Humana partnerships

Humana and the Humana Foundation have presented a $159,000 grant check from the Humana Foundation to CATCH Global Foundation supporting healthy lifestyle, nutrition and fitness programs in Jefferson Parish Schools.

Two hundred Bridgedale Elementary students attended the Sept. 25 presentation in Metairie, Louisiana, along with Jefferson Parish Schools Superintendent Isaac Joseph, members of the Jefferson Parish School board, and other community leaders.

Jefferson Parish Schools were celebrating the success of Phase 1 of the “New Orleans CATCH® Coordinated School Health Initiative,” which has changed the way the school district approaches student fitness and overall health. In Phase 2, the initiative will be expanded to 16 additional elementary schools, thanks to the $159,000 grant.

The eight Phase 1 schools showed a 56 percent increase in time spent being physically active during P.E. class as well as a 23 percent boost in the number of days per week kids reported being moderately to vigorously physically active. The CATCH Program also successfully moved the needle in students’ understanding of the connection between their diet and overall health, which is underscored by a 13 percent increase in self-reported water consumption.

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Since Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida, leaving a widespread path of destruction across the state, Feeding America has been working diligently with its partner food banks to meet the critical food needs of Floridians affected by the storm. Humana recognizes Feeding America for its rapid response in this difficult time.

To assist with this important effort, the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of health and well-being company Humana, contributed $100,000 that was distributed to Feeding America partners in South Florida, Tampa Bay and Northeast Florida. Feeding America is using these funds to supply critical items such as water, produce, snack foods, ready-to-eat products, personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies.

Food insecurity is already a serious health concern throughout much of Florida, and the problem is magnified after a disaster such as a hurricane.

Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks in the United States, providing food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America.

Feeding South Florida’s Distribution Coordinator Delmer Swab, with the help of The 53rd Infantry Brigade of the United States Army, loads pallets of water, ready-to-eat meals, snacks, and medical supplies for delivery to shelters in Miami-Dade County.
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The most highly rated TV programs feature frequent ageist language and under-representation of seniors and could have impacts on health, according to research from an ongoing partnership between Humana and the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Led by Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D., USC’s study analyzed 1,609 speaking characters in the most popular Nielsen-rated television shows that aired between June 1, 2016, and May 31, 2017, to determine how characters aged 60 and over are portrayed. In tandem, Humana conducted a quantitative survey of people aged 60 and over to explore their thoughts on aging, specifically to understand which attributes are directly linked to better health.

Both studies examined ageism, and the results indicate that it potentially has a negative impact not only on optimism, self-esteem and confidence, but also the physical and mental health of aging Americans.

The research also finds that among seniors who experience frequent ageism, optimists have far fewer unhealthy days, regardless of the amount of ageism they experience. This suggests one way to combat the negative impact of ageism is to be more optimistic.

A deeper analysis of the findings revealed:

Even in the highest-rated television programs, aging characters are underrepresented and stereotypically portrayed.

  • Only 9.4 percent of all speaking characters were 60 years of age or over – despite seniors representing 19.9 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2015 U.S. Census.
  • Stereotypical, ageist language is prevalent in the shows. Some choice quotes include: “Things just sound creepier when you’re old,” and “You like the color? It’s called ‘ancient ivory,’ like you.”
  • Of shows featuring a main senior character, 41 percent contained one or more ageist comments. Of those series with ageist comments, 62.5 percent had remarks that came from characters speaking to a senior, while 68.8 percent contained self-deprecating dialogue delivered by seniors to themselves.
  • Shows without a writer or showrunner age 60 or over were more likely to feature ageism than shows with a writer or showrunner age 60 or over.

There are inherent consequences to these stereotyped portrayals of aging Americans – including a potentially negative impact on seniors’ sense of self-esteem, confidence and optimism, as well as their health.

  • Seniors who experience ageism once a week or more report having 4.6 more physically unhealthy days and 5.4 more mentally unhealthy days per month than respondents who rarely or never report experiencing ageism.
  • Seniors who experience ageism once a week or more reported that it had a moderately negative impact on their sense of self-esteem, confidence and optimism, scoring the impact of ageism on their self-esteem at nearly 6 on a 10-point scale.

Aging Americans who describe themselves as optimists feel better about their overall health and well-being, underscoring the importance of an optimistic mindset for healthy aging.

  • Among seniors who report experiencing frequent ageism (once a week or more), optimists have, on average, 4 fewer physical and 3 fewer mental unhealthy days each month.
  • And, of all survey respondents, those who rate themselves as most optimistic feel on average 12.5 years younger than their actual age.

“We’ve studied this in film, but the lack of senior representation and prevalence of ageism on the small screen counters the idea that TV is better than film,” said Stacy L. Smith, director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. “There’s obviously more work to be done in the entertainment industry—seniors are often left out of the conversation on inclusion. This study speaks to the need for increasing older storytellers behind the camera who can create more authentic senior characters on-screen.”

Dr. Yolangel Hernandez Suarez, vice president and chief medical officer of care delivery at Humana, added: “Understanding the social determinants of health is a key priority for Humana. That’s why we’re committed to advancing societal perceptions and promoting aging with optimism. Our survey and continued partnership with the University of Southern California demonstrate the power of an optimistic mindset for combating ageism and embracing healthy aging.”

Both Stacy L. Smith and Dr. Yolangel Hernandez Suarez will provide more insight on each respective study as panelists at The Atlantic Live! New Old Age conference in New York City, slated for October 2017.

Read the full news release here.

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Humana’s workplace well-being efforts top national rankingHumana has earned Gold status in the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index, placing the company’s comprehensive workplace health efforts among the best in the nation. The index scores companies in seven areas: leadership, engagement, programs, policies and environment, partnerships, communications, and reporting outcomes.

Humana focuses on whole-person well-being, aiming to improve every employee’s sense of purpose, health, belonging and security to build a thriving workforce over the long term. The company has seen positive trends, including:

  • Healthier Days: Humana’s employee population has seen an improvement in mental and physical health as measured by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Days. The number of unhealthy days in a given 30-day period went from 5.6 in 2014 to 5.2 in 2016.
  • Declining risk: Employees with Humana since 2012 have fewer health risks on average than three years ago, with 7 out of 10 people either sustaining or improving their health risk profile. The percentage of employees who had elevated blood pressure declined by 33 percent from 2012 to 2016.
  •  Stress: Reported levels of elevated stress declined approximately 10 percent from 2015 to 2016, indicating increased resiliency in the employee population.
  •  Engagement: Humana has seen world-class employee engagement levels — in the top 10th percentile globally — for the past five years. Each of those years, a top driver most correlated with engagement has been the company’s commitment to employees’ well-being.
  •  Leader commitment: Approximately 9 out of 10 employees say Humana is committed to creating a work environment that contributes to their health and well-being.

The Workplace Health Achievement Index is a product of AHA’s CEO Roundtable, which includes Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard. The Roundtable is dedicated to gathering and sharing the best evidence-based approaches to workplace health to improve the well-being of our nation’s companies, their employees and communities.

Read the full news release here.

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Humana is making progress toward its corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals tied to the company’s three CSR pillars: Healthy People, Healthy Planet and Healthy Performance, according to the company’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Progress Report.

Since the start of 2016, Humana and its associates have moved ahead in each of the focus areas. For instance, the company’s pursuit of its Bold Goal – to improve the health of the communities Humana serves 20 percent by 2020 – has resulted in more “Healthy Days” in all but one of several Bold Goal communities.

Humana’s new CSR Progress Report features many examples of how Humana is committed to living its values, particularly ‘Inspire Health.’ From the health metrics Humana tracks to make sure its members’ health is continually improving … to Humana Foundation commitments across the country to invest in community health, the report summarizes progress on the Healthy People front.

For example, Humana’s Pharmacy team in Phoenix served diabetes patients beyond Humana’s membership earlier this year by donating more than 4,500 pounds of diabetic supplies, including insulin syringes, pen needles and test strips, to Insulin for Life USA. In partnership with this organization, Humana delivered insulin and disease-management supplies free of charge to diabetes patients in developing countries, who otherwise would likely go without these life-saving provisions.

Regarding Humana’s overall environmental sustainability focus (Healthy Planet), the report details environmental goals established in 2014, progress to date toward achieving the goals, and how the company and its associates are as dedicated as they have ever been to limit the company’s environmental footprint.

On Humana’s Healthy Performance objectives – which address the company’s ethics and compliance, governance, and diversity and inclusion focus – the report includes a number of examples of Humana’s progress since the start of 2016, including the creation of a Physician Executive Immersion Program to create a cohort of leaders focused on improving how the company partners with physicians.

The report also summarizes the recognition Humana has received from multiple outside organizations as a leader not only among health insurers but in all of health care for its corporate citizenship efforts.

Read the full report here.

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