a reduced sense of self -worth and self -efficacy, leading to a downward spiral in mood and behavior. 
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