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.

Family Eating

You play an important role as guide and coach for your children when they make choices about eating, exercise and limiting screen time. Successful guidance and coaching means leading by example. The choices you make as a parent impact the decisions your teen makes when it comes to healthy habits. Here are seven healthy habits to get your family started on the road to a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Set limits for screen time. Decide on the amount of time your teen is allowed to spend on their phone, watching TV or playing computer or video games. Parents should limit their screen time as well.
  2. Exercise together. Go for a walk or bike ride as a family.
  3. Eat three healthy meals a day. Include at least four servings of fruits, five servings of vegetables and four servings of dairy products. Prepare school lunches and dinners together.
  4. Drinks plenty of fluids before, during and after any exercise. This will help replace what is lost from sweating. Water is best. Avoid flavored sports drinks and soft drinks that are loaded with sugar.
  5. Eat less junk food and fast foods. They are often full of fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar.
  6. Get adequate sleep. Make sure your teen gets 9 to 10 hours of sleep every night.
  7. Have a hard conversation. Talk to your teen about the health risks related to sexual activity, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
Delicious, heart healthy recipe

Vidalia Onion Tomato Salad with Grilled Tuna

Cardiologists recommend eating fish at least twice a week, making sure you munch lots of vegetables and watch your fat intake. This recipe will help you with all three. The salad—which stars grilled tuna in a dish that’s boldly flavored and a little different—has two other heart-healthy features: It contains only 1 gram of saturated fat per serving and is also very low in


1½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/ 8 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon marjoram

Vidalia Onion Tomato Salad with Grilled Tuna
½ pound ahi (yellowfin) tuna steak, fresh or frozen
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 large head lettuce (Boston, bibb or romaine), washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

1. Heat grill.
2. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Cut tuna into 1-inch chunks and place on two or three 3-inch skewers.
4. Brush lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Grill skewered tuna until fish is opaque and flakes with a fork (145 F); remove from grill.
6. In a large bowl, toss dressing with all vegetable ingredients. To serve, divide salad on four individual plates; top with tuna.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with an 8-ounce glass of nonfat milk and a slice of whole-grain bread.


Sun Safety 101


Don’t forget your sun protection!

Summer is just around the corner, and that means afternoons in the sun, preferably by a body of water, midday picnics and epic bike rides. But all that time in the sun can do serious damage to your skin.

Here is some helpful information to help protect you from the sun.

What does SPF stand for?

SPF stands for Sunburn Protection Factor, the level of protection offered against UVB rays?

What is the difference between UVB and UVA rays?

UVB radiation causes sunburn, while UVA rays penetrate deeper and contribute to skin aging and wrinkling. Both have been tied to skin cancer risk.

Is kids’ sunscreen safer or gentler than other formulas?
The FDA doesn’t make a distinction between kids’ and adults’ sunscreens, which generally contain the same active ingredients.

When should you apply sunscreen?
In order to get full protection, sunscreen needs to be applied 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure, and then should be reapplied every two hours.

How much sunscreen is enough?
Experts say it takes about one ounce of sunscreen, or about two tablespoonfuls, to cover your face and body. Most people only use half that much, so they don’t get full protection.

Do certain products work better on certain body parts?
Sunscreen lotions, gels, creams, and sprays all provide good protection from the neck down. There’s less chance of sunscreen sticks getting into your eyes, so they’re great for foreheads, noses, cheeks, chins, and even ears, but use only sunscreen sticks with components that include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. A lip balm with an SPF is also recommended. Ultimately, the best sunscreen, is clothing (especially with SPF protection), followed by the lotions, gels, creams, and sticks.

Source: skincancer.org

Big Day of Giving


Today,  more than 150 communities across the country will gather for one BIG Day of Giving. With the hope of reaching millions of donors and raising over $100M nationwide, each community will rally support for the vital work of local nonprofits. On that day, donors will also be inspired to give so that their favorite organizations will receive a proportionate share of the pool of matching funds.

You can GIVE here!

What is BIG Day of Giving?
BIG Day of Giving is an online networking and giving event that provides nonprofit organizations the opportunity to gain exposure and start relationships with new donors, and for the people in the Sacramento region to come together to raise as much money as possible for participating organizations within a 24-hour period. The effort was organized and implemented by a collaboration of GiveLocalNow and your local community foundations: Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Placer Community Foundation and Yolo Community Foundation. The online event will take place from 12:00 AM PDT Tuesday, May 6 to 11:59 PM PDT.

WHY is BIG Day of Giving a good opportunity for our community?
The nonprofit sector is the heart and soul of the region, enriching our community in immeasurable ways. Our four county region includes many incredible organizations that are doing extraordinary things. The BIG Day of Giving is a unique opportunity for the public to learn about their work, how they are contributing to our community and their chance to say thank you by making a donation. BIG Day of Giving is a time-limited donation period designed to expand and increase giving to local nonprofits that provide vital services that help to sustain our community. Other metropolitan areas that have held similar events have risen well over $1,000,000 in a single day; BIG Day of Giving is our chance to do this for the Sacramento region!


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