Federal agencies urged to push wellness participation | Tenn. county workers plant wellness garden | Financial wellness becomes important part of benefits plans

April 20, 2015
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

Wellness Programs & Trends
Federal agencies urged to push wellness participation
An Office of Personnel Management memo to federal agencies makes a business case for encouraging workers to participate in wellness programs. The memo, part of a wellness campaign at federal agency work sites, said healthier workers can improve productivity and employee engagement, while reducing health and disability costs. FedWeek (4/16)
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Tenn. county workers plant wellness garden
Workers at Tennessee's Shelby County Health Department are planting an Employee Wellness Garden to help lead county wellness efforts by example. The department's employees will keep the produce they grow in the garden and officials hope visitors and patients who see it will be inspired. The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) (free content) (4/17)
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Other News
Why Success Is Less About Your Business and More About Aging Well
Do you have the qualities needed to age successfully? These 5 improvements may help the second half of your life be a smashing success. Read the featured article.

Fla. elementary students test standing desks
Students at Belle Terre Elementary School in Palm Coast, Fla., are testing the LearnFit standing desk, which is equipped with wheels and can be moved throughout the classroom. One study found students who stood during class burned more calories than those who sat. The desk manufacturer, Ergotron, is gathering feedback on the desks from students, teachers and principals. FoxNews.com (4/17)
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Health News & Research
Survey: Many believe light smoking doesn't raise cancer risks
A French survey of more than 1,400 individuals found 34% thought smoking up to 10 cigarettes each day did not increase their lung cancer risk, while fewer than 40% of current smokers were aware that there is still a risk of lung cancer even after they stopped smoking. The study, presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference, indicates more public health education is needed, researchers said. DailyRx.com (4/17)
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Long-term aspirin intake tied to lower risk of GI cancer
Researchers found that people who regularly took 325 milligrams of aspirin at least twice a week over the long term are less likely to develop gastrointestinal cancers such as esophageal, colon and rectal cancer. Benefit was dose-dependent and largest when patients took aspirin for 16 years or more. However, lead researcher Yin Cao said more information is needed before clinicians recommend people take aspirin specifically to prevent cancer. The study was scheduled for discussion at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. HealthDay News (4/19)
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Experts predict severe but short allergy season
The long, difficult winter is ending late, causing a variety of trees and other plants to bloom at once, said allergist Joseph Leija. The result is a severe spring allergy season, but also a shorter season. Experts recommend measures such as keeping windows closed, using air conditioning and changing clothing and washing pollen out of hair before bed. HealthDay News (4/17)
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Schools & Community
University of Utah pledges to spend more on fresh, local food
The University of Utah has joined the Real Food Challenge and committed to spending 20% of its food budget on fresh, local food over the next five years. About 11% of the university's $2.25 million food budget currently goes toward purchasing "real food," and its food service provider has said additional products will be added without raising prices. The Deseret News (Salt Lake City)/The Associated Press (4/19)
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Fla. program teaches nutrition basics to children, parents
A farm-to-school program through the White Harvest Farms Educational Center is teaching Jacksonville, Fla., students who live in food desert neighborhoods about farming, gardening, preparing foods and other nutrition basics. Students get six weeks of training and then the program brings in their parents to teach them about nutrition as well. The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) (4/20)
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Wellness Industry Developments
Share your solutions at an Institute exhibit booth
Share your solutions and interact with health plan decision makers from an exhibit booth at Institute 2015, AHIP’s flagship conference. Choose from a 10’x10’ or a 10’x20’ booth, and consider adding on a food or beverage sponsorship to draw even more traffic to your booth. For pricing and availability, contact our Business Development Team.
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An array of benefits for accountable care affiliates
AHIP’s newest membership category, Accountable Care Affiliate, offers provider-based organizations such as health systems, hospitals and physician organizations added support to promote accountable care. Benefits include access to AHIP’s clinical, policy and public affairs resource center, networking opportunities, and discounts on professional education. Learn more.
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There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."
-- Aldous Huxley,
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Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AHIP endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AHIP.
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Editor:  Kathryn Doherty
Managing Editor:  Yvonne Chanatry
Advertising:  Deanie Griffin

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