Healthy for the Holidays

Category: Workplace Wellness

Healthy for the Holidays

Posted On: December 11, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

The holiday season brings family, friends, festivities and lots of food! The temptations are everywhere and with all the extra activities, your daily routine gets disrupted. How can you stay on track when splurging is so apparent? We can help! Here are a few tips to help keep you healthy through the holidays: Holiday proof your plan. While you can’t control what is served during the holidays, you can control our plan of attack. Stay on schedule. Stay as close to your normal meal times as possible or if you are invited to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish.   Be smarter than the buffet. When you are faced with lots of choices, make healthy choices easier by starting with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite or have a small plate of something you really like and then move away from the buffet.   Keep moving.…


Innovative Welcomes Nurse Advocate, Erica Polaneczky, MSN, APRN, ANP-C

Posted On: November 20, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News, Workplace Wellness

We are excited to announce the latest member of the Innovative Benefits team! Please join us in welcoming Erica Polaneczky, MSN, APRN, ANP-C, as our Nurse Advocate.  As part of our Workplace Wellness team, Erica will help Innovative build, plan, coordinate, and deliver health promotion activities tailored specifically for each client’s company culture and member population.  She will work with our internal team and our clients to improve health and wellness opportunities and outcomes while increasing the accessibility of care and reducing costs. Our new Nurse Advocate will also develop and present seminars on health and wellness to our clients, and coach and counsel individual client-members to help them achieve optimal health. Erica’s healthcare expertise can help clients navigate the healthcare system, including interpreting physician instructions and medication compliance. Prior to accepting this position, Erica spent more than 15 years providing pre-admission testing at Hahnemann University Hospital, as well as…


Innovative Welcomes New Director of Wellness & Engagement

Posted On: November 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News, Workplace Wellness

We are pleased to announce another new member has joined the Innovative team! Please help us welcome Patricia Pellicore, CWP, as Director of Wellness and Engagement.  As Director of Wellness and Engagement Patricia will manage, develop, grow, and promote the numerous positive features of Innovative’s wellness initiatives. One of her roles is developing program strategies, analyzing biometric testing, health risk assessments, pharmaceutical use, and claims data to provide effective individualized initiatives around health education and disease management. She will also develop wellness seminars, training courses and communication materials for our clients. Moreover, Patricia will be a valuable resource for our member population. Prior to accepting this position, Patricia spent more than 20 years designing and implementing employee engagement and wellness programs. She most recently served as the Director of Wellness Operations for a personal health advocacy organization. In this role, she managed wellness coaching and biometric data management units, as…


Innovative’s Well-being @ Work 2019 Summit Recap

Posted On: November 13, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News, Workplace Wellness

As employers, what do we need to create workplaces that are connected, flourishing and well with both business and employee in mind?This year Innovative Benefits Planning hosted our inaugural well-being summit that was dedicated to making workplaces healthier.  The room was packed full of HR professionals, C-Suite decision-makers, health and well-being professionals and top well-being vendors in the industry.The morning kicked off with a healthy breakfast, opportunity to participate in voluntary biometrics with Cardio-Kinetics and discuss employer well-being options with over 20 vendors.  The set up was as engaging as it gets in the Hall of Fame Club of Citizens Bank Park with mindful networking taking place in every well-designed event space.What does a committed and aligned organization look like when it comes to health and well-being?At its core, organizations need a committed leadership team that believes in the power of well-being and the philosophy of workplace well-being.  When you…


Diabetes Awareness Month

Posted On: November 13, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

November is National Diabetes Awareness month! According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly half of all American adults have diabetes or prediabetes, yet most do not fully understand the illness. Unaddressed diabetes can take a heavy toll medically, financially, and personally. Diabetes also increases the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Becoming educated on the subject is the first step in properly managing or preventing diabetes. Diabetes FAQs How is diabetes diagnosed? Diabetes can be diagnosed through blood tests for glucose and/or hemoglobin A1c. Elevated blood markers must be present on two separate occasions for a formal diagnosis to be assigned. What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas when the sugar from carbohydrates gets into the bloodstream. Insulin signals the cells of the body to take up glucose for energy or storage. What is the difference between Type I and Type II Diabetes? Put simply, type…


Oral Health Awareness Month

Posted On: October 15, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall health. What's the connection between oral health and overall health? Like other areas of the body, your mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease. Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. What conditions can be linked to oral health? Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including: Endocarditis. This infection…


Flu Season: Myths vs. Facts

Posted On: September 13, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Flu season is quickly approaching. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those aged 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. There are many misconceptions about the seasonal flu vaccines. Below we have highlighted some of these common misconceptions and the facts to dispel them. 1. MYTH: You can catch the flu from the vaccine. FACT: The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit an infection. Therefore, the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. However, it typically takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective. During those 2 weeks, it is still possible for an individual to get the flu or another respiratory virus. 2. MYTH: Healthy people don't need to be vaccinated. FACT: Healthy individuals are still at…


Mind Your Health-Mental Health & Exercise

Posted On: August 9, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

You have probably heard of the variety of benefits from weekly exercise.... But did you know that exercise can do wonders for both physical AND mental health? People who exercise regularly gain a sense of well-being, feel more energetic throughout the day, have a better quality of sleep, and have a greater sense of positivity. Studies have shown that regular exercise has a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD and several other mental health conditions. Additionally, inactivity could contribute to poor mental health and reduced feelings of well-being. A study published in 2018 examined participants with an average experience of 3.4 days of poor mental health each month. Compared to people who reported no exercise activity, participants who exercised reported 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health each month – a reduction of 43%. Types of exercise with the strongest association of improved mental health included team activity, cycling,…


Healthy Summer Salad for a Hot Day

Posted On: July 23, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Innovative Workplace Wellness is invested in supporting your business through the health of your employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic disease accounts for 75% of total healthcare costs. With an employer-sponsored wellness program, you can provide targeted health education and resources needed by your employees to create a healthier workforce. Wellness programs help to build team camaraderie and a “culture of wellness,” which in turn, leads to happier, healthier, more productive employees. At Innovative, we are committed to a healthy lifestyle, that’s why we like to share our healthy tips and tricks with you! Below you will find a healthy summer recipe to create at home.   Chicken and Cucumber Salad with Parsley Pesto   Ingredients 2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 1 bunch) 1 cup fresh baby spinach 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan…


Do you Practice Sun Safety?

Posted On: July 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Summer is here! That means spending more time with the family, more outdoor activities, and most importantly more exposure to the sun and its harsh UV rays. Increased exposure to UV radiation increases the risk of skin cancer. Due to climate change, the stratospheric ozone is thinning allowing less protection from the sun's harmful rays, which in result increases the UV radiation levels over time. We advise everyone not to rely on temperature as a guide, but to check the sun protection times daily to see when the UV is forecast to be 3 or above. Using the tips below, challenge yourself to practice good sun safety all through July!   SPF and How to Apply Sunscreen. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures the length of time a sunscreen product protects against sun exposure. Here are some tips on how to apply sunscreen: --No spray on sunscreens--this can cause you to miss…


A Nutrition Approach to Prostate Cancer Prevention

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Prostate cancer is a disease in which some of the cells of the prostate gland grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. The resulting mass is called a malignant tumor, which often originates in the outer part of the prostate. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men: nearly 200,000 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year. Read a few nutrition and lifestyle modifications below that research has shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.   Low-Fat Diet: It is recommended that men reduce fat consumption, particularly saturated fat, from dairy and meat sources. Studies have also shown that meats that have been grilled to the point of being charred may produce a carcinogen that can concentrate in the prostate. Prostate cancer prevalence…


Migraine and Headache Awareness Month-How to Cope in the Workplace

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Almost 40 million Americans live with migraine and headache disorders. Unfortunately, headaches are considered invisible diseases, due to its ability to cause people who live with it to feel isolated and alone. There is a lack of understanding from employers, the public and people with migraine themselves about the impact and complexity of the condition. The impact of migraines and headache in the workplace presents a serious issue for employers as well as the individual. Attacks typically last between 4 and 72 hours and symptoms cease in-between attacks which means employees are often able to return to work soon after an attack. Despite the severe pain experienced during an attack many people will not take sick leave when they experience a migraine and will continue to attend work despite their productivity levels being considerably impaired. Promoting employees’ good health and well-being adds value to an organization by increasing motivation and…


June is Men’s Health Month

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country during the month of June with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. Getting recommended check-ups and screenings can keep disease away or detect problems early. View the chart below to review the preventative health by age.   Innovative’s Workplace Wellness Innovative’s Workplace Wellness assists employers in creating a culture of health. Our skilled wellness team works hand-in-hand with organizations to design and implement customized wellness programs that improve your population health and ultimately lower claims costs. Workplace…


Self-Care for Caregivers

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

National Women's Health Week was May 12-18 this year. Earlier this month, we focused on preventative health, by age, for women. But a large percentage of women fall into a different type of health risk category--being a caregiver for a friend or family member. Besides physical health, caregivers also need to focus on their mental and emotional health as well.   Women’s Health—Self-Care for Caregivers Upwards of 75% of all caregivers are female. There is increased awareness to a new population at risk - caregivers. As the world’s aging population grows at an unprecedented rate, so do the number of caregivers. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, one-third of caregivers provide intensive care to their loved ones while suffering from ill health themselves. Emotional, physical and mental wear can cause a caregiver to develop a chronic condition. Many caregivers report poor eating habits, sleep deprivation, failure to exercise and postponement…


National Women’s Health Week

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

The 20th annual National Women's Health Week kicked off this past Sunday on Mother's Day, May 12, and is celebrated through May 18. Each year, this week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life. What steps can you take for better health? To improve your physical and mental health, you can: Visit a health care provider for a well-woman visit (checkup), preventive screenings, and vaccines. Get active. Eat healthy. Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress. Practice safe behaviors, such as quitting smoking, not texting while driving, and taking steps to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections. It's not always easy to take steps for better health but a great start is to reflect on your health goals, what motivates you, and what's holding you back from being your healthiest you.  In addition, getting recommended screenings and preventive care…


Allergy Friendly Recipe – Gluten Free and Vegan Thin Mint Cookies

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Allergy Recipe

Ingredients: For the cookies: 1 cup vegan buttery spread softened 1 1/8 cup organic cane sugar ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce 2 cups gluten free flour 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract For the coating: 3 cups dairy free chocolate chips 3/8 teaspoon peppermint extract Instructions: 1. Place the vegan buttery spread and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until fluffy.  Add the applesauce and extracts and mix until combined. 2. Add the gluten free flour, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined. 3. Divide the cookie dough into two parts and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Coat a rolling surface and the rolling pin with cocoa powder. Place one disc of the…


Allergy Prevention Tips

Posted On: April 5, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Did you know that you can sign up for allergy alerts? You will get email notifications of allergy counts in your area. On days that the pollen count is high, avoid leaving windows to your home and car open. Pollen counts are the highest between the hours of 5am-10am. If possible, avoid outside exposure during this time. The best time for outside activity is immediately after a heavy rainfall. Avoid dry and windy days! Always wash your face and hands when returning inside to avoid lingering pollen. Remember your sunglasses. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from floating pollen. Saline sinus rinse as well as saline eye drops are great to keep on hand to remove pollen and quell allergy symptoms. When taking allergy medicine, remember to take it consistently! Allergy medicine works best taken on a daily basis. Wash bedding weekly in hot water as well as shower daily before…


Spring Has Sprung! But So Has Allergy Season

Posted On: April 2, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Spring has sprung! But so has allergy season According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are classified as a chronic disease. So, what are allergies? An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system treats an allergen such as pollen, as a harmful substance. The immune system overreacts and forms an antibody known as immunoglobulin E. When this antibody responds to allergens, you experience what is known as an allergic reaction. Allergy Symptoms Symptoms vary depending on type of allergy. Common allergy symptoms include itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, hives and bloating. Additional symptoms that can be more serious reactions include swelling, redness, rashes, pain, tongue swelling, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, chest tightness, vomiting and diarrhea. A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. If you have a severe allergy, it is crucial to keep self-injectable epinephrine on…


Action-Based Wellness-How it Can Reduce Claims Cost 10-25%

Posted On: March 20, 2019 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, Workplace Wellness

See how Innovative helped one client save significant claims dollars over a three year period by implementing a "results-based" wellness program. During the three year period, Innovative was able to help our client: Obtain 96% of employees to participate in Biometric Screenings Implement a proactive outreach incentive program 60% of employees to improve or remain low risk Potentially save $534,132 in claims cost Click the case study below to read how Innovative took their current situation and provided a solution and action plan to significantly reduce their claims cost.


National Nutrition Month

Posted On: March 5, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to raise awareness of the importance of making informed, healthful food choices to prevent and combat illness. Did you know that food is the most powerful medicine? Medicine comes with many positive and negative effects to treating illness. Medicine may improve your overall condition, but it also comes with side effects and complications. Generally, medicine is used to treat the disease not prevent it. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 adults have two or more chronic diseases. A staggering 75% of the nation’s health care cost is spent on the treatment of chronic disease. Now more than ever, there is a national push towards lifestyle modification to promote prevention. Energy-Dense vs Nutrition-Dense Foods Energy-dense foods, also know as calorie-dense foods, contain…


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