The Health Wire

Beyond providing basic medical care coverage, your HISD benefits have a lot to offer to keep you and your family healthy, happy and fit. Here's the latest news from our health care providers and partners. Check back often.

Focus of the Month : Calling the HISD Benefits Service Center is now easier than ever

Starting May 25, you’ll find it faster and easier to get answers about your HISD benefits. When you call the HISD Benefits Service Center, we’ll ask you to enter three pieces of information: your HISD employee ID, your date of birth and your ZIP code. Then, we’ll securely confirm your identity in seconds. We’ll then connect you with one of our experts, ready to help with all the info you need. It’s that simple.

Protecting your loved ones starts at home.

For many of us, getting older comes with sight, balance or health issues—making falls in the home that much scarier. But did you know a few simple steps could make your home much safer? Extra railings, properly lit stairs and walkways, and nonslip surfaces can help prevent accidents and injuries. Learn about the little things you can do to make home a safer place to live for everyone, inside and out.

Brushing—are you doing it right?

You’ve probably heard it all before: for the healthiest smile, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. But is your brushing technique really getting the job done? Start with a soft bristled brush that is comfortable to hold and reaches your entire mouth. Next, brush all surfaces of your teeth using a gentle, circular motion—let the tips of the bristles do the cleaning. Finally, brush the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks and your tongue. This makes your whole mouth feel cleaner and keeps your breath fresh.

May is National Mental Health Month

Even if you don’t suffer from a mental health condition yourself, chances are that you know someone else who does. It’s estimated
that 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental disorder in any given year, though fewer than one-third of adults and half of children
will receive any form of treatment. Mental health issues can range from anxiety to depression to substance abuse. These are real
medical conditions and should be treated as such. Mental Health Month is intended to raise awareness and understanding of these
disorders. By highlighting available screenings and treatments, we can help millions of people get the help they need.

We’re currently starting a healthy lifestyle challenge through our VIVERAE wellness program. By making healthy choices like eating breakfast, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep, you can earn daily challenge points. Reach 40 challenge points by May 14, and you’ll earn 15 wellness program points. All participants that achieve the 40 point goal will be eligible for a drawing for one of thirty $100 gift cards. In addition to the program rewards, you’ll benefit from building good habits that can help you live healthier. Click here or give us a call at 888-VIVERAE (848-3723).

It’s time to get screened

If you’re 50 or older, it’s time to schedule a colon cancer screening. It may not be something that we really like to talk about, but it’s better to have an awkward conversation than to miss finding a treatable cancer early. Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, and it affects both men and women. It also usually occurs in people over the age of 50. But because cancers take years to develop, a routine screening can pick up the early signs before they turn into cancer. So don’t let a curable cancer go unnoticed—schedule your screening today. 

Did you know that eating breakfast every morning can give your kids better dental health? Studies have shown that children who skip breakfast are more likely to develop cavities and have to visit their dentists more often. Children who eat breakfast tend to eat fewer snacks during the day. Plus, milk appears to reduce the negative effects of sugary cereals. By making sure your kids have a healthy breakfast every day, you can help set them up for future dental health.

Start good dental habits early

Are you staying on top of your little one’s dental health? It may not seem that important to care for teeth that are just going to fall out, but setting your child up with good dental habits now can help keep that smile glowing for years to come. For starters, set a good example! Show your child what good dental hygiene looks like, and your baby will follow your lead. Then find a supportive, patient dentist and make an appointment as soon as you can. Ideally, this would be within six months of the appearance of your child’s first tooth. Start things off well, and your kid will be all smiles! 

Planning for success

Between work and family obligations, modern life can get a little overwhelming. Proper planning can help you take control and give you a sense of purpose as you work through the items on your to-do list. While it may not always seem worth it to make plans in a constantly changing environment, consider the benefits. A good plan can help you prioritize your goals and determine exactly what you want to achieve. It can also help you break down the specific steps that will get you there. With the right plan in place, you can remain focused on your goal as you confidently work towards success. 

You can take control of your heart health

February is American Heart Month. It’s a good time to remind yourself of the risk factors that can contribute to heart disease and how to avoid or reduce their effects. Take a moment and read this bulletin that will: 

  • Educate you on heart disease
  • Teach you about the risk factors that you can control 
  • Show you how you can reduce your risk of heart disease 
  • And direct you to valuable resources to learn more about having a healthy heart.

Your heart’s health is in your hands. Take control and reduce your risk. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dubbed September National Cholesterol Education Awareness month. Visit their site to find out how to avoid joining the 71 million Americans with untreated high cholesterol and learn to be heart healthy instead.  

No wonder one in three children is overweight or obese

Did you know that the average child spends more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen? Or that one in four young children eats fast food most days? And only one in three gets the recommended minimum physical exercise they need each day to be healthy? Visit the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition to see what you can do to help turn these facts around.

September is Baby Safety Awareness Month

Learn how to play it safe.

Babies are expensive. There’s no argument there. So when friends and family offer you hand-me-down baby items, it’s tempting to take them up on their kind offers. But be careful. It’s one thing to swaddle your newborn in a gently used baby blanket, and another to take a chance on your baby’s life with a used car seat or other equipment that may not be safe.

The trick is knowing what’s safe and what’s not when you’re planning your purchases. And for that, you’re in luck. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association offers tips and advice to help you strike the perfect balance. Check out their site for smart ways to protect your baby from avoidable injuries.

Get out of town

The holiday travel season is here. Include these healthy tips in your planning so you’ll know how to prepare for a trip overseas, how to beat jet lag, even how to survive a family road trip.

Here’s another great reason to quit smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the ways you can reduce your risk of diabetes. Learn about other ways you can lower your risk and find out why the American Diabetes Association thinks this issue is important enough to name November American Diabetes month.

Quit smoking, even if it’s only for a day

November 17 is this year’s Great American Smokeout, the American Cancer Society’s annual campaign to help smokers get a start on quitting. It’s the kind of group effort that can lead to reducing cancer and helping people lead healthier lives. 

For any benefits question or concern, one call does it all.
Call us at 877-780-HISD (4473)

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