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WellPATH believes in providing resources that will enhance your quality of life and bring you the latest health and wellness information. These resources are for you to research at your own discretion. The Joint Health Management Board of Fresno Unified School District does not favor or endorse any of the listed resources.
Sept 13, 2020 Update: Special Message from the JHMB – Is it the Flu or COVID-19? Healthful Info from the CDC to Understand the Difference
The Joint Health Management Board would like to remind you of key healthful resources to support you and your family’s physical and mental health during this time.
The fall season is approaching fast. With all of the recent events of the California summer, it’s understandable if we are all a bit shaken and trying to sort out even the simplest of things. And though we are still grappling with the effects of COVID-19, the annual flu season in North America is also coming up fast.
The Joint Health Management Board would like to share some healthful resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you understand the differences between the influenza (flu) and COVID-19. However, regardless of understanding the differences, the JHMB still recommends that individuals continue to take standard precautions to protect themselves and their families this upcoming flu season.
Take a moment to learn more about:
These last several months have tested us all – ourselves, our families, and our communities. Throughout it all, the Joint Health Management Board (JHMB) has continued to work diligently to maintain a cost-effective healthcare program for our employees, retirees, and their families – in spite of all that COVID-19 has thrown our way.
As we move into undoubtedly the most unique school year of our lifetimes, we want to inform you of the work the JHMB has undertaken to ensure you and your family have the resources and support needed to manage your healthcare and self-care in the months ahead.
As a result of the pandemic, millions of students are going back to school virtually this fall. Those of us who are fortunate to work remotely will play a much larger role in our kids’ distance learning while navigating remote work, home life and the pandemic.
Luckily, education leaders and organizations are offering free resources for caregivers during this challenging time. In addition, it’s important to learn about the resources made available by your school, district or homeschooling group.
Claremont has compiled a list of helpful articles, videos, and webinars to support you as you juggle the demands of work while helping your children’s distance learning in this age of uncertainty. Download the flyer for more details.
Review the list of resources provided by the Fresno Diabetes Collaborative to assist you and your family with managing the many aspects of pre-diabetes and diabetes, including:
Visit the County of Fresno’s Department of Public Health site for more information on local testing sites, as well as the latest COVID-19 public health information.
At this time, only COVID-19 antibody tests ordered by a physician will be covered at 100%. Self-ordered tests will not be covered at 100% but may be covered under existing Plan terms.
Take a moment to review a special video message from the District Superintendent and the JHMB Directors regarding recent benefit plan changes regarding COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth services effective as of March 18, 2020.
The sections below detail additional resources to support you and your family throughout this period. Be sure contact the appropriate vendor when the need arises. Until then, here are some helpful tips and resources shared by our partners at Claremont EAP to support you and your family:
PlushCare: The PlushCare network of telehealth physicians is available to all PPO medical plan participants and covered family members – now with $0 copay during the COVID-19 national emergency period. Using Delta PlushCare is simple and convenient: you call or video chat with a doctor; he or she will diagnose your health issue and provide recommended treatments based on your symptoms, and if appropriate, the doctor can write a prescription and have it sent immediately to the pharmacy of your choice. Appointments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Anyone requiring any assistance with PlushCare registration (ie. creating a new account) can call and speak with a PlushCare representative to get started. Contact Plushcare by phone at (866) 692-1986 or visit www.plushcare.com.
Claremont EAP: Provides free and confidential counseling, legal and financial consultations, and work/life referrals, as well as their Claremont Personal Advantage site with their COVID-19 resource list that includes timely links, videos, and articles. Contact Claremont EAP at (800) 834-3773 or www.claremonteap.com.
Anthem EAP: Anthem EAP site offers helpful resources related to COVID-19, including: Online seminars with emotional support and practical information, regularly updated links to news outlets and health organization websites, and links to articles and resources to help you stay informed. Visit AnthemEAP.com for confidential EAP support – free for 90 days during this COVID-19 crisis (until June 30, 2020). Choose the Log-in button and enter: “EAP Can Help.”
Halcyon Behavioral Health: As of January 1, 2020, Halcyon Behavioral Health is the District’s new vendor for all inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse services for Plan A and Plan B participants. For mental health services, plan participants are eligible for up to 45 (inpatient) or 60 (outpatient) visits per calendar year with participating providers. There is a $10 copay per visit for outpatient services but the copay is waived for inpatient stays. All levels of care for substance abuse services are covered at 100% with participating providers. Please note that all services require pre-authorization but don’t let that stop you from getting the care for you and/or your eligible family members. Contact Halcyon at (888) 425-4800 or fusdmhsa.com.
During this unique and challenging time, it’s important to stay active and engaged. The JHMB and its WellPATH Program would like to take a moment to share some resources to help you keep moving and motivated.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we grapple with this recent outbreak and protect the health of our community. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed and offer healthful resources throughout this period. As a reminder, please take the following personal precautions to help protect you and your family:
Berkeley Wellness – How to Fortify Your Immune System: As medical and public health experts around the world continue to warn about the dangers of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, one message is abundantly clear—if you’re an older adult, you’re at increased risk of severe disease and death. That’s because your immune system doesn’t function as well as you grow older, making you more vulnerable to infection. What’s more, older people often have chronic medical conditions that can further weaken the immune system or make it harder to fight the infection.
CDC – Adults: What Vaccines Do You Need?: Complete a brief checklist and get a personalized list of vaccines you may need.
John Hopkins Medicine – Age-Defying Energy Levels: Getting older doesn’t automatically mean less vibrancy and vigor, or lower energy levels—no matter what our youth-obsessed culture would have you believe. That said, there are a few key principles that can give you a boost as you age.
Berkeley Wellness – A Walking Workout: One of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives is that it has deprived many of us of our customary forms of exercise, such as gym workouts and group sports. (Another way is how we are eating.) To maintain fitness, health, and indeed sanity, many people have turned to walking (along with running and cycling)—which is fine to do outside as long as you keep your distance from others by observing the 6-foot rule (even in states where lockdown restrictions are being eased) and wear a face mask if you can’t avoid passing too close to other people on your walk.
CDC – Heat and Older Adults: People aged 65 years or older are more prone to heat-related health problems. If you’re an older adult or a caretaker, review information on how you or the person you’re caring for can stay safe during the heat.
National Institutes of Health – Older Adults and Depression: As you get older, you may go through a lot of changes—death of loved ones, retirement, stressful life events, or medical problems. It’s normal to feel uneasy, stressed, or sad about these changes. But after adjusting, many older adults feel well again. Depression is different. It is a medical condition that interferes with daily life and normal functioning. It is not a normal part of aging, a sign of weakness, or a character flaw. Many older adults with depression need treatment to feel better.
American Cancer Society – Prostate Cancer: Informed Decision-Making: This video from the American Cancer Society discusses informed decision making options on prostate cancer. For more information about prostate cancer and different treatment options, please visit cancer.org
Berkeley Wellness – Meet Your New Nutrition Label: If you’re among the many grocery shoppers who regularly use the Nutrition Facts label on food packages to help guide what you buy, you likely have noticed big changes of late. To reflect the latest nutrition research, the iconic label mandated by the FDA has undergone its biggest revision since it was introduced more than a quarter century ago.
Harvard Health – 12 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young: Every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Mental decline is common, and it’s one of the most feared consequences of aging. But cognitive impairment is not inevitable. Here are 12 ways you can help maintain brain function.
Harvard Health: Focus on Concentration: Everyone’s attention can drift at times, like when you lose your concentration for a moment while doing routine tasks. Many people shrug off these lapses in focus as “senior moments,” but they might be related to a vulnerable brain process called executive function. “Your brain’s executive function helps you plan, make decisions, and — perhaps most important — pay attention,” says Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “It acts much like the captain of the ship.”
Mayo Clinic: Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity: You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.
Medical News Today: Targeted lifestyle changes could delay memory loss: Researchers from Kings College London in the United Kingdom suggest that certain lifestyle aspects, such as diet and exercise, influence brain aging via specific molecular pathways.
AAFA – Eczema, Hand-Washing and the New Coronavirus (COVID-19): Protecting Yourself and Your Skin: Proper hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent spreading viruses, like the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and the flu. But when you have a skin condition like eczema (atopic dermatitis or dyshidrotic eczema), washing your hands often can lead to dry and cracked skin, itchiness, pain and possibly infection. So how can people with eczema protect their skin while protecting themselves from the coronavirus?
CDC – When and How to Wash Your Hands: Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.
National Institutes of Health – Health Tips for Older Adults: As you grow older, you go through many changes, and you may need to adjust your lifestyle for healthy aging. Healthy eating and regular physical activity can be keys to good health at any age. Making suitable lifestyle choices may also prevent some health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
WebMD – Energy-Boosting Foods for COPD: Eating right may help boost your energy when you have COPD. If you’re losing a lot of weight, a few “comfort foods” may return to your diet. Breathing burns 10 times more calories when you have COPD. For people who are watching their weight, smaller portions of the nutrient-packed foods in this slide show will keep calories in check and provide the fuel your body needs to help you feel your best.
Berkeley Wellness – Better Balance: A Daily Program: Balance is important in many daily activities but is often taken for granted. It can decline with age and increase your risk of a fall. To test your balance, stand in front of a secure surface or object you can grab (if necessary). Without holding on to anything, close your eyes and slowly lift one foot. See how long you can stand on the other foot unaided: 15 seconds is considered good for older adults (but you needn’t stop there; longer is better).
Cancer.org – Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer: Many of the symptoms of colorectal cancer can also be caused by something that isn’t cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease. In many cases, people who have these symptoms do not have cancer. Still, if you have any of these problems, it is a sign that you should go to the doctor so the cause can be found and treated.
CDC – Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight: A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let’s begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is.
CDC – What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs: Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, an inhaled powder, or an intravenous solution) that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from a health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
Berkeley Wellness – Yoga for Better Blood Pressure: Yoga combines physical poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. In recent years, yoga has grown in popularity for both its gentle, low-impact approach and its associated health benefits, including lower blood pressure
Harvard Health – Easing into Exercise: Are you one of those people whose typical day includes doing chores around the house and yard, running errands, and caring for a spouse, grandkids, or pets? Having a busy, active life is one reason people think they don’t need to set aside time devoted solely to exercise, says Gisele Bousquet, program director at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in Foxborough, Mass.
Harvard Health – Swap Out A Sweet Drink To Reduce Your Diabetes Risk: Replacing just one sugary drink each day with water may reduce your risk of developing diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 3, 2019, by Diabetes Care. Researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at more than two decades’ worth of data collected in three long-term studies, involving more than 192,000 adults. By tracking beverage intake over time, they found that people who increased their consumption of sugary drinks (including 100% fruit juice) by more than 4 ounces a day over four years had a 16% increase in diabetes risk over the next four years.
Heart.Org – How to Help Prevent Heart Disease At Any Age: You’re never too young— or too old — to take care of your heart. Preventing heart disease (and all cardiovascular diseases) means making smart choices now that will pay off the rest of your life. Lack of exercise, a poor diet and other unhealthy habits can take their toll over the years. Anyone at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep their heart healthy during each decade of life.
Berkeley Wellness – Got Migraines? Get Moving: It might seem counterintuitive to assume that more exercise—more pounding, more sweating—could reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, but that’s what some preliminary research has found. These headaches affect an estimated 11 percent of the global population, including children.
Harvard Health – Improving Memory: In many ways, our memories shape who we are. They make up our internal biographies—the stories we tell ourselves about what we’ve done with our lives. They tell us who we’re connected to, who we’ve touched during our lives, and who has touched us. In short, our memories are crucial to the essence of who we are as human beings.
Harvard Health – Is Exercise Good for Arthritis? One reader asks, “I have arthritis and my doctor recommended I start exercising, but I’m worried it will make my pain worse. Should I follow her advice?” Find out what the doctors say.
Medical News Today – Belly Fat May Reduce Mental Agility from Midlife Onward: A study of thousands of middle-aged and older people has linked having more body fat and less muscle mass to changes in mental flexibility with age. The research also suggests that changes to the immune system may play a role.
FDA – Food Safety For Older Adults: A need-to-know guide Adults for those 65 years of age and older. Food safety is important for everyone—but it’s especially important for you. That’s why the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration have prepared this booklet.It is designed to provide practical guidance on how to reduce your risk of food borne illness.In addition to this guide, we encourage you tocheck with your physician or health care provider to identify foods and other products that you should avoid.
Healthline – Listening to music while driving may put the brakes on driving stress: When you’re stuck in heavy traffic, it’s very common to feel stressed. Many things can go wrong while you’re on the road, causing your heart to race and your blood pressure to soar. Research indicates that the stress of your daily commute may take its toll over time. Driving stress has been implicated as a risk factor of both heart disease and heart attack. You don’t have to succumb to this stress, however. Researchers say your best weapon against it may, in fact, be your car stereo.
Medical News Today – Plan-based diet may prevent cognitive decline: New research finds that following a diet rich in plant-based foods and low in animal products during midlife is associated with a significantly lower risk of cognitive impairment later in life.
NIH – Health tips for older adults: Healthy eating and regular physical activity are your keys to good health at any age. They may lower your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. They may even help you ward off depression and maintain orthopedic health (related to bones and muscles). Among older people, being underweight is of concern and may be related to not having enough to eat, not eating enough foods that are nutrient dense, or having an illness or disease.
CDC – Check-Up Checklist: Things to Do Before Your Next Check-Up: Getting check-ups is one of many things you can do to help stay healthy and prevent disease and disability. You’ve made the appointment to see your health care provider. You’ve reviewed the instructions on how to prepare for certain tests. You’ve done the usual paperwork. Done, right? Not quite. Before your next check-up, make sure you do these four things.
Diabetes.org – Eating doesn’t have to be boring: It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you. When you’re managing diabetes, your eating plan is a powerful tool. But eating healthy can feel boring and dull, right? Well, it doesn’t have to because there are tons of things you can do to add flavor to your daily routine—including healthy twists on your favorite foods.
Medical News Today – How a high salt diet may lead to cognitive decline: New research suggests that a diet high in salt may promote cognitive decline by destabilizing levels of the protein tau. Excessive levels of tau are a hallmark of dementia.
Kaiser Permanente – Heartburn or Heart Attack? Hot to Tell the Difference: Chest pain can be scary. And it’s not always easy to tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack — especially since heartburn-like symptoms can be from a heart attack. Columbus Batiste, MD, an interventional cardiologist and chief of cardiology at Kaiser Permanente’s Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers in Southern California, breaks down the symptoms — and details the importance of knowing if you’re at risk for heart disease.
MDVIP – 7 Drug-Free Sleep Solutions: 46 percent of older Americans have trouble falling asleep one or more nights per week, according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging. One in three older adults use medication for their insomnia. While sleeping pills (and even the supplement melatonin), do have their place, they’re not always necessary. Most of the time, sleep problems can be solved with other methods.
Medical News Today – Social Activity in Your 60s May Lower Dementia Risk by 12%: New research over a 28-year follow-up period finds significant evidence that frequent social contact at the age of 60 can lower the risk of developing dementia later on.
US News – Take a New View of Aging: The way you view aging can affect how well you manage stress. Older people who see aging negatively have stronger (negative) emotional reactions to day-to-day stresses, while such events have little effect on the moods of adults who are more positive about getting older. Their sunny outlook acts as a buffer against little annoyances.
Kaiser Permanente – Wellness Video: Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors: In this 3-part video, seniors get helpful strategies for preventing falls. After George breaks his hip in a fall, see how he and his wife take steps to improve their balance and fall-proof their home.
WebMD: How Aging Affects Your Immune System: Does it seem like you get sick more than you did when you were younger. When you are under the weather, does it take you longer to feel good again? Immunity — your body’s defense system — tends to get weaker with age. “Just as you probably can’t run as fast as you used to in your 20s, your immune system doesn’t work as well as it used to,” says Aaron E. Glatt, MD, chairman of the department of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospitals. But fear not — at least not much.
Vaccines.gov: Which vaccines are recommended for adults age 65 and older: Vaccines are especially important for older adults. As you get older, your immune system weakens and it can be more difficult to fight off infections. You’re more likely to get diseases like the flu, pneumonia, and shingles — and to have complications that can lead to long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.If you have an ongoing health condition — like diabetes or heart disease — getting vaccinated is especially important. Vaccines can protect you from serious diseases (and related complications) so you can stay healthy as you age. Getting vaccinated can help keep you, your family, and your community healthy.
Stay Active with AgeWellFresno: Joining a group keeps people engaged, happy, and healthy. There are many senior groups in Fresno; from volunteering, to socializing, learning, and being physically active there are groups to meet a wide variety of needs in later life.
Delta Health Systems has the option for you to receive electronic Explanation of Benefits (EOBs). By following the simple instructions in the flyers provided below, you can choose to opt-in to receive electronic copies only.
Once this change is made, you will receive an email every 7 days if you or a family member has received care. You will still be able to view and print EOBs via the Delta Health Systems website once a claim is processed.
NOTE: Dependents over the age of 18 must log in and select their option separately.
If you do not login and select this option, you will continue to receive episodic EOBs paper copies in the mail every 7 days. Please download and review the flyer below for more information.
As you may know, the colon is a very important part of your body’s digestive system. It helps in the final stages of digestion, absorbing water and minerals from food and eliminating bodily waste through the rectum. Because the colon is such a vital part of your body, it’s important to keep it in good health.
Colon cancer is one of the most serious conditions that can affect your colon. It is the second biggest cancer killer in the United States among cancers that affect both men and women. While colon cancer is very serious, it may be preventable through regular screening. In fact, 90% of the time, colon cancer can be treated if caught early.
*- According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for colon cancer is 90%.
By discussing screening with your doctor and following recommendations, you may be able to do something about colon cancer. It is important to get screened if you:
There are many tests that can help detect colon cancer. Three of them recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force are: colonoscopy, fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), and fecal immunochemical testing (FIT). Download and review the Comparison Chart provided by LoveYourColon.org to learn more about these tests and discuss the best options with your doctor.
To learn more about colon cancer and screening, visit www.LoveYourColon.org.
WellPATH has collaborated with community partners to create a Fresno County Diabetes Resource Guide. Take a moment to check out this helpful resource guide and find out more information about the valuable programs and resources currently taking place in our area, including:
Claremont’s site helps guide you through information and practices to maintain physical and emotional well-being throughout your life. At Positivity Center, you’ll find key information about following topics:
Migraines are more than just bad headaches — they can sometimes be a sign of problems with your nervous system. People who get migraines usually have strong, throbbing pain on one side of their head.
Most people feel the pain in their temples or behind their eye or ear. They can cause some people to see spots or flashing lights. Migraines can also cause upset stomach, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can happen any time of day, though they often start in the morning.
Download the more detailed flyer from Anthem Blue Cross for more details on what causes a migraine and how to stop/treat its debilitating conditions.
Looking for some ideas to switch up your workout routine this summer or maybe just some tips on how to get started?
Check out this helpful PDF from Anthem with 5 body-weight exercises you can do in 15 minutes to work out your abs, chest, glutes, legs, quads, and more.
From the video – “Cookbooks like the ‘National Institute of Health: Deliciously Healthy Dinners Keep the Beat’ is a great place to start. In it you not only have these wonderful recipes but you also have the time it takes to prep.”
Download the cookbook mentioned in the video.
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