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.”
One Humana café is on a mission – to feed the community.
The Sodexo-operated cafe, known as the Winner’s Circle in Louisville’s Humana Unity Building (HUB), is following the “Better Tomorrow Plan” aimed at helping sustainability within communities.
Recently, Sodexo partnered with the Dare to Care food bank in Louisville to donate extra and/or expiring food items, helping eliminate waste and help feed the hungry. Twice a week, Sodexo chefs package the unsold food items and/or expiring food items at the end of the day for a Dare to Care food representative who picks it up and serves it to a Dare to Care food center that evening. Any items that are not appropriate to serve are given to a local farmer for compost.
In addition to these items, Sodexo also provides coffee and hot water for Dare to Care food bank recipients waiting in line during the winter – where some recipients wait in line for hours in the cold before the food bank opens.
“We try to support sustainability as much as possible from recycling to using local products to donating local foods so nothing hits landfills, unless it’s biodegradable or we can’t give it to someone else,” said Scott Bieber, Sodexo National Client Executive Chef at Humana.
Scott said while the Winner’s Circle is the only Humana food service location donating food right now, Sodexo hopes to implement this process at other locations throughout Humana soon.
Three Humana associates — Geeta Wilson, A.J. Hubbard and Michele Koch – have received community honors in Louisville.
Geeta, Vice President, Consumer Experience, has been named one of Louisville Business First’s People to Know. A.J. and Michele are both Bingham Fellows for the Leadership Louisville Center. A.J. is Director, Inclusion and Diversity, and Michele is Manager, Talent and Performance Management.
“Bingham Fellows is the center’s advanced leadership program,” wrote Louisville’s Business First. “The topic for the 2017 Bingham Fellows program is ‘winning the talent of the future.’ The class will work to advance Louisville’s ability to develop, retain and attract the talent it needs to compete and thrive.”
Geeta spoke with the newspaper about Humana’s journey toward becoming a well-being company and the importance of “putting the consumer at the center of our strategy and examining everything we do through their eyes.”
She talked about Humana’s Bold Goal and how her team “is contributing by tackling our members’ greatest pain points to deliver an extraordinary customer experience.”
“Humana is invested in our members’ health in ways people may not consider,” she told the publication. “For example, we’re testing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in our call centers to help Humana agents recognize when conversations hit a snag or escalate into frustration. The AI tool alerts them, in real time, about how they can improve the call and course-correct while they are still interacting with the customer. At that point, they can recover the call and turn it positive again. Positive interactions communicate to our members that Humana cares, that they’ve been heard and that their health is important to us.”
Asked about the biggest challenge facing the industry, Geeta cited chronic conditions.
“For a variety of reasons, health remains elusive for many people in the United States,” she said. “The CDC reports that chronic diseases – many of which are preventable through proactive measures- account for 86 percent of our country’s health care costs. We can solve for this by engaging with consumers one-on-one with simple-to-use technology and relatable health experts (in most cases, the individual’s primary care physician). At Humana, we’re supporting primary care doctors as well as looking at ways to motivate people through programs like Go365 and increased access to care through home care (Humana At Home) and telemedicine.”
Humana has come a long way in understanding diabetes and learning how to make health easier for our members, said Chris Kay, Chief Innovation Officer, in kicking off World Diabetes Day events at the Louisville headquarters. But he urged those in attendance to keep learning, to keep empathizing with members, and to keep finding new pathways for treating the disease, noting that nine percent of the world’s population has diabetes.
“This is a goal in action; this is a goal that is working,” he said.
He said that over 4,000 Humana associates have participated in the Diabetes Prevention Program, with 75 percent completing the program and losing an average 3 to 4 percent of body weight.
“Said another way, 24 percent of those who have had problems managing their blood glucose level have brought their numbers back into control,” he said.
He lauded the passion, enthusiasm, expertise and caring of Humana associates as they help diabetics gain control of their disease and get back to living.
Multiple experiential exhibits showcased diabetes-related topics like associate well-being, Humana’s Bold Goal, diabetic foot wounds and care, MyDiabetes Path, Humana’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and the Humana Guidance Centers and fitness centers.
Several panel discussions took place in the afternoon, the first led by Tim State, Vice President, Associate Health and Well-being; Pattie Dale Tye, Segment Vice President; and Sarah Ahmad, Vice President of Consumer Health Solutions.
“I have the privilege of waking up every morning and thinking about the health and well-being of our associate community,” Tim said. “Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Nine out of 10 cases of diabetes can be prevented, but nine out of 10 people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it. If one associate in our community goes on to develop diabetes – though there might have been something we could do to help prevent it – that’s personal to me, and to all of us.”
Sarah talked about the importance of understanding consumer needs, spending time with people with diabetes and truly understanding the barriers to health.
“I’ve met so many people who touched me personally and made me realize how tough it is every day to make decisions and choices that are good, healthy habits,” she said. “It’s tough, and there are so many different things coming at people. Seeing people thinking about diabetes, and making that top of mind when there’s so many other things that they’re facing, was a big insight for me.”
She talked about her family’s history of diabetes and her father’s successful effort to keep his pre-diabetes from progressing. “I didn’t know how personal this was for me until I started this work around diabetes.”
Pattie Dale, who leads Humana’s Bold Goal efforts, said diabetes was at the top of the list among all Humana Bold Goal communities when they sought help dealing with barriers to health.
She talked about the importance of making it easy for people to achieve their best health.
“It is very hard to be healthy,” she said, noting that 29 percent of Humana’s Medicare Advantage membership has diabetes. “What we work to do, is help our communities find ways to impact diet, exercise and adherence to medications. We’ve had success, but this is long-journey work.”
Sarah mentioned Humana’s work with Omada and Livongo, companies that provide digital therapeutics to help diabetics, and MyStandards, a diabetes education program co-created with the American Diabetes Association.
And Pattie Dale spoke about the importance of “social determinants of health.”
“Twenty percent of our Medicare Advantage members have an annual income of less than $20,000 a year,” she said. “That means those folks don’t always have an option with transportation to their doctor’s office, with what they get to eat, with healthy neighborhoods to engage in. And that’s a lot of where the work we do comes in with the community. Those social determinants of health are going to get in the way of someone trying to do the right thing for their health.”
In San Antonio, Humana has been working with MCCI and the San Antonio Food Bank to help seniors who are food insecure. “If they’re going without food, they’re probably going without medication,” she said.
She also spoke of a Humana program in South Florida that screens people to find those who are food insecure.
A second session featured three Humana associates – Susan Jones, Ed Kaywork and Yonbretta Stewart – talking about their own experience with diabetes.
Susan has Type 1 diabetes and says it has dramatically changed her lifestyle.
“I have to plan ahead, and I have to think ahead,” she said. “I’ve never met a doughnut that I didn’t like.”
She explained her continuous glucose monitor and her glucose pump.
Ed has a son with Type 1 diabetes, and he talked about the importance of managing the disease while also cultivating a healthy family life.
“You get to focus on what’s most important,” he said. “When there’s that type of illness in the house, it tends to bring a lot more love and a lot less nonsense to the forefront.”
Yonbretta has family members dealing with Type 2 diabetes. With the help of a Humana-sponsored DPP program, she’s made lifestyle changes to avoid it and to set a good example for her son. “My purpose is to be here for my son,” she said.
“We’ve changed our eating habits; we’ve even changed our routines,” she said. “We rip and run all the time; I’m super busy. My son plays football, basketball, baseball. We’re constantly going. But knowing that I can still adapt what I’ve learned from the program into my busy lifestyle is what pulled me in. There are gradual changes that we make, and these are things we learn during the class.”
The third panel discussion of the day featured Shannon Horsley, Colin Drylie, Stephanie Weidenborner and Sonja Soto talking about the importance of diabetic foot care.
Sonja is a nurse who has diabetes, and she has firsthand experience with retinopathy and other complications. She had a high-risk pregnancy, and she’s currently managing a foot ulcer.
“I’m really here just to put a different face on what, in your mind, a diabetic person would present like,” she said. “I’ve had diabetes for 33 years; I’ve been a nurse for 21 years.”
Colin, a member of Humana’s Innovation team, talked about the importance of visiting members in their homes to see firsthand their barriers to health and to learn what inspires them to live better – whether it’s visits with family, outings with friends, or personal interests and hobbies.
“It’s not just about removing barriers, it’s about helping people latch onto what’s motivating them,” he said.
Louisville’s WLKY-TV reported this week on the Humana-sponsored Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit, an effort to bring together thought leaders and community partners to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
The Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit is the work of the Bold Goal Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) Behavioral Health Committee and One Love Louisville. The LHAB is a cross-sector group of community organizations and leaders working to improve physical, mental and social well-being where residents of Kentuckiana live, work, worship, learn and play.
In August 2015, Humana convened more than 150 community influencers to align on how to improve our community’s health 20% by 2020. Members of the Behavioral Health committee were struck by one statistic in particular – Louisville ranks 8th in terms of highest rate of suicide compared to 50 peer cities.
This group then planned the Summit to bring together influencers across sectors – education, police, EMS, hospitals, Department of Health, employers – to discuss solutions. The event was designed to:
• Increase community responsibility for eliminating suicides
• Provide tools and resources to address the issue of suicide
• Discuss Zero Suicide as a community goal
• Create a community coalition to reduce suicide