Wellness News

The Top 7 Summer Health Hazards
It's never too early to start preparing for a safe summer!!! If you are interested in First Aid and CPR training, contact Lucas in the MITW Insurance Department 715-799-5184.

Beach days and BBQ dinners are great, but here's what you need to know to stay safe in summer, too.

Ryan Stanton, MD, doesn't want to meet you this summer. The Lexington, Ky., emergency room physician knows that when the weather starts heating up, so do a host of health hazards that can quickly turn a festive day at the beach into a disaster. He tells WebMD the Magazine about what brings summer revelers into his emergency room most often -- and how you can enjoy the warm weather while escaping the same fate.

1. Mower Injuries

Every homeowner loves the sight of a pristine, neatly mowed yard. But in their haste to get that lawn in shape, some people forget to take precautions. "In the warmer months we see lots of mower injuries -- toes, hands, and fingers getting caught in blades, and things like rocks and sticks getting flung out of them," says Stanton. "People start tinkering with the mower and reach under it to unclog it, and forget there's a spinning blade there. Those are hideous injuries."

They're also hard to repair, because not only can whirling blades cause complex lacerations and fractures, but they can bury contaminants like grass and dirt in the wound. To be safe:

- Wear closed-toed shoes -- preferably with a steel toe -- when you mow, along with goggles or sunglasses, gloves, and long pants that will protect you from flying debris.
- Keep kids away from the push mower and off the riding mower. Riding mowers are not just another ride-on toy.
- Get a professional to service your mower or learn how to do it properly. Important: Disconnect the spark plug to prevent it from accidentally starting. Turning a push mower's blade manually can ignite the engine.

2. Boating Accidents

Stanton has lost track of how many boating accidents he's seen as an ER doctor. "People's biggest mistake by far is drinking and boating. People get out there and drink alcohol all day in the sun, and you end up with the same accidents you have with driving -- with the added risks of falling out of boats, getting hit by propellers, and drowning."

It's also easy to get lax about life jackets. "Kids need to have them on all the time," he says. "Even if having them under the seat fulfills the law, in an accident, chances are anyone who doesn't know how to swim won't be able to get to them in time."

When you are going to be out on a boat or at the beach with a child, basic lifesaving skills are a must, not a luxury. "The courses are easy, usually just one day or half a day," Stanton says. "There's no mouth-to-mouth anymore if you are not trained - just chest compressions."

You can find first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and other emergency lifesaving courses near you with the American Heart Association's ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) Class Connector tool online at americanheart.org.

3. Dehydration Disasters

You've romped outdoors with the kids all day, and your water bottle ran dry long ago. Suddenly you feel dizzy and lightheaded, and your mouth tastes like cotton. You're dehydrated -- meaning you haven't taken in enough fluids to replace those you've been sweating out.

People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it's much more common in the summer months, when they are active outdoors in the warm sun. Heatstroke is the most severe from of dehydration. That's when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, have hallucinations, or suffer seizures.

Preventing dehydration and heatstroke couldn't be easier: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, take regular breaks in the shade, and try to schedule your most vigorous outdoor activities for times when the heat isnt so strong, such as early morning or late afternoon.

For persons suffering more serious dehydration or heatstroke, get them indoors, have them lie down, and cool them off with ice packs and cool cloths. Someone who is seriously affected by the heat may need intravenous fluids in the ER.

4. Sunburn Snafus

With all the skin cancer warnings, you'd think Americans would be getting fewer sunburns, not more. But you'd be wrong. The percentage of adults nationwide who got at least one sunburn during the preceding year rose from 31.8% in 1999 to 33.7% in 2004, according to the CDC.

Your risk for melanoma doubles if you've had just five sunburns in your life. "A sunburn is a first-degree burn, right up there with thermal burns," says Stanton. "And we even see some second-degree thermal burns, often when people are out drinking or falling asleep in the sun and don't realize how long they've been out there."

In addition to practicing "safe fun" - wearing sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats, and staying out of blistering midday rays -- there are things you can do to treat a severe sunburn, Stanton says:

- Drink water or juice to replace fluids you lost while sweating in the hot sun.
- Soak the burn in cool water for a few minutes or put a cool, wet cloth on it.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.
- Treat itching with an OTC antihistamine cream or a spray like diphenhydramine (such as Bendadryl), which helps block the inflammatory reaction.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment or an aloe cream with emollients that soften and soothe the skin directly to the burned area.

"You're going to have a pretty miserable 12 to 24 hours with the initial symptoms no matter what you do," Stanton warns.

5. Picnic Poisoning

Food poisoning puts about 300,000 people in the hospital every year, hitting its peak in the summer months. You don't want diarrhea to be the souvenir of your family's annual summer picnic.

Anything that has mayonnaise, dairy, or eggs in it and any meat products can develop some pretty nasty bacteria after only a couple of hours unrefrigerated," says Stanton. "Every summer we'll have five or six people coming in from the same reunion or family picnic with food poisoning symptoms."

To prevent food poisoning, follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture's advice to:
• Clean -- Wash your hands as well as the surfaces where you'll be preparing foods.
• Separate -- Wrap raw meat securely and keep it stored away from other food items.
• Cook -- Bring along a meat thermometer. Grilling meat browns it very fast on the outside, but that doesn't mean it's safe on the inside. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees.
• Chill -- Keep everything refrigerated as long as possible. Store perishable picnic items in an insulated cooler packed with ice, and follow the "last in, first out" rule -- whatever you're going to eat first should go at the top of the cooler.

Mild cases of food poisoning can be cared for at home, Stanton says. Avoid solid foods, and stick with small, frequent drinks of clear liquid to stay hydrated. Once the nausea and vomiting have eased, you can try bringing food back into your diet -- slowly and in small, bland portions (Grandma knew what she was talking about when she recommended tea and toast to settle an upset stomach). If symptoms persist for more than a couple days (or more than 24 hours in small kids), see a doctor.

6. Fireworks Safety

You start to hear the booms, pops, and snaps in mid-June, long before Independence Day arrives. Many people love fireworks, but fireworks don't necessarily love them back. Nearly 9,000 individuals were injured by fireworks in 2009, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, and two were killed. "We see pretty significant hand and eye injuries from fireworks every summer," Stanton says. The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professionally sponsored display. At least six states ban all consumer fireworks, and several more allow them only with limitations. But if you can buy fireworks legally and want to set off a few at home, take these precautions:

• Keep a hose or fire extinguisher handy to put out small fires.
• Keep children away from fireworks. "Everybody loves to give sparklers to kids, but they burn very hot and can cause significant eye injuries," Stanton says. In fact, a sparkler can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees -- hot enough to melt some types of metals. "They can go off quickly and cause burns or just explode in your hand."

To care for a fireworks burn, wrap it in a clean towel or T-shirt saturated with cool water and get to an emergency room to have the injury checked out.

7. Summertime Stings

You're out for a pleasant day of working in the yard and you dig up a hornet's nest -- literally. For most people, a bee or wasp sting is just painful, but for a few, it can be life-threatening. You may not know you're one of them until after you've been stung -- sometimes more than once. Three in 100 adults in the United States -- or nearly 7 million people -- have life-threatening allergies to insect stings, according to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

To stay free of bees (and other stinging insects, including mosquitoes) when outdoors, avoid heavy perfumes and scents (especially florals), wear light-colored clothing with no floral patterns (stinging insects are attracted to dark colors and flowers), and guard food and sugary drinks like sodas. Most people who get stung will just have pain, tenderness, itchiness, and swelling at the sting site. But see a doctor or go to the ER immediately when you have:

• Hives, itchiness, and swelling over large areas of your body
•Tightness in the chest or trouble breathing
•Swelling of the tongue or face
• Dizziness or feeling you will pass out

Stanton advises keeping an epinephrine auto-injector with you. The pen holds a prescription medication designed to treat severe allergic reactions by tightening the blood vessels and relaxing the airway muscles. One quick jab to the thigh helps slow down a life-threatening allergic response.

But don't assume that using the pen is enough. "In the vast majority of people, the reaction will outlast the pen, so once you've used it, you should still go to the ER for observation or further treatment," Stanton says. "The pen buys time."

To treat a milder reaction, take acetaminophen for the pain and an antihistamine for hives and swelling. (This works for mild reactions to mosquito bites as well.) "Icing the wound can help too," Stanton says.

By Gina Shaw
Poor Diet Tied to Half of U.S. Deaths from Heart Disease, Diabetes
TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of all deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes in the United States are associated with diets that skimp on certain foods and nutrients, such as vegetables, and exceed optimal levels of others, like salt, a new study finds.

Using available studies and clinical trials, researchers identified 10 dietary factors with the strongest evidence of a protective or harmful association with death due to "cardiometabolic" disease.

"It wasn't just too much 'bad' in the American diet; it's also not enough 'good,'" said lead author Renata Micha.

"Americans are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, vegetable oils or fish," she said.

Micha is an assistant research professor at the Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston.

The researchers used data from multiple national sources to examine deaths from cardiometabolic diseases -- heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes -- in 2012, and the role that diet may have played.

"In the U.S. in 2012, we observed about 700,000 deaths due to those diseases," Micha said. "Nearly half of these were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 dietary factors combined."

Too much salt in people's diets was the leading factor, accounting for nearly 10 percent of cardiometabolic deaths, according to the analysis.

The study identifies 2,000 milligrams a day, or less than 1 teaspoon of salt, as the optimal amount. While experts don't agree on how low to go, there is broad consensus that people consume too much salt, Micha noted.

Other key factors in cardiometabolic death included low intake of nuts and seeds, seafood omega-3 fats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and high intake of processed meats (such as cold cuts) and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Each of these factors accounted for between 6 percent and 9 percent of deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

"Optimal" intake of foods and nutrients was based on levels associated with lower disease risk in studies and clinical trials. Micha cautioned that these levels are not conclusive. Optimal intake "could be modestly lower or higher," she explained.

Low consumption of polyunsaturated fats (found in soybean, sunflower and corn oils) accounted for just over 2 percent of cardiometabolic deaths, according to the study. High consumption of unprocessed red meats (such as beef) was responsible for less than one half of 1 percent of these deaths, the analysis showed.

The take-home message: "Eat more of the good and less of the bad," Micha said.

Vegetable intake, for example, was considered optimal at four servings per day. That would be roughly equivalent to 2 cups of cooked or 4 cups of raw veggies, she said.

Fruit intake was deemed optimal at three daily servings: "For example, one apple, one orange and half of an average-size banana," she continued.

"And eat less salt, processed meats, and sugary-sweetened beverages," she said.

The study also found that poor diet was associated with a larger proportion of deaths at younger versus older ages, among people with lower versus higher levels of education, and among minorities versus whites.

Dr. Ashkan Afshin is acting assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

"I commend the current study's authors for exploring sociodemographic factors, like ethnicity and education, and their role in the relationship of diet with cardiometabolic disease," said Afshin, who was not involved in the study.

"This is an area that deserves more attention so that we may fully understand the connection between diet and health," he said.

The study doesn't prove that improving your diet reduces risk of death from heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but suggests that dietary changes may have an impact.

"It is important to know which dietary habits affect health the most so that people can make healthy changes in how they eat and how they feed their families," Afshin said.

The study was published March 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In an accompanying journal editorial, researchers from Johns Hopkins University urged caution in interpreting the findings.

According to Noel Mueller and Dr. Lawrence Appel, the results may be biased by the number of dietary factors included, the interaction of dietary factors and the authors' "strong assumption" that evidence from observational studies implies a cause-and-effect relationship.

Still, the editorialists concluded that the likely benefits of an improved diet "are substantial and justify policies designed to improve diet quality."

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter
Wisconsin Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Warmer weather is coming and we will all be spending more time outside. Tick borne illnesses can be very serious for both humans and animals. Check out this website to find out everything you need to know about the upcoming tick season.

How many types of ticks are there in Wisconsin? There are at least 16 reported species of ticks in Wisconsin, only a few of which feed on humans.

The most commonly encountered ticks in Wisconsin are the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis; called the blacklegged tick by specialists) and the wood tick (Dermacentor variabilis; called the American dog tick by specialists). This section provides information on the deer and wood ticks, as well as some of the other species of ticks we’ve encountered through work with veterinary clinics, animal rehabilitators, and research that involves trapping of small mammals like mice, chipmunks, and squirrels.

Click on a species in the dropdown menu under Wisconsin ticks for more information.

Why are ticks important in Wisconsin? Aside from the annoyance of a tick bite, ticks are “vectors” of microorganisms that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Powassan or deer tick virus, and babesiosis.

Medical professionals such as physicians and veterinarians as well as laboratories that diagnose these conditions are required to report them to local health departments, and animal health regulatory officials, who in turn, report these conditions to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI-DHS), the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection (DATCP) or the United States Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services depending on the type of tick-borne disease.

Susan Paskewitz, Professor
Exercise: Setting Goals to Get Active
Why is getting Active Important?
Being fit helps you look and feel your best. It also reduces your risk for health problems and may even help you live longer. You can make physical activity part of your daily life, just like brushing your teeth or going to work.

Try to focus on three areas of fitness:
STRETCHING - for flexibility and balance.
AEROBIC ACTIVITY - like walking, biking, or swimming. This helps your heart, lungs, and muscle tone.
MUSCLE STRENGTH - to help build strong bones and muscles.

Talk to your doctor. Moderate physical activity is safe for most people. But it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before becoming more active, especially if you haven't been very active or you have health problems.

What Steps can help you get Active?
These steps can help you find success when making changes:
1. Have your own reasons. Knowing why you want to get more active can help you make a change.
2. Set goals. Include long-term goals and short-term goals that you can measure easily.
3. Think about what might get in your way, and prepare for those barriers.
4. Get support from others, and support yourself.

How can you set Goals?
When you know your reasons for wanting to make a change, it's time to set your goals.
Short-term Goals: Start with small goals that you can reach pretty easily. It's easier to stay with something when you have success early and often.
Long-term Goals: These are large goals that you want to reach in 6 to 12 months.

It will help you stay motivated if you track your progress and update your goals as you move forward.

How do you deal with Barriers?
Think about what things could get in the way of your success. By thinking about your barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them.
Here are tips for dealing with barriers:
- If you feel like giving up, remember your reasons for wanting to change. And think about the progress you've made.
- Try shorter periods of activity spread throughout the day, such as a few 10-minute walks.
- Don't forget little rewards. Something to look forward to can keep you motivated.
- When you hit a barrier, get support from family and friends.

How can you find Support?
Support can make lifestyle changes easier. A workout partner can make exercising more fun, and it's motivating to know that someone is going through the same challenges as you. A partner can help you keep up your routine.

People in fitness groups also can give you support when you don't feel like staying with your plan.
Try these tips to find support:
- Ask family members, friends, and coworkers to join you in getting active. Set goals together.
- Promise to meet a friend or neighbor for a daily walk or other workout.
- Walk a dog every day to help keep your routine.
- Take part in an organized fitness walk or other activity.
The one very subtle symptom of Lung Cancer you need to know.
Lung cancer—not breast or uterine or ovarian cancer—claims more women's lives every year than any other type of cancer. One of the reasons is that there's no proven screening test for detecting early lung cancer, so the majority of patients (about 70 percent) are diagnosed once the cancer is advanced and has spread elsewhere in the body.

Back pain, headaches, weight loss, and fatigue are all typical symptoms of advanced lung cancer. Bone pain is also common, because that's where lung cancer tends to spread first, Andrea McKee, M.D., chairwoman of radiation oncology at the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center Sophia Gordon Cancer Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, tells SELF.

Symptoms of advanced lung cancer:

But while the majority of people diagnosed with lung cancer don't experience obvious symptoms in its early stages, some people may present with one really simple symptom early on: a chronic cough.

"Sometimes in the periphery [of the lungs] a tumor can just keep growing to a relatively large size before we'll diagnose it because it won't cause very many symptoms," Dr. McKee explains. But if a tumor is pushing on one of the bronchi, the major air passages going to the lungs, it will likely trigger the cough receptors. "It can trigger a cough even if the tumor is relatively small," she explains, if it's pushing on the right spot.

Being able to recognize this super subtle symptom can help you catch lung cancer in its beginning stages—which is crucial.

"There's a big difference in terms of survival between early detection and late detection when it comes to lung cancer," Dr. McKee says. In fact, the five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer is under 10 percent. But when lung cancer is detected in its earliest stages, there's a 90 percent chance the person can be cured, Dr. McKee says.

A cough, though, is a very nonspecific symptom. And when you have one, cancer is not the first thing you think of (nor should it be). The common cold can persist for a few weeks, and if you have sensitive lungs, your cough may linger even after the runny nose goes away. "You don't need to necessarily be worried about lung cancer in that situation if it's associated with a viral illness," Dr. McKee reassures.

If you have a cough that persists for two or three weeks and is not connected to any virus or bacterial infection, you should see a doctor.

Also, if you're ever coughing up blood, see a doctor ASAP. "Some patients will cough up blood if the tumor is close to the bronchi," Dr. McKee explains.

Marlo Palacios, a 42-year-old lung cancer patient in Pasadena, California, was diagnosed after she saw her doctor for a persistent cough. "I developed a cough from what I initially assumed was a cold caught by my son," Palacios tells SELF. After a few weeks, the cough didn't go away. "I didn't want to make a big deal of it, so I didn't see my physician immediately. I had even made an appointment three weeks into the cough, but I cancelled it."

A few weeks later, she finally decided to see a doctor. "I had to come to terms that this cough wasn't going away and that it didn't feel as though it was from a common cold," she says. "The cough was dry, and it would come in intense waves. I would cough uncontrollably when this happened, to the point where I was gagging and couldn't catch my breath." After seeing a handful of doctors, she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. "As a never-smoker, this was an initial shock to me and everyone in my life," Palacios says.

Ashley Rivas, a 35-year-old lung cancer survivor from Albuquerque, New Mexico, shares a similar story about her diagnosis. Her symptoms started as wheezing during exercise, and her doctor prescribed an inhaler for activity-induced asthma. "The medicine helped a little bit but never eliminated the symptoms," she tells SELF.

A few years later, Rivas developed a dry cough. At first, it was just "a lingering annoyance, but nothing that caused much concern," Rivas explains. Within the year, it became more aggressive. "It sounded hollow or drum like. It was coming from deep inside my chest and was very painful. It was worse at night and was accompanied with a fever." The coughing remained, but she never felt sick enough to see a doctor.

Eventually, Rivas went for an X-ray, and was diagnosed with pneumonia. A few weeks later, she was very fatigued and had a fever. She knew something wasn't right—finally, additional X-rays and tests revealed a cancerous tumor had been growing on her right lung.

At the end of the day, you can't go wrong with listening to your body and being cautious.

Seeing a doctor when something doesn't feel right will help you catch lung cancer—or any other health problem—early. While cough isn't the most common symptom of lung cancer, it can be one, and most of the time, happens early on. A chronic cough could also be a sign of acid reflux, asthma, or a side effect of medication, Dr. McKee says. "Those are all things you want your doctor to weigh in on." Even if it's not the worst-case scenario, you'll be glad you got treatment and finally kicked that pesky cough.


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HealthSmart: Providing Comprehensive and Innovative Healthcare Solutions

ZEBIT, the online financial wellness program was introduced at the Employees Benefits Fair. All employees are eligible for the Financial Wellness sections of ZEBIT where you can learn about budgeting, watch short videos about various financial issues and learn how to create financial goals.

Log onto: Zebit. You will need to know your employee ID and date of hire. Your employee ID is your employee number preceded by your place of employment (MITW0001/CMN0001/MCR0001). If you are not sure of your date of hire, contact the Insurance Department.

ZEBIT Marketplace (OPTIONAL SIGN UP) is available to employees that 1) are at least 18 years of age 2) have been employed with MITW/CMN/MCR for at least one year 3) have an annual salary of at least $16,000 and 4) have direct deposit of paycheck.

ZEBIT Marketplace offers an interest free line of credit to employees meeting the criteria above to purchase items on ZEBIT Marketplace. Employees are billed for purchases, interest free. over the course of six months. Payments for purchase on ZEBIT Marketplace ARE NOT deducted from your paycheck. Payments must be made directly to ZEBIT Marketplace.

myStrength was introduced at the Employee Benefits Fair. It is a wellness website that can help with issues such as stress and anxiety. It's easy to sign up!!!! Go to www.mystrength.com and click on the sign up button. When asked for an access code, enter one of the following codes (CMNEMP/MCREMP/MITWEMP/Menominee) depending upon where you are employed. Complete the sign up process with a brief Wellness Assessment and personal profile.

Upcoming Events

Employee Insurance Benefits Fair
All Employees are encouraged to attend the Employee Insurance Benefits FAIR at the Menominee Casino Convention Center. No specific time to attend, show up at your convenience anytime between 7:00am and 6:00pm. Plan to attend for any necessary changes to teh benefit plan. This fair provides an opportunity for you to meet with representatives from the benefit provider companies, ask questions about benefits and services for 2017. All Full-time, Part-time, On-call and Emergency hire employees are welcome.


Vision & Mission Statement

Promoting healthy choices among our employees, families, and community by providing activities, education, support, and resources to encourage healthy lifestyles.

To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery...
To remain on that path requires courage...
The bridge that merges the two is commitment.
~ Dr. Steve Marboli

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HRA (Health Risk Assessment) FAQs

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MITW Employee Wellness Program

Journey....   is a voluntary wellness program available to employees of MITW, CMN and MCR. Employees and spouses currently covered by MITW Employee Health Plan may participate in a Health Risk Assessment and Health Screening and earn $100.00
All employees can earn additional incentives up to $150 a year earning points by participating in various activites  
(list of activities will be provided prior to January 1, 2017).     In addition, anyone earning points in a month will be entered in monthly drawing for gas gift cards.
Employee meetings will be held before January 1, 2017 to provide additional information on

Examples of Activities to Earn Points on Your Journey
  • Participate in CPR/Safety/OSHA Trainings
  • Complete courses with Star 12 (Online)
  • Eliminate Tobacco Products
  • Rec Center Membership & Regular Visits
  • Cultural Related Events (Beadwork/Dance/Language Classes)
  • Zebit Financial Wellness (Online)
  • MyStrength-Health Club for the Mind (Online)
  • Physical Fitness Group Activities (Yoga/Exercise classes)
  • Get a "Wellness Buddy"
  • Nutrition/Diet Support Group (ex. Weight Watchers)
  • Participate in Health Challenges
  • Participate in Wellness Workshops/Educational Seminars
This is NOT an all-inclusive list. Additional information will be presented at Wellness meetings prior to January 1, 2017.