healthy living

The Humana Foundation is investing more than $1.8 million in two San Antonio projects as part of its new Strategic Community Investment work.

The Humana Foundation will invest $1,020,000 and partner with OATS to bring the Senior Planet program to San Antonio and change the way people age by giving seniors free access to internet-connected technology. Courses are delivered in a group setting by professional instructors in Spanish and English in a flagship Senior Planet San Antonio Exploration Center and at least 6 local partner organizations across the city.

Additionally, the Humana Foundation will invest $833,000 in partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank creating the Senior Wellness Intervention Model (SWIM). The SWIM program will provide seniors who screen positive for food insecurity with comprehensive services that stabilize their household and address prevalent health issues. Clinics and other health partners will make referrals to the Food Bank, which will pair the participant with a personal Nutrition Navigator who will provide locally sourced produce and supplemental food boxes to address the immediate needs of food insecurity. The Nutrition Navigators will also connect seniors with federal programs, nutrition education and wrap around services for their long-term needs, including transportation to Saturday Senior’s Day, an expansion of the monthly farmer’s market at the San Antonio Food Bank.

The two investments are part of the Foundation’s new Strategic Community Investments work. Through the program, the Foundation will invest $7 million in 2018 in nonprofit organizations operating in seven communities: San Antonio, Texas; Louisville, Ky., Baton Rouge, La.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Broward County, Fla.

In each of these communities, Humana is pursuing its “Bold Goal” to improve the health of the communities Humana serves 20 percent by 2020.The Humana Foundation is investing in nonprofit organizations that address food security, social connection, post-secondary success (sustained employment), and asset security, four social determinants of health that significantly impact people’s overall health and well-being. Social determinants are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age that impact overall health and well-being.

About the Humana Foundation
The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the Foundation seeks to co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. For more information, visit humanafoundation.org.

Humana and the Humana Foundation are dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our employees, the communities we serve, and our planet.

About OATS
OATS is a social impact technology organization that builds sustainable new systems to change the way people age. They partner with government agencies, community-based organizations, national advocacy groups, and major corporations to engineer solutions that put technology in the hands of older adults to achieve meaningful outcomes, including improving their health, social engagement, finances, learning, and creative expression.

About the San Antonio Food Bank
Founded in 1980, the San Antonio Food Bank serves 58,000 individuals a week in a 16 county service area, one of the largest in Texas. Their strategy is to provide:
• Food for today, by providing emergency assistance is available to any person(s) who walk through their doors;
• Food for tomorrow, by helping clients access resources they need to stabilize their lives going forward, through their benefits assistance center, job training programs, and other resources;
• Food for a lifetime, by providing nutrition, health, wellness, and agricultural programs that take a holistic approach to nourishment.
San Antonio Food Bank is often referenced by name by other large food banks as being best-in-class. They have pioneered programs and shared best practices across the Feeding America network, enabling other communities to adopt and adapt their innovations.

Read Full Article

The Humana Foundation is investing $720,000 in the Geaux Get Healthy program and partnering with Healthy BR to fight food insecurity and social isolation.

The Geaux Get Healthy project will make the greatest impact in Baton Rouge zip codes with high rates of food insecurity and social isolation by offering:

   • Numerous access points for purchasing fresh food at an affordable price
   • Mechanisms for sustaining that access through urban agriculture
   • Education and hands-on demonstrations and tastings to increase consumption of fresh food
   • Opportunities to connect with other members of the community in a way that is meaningful and supportive

In total, Geaux Get Healthy will receive more than $1 million to address Baton Rouge food deserts, thanks to funding from the Humana Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.

The investment is part of the Foundation’s new Strategic Community Investments work. Through the program, the Foundation will invest $7 million in 2018 in nonprofit organizations operating in seven communities: San Antonio, Texas; Louisville, Ky., Baton Rouge, La.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Broward County, Fla.

In each of these communities, Humana is pursuing its “Bold Goal” to improve the health of the communities Humana serves 20 percent by 2020.The Humana Foundation is investing in nonprofit organizations that address food security, social connection, post-secondary success (sustained employment) and asset security, four social determinants of health that significantly impact people’s overall health and well-being. Social determinants are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age that impact overall health and well-being.

About the Humana Foundation
The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the Foundation seeks to co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. For more information, visit humanafoundation.org.

Humana and the Humana Foundation are dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our employees, the communities we serve, and our planet.

About Healthy BR
HealthyBR brings together more than 90 hospitals, non-profit organizations, local businesses, schools, and governmental institutions that collaborate to significantly impact Baton Rouge’s health priorities. Their success in bringing together key stakeholders to work toward common goals designed to make Baton Rouge a healthier city for all is a shining example of population health management. HealthyBR serves as a best practice model for other cities, has been recognized with the American Hospital Association’s prestigious NOVA award, and participates in the National League of Cities’ Learning Collaborative on Health Disparities. Visit www.healthybr.com to learn more.

Read Full Article

Humana has again earned top Gold status in the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index, a self-assessment scorecard that measures the comprehensiveness and quality of a company’s workplace health program, and the overall heart health of its employees.

The index, produced by the Association’s Center for Workplace Health Research and Evaluation, measures multiple organizational best practices and compares that data across peer companies. Humana scored in the 99thpercentile overall among over 1,000 companies, demonstrating excellence in multiple best-practice areas – including leadership, communications, programs, engagement and partnerships.

This is the second year that the AHA has offered Gold-level recognition, and the second year that Humana has been honored.

“Humana employees have embraced the common cause of well-being, and together we’ve achieved a heightened sense of purpose, belonging, health and security,” said Tim State, Senior Vice President of Associate Health and Well-being at Humana. “There’s tremendous energy and power that comes from thousands of unique and personal well-being journeys evolving into a social movement we share. That’s the Humana community, and we’re proud of our commitment to better care for ourselves, our peers and our customers.”

Learn more from our press release.

Read Full Article

Humana has been recognized by The National Organization on Disability (NOD) as one of the 2018 NOD Leading Disability Employers. The NOD Leading Disability Employer seal recognizes companies that demonstrate exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities.

Now in its third year, this annual recognition honors organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring and encouraging others to do the same. NOD cites a strong consumer preference for companies that employ people with disabilities and greater employee engagement across the workforce.

The winning organizations were announced at NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council Annual Forum, New Frontiers in Disability Employment.

“We’re proud to be included on this list,” said Maria Hughes, Humana Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. “Our commitment to Inclusion & Diversity means helping our employees and our members – many of whom have disabilities and chronic health issues — achieve lifelong well-being in every aspect of their lives.”

Diversity is a business imperative at Humana, and success means recognizing and celebrating the unique characteristics, backgrounds and beliefs of our employees and tapping into that knowledge to inspire innovative and strategic thinking. To help with that, Humana launched a Network Resource Group for people with disabilities — called ACCESS — in 2017.

ACCESS advocates for the inclusiveness of those impacted by disabilities — within Humana and the members we serve – by challenging the status quo and breaking down barriers. The group helps bridge the gap in communication among employees, provides leadership on disability-related topics, shines a light on myths, and provides career-building and learning opportunities.

“Our company culture thrives when all of our associates, with all of their unique backgrounds and experiences, are allowed to contribute in meaningful ways,” said ACCESS Executive Sponsor Cindy Zipperle, Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller. “By empowering our disabled colleagues, we can better reflect and build strong relationships with the communities we serve.”

Read the full press release here.

Read Full Article

Work has changed in America, and our notion of work is evolving along with society.

Thanks to advances in science, from antibiotics to vaccinations, life expectancy in the U.S. has increased. In 1900 it was 46 years for men and 48 for women; it’s now 77 years for men and 81 for women.

Today’s work environment is less dangerous and taxing, thanks to a century of new safety laws, machines and computers that have transformed offices and factories. The demands on our lives and our bodies are not what they once were.

People also have more opportunities due to advances in transportation, with breakthrough ideas like ride-hailing apps and rapid light rail. Such options within cities are enabling many, particularly seniors, to get out of their homes more often.

But our views on retirement — a concept introduced in 1935 with the passage of the Social Security Act — have not kept pace. There is still a negative bias in how we view people over the age of 65. That needs to change, because there is nothing but disruption on the horizon when it comes to aging.

It’s a “Booming” World

Baby boomers are demanding better, in all aspects of their lives, and businesses will have to find new ways to market to these new “seniors.” That’s why I turned to an expert on how the U.S. business community is missing the mark when it comes to helping boomers age into retirement.

I recently asked Joe Coughlin, author of “The Longevity Economy,” to speak at a company leadership meeting. Coughlin says the older adult market is misunderstood, and he cites several examples, both good and bad, of how companies try to serve them.

Here are some of my observations from the book and Coughlin’s visit with our team.

Product design needs to address the needs of seniors. One of the main takeaways I had from the book, and from my talk with Joe, is the importance of respectfully designing products that address the needs and desires of older adults. That means treating them not as a set of problems but as “full-fledged members of society with recognizable wants, needs, and ambitions,” as Joe puts it.

In many cases, products are designed by young engineers who don’t understand or account for the needs of seniors.

Coughlin cites BMW’s 2001 debut of “IDrive,” a joystick designed to simplify dashboard controls. Coughlin says many people hated it, especially seniors. That’s an issue because older people are a big part of BMW’s customer base. Although BMW fixed the problem, it’s a great example of older adults not being part of the design process.

65 is no longer the real retirement age for baby boomers and countless others. More and more boomers are remaining in their current jobs or choosing others, which is a good thing when you consider the brain drain. When we think of retirement, we traditionally think of age 65 (Medicare eligibility) with Social Security now kicking in at age 66. . But let’s be honest: For many, age is only a number; it’s not an indication of ability.

A few years ago, I wrote on LinkedIn about how my own father got bored in retirement and went back to work as a network engineer (Update: he stills loves doing it and feels it’s given him a real boost in his life).

It’s clear that my father and tens of millions of others are not going to fade away, but live life on their terms. More and more boomers are raising their grandchildren, going back to work, and starting their own businesses.

A bias in how seniors are portrayed in the media is not helping matters. Coughlin explored the misperceptions around older adults and how many of us “expect older people to live apart, quietly sequestered away in retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes, surfacing to shop and dine only when everyone else is at work.”

This negative perception reminded me of how my company sponsored research examining the negative stereotypes of seniors in the 100 highest-grossing movies of 2015. The research showed that seniors were ridiculed, as well as “underrepresented, mischaracterized and demeaned by ageist language.” Findings also showed that “out of 57 films that featured a leading or supporting senior character, 30 featured ageist comments.”

At Humana, we’ve done our own research which shows that aging with optimism improves a person’s health. We also firmly believe that older adults are solid contributors to the workforce because of the proven skills, capabilities, and experience they bring.

Every stage in a person’s life needs to have a clearly defined purpose, especially the last one. Coughlin writes that there are four “chunks” of life, each of which is composed of roughly 8,000 days. The first covers birth to college; the second, college to midlife; the third, midlife to retirement; and the last covers retirement and beyond.

An 8,000-day chunk is about 20 years. Yet while it’s easy for many of us to plan for the first three “chunks,” we need to realize that the last one could go on much longer than two decades. We as a society need to embrace retirement as useful longevity.

Today’s 65-year-old is very different from today’s 85-year-old. That’s why personalization and understanding the stages in 8,000 days is critical. With Baby Boomers now aging into their unique and dynamic version of retirement, just imagine what this new generation of seniors will be able to accomplish from ages 65 to 85, and beyond.

As a person’s health, financial and social needs increase with age, there is an opportunity not just to guide people through the fourth “chunk,” but to help them live life to its fullest potential.

The path forward

We need to look at older adults as a very active, very participatory segment of our society. They’re going to retire the term “retirement.” And that’s a good thing.

At Humana, we’re committed to addressing the needs of our 3.3 million Medicare Advantage members. Every one of our members is unique, and they certainly do not intend to fade into the background at age 65.

The Baby Boomers will change the concept of retirement, and the American business community will have to innovate in ways that meet their needs. Let’s harness the power of imagination to help seniors live their best lives.

Read Full Article