Passport Mails out Kentucky HEALTH Postcard to Members

KY Health NoticeFollowing up on the postcard that was produced and distributed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Medicaid Services (DMS), Passport has also produced a postcard for our members regarding Kentucky HEALTH, the new health and well-being program for certain low-income adults and their families.

The card discusses four simple things that all members can do now:

  1. Make sure your address is up-to-date with the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS). It’s very important that you’re getting your mail!
  2. Read over everything you get in the mail from DMS and Passport. You’ll be getting information about how Kentucky HEALTH may or may not affect you.
  3. Learn as much as you can about Kentucky HEALTH by visiting www.KentuckyHEALTH.ky.gov or www.benefind.ky.gov or www.passporthealthplan.com/together.
  4. Call us here at Passport at 1-800-578-0603. We’ll be happy to help answer your questions!

To see a PDF version of the postcard, please click here.

 

 

A Good Night’s Sleep is One of the Most Important Things We Can Do to Be Healthy

Insider Louisville LogoOf all the components of good health, there’s one that’s as essential as eating, breathing and physical activity. According to Lisa Bellafato, a health education manager at Passport Health Plan, a good night’s sleep can have a positive effect on everything from your energy level to your ability to lose weight.

“Sleep is a restorative time for the body,” Bellafato says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. Some can get less, some need more. Teens need more, but for some it’s almost impossible to get the recommended hours.”

Bellafato spends time talking to teens about health issues, and notes that technology is a big factor in depriving young people of sleep. Phones, and the need to be constantly connected, is a huge factor. She recommends a family charging station, and said parents should insist on every family member placing phones at a central location at bedtime – even themselves.

For more information, please click here.

 

Passport Partners with Bluegrass Harvest to Bring Fresh Produce to Lexington Residents

Passport Health Plan has signed on with Bluegrass Harvest, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program administered by Community Ventures, to sponsor weekly deliveries of locally grown produce for low-income residents of Lexington’s East End community.

The program, which is expected to benefit up to 70 families, will include 20 weekly boxes of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables from local farms this spring and summer. In addition, the CSA box recipients will have access to additional health and wellness-oriented events throughout the five-month program, including cooking demonstrations, exercise classes, food tastings, meet-the-farmer events and more, said Sandy Noble Canon, president of Bluegrass local food initiatives for Community Ventures.

The program is aimed at not only improving access to healthy food, but also encouraging healthy behaviors that can lower health costs and improve outcomes while at the same time supporting local farmers.

“If you think about ways to improve health and quality of life, there’s only so much that going to the doctor can do,” said Michael Rabkin, communications director for Passport Health Plan. “We know that food directly impacts someone’s health, whether it’s losing weight or preventing diabetes or lowering someone’s heart rate.”

For more information on Bluegrass Harvest, please click here. For more information about this partnership, please click here.

 

Louisville Grows Brings Healthy-Eating Practices to Residents All Over Region

Insider Louisville LogoThe phrase “eat your vegetables” can refer to any responsible choice you make, whether in work, school, or life. Taken literally, it’s good advice when it comes to your diet.

Healthy eating can mean different things to different people, but almost everyone is making a conscious effort to improve their health by paying attention to what they put in their mouths. And vegetables are among the healthiest items anyone can choose.

Ked Stanfield, executive director of Louisville Grows, organizes programs and activities to encourage a healthy diet at the organization’s headquarters in the Portland neighborhood of West Louisville.

“Something that’s missing from a lot of American diets are vegetables,” he says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.  “Vegetables have a lot of nutrients and they don’t have a lot of calories. Those micro- and macro-nutrients that are found in vegetables are things that we lack in our diet.”

To learn more about this, please click here.

 

You Could Be a Work of Art and Become a Part of Passport Health Plan’s Photo Mosaic

Passport is preparing to break ground on our new Health and Well-Being Campus in West Louisville on March 14, and we want you to be part of the big event – literally!

Here’s How: First, use your phone to take a selfie. Then, post it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #FacesOfPassport. These photos will then be used to create a giant mosaic that celebrates Passport’s mission: to improve the health and quality of life of our members. The final mosaic will be unveiled at Passport’s groundbreaking celebration on March 14, and – thanks to the generous support of the Passport Foundation – it will be installed as a lasting piece of art in Passport’s future headquarters.

Don’t wait, though! Post your selfie by Friday, February 16, and you’ll have a chance to be part of this lasting tribute to the groundbreaking change Passport is bringing to the people of Kentucky. For more information, please click here.

Important Note: Please understand that by posting your selfie, it becomes a publicly available image that Passport has the right to obtain and use for commercial, promotional, educational and other purposes. Although not every photo is guaranteed to be part of the final mosaic, you can increase your chances by posting multiple selfies.

 

2017 KIDS COUNT County Data Book Details Current Status of Well-Being for Kentucky Children

The 2017 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book offers the latest data on 17 measures of child well-being, showing whether outcomes for children have improved, worsened, or stayed the same over a five-year period. It also offers detailed data for all 120 Kentucky counties, and calculates how many children would be impacted if Kentucky was able to make just a 10 percent improvement for each measure.

“The message behind the KIDS COUNT data is clear: giving children opportunities to succeed is essential if our state is to reach its potential,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA). “Looking at data change over time illuminates areas of progress and areas of needed policy change and investment. If all of our kids-no matter their families’ income, skin color, or zip code-are to grow up to be healthy and productive citizens, their needs must be prioritized.”

The 2017 County Data Book allows users to investigate areas in which Kentucky and its counties are making progress and those needing focused attention for improvement by highlighting information and data in four domains of child well-being: economic security, education, health, and family and community.

“Quality data helps us focus our efforts to build healthier and safer communities,” said Mark Carter, CEO of Passport Health Plan, the signature sponsor of the Data Book. “That’s why we are so pleased to sponsor a tool that health provider partners, community agencies, youth, and advocates across Kentucky can utilize to build stronger communities for our future – our children.”

For example, health data continues to show progress for Kentucky kids. Nearly 96 percent of children under age 19 and 77 percent of young adults age 19-25 have health insurance, which they depend on to stay healthy. In addition, rates of smoking during pregnancy, babies born at low birthweight, and teen births all improved over the past 5 years.

Read the 2017 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book and access the Kentucky KIDS COUNT Data Dashboard, featuring data trends from the 2017 report, at  kyyouth.org.

 

Kentucky ranks 49th in seniors’ well-being, new survey shows

WellBeingFor the seventh year in a row, Kentucky has been ranked as the second-lowest state when it comes to the well-being of people aged 55 and older, beating out only West Virginia.

The rankings  are part of the 2015 Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series. Kentucky’s “well-being index score” was 61.2, ranking just ahead of West Virginia (59.9) and just below Oklahoma (62.0), Ohio (62.5), Indiana and Vermont (62.7 each). The score is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best. Hawaii ranked No. 1, with a score of 67.0.

The analysis ranks states according to five different measures of well-being for seniors and then ranks them based on the overall score. Those measures (with Kentucky’s ranks noted in parentheses) are:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals (48)
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life (46)
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security (41)
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community (40)
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily (49)

James Kimbrough, president of AARP Kentucky, told Darla Carter of The Courier-Journal that he thought the problem was rooted in poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity and said he would like to see state’s legislative leaders be public role models in these areas.

“The healthiest states in the country have a culture of encouraging people to exercise, to be outdoors, to not sit in front of the TVs,” he said.

 

Kentucky children continue to struggle with their health depending on where they live, according to new report

KY Youth Advocates logoThe annual Kentucky Kids Count report has measured the overall well-being of Kentucky’s children for 26 years, and this year’s report finds that today’s youth are healthier and completing high school on time despite mounting economic inequality and increasingly unaffordable college tuition.

“We need to continue to implement policies and practices that help all children, and in order to do that, we must face some uncomfortable truths,” Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, said in a release. “One of those truths is that the ZIP code in which children live, the amount of money their family earns, and the color of their skin are pervasive and powerful influences on the childhood they will have and the future they can embrace.”

The report looks at four major categories – Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family & Community – and ranks the states accordingly. Kentucky showed improvements in 11 of the 16 major categories, en route to an overall ranking of No. 35 (Minnesota is No 1, while Mississippi is No. 50). In fact, Kentucky showed improvements in all four Health categories (low-birthweight babies, children without health insurance, children and teen deaths per 100,000, and teens who abuse alcohol or drugs) and was ranked No. 16 in the nation in the Health category.

To see the Kentucky profile, please click here. To see the full report, please click here.

The Kentucky Kids Count report, released by KYA, is part of the 26th annual release of the County Data Book, which ranks every Kentucky county on overall child well-being through 16 measures in four areas: economic security, education, health and family, and community strengths.

The 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book is produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropy based in Baltimore and working across the country that is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.

 

Passport co-sponsors Charla Young’s Power Up Summit in Louisville on November 12

power up graphicPassport Health Plan is proud to co-sponsor the Power to Exhale movement’s Power Up Summit on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Canaan Christian Fellowship Center in Louisville.

The Power to Exhale movement was created by Charla Young, an author, blogger, motivational speaker, internet radio show host, and host of an empowerment reality television show. Power to Exhale exists to establish a community of love, support and positivity for all women of all ages, all races and all financial and socio-economic backgrounds, according to its Facebook page.

The event, which will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., will follow the theme of “Why Not Now?” and focus on different ways that attendees can “Power Up” their health, relationships, finances and more so that they can impact their communities in a powerful way and realize their full potential.

Along with the speakers, free health screenings, power breaks, and discussions about topics including mental health, depression, relationships, finances, power, purpose and more, the American Heart Association will also be on hand to provide a “Have Faith in Heart” blood pressure screening and help educate attendees on how to have a healthy heart.

Cost of the event is $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and includes a special T-shirt and lunch. For more information or to buy a ticket, please click here.

 

Bingham Fellows launch 5 bold initiatives to get Louisville healthier

lllThe Bingham Fellows program has provided experienced leaders in Greater Louisville with the opportunity to put into practice the skills that credential them as a leader of leaders since 1988. Side by side with peers, participants provide critical issues with visibility and momentum to move our community forward.

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2016 – which included Passport Health Plan Health and Wellness Manager Ryan Burt – focused on the topic of “Empowering Citizens to Live Healthier Lives,” and they brought their expertise and passion to help Louisville improve its collective health. This is a significant challenge because Louisville is regularly rated as one of the unhealthiest cities in the United States by many metrics used to measure wellness. As the class discovered, improving the health of citizens is a complex issue.

They began in January 2016 by engaging local and national companies, nonprofit organizations and public agencies to develop a deep understanding of how they might impact positive change. At their recent “graduation,” the class presented five innovative projects empowering citizens to lead healthier lives and touching all factors that impact health, including social and economic factors, health behavior, clinical care and physical environment. The projects are:

  • Smoketown Family Wellness Center: A New Model for Healthcare Delivery
  • SaturPlay: Building Healthy Bodies and Strong Character
  • Louisville Active: Creating a Culture of Active Lifestyles
  • Smoketown Laundry: Transforming Vacant Space into a Place that Improves the Health and Well-Being of a Community
  • Healthy Teen Break Up Summit: Promoting Peaceful & Healthy Relationship Skills for Teens

For more information about the projects, please click here. For more information about the Bingham Fellows program, please click here. For more information about Leadership Louisville, please click here.