Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Genesis Wellness Program Earns National Recognition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:36

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- August 27, 2012 -- Genesis Health System has been recognized by Wellness Councils of America (WELLCOA) as a national leader in employee wellness.

Genesis has received a Gold Award, which recognizes organizations developing comprehensive programs producing results. Criteria for each designation is based on progressive development and implementation of an organization's wellness initiative within the context of seven critical benchmarks.

Genesis Health System is one of 25 Gold Award winners from across the country. Genesis was less than 3 points from earning a Platinum Award, which is the highest level of recognition.

"A healthy workforce is very important to us,'' said Doug Cropper, President and CEO, Genesis Health System. "Our employees take responsibility for the health choices they make. Our role as leaders is to provide them with wellness programs and opportunities that promote health.''

Genesis Health System offers its employees a variety of incentives and programs to maintain and improve their health.

One of the most successful initiatives has been the Healthy Lifestyles program. Employees receive an annual screening for the five risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Employees who have fewer than three risk factors qualify for lower health insurance rates. Because of the program, Genesis employees have enjoyed nearly stable health insurance costs while rates across the country have risen steeply over the same period.

The Genesis WellPower Program, managed by Jan Treftz-Allen, is a key component of employee health. The program introduces employees and spouses to health habits to improve their lives. The program focuses primarily on exercise, nutrition and stress management, which have the biggest impact on health risks.

Within the Genesis WellPower Program are challenges for participants. Exercise, improved food choices, stress coping skills and taking part in Genesis-sponsored events are documented as part of an incentive program to reinforce good habits. The WellPower website offers employees online education and a variety of other resources to manage their health.

Genesis employees receive discounts for YMCA memberships and other health clubs. The Genesis food service offers healthy entree selections every day and vending machines have healthier options.

Another successful wellness program at Genesis is an annual employee bike sale. Employees are able to purchase bikes, biking gear and exercise equipment on a discounted basis and can have their purchase deducted from their payroll checks.

"We're very proud of the total wellness program at Genesis and the participation by employees and their families in the program,'' Cropper said. "Our wellness initiatives have helped save millions of dollars in our organization's employee health care costs, but more importantly, our employees are benefitting through improved health and lower costs for health insurance premiums.''

Genesis Occupational Health is working with area employers to introduce successful Genesis initiatives to their employees.

Wellness Councils of America, based in Omaha, focuses on building Well Workplaces – organizations that are dedicated to the health of their employees. To date, more than 600 companies have received Well Workplace awards.

WELCOA's Seven Benchmarks of results-oriented workplace wellness programs are: Capturing CEO Support; Creating Cohesive Wellness Teams; Collecting Data to Drive Health Efforts; Carefully Crafting An Operating Plan; Choosing Appropriate Interventions; Creating A Supportive Environment; Carefully Evaluating Outcomes.


Celebrate Labor Day by giving the gift of life to patients in need PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:33

As the summer season wraps up and Labor Day approaches, it’s important to remember that the need for blood and platelets does not take a holiday. Throughout the summer, especially during the holidays, lifesaving blood donations decline. This often occurs as donors pack their schedules full of fun summer activities, leaving little time to donate.

This Labor Day, the Red Cross is encouraging individuals to end their summer right by making a difference in their community. All presenting donors who give at Red Cross blood drives from August 30 through September 5 will be entered for a chance to win one of five prize packages worth $200 for items of their choosing.

All presenting blood and platelet donors August 30 to September 5 have the chance to win one of five $200 prize packages redeemable at

PEORIA, Ill. (August 27, 2012) – As the hot summer winds down and individuals and families look forward to the Labor Day holiday, the American Red Cross reminds eligible donors that patients can’t take a holiday from needing blood or platelets. To help ensure an adequate blood supply this Labor Day holiday, from August 30 to September 5, presenting blood and platelet donors can give a little and live a little by being entered to win one of five $200 prize packages redeemable for items such as books, music, electronics, restaurants, department stores and more!

“Summer holidays pose a serious challenge to the nation’s blood supply as donors have less time to give lifesaving blood,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the American Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “But patients don’t get to take a holiday from needing blood. Approximately every two seconds, a patient in the United States needs blood. So make blood donation a part of your Labor Day plans and help patients enjoy more summers with their friends and families.”

The Labor Day promotion is part of the Red Cross’ Live Life. Give Life. campaign. The summer-long giveaway (May 21 through September 5) raises awareness of the need for summer blood donations and offers all presenting donors the chance to win a prize certificate package worth $5,000 redeemable at One lucky donor can use the prize certificate to choose from hundreds of available prize options, including vacations, shopping sprees or meals out for a year. For more information, visit

Donors of all blood types are needed, but eligible donors with blood type O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative are especially encouraged to give. Anyone who gave blood at the start of the summer may be eligible to donate again as summer comes to a close.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.™

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


Maria Bribriesco Announces Final Health & Wellness Series Topic PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sandra Travino   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:13
Social Worker Rebecca Dwyer-Elias: Tips On Achieving & Maintaining A Positive Self Esteem

AUGUST 28, 2012 BETTENDORF, IA – Maria Bribriesco, candidate for Iowa House of Representatives (District 94) and Bettendorf resident, has announced the final session in a four-part Health & Wellness series “Tips on Achieving & Maintaining Positive Self-Esteem " with social worker Rebecca Dwyer-Elias, LCSW, LISW.  This presentation will be at the  Bettendorf Public Library August 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM.  Ms. Dwyer-Elias will deliver a short presentation followed by a Q&A.  This event is free to the public.

“Bullying in our society is a tremendous problem.  It's been in the news lately but it still doesn't get enough attention.” Maria said recently.  “One's self esteem is battered whenever one is subjected to bullying whether it be at school, at home, or at work.  This type of informational program is a step in the right direction to combating this social problem.” 

In private practice since 1999, Rebecca earned a Masters of Social Work from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA. She is skilled at establishing the core conditions of counseling with her clients, developing accurate diagnostic assessments, and applying appropriate treatment planning and theoretical interventions.

About Maria Bribriesco
Maria Bribriesco, a long-time resident of Bettendorf and graduate from the University of Iowa College of Law, is candidate from the Iowa House of Representatives, District 94. After 27 years working for the U.S. Army at the Rock Island Arsenal, Maria retired as a Supervisory Attorney-Adviser in July 2011.

Maria is married to local attorney William J. Bribriesco and is the proud mother of attorneys Anthony and Andrew Bribriesco and doctor Alejandro Bribriesco.

Governor Quinn Signs Law to Enhance Physical Education in Illinois Schools PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 13:56

Continues “Walk Across Illinois Challenge”

OAK PARK, IL – August 25, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to enhance physical education in Illinois schools. In addition, the governor continued to urge Illinois residents to take the “Walk Across Illinois Challenge” (, a program the governor launched to improve the health and fitness of the people of Illinois. Governor Quinn led a group of walkers on a half-mile trek through Oak Park.

“Today we want to encourage people to be fit, be healthy and walk across Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “This new law is another step in the right direction to help the citizens of Illinois improve their health and wellness.”

Senate Bill 3374, sponsored by Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Plainfield) and Rep. Jerry Mitchell (R-Rock Falls), creates the Enhance Physical Education Task Force to examine existing physical education strategies and programs, assess the impact of physical education, and identify and leverage local, state and federal resources for physical education. An initiative of the Illinois Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the bill was supported by major teachers’ and school organizations, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association and other health advocates. The law is effective immediately.

“This law helps us take a serious look at the positive impact PE has on students. It benefits them both physically and mentally. Studies show that physical activity increases the ability to concentrate and improves cognitive function. There is a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind,” said Sen. Holmes (D-Plainfield).

“As a former coach and physical education teacher, I know first-hand the value of physical fitness,” said Rep. Mitchell (R-Rock Falls). “This Task Force will help put Illinois schoolchildren on the right path.”

The new Task Force will collaborate with the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness, which was created in January to develop practical ideas to help Illinois residents embrace healthier lifestyles. The Council is chaired by Sandy Noel, a Golden Apple Award-winning teacher and fitness instructor.

“With initiatives such as ‘Walk Across Illinois’, Governor Quinn’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness and the new Enhanced Physical Education Task Force, we are  affirming the importance of teaching physical education and health in our schools, and living what we learn,” said Sandy Noel, the Oak Park teacher who co-chairs the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness. “Summer is drawing to a close. Walk outside and let’s get fit together!”

Originally launched by Quinn when he was Lieutenant Governor, “Walk Across Illinois” is an interactive program which encourages participants to walk 167 miles in a single year, roughly the distance across Illinois from Rock Island on the Mississippi River to Chicago on Lake Michigan. Ten years ago, Quinn – joined by his 78-year old physician, Dr. Quentin Young - walked that 167-mile-route to promote the Bernardin Amendment which called for decent health care for everyone.

Residents wishing to take the “Walk Across Illinois Challenge” may visit, where they can register, log their mileage, learn about hiking routes and get helpful tips. A chart enables you to convert other activities to mileage, such as 30 minutes of bowling or 20 minutes of lawn-mowing being equivalent to one mile.

Once a walker has reached 167 miles, he or she receives a certificate from the governor. Illinois has approximately 270 hiking trails, 63 miles of walkable Lake Michigan shoreline, thousands of miles of riverfront paths and countless neighborhood walks.


Diabetes On-The-Go PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 13:20
Diabetics Can Maintain an Active Lifestyle

A whole industry has grown up around freeing diabetics to lead less restricted lives. Tubeless insulin pumps, a needleless blood-glucose monitoring system, and diabetic-friendly frozen foods are among the innovations helping people with the metabolic disorder to live lives on the go.

With the number of diabetics growing worldwide – 246 million at last count, according to the World Health Organization – businesses are motivated. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry feeding a growing population that’s starving for a better quality of life, says Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” author of two cookbooks for people with the metabolic disorder.

“It wasn’t long ago that Type 1 diabetics had to be sure they packed ample sterile syringes and insulin, whether they were going to work for the day or on a road trip,” he says. “Monitoring blood sugar levels, which is crucial to keeping vital organs healthy, was painful, primitive and hit-or-miss.

“And food? That’s been the hardest. A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a life sentence of bland eating.”

Among the “firsts” Lewis says diabetics can look forward to:

• The first tubeless insulin pump. Thirty years ago, people with insulin-dependent diabetes had to give themselves shots around the clock to control their blood sugar levels. In some cases, diabetics were hospitalized to ensure they got the insulin necessary to prevent ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to coma and death. In 1983, the insulin pump was introduced. It attaches to the body and provides continuous insulin injections. But while it was a major breakthrough, it can be bulky and awkward, with a dangling catheter. The most recent innovation is a streamlined version called the OmniPod. It has no tubes, it’s smaller and it attaches anywhere on the body with adhesive. It also has a built-in glucose-monitoring system.

• The first needleless glucometer. The Symphony tCGM System uses ultrasound to monitor blood-sugar levels, which will free people from the painful pricks needed to get a small blood sample for testing multiple times a day. The device, which attaches with adhesive to the body, continuously tracks glucose levels day and night and can send the readings to your smart phone. Under development for more than a decade, Symphony is undergoing the studies necessary to win regulatory approval.

• The first diabetic-friendly frozen meals. Meals-in-a-Bun ( are low on the glycemic index, low in sugar and carbs, high in soluble fiber, low in trans fat, high in lean protein and low in sodium, Lewis says. “And the best thing is, they are delicious.”  The five varieties – two vegan and three vegetarian – include selections like Thai Satay, mushrooms, broccoli and tofu in whole-wheat flax bun. “This is particularly exciting because, while there have been advances in equipment that makes life easier for diabetics, there haven’t been for convenient, packaged foods.”

Diabetics who do not watch what they eat may wind up suffering kidney damage, stomach problems, heart disease, pneumonia, gum disease, blindness, stroke, nerve damage, complications during pregnancy, loss of limb and other health problems, according to the CDC.

But many Americans are trending toward healthier diets, eating less meat, gluten, salt and sugar, Lewis says. Tasty foods developed for diabetics will be excellent choices for them, too.

“What’s good for diabetics is good for everyone,” he says. “And you don’t have to give up one teaspoon of flavor.

“There’s a reason why I am called ‘The Happy Diabetic’; I have discovered the joy of nutrition-rich food.”

About Lifestyle Chefs

Lifestyle Chefs is a Santa Clara, Calif., company specializing in creating meals inspired by world cuisines and using only natural, healthy and nutritious ingredients. Lifestyle Chefs’ products are all vegetarian and diabetic-friendly, perfect for families who want fast, convenient meals that are low in calories, high in nutrition and robust in flavor. Chef  Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1998. He specializes in flavorful recipes that won’t spike a diabetic’s blood sugar.

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