Fitness coach helps fire department reduce work-related injuries, health costs | Keep fattening snacks out of sight at work, dietitians say | Experts say wellness programs can help control budgets
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October 17, 2014
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

Wellness Programs & Trends
Fitness coach helps fire department reduce work-related injuries, health costs
Data show having a full-time fitness coach at the Sacramento, Calif., fire department reduced musculoskeletal injury costs and the average yearly injury rate, as well as the severity of injuries incurred on the job. John Hofman, the department's strength and conditioning coach, said even though exercise can be linked to injury, the costs are lower than for injuries associated with job duties. Fire Engineering (10/16)
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Keep fattening snacks out of sight at work, dietitians say
Registered dietitians say resisting the temptation of unhealthy snacks at the office may be easier if people bring their own healthy treats to work and make sure they have a lunch that provides adequate energy. RD Samantha Cassetty said keeping candy and fattening snacks out of sight reduces the urge to nibble, and RD Keri Gans suggests having almonds, pistachios or dried cherries on hand as healthy alternatives. The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (10/17)
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Other News
Exercise may lower risk of depression in adults, study says
U.K. research on more than 11,000 adults linked higher levels of physical activity to a lower risk of depression and to a reduction in depression symptoms, according to a report on the website of JAMA Psychiatry. The researchers noted, however, that being depressed could make it more difficult for people to begin exercising. HealthDay News (10/16)
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Health News & Research
Study links depression, obesity in adults
Study data showed that 43% of adults with depression also were obese, and 55% of patients taking antidepressants were obese. Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics said the data did not suggest a reason for the association, but Tony Tang of the University of Pennsylvania said obesity may be linked to self-esteem, social and health problems that could lead to depression. HealthDay News (10/16)
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Study links severe psoriasis to higher hypertension risk
An analysis of data on more than 13,000 adults in the U.K. found that severe psoriasis was associated with a 48% greater risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure. The study, published in JAMA Dermatology, found an association between psoriasis and cardiovascular health, but it did not establish a causal link between the diseases. HealthDay News (10/15)
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Data on required exercise may help teens make better beverage choices
A study on the website of the American Journal of Public Health found a decline in soda purchases and an increase in water consumption when teens were informed that it would take a five-mile walk to burn calories from a bottle of soda, sports drink or fruit juice. HealthDay News (10/16)
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Emotional support lessens health impact of poverty in black teens
Living in neighborhoods of worsening poverty was associated with increased odds of risk factors for chronic conditions among black teens, but having a strong emotional support system seemed to block poverty's impact on their health, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. Reuters (10/16)
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Schools & Community
Neb. school district wins award for serving plant-based meals
Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska was awarded the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's Golden Carrot Award during National School Lunch Week for its emphasis on plant-based meals. Director of nutrition services Edith Zumwalt said the district spent more than $1.1 million on produce for meals served to its 38,000 students last year. KOLN-TV/KGIN-TV (Nebraska) (10/16)
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Wellness Industry Developments
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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Webinar: Consumer engagement meets culture and plain language
Helping today's increasingly diverse population of consumers to access insurance, use their benefits and play a central role in their own health demands careful attention to cultural attributes and the clarity and simplicity of language. AHIP's webinar on Oct. 21 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT will provide specific examples of how health plans are leading efforts to promote health equity and increase consumer understanding and engagement. Register early!
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Medical Director - PhysicianWillamette Valley Community HealthSalem, OR
Senior Director, ResearchAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Regional Director, Southeastern Region - State AffairsAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Field Representative-Oklahoma and KansasNational Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
Stop Loss Sales ExecutiveBlue Cross Blue Shield of MABoston, MA
Deputy Director, MarketingAmerica's Heatlh Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Senior Director, ResearchAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Regional Director, Southeastern Region - State AffairsAmerica's Heatlh Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Click here to view more job listings.
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,
American psychiatrist
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