Greetings and welcome to May 2019! I can’t believe we are in the second quarter of the year. Since January, I personally have met with members in Sarasota, FL, Phoenix, AZ, and Chapel Hill, NC. Participating in Member Meetings throughout the country, remains a favorite part of my job.
When I visit an area, members are glad to see me (usually). They share their AFSPA experiences – both good and bad. I thank you for praising our employees. I bring back your compliments to the team and it truly makes their day. However, I also appreciate your honesty about your challenges. At times, your observations have even alerted us to systemic issues. Your open feedback allows us to improve and get better. I enjoy listening to you and connecting with you at AFSPA’s Regional Member Meetings.
A few months ago, I began a series featuring the Foreign Service Benefit Plan’s (FSBP) wellness program, the Simple Steps to Living Well Together. I focused on Step One in March 2019, which involves completing a Health Risk Assessment and Physical Exam. This month, I want to highlight Step Two – The Biometric Screening. This short medical exam assesses your overall health and helps answer the question, “Am I really healthy?” The screening evaluates blood pressure, glucose level, cholesterol level, height, weight, and aerobic fitness. These measurements help identify potential risks and underlying medical issues. Follow these steps to register for a Biometric Screening:
Earn a $75 reward by passing three out of five metabolic syndrome criteria. If you don’t pass, you can complete specific wellness programs to receive the $75 reward.
The news often features frightening stories about opioid misuse. These drugs can treat chronic pain effectively, which is why many doctors prescribe them. However, overreliance on these medications has resulted in an epidemic. Opioid misuse is ravaging communities across the country.
FSBP’s Pain Management Program helps identify other treatment options. This may include non-pharmacologic modalities, such as injection therapies or medical devices (e.g. nerve stimulators). It could involve alternative treatments like chiropractic, massage therapy, or physical therapy. Learn more on page 95 of the 2019 FSBP Brochure.
To assist, Aetna has expanded its provider database. It now includes information on surgeons who use non-addictive medications, such as EXPAREL.This drug is administered once during surgery – directly at the surgical site. It relieves pain up to three days, with fewer side-effects than opioids. When searching for providers, look at the Plan Information column to learn if the provider offers, “Opioid Alternatives.”
According to Sleep.org, mental stress impacts your life as well as your sleep quality. Ironically, if you are not well rested, your body actually will boost your stress hormone levels. FSBP offers excellent programs to help reduce stress, which ultimately may improve your sleep. Here are a few Plan services that may assist:
Please enjoy your Memorial Day. This holiday remembers the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country. As always, thank you for your loyalty and for giving AFSPA the opportunity to serve you.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation