community health

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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Helping others lead happier, healthier lives is something our company does each and every day. So it should come as no surprise that we’re gaining recognition in the communities we serve.

In the past few months, Humana was named the Healthiest Employer at local events in Louisville, South Florida, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Atlanta. The honor was bestowed on a small number of organizations committed to creating a healthy workplace for employees—and Humana ranked highest in the largest employer category at each event.

Key considerations for the award included culture and leadership commitment, associate and dependent access to programs, planning and communications, and program offerings like health assessments, biometric screenings, rewards and incentives, coaching, and more.

This is the first year Humana has received this award in the Phoenix, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Humana previously won the top award in 2016 in Louisville and South Florida.

Humana was also recently named a Platinum award winner of the Worksite Wellness Award by the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville. This is the fifth consecutive year the company received this highest distinction – in addition to receiving the prestigious Fleur De Lis Award for extra-large companies in 2016. Humana was also named a Platinum Award winner by the Healthy Arizona Worksite Program, one of the first companies to achieve the new level introduced this year.

These awards serve as further evidence of the progress we’re making as an associate population.

“We’re a community that’s fiercely committed not only to the health of those we serve, but also to that of the teammates we work alongside each day,” said Tim State, Vice President of Associate Well-being. “Our well-being benefits, programs and experiences ways we bring that promise to life every day.”

Zoilabella Calo, Consumer Engagement Consultant, and Jeri Cunningham, Manager of Engagement, for Arizona’s Employer Group team accept the Healthiest Employers Award in Phoenix on behalf of Humana.
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Bruce BroussardIn a series of LinkedIn Influencer blog posts, Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard shares insights and ideas about the future of health care and discusses the importance of working together to improve the health-care system as well as our own health and well-being. His latest — 3 ways to thrive in your career — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

How fast is your life moving? It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a company, working in sales, or building things as an engineer. We’re all impacted by the same reality: life today is much faster than in the past, and if you’re in the American workforce, it’s not going to slow down.

New technologies — from voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to Facebook’s virtual reality headsets — are accelerating change in our society. That change will impact everything, from the way we work to the way we live. People think the answer is to invest in the latest device, or to take a workshop every year or so, or to build a presence on the latest social media platform. While those are respectful pursuits, changes in technology aren’t just impacting jobs; they’re also impacting industries themselves.

Take health care, which is undergoing constant disruption. There is a growing movement to harness the power of technology to deliver the ultimate experience. Artificial intelligence, such as IBM Watson Health, is being used to help physicians better treat their patients. And 23andMe recently received approval from the FDA to democratize personalized medicine by selling “direct-to-consumer tests for 10 genetic risks, including Parkinson’s, late-onset Alzheimer’s, Celiac and Gaucher type 1 diseases.”

In an environment where change is the norm, life will only accelerate, and the challenges and opportunities are bigger than ever. Sometimes you just have to pause and reflect before you can take a step forward.

An insightful perspective

I recently read an intriguing book called “Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations,” by Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times columnist. The book notes that we live in a time of tremendous acceleration due to technology, and that our basic foundational systems like education, government policies, management training and safety nets often cannot keep up.

Friedman’s book concludes that if you don’t want to be left behind, you must be proactive and self-motivated in being a continuous learner, as these accelerators are impacting all aspects of life. In the fast-changing world of health care, where robots are performing surgeries, continuous learning is a must, given how quickly the industry is embracing technology.

3 ways to thrive

Here are some of the most interesting points that struck me, as well as my takeaway for each. They may offer value for you too:

1. Continuous learning is essential for your career development, no matter where you are in your career journey. In today’s workforce, our traditional pathways to gaining an education and skillset simply won’t be enough. Continuous learning is something everyone will need to participate in to stay relevant in the workforce. Continuous learning also has implications for businesses. With more self-learning in non-traditional ways, a broader market will open up for talent that’s currently not being tapped.

My takeaway: Take personal responsibility for your career (and life) through lifelong learning. In health care, technology is going to keep disrupting the consumer experience, and it’s imperative that organizations provide a platform to help people prepare for these changes.

2. Don’t wait for your job to be impacted by technology. Friedman cites a farm in upstate New York that turned to robotic milkers for its cows. The future of the person who used to milk the cows may require this person to learn coding or big data to analyze cow behavior. For example, the job could become a milking data analyst, examining what time the cows came in to milk and how much they ate. It’s the same in health care. Everyone is exploring how to use data analytics to improve the health of their patients and to use machine learning as a way to complement human decision-making.

My takeaway: Employers and employees have a mutual responsibility in navigating a world that requires evolving skills and capabilities. Whether it’s a hospital, a health plan or a small physician’s office, we all must evolve in our accelerated world.

3. Find your true purpose and contribute to the community where you live. Friedman explores how communities thrive when they’re based upon purpose and a values system rather than simple obedience to rules. In the world before social media, Friedman argues there was a sense of shared responsibility in communities. When you’re a part of the physical fabric of the community (store or restaurant), you have a sense of shared responsibility in the community’s success. When you have shared responsibility, your purpose is clearer. The acceleration of change creates issues that we must deal with at a community level — with values vs. policies. Only by leading with values and principles, not by providing a series of prescriptive instructions, will we be successful.

My takeaway: Be sure to understand and appreciate the significance of social contracts – brought to life through shared values and common purpose — as the foundation for strong communities.

A famous optimist, Leonardo da Vinci, once said that “learning never exhausts the mind.” Combined with a sense of optimism, there is no better attitude for thriving in an age of acceleration.

 

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Humana’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roy Beveridge, recently wrote an article for Managed Healthcare Executive advising physicians, clinicians and other health professionals on how to best influence population health.

“The secret can be found in leveraging community resources to address your patient’s health barriers,” Dr Beveridge wrote. “Addressing the social determinants of health that your patients live with every day—such as food insecurity, social isolation, and physical inactivity—will augment your treatment plan.”

He wrote about Humana’s Bold Goal, and the company’s efforts to bring “physicians and community leaders together to overcome barriers to health.” He also offered examples of the work that can be scaled to other communities.

“In our latest Bold Goal Progress Report, we showcase how physicians, nonprofits, faith-based groups, and government and business leaders are coming together to create more Healthy Days,” he wrote. “Because we’ve learned that no one entity, Humana or your practice, can do this alone. It takes us all and we must be aligned.”

Read the full article here.

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