healthy living

The medical community could improve the well-being of millions of older Americans by addressing how three social determinants of health – food insecurity, loneliness, and social isolation – are prohibiting them from achieving their best health, according to Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Beveridge wrote a blog post for Forbes titled “Are Social Determinants The Missing Key To Improving Health?” He noted that such social determinants of health may be as important as our physical determinants and genetic makeup. And he cited research showing that “consumer behavior (social connectedness), socioeconomic (family and social support) and environmental factors account for 60 percent of what determines a person’s health.”

“Social determinants are creating a more complex health picture for the people they impact, and we need to address them and find solutions,” he wrote. “To do so, it’s important to understand how social determinants differ from clinical diseases and how they impact specific individuals.

“If you’re food insecure, you won’t be healthy. If you’re lonely, you don’t take care of yourself. If you’re isolated, you’re going to eventually become depressed. Social determinants can lower a person’s resolve to make important lifestyle changes, directly impacting his or her health.”

He said the medical community “needs the time, tools and reimbursement to proactively screen for social determinants of health, and this requires evolved payment models that codify and compensate physicians for these screenings. Creative solutions must be developed to seamlessly and effortlessly connect physicians with community resources as part of the patient’s care plan. Feedback mechanisms are critical so physicians know their patients are using these resources.”

He also noted that, “We have a responsibility to expand our understanding of how risk factors like food insecurity, loneliness, and social isolation affect chronic conditions and then work to evolve the ways in which we address them. … As we think of clinical contributors to health, social determinants of health must become equally as important.”

Read the entire blog post here.

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Mary Lou Griffin, a great-grandmother from Olathe, Kansas, is achieving her best health with the help of Partners in Primary Care.

Recently, Griffin went skydiving to celebrate her upcoming 84th birthday. At Glider Sports in Clinton, Missouri, she completed a tandem jump as the sun set on the western Missouri town.

A KCTV5 segment credits Partners in Primary Care in the footage, and Griffin’s story was shared online at KCTV5.com. KCTV included a brief write-up and mentioned that, “Thanks to the medical team at the Partners in Primary Care Center, Mary Lou has her medical conditions all under control, including diabetes, congestive heart failure and arthritis.”

You can check it out here.

Mary Lou was one of the first patients at Partners in Primary Care in Kansas City, and she is well-known and loved by the staff at the Olathe location.

Partners in Primary Care, a subsidiary of Humana, currently has four locations in the Kansas City area and a total of 9 across the country. Each location specializes in providing senior-focused primary care to members of Medicare Advantage health plans.

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Making the best of your retirement means tending to your health as much as your 401K, IRA or stock portfolio, says Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard.

Bruce recently wrote a blog post for CNBC.com about the importance of taking care of your health in advance of retirement. He noted that three in four Americans aged 65 and older have multiple chronic conditions

You can read Bruce’s post here.

“When people reach retirement, they believe they can make up for decades of unhealthy behaviors — like sedentary lifestyles or poor eating habits — because they won’t be working as much and will have more time,” Bruce wrote. “While improving behavior will help at any stage, it won’t make up for years of unhealthy actions that have led to chronic conditions — from diabetes to heart disease.”

He said that having better habits now will pay big dividends later, and that the industry is evolving to make that easier.

“Technology is going to disrupt the health care experience, and it will enable us to have a highly detailed understanding of our core health numbers through advances in things like wearables, remote monitoring and electronic health records. But opening apps on your phone will only go so far,” he wrote. “Changing unhealthy behaviors starts with the individual. We all need to manage our health with the same vigilance we use for financial retirement planning. We should know our BMI numbers as well as our 401K balances.”

Read the full blog post here.

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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 — Leadership Lessons: Getting Lost Can Be a Good Thing — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

It’s hard to get lost today. Yet sometimes you need to get lost to find something you didn’t expect. This happened to me a few months ago at New York’s Penn Station.

I was traveling with my family, and we couldn’t find our train. We were lost, running late and stressed. I was fortunate to meet Jermaine Jones from Amtrak, who stopped what he was doing to help. I could tell that Jermaine was someone who could write a book on customer service. Given how my company serves 14 million people, I’m always intrigued when I encounter someone who clearly loves helping people.

I certainly wasn’t aware of Jermaine’s title (I learned later that he is the Amtrak Station Manager for Penn Station), but it was obvious that he led by going above and beyond. I knew he’d be the perfect keynote speaker for my company’s annual Perfect Experience Summit, a gathering of several thousand leaders who are there to discuss how we’re going to deliver the perfect experience for our customers.

An inspirational story – that’s still going on

Jermaine isn’t a professional speaker. He speaks from faith, passion and pain. Jermaine is just someone who loves helping people and is in the middle of his own career journey. But he does have an inspiring story.

In 2009, Jermaine lost his job at DHL after 14 years, along with thousands of others. He didn’t have a backup plan, because he never thought it would happen to him. With a wife and three daughters to support, it was very difficult, personally and financially, for him and his family.

Jermaine was at one of the lowest points of his life. Sitting in his back yard late one night in the rain, he made a promise to God that if he ever managed to change his mindset, he would never think the same way again. Jermaine picked himself up and found out through a friend that Amtrak was hiring. After 25 resume submissions by his wife (Jermaine joked that she wanted him out of the house), and a rejection, he was hired as a baggage handler.

Yet in four short years, mainly due to his new attitude, how his actions reflected it and leaders within Amtrak noticing his talent, Jermaine was promoted to Station Manager of New York Penn Station, easily one of Amtrak’s busiest stations. He has been a Station Manager in New York Penn Station for four years and has been at Amtrak a total of seven years and six months.

Jermaine even managed to start Brothers Making a Difference of New Jersey, an all-volunteer-based “nonprofit organization aimed at enriching the lives of youth academically, culturally and professionally.” He has run it for nearly six years.

Five lessons in leadership – regardless of industry

Jermaine did not disappoint and delivered an inspiring and timeless message to our leaders. Some highlights:

Going the extra mile is never crowded. If you are looking for no traffic, go the extra mile. Given my experience with Jermaine, it’s clear that he goes the extra mile for the customer. As leaders, we should strive to deliver a perfect experience and inspire others to do the same. It’s often the small stuff that turns out to be the big stuff in positively impacting someone’s day.

Don’t let the people change you; you change the people. That’s how you hold yourself accountable. Jermaine has a very outgoing, positive attitude, and when he first started his baggage job, some of his colleagues told him to calm down. Jermaine felt that people sometimes look to contaminate you. He knows that when you’re serving your customers, you need to be true to yourself and set an example that can inspire others. Customers deserve the best you can offer them.

Hold yourself accountable, even when no one is watching. Jermaine told our leaders that he never thought that if he changed his way of thinking, his entire life would change. He chalks this up to accountability. He knew that he could pass the blame to others. Yet when he looked in the mirror, he knew he had to be accountable. It’s always easy to blame others (we’ve all done it), but we owe ourselves more.

Your setbacks can become a setup for your comeback. 2009 was a challenging year for our country’s economy. Yet Jermaine brought up a great point. We all get knocked down. Use it as a way to address your faults so you can succeed the next time. For Jermaine, the toughest job was changing his own mindset.

Treat everyone you meet like they are the CEO. Jermaine said that if you treat everyone you encounter as the CEO, you never have to change your behavior because it becomes a lifestyle. Regardless of where you stand in your organization, leadership is not defined by titles but by actions. Give your employees and customers the best service you can.

Jermaine says character is built when no one is watching. As leaders, we have a responsibility to provide the best service to our customers and the best leadership to inspire our teams. Both deserve nothing less. We must always give our best, especially when no one is watching.

In any career journey, you will have success and failure. It’s important to learn how to stay the course. But don’t forget that getting lost can have its advantages, like it did for me that day in Penn Station.

 

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Humana’s purpose-driven culture drives engagement at the company, inspiring and aligning the whole organization around a shared vision of lifelong well-being, according to Tim State, Senior Vice President, Associate Health & Well-being.

Tim recently spoke with The Human Capital Institute (HCI) for its Nine-To-Thrive Podcast, which features leading HR practitioners — as well as authors, academics and other thought-leaders — who offer insights on “everything from talent acquisition and analytics to engagement, retention, and development.”

Tim said having a shared vision – like Humana’s Bold Goal – can help employees better connect with their work and brings clarity and energy to their roles. By taking a whole-person approach to well-being, and meeting people where they are on their own health journeys, Humana has created a vibrant social movement aligned with the Bold Goal. Experiences like the upcoming 100 Day Dash fuel that movement.

“Roughly 90 percent of our employees say that Humana’s purpose and our Bold Goal inspires them,” Tim said. “So that’s pretty tremendous in its ability to motivate a sense of optimism among the team and a sense of commitment to what we’re doing. It’s that kind of alignment and inspiration that will show up in the little things that our teammates do every single day on behalf of those that we serve.”

In the podcast, Tim shares his passion for well-being in the workplace and describes how it drives human and organizational performance.

HCI describes the conversation like this: “When your company is packed with purpose, it makes a real difference in the workday, and in employees’ lives after office hours. A purpose-driven organization makes great business decisions, attracts and retains the best people, and provides top service to the customers and communities it serves.”

Listen to the podcast here.

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