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If you’ve ever crocheted, you know how satisfying it can be to make a beautiful gift, especially for someone in need.

This spring and summer in Ohio, a team of Humana associates decided to lend their crocheting skills – or to learn to crochet – and give back to the community by helping kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Ten Humana Pharmacy associates from our Springdale and West Chester locations crocheted more than 80 hats over the months of May, June, and July – that’s enough for each baby in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Some of the hats were made a bit larger, and given to older children undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Humana Pharmacy Professional Practice Analyst Kelly Percer served as the project lead, with participation by Ohio Pharmacy colleagues Misty Eagles, Lou Eve, Courtney Kennedy, Emily Lawson, Tina Messer, April Oshell, Steph Raithel, Frankie Singleton, and Stephanie Whaley.

The group plans to continue to crochet for the community. Its next project will be to make potholders and dishcloths for those who recently lost their belongings in a Springdale apartment building fire.

 

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Summit Health and Humana have signed a new contract that provides in-network access for Humana Medicare members at Summit Health facilities and providers in south-central Pennsylvania.

The contract, which is effective Aug. 1, 2017, provides in-network access for Humana Medicare Advantage Health Maintenance Organization, Preferred Provider Organization, and Private Fee-for-Service health plan members seeking treatment at Summit Health facilities.

“We’re very pleased to expand our Pennsylvania Medicare provider network with Summit Health,” said Humana Regional Medicare President Rich Vollmer. “This means our Medicare Advantage members in south-central Pennsylvania will now have access to quality care from Summit Health’s medical facilities and its physicians.”

Read the full news release.

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As Humana makes progress toward its Bold Goal – to make the communities it serves 20 percent healthier by 2020 by making it easy for people to achieve their best health – the community of San Antonio has led the way.

The city, Humana’s first and most mature Bold Goal community, has experienced a 9 percent increase in the number of Healthy Days, surpassing the trajectory goal for 2017.

Dr. Sandra Delgado, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer – TRICARE, and Pattie Dale Tye, Vice President and Leader of Humana’s Bold Goal under the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, have been chronicling San Antonio’s success in The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly.

Read their latest update here.

“The results in our 2017 progress report reflect wide-ranging collaboration in San Antonio between the San Antonio Health Advisory Board (HAB), which is made up of physicians, business leaders, non-profit organizations, government officials and public health organizations, and a Board of Directors, made up of Humana senior leadership,” the two leaders wrote. “Such a wide range of partners is key, because health isn’t just about seeing a doctor once or twice a year. There are numerous environmental, social, psychological, and economic issues that impact a person’s health and are often the root cause of illness. Health can’t just be about reacting to disease; we have to be proactive in preventing disease and promoting well-being.”

This is their third in a series of articles. You can read the first here and the second here.

 

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The distinctive tune of the harmonica emits from the Humana community location on Western Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is followed by laughter. Both sounds are sweet to Talinda T. who attended the Harmonicas for Health class with her 81-year-old mom, Lovetta.

“Prior to this class, I would say that I was a very negative, critical person, and primarily because I didn’t accept where (my mom) was at this stage in her life,” Talinda shares in a video about Harmonicas for Health participants. “But to see her blossom, to see her having difficulties with breathing, able to play that harmonica, whether it was just a tune here or a tune there. It has changed me for the better so that I can better help her.”

As the video explains in more detail, Harmonicas for Health teaches two breathing techniques recommended by the COPD Foundation. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 12 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, and the American Lung Association estimates more than 24 million adults have impaired lung function.

Earl S. has asthma. He took the no-cost Harmonicas for Health class to help him with his breathing, but also to be part of a community. “What I read is that … one key to longevity is to be part of a community, where people know your name, and if you don’t show up, they’ll ask about you. People in those kind of communities tend to live better and longer. That’s something I’m really interested in.”

Glenn Meyers, MD and medical director in Tennessee, concurs. “With Harmonicas for Health, (Humana) members who have emphysema can exercise, can lose weight, can feel better, get those endorphins up, feel healthier, and get back out into the community.”

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Gerald Dias joined Humana in November 2016 as a business consultant. Eight months later, he contributed 3.3 million steps to Humana associates’ total 16.6 billion steps during the company’s annual 100 Day Dash step competition. Gerald — shown above after a Color Run 5k — achieved the most steps out of all Dash participants, and boosted the total step count to be the largest since the Dash began in 2012.

Gerald, who is based in Milwaukee, Wis., was one of nearly 7,000 new Dashers this year. Participation and engagement has grown every year since the first Dash, further energizing Humana’s culture of well-being.

“Humana’s wellness culture has been a HUGE motivator in my life,” Gerald said. “I enjoy sharing my excitement for Humana, our culture and the amazing life we cultivate for our associates. It becomes contagious and it motivates others.”

The 2017 100 Day Dash wrapped up on July 10, with Dashers logging 8.3 million miles of steps – enough to circle Earth over 330 times. There were more than 23,000 total Dashers in 2017.

Nearly 6,000 associates reached personal bests. Co-workers like Gerald helped push them along.

“I sent congratulatory emails as teammates hit different achievements. To keep folks moving, I hosted several virtual 5K community challenges (on the Go365 platform). We did a High 5 5K on High 5 Day. We did a Cinco De Mayo 5K. We did a Red Nose Day 5K. And we did a National Selfie Day 5K. It was all tons of fun!”

Humana has found that when associates engage in the Dash, it brings support, comradery – and some healthy competition.

The Dash also partnered with the Humana Foundation for a third year. Because Humana associates exceeding last year’s step count, the Foundation is giving $16,000 to Feeding America, a network of food banks fighting against hunger in communities nationwide. Several other charitable organizations received smaller donations in honor of the Dashers who improved their step counts since 2016. Each individual personally selected which charitable cause would receive a donation on their behalf.

It seems certain that all of next year’s Dashers will be chasing Gerald.

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