N.C. county launches employee wellness initiative | Improving management of employees with depression | CDC: More than 15% of US adults physically inactive
January 17, 2020
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
Wellness Programs & Trends
N.C. county launches employee wellness initiative
Haywood County, N.C., has launched a new wellness program for employees that includes a focus on preventive care, a nurse navigator, personal trainer, and dietitian. The county's emergency services department has had a partnership with a local hospital for the past two years, and Director Greg Shuping said it has led to a 60% reduction in on-the-job injuries.
The Mountaineer (Waynesville, N.C.) (1/15) 
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Improving management of employees with depression
Management teams need to learn more about depression and move beyond the current provisional approach to managing employees with the diagnosis, according to a panel of experts. Allowing a flexible schedule, simplifying an employee's scope of work and concentrating on positive outcomes are all strategies for effectively managing employees with depression, the group suggests.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (1/15) 
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CDC: More than 15% of US adults physically inactive
A CDC report showed more than 15% of US adults overall are physically inactive, ranging from 47.7% in Puerto Rico to 17.3% in Colorado. The South had an inactivity rate of 28%, compared with 25.6% in the Northeast, 25% in the Midwest, and 20.5% in the West.
HealthDay News (1/16),  Healio (free registration) (1/16) 
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Health News & Research
CDC notes drop in birth defect-related infant mortality
CDC researchers found that the overall rate of infant deaths due to birth defects in the US dropped by 10% between 2003 and 2017, with declines of 12% among whites, 11% among blacks and 4% among Hispanics during the same period. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed that the prevalence of birth defect-related infant mortality decreased by 20% to 29% among those born late-term or post-term, full-term or extremely preterm between 2003 and 2017, but rose by 17% among moderate and late preterm babies during the same period.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (1/16) 
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Study suggests women get high blood pressure earlier than men
A study published in JAMA Cardiology that included 43 years of data on 32,833 people ages 5 to 98 found hypertension might start at a younger age in women, compared with men, and increase faster. Women began to show faster increases in blood pressure in their 20s, compared with men, and the differences were maintained throughout life.
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/15) 
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Sleep disorders may contribute to cognitive disorder, dementia risk
Sleep disorders may contribute to cognitive disorder, dementia risk
Researchers found that middle-aged and older adults with sleep apnea had a 29% increased likelihood of developing cognitive problems, while those with insomnia were 27% more likely to experience cognitive declines, and risk was 24% higher among those with sleep inefficiency. The findings in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry also showed a 25% higher dementia risk among those with inadequate sleep.
Reuters (1/15) 
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Study links Smart Snacks program to lower fat, sugar intake
A study in JAMA Network Open found implementing the Smart Snacks in School standards in 310 US public schools was associated with a mean decrease of 53.9 kilocalories per day from solid fats and sugars. Students in states with Smart Snacks in School laws consumed fewer kcals from solid fats and added sugars, compared with students in states that did not have laws requiring implementation of the program.
The American Journal of Managed Care online (1/15) 
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Schools & Community
Vt. considers mandate for free school meals
Lawmakers in Vermont are considering a bill to mandate universal meals for all students in its public schools. While the cost of the proposal is still being debated, advocates say the mandate would expand access to food for students, particularly those who are food insecure, and release staff and parents from dealing with student meal accounts.
WCAX-TV (Burlington, Vt.) (1/14),  VTDigger (Vermont) (1/14) 
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Alaska measure would require mental health instruction in schools
A measure from Democratic Alaska state Rep. Matt Claman would require school health curricula to include mental health instruction. The bill looks to foster discussions about mental health and erase the stigma.
The Anchorage Press (Alaska) (1/15) 
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Wellness Industry Developments
Experience ah-ha! moments at Institute & Expo 2020 (June 17-18)
Institute & Expo 2020 is an incubator for big ideas, where innovation ignites positive change. Only AHIP can bring together so many experts, innovators, and visionaries who leverage private industry's best tools, tactics, and talents to transform health care. You'll experience countless ah-ha! moments. Register now and enjoy super-saver rates.
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The leadership mindset: Do you have what it takes?
AHIP's Executive Leadership Programs' (ELP) call for applications is now open. ELP Fellows are health plan leaders who will ask the tough questions. They have an acute interest in leading our health care system through positive change. Learn more and see if you meet the criteria. Application deadline is March 20.
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Webinars: 2020 Virtual Care - Register today
Join us Jan. 30 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for Healthcare Predictions for 2020 and the Role of Virtual Care as Teladoc Health discusses the impact of virtual care and how innovation is helping to prepare for the future. Discover virtual care's role in enabling strategic partnerships and see how it's making a difference around the globe.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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