Gerri's Gazette January 2024

Happy New Year!

Information about AHCCCS

As many of you know, during the pandemic AHCCCS lifted the requirement for annual renewals for Medicaid and KidsCare benefits to continue. Annual renewal requirements resumed in April 2023.

This map shows the communities and populations that are most at risk of having their AHCCCS or KidsCare discontinued. Yavapai county is in the high risk category. We encourage families who have AHCCCS to complete their annual renewals at

AHCCCS Connect Launched to Help Members Apply for and Renew Medicaid Coverage

PHOENIX – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) recently launched AHCCCS Connect, a new feature that sends personalized program reminders and updates to Medicaid applicants and members to guide them through every step of their Medicaid lifecycle, from initial application through annual renewal. AHCCCS Connect sends SMS texts, automated voice calls, and/or emails to members who provide valid phone numbers and/or email addresses.

To receive these communications, AHCCCS members need to provide a phone number capable of receiving text messages, and/or an email address in their Health-e-Arizona Plus (HEAplus) account at New applicants will be automatically added to AHCCCS Connect when they provide an email address and/or cell phone number. Members are able to opt out of AHCCCS Connect at any time and may rejoin at any time. AHCCCS Connect sends official messages by SMS text, email, and automated phone call, and will never ask for personal or identifiable information. SMS texts and voice calls come from (888) 831-7578 and emails come from AHCCCS urges members to be vigilant and aware of possible scams online and to never disclose personal information unless members can verify who they are talking to.

AHCCCS Connect is one of many new features designed to help members through their annual renewal process. Some of these updates include:

  • Upgraded search features on Health-e-Arizona Plus for Medicaid, SNAP, and Cash Assistance applications and enrollees. Users can search for Community Assistors by zip code radius or full or partial address.
  • Installed Sam, the chatbot, on Health-e-Arizona Plus to make it easier for members to update their contact information. Sam can also answer more than 40 common questions about the renewal process.
  • Launched live chat and automated phone calls to help AHCCCS members with their renewal process.


The Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education Summit is an annual event cohosted by Arizona Department of Education's Exceptional Student Services Early Childhood Special Education Unit and the Department of Economic Security's Arizona Early Intervention Program. It is designed to present content related to supporting children with disabilities, ages 0–5, by bringing national speakers, state staff, and local practitioners together to share information about issues, challenges, successes, practices, and strategies to improve outcomes. This year, the Summit will take place over three days, with:

  • Day One focused on presenting the state of early childhood, the results, and the research around key issues. The following two days will be focused on evidence-based practices, supports, and successes.
  • Day Two will highlight effective practices when working with children in early intervention.
  • Day Three will showcase strategies and best practices when working with children in preschool settings.

After you have enrolled, we will send you a link to the CVENT Conference platform, approximately 10 days before the event.

Parents and professionals are invited to attend. Scholarships available for parents and students in institutions of higher education.

Register here:



Alissa Jones

Northland Rural Therapies

“Hello! My name is Alissa Jones, Physical Therapist at Northland Rural Therapy Associates out of Flagstaff. I live in Page and provide Physical Therapy services for AzEIP and local schools (Page Unified, Glen Canyon Outdoor Academy, Gap, Kaibeto, Tonalea, Shonto, and Navajo Mountain). When I was younger, I wished my Grandfather had someone to help him want to be more independent after he lost his leg. I wanted to go into a field that allowed me to do that with children. Since I live in small town (Page), my day is often spent working in multiple places. In one day, I may go to 2 or 3 different schools, do paperwork from home, and see children in their homes with their families. I love watching kids learn to be more independent in their movement. For different kids, that can mean different things. Sometimes it means learning how to sit and play with toys with family, sometimes it means learning to run and explore their house or yard, and sometimes it means being able to be on the playground with their friends and family. I love that I get to work with children and families in AzEIP. Page is a small town, but I think we care about helping families in a holistic way. Helping families to not only receive early intervention services, but also to know what resources are available from activities at the library, movies at the park, Toys for Tots at the holidays, the food pantry, the soup kitchen, preschool programs, inclusion camps and activities, and student support services at Page Unified School District. I would like every family to know that AzEIP is for everyone. Whether you just want your child screened to find out how they are doing, if you think your family could benefit from services for a short time, or whether you think your family could benefit from services until they are 3 years old. It is worth contacting AzEIP to see if we can help."

Editor's Note: Alissa hosts a monthly virtual meeting for Early Childhood advocates in Page and the surrounding area. The group is designed to help solve any problems for children 0-5 years old and their families. It is an informal roundtable discussion to share resources, discuss gaps in resources, and find solutions to supporting families in her rural community. Alissa has over 80 people on the meeting distribution list, including participants are from local community programs, school districts, colleges, medical providers, health plans, county programs, and state programs. Alissa is doing an incredible job bringing people together to support the community she calls home. She is an amazing community connector. For more information or to join the next virtual meeting, please contact Alissa at:


Learning Through Play

Educational Experts - Series 1 Video


Upcoming Training Opportunities for Parents

Individualized Education Plan Training

February 6 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Online

Learn about the special education process and the Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Positive Behavior Support

February 7 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Online

Learn how to reduce your child's unwanted behavior and increase preferred behavior.


Professional Development Opportunities

Register here:


The Infant/Toddler Mental Health Coalition (ITMHCA) is a voluntary 501c(3) organization that was established in 1995 which promotes the understanding that infancy is a critically important period in psychosocial development. Therefore, equally critical is the collaboration of professionals from local, state, and nonprofit community-based organizations to work toward policy and social change for the benefit of Arizona's youngest children and their families.

Infant Mental Health A Definition

In young children, mental health means healthy social and emotional development, defined as "the developing capacity of the young child to experience, regulate, and express emotions; form close and secure interpersonal relationships; and explore the environment and learn, in the context of a caregiving environment that includes family, community, and cultural expectations for young children." Zero to Three Infant Mental Health Steering Committee

Click this link for ITMHCA training opportunities -


Diaper Distribution Pilot Program

This pilot program allows families who need diapers to receive up to 150 free diapers per month, for every child in their care. Sizes include newborn-7, 3T-5T, and Sm/Med/Large Pull-ups. It is based upon income. To find out if you qualify for this program - -


Important Disclaimer: The foregoing is publicly available information about upcoming events, resources, and reminders from third-party organizations. In some cases, AzEIP has included links to other websites that are not owned or controlled in any way by AzEIP, but that contain additional information about the events, resources or reminders. By clicking on any of the links above, you agree to be directed to the external website and you acknowledge and agree that AzEIP shall not be held responsible or accountable for any information contained on such site. Please note that AzEIP does not monitor any of the websites linked herein and does not endorse or approve any information posted on any such sites.


Please email your request to: