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Announcing: Healthier Hampton Roads

Initiative Will Foster Economic Development By Addressing Health Literacy
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EdLogics, Old Dominion University and Global Action Platform proudly announce Healthier Hampton Roads, a community-wide initiative.

The initiative is a partnership focused on transforming the way people learn about health and designed to increase health literacy, workforce productivity, and economic prosperity throughout Hampton Roads.

Governor Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and former Governor of Wisconsin, and Chairman of EdLogics is helping make the call to action: “Healthier Hampton Roads will be a multi-stakeholder, integrated, community-based program that bridges the work site, home, and community,” he said. “It will connect all of Hampton Roads through an interactive digital health platform that provides a vehicle for increasing awareness, communication, education, engagement, and behavior change.”

“Improving health literacy is a key requirement for achieving behavior change, reducing healthcare costs, and improving health outcomes,” said Thomas M. Chamberlain, PharmD, founder and CEO of EdLogics. “Achieving behavior change at a community level requires people and organizations coming together through collaborative coalitions involving corporations, municipalities, non-profit organizations, health systems, universities, school systems, faith-based institutions, foundations, and philanthropists. Such collaboration is a key goal for Healthier Hampton Roads.”

“In today’s highly competitive global economy, health is a key economic driver,” said Scott T. Massey, PhD, chairman and CEO of Global Action Platform. “Healthy citizens are more productive, more creative, and provide a competitive advantage for any regional economy dedicated to growth and shared prosperity. Global Action Platform is working with EdLogics as a strategic partner to launch Healthier Hampton Roads and help build a new national model that can be created first here, replicated in our headquarters city of Nashville, and then shared nationally.”

More information is available in the official press release.

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Really Reduce Health Costs?

Do they really live up to the hype?
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Countless employers – an estimated 80% of large US employers – offer wellness programs for their employees. In fact, wellness programs are often touted as key employee benefits. The goals are simple: make employees healthier and health care costs will be reduced.

But new research questions if wellness programs actually do reduce health care costs. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 19 was jointly conducted by Harvard and the University of Chicago.

The researchers randomly offered different wellness programs at various work sites and then tracked the results. Specifically, they offered new wellness programs at randomly selected locations of BJ’s Wholesale Clubs. Those results were compared to existing programs at other locations to identify any changes in individual behavior as well as any changes in the corporate culture.

The results showed some demonstrated behavior changes but little effect on other outcomes.

Behavior Changes Recorded at Sites Offering Wellness Programs:

  • 8.3% higher rate of employees self-reporting engaging in regular exercise
  • 13.6% higher rate of employees self-reporting managing their weight

Outcomes Showing No Significant Impacts Included:

  • Self-reported quality of sleep
  • Job performance and absenteeism
  • 10 specific clinical health markers

Researchers noted that the field of studying wellness programs is still relatively new. Others have commented that 18 months might not be enough time to effectively measure the success/impact of wellness programs. Might it not take decades?

One of the coauthors of the study, Zirui Song, an assistant professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute, stated her summary.

“As we grow to understand how best to encourage healthy behavior, it may be that workplace wellness programs will play an important role in improving health and lowering the cost of health care,” Song said. “For now, however, we should remain cautious about our expectations from such interventions. Rigorous research to measure the effects of such programs can help make sure we’re spending society’s health and wellness dollars in the most effective way.”

One missing variable is the role that education plays. Would behavior change absent of an increase in health literacy even be sustainable? Conversely, if employees better understand their personal health – how to properly use an asthma inhaler, for example – would behavior change persist longer?

We’ll be fielding these questions to several health literacy experts so check back for their responses.

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

EdLogics Named Finalist in Validation Institute 2019 Health Value Awards

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EdLogics is a finalist in the Validation Institute’s 2019 Health Value Awards. Now in its second year, the annual award program celebrates organizations committed to the process of lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes.

“We’re so excited to celebrate our award finalists. Participating in the Health Value Awards shows these healthcare companies and providers are not only committed to providing high-quality, value-based healthcare, but are ready to lead the industry in this new, exciting, and necessary direction,” said RD Whitney, CEO of Validation Institute.

“EdLogics provides one of the most advanced consumer health education and engagement platforms available,” says Thomas M. Chamberlain, PharmD, Founder and CEO of EdLogics. “Through interactive game-based learning, challenges, and unique incentive strategies, we are achieving high levels of engagement and significant improvement in users’ understanding of key health issues.”

EdLogics joins 84 other finalists across 34 healthcare categories. Winners will be announced April 28 at a reception in Washington, DC.

See the full list of finalists here.

The Validation Institute is a membership organization made up of a network of healthcare vendors, health benefits advisors, and purchaser benefit managers focused on delivering better health value and stronger outcomes than conventional healthcare.

 

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

Program Spotlight: Local Pain Medication Education Expands in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Health Literacy Offers Opioid Education Materials And Workshops
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The opioid crisis continues to be a national issue that is mostly fought at a local level. Education, prevention and treatment typically fall to the responsibility of schools, hospitals, municipalities and non-profit groups. Prescription pain medicines are highly addictive and the epidemic is affecting people in every slice of society – from teens to suburban housewives.

To help combat the crisis in the state of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Health Literacy developed “Let’s Talk About Pain Medicines”. This one-hour workshop (and accompanying materials) helps inform people how to safely use prescription pain medications and how to spot addiction.

The program was developed at an average literacy level and the materials are available in both English and Spanish.

By partnering with community groups Wisconsin Health Literacy is expanding its reach and making the program available on a state-wide basis. The education covers various pain medication topics and questions such as where and how to safely store the medications, how to safely dispose of unused medications and how to best discuss sensitive pain medication questions with your doctor.

The materials also cover basic medication label literacy – what do the precautions mean and how to understand dosage information.

The easy-to-follow materials allow for the program to be replicated and distributed quickly and efficiently. To date, the in-person program has been delivered to Wisconsin residents dozens of times.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact Wisconsin Health Literacy at healthliteracy@wisconsinliteracy.org. Downloadable materials can be found here.

 

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

AJPM Article of the Year, by One of Our Own

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine honors EdLogics advisor Dr. Brian Primack for his article on social media & loneliness.
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We’re proud. But we’re not surprised.

A study by the University of Pittsburgh’s Brian Primack, MD, PhD — an EdLogics advisor — has been named Article of the Year by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). The study, “Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the US,” examines whether time on social media actually helps — or hurts — our personal connections.

From the journal: “The Article of the Year is selected by the AJPM editors and one representative from each of the journal’s two sponsoring professional societies, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.” The honor was announced late last year.

Remember Dr. Primack?

Brian Primack, MD, PhDYou might recall our recent webinar, “Improving Health Literacy: What Works & Why,” featuring Dr. Primack and EdLogics advisor and health literacy expert Dr. Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, of Vanderbilt University. Dr. Primack made some illuminating, thought-provoking points on the effectiveness of gamification and game-based learning for improving health literacy.

In addition to being an EdLogics advisor, Dr. Primack is the director of Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh. For this study, he and his colleagues surveyed 1,787 adults in the US ages 19–32, asking about their social media habits across 11 different social networks. They also asked about loneliness and isolation, gauging the correlation between social media use and feeling left out.

What they found surprised them.

Social media, social isolation

You’d think that social media connects us. That’s the point, isn’t it?

But the more people use social media, the more lonely they say they feel. In fact, those who used it more than 2 hours a day were twice as likely to report feeling socially isolated, compared to those who spent a half-hour a day or less.

“The people in the highest quartile of social media use [more than 58 visits a week] … had about 3 times the likelihood of having perceived social isolation,” Primack says. “Social media does not translate directly to better social connectedness.”

He goes on:

“It may be that people who are already socially isolated are turning to social media to try to fill that void. However, if that is the case, the results of this study would suggest that that self-medication is not working so well.

“On the other hand, it may be that people who use more social media are being exposed to highly curated messages suggesting that ‘everyone else has more connections, a better life than I do.’ And in comparison, people can feel sad or they can feel socially isolated. … It may be a combination of the two.”

 

American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2017 Article of the Year


Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh discusses “Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S.” This article was chosen by the editors of AJPM as the top article published in the journal in 2017.

But social media isn’t all that bad — necessarily.

It can depend on how you use social media. Primack is already making plans for future studies that get into more nuanced detail. That way, we can see what types of social media use correlate to feeling more — or less — lonely. We can see which social media behaviors correlate to which feelings.

Until then, Primack says, everyone can judge for themselves how social media affects them:

“Is their social media use making their lives better, is it inadvertently detracting from them?”

Further reading

The study: Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the US

NPR: Feeling Lonely? Too Much Time On Social Media May Be Why

Today: Feeling lonely? How to stop social media from making you feel isolated

CBS (video): Study: More Social Media Use Tied To Increasing Feelings Of Isolation

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