Thursday, January 18, 2018

Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. It is the leading cause of blindness for individuals over 60 as well. Glaucoma effects approximately 3 million Americans, but only half of those realize they have it. 

Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. This fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. But, blindness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment.

Some early symptoms of an attack may include blurred vision, halos, mild headaches or eye pain, however most people have no symptoms of glaucoma. Those who have a family history of glaucoma are more susceptible to it and you tend to lose your peripheral vision first. 

Although glaucoma can cause blindness, it can also be easily treated. Using eye drops or laser surgery, you can save your remaining vision. 

For more information on how you can spread awareness, visit NEHEP's website here!

For facts about glaucoma, click here!

To find the nearest health center to you to get an eye exam go to OACHC's website at 

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, HEALTHIER you!

What are you resolving to do?

Are you one of those people that says every January 1st, "This is the year I change my life!!"
And then what? By February, your gym pass is covered in dust, the lettuce in your fridge is molded and you are just mentally exhausted? If this is you, then you are a part of the 80% of people who fail to keep their New Year's resolutions. Even with this statistic, don't give up hope just yet! Sometimes just finding that one thing you really love can really motivate you to make a change. 

Although healthy eating and exercise are good for you, it is also important to stay mentally healthy and emotionally healthy as well. Adding some online or in person classes are a great way to keep yourself motivated and held accountable for these changes in your life as well. 

For suggestions on activities and courses, check out this article on Business Insider 

For tips on how to live healthier, read

Want to try something new? Try these food trends for 2018!

No matter what you resolve to do or not to do, have a happy and healthy 2018! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure to Improve Hypertension

Self-Monitoring Blood Pressure to Improve Hypertension

Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Even a small elevation in blood pressure can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality. The risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles for every 20 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure or 10 mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure. Self-monitoring of blood pressure (SMBP), when combined with additional clinical support, is one strategy that can reduce the risk of disability or death due to high blood pressure, and has been shown to lead to better overall control. 

SMBP is the regular measurement of blood pressure by a patient at home or somewhere outside of the healthcare setting, using a personal measurement device. A recent article on the effectiveness of SMBP, stated that self-monitoring was associated with reduced clinic systolic blood pressure (sBP) compared to usual care at 12 months, and was most effective in those with fewer anti-hypertensive medications and higher baseline sBP up to 170 mmHg. 

When engaging your patients in self-monitoring activities, it is important to make sure that your patients feel comfortable with the process and that they know what steps to take, including seeking emergency treatment, if they have a blood pressure reading that is outside the pre-determined acceptable range, or if they experience symptoms with a high or low blood pressure reading. This guidance to your patient should be individualized by the clinician and reinforced by clinical staff at the initiation of any SMBP. Your patients should also be communicating the home measurements with their provider’s office to be most effective. This can be done using the telephone, patient portal, or an in person follow-up visit. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Million Hearts have provided a guide detailing Action Steps for Clinicians to facilitate the implementation of SMBP including how to prepare care teams to implement SMBP with patients, how to empower patients, and additional clinical and educational support. 

Million Hearts/ CDC Action Steps for Clinicians

Uhlig K, Balk EM, Patel K, et al. Self-measured blood pressure monitoring: comparative effectiveness. Comparative effectiveness review no. 45 (prepared by the Tufts Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. HHSA 290-2007- 10055-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 12-EHC002-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. January 2012.  

Blood Pressure. Murakami L and Rakotz M. Self-measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Program: Engaging Patients in Self-measurement. 1st ed. Daniel D and Prall M, eds. American Medical Association and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; February 2015.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Preferred Benefits Services Employee Benefits

Enhance your employee benefits package through the OACHC! 

  • 25% rate reduction to your current Basic Life program
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with four face-to-face visits included at no charge
  • Higher guarantee issue limits and plan maximums on Voluntary Life
  • Reduced employee costs for Voluntary Life
  • Spouse and child(ren) benefits available 
  • No requirement to offer a new open enrollment period 
  • April 1, 2018 effective date

For more information, contact: 
Brian Lenzo 
Group Benefits Specialist

Preferred Benefits Services, Inc.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Have you gotten your flu shot?

National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week highlights the importance of getting your influenza vaccination. Flu season peaks between December and February but can last well into May! Each year, hundreds of thousands of people get the flu and many are even hospitalized. 
"While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 60.8 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010." - Centers for Disease Control 

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Those who are most at risk of contracting the flu are:
  • individuals 65 or older           
  • pregnant women
  • kids
  • people with asthma, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or cancer

For this flu season, it is recommended that you only get the flu shot to be sure that you are safe from the flu. However, other preventative measures you can take to stay healthy this winter include:
  • avoiding close contact with sick people
  • if you have flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours
  • cover your nose and mouth when sneezing
  • ALWAYS wash your hands! If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand-sanitizer.
For more information, click here!

To learn how you can spread more information about National Influenza Vaccination Week and information about the flu in general, go to the CDC's Influenza page here!

To find out where you can get a flu vaccine, go to 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Project ECHO: ECHO Autism Collaborative

What is ECHO Autism?

  • A series of virtual learning sessions for medical providers facilitated by autism and behavior experts
  • An innovative system that allows professionals to:
    • Increase confidence in identifying and treating autism symptoms
    • Expand knowledge about behavioral treatments
    • Participate in an Autism Intervention Research Network Project

How will ECHO Autism help me?

  • Regular, convenient access to Nationwide Children's Hospital experts:
    • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician
    • Child and Adolescent Psychologist
    • Registered Dietitian
    • Resource Navigator-Parent Advocate/Educator
  • Increase knowledge about:
    • Evidence-based practices for screening and treatment of autism
    • Common medical and behavioral concerns in children with autism through case-based training
    • Local programs and resources that may be of benefit to families
  • Improve care for your patients in your own practice with the support of local autism experts

How does ECHO Autism AR work?

  • Meets for two hours via web technology, twice a month for 6 months
  • 2 CME credits per clinic provided at no cost
  • Discuss complex cases in YOUR practice in real-time with experts

What do I need to get started?

  • Internet access
  • A front-facing camera on smartphone, tablet, or computer/webcam

Please keep a look out for upcoming information sessions via Zoom Video Communications

Join our team to bring the best autism care to primary care!

Nationwide Children's Hospital

For more information please contact:
Natalie Ritter
Research Coordinator | Child Development Center | 

Nationwide Children's Hospital
187 West Schrock Road | Westerville, OH 43081
P: 614.355.7575 E:

Project ECHO: ECHO Autism Collaborative

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a special time when friends and family all come together to spend some quality time, enjoy each other’s company and give thanks. Every year, my family, friends and I like to give thanks in a multitude of ways. We also enjoy a healthy activity. We start the day off with a 10k so we unstuff before we stuff and are still able to donate to a charitable cause!” – Lauren Husein, Communication & Events Coordinator at OACHC 

Check out some Thanksgiving themed races near you:

If running isn't your thing, but you still want to give thanks in another way, there are so many food pantries in need of volunteers and donations. To find one near you, go to 

Thanksgiving dinner is something I personally look forward to ALL YEAR LONG! At the same time, its so easy to get carried away with trying 5 different kinds of stuffing, 7 different pies and oh the mashed potatoes and gravy. Yessss! For healthy ideas and alternatives to some of the classic foods, here are a few suggestions:

Wanna try something totally new this year and have a new tradition? Here are a few ideas:
  • Taking a walk after dinner
  • Take time for yourself before and after dinner
  • Have everyone write their "thanks" on a tablecloth
  • Travel somewhere 
  • Create a cookbook
  • Anything that gets your whole group (no matter the size!) involved.

So, from our family to yours, have a happy and healthy holiday!