Hospitals target nutrition, other social needs to boost health

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nirav shah

Kaiser Permanente’s Nirav Shah, MD, MPH, spoke with USA Today about the social determinants of health, and shared some of Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to improve the health of its members most in need.

Dr. Shah, a former New York state commissioner of health, is senior vice president and chief operating officer for clinical operations for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

In Southern California, Dr. Shah is working with the non-profit Health Leads to “fundamentally redefine what counts as health care” by helping to coordinate social needs hospitals don’t typically focus upon.

To read the full story, click here.

Healthy Meeting’s Tip – Red Wine & Chocolate Bites

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According to The Heart Foundation, February has been designated at Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both ment and women in the United States.  The good news?  It is also one of the most preventable.  Making heart-healthy choices, knowing your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups and working with your physician to manage your health are all integral aspect of saving lives for this silent killer. Reinforcing healthy behaviors is possible when organizing important business meetings and events.

At the Center for Total Health, we work with groups think about every aspect of their meetings and how to incorporate more positive choices in their planning.  For example, at dinner events, people often expect heavy desserts loaded with fats and sugars. A simple way to satisfy the taste buds is to add a red wine and dark chocolate dessert bar.  For our guests, a sommilier from our caterer can prepare matching red wines with varying degrees of dark cocoa bites.  One ounce tastings of various wines are offered and small bites of chocolate are paired.  Guests leave informed with not only the facts about new wines or chocolates but are reminded that — in moderation – red wine and chocolate is healthy for your heart.  For more information on suggested healthy food menus, check out our healthy meetings page on this website.  For a sample menu, check out this information card provided to guests: KP CTH Red Wine Chocolate Menu

 

What Women Need to Know About Heart Disease

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woman outdoors

A stomach ache, jaw pain, fatigue.

Each symptom on its own may not prompt a woman to call her doctor. But combined, they could signal that a woman is having a heart attack.

There’s a myth that heart disease is a “man’s disease,” but the statistics tell a different story. The American Heart Association reports 44 million women in the United States are affected by heart disease, and heart disease and stroke kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds.

Peter Miles, MD, regional chair of the chiefs of cardiology for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, answers questions about what women need to know about heart disease and the steps everyone can take to maintain a healthy heart.

Peter Miles, MD

Peter Miles, MD

How serious is heart disease for women?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. In fact, heart disease kills more women than men, but 4 out of 5 women don’t know that.

How do heart attack symptoms differ between men and women?

Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but it is not the only one. Women often experience different symptoms than men, and it’s not always the dramatic, crushing chest pain you may see on TV.

Women may feel a burning or numbness that can radiate to the back or shoulders. Because women’s symptoms can differ from men’s, it can be easy for women to think their symptoms aren’t serious. The more symptoms a woman experiences, the more likely it is that she is having a heart attack.

If pain or discomfort lasts more than 5 minutes, isn’t relieved by lying down, and travels through the back, shoulder, neck, or jaw, it’s important to get medical treatment right away. Getting treatment quickly can lower the amount of heart muscle that’s damaged.

Women who are busy with family and work responsibilities may ignore the first signs of a heart attack. They may be preoccupied with taking care of others and may ignore their own health needs. But it’s important to change that trend. We can do that with education and information.

How can women and men reduce their risk of heart attack and heart disease?

To take care of your heart, you need to take care of the whole you. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins (such as fish, beans, chicken, nuts, and low-fat dairy), and whole grains to help keep your heart and blood vessels in good shape.

If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation. Women should limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day.

We recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you can’t do all 30 minutes at once, do 10 minutes at a time. Brisk walking, swimming, or cycling are all good for the heart.

Lowering your weight by just 10 percent can also make a significant difference in reducing your risk for heart disease, and so can lowering your stress. Anger, anxiety, and depression may keep your blood pressure high and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other illnesses. Try meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises to help control the stress in your life.

Finally, if you smoke, it’s time to quit. Talk to your doctor about resources such as medication and classes to help you kick the habit.

Visit www.kp.org/heart for more about the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and heart disease. To learn more about KP’s efforts to eliminate disparities in care, visit the Center for Total Health by scheduling a tour and submit a tour request form.

Consumer Driven Models can Transform Care

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Healthcare IT News interviewed Kaiser Permanente CIO Dick Daniels and he shared his perspective on Kaiser Permanente’s holistic model and the value of the consumer in the care equation.

“Consumer expectations and needs are a primary consideration for everything we do,” Daniels said. “We believe that individuals need to have access to information and services in ways that are welcoming and convenient to them in order to manage their health effectively. We consider all aspects, including how patients experience the selection of the health plan that best meets their needs, the care they receive when they come to one of our facilities, and the access they have to care from wherever they may be.”

Daniels will present “Transforming Care Through a Consumer-Driven Model” at HIMSS 17, running from February 19-23, 2017.

To read the full story, click here.

Defining Success In Resolving Health-Related Social Needs

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A recent Health Affairs blog offers a perspective on the challenges of addressing the social needs of patients – particularly when the health care system at large doesn’t have common language to describe what a successful intervention might look like. Programs such as Kaiser Permanente’s Total Health initiative and CMS’ Accountable Health Community model screen participants for unmet social needs, yet there is lack of clear definition as to how the community – or delivery system – should be accountable for resolving these needs. This will continue to be a complex area for exploration as health care increasingly moves outside of the exam room into the community, and as we continue to look at how factors such as where our patients live, work, play and pray impact their overall health.

Read the blog here

Sticking to our New Year Resolutions

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The Center for Total Health team — and extended staff members — have kicked off a three-day clean eating challenge. We’ll be sampling local seasonal flavors and focusing on soups and juices as the core of our program.  Our goal is to reset our taste buds and to refocus our efforts on healthier eating.  Over the next three days we’ll search out fresh, local vegetables and juices along with select nuts and grains. Some might question our timing before the big football game this weekend, but there’s probably never a perfect time to start eating healthier.  It’s easy to worry about your work schedule, family and social gatherings as possible excuses for not watching your diet. We also know that  social support is a huge help, especially in the office setting. As colleagues who spend many hours working together, we can help reinforce healthier habits starting with all our food choices at work.

Juicing

As always the Center for Total Health supports healthier choices for meetings and events held here. We do not endorse any particular diet or meal vendors. Check with your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about eating healthier. There are a number of resources available to assist you on kp.org.

Strengthening Medicaid as a Critical Lever in Building a Culture of Health

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The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) hosted its annual membership meeting and reception at The Center for Total Health,  prior to its 29th Annual Policy Research Conference on January 26.

Joy Lewis, senior health policy leader of Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy served on the panel that looked at Medicaid’s role as an insurer of more than 70 million people and its capacity to address the underlying social determinants of health.

“We approach today’s discussion with the belief that Medicaid will continue to serve a pivotal role as an insurer of low-income populations. More and more, health care leaders, providers, and others in the health care ecosystem are giving recognition to the fact that health is greatly influenced by complex social factors,” said Lewis.

The report, Strengthening Medicaid as a Critical Lever in Building a Culture of Health, is the result of a study panel that included state Medicaid program directors, public health and health policy experts, health researchers, medical and health professionals, and health plans, and was convened by the nonprofit NASI.

“The panel approached this project with several key goals in mind,” said Trish Riley, co-chair of the study panel and Executive Director at the National Academy of State Healthy Policy. “We aimed to discuss strategies that could increase Medicaid’s potential to help move the dial on individual and population health, while improving health care quality and program efficiency.”

To learn more about the report: https://www.nasi.org/sites/default/files/research/Strengthening_Medicaid_as_a_Critical_Lever_Low_Res.pdf

To read the entire press release about the conference and highlights of the repor:https://www.nasi.org/press/releases/2017/01/press-release-nonpartisan-expert-panel-recommends-steps

The National Academy of Social Insurance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance. Its mission is to advance solution challenges facing the nation by increasing public understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security.

Pictured above keynote speaker: Ai-jen Poo, Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-director, Caring Across Generations

NBA and Kaiser Permanente to Host Second Annual Total Health Forum

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The National Basketball Association and Kaiser Permanente, will hold the second annual Total Health Forum on Thursday, Jan. 26 in Los Angeles. Participants include NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson, NBA All-Star Chris Paul, Hall of Famer Jerry West, NBA Legends Rick Fox and James Worthy, and two-time WNBA Champion Sue Bird.

Bringing together leaders across health, business, community and sports, the Total Health Forum will explore a variety of health and wellness issues affecting families across the country. Through interactive panel discussions and insightful Q&A’s, this year’s forum will address opportunities and strategies for achieving total health of mind, body and spirit, including strengthening both community and personal resiliency. Panelists also will include Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Playworks founder Jill Vialet.nba-fit-week-250x179

NBA FIT Week presented by Kaiser Permanente will feature programs and events designed to inspire the NBA family to be active, eat healthy and play together, while teaching values of the game like hard work, discipline, leadership and teamwork. NBA FIT Team members will help encourage fans of all ages to participate through fitness events and social media.

Learn more here.

Honoring National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day

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In honor of National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight important research available at the Center for Total Health.  The study is one of the largest and most ethnically diverse to look at maternal diabetes as a risk factor for autism.  Many have probably heard of other suspected causes, but time and time again guests at the center are surprised to hear that children whose mothers developed gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy were at increased risk of developing autism later in life, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 14, 2015.  And that’s just a sample of the power of an electronic health record (EHR).

“Kaiser Permanente is uniquely qualified to conduct large scale studies in a real-word setting with the power of our integrated, comprehensive electronic health record,” said lead author Anny Xiang, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.  “We can follow many women through the electronic health records and assess potential links between historical information and their own health outcomes, and their children’s health outcomes. The large size is particularly important to study rare diseases such as autism spectrum disorders. Appropriate analysis of these data can reveal important findings which could impact our approach to patient care.” She noted that this was an observational study, therefore the findings reveal associations between gestational diabetes and risk of a child developing autism rather than proving a cause and effect relationship.

Researchers examined the electronic health records of more than 322,000 ethnically diverse children born between 28 and 44 weeks at Kaiser Permanente Southern California medical centers between January 1995 and December 2009.  They followed the children for an average of 5.5 years and found that those exposed to gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy had a 63% increased risk of being diagnose with an autism spectrum disorder than children who were not exposed.  After taking into account maternal age, education, race and ethnicity, household income and other factors, the increased risk of autism associated with gestational diabetes was 42 percent.

For more information on the study, click here.

To learn more about this and other innovation at Kaiser Permanente, visit the Center for Total Health.

Fighting Hunger During the Holiday

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We know that “total health” is about more than absence of sickness, it’s about having a safe place to live, food to eat and nurturing, supportive relationships among other things. The holidays are always a great time to do what we can for our communities to support their total health. At the Center for Total Health, one community partner we wanted to call out this upcoming holiday is DC Central Kitchen. We offer a guest post from DC Central Kitchen’s Alex Moore below. Alex is featured in our Farmers Market display where we talk about food as a strategy for designing healthier communities. Keep his thoughts in mind as you think about giving back to the community this holiday season.

Happy holidays,

Keith Montgomery

 

Fighting Hunger During the Holiday Season

Alex Moore, Chief Development Officer at DC Central Kitchen

The holiday season is a time for giving back and helping others. At DC Central Kitchen, for example, we fight hunger by providing meals for our community each day while making longer-term investments in career training and job creation that strengthen local food systems and reduce disparities in health and economic opportunity, but we can’t do it alone! Here are some fun ways that you can help us and other food resource programs reach our goals:

  • Organize a turkey drive with your co-workers – Turn it into a friendly competition by making teams to see who can collect and/or donate the most turkeys! This will help provide the ultimate Thanksgiving meal for those in need.
  • Help plan a food drive through in your neighborhood or apartment building – By collecting staples such as beans, brown rice and canned goods, you can really food resource programs prepare daily meals on a large-scale.
  • Register to volunteer – Volunteers are needed daily – not just during the holidays to help prepare meals for our community 365 days a year.
  • Make a donation – If you are interested in making a financial contribution, check to see if there are matching donation programs to make you financial gift go further.

Whether you choose to support an organization like DC Central Kitchen or another important community organization, partnerships like the one with Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health, help to highlight the many initiatives underway that are needed to address real problems in our community. I’m even featured in the Center’s farmers market display where you can hear me talk about my perspective on solving hunger, as well as the perspectives of others on food as a strategy for healthy communities. Check it out for yourself by visiting the Center for a tour!

About DC Kitchen:

DC Central Kitchen, located near Union Station in Washington D.C., is a nonprofit developer of innovative social ventures that break the cycle of hunger and poverty. Our mission is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. At DC Central Kitchen, we do more than just feed those in need. We run a 14-week culinary job training program to create economic stability for unemployed adults so they can leave hunger behind. Our social ventures provide 1.8 million meals for our community as well as healthy, locally-sourced meals to students at 15 low-income schools in DC.
If you would like to drop off items to DCCK, here are a few drop-off guidelines to follow, once you have successfully collected your items, you can drop them off during our regular hours, as follows:

  • Our regular hours for drop-offs are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekends.
  • DC Central Kitchen’s physical address is 425 2nd St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. Please ensure that you receive a receipt for your donation from our on-site staff as we need to keep track of all food we receive. Donations are tax-deductible.
  • DC Central Kitchen is often able to pick up especially large donations. However, we greatly appreciate it if you are able to bring donations to our location. Please contact our food recovery team (foodrecovery@dccentralkitchen.org or 202-400-2804) in advance if you need to schedule a pick-up.