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You, transformed: livingwell CARES can help employees meet health goals, save money

Herbert Facey was tired of letting diabetes control his life. He was overweight, stressed out and feeling sluggish. Facey, a manager in Sterile Processing at Greenwich Hospital, knew he needed to make changes or continue to suffer the side effects of his disease, but he didn’t know where to start. At a co-worker’s suggestion, he reached out to livingwell CARES for help.

“The livingwell CARES program changed my outlook on diabetes and on life,” said Facey. “I learned the importance of taking care of myself.”

The free, confidential, LWC care management program not only helps people like Facey manage chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma, it can help anyone who is looking to improve their health—from losing weight to quitting smoking—meet their personal goals.

“LWC participants meet confidentially with the specially trained LWC care management team who can answer questions, address concerns, offer support with setting health goals and help with navigating the healthcare system,” said Nicole Larizza, supervisor, livingwell CARES.

“It’s like having your own personal healthcare professional,” said LWC participant Michelene Bond, contract analyst, Payer, Strategy and Innovation, YNHHS.

In combination with care coordination and health coaching, participants may also work with a behavioral health specialist, pharmacist or registered dietitian for additional support.

“We take a team-based approach and create a personalized program for each person,” said Larizza. “LWC is designed to help people achieve their health goals and acquire the resources, knowledge and confidence they need to truly live well within their own unique circumstances.”

Engaging with LWC also offers participants the potential for reduced out-of-pocket medical expenses. Bond, who has asthma, saved hundreds of dollars on her inhalers. “I had a prescription inhaler that cost me $250. The same inhaler now costs me $25,” she said.

All employees and covered dependents are eligible to participate in LWC and are encouraged to reach out to LWC at any time at 1-888-533-3742 or [email protected]. During the 2021 open enrollment period, employees electing YNHHS medical benefits had the option to accept or decline participation in the LWC program effective Jan. 1. Employees and/or their covered dependents with high blood pressure or diabetes who opted into the program may receive a call from LWC to offer their clinical assistance in managing these conditions.

“LWC has a wonderful track record of supporting our employees in controlling their blood pressure and diabetes,” said Ohm Deshpande, MD, executive director, Clinical Operations, YNHHS. “As YNHHS continues to invest in services to better support our families’ health goals, it’s critical that LWC be more visible and available.”

“It’s like having a supportive friend,” said Facey. “I have diabetes, but diabetes doesn’t have me thanks to livingwell CARES.”

To read more about Facey and Bond’s journeys to better health and the services LWC offers employees and their families, visit the new livingwell CARES intranet site accessible from the Departments and Communities listing on the homepage.