Winter 2021 Insight Employer Newsletter


diabetes testing equipment

Employers can play an important role in promoting diabetes prevention

By Deirdre Wheat, M.D., Medical Director, Quality, Disease & Case Management, Independent Health

Diabetes continues to be one of the country’s fastest growing and most expensive chronic diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that more than 34 million adults are currently living with type 2 diabetes in the United States, while approximately 88 million have prediabetes.

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father and daughter cooking together

We want to make it easier for your employees to take charge of their health

At Independent Health, we understand that a healthy workforce is a happy, productive workforce. That’s why we have a long history of working with employers to create healthier workplaces throughout Western New York.

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person using mobile device

Why your employees should register for an online member account

In order to ensure that your employees get the most out of their health care coverage, we ask that you encourage them to create an online member account.

Having their own private and secure account allows your employees to have all of their plan information in one convenient place. In addition, they have 24/7 access to a variety of online tools and resources that can help them take charge of their overall health and well-being.

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woman stretchin in from of computer

Our online Health Hub to host free virtual classes for all members

During these challenging and uncertain times, Independent Health wants to make sure your employees are taking charge of their health and well-being while staying safe at home. That’s why we have started to offer free virtual health and wellness-related classes to all of our commercial plan members.

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Here are just some of the upcoming classes that will be available via Zoom through our online Health Hub:

  • “Active Sitting” – Thursday, February 11 from noon to 1 p.m.
    Presented by Melissa Bulas-Mercuri, PT, DPT, of Buffalo Rehab Group. Participants will learn strategies to improve their posture, including stretches to reduce the strain to your neck and lower back.
  • “How a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Your Age” – Tuesday, February 17 from 10-11 a.m.
    Presented by Michelle Carbery, Senior Corporate Wellness Specialist, Independent Health. You may have heard that sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and depression. But did you know being sedentary can increase your biological age by eight years? Participants will learn what happens to their bodies when they sit more than they move, along with simple ways to add more movement.
  • “Muscle, Mobility & Mind” – Thursday, February 25 from noon to 12:30 p.m.
    Led by Kris Gallimore, Corporate Wellness Specialist, Independent Health. Participants will build lean muscle while increasing their heart rate during this fun and engaging workout. At the end, they will have a few minutes of reflection/meditation that will leave them feeling energized, positive and refreshed. Participants should come prepared with two weights or weighted items like water bottles or soup cans.
  • “Inflammation 101” – Tuesday, March 2 from 10-11 a.m.
    Presented by Lauren Dlugosz, Wellness Program Manager, Independent Health. Participants will learn what inflammation is and how it can impact their health, including signs of inflammation, common causes and what problems inflammation can trigger.
  • “COVID-19 & Financial Worries” – Thursday, March 4 from noon to 1 p.m.
    Presented by Nicolle Overkamp author and founder of Wilcox Financial Group. Participants will learn how to knock out debt fast, build savings and gain a better awareness of financial health during these challenging times.
  • “Stress Management and Mindfulness” – Tuesday, March 9 from 11 a.m. to noon
    Presented by Patrick Greene, Horizon Health Services. Participants will learn the meaning of mindfulness, the mental and physical benefits of practicing mindfulness, and how mindfulness can relieve stress, increase productivity and improve overall health and well-being.
  • “The Aging Neck” – Thursday, March 18 from noon to 1 p.m.
    Presented by Garnet Loveday, PT, DPT, of Buffalo Rehab Group. Participants will learn how to improve their neck health and slow the aging process using exercise.

Registration is not required for any of the classes. Learn more and view a complete class schedule.

We also offer “Work Out At Home” videos!
As a way to help your employees get their hearts pumping and body moving, Independent Health’s Corporate Wellness Team has produced a series of instructional videos to show how exercising at home can be both easy and fun to do. Whether your employees are looking to kick up a good sweat or just want to find Zen through yoga-inspired movement, our Workout at Home videos are here to help them find a healthy balance in both their body and mind. View the videos.

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Insight Newsletter Archive: Winter 2021, Fall 2020, Summer 2020, Spring 2020

New video focuses on COVID-19 testing

As a community, we are all feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since many people seem to have questions about COVID-19 testing, Independent Health recently produced a short video to help our members understand the types of tests that are available and when they should get tested. The video explains the differences between diagnostic and antibody tests and what members should do once they have their test results. In addition, our website has a special COVID-19 section that includes important and timely information about testing, vaccines, coverage for treatment and other related topics.



Reminder about our Community Report

Throughout our 40-year history, Independent Health has long had a clear sense of priorities for our community. The obstacles presented over the past year haven’t changed our mission but have only brought it into sharper focus. Our 2020 Report to the Community – Health and Hope Grow Here – highlights the power of collaboration and community as we help people get and stay healthy. Read our Community Report.