Author: Jessi

Health care advocates cheer delayed vote on Obamacare replacement

Courtney Columbus Thursday, March 23, 2017 Health care advocates cheer delayed vote on Obamacare replacement PHOENIX – Dozens of people gathered at the state Capitol Thursday cheered after the House of Representatives delayed its vote on healthcare legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. “We’ve held them off for a few hours,” said Rodd McLeod, a spokesman for the Alliance for Health Care Security who also organized the event. “We’re going to keep fighting.” The House had planned to vote Thursday, but leaders had trouble rounding up enough votes, according to The New York Times . Speakers had gathered at the state Capitol to criticize the proposed American Health Care Act. The speakers warned about the impacts the act could have on Medicaid in Arizona as well as its potential to create difficulties for people with pre-existing conditions if they let their coverage lapse. Toni Bannister, a cancer survivor, said she got health insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. (Photo by Courtney Columbus/Cronkite News) A report by the Congressional Budget Office indicated the proposed legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion between 2017 and 2016, but millions of Americans would lose health insurance coverage. Fourteen million more Americans would be without coverage in 2018, according to the report. Cancer survivor and Phoenix resident Toni Bannister, who bought insurance coverage on the marketplace created...

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Born without legs, Jen Bricker followed an unconventional path to become an acrobat and author

Samantha Pell Thursday, March 23, 2017 Born without legs, Jen Bricker followed an unconventional path to become an acrobat and author SCOTTSDALE — Wearing a red dress, her long brown hair falling almost to her waist, Jen Bricker navigated the stage in a wheelchair Thursday before a packed ballroom of 850 people at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa. Bricker, 29, was there to accept the HOPE (Head Start, Opportunity, Positive Future and Education) award at Florence Crittenton of Arizona’s 15th annual Teaming Up For Girls Luncheon. Bricker’s unconventional life journey led her to the Marriott ballroom. Born without legs, she was put up for adoption when she was only 3 months old. She doesn’t dwell on her past, though. With an upbeat attitude, she told the crowd about her life as an accomplished aerialist, acrobat and author. Bricker was honored by the nonprofit Florence Crittenton, which put on the luncheon to commemorate its 120 years of service to at-risk girls and young women and its mission to “give every girl whose life we touch safety, hope and opportunity.” “One of the most important things is realizing that you have value and realizing that you have significance in what you are passionate about,” Bricker said to the crowd. “It’s just what you are naturally good at and those things that they have within them, they are...

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ASU outfielder Hunter Bishop lives ‘4MOM’ with Alzheimer’s

Fabian Ardaya Thursday, March 23, 2017 ASU outfielder Hunter Bishop lives ‘4MOM’ with Alzheimer’s PHOENIX – Hunter Bishop leans up against the railing of the dugout at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, sunflower seeds stuffing his mouth. Every part of him – except for maybe his slender 6-foot-5 frame – looks the part of an ordinary Division I baseball player. However, there’s more to the Arizona State freshman outfielder. He has “4MOM” inscribed on the back of his baseball cap, a nod to a foundation his older brother Braden created and a reminder to the younger Bishop about something his mother, Suzy, is going through. For Bishop, baseball is a passion but family is his life. “That’s the biggest thing to me,” Bishop said. “You know, everything else could fail, but my family is my No. 1 priority.” The importance of family was hammered home during his junior year of high school when his parents sat 16-year-old Hunter down and delivered devastating news: Suzy Bishop had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Arizona State’s Hunter Bishop, front, spits sunflower seeds during a game against New Mexico State, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix. (Photo by Fabian Ardaya/Cronkite News) A Phone Call Hunter made a quick phone call to Braden, who was then a junior outfielder at the University of Washington. “I didn’t really know what was happening,...

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Beneficial Beans cafe opens at Burton Barr library to help autistic adults gain employment skills

Kanak Jha Thursday, March 23, 2017 Beneficial Beans cafe opens at Burton Barr library to help autistic adults gain employment skills PHOENIX – Beneficial Beans inside the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix offers more than coffee. It offers adults with autism the chance to learn employment skills through an internship program. “Adults with autism who need employment skills come to us,” said Kate Thoene, social enterprise director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center . “They’re with us as an intern for 10 to 12 weeks and then they transition out, and they get competitive employment in the community.” The nonprofit runs the coffee stand, which opened in March. Two-thirds of adults in their early 20s with autism were unemployed, according to the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 . Employing adults with autism can help cut costs for care, which can reach up to $1.4 million per lifetime for an individual affected by autism, according to Autism Speaks . To help combat that, the autism center started the internship program in 2012 with its first location at the Scottsdale Civic Center library. Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center runs Beneficial Beans. (Photo by Erica Apodaca/Cronkite News) Last year, the group trained 15 adults through the program, and most of those interns later found more permanent employment. Organizers wanted to expand the program to Phoenix. City Librarian Rita Hamilton...

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Coworking space focused on female entrepreneurs plans to open Valley location

Kanak Jha Thursday, March 23, 2017 Coworking space focused on female entrepreneurs plans to open Valley location PHOENIX – Female-owned businesses generate more than $1.6 trillion nationwide a year, according to American Express Open . Entrepreneur Felena Hanson would like to see women in Arizona add to that. Hanson, the founder and owner of women-centric coworking space Hera Hub , plans to open in the Phoenix area this year. “My goal for Hera Hub is to support 20,000 women and the launch of their business by 2020,” Hanson said. Hera Hub opened its first location in San Diego and has expanded to three other locations in the U.S. The company turned its attention to Phoenix because the number of women-owned business has increased by 64 percent since 2002, according to an article in The Phoenix Business Journal citing an American Express Open study. Hera Hub opened its first location in San Diego and has expanded to three other locations in the U.S. (Photo courtesy of Natalia Robert/Full Circle Images via Hera Hub) “There are tons of women out here who are doing amazing things, that have small businesses, that want to grow their businesses, and have great ideas that want to start,” said Shatha Barbour, founder of Hera Huba Phoenix. The Valley has more than a dozen coworking spaces, which offer shared work environments to companies, individuals and nonprofits....

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