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Healthy Habits for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very special time in an expecting mother’s life. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for your baby. Here are a few healthy habits to follow in the months ahead.

  • See your healthcare professional regularly for proper prenatal care
  • Avoid cigarette smoke, alcohol, and harmful chemicals.
  • Limit caffeine.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Stay active if your doctor says it’s safe.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Always wear a seat belt.

A partner’s presence is also important to a healthy pregnancy. Support mom and the baby by also practicing healthy habits.

In addition, take advantage of the programs and resources available through your health plan that are designed to support you every step of the way.

  • Anthem – Enroll in the Future Moms program as soon as you know you’re pregnant by calling 800-828-5891.
  • Kaiser – Visit www.kp.org for resources or call Member Services in your area as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

Take Charge. Live Well!

In This Together

As “stay at home” orders begin to expire, many of us may feel anxious about returning to old routines and schedules. If you have been working remotely, begin to get back into your work routine at home before physically returning.

In addition, continuing to follow the guidelines as we return to the new normal may help you feel more in control, while also helping to prevent the spread of infection.

  • Check your temperature before arriving to work.
  • Stay home if you are sick or not feeling well.
  • Continue to practice social distancing at your work area.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when you are not able to practice social distancing.
  • Wash hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect any high-touch surfaces in your area often.
  • Monitor and protect your health – you are in charge.

It is normal to feel anxious about changes and uncertain times. Remember, we are in this together. Access and connect with your EAP benefits, when needed, by calling BHS at 800-245-1150.

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Keep Your Lungs Healthy

You may not think about the importance of lung health until you experience a breathing problem. Your lungs bring oxygen into the body and send carbon dioxide out of the body. Every cell of the body needs oxygen to stay alive and healthy. That’s why it is important to prioritize your lung health.

Here are some ways to keep your lungs healthy.

Don’t Smoke
This is the best thing you can do to keep your lungs healthy. Not only can smoking cause lung cancer, it is also the main cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which will narrow and inflame your airway making breathing more difficult. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common conditions that make up COPD.

Don’t Vape
Any time we breathe in anything, other than fresh air or prescribed medication into our lungs, there is a potential to cause harm. Vaping is no different.

Wash Your Hands
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps to avoiding common infectious respiratory diseases like colds and flu. Make hand washing a habit all year long.

Be Active
Regular exercise can help strengthen your heart and lungs, so they work more efficiently. Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week.

Get Vaccinated
Everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu shot. In addition, adults 65 and older should receive the pneumonia vaccine.

Get Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups help prevent diseases, even when you are feeling well. This is especially true for lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious.

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Everyday Preventive Actions

As with other viruses like influenza and the common cold, consistent hygiene and well-being practices help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases and illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following everyday preventive actions:

  • Practice self-care. Getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and taking time out to recharge is important to a healthy immune system.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day. High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, electronics, and bedside tables. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions.

Take care of your health and protect others by practicing everyday preventive actions. Visit CDC.gov or WHO.int to learn more.

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Colon Cancer – A Physician’s Perspective

David Louis MD, MS, FACOEM Dave.Louis@crown.com

Crown’s Director of Employee Health Services, Dr. David Louis, shares his medical and personal insight on the importance of a colon cancer screening.

Why educate employees on the importance getting screened?
Each year, one to two employees are diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Many skipped their preventive screening and only decided to go to the doctor because they were having symptoms. This tragic diagnosis doesn’t have to happen. Colon cancer is easily screened and if caught early, treatment is usually very successful.

When should an employee start their screening for colon cancer?
The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk start regular screenings at age 45. However, people with a history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) or have a family history of colon cancer might need to start screening before age 45.

Some people don’t want to go through the prep of clearing the colon for a colonoscopy. Are there other colon cancer screening options?
There are a few options. Talk to your healthcare provider about which test might be best for you. The most important thing is to get screened. The options include:

  • Cologuard®. This is a non-invasive screening option and does not require any prep or time off from work. If the results come back abnormal, a diagnostic colonoscopy will be needed to determine the reason.
  • FIT Test (Fecal Immunochemical Test). This is also a non-invasive option and does not require any prep or time off from work. If the results come back abnormal, a diagnostic colonoscopy will be needed to determine the reason.
  • Colonoscopy. This test does require the “prep”. It can prevent colon cancer by removing precancerous polyps before they become cancerous. Colon cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps.

Are these tests covered by insurance?
If a colonoscopy is billed as a preventive service, it is covered at 100% in-network. Other testing options may be covered as a preventive service. It is important that your Provider verifies your benefit coverage prior to providing services.

 Take Charge. Live Well!

What is LiveHealth Online®?

LiveHealth Online lets you have a medical video visit with a board-certified doctor using your smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam. No appointment, no driving and no waiting. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your home or office for your visit.

Doctors are available 24/7 to assess your condition and, if needed, they can prescribe medication to be filled at your local pharmacy. LiveHealth Online is a great option for care when your own doctor is unavailable and more convenient than a trip to an urgent care facility.

With LiveHealth Online, you can see a board-certified doctor in minutes and receive medical care for things like:

  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • A sinus infection
  • Minor rashes or skin infections
  • Pinkeye
  • Allergies
  • And more

Cost of Medical Video Visit

LiveHealth Online is a covered service through the Anthem Medical Plan, so you’ll just pay your share of the cost of $59 or less. If you are not enrolled in the Anthem Medical Plan, you can still register and access care through LiveHealth Online and will pay $59 for a medical video visit.

Go to livehealthonline.com or download the mobile app at Google PlayTM or the App StoreSM and get signed up today so you are ready to go when you need a medical video visit with a doctor.

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Financial Health Check-Up

An annual check-up with your health care provider is a smart and proactive move. When it comes to your financial health, a financial check-up can be just as important.

Maintain your Financial Health

  • Assess your current finances and identify short and long-term financial goals.
  • Prioritize your goals and create a personalized strategy to help you reach your future financial goals.
  • Identify events that may trigger new financial needs (marriage, buying a home, retirement) and adapt your budget to meet these changes.
  • Enroll in the Crown 401(k) Plan and receive the company contributions and access to no cost financial programs like Advice Access offered through Merrill.
  • Consider the tax consequences of your investment strategy when contributing on a pre-tax and/or Roth 401(k) basis and the impact of taking a 401(k) Plan distribution like a 401(k) loan or withdrawal.

Next Steps
Contact Merrill to help develop a strategy and provide financial check-ups as you pursue your future financial goals.

Visit Merrill at benefits.ml.com or call 800-228-4015 and get started today.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Less Stress, More Joy

Despite the holidays being a joyful time to reconnect with family and friends, it may also bring about stress like no other time of the year. Practicing self-care, and taking time for activities and people you enjoy, is essential.

Stick to Your Routine

Holidays offer many temptations to overindulge in food and drink and ignore the importance of sleep and exercise.

Create a Budget

Money is one of the biggest holiday stressors for people. Set a realistic budget this holiday season and don’t exceed it.

Focus on What Matters

More isn’t always better. Scaling down your holiday plans may be what you need. The most important thing is to spend time with people you care about.

Take a Breath

When you feel stressed, meditation and breathing techniques can help trigger your body’s natural relaxation response. This can add up to a feeling of greater calm and focus.

Ask for Help

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk out problems and worries with someone you trust.

Access EAP

Contact your BHS-EAP Care Coordinator at 800-245-1150 and connect with a trained professional that will provide the direction you need in any situation, even during the holidays.

Click HERE to learn about Crown’s EAP benefit for you and your dependents.

 

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Healthy Contact Lens Wear

When contact lenses are worn and cared for correctly, they can be a safe and convenient way to see clearly. However, wearing contact lenses can increase your chance of getting an eye infection — especially if you do not care for them properly.

Healthy habits mean healthy eyes. Follow these tips to help prevent eye infections.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.
  2. Don’t wear contact lenses while sleeping, unless directed to do so by your eye doctor. Wearing contact lenses while sleeping can increase the chance of an eye infection by 6 to 8 times.
  3. Contact lenses and water don’t mix. Water can introduce germs to the eyes through contact lenses. Remove contact lenses before showering or swimming and never rinse lenses with tap water.
  4. Never mix fresh solution with used solution. Use only fresh contact lens solution in your case. Adding new solution to used solution can lower germ-killing power.
  5. Replace your contacts as often as your eye doctor says and use the solution your eye doctor tells you to use.

Visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/contactlenses to learn more about healthy contact lens wear and care.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Flu Season is Near

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a three-step approach to fight the flu:

1. Get Vaccinated

  • A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in helping to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications.
  • Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable, like babies and young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
  • Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

2. Practice Prevention

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

3. Treatment

  • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.
  • CDC recommends prompt treatment for people who have influenza infection or suspected influenza infection and who are at high risk of serious flu complications.

Visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/flu to learn more about the flu.

Take Charge. Live Well!