Humana partnerships

Spending time outdoors can be good for your health, offering everything from improved cognitive performance to decreased stress levels, according to Will Shafroth, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, and Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer.

Next Avenue recently published a conversation between the two as they discussed the physical and mental benefits of visiting national parks and enjoying their natural beauty.

“Healthy recreation like walking, biking or playing is associated with physical, mental and spiritual health, as well as social well-being,” Dr. Beveridge said. “There is also evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments could have a variety of positive health benefits.

“Natural environments affect human health and well-being both directly and indirectly, according to the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science,” he wrote. “Urban green and outdoor areas provide opportunities for stress recovery and physical activity, in addition to offering spaces for social interactions, which are vital for mental health.

“Chronic stress, physical inactivity and lack of social cohesion are three major risk factors in people with poor health, and therefore exposure to abundant greenery and outdoor environments is an important asset for health promotion.”

The two noted that Humana and the National Park Foundation partnered with Florida International University and MetCare medical practices to introduce a Park Rx program that gave physicians and other care providers the ability to “prescribe” park activity to their patients. Analyzing the results showed that the program fostered better health and well-being by inspiring people to head outdoors.

“We need to make it easy for physicians to treat their patients, and not only with the necessary pharmaceuticals,” Dr Beveridge said. “We need to prescribe resources that engage patients in healthy activities that can lead to better lifestyle decisions and ultimately healthy behavior change. Physical activity is vital to achieving better health, and it’s up to us to make it easy for physicians to make those recommendations to their patients.”

Read the full conversation here.

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When your schedule is crammed full of work obligations and caregiving for family members, how do you squeeze in some much-needed “me time?”

If you take the advice of Domenica Robinson, Humana’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year, you’d find a volunteer activity that makes you feel happy and connected to your local community.

“Giving back to my community gives me ‘me time.’ It’s what I do for myself to feel good while also giving back to my community,” Domenica said. “I truly enjoy volunteering and giving people a little sunshine in their day – it makes me feel so good.”

Domenica, a Work Content Specialist who works from home in southern Indiana and stays busy caring for her grandson and her aging mother, is Humana’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year. She tracked 178 volunteer hours in the Humana Volunteer Network in 2017 – and more than 700 hours since 2008! Her very full volunteering schedule includes time at Kindred Hospice spending time with dementia and terminally ill patients, Floyd County Animal Rescue, and serving as a “master gardener” at local 4H clubs, parks and universities.

Humana selected Domenica as Volunteer of the Year based on her commitment to community well-being and the transformational impact of her volunteer work. She will receive a $10,000 grant from the Humana Foundation to Floyd County Animal Rescue League, one of the nonprofit organizations where Domenica volunteers.

Volunteerism is a tangible way Humana can impact the health and well-being of the communities we serve in a personally meaningful way while also increasing our own well-being and sense of purpose.

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The best leaders accept that they are not perfect, and they don’t demand perfection from those they lead. Instead, great leaders recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and surround themselves with people who have complementary skills, creating an effective team.

That was the message from Walter Woods, Chief Executive Officer of the Humana Foundation, at a recent Leadership Louisville conference. Walter spoke about “The Power of Passion and Perseverance” at the 2018 Leadership Summit – Leading in the New World of Work.

What leaders eventually accomplish depends more on their passion and perseverance for long-term goals than on their innate talent, Walter said. That’s important in a business environment that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).

He said the best leaders accept VUCA and lead through it with their strengths AND weaknesses. They also understand the leadership capabilities all organizations need:

• Sensemaking – interpreting developments in the business environment
• Relating – building trusting relationships
• Visioning – communicating a compelling image of the future
• Inventing – coming up with new ways of doing things

In short, leaders find and work with others who can provide the capabilities they’re missing. That takes clarity and passion, a fact Walter illustrated through his adventure travels, which have taken him to Antarctica, the North Pole and other far-off places.

Walter is a nonprofit veteran of 30 years and has served in a number of executive-level roles, with organizations ranging from the AARP Foundation, to The World Bank, to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, DC.

He leads the Humana Foundation as its strategy evolves to focus “upstream” on the root causes of illness and chronic conditions – such as social determinants of health — identifying solutions to help people lead their healthiest lives. This approach aligns with Humana’s “Bold Goal” of improving the health of the communities it serves 20 percent by 2020.

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Every year suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). In order to cover gaps in funding for research and suicide prevention, AFSP hosts Out of the Darkness walks on high school and college campuses around the country.

On April 8, 2018, Humana joined the University of Louisville for their event, which raised nearly $10,000. Humana supported the event as part of its initiative to improve the health of the community 20 percent by 2020. Behavioral health is focus areas for Humana and its partners on the Louisville Health Advisory Board. The behavioral health committee of the Board is designing and implementing community-wide, evidence-based, and data-driven programs to eliminate suicides in Louisville.

The University of Louisville’s Out of the Darkness walk had more than 150 participants, including Noemi Robinson, an analyst for Humana.

Noemi said, “Suicide not only harms the immediate family but also the community. Sunday was really cold but walking was an amazing way to support UofL and our community.”

Watch additional coverage of the event on WDRB and WLKY.

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The Humana Foundation is evolving, rethinking its giving process to hone in on health-focused community investments. The new giving strategy will address the root causes of health issues, creating improved and sustained positive health outcomes, and will focus on eight Bold Goal communities.

And, this new strategy will infuse $14 million into communities Humana serves in 2018 – approximately 20 percent more than the Foundation gave in 2017.

Through new Strategic Community Investment work, the Humana Foundation will invest $6.5 million in nonprofit organizations in eight Bold Goal communities: Louisville, San Antonio, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Knoxville, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Broward County.

Nonprofits in Louisville will also be able to participate in a new Headquarters Hometown Community Relations program. This initiative will infuse an additional $2 million into Louisville-area organizations, including nearly $1 million earmarked for established Foundation partners such as Metro United Way and Fund for the Arts.

Finally, the Foundation will give an additional $5.5 million in 2018 through popular and long-standing programs such as Humana Foundation scholarships and disaster-relief support. The Foundation will also increase its matching gifts program for associates.

For more information on the Foundation’s new giving process, read the Foundation’s news release and visit the Foundation’s website.

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