AlaskaCare Wellness News | June 2017

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June 2017 | #58

Staying Safe in the Sun!

Women by pool with hats

Sunshine can help us feel happy, healthy and improve our mental outlook. The sun helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, which is essential to many bodily functions. According to the World Health Organization, getting 5-15 minutes of sunlight on the hands, face, and arms two to three times per week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D boosting benefits of the sun. However, spending too much time in the sun may cause sunburn that can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles and sunspots later in life.

The best way to enjoy the health benefits of the sun while preventing sunburn is to be responsible to avoid over exposure by:

  • Staying out of the sun when it is the strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
  • Finding shade when you are outdoors
  • Wearing a hat with a 4-inch wide brim to protect your neck, ears, eyes and scalp
  • Wearing sunglasses with UV ray protection to prevent eye damage
  • Wearing breathable, loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing to cover your arms and legs

Health Tip:

If you can't avoid being in the sun, use a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 or higher to help protect your skin.  Follow the directions on the sunscreen so you can get the most protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  Here are some tips for applying sunscreen:

  • Apply at least 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun
  • Apply sunscreen to all areas of the skin that will be exposed.
       Don’t forget to apply to your nose, ears, neck, scalp, and lips--even if you are wearing a hat
  • Apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours while in the sun; especially, after swimming or sweating  

Source: Environmental Health Perspectives

The Importance of Good Oral Health

Pretty teeth

Oral health is not only important to your appearance and sense of well-being, but also to your overall health. Cavities and gum disease may contribute to many serious conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Untreated cavities can also be painful and lead to serious infections. Studies are also currently examining whether there is a link between poor oral health and heart disease and between poor oral health and women delivering pre-term, low birth weight (PLBW) babies.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Stay Healthy and Save Money with Preventive Dental Care

  • Did you know that every dollar you spend on preventive care, such as brushing and cleaning,
       may help save you money later in restorative care and emergency procedures?
  • Did you know the plan deductible is waived on preventive dental benefits?
  • Did you know that pregnant women and people with certain medical diagnosis, such as diabetes,
       are entitled to more than two annual preventive cleanings ?

It might be time to review your dental benefits

Regular Dental Visits Are Important

Regular dental visits are recommended to prevent oral health problems. But more than one-third of American adults don’t visit their dentist every year.

Two important questions you should always ask your dental provider:

  1. Are you part of the Moda/Delta Dental Network, i.e., In network with my plan?
  2. Can you provide me with a copy of the written dental predetermination, which details the treatment and my cost share?

Source: Delta Dental

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How Can the Onsite Wellness Coaches Support You?

Active Health logo

Did you know AlaskaCare, in partnership with ActiveHealth Management, offers Onsite Health Coaching at your workplace? Onsite programs provide visible, personal, interactive engagement opportunities to improve your health and well-being. Your Onsite Health Coaches deliver programs and services that support overall wellness goals focused on health improvement, such as nutrition/weight management, tobacco cessation, exercise, stress management, and condition management through a variety of options including:

  • Lunch 'n' Learns
  • Health challenges
  • Interactive activity tables and demonstrations
  • Review online tools/resource
  • Group coaching
  • Individual coaching
  • Staff development days

To organize a wellness event for your department, please reach out to your local onsite coach!

In Juneau: Christy Wallace
In Anchorage: Judy Ellenburg

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Alaska Regional Hospital Health Care Concierge: “Just Ask Josie”

Have you ever wanted to meet the person behind that customer service 800 number at your bank or telecommunications company?

Josie Wilson

Now you can at Alaska Regional Hospital’s (ARH) new Healthcare Concierge Department. Josie, ARH’s concierge, is your one-stop-shop for all ARH departments. With Josie, you no longer need to call a general phone number and experience multiple transfers before reaching your intended party. Now, you have access to the concierge anytime via a designated confidential email for members of the AlaskaCare Employee and Retiree health plans. With just one email, you can get the information you need or request to have the concierge call you. It will happen! You may also receive a personalized visit from the concierge when visiting an ARH department. Whether you or a loved one are an inpatient at ARH or utilizing one of the numerous outpatient services, the concierge’s sole purpose is to help ensure that your health care experience with ARH is a good one. The concierge acts as your interface between ARH departments to help you with patient navigation, billing questions, transfers between facilities, and directing you to in-network options to ensure AlaskaCare members are maximizing their full benefits and savings.

We are pleased to introduce you to Josie Wilson and Alaska Regional Hospital’s “Just Ask Josie” Concierge Program.

You can “Just Ask Josie” at

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AETNA Nurse Line

aetna logo

Did you know that the Aetna Nurse Line can connect you with a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide you with immediate health care advice on a variety of health topics? This service is available to all AlaskaCare members and their covered family members.

When should you call the Aetna Nurse Line?

  • On evenings and weekends when you can’t reach your regular provider and you’re not sure
       what to do about a pressing health concern.
  • When you’re not sure if your health issue should wait until your doctor has an appointment
  • When you're ill—for general information about your illness, medications, tests, procedures,
       and surgery.
  • When you're in good health—for general information about health, preventive care,
       and early detection of illness.
  • When you're getting ready to see or call the doctor—for help preparing a list of questions.

Call (800) 556 1555—It’s FREE!

For life-threatening conditions, always head to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

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Exercise of the Month: Hamstring Curls

Hamstring Curls

This exercise provides a great overall workout, engaging deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominis, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, and hip abductors.

Try it out...

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Recipe of the Month: Rosemary-Infused Cucumber Lemonade

Rosemary Cucumber Lemonade

Turn fresh rosemary, cucumbers and lemons into lemonade that will keep you cool and hydrated on a hot day.

Makes: 4 servings, about 3/4 cup each
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 3 large cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary,
       plus 4 sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup (see note)


Cut 12 thin slices of cucumber for garnish.

Peel and chop the rest of the cucumber; transfer to a food processor, add rosemary and puree. Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. Add water, lemon juice and agave syrup to the cucumber juice; stir until the agave is dissolved. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with cucumber slices and rosemary sprigs.

Note: Agave syrup or nectar is the naturally sweet juice extracted from the agave plant. It has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, but is even sweeter. Use it in moderation when substituting for table sugar. Look for it near other sweeteners in natural-foods stores.

Source: Eating Well

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Active Health logo

Maybe you’ve had your eye on some new running shoes—they could be yours if you win! Log in to and complete a Digital Coaching module (reported in Heart Beats). Each time you complete Heart Beats of Digital Coaching, you get another chance to win. Choose from almost 200 category topics and start working towards your personal health goals today with Digital Coaching—available 24 hours per day!

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