‘Fierce advocate’ joins DAC team

Wendy Longwell is the new program manager for Disability Action Center, overseeing the Redding and Chico offices. Longwell comes to DAC with a wide range of skills, most recently working at the highly regarded Rowell Family Empowerme04_22 wendy (brown colorized)nt of Northern California, a non-profit organization.

Longwell lives on her “dream property” of five acres, giving her the room to pursue one of her passions: animals (she had 86 at last count), and is the subject of the latest DAC staff profile.


Name: Wendy Longwell

Title: Program Manager

Professional background: 12 years as a Vet technician, 20-plus years as a dog trainer; 14 years at Rowell Family Empowerment

Hobbies: I love animals: I have 86; gardening, being outside camping, fishing, kayaking, etc.

My philosophy in doing the job: I really like to be able to help people access what they need!

What an Independent Living Center should be: I think it is important that everyone gets to live and be as independent as possible. Everyone’s level is different, but we should never stop trying to improve!

What DAC can do for people: DAC can help people who have disabilities reach their level of independence by connecting them to resources in their community and helping them with their needs.

DAC Executive Director Evan Levang said: “DAC was fortunate that a person with Wendy’s skills and work experience was available to fill our Program Manager position. She is a motivated leader and a fierce advocate for the disability community.”

What I like about DAC: I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone at DAC. We are very diversified here and I have been enjoying getting to know everyone!

Future goals professionally and personally: I have a job I love and have been in my dream property for five years now. So next on my list is to travel throughout the US!

Special plans DAC consumers can look forward to: I will be starting a transition group for teens and their families who will be transitioning into adulthood soon. We will be helping them come up with a plan and goals on the steps it takes to move forward into adulthood!




Know your rights when it comes to hospital stays, CARA says

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CARA executive director Jodi Reid addresses a workshop for retirees at the Redding Library on April 12 regarding patient rights during hospital stays.

The big overall from the California Assocation of Retired Americans special workshop: RECORD THIS PH. ###: (LIVANTA) 1-877-588-1123. This is the national advocate for you if you feel you are being discharged prematurely from a hospital. Just making the call will start your file and stop your discharge until it is cleared up by the hospital staff and a Livanta rep. Premature discharge is a huge problem.

Also take note:
I. Hospital stays for surgeries etc.
Get detailed info ASAP and as much as possible from a health care provider before you are admitted, and about what is involved post-visit. Most people still don’t do this for themselves or loved ones and it leads to problems like living conditions in recovery and with accessibility/mobility. Hospitals aren’t good at communicating this to patients, or don’t have enough staff to do it properly.
A). Have a family member/friend record any conversations about your care pre and post-visit with a smartphone device etc.
A). Hospitals are notoriously understaffed on weekends. They are required to have a “discharge planner” coordinate a “safe discharge” for you either through a social worker, nurse, or the “discharge planner”. The problem is most hospitals discharge patients too quickly and try to do it on Fridays to reduce bed counts. People end up back in the hospital because of this. Hospitals can be fined up to $10,000 if a patient re-enters the hospital within 30 days of an unsafe discharge.
B). This is so pervasive that Medicare has stepped in and contracts with a third party (Livanta) to make sure you have a safe discharge. Medicare pays for the appeal of your discharge, a secret hospitals don’t want you to know about.
C). If you end up at a skilled nursing facility for recovery, Medicare pays for the first 100 days.
D). MC also pays for Hospice, which provides very good service.
III. Make sure you are fully “admitted” into the hospital, and not put in “observation”
A). MC doesn’t pay for observation. Don’t sign anything until you see an admission slip. You are not admitted until you sign this piece of paper.
B) Observation is a way hospitals try to get around not having to pay the $10k fine. But all it leads to is a huge bill you don’t know you weren’t covered for until it’s too late, and probably can’t afford.
C). Be an assertive patient. Know your rights.

AT in Action

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Assistive Technology specialist Dwight Phillips, on the truck above, accepts a donation from the public in front of the Redding office of DAC, 2876 Park Marina Drive.

The Assistive Technology program for Disability Action Center has been in high gear, delivering and accepting donations from the public throughout its vast service area of northern California.

AT Specialist Dwight Phillips serves DAC consumers out of the Redding and Chico office locations and regularly accesses AT devices like wheelchairs, power chairs and walkers from the center’s storage facilities to meet consumer needs.



DAC reaches out to seniors

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A consumer signs up for services at the DAC table as program director Wendy Longwell looks on at the Frontier Senior Center in Anderson. (Dan Murphy photo)

Disability Action Center program manager Wendy Longwell and systems change advocate Dan Murphy attended a Compass Cares-sponsored Health and Wellness event for seniors and the developmentally disabled recently in Anderson.

DAC manned a table, collected potential consumer data, and distributed agency brochures and OIB technology for seniors at the daylong event held at the Frontier Senior Center.

Longwells attend family event

Disability Action Center program manager Wendy Longwell, son, Derek,  and systems change advocate Dan Murphy recently attended the 17th annual Family Voices of California conference in Sacramento.

The three-day conference was a forum to provide information about policies, legislation, proposals and other efforts affecting health programs for children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities. The Holiday Inn hosted two days of forums and breakout sessions on specific topics like rating California’s health care system, overcoming barriers to treatment, and healthcare in the school setting.

The conference’s third


Disability Action Center program manager Wendy Longwell and son, Derek Longwell, (right) chat with Sheldon Fort, staff member in state assemblyman Brian Dahle’s office in Sacramento. (Dan Murphy photo)

day featured a morning presentation about how to lobby your state legislator effectively, which was followed by a visit to representatives’ offices in the capitol building.

DAC Accepting Applications

DAC is seeking résumés from qualified individuals that are interested in working with us. We are now actively hiring for our Redding Center for the Older Individuals who are Blind Program (OIB).

The purpose of the OIB program is to

  • Provide independent living services to older individuals who are blind;
  • Conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals; and
  • Improve public understanding of these individuals’ challenges.

An “older individual who is blind” is an individual age 55 or older whose significant visual impairment makes competitive employment extremely difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Through these services and activities, the program seeks to improve independent living options for older individuals who are blind and increase their independence and self-sufficiency.

DAC Employment Application

Independent Living – Senior Specialist OIB North

Phillips Networks with Service Workers

Assistive Technology specialist with DAC, Dwight Phillips, recently teamed with the Western Service Workers Association of Redding to distribute clothing and toys to children in families experiencing material hardship.

Phillips used the The Disability Action Center’s box transport truck to move the special items from Chico to Redding. He also regularly transports large durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, motorized chairs, and hoyer lifts to facilitate bringing equipment for consumer pick-up between our center locations.

“It’s good to know there’s organizations still out there helping the less fortunate in our society,” Phillips stated.

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Disability Action Center’s Dwight Phillips, center, worked with Western Service Workers staff to give clothing and toys to the needy of the North State region.

DAC-Redding office relocates

The Disability Action Center’s office in Redding has a new location.

The non-profit independent living center recently moved to 2876 Park Marina Drive in Redding, vacating its old location on West St.

The office has a new manager: Wendy Longwell.

Dwight Phillips handles certain assistive technology needs for consumers.

Office hours are 9-5 Monday-Friday. The phone number: 242-8550.

Anthem Emergency Assistance

This temporary free service is available to anyone, not just Anthem Blue Cross Members.  “If you are impacted by California’s wildfires, Anthem Blue Cross has partnered with LiveHealth Online to help you see a doctor 24/7 for non-emergency conditions through live video from a smartphone, tablet or computer at no cost through November 18, 2018.  Doctors can send prescriptions directly to your pharmacy if needed.  

Sign up at livehealthonline.com or download the free LiveHealth Online mobile app and select Help for Wildfires Medical to see a doctor.”

livehealthonline.com | Help for All

For impacted Blue Cross members, Anthem is:

  • Relaxing time limits for prior authorization, pre-certification and referral requirements – there will be no late penalties.
  • Suspending early refill limits for prescriptions.
  • Allowing replacement of medical equipment or supplies.
  • Extending filing deadlines for claims.

Please click the button below for a registration flyer for Anthem Blue Cross members, which has helpful general instructions.

Help for Anthem Members


Anthem Emergency Help Press Release

“Additionally, Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides resources that are available to all residents of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties that have been impacted by the wild fires. Support services are available to help with emotionally stressful situations as well as with financial and legal concerns. Anthem’s EAP tools will be offered at no cost and will be available 24/7 through the EAP crisis line by visiting anthemeacomp. and using the login code “cawildfires.”

Employee Assistance Program Help

These medical and pharmacy guidelines are effective from November 9, 2018 until December 9, 2018, unless further extended. 

These relaxed benefits do not apply to Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D members, as those programs have specific guidelines.

DAC Emergency Services Information

Cal Fire Incident Updates

Nor-Cal Emergency Information

Please check our Emergency Information Website Landing Page.
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