Dr. Van H. Dunn, Chief Medical Officer, Talks Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women–every 40 seconds, someone suffers a heart attack. Closer to home, the prevalence of 1199SEIU members at risk for heart disease is nearing 50 percent, mainly because heart problems are usually associated with other chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol, and unhealthy habits like smoking–all risk factors that affect our members at higher-than-average rates.

Now, while I hope these facts lead you to examine your own risk factors, they are no reason to get discouraged. Even if you currently have an elevated risk for heart disease, there are a number of ways to lower that risk–and your Benefit Fund is here to help. For instance, our Diabetes Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program, administered by InquisitHealth, has paired hundreds of 1199SEIU members to help each other better control their Type 2 diabetes. The program has expanded to now include members who need help getting their hypertension, or high blood pressure, under control (see “Get Your High Blood Pressure Under Control with Our Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program,” below). Our Wellness Member Assistance Program’s team of nurses, nutritionists, health educators, social workers and other healthcare professionals also visit worksites to host health fairs and educational workshops where members can get important screenings for hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol–and receive information to take action, if necessary.

Our goal is to keep you healthy and, if you have a chronic condition that puts you at risk for heart disease, to help you manage that condition and avoid more serious health issues. For more information about upcoming wellness workshops and presentations, visit www.1199SEIUBenefits.org/Wellness or call (646) 473-9200.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Don’t Miss Dr. Dunn’s New Healthy Living Spotlight Videos on Diabetes

In two new Healthy Living Spotlight videos, our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Van H. Dunn, explains the warning signs of Type 2 diabetes and, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, what you can do to get your condition under control. The Healthy Living Spotlight video series covers a variety of health topics, including the importance of getting a flu shot, how a healthy lifestyle can prevent hypertension and more, so remember to check out Dr. Dunn’s Healthy Living Spotlight.