Stephanie, 18

I wish to go on a Mediterranean cruise100TH WISH BADGE

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Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma: A Family Has Relief, Thanks to You

Published in Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s “The Link”, Spring 2016

Jose and Maria

Jose and Maria

For about three years now, Jose and Maria have been coming to the Regional Food Bank’s Fresh Food Mobile Market at the Oak Grove Housing Authority, a housing site for low-income seniors. Because they don’t qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, this helps them gain access to nutritious fresh produce on their limited retirement income.

Not long after they started visiting the Mobile Market, the couple began volunteering to help distribute the fresh food to others. Maria says she noticed the need and just jumped in to fill it. She’s a helper by nature.

“I like to help people everywhere, even at the store,” she says with a smile. Jose laughs and agrees, “She’s always helping old people with getting their groceries to their cars.” 

After 25 years working in food service at Willow Creek Country Club, Maria’s also a star in the kitchen. She gushes about the fresh produce she receives at the Mobile Market and the dishes she creates with it, like salads, salsa and guacamole.

The nutritious meals Maria cooks bolster her and Jose’s health as they age, as well as that of their son, Horacio, 46, who lives with them. Horacio was injured at his construction job several years ago and is now disabled and often in pain. But that doesn’t stop him from pitching in to help at the Mobile Market with his parents.

If it weren’t for gracious friends like you, neighbors like Jose, Maria and Horacio wouldn’t always be able to afford quality groceries. Because you choose to give, they — and their neighbors at Oak Grove — have hope in the form of healthy, nourishing food. For that, they are very appreciative.

“Thank you for helping the people who need it,” Jose says, with Maria adding, “Thank you! This helps our family.”

The Link is published quarterly by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, a member of Feeding America. Comments and questions can be directed to their Development Department at 405-600-3136 or info@regionalfoodbank.org 

FBROK_CARDTo get a free Prescription Discount Card benefitting the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, download, print, email, or have a card mailed to you, here. Every time you save on your prescription, we make a donation to help provide meals for people like Maria and Jose. 

ABC’s of Healthy Skin

As the saying goes, skin is a reflection of your inner health. Good skin starts with a proper, nutritious diet, full of foods containing the following vitamins. You may also want to consider supplements.  

Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or taking any supplements.

Vitamin A

Known to help ease problems like psoriasis or eczema. It may also reduce acne and help strengthen and replenish your skin.  A

 Foods that contain vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, fish, liver, and tropical fruits. 

Vitamin B3

Increases production of the body’s fatty acids, which strengthen your skin’s outer layer. It is also known to balance your complexion and improve pigment. Many cosmetics manufacturers use vitamin B3 in their serums, lotions, and moisturizers.
B3

Foods that naturally contain high levels of B3 include yellow-fin tuna, chicken breast, mushrooms, broccoli, bulgur wheat, wheat bran, salmon, and organ meats. 

Vitamin C

Is an antioxidant that targets free radicals within the body, which can cause damage and age skin more quickly. Vitamin C also produces collagen—a powerful protein that helps revitalize skin.

CFoods high in vitamin C include citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, guava, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe. 

Vitamin E

Another important antioxidant for healthy skin. Creams and lotions filled with vitamin E are commonly used to reduce or eliminate stretch marks, face lines, and other skin issues. As a bonus, this vitamin helps improve hair health, too.

E
Foods with vitamin E include almonds, raw seeds, swiss chard, spinach, turnip greens, kale, plant oils, and hazelnuts.

Vitamin K

Can help improve circulation. It is often recommended for people with dark circles under their eyes or who bruise easily.K

Vitamin K-rich foods include kale, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, lettuce, and other vegetables. 

WTH_webcard_printed BBBRemember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you save on medication for you or your loved onesincluding vitamins with a signed prescription from your doctor. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

You can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the wtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

By WHBlogger 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like.

 

Watertree Health MVP Spotlight: Brian Vickery

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Fun Facts: Brian is an Eagle Scout, an excellent fisherman, has over 200 records and is a WWE fan.

Continuing Series…

­The Watertree Health® MVP Program recognizes outstanding talent within our company. This month, we’re spotlighting a man who is behind the scenes and has given nothing less than 100% for the past 4 years.

Our official June MVP is Brian Vickery, who works in Operations as the Production and Logistics Manager. Brian is incredibly dedicated and passionate about what he does. He is responsible for fulfilling card requests, onboarding new Reps, printing, shipping, and more. He’s always on top of his game, making sure that everyone—all 200+ people he supports—has everything they need.

Brian grew up about 6 miles west of the Watertree Health headquarters in Destin, Florida. Before joining the Company in April 2012, he moved his way up in the restaurant industry, loyally working for the same company for about 10 years.

“I really latched on. Now I can’t see myself doing anything else. I really enjoy it and I like coming to work every day. I like the people I work with,” Brian said.

FullSizeRenderSince Brian started, “There are more people and more card orders to fulfill, but the type of people are the same. The camaraderie is the same, and we all have fun outside of the office, too. Those things will never change. It’s a family environment.” Brian and his significant other Victoria Matthews, who also works in Operations, as ­­­­­the Sales Rep & System Support Director, go to work together every day.

Although the company has drastically grown, Brian has always been able to rise to the occasion and adapt. Over the past 4 years, Brian has learned how to significantly streamline the card production processes, ultimately moving the printing technology in-house.

In the “early days”, Operations would rely on outside vendors for card orders. Now we only use them for card materials and ad hoc orders. By doing so, we have brought down production costs significantly, and Brian was a big part of making that happen.

Carol, Brian’s boss and Chief Operations Officer shared, “Even our card material costs have been drastically reduced because of Brian’s ability to build trusting relationships with outside vendors.”

Bringing card production in-house also means we can get cards to Reps really fast. Previously, card orders would take about 4 days to fulfill. Now, it can be done in as little as 2 days.

Brian can print 1300 cards in an hour, or 15,000-20,000 per day. Plus, the machine coding integrates with our system so the codes are always accurately tracked and reported. To get a better understanding of how Brian gets the cards out to our Reps, check out the short video below.

If Brian had a motto, it would be “I’ll make it happen” because he always follows through in a time and cost-efficient way. Carol elaborated, “He is truly someone who comes to anyone and everyone’s assistance regardless of what it is. Brian’s incredibly helpful and reliable.”

WH_MVP_LOGO_web_small“I do my best every day, but it’s a team effort – I couldn’t get something done if I didn’t have any everyone’s assistance, ” Brian said.

Always humble, hard working, and ready for fun, Brian is one of the pillars of Watertree Health. We are so lucky to have such an amazing person and MVP on our team!
By WHBlogger 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.

Men’s Health: What Men & Women Should Know

dad and sonMen’s Health Month is all about making men aware of their potentially preventable health problems and encouraging them to visit the doctor, at least annually. The key word is preventable—men (as do women) need to be proactive and conscious of their potential health risks. Health problems affect all surrounding loved ones; it truly is a family matter.

The Top Health Risks For Men:

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Lung Cancer
  3. Prostate Cancer
  4. Depression & Suicide
  5. Diabetes
  6. Erectile Dysfunction (potentially a symptom of other issues)

Warning Signs & Symptoms for Men:

(Please consult with your doctor, or encourage the man in your life to, if any of the following happens.)
  • Changes in bowel or bladder functions: Blood in the urine is as serious as frequent urination, which could be a sign of inflammation or an enlarged prostate. Also, changes in the color of urine or stool may be a warning sign.
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction: Erectile problems are typically secondary symptoms of a much more serious health problem. This issue could be an early warning sign of diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol.
  • Unusual or persistent symptoms:  Changes in warts or moles, unusual lumps, reoccurring chest pains or headaches and unexplained weight loss could all be symptoms of other serious health problems and should be checked out by a physician immediately.
  • Depression Men are four times more likely to succeed in their attempts of suicide, making suicide the seventh leading cause of death in men. Consider these 4 questions:
    1. Having trouble sleeping?
    2. Feeling sad, empty or helpless?
    3. Taking unusual risks or acting recklessly?
    4. Lost interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed?

Consult a doctor immediately if there is a health issue. Taking immediate action on potential health problems could mean the difference between a minor complication and one that manifests into something much more serious.

OUR MISSION IS YOUR HEALTH

WTH_webcard_printed BBBIf you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

By WHBlogger 
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 
Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.

Rising Prescription Pricing Has Dire Consequences


2016-05-26-1464297586-6533228-stethescopeRx-thumb
By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health… 

Last week, the New York Times reported that a Florida man killed his sick wife of 50 years because he was unable to afford her medicine. While murder as a solution is uncommon, it is all too easy to find fixed income or retired seniors struggling to pay for necessary medications or not taking medicines as prescribed due to cost. The couple mentioned in the newspaper had already filed for bankruptcy as early as 2011.

As distinct as our current slate of Presidential candidates are from one another, they all agree that prescription prices must be curbed. People living in America cannot afford to get sick. As St. Vincent Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Richard Fogel wrote in The Hill, drug prices threaten patient care. He is troubled by the unjustified hyperinflation of prices for drugs that have existed for decades. Suddenly, select branded and generic product costs jumped by 500 percent, or even 3,000 percent!

Rebecca Moore reports that total retirement health care costs could top $375K. She cites calculations by HealthView Services’ Retirement Health Care Cost Index, which show that a 55-year-old couple planning to retire in 10 years will likely need to spend 88% of their Social Security on total health care costs. Between 2015 and 2016, overall retirement health care costs are forecasted to increase 7.3%, driven by Medicare Part B premium increases at 16.1%.

Astronomical prescription price tags affect people three-fold:

  1. Consumers face increased insurance premiums and increased prescription costs.
    2. Lower margins force hospitals to cut back on crucial community health programs or even terminate such services.
    3. People make bad decisions such as rationing prescriptions or not taking necessary medication at all.

The relentless hyperinflation of drug prices needs to end, but it won’t happen without major changes in policy. Some actions or proposals have included (but are definitely not limited to):

  1. The Campaign for Sustainable RxPricing asks for increased transparency as well as justification of drug pricing.It also demands greater market competitiveness by reducing the practice of “evergreening”, or when a drug manufacturer extends its patent and exclusivity periods on new products that are marginally different from existing versions.
  2. Capping prescription prices so consumers do not pay more than the lowest paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) because the latter is assumed to get the best deals from pharmaceutical companies.This may prove difficult because confidentiality clauses are often part of price negotiations, so the public does not know how much the VA pays for drugs. Drug companies might respond to the California ballot initiative, known as the Drug Price Relief Act, by raising the prices currently offered to the VA.Will this ballot initiative save money? Report offers an educated shrug.
  3. Mandating the prescribing of similar generic or over-the-counter drugs instead of brand names.Drug substitutions could save billions in health care.The suggestion is controversial because the same therapeutic equivalent drug may affect people differently. Although similar, the distinctions may cause varying side effects such as upset stomach.
  4. Health insurers pushing to tie drug prices to outcomes.Prescription costs would better reflect the value they provide. For instance, Cigna Corp. will receive extra price discounts if individuals using new cholesterol medications do not improve as much as drug makers projected from clinical trials. The original negotiated prices don’t change if the medicines meet or exceed expectations.

As you can see in the examples above, there is no quick answer that will satisfy everyone. Moreover, Fogel reminds us that quality care cannot thrive without a meaningful collaboration between health care providers and the pharmaceutical industry. We must prioritize patient needs and outcomes; the future of healthcare depends on it.

Originally appeared in Huffington Post on 5/27/16