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Smart Healthy

FALL 2013

YOUR HEALTH  YOUR LIFE  YOUR TIME 

Sweet dreams Squashing sleep apnea

Delivering on a promise Senior center helps those in need

Results are in:

Arizonans are healthier thanks to accountable care

time to pay

ATTENTION When a stroke strikes, act fast! Brought to you by


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Five things to do now to reduce your risk of stroke S

troke is the fourth leading cause of death in this country, and the leading cause of adult disability. The most insidious part of a stroke though is that it arrives suddenly, and often with no warning at all. Would you recognize the symptoms soon enough to help yourself or a loved one? Become aware of stroke symptoms, why you should call 911 if you believe a stroke is occurring and, importantly, what you can do right now to reduce your risk of stroke. Have your blood pressure checked during our presentation, and review your personal risk for stroke. Walk away with new knowledge that could save your life, or that of a loved one.

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2-4 pm Love of Christ Lutheran Church/ Performance Center 1525 N. Power Road, Mesa, 85205 Presenter: Dr. Jacqueline Carter, Neurologist Stroke Medical Director, Banner Desert Medical Center

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2-4 pm Mountain View Sun City Recreation Center Auditorium 9749 N. 107th Avenue, Sun City, 85351 Presenter: Dr. Swaraj Singh, Neurologist Stroke Medical Director at Banner Estrella, Banner Thunderbird and Banner Del Webb Medical Centers

RSVP your attendance by calling 602-230-CARE (2273). Free. 2 | bannerhealthnetwork.com


Fall 2013 / contents

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n C O V E R S TO RY

Time to pay attention As you get older, brain care becomes a more important part of your overall health. Do you know the risk factors for stroke? What changes can you make now to improve your lifestyle?

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Healthy choices, healthy brain

Today’s choices can mean a healthier tomorrow

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Sweet dreams  What you should know about sleep apnea

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Delivering on a promise  Banner Olive Branch Center offers a helping hand

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Difference maker  Area Agency on Aging makes a big difference in the lives of seniors

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 edicare Pioneer ACO M proves effective  Keeping you well is the best medicine

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5 tips for financial health  Improve your fiscal life

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 &A: Deciphering food Q labels – the good, bad and ugly

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 ealthy living events and H activities 

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your HEALTH / Smart & Healthy

Healthy choices, healthy brain Today’s healthy choices, tomorrow’s healthy living By Kristine Burnett

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here is no denying that aging is a cumulative process. The healthy lifestyle choices we make today, affect how we will feel and function tomorrow. Keeping our brains and our Marwan Sabbagh, MD bodies healthy requires that we make a conscious effort now to prevent the varied health conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. “Alzheimer’s and the changes it causes in the brain begin up to 25 years before the first signs of memory loss emerge,” said Marwan Sabbagh, MD, director of the Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, Ariz. and well-known author on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. “Prevention is paramount and we need to reengineer our thinking and our approach to staying healthy.” Waking up a little earlier to take that morning walk. Turning away from a cheeseburger to instead sidle up to a salmon filet. Playing Sudoku rather than wasting another hour of the day watching mindless television. Whatever your prevention strategy, Sabbagh stresses the importance of starting today saying, “Don’t wait for problems, whether related to memory or physical health, to become an issue.” He also highlights the importance of being consistent when it comes to diet and activity. A proponent of sustainable exercise routines over strenuous ones, Sabbagh notes that there is clear evidence

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showing that consistent exercise improves blood flow to the brain and, in turn, memory. “You can’t think about it as doing something later to offset current unhealthy habits,” he said. “Eating burgers and fatty foods and assuming that taking supplements will counteract the negative effects will get you nowhere. You need to adopt healthy behaviors in totality and make them part of your daily routine.” In addition to a nutrient-rich diet and regular physical activity, exercising the brain may also have its rewards. While there isn’t concrete data quantifying the benefits of brain teasers, word puzzles and similar activities designed to promote mental sharpness, researchers often find that those who make brain games part of their routine also are more conscientious about eating right and exercising. As Sabbagh said, “A healthy mind and body in life starts with being mindful of healthy habits today.”


Smart & Healthy / your HEALTH

Sweet dreams tonight Squash sleep apnea and rest easy By Kristine Burnett

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ne-third of our life is spent sleeping. Not sleeping well can have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on our well-being. Sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by having at least five pauses in breathing (apneas) per hour or overly shallow breathing (hypopneas) while sleeping, is a key reason more than 50 percent of Americans aged 65 and older report sleep problems. In addition to preventing a person from getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, sleep apnea can lead to an array of disconcerting and dangerous health conditions ranging from short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating, to irregular heartbeat, accelerated heart disease and a worsening of diabetic symptoms. Below are some common symptoms of sleep apnea, risk factors, and recommendations to help improve sleep quality and ensure you get a healthy dose of vitamin Zzzzzzzzzz. Symptoms: Snoring is by far the most common symptom of sleep apnea. Those who suffer from the condition may also experience excessive sleepiness despite getting the appropriate amount of sleep. Since sleep apnea is known to cause hypertension, difficulty

NEED HELP SLEEPING? controlling high blood pressure is another indicator. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of people taking three or more blood pressure medications suffer from sleep apnea. Risk factors: Several risk factors have been linked to sleep apnea, including: • advanced age (65 or older); • obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater; • large neck size (16 inches and up for women; 17 inches and up for men); and • being post-menopausal. Recommendations: Shedding excess weight and consistently getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night can go a long way toward improving sleep quality. Avoiding alcohol and sedatives also can have a positive impact since both substances are known to suppress respiratory

If you’re looking for help for information about sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, check out these resources:



 Banner Baywood Sleep Disorders Center: Call 480-321-4553  Banner Desert Sleep Center: Call 480-412-3684

function, which can further decrease oxygen intake during sleep. Persistent difficulty falling asleep at night or being drowsy during the day is not an inevitable part of aging. If your sleep troubles continue, a sleep study in a certified facility can help identify the underlying cause of your nighttime woes. Piotr Stola, MD was interviewed for this story. He is a pulmonologist and certified sleep medicine physician with Pulmonary Consultants in Mesa bannerhealthnetwork.com |

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your LIFE / Smart & Healthy

Delivering on a Promise Banner Olive Branch Senior Center offers help to seniors and verterans in need By Brian Sodoma

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here are plenty of enterprises that claim to be a one-stop shop, but few can deliver on such a hefty promise. But in the world of senior support, Banner’s Olive Branch Senior Center sure makes a strong case for itself. Located at 11250 N. 107th Avenue in Sun City, the 8,000 square foot center started as a small two-room facility more than two decades ago and now boasts more than 350 volunteers who contribute 52,000 annual hours to help seniors in need. Featured on “Good Morning America” and in Time magazine, Olive Branch enjoys a long history of excellence that blends practicality, sustainability and compassion. For the 70,000 meals it serves each year, the center partners with the nation’s Feeding America program, a food bank network that distributes fresh fruits and vegetables donated from area grocery stores. “We offer very nutritious meals that are cooked from scratch every day,” says Ivy Glinski, Olive Branch’s director. Olive Branch’s Social Services Sustainability Program brings access to some 80 unique programs to help connect seniors to income subsidies, reduced rate meal

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programs, and myriad healthcare offerings and financial assistance resources. There is also a partnership with Charles Schwab and AARP to teach seniors how to avoid frauds and scams targeting them. The Social Services Sustainability program helps about 600 area seniors a year, saving them roughly $500,000. Glinski also says the program’s focus is to create long-term solutions and not simply give money or food for a current hardship.

We want to help but we don’t want to be a Band-Aid. It’s very exciting to see how we’ve been able to make an impact in people’s lives. —Ivy Glinski, Director, Banner Olive Branch Senior Center

“We want to help but we don’t want to be a Band-Aid,” Glinski says. “It’s very exciting to see how we’ve been able to make an impact in people’s lives.” Tapping Banner’s network of health professionals, Olive Branch brings valuable information to seniors for conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease, eye health, cancer, diabetes, behavioral health and fitness tips through its hundreds of free activities and seminars. The center has also made major strides with veterans. In a partnership with the national Operation American Patriot program, the center uses teams of volunteers to help veterans of all ages find housing, jobs, financial help and mental health practitioner support. In only two years, the program has served nearly 4,000 people. “A lot of veterans come back from war and find their home in foreclosure. There are ‘Dear John’ letters and many have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) — we’re able to show them how to respond to all that,” Glinski adds. For more information about any of the center’s services, call 623-974-6797.


Smart & Healthy / your LIFE

Difference maker for seniors Non-profit organization has delivered lifeenhancing services to residents of Maricopa County for nearly 40 years By Paula Hubbs Cohen

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anner Health Network works collaboratively with the Area Agency on Aging, a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers more than 60 programs and services designed to improve the lives of older adults, caregivers, adults with disabilities and longterm care needs, and adults with HIV/AIDS in Arizona. The Agency also supports special populations such as victims of late-life domestic violence and elder abuse. Each year, nearly 90,000 people benefit from the organization’s wide-ranging array of services and programs which are provided either directly by the Agency or through its extensive network of partnering organizations.

Four broad categories of service The Agency’s programs and services fall into four broad categories: • Home and community-based services • Medical case management • Elder rights

In 2012, more than 260 older adults were assisted in finding work,

• Older worker and volunteer programs A small sample of the services one can access through the Agency includes programs that provide meals to home-bound individuals, healthcare information to those in need, respite for family caregivers, help with housing issues, legal assistance, independent-living caregiver support groups, services for those with depression and more.

Facts and figures = real people In 2012, more than 380,000 hours of service were provided in Adult Day Health Care programs, over 760,000 home-delivered meals were provided, and some 3,000 meals were provided to participants at the Native American Senior Center. More than 260 older adults were assisted in finding

work, and nearly 40,000 calls were taken on the Agency’s 24-hour Senior HELP LINE. Hundreds of respite-care clients received over 75,000 hours of service last year, while many more received benefits assistance including help with Medicare enrollment. When it comes to transportation, nearly 140,000 trips were provided to Agency clients.

To volunteer or if you need help If you or someone you know needs information and/or assistance or if you would like to volunteer with one of the Agency’s programs, visit www.aaaphx.org or call the Agency’s 24-hour Senior HELP LINE at 602-264-HELP (4357). The toll-free number is 888-783-7500. For the hearing-impaired, call 602-241-6110 TTY/TDD. bannerhealthnetwork.com |

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After recovering from a stroke, David Hudson returned to work as an pediatric occupational therapist at Head to Toe Therapy in Phoenix. He works with Samuel Cardona, 4, who has a developmental delay.

time to pay

ATTENTION

Swift action can preserve brain health Story by Kerry Hamilton | Photos by Rick D’Elia

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WHEN 73-YEAR-OLD DAVID HUDSON REALIZED HE WAS HAVING A STROKE, HE COULDN’T EVEN DIAL A PHONE. HE CRAWLED OUT OF HIS HOME, WHERE A NEIGHBOR FOUND HIM AND GOT HIM MEDICAL ATTENTION. Though his stroke led to a sixweek hospital stay, his recovery has been exceptional due to the prompt treatment he received. “The most important thing for me was getting to the hospital fast,” says Hudson. Hudson likely suffered an ischemic stroke, when oxygenrich blood leading to and within the brain is blocked by a clot in an artery. The less common hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery bursts, preventing blood from reaching the brain. When stroke restricts blood flow to a certain part of the brain, the area of the body controlled by that region cannot work properly, leading to disabilities or even death.

Going with the flow A diabetic since 1995, Hudson also has heart disease, two contributing factors to stroke. Though risk increases for seniors and those with family history, the American Stroke Association reports that 80 percent of strokes are preventable through choices that promote a healthy vascular system, the network of arteries through which blood flows. “While some stroke risks, like age and heredity, cannot be controlled, others can be successfully managed,” says Dr. Maninder S. Kahlon, MD, a neurologist at

Banner Boswell, Del E. Webb and Thunderbird Medical Centers and founder of the Arizona Neurological Institute. “High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, and diabetes and cardiovascular problems significantly increase risk, but those conditions can often be prevented by lifestyle decisions.” For example, says Dr. Kahlon, eating a diet low in fat and cholesterol helps to keep arteries clear; avoiding tobacco protects against carcinogens like nicotine and carbon monoxide; and getting regular exercise improves blood flow throughout the body. Taking these steps decreases stroke risk by reducing the occurrence of the diseases that cause stroke.

Think you’re having a stroke?

Take action now

F A S T

Time to pay attention As Hudson can attest, when symptoms of stroke appear (see sidebar), getting prompt medical attention is essential to protecting brain health. “If you think you’re having a stroke, call 911. Please don’t waste time,” advises Dr. Jeremy Payne, MD, PhD, and Banner Good Samaritan Stroke Center medical director. “Emergency personnel are nearby, an ambulance can get you to the hospital faster, and the EMS team will alert the hospital to expect you.” Thanks to swift action by his neighbor, Hudson received treatment at a Certified Primary Stroke Center (PSC), where care is man-

Learn the many warning signs of a stroke. Act FAST and call 911 immediately at any sign of a stroke. Remember the signs:

FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

 ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward.

 SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is there speech slurred or strange?

 TIME If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately Source: National Stroke Association

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aged by those highly experienced in handling stroke. “A person experiencing a stroke depends on a team: individuals recognizing symptoms and calling 911, EMS providers who understand the time-critical nature of stroke, and the EMS system, which is organized in metroPhoenix to bring a suspected stroke patient to a PSC,” says Dr.

Three questions you should ask your doctor about stroke

99What is my current risk for stroke? 99What tests should I have to determine if I’m at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions that increase my chances of stroke? 99What lifestyle changes should I make to reduce my overall stroke risk?

Payne. “When that person arrives at a PSC, trained staff respond with the right medications and testing, and stroke neurologists are on call 24/7.” Though 32,000 brain cells die each second during a stroke, medical advances offer hope to those who act quickly. The “clotbusting” tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only FDAapproved treatment for ischemic

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stroke, and when given to a patient within a few hours of initial symptoms, can improve chances of recovery by restoring blood flow to the brain. Endovascular procedures that use a catheter to treat a clot can work in conjunction with tPA or independently. In hemorrhagic stroke, both endovascular and surgical procedures may be used to repair the problem artery.

Returning to form Stroke can lead to speech impairment, weakness on one side, balance and vision issues, or difficulty thinking or remembering. These can compromise a person’s ability to perform daily activities, making rehabilitation necessary. “The good news is stroke patients generally have strong potential for recovery,” says Dr. Paul Blake, MD, medical director of

Banner Baywood Medical Center’s Rhodes Rehabilitation Institute. “The brain is able to reorganize itself after an injury such as stroke, a phenomenon called neuroplasticity. And research shows that active rehabilitation improves the degree of recovery.” Facilities like the Rhodes, Banner Good Samaritan and Banner Boswell Rehabilitation Institutes offer acute inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation with teams of physical, occupational and speech therapists who treat hundreds of stroke patients annually. Staff psychologists assist patients with coping with the emotional aspects of stroke recovery. “A multidisciplinary program is particularly appropriate for stroke patients due to their multi-faceted functional needs and responsiveness to intensive rehabilitation,” explains Dr. Blake. “We help patients restore and compensate for impairments and minimize complications from stroke, giving them the best chance of recovery.” When patients take an active role in their own health, the likelihood of a meaningful recovery also improves. Hudson, a member of the Banner Health Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO), attributes his remarkable recovery in part to the ACO’s free classes that teach him about managing his conditions and lowering his stroke risk. “I thought I knew what to do for my health, but the classes offer new tips and remind us what we’ve forgotten,” says Hudson. “We get back to basics and remember the common sense things that are most important.”


your NUTRITION

Food for thought Eating a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat is a proven way to reduce stroke risk. Studies also show that antioxidant-rich foods benefit overall brain health. These recipes are built to lower stroke risk while boosting brain power.

New World Salmon Florentine

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

• 2 cups flaked cooked salmon fillet (about 12 ounces) • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and shredded • 2 cups cooked tri-color chunky pasta • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin • 1 1/2 cups skim milk • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • 2 ounces shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pieces, chopped (not oilpacked) • 1 tsp fennel seeds

• • • • • • • • • •

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine salmon, spinach, celery, and pasta in an ovenproof baking dish. Heat milk in a small sauce pan; don’t let it boil. Stir in mustard and half the cheese until it melts. Add sun-dried tomatoes to soften and fennel seeds. Pour sauce over salmon mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves four. Nutritional analysis per serving: 400 calories, 31 g protein, 16.5 g fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 29.5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, and 611 mg sodium.

2 cups flour 3/4 cup sugar 3 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cinnamon 3/4 tsp allspice 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs 3/4 cup canned pumpkin 2 cups fresh or frozen chopped cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients (flour through allspice) and set aside. Beat oil, eggs, and pumpkin together until well blended.

Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin mixture) to the dry ingredients all at once. Stir until moistened. Fold in chopped cranberries. Spoon into paperlined muffin cups. Bake

at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 12. Nutritional analysis per muffin: 200 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates, and 3 g protein.

Broccoli and Walnut Salad • 3 cups roughly chopped broccoli florets • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, roughly chopped • 1 cup raisins • 3/4 cup chopped onions

• 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar • 1/4 cup olive oil • 6 to 12 large lettuce leaves • 2 beefsteak tomatoes cut into wedges

In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower,

raisins, onions, bell pepper, and walnuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Toss with the combined salad ingredients and serve on lettuce leaves with tomato wedges on individual salad plates. Makes six servings. Nutritional analysis per serving: 271 calories, 16 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 37 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates.

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One-year report card for Medicare Pioneer ACO shows new model of care is working, with quality up and costs down

Keeping you well is the best medicine

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s a Medicare beneficiary that stands to benefit from the work of Banner Health Network’s Pioneer Accountable Care Organization, you are part of an effort that’s succeeding in keeping Arizonans in their personal best health. In 2011, the Banner Health Network (BHN) was chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and

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Human Services to be one of 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations. An ACO is designed to encourage primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals to provide more efficient, better-coordinated care for people with Medicare. The BHN Pioneer ACO was established in January 2012. You’re part of this because your doctor is in the Banner Health Network.

Each ACO has accountability The government has issued a “report card” on the success of each ACO in its first full calendar year. Preventing unnecessary hospital visits through an improved system of coordinated care—where all doctors and other health care professionals who treat patients improve communication and collaborate more efficiently and ef-


fectively through the use of health information exchange—is one of the goals of accountable care organizations. A team of health care professionals—including nurses and social workers and case managers when appropriate—attends to patients’ needs in a timely manner. Hospital admissions and readmissions in the BHN ACO were

reduced substantially compared with the same population a year before the ACO was established, said Tricia Nguyen, M.D., M.B.A., the chief medical officer for Banner Health Network. “We are keeping people healthy and out of the hospital by making sure they get the care they need before they are in crisis,” she said. Ken Alltucker of The Arizona Republic reported in June that among a population of 51,000 Greater Phoenix ACO beneficiaries, there was an 8.9 percent reduction in hospital admissions and a 14.4 percent drop in average length of stay in the first year of operation of the Banner Pioneer ACO. But Banner Health Network wants to make more strides. “While we are pleased with the results from Year 1 from a quality and savings perspective,” Dr. Nguyen said. “Our success in Year 2 and beyond will depend on our ability to continue these improvements and sustain these wins for our members.” Banner Health Network’s team of case managers are able to keep many patients out of the hospital simply by intervening before a patient’s problem becomes severe. “When we receive requests from physicians for patients with acute health needs, such as an infection requiring IV antibiotics, we support IV antibiotic set-up at home and monitor the patient,” said Donna Siemons, R.N., M.B.A., Case Management Senior Director. “When a patient with congestive heart failure is in fluid overload, for instance, we intervene to get additional diuretic medica-

Our success in Year 2 and beyond will depend on our ability to continue these improvements and sustain these wins for our members.

tions to that patient, preventing a hospital admission,” said Chris Molloy R.N., Director of Ambulatory Case Management. After a patient has been discharged from the hospital, a case manager contacts him or her within a week, to ensure the patient has the resources needed for recovery, Siemons said. As an example, the case manager would make sure that if a patient needs a wheelchair after leaving the hospital, he or she receives that wheelchair in a timely manner. These and other similar interventions resulted in a drop in the total cost of care for the Banner Pioneer ACO population of 4 percent and many millions of dollars, Dr. Nguyen said. Yet it’s important to realize that cost savings achieved are directly related to enhanced quality of care. “We want to make sure the public understands we are accountable to quality standards,” Chuck Lehn, CEO of Banner Health Network, told The Arizona Republic in June. “We believe quality improvements are driving the costs down. We don’t want people to think we are shorting the public on the care that they receive. We are developing methods to better educate the public about the quality improvements we are trying to make.” bannerhealthnetwork.com |

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your LIFE / Smart & Healthy

5 TIPS

for financial health

By Joan Westlake A healthy balance in life is vital to your sense of well being. If your finances are suffering, your wellness is threatened, too. For many years, Jack Leyse, a State Health Insurance Program counselor at the Sun City Community Assistance Network (CAN), has been advising people on how to improve their fiscal lives. Here are five tips from his arsenal of recommendations.

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REVIEW YOUR FINANCES Check all your annual expenses for possible savings. Look for deals on mobile phones and other technology. Join organizations that offer discounts on everything from car insurance to travel. Reevaluate all your financial holdings. Insurance policies that may have been security in your younger years can now be a source of income.

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SEEK ADVICE Navigating the financial seas of health care, Medicare and Social Security takes experienced professionals. Sound advice is available for little or no cost. The Area Agency on Aging, www. aaaphx.org, directs seniors and their families to a variety of resources including organizations such as Sun City CAN, www.suncitycan.org. In addition to personalized financial consulting, Leyse says CAN offers individual guidance in finding assistance programs, help with government forms, free legal services and other valuable resources. Call Sun City CAN at 623-933-7530 or the Area Agency on Aging at 602-264-4357.

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KNOW YOUR NUMBERS Prevention goes a long way toward keeping health expenditures down. A vehicle doesn’t

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run long without regular oil and other fluid level checkups. Annual wellness visits with your primary care physician supply your important numbers such as blood pressure, cholesterol and other stats needed to control expensive “repairs.”

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ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE Inexpensive and easy healthy lifestyle support is all around you. Ask your neighbors to join you on a daily walk. Yoga and massage schools offer free and discount services. Your local Banner Health, community and senior centers offer a wealth of wellness classes and services at no cost.

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DO IT TODAY Waiting to assess any aspect of your health is a bad decision. If you are 65, don’t get immobilized by the quantity of information flooding your mail box and phone lines. Leyse warns that there is only a small window of time to choose the right Medicare plan and take advantage of programs that can make significant contributions to your financial and overall health.

Need advice? Call Sun City CAN at 623-933-7530. It is FREE.


Smart & Healthy / your TIME

What’s inside? Q:

FOOD LABELS CAN BE CONFUSING. IS THERE AN EASIER WAY TO INTERPRET THEM? Ask the Expert with Margaret O’Brien, R.D., C.D.E.

A:

Food labels, which are typically labeled “Nutrition Facts” on the back or sides of food packaging, list the ingredients and nutritional values of food products. They can be confusing, so the key for most people without dietary restrictions is to keep things simple. Here’s how: FIRST, take into account the portion, or serving size because all the nutritional information is based on that amount of the food item. Be aware that some foods are packaged in individual servings, but many are not. NEXT, whether it’s calories, sodium, fat, carbohydrates or sugars in a product, remember to “look for the least.” In other words, if you’re comparing two jars of spaghetti sauce, choose the one with lower numbers. Don’t obsess over every milligram! Labels include a “% Daily Value” of nutrients, a figure based

on a 2,000-calorie diet — and that’s often much more, or sometimes less, than your intake. The easiest way to interpret percent of daily value is this: 5 percent or less listed on the label is low and 20 percent or more is high. Look at a couple comparable items and, again, opt for the one with lower numbers. Less is more!

To interpret percent of daily value: 5 percent or less listed on the label is low and 20 percent or more is high. INGREDIENTS are listed in descending order by weight, so choose foods that fit your lifestyle needs. For example, if you need to avoid salt, choose those items with salt closer to the end of the list, not at the beginning. And remember that some ingre-

dients masquerade under different names. Sugar may be listed as brown sugar, raw sugar, sucrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup or even molasses. FOODS often have other kinds of labeling on the front of the packaging, words like “lite” or “fat-free.” The governmental requirements for these terms are specific and, frankly, often complicated to understand. If you are presented with three versions of a product — say, a regular salad dressing, a reduced-calorie version and a fat-free version — you can feel comfortable choosing the middle option for good taste and reasonable nutrition. Making smart choices about what you eat is important, but doing so shouldn’t be a challenge. Reading labels to understand what is in your food is a good place to start. You may be surprised what you learn! bannerhealthnetwork.com |

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BANNER HEALTH 1441 N. 12th SREET PHOENIX, AZ 85006-2887

NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID LONG BEACH, CA PERMIT NO.1677

your LIFE / Healthy Living Events STAYING AFLOAT WITH THE CHANGING ROLES AND RELATIONSHIPS IN DEMENTIA Via Linda Senior Center Fri., Dec. 13; 10:30 a.m.- noon Ahwatukee Recreation Center 5001 E. Cheyenne Dr., Phoenix Free. Register: 602-230-CARE (2273)

BANNER CLASSES The following classes are offered at Banner facilities Valley-wide. Dates and times vary by location. For information and registration, call 602-230-CARE (2273) or 480-684-5090. All classes are free. EAT HEALTHY BE ACTIVE: Series of six interactive workshops. Learn to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic disease and live a healthy, active lifestyle. LIVING WELL WITH COPD: Two-part series. Learn about lung disease, better breathing skills, symptom management and preventing complications. LIVING WELL WITH DIABETES: Four-part series. Learn selfmanagement skills including monitoring, medications, nutrition/

meal planning, exercise and preventing complications. LIVING WELL WITH HEART DISEASE: Three-part series. Learn hearthealthy lifestyle tips, how to manage risk factors, how to identify warning signs of heart disease or stroke and what to do in an emergency. WHEN EMERGENCIES HAPPEN: 90-minute class. Learn hands-only CPR, basic home safety and signs and symptoms of heart attack or stroke.

MORE SEMINARS AND CLASSES GPS FOR MEMORY LECTURES When will we find effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease? Fri., Oct. 11; 10:30 a.m.-noon Banner Sun Health Research Institute 10515 W. Santa Fe Dr., Sun City Free. Register: 602-230-CARE(2273)

Fri., Nov. 8; 10:30 a.m.-noon Banner Gateway Medical Center 1900 N. Higley Rd., Gilbert Free. Register: 602-230-CARE(2273)

BELOW THE BELT: FOCUS ON PELVIC HEALTH Many women suffer in silence with urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding or sexual dysfunction because they’re too embarrassed to talk with their doctor or because they believe these conditions are a normal part of aging. Fact: They are not — and most are very treatable. Meet medical experts and learn how these topics affect your quality of life and more importantly, what you can do about them. Free. RSVP: 602-230-CARE(2273) Tues., Nov. 12; 6-8 p.m. Banner Desert Medical Center 1400 S. Dobson Rd., Mesa Thurs., Nov. 14; 6-8 p.m. Banner Estrella Medical Center 9201 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix FREE MEMORY SCREENING Fri., Nov. 15; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Via Linda Senior Center 10440 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale Appointments: 602-230-CARE(2273)

Banner Smart & Healthy Fall 2013  

Healthy lifestyle magazine provided by Banner Health Network