Friday, May 27, 2011

June is Men's Health Month

By Martha Hunt, MA CAMF
Health Promotion and Wellness
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.”

Congressman Bill Richardson (Congressional Record, H3905-H3906, May 24, 1994). This statement and resulting legislation led to the beginning of Men’s Health Awareness. There is a silent crisis in men’s health due to a lack of awareness, poor health education, and culturally induced behavior patterns in men’s work and personal lives.

As a result, men are not seeking and getting the preventive health care that they need.

As a consequence of this, men are living approximately five years less than women. Improving men's health is not limited to the doctor's office or hospital - it starts at home with men taking steps to live safer and healthier lives.

In fact, the leading causes of death for men in the United States are – in order - diseases of the heart, cancer, accidents (unintentional injuries), chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, intentional self-harm (suicide), influenza and pneumonia, kidney diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn your family health history. Are there any new conditions or diseases that have occurred in your close blood relatives since your last visit to your primary care provider? If so, let your doctor or nurse know. Family history might influence your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer.

Know and understand your numbers. You may know your favorite team's stats, but what about your own health numbers? Keep track of your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI). These numbers can provide a glimpse of your health status and risk for certain diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.

Work safely. An estimated 11,500 workers have a nonfatal work-related injury or illness every day in the US and as a result, more than half require a job transfer, work restrictions, or time away from their jobs. Get check-ups. Just because you may feel fine, that doesn't mean you don't need your annual check-ups! Unfortunately, there are certain diseases and conditions that are silent and may not have symptoms.

See your doctor or nurse for regular check-ups, and go more often if needed.

Get Vaccinated. Some adults assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. Immunity can begin to fade over time and as we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (e.g., flu, pneumococcus). Far too many adults become ill, are disabled, and die each year from diseases that could easily have been prevented by vaccines.

Pay attention to signs and symptoms such as any discharge, excessive thirst, rash or sore on the skin, problems with urination or shortness of breath as these are only a few of the symptoms that males should pay attention to and see a doctor about if they occur. It could be a symptom for a sexually transmitted disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or other conditions or diseases. If you have symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away.

Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Moreover, insufficient sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents, causing injury and disability each year. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous - and preventable - as driving while intoxicated. Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Gear up properly. When playing active sports or riding a motorcycle or bike, make sure you and your family wear protective gear, such as helmets, eye protection, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads. Also, wear seat belts as a driver and a passenger each and every time you are in a vehicle.

Eat what counts. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol and choose healthy snacks.

Get physical activity. Be active for at least two and a half hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles. You don’t have to do it all at once. Spread your activity out during the week, and break it into smaller chunks of time during the day.

Be tobacco-free. Avoid all forms of tobacco and secondhand smoke. Inhaling other people’s smoke causes health problems similar to those of smokers. There is NO safe form of tobacco. Tobacco use is the leading detractor of combat fitness. Call Health Promotion and Wellness at 760-830-2814 if you are interested in quitting tobacco.

For more information on men’s health go to Men’s check list for health or Get dad to the doc

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Military Spouse Appreciation

As the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms Commanding Officer, I would like to take the time to acknowledge that in many ways, our military spouses have really carried the load for our Sailors.

Without asking for support or recognition, you have carried out your duties to your family and country with the quiet courage and strength that has always exemplified the American spirit.

When your Sailor was asked to report to this remote location, you supported them and even proceeded to blossom in this desert environment. When your Sailor was deployed, your entire family was called to serve. I know that readiness of your Sailor depended on the readiness of you, the military spouse, your children, and loved ones’ sacrifice as well.

I am convinced that your military spouse knows that without your support, they could not effectively do their job. Non-military spouses will never know the challenge you face that any moment, your spouse may be called upon by the government to report for duty and leave you and your family behind to assist with a crisis somewhere in the world, while you are left to keep home life “normal” for everyone.

I warmly express my deep appreciation for your support of your Sailor.

CAPT Ann Bobeck
Commanding Officer
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stay TRICARE Eligible: Keep DEERS Up-To-Date

By Sharon Foster
TRICARE Management Activity
March 08, 2011

Beneficiaries who have recently experienced a life changing event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, recent divorce or marriage should immediately record these changes in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

If they wait, their TRICARE benefit coverage could be affected. “Life comes at you fast and beneficiaries should not wait to update DEERS when they experience any life event that changes their TRICARE status,” said John Arendale, chief, Purchased Care Systems Integration Branch, TRICARE Management Activity. “What beneficiaries don’t want to experience is a lapse in TRICARE coverage because their DEERS eligibility information is incorrect.”

Incorrect information can potentially impact a beneficiary’s ability to get a prescription filled, get a medical claim paid or make an appointment to see a doctor. Beneficiaries can easily avoid these types of problems by making sure their DEERS record is accurate.

DEERS is the worldwide, computerized database designed to maintain timely and accurate information on service members and dependents that are eligible for military benefits and entitlements, including TRICARE. It is also used to detect and prevent fraud and abuse. All sponsors are automatically registered in DEERS.

The sponsor must register all eligible family members. Once the registration process is complete, the family members can update their personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers. Events that change a beneficiary’s TRICARE status include: relocation, retirement, change of address, change in marital status, birth, death, adoption or Medicare entitlement.

A beneficiary can register eligible new family members in DEERS at the nearest military personnel office or uniformed services identification (ID) card issuing office. To find an office near them, they can go to the Rapids Site Locator website, Beneficiaries can call to update contact information only at 1-800-538-9552.

Note: At the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, the DEERS office is located in the Village Center, bldg. 1551.

To register a child in DEERS, bring the following forms:
• An original or certified-copy of the birth certificate or certificate of live birth (signed by the attending physician or other responsible person from a U.S. hospital or military treatment facility) or consular report of birth (FS-240) for children overseas;
• A record of adoption or a letter of placement of the child into the home by a recognized placement/adoption agency or the court before the final adoption; and
• A DD form 1172 signed by the sponsor and verifying official from a uniformed services ID card-issuing facility.

Get more information on DEERS eligibility at “Updating information in DEERS is the key to maintaining eligibility for TRICARE and other military benefits,” Arendale said.