Want Some Help To Make Your Workplace Healthier? Here It Is.

Photo: Pixabay/Creative Commons.

If you and your colleagues at work want to do something simple to make your workplace a healthier and happier place, there are free resources to help you do that.

The American Diabetes Association team in West Virginia is looking for local folks interested in wellness in the workplace. Their Wellness Lives Here initiative provides valuable tools to assist in setting up a workplace wellness program, launching lunch-and-learn programs, and offering proven strategies to develop best practices around workplace wellness.

The goal is to inspire and fuel our nation’s healthful habits at work and beyond. With year-round opportunities, Wellness Lives Here helps companies, organizations and communities educate and motivate people to adopt healthful habits to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses.

For some, it means fewer sick days and higher productivity. For others, it means looking and feeling better. For everyone, the result is empowerment—Americans who are better able to control, delay or prevent Diabetes and related health problems.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Deanie Eldridge, Executive Director for the American Diabetes Association in West Virginia, at deldridge@diabetes.org or. 757-424-6662 x3281.

Deanie can help develop a complimentary custom wellness plan for your organization.

And here’s some handy online wellness tools you can use right now.

Diabetes Classes Available at Boone Memorial Hospital

In addition to the Boone Memorial Hospital Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention Program led by Nurse Practitioner Kathy Hill,

Quality Insights and EDC (Everyone with Diabetes Counts) will offer a 

FREE 5-week program for diabetics at BMH starting Feb. 20th.

Spaces still available. See details below and click

HERE for more information

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Applications are due February 28th

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is pleased to announce the release of the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) HRSA-18-034 for Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (Network Planning Program). ). The purpose of this program is to promote the planning and development of healthcare networks in order to: (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. Approximately $2 million will be awarded annually for up to 20 awardees during Fiscal Year 2018 project period.  Applications are due February 23, 2018.

The intent of the Network Planning program is to allow applicants the flexibility to determine their unique community needs and focus area(s), based on historical health care context, expertise, and relevant data sources in the community. Past Network Planning projects have had an array of project focus areas including (but not limited to): Care Coordination among Network Partners; Patient Engagement; Data Analytics/Health Information Technology; Rural Hospital Closure/ Conversion; Telehealth. Furthermore, the program creates an opportunity to address the clinical priorities of mental health, substance abuse, and childhood obesity.

If you have any questions about the program or have opportunities for FORHP to present information regarding this funding opportunity, please contact Sara Afayee: Safayee@hrsa.gov or 301-945-4169.

Forget The Numbers. Here’s the Only Thing You Need to Know About a Sugary Drinks Tax in West Virginia.

Photo: Mike Mozart/FlickrCC

Something has to change. You know that as well as I do.

You’ve been bombarded with the enormous numbers for so long now, that they no longer feel like they really mean anything. The tens of thousands of sick children, the hundreds of millions of dollars it costs us, the life expectancy rate falling, the West Virginians dying young.

The facts of the issue are so horrifying that we’ve become immune to them I think.

So I’m not going to throw more numbers at you. Because I know you already know that we have a problem.

All I’m going to ask of you is that you demand that West Virginia’s state legislators do something to begin to fight against the obesity epidemic that is crippling our state and its people. Anything.

Thanks in part to these companies’ relentless pursuit of profits, this generation of young Americans is the first in modern U.S. history to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.

Adding just a few cents to the price of the sugary soda drinks that are partly responsible for this crisis is at least a start.

That’s why we support the proposal for a Sugary Drinks Tax that will be considered in the current legislative session.

Now, you’ll probably hear lots of people raise lots of different arguments against a Sugary Drinks Tax.

That’s because Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and their trade group, the American Beverage Association, spend tens of millions of dollars each year on lobbying and public relations to fight against proposals like this.

Why? Because their billion dollar profits depend on people consuming more of their product, despite the fact that it makes them sick. Their marketing particularly targets children. Their profits depend on children consuming too much sugar each day, getting fat and getting sick.

Thanks in part to these companies’ relentless pursuit of profits, this generation of young Americans is the first in modern U.S. history to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.

The proposal is simple. By adding a few extra cents to cost of the soda that is making our kids sick, we can hopefully discourage them from drinking so much of it. And that tax of a few cents will provide a new revenue stream of millions of dollars to pay for health services in West Virginia.

In the City of Philadelphia, a new soda tax was projected to bring in $46 million in the first six months of 2017. It only produced about $40 million. That sounds like a revenue failure that I think West Virginia could really use.

Right now, we need every dollar we can get to help West Virginia’s sick and underserved population, and to improve the health of our future generations.

Like I said, the soda companies and their lobbyists will be working hard to smokescreen and confuse you about the issue.

You’ll hear that this is “a micro solution to a macro problem” – that reducing consumption of sugary drinks is not going to solve the entire problem of obesity or the connection between poverty and poor health in America.

No, it won’t. But it’s a start. This argument is just an excuse to do nothing. It’s kind of like saying that requiring people to wear seatbelts is not going to prevent all car accident injuries, so we shouldn’t bother.

You’ll also hear that it won’t generate as much money for health programs as supporters will calculate.

One such “failure” that opponents highlight is in the City of Philadelphia, where a new soda tax was projected to bring in $46 million in the first six months of 2017. It only produced about $40 million.

That sounds like a revenue failure that I think West Virginia could really use.

The health of all West Virginians, particularly children, stand to benefit from this effort to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks.

Soft drink companies stand to lose a small fraction of their multi-billion dollar profits.

As debate continues this year about instituting a Sugary Drinks Tax in West Virginia, pay attention to which side your legislator fights for.

To learn more about what the West Virginia Rural Health Association is supporting this legislative session, contact Executive Director Debrin Jenkins at debrinwvrha@gmail.com.

‘Diseases of Despair’ Killing Appalachians At a Higher Rate Than Rest of U.S.

Photo by Thomas Hawk/FlickrCC

A study released by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in August found that people in Appalachia are dying for “diseases of despair” – such as prescription drug and illegal drug overdose, suicide, and alcoholic liver disease – at higher rates than the rest of America.

In 2015, the 15 to 64 year old population in the Appalachian Region represented 7.8 percent of the total population in the United States for this age group, yet contributed to 10.3 percent of the total deaths from diseases of despair.

The goal of this study was to analyze the impact of the diseases of despair on mortality within the Appalachian Region. Specifically, researchers investigated whether disparities related to diseases of despair are greater within the Appalachian Region than the non-Appalachian United States, and whether Appalachian disparities were driving national trends showing rising mortality from diseases of despair.

Read the full report at www.arc.gov

Exponent Telegram: In West Virginia, a Clear Map of the Socio-Economics of Sickness

Photo by Gene/FlickrCC

By Leigh Nestor/Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG — With West Virginia’s incredibly high rates of diseases linked to lifestyle, some medical professionals consider socioeconomics as the real cause of the state’s failing health.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, West Virginia ranks high in general poor health, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, stroke, hypertension, obesity, poor nutrition, high sodium intake and high sugar intake.

The counties with high rates of obesity are the same ones with high rates of sleeplessness, Program Director for United Hospital Center Dr. Eric Radcliffe said, noting it as a symptom of a root cause in lifestyle…

Read the full story at www.theet.com