Department of Public Health Encourages Women to Follow Four Rules of Good Health

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NORTHERN KENTUCKY TRIBUNE | MAY 11, 2015

In conjunction with National Women’s Health Week May 10 – 16, the Department for Public Health is reminding Kentucky women to be physically active, eat right, get routine preventive health screenings and avoid risky behaviors, such as smoking and excessive sun exposure.

“For many women, taking care of their own health is far down on their ‘to do’ list,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield. “They care for their children, their spouse and so many other relatives, neighbors and friends. During National Women’s Health Week, we hope that women in Kentucky will take some time to learn more about our guidelines for good health. This is not only important for the women of Kentucky, but is also a part of our overall health initiative, kyhealthnow, which was created by Gov. Steve Beshear to improve the health of our entire state.”

The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week will be celebrated until May 16. National Women’s Health Week was created to encourage women across the country to get healthy by taking action.

The nationwide initiative, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, encourages women to make their health a top priority and take simple steps for a longer, healthier and happier life.

“Taking simple, preventive steps for your health are key to lifelong wellness,” Mayfield said. “The first step in taking care of our own health is education. This includes eating right, exercising and avoiding tobacco products to scheduling regular preventive health check-ups. I plan to use Women’s Health Week as a reminder to schedule my own preventive exams. Be interactive with your health care provider so that the best health care plan can be developed for you.”

Many employers across the state have wellness programs that encourage employees to be active and involved in preventive health exams. Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan members participate in the LivingWell program, which offers free annual checkups, biometric screenings, and health assessments. Women 50 and over, or those recommended by a physician, also receive free preventive mammograms and colonoscopies.

LivingWell also provides members access to the national diabetes prevention program, health coaches, prenatal nurse support, weight management courses, mental health resources, gym discounts, and tobacco cessation. Once a preventive screening or program is completed, LivingWell further incentivizes members by rewarding Vitality Points. Through the HumanaVitality wellness platform, the points convert to bucks which are used to redeem gift cards, Apple Inc. products, and even hotel stays.

Kyhealthnow, chaired by Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen, includes individuals from various areas of state government to develop innovative strategies for addressing the state’s health woes, while challenging local governments, businesses, schools, nonprofits and individuals to take meaningful steps toward improving health in their communities.

As part of this ongoing effort, Gov. Steve Beshear provided $1 million to expand screenings through the Kentucky Cancer Program in the 2014 – 2016 executive budget to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among Kentucky women. The funding also helps women navigate the health care system.

Since the launch of kyhealthnow last year, Kentuckians have health insurance, are covered by smoke-free policy, can access physical activity resources, seek care for heart disease and cancer prevention, and get dental services, according to a program’s preliminary inaugural annual report released recently by CHFS.

Additional information about the four guidelines for wellness for National Women’s Health Week can be obtained by:

  • Clicking here and reviewing the A-Z Health Topics tab at the top of the page.
  • Talking to your health care provider to learn more about scheduling recommended health screenings such as a mammogram, Pap test, blood pressure screening or cholesterol screening, among others.

For more information about women’s health, programs and services available year-round, contact the local health department in your area.

Read the article online.