Although the possibility of being diagnosed with breast cancer can be terrifying, doing all you can to get cancer detected early is a powerful step you can take.


The guidelines for screening mammograms are routinely reviewed by nationally recognized organizations. As a result, changes to the recommendations are inevitable. Although the organizations agree on many points, some differences do exist. The following recommendations are from two nationally recognized sources:

  • American Cancer Society (ACS)  recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 as long as the woman is in good health. Although this screening exam has limitations, most physicians believe mammograms save thousands of lives every year. WHA strongly suggests talking with your doctor about these recommendations and what the best option is for your health care needs.
  • United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends biennial (every two years) screening for women ages 50 to 74 years.
  • Breast cancer prevention also includes getting a clinical breast exam every three years for women in their 20s and 30s.
  • Remember: Clinical breast exams and regular screening mammograms are your best tools for catching breast cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat.

To get the best-quality mammogram:

  • Schedule your mammogram for a day when your breasts won’t be tender or swollen. This will make the exam more comfy and ensure the best possible image.
  • Don’t wear an antiperspirant or deodorant. Some contain substances that show up as white spots on the
    X-ray, which can make a mammogram difficult to read.
  • If you’ve noticed any breast symptoms, describe them to the technologist.

Get a Mammogram, Win a Gift Card!

You’ve earned it: After your mammogram, enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card.*

Simply complete the online form at mywha.org/women.

* To qualify, the exam must have been performed by a WHA provider within the past year and you must have been an active member at the time of service. Limited to one submission per year.

Watch this amazing video of breast cancer survivors sharing their stories and encouraging you to share yours. Support breast cancer awareness month. #BCAstrength


1. Take quicker steps. Pushing your pace will improve your cardiovascular fitness.

2. Use your arms. Bend your arms slightly and move them with your steps.

3. Don’t use weights. If you do, you may increase your risk of injury.

4. Walk up and down hills. Varying your grade will help you burn more calories.

5. Use a pedometer. A Stanford University study showed that participants increased physical activity by 27 percent when they kept track of their steps.

At Western Health Advantage, we believe that you deserve every opportunity to reach your health goals. With WHA you have access to a suite of health and wellness programs and resources, including:

  • 24/7 nurse advice via private chat or phone
  • Gym and fitness center discounts
  • Instructor-led classes and support groups
  • Healthyroads™ online wellness tools
  • A library of delicious yet healthy recipes
  • Preventive care resources and information

Visit mywha.org/healthyliving to take advantage of these resources and get started on your path to a healthier and happier life!


What do Adam Levine, Salma Hayek, and Justin Timberlake have in common? Well, other than fame and fortune, they are all living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Here are some common question and answers to help you learn more about this condition.

Q: What is ADHD?
A: ADHD is a common condition that affects the areas of the brain that help to control impulses, solve problems, plan ahead and understand the actions of others. The most common type is when people can’t seem to sit still and pay attention.

Q: How do I know if my child has ADHD?
A: The best way to find out is take note of your child’s behavior and actions. Watch for these symptoms then talk to your child’s doctor and let him or her know what you have noticed. Does your child:
• Daydream a lot?
• Forget or lose things a lot?
• Squirm or fidget?
• Talk too much?
• Make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks?
• Have a hard time resisting temptation?
• Have trouble taking turns?
• Have difficulty getting along with others?

Q: How long does ADHD last?
A: ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood.

Q: How is ADHD treated?
A: Since every child is different, how they respond to a particular treatment will vary. There are several options for parents. Your child’s doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:
Medication: Some patients have shown significant improvement, according to studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Behavioral Therapy: Combined with medication, behavioral therapy helps with a child’s coping skills and changing your child’s way of thinking.
Psychotherapy: This can help your child understand his or her behaviors and how to cope with them.

Q: Where can I learn more about ADHD?
A: There are several reliable sources that you can find online. Here are some that will give you the most accurate and evidence-based information:

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Pediatrics

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Child Development and Parenting Information

Children and Adults with ADHD

Institute of Mental Health

Sources: cdc.gov; aap.org; National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Education

Immunization Awareness
During the month of August, take the time to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.

Call your doctor today to see if you need to come in for a preventive immunization for you or a member of your family. As a Western Health Advantage member, preventive care services such as annual well visits and immunizations are part of your health plan, at no additional *cost to you.

*Coverage for WHA services depends on eligibility at the time of the service.

Getting vaccinated is an easy way to stay healthy all year round! To learn more about vaccinations, visit Vaccines.gov.


We are halfway through summer! Now is a good time to schedule those back to school physicals or annual wellness appointments with your doctor.

Most preventive care services are part of your medical plan, at no additional cost to you! By keeping your and your children’s immunizations (vaccinations) up-to-date, you are taking an active role in helping to protect against communicable diseases. Your doctor can tell you which vaccinations are right for you and your child’s needs. For adults, your doctor will want to discuss flu and other vaccines depending on your personal health history.

For a complete list of preventive health guidelines, please visit mywha.org/guidelines.

Access Your MyWHA Account

WHA offers you personalized online resources to make it easier to manage your health plan with the convenience of any-time access.

To access your MyWHA account:
1. Go to mywha.org
2. Click on Sign Up For MyWHA Tools (see teal MyWHA Tools bar)
3. Follow the prompts — you will need your 11-digit WHA Member ID number as well as some basic information
4. Allow 1 – 2 business days for WHA to verify and process your account access request.

Once registered for a MyWHA account you will have 24/7 access to conveniences like:
• Changing your primary care physician
• Ordering replacement ID cards
• One-stop overview of your benefit information
• Library of recipes and wellness materials



We need to brag a little about NorthBay Healthcare,  one of WHA’s founding sponsors. NorthBay was recently recognized for its high patient satisfaction scores achieved in the 2014 Patient Satisfaction Assessment Survey (PAS).

Out of 174 Medical Groups in California, NorthBay Center for Primary Care and NorthBay Affiliated Specialty Practices ranked ninth. In almost every category NorthBay Healthcare Group ranked in the 90th percentile or higher for patient satisfaction.

Here is an abbreviated list of all the variables where NorthBay Healthcare Group ranked in the top 10 percent in the state:

* Overall rating of doctor (both primary and specialty)
* Overall rating of doctor (primary care physicians only)
* Overall rating of health care received
* Doctor explanations are easy to understand
* Doctor knows important medical history
* Doctor show respect
* Doctor spends enough time
* Same-day response to office hours phone call
* Coordination of care
* Office staff
* Alternate access

“We celebrate NorthBay Healthcare’s recognition for exceptional patient care,” said Garry Maisel, Western Health Advantage President and Chief Executive Officer. “When you choose WHA, you have access to the doctors and hospitals that you can trust, like NorthBay Healthcare.”


Summer Cooking
Here is a bit of advice for this season’s outdoor eating—from picnics to dinner parties.

1. Always wash your hands before handling food. This helps prevent bacteria spread. If you don’t have access to a sink, use water from a jug and some soap to wash and paper towels to dry off. Moist disposable towelettes can also do the trick.

2. Keep cold food stored in waterproof containers and surrounded by ice. Maintain the temperature at 40 degrees or below. Pack your beverages and cold food in separate coolers so perishable food won’t be exposed to warm air every time someone pulls out a drink.

3. Use an insulated container to keep hot foods hot. Preheat container, by filling with boiling water for several minutes and then empyting prior to filling with food, to help maintain food at temperatures of at least 140 degrees until eating.

4. Food shouldn’t be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours—on a hot day that exceeds 90 degrees, no more than one.

5. Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood wrapped so they can’t contaminate cooked food and fruits and veggies. Bring extra utensils and dishware to keep from reusing those that have been in contact with raw meats.

6. Refrain from marinating food at room temperature or outdoors. Bacteria multiplies when exposed to warmth.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,439 other followers

%d bloggers like this: