The Loneliness Epidemic

By Ken Burdick

Did you know loneliness poses the same health risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? In fact, new research indicates weak social connections and feelings of extreme isolation could shorten a person’s life by 15 years. With more than one-third of U.S. adults age 45 or older indicating they are lonely, we’ve reached a critical number of individuals who are at risk for serious health outcomes. Continue reading “The Loneliness Epidemic”

What It’s Like to Be Homeless for a Night in Honolulu

By Scott J. Sivik

Last Friday, I spent the night outside on a cardboard box for the second time. It remains one of the most humbling experiences for me each year. The weather was unpredictable, the streets were loud, and needless to say, I only got a few hours of real sleep.HI_CEO Sleepout_SleepingBag

It’s hard to complain about one night spent outside when there are more than 7,000 homeless individuals in Hawaii who struggle with this reality every day.

It was a privilege to participate in the annual #CEOSleepout organized by The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands. Together, ‘Ohana Health Plan and other local businesses and organizations, slept outside of the state capitol rotunda in Honolulu to better understand the struggles of Hawaii’s homeless residents, while raising awareness and needed funds for food, shelter, clothing and more. Continue reading “What It’s Like to Be Homeless for a Night in Honolulu”

Raising Awareness for Our Nation’s Community Health Centers

By Ken Burdick

It’s National Health Center Week, a time to recognize and raise awareness for our nation’s community health centers.

Each year, community health centers serve more than 27 million Americans and report approximately 104 million visits annually—and the numbers continue to rise.

What makes these centers such a growing, critical resource? Continue reading “Raising Awareness for Our Nation’s Community Health Centers”

Helping Arizonans Access Social and Human Services in Maricopa County

By Scott Cummings

At Care1st Health Plan Arizona, we value giving back to the communities we serve. When we saw a growing need for human services in the underserved Southwest Valley of Maricopa County, we seized the opportunity to find a solution that would benefit not only our members in the area, but the community as a whole.

During the Great Recession, the City of Avondale was hit particularly hard. Approximately 20 percent of homes went into foreclosure and a fragmented human services infrastructure could not fully support its growing number of residents in need. Continue reading “Helping Arizonans Access Social and Human Services in Maricopa County”

Celebrating WellCare’s Recognition from The Civic 50

By Rhonda Mims

For the second year, WellCare was named to The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. The Civic 50 is an initiative that honors the nation’s top community-minded companies for superior corporate citizenship.

This recognition is both an honor and a testament to WellCare’s strong mission to serve. We’ve created a corporate culture that places great emphasis on community investment, associate engagement and volunteerism as well as social public policy and overall impact. These categories are the same areas measured by this annual survey, which ranked WellCare among the nation’s most influential companies. Continue reading “Celebrating WellCare’s Recognition from The Civic 50”

Addressing Social Determinants of Health

By Ken Burdick

Imagine not having enough food to feed your family or no transportation to get to your doctor or local pharmacy. Consider what it would be like to live isolated without access to friends, family or support community.

This is a reality for millions of Americans impacted by so-called social determinants of health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these are the “conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age and include the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” Further research from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates medical care accounts for only 10 to 20 percent of health outcomes; the rest can be attributed to individual behavior and social, environmental and genetic factors. Continue reading “Addressing Social Determinants of Health”