BluesWeek: Helping Health Care Consumers Benefit from Patient Safety Awareness Week

Starting today, we’ll be publishing BluesWeek, a weekly snapshot of initiatives, events and other newsworthy items, here on Blues Perspectives. It previously was an email advisory sent mostly to news media.

March 4-10 is Patient Safety Awareness Week, and the Blues will be spotlighting the issue with a series of blog posts featuring helpful tips and other resources for patients. Watch for posts here and on A Healthier Michigan on topics like things health care consumers can do to stay safe.

BCBSM is offering tips for how to “Get Your Plate in Shape” and make good food choices during National Nutrition Month. Registered dietitian Grace Derocha has simple suggestions available to help take the complexity out of nutrition. Occasional blog posts exploring the theme will also appear on A Healthier Michigan.

The Blues Community Challenge wraps up Saturday, March 10 in Lansing. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will award grants to the nine participating Lansing-area communities to support public health and wellness. The ceremony takes place at 9 a.m. at the Lansing Mall and includes health screenings, health and wellness displays, a celebratory walk through the mall and more.

There are two more Polar Plunge events taking place March 17 — one in Kalamazoo and another in Marquette. Participants jump into frigid waters to benefit Special Olympics Michigan. Blue Cross is encouraging employees and others to participate as part of a yearlong sponsorship of Special Olympics Michigan’s Healthy Athletes Program.

In case you missed it…

The March installment of the Healthier Michigan Radio Show takes an in-depth look at efforts to transform health care in Michigan. Joining host Ann Thomas were Dr. Jean Malouin, co-chair of the Michigan Primary Care Transformation project; Dr. Gina Buccalo, chief medical officer at St. John Providence Partners in Care; Dr. Kim Coleman, a Bloomfield Hills pediatrician who is part of the Blues’ Patient-Centered Medical Home program; and Marianne Udow, director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. You can still catch the show Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. on WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids, or download a podcast version or listen online here.

There are just a few short weeks remaining in the “Make the Play for Healthy Habits” kid video contest on A Healthier Michigan. Children in grades 4 through 8 have through March 25 to upload a video that creatively demonstrates their ideas to make Michigan healthier. The public will have the opportunity to vote on the final 10 contestants, and the winner gets a school assembly visit from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and an opportunity to guest blog on A Healthier Michigan.

Photo by UMHealthSystem

Promoting Wellness From the Inside Out: My Role as a Dietitian at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

I love what I do because I get to teach others about topics from healthy eating to exercise as a dietitian for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Wellness and Care Management Consulting team, but I also get to learn from the very smart people around me as well.

I thought it might be interesting to share some of the ways I get to help promote wellness with my fellow BCBSM employees, individuals and communities across the state.

Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition II

I feel so blessed to have participated as a health coach for the Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition II in 2010.  I had the honor of coaching the eventual winner of the competition, Steve Anderson on his way to victory. He lost 56 pounds during the 12 week competition. This was an experience that changed his life for the better.

In the end, not only did I help Steve, but I also learned so much. BCBSM promotes wellness for its employees and provides the tools needed for everyone to adopt healthier lifestyles.

BCBSM Wellness Week

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan celebrated Wellness Week at the Southfield and Detroit locations from January 24-28.  This was a perfect opportunity for employees to learn more about how to adopt  healthy lifestyles.  Each day during the week focused on different health-related topics, including:

  • Disease Prevention
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Rejuvenation
  • Stress Management

These topics are key in building a culture of wellness at the workplace. Does your employer advocate a culture of wellness at work? I’d love for you to share how your workplace supports healthy living.

As a health coach, dietitian and a certified diabetes educator, I was excited to participate in BCBSM’s Wellness Week as a presenter, but also as an employee. One of the most important steps of changing behaviors is taking time to learn, and then taking it a step further by acting on what is learned.

Wellness Celebrated by BCBSM Employees at University of Detroit

On January 16 2011, BCBSM employees were “Celebrating Wellness” at the University of Detroit Mercy versus Valparaiso game. This game was the kick-off to Healthy Weight Week.

At this game, I was an honorary guest coach with Tricia Keith, the vice president of Corporate Secretary and Services.  Sitting courtside was a blast. I love sports and the passion shown by the players. I received an award for the work I did with Steve Anderson, Detroit’s Biggest Loser and for helping Blue Cross lead Michigan to a healthier future.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan continues to advocate for a healthier you in the workplace, in the community and at home in your personal life. Let’s continue to work together to truly build a healthier Michigan.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!

Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes and weight-loss management educator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She is also a featured blogger on A Healthier Michigan where she shares her tips for living a healthier life. Continue reading about Grace on A Healthier Michigan.

 

National Walk@Lunch Day® celebrates the power of walking

The Michigan Blues will participate in National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 30th. This event, championed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, encourages people to take steps toward better health—even in the midst of a busy work day.
http://www.youtube.com/v/HN-Ft_-lJ_Q&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6Thirty Blues plans across the U.S. will celebrate National Walk @ Lunch Day this year. Participants are invited to extend their lunch break and walk for 30 minutes. The truth is, walking away from work—for at least a few minutes—has the potential to re-energize employees and increase productivity. Walking also keeps the heart healthy, burns calories and increases energy levels.
The Blues have a long history of encouraging people to walk. With the formation of WalkingWorks, the Blues have spread the word that walking provides significant health benefits. This Walking Works web site encourages people to begin a walking regimen and offers the tools necessary to make it happen. People can log their steps online, purchase pedometers, find health tips, and more.
So, grab your co-workers, friends and/or family members and take a walk during lunch on April 30th. And then, keep it going! Find the time to walk as much as possible. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

2009 National Walk@Lunch Day

Breathe easy – Michigan goes smoke-free

Beginning May 1, smoking won’t be allowed in most public places in Michigan. What does this mean for Michigan residents? The Dr. Ron Davis Smoke Free Air Law prohibits smoking in public places such as businesses, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, bowling alleys, concert halls, arenas, museums, mechanic shops, health facilities, nursing homes, education facilities and child care centers.

http://www.youtube.com/v/zBdhAvGciFo&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6

For non-smokers, it’s good news. It means enjoying dinner at a favorite restaurant or bowling with the family without being exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke. For smokers, the news may be a little irritating for those who enjoy smoking a cigarette while watching the big game at a bar or while spending an evening at a night club.
Whatever the case, non-smoker or smoker, everyone should agree that smoke-free air is cleaner air, and clean air is fundamental to good health. So, why not use this as an opportunity to stop smoking altogether? Easier said than done, right?

Kicking the habit is not easy but, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan program called Quit the Nic can help. Quit the Nic matches Blues members with registered nurse health coaches to help them develop action plans to quit smoking.


Interested in Quit the Nic? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members call
1-800-775-BLUE (2583).  Blue Care Network members call 1-800-811-1764.
To learn about Michigan’s smoke-free law, visit www.michigan.gov/smokefreelaw.

New Healthy Blue OutcomesSM Makes Health Care More Affordable

What if there was a plan that made health care more affordable for those who actually set and achieve healthy goals? Well now there is… 
We’re proud to announce the launch of Healthy Blue Outcomes, a groundbreaking outcome-based health care plan. Healthy Blue Outcomes is a new, innovative PPO that is part of the Blues’ Healthy Blue ChoicesSM suite of products, services and resources designed to promote personal wellness and member accountability. Learn more at bcbsm.com/outcomes.


The overall goal of this new product is to improve patient health and lower costs. This goal is achieved by providing people with the knowledge and resources to take control of their health by tying financial rewards to health outcomes as opposed to participation. Lowering your BMI, quitting sm
oking and controlling your blood pressure are just a few of the healthy outcomes you can be rewarded for achieving.
Both employees and employers WIN from participating in Healthy Blue Outcomes. Employees earn rewards by meeting health measurement criteria and by completing our online health assessment. Employers gain potential savings through increased productivity, reduced employee absenteeism and lower health care costs.
Let us know your thoughts about this new product, and if you think this is a health care option you’d consider for you or your company.

“Get Moving U.P.” revs up winter activity of 500 in Blue Cross and WELCUP’s challenge

They could have just hibernated like some Upper Peninsula critters. Instead, more than 500 U.P. folks took on or turned up their winter activities. Payoffs? Healthier lifestyles. More energy. Weight loss. All in a six-week winter fitness challenge. It’s another activity the Michigan Blues sponsors, with partners such as the Wellness Council of the U.P., to help lead all Michiganders to a healthier future.

Need help sticking to personal health goals? Blues wellness programs can help

Most of us know how to live healthier lives, but it’s another story to actually discipline ourselves to do it. Many of the chronic health conditions affecting people — and wreaking financial havoc on the health care system — can be controlled by diet, exercise and healthier lifestyle habits. Sometimes, we just need some support and guidance to make it happen.

There are more opportunities today to get the advice you need to successfully manage your health. As a recent story in the Detroit Free Press noted, more people are turning to wellness coaches and fitness experts to help them deal with issues like stress and weight management, wellness and to find ways to make personal health a priority.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members have wellness coaches and other resources readily available through BlueHealthConnection, our collection of health management programs, designed to provide information, assistance and resources to help our members take charge of their health.

In addition, the Blues are committed to building healthier communities by providing members with all kinds of incentives and support to improve personal well-being like discounted gym memberships, fitness equipment and groceries through bcbsm.com/xtras.  
The more we can support and empower people to take charge of their health, the more successful we will be in building a healthier Michigan.