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The newly revamped Family Day at Safetyville, held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 10 AM to 3 PM, is a free event designed to give families valuable information and access to community resources in the Sacramento area.  The event takes place in a unique miniature city that is designed to teach children safety skills.

Families attending will enjoy:

  • Over 50 booths with health, safety and recreational resources for families – including a booth for Western Health Advantage
  • Safety and health giveaways
  • Food and refreshments
  • Raffle tickets for great prizes
  • Safety demonstrations

Safetyville’s goal is to instill safety values in children through Safetyville USA and its unique interactive safety and health education programs. Safetyville consists of a unique 1/3 scale city, complete with sidewalks, crosswalks, stoplights and signs, an abandoned building (to demonstrate the dangers of playing in unregulated areas), police and fire stations, a dentist office, grocery store – and much more, to allow children to practice everyday safety skills, helping to lay the groundwork for lifelong safety and health.

For more information go to safetycenter.org.

 

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Did you know?

  • Men are less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than women, on average.
  • Men are more likely to go long periods of time without going to the doctor.
  • Men are less likely to adopt preventive health measures.
  • Men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.

Stay Healthy
For your sake and your family’s sake, it’s important to take care of your health. That’s why you should schedule an annual wellness appointment with your doctor. Preventive care services such as annual wellness visits and immunizations are usually part of your medical plan at no additional cost to you. (Coverage for WHA services depends on eligibility at the time of service.)

Why Wellness Visits are Important
Wellness visits help to identify any health issues before they become serious.

  • Prevention. Your doctor will provide preventive services such as immunizations that are recommended for your age group.  Your doctor will take this time to discuss and schedule health screenings that are recommended for your age group or your individual needs. Learn more about recommended health screenings
  • Raising concerns.You also can talk to your doctor about nutrition and other health concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about and bring your top three to five questions or concerns to your doctor at the start of the visit.
  • Team approach.Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships between you, your doctor and your doctor’s staff. Wellness visits are a way for your doctor to serve your individual needs and support your overall well-being.

By getting the right health services, screenings and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health, family history, lifestyle choices (e.g., what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other factors impact how often you need health care.

Take charge of your health—make an appointment today.

More info:
CDC
National Cancer Institute
Men’s Health Month

Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.

Did you know?

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S.
  • Elder falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among older adults.
  • One in three adults don’t get enough sleep.

Each week of National Safety Month focuses on a specific safety topic:

  • Week 1: Stand Up to Falls
  • Week 2: Recharge to Be in Charge (Focusing on Fatigue)
  • Week 3: Prepare for Active Shooters
  • Week 4: Don’t Just Sit There (Focusing on Ergonomics)

For example, here are some simple tips for driving awareness:

  • Don’t drive impaired – Always call a friend, taxi or car service such as Uber of Lyft.
  • Don’t text and drive – Kick the habit! Your full attention on the roads for potential hazards is most important. A text message can wait!
  • Hands-free device – We all like to stay connected, so if you must, use a hands-free device or feature when driving.

 

Visit the National Safety Council and select Act/Events for more information.

Join Western Health Advantage and an anticipated 13,000 attendees on Saturday, June 3rd for the Sacramento Pride Festival, an LGBT celebration that promotes acceptance and pride with a parade followed by an outdoor party on the Capitol Mall.

High-energy live music, a dance pavilion, an activity-rich kid’s zone, over 200 local vendors and exhibitors, and plenty of food trucks are just some of the many attractions at this daylong affair. There are also booths providing unique services, support and information throughout the event.

The festival costs $10 per person (children ten and under are free) and is located on Capitol Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets. The festival goes from 11am-5pm. A parade is free and starts at 11am.

The Sacramento Pride Parade and Festival is produced as a community engagement program of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Net proceeds from the event help support LGBTQ health and wellness, advocacy, and community building programs year-round.

For more info, visit sacramentopride.org

 

First the baby gets sick, then her mother gets it, and then it’s grandma’s turn!

What did they have? Norovirus, which is highly contagious. Norovirus is spreading throughout our area, affecting many families and schools. Some people with norovirus are hospitalized and can even die.

Symptoms

Norovirus is sometimes called the stomach flu.  The most common symptoms of norovirus infection are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting many times a day
  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms may include fever, headache or body aches. Some people may also get severely dehydrated.

Who’s Most at Risk

  • Children in daycare or schools
  • Elderly people, particularly those in nursing homes
  • People with other illnesses

How You Can Get Norovirus

Norovirus spreads quickly, especially in enclosed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools. People with norovirus can not only spread it to other people while they’re sick, they can do so even in the first few days after symptoms go away.

Norovirus can be spread to others by:

  • Contacting an infected person. This can happen, for example, if you shake hands with a person with norovirus, take care of them when they’re sick, or handle their soiled laundry.
  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus.
  • Touching objects that have norovirus on them and then putting your fingers in your mouth, for example, from touching a countertop, shared cup, or a shared toy at daycare. Norovirus can stay on surfaces and objects – even surviving some disinfectants – and still infect people for days or weeks.

What to do if you are Sick with Norovirus

  • Stay home – bedrest is good – and drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration.
  • Avoid taking care of others or preparing food for them until at least two days after you start feeling better.
  • If you or someone you are caring for becomes dehydrated, call your doctor.
  • Keep children at home at least 48 hours after symptoms disappear.

How to Avoid Getting Norovirus
You can help protect yourself from norovirus by following these precautions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds every time, and avoid touching your mouth. It is especially important to wash your hands before handling food, or after using the bathroom or changing a baby’s diaper.
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects in your home. You can get rid of norovirus on surfaces by wiping them down with a bleach-based cleaner.
  • Wash clothes and linens that might have been soiled and then machine dry them.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables before you serve them, and cook shellfish, such as oysters, thoroughly.

 

For More Information
Visit cdc.gov  or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

 

 

One in two women and up to one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis, yet many people are not taking steps to prevent this condition. To mark the start of National Osteoporosis Month this May, Western Health Advantage is raising awareness of this disease, which affects 54 million Americans.

“Osteoporosis is often called a ‘silent disease’ because you cannot feel your bones getting weaker. Men and women need to understand their risk factors and take steps to prevent and identify signs of the disease,” says Dr. Don Hufford, Chief Medical Officer at WHA.

What causes osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease which occurs when the body loses too much bone, doesn’t make enough bone or both. The bones then become weak because they become less dense and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. Women get osteoporosis more often than men, and the older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.

How can I prevent osteoporosis?

To help keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis, you should:

  • Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
  • Exercise – particularly weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises
  • Not drink in excess or smoke
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about your chance of getting osteoporosis
  • Take an osteoporosis medication if and when it’s right for you

In some cases, people are asked by their doctor to take supplements to achieve the recommended daily allowance for calcium and vitamin D.  Visiting your primary care physician regularly is important. At your annual physical exam, potential health problems – including osteoporosis – can be identified and discussed, which allow steps to be taken to improve your health going forward.

For more info, visit National Osteoporosis Foundation

Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation

Mental Health Month was started 68 years ago as a national health observance by Mental Health America.  Their goal was to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

Doctors now look at the whole person and not just the physical health, known as 360 degree health, because they know that good mental health has a significant impact on a person’s overall health and well-being.

The Facts
Mental illnesses are quite common. In fact, one in five people are affected by a mental health condition in the United States – that’s about 60 million people. They are also treatable.

How do you know if you have a mental illness?
Symptoms are different for each condition and can be different for each person.  They can also vary in severity. That’s why seeking professional help sooner than later is important so treatment can be started early and you can start feeling better.  It can also help prevent the symptoms from becoming worse. Talking with your primary care doctor is always a good first step. You can also contact your behavioral health provider directly without a referral.

Help is Here
When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it can be a lot to handle for everyone involved.  Often, many go untreated and for different reasons. Some are ashamed to seek care and feel they should be able to handle it themselves.  Others are concerned about being seen as weak or “crazy.”  Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Asking for help takes courage.  It also takes accepting that we all need help at some time in our lives.

Western Health Advantage wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are treatable, that recovery is always the goal, and if you or someone you love is suffering, there is help.

“It is important to understand the early symptoms of mental illness and know when there’s a need for treatment,” said Dr. Don Hufford, Chief Medical Officer of WHA. “We need to speak up early and educate people about mental illness – and do so in a compassionate, judgement-free way. Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work.”

WHA’s Behavioral Health Services
WHA members can self-refer to see a behavioral health specialist by contacting the behavioral health provider for prior authorization. Visit mywha.org/bh for more info.

Here are some helpful resources:

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