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With COVID Causing Financial Strife, Americans Taking a Hard Look at Health Care Spending

The hits just keep on coming for Americans struggling to keep up financially during a COVID-fueled economic downturn.

That’s the key takeaway from the annual 2020 Aflac WorkForces Report, which takes a magnifying glass to how employees and employers expect to approach health care benefits enrollment each year.

It’s not uncommon for Americans to adjust their health care benefits preferences, but the rising tide Aflac is seeing this year on other personal health care front is surprising.

This from the study:

— Nearly half of Americans (49%) said COVID-19 was a wake-up call to invest more time researching and selecting their health benefits. That’s because 67% of employees have experienced at least a minor financial impact due to the pandemic, including canceling trips (42%), loss of income (36%), or paying for a family member’s care (21%).

— The effect of COVID-19 represents a significant shift in employee habits, considering 92%

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America’s racial reckoning is putting a spotlight on Black mental health

As a child, Reginald Howard struggled with destructive visions, moments where he imagined destroying the shelves at the corner store or pushing another child down, but when he tried to identify what was happening, his mother attributed it to his “Howard blood.”

“At that point, I probably should have been in therapy but because there’s such a stigma behind therapy in the Black community, and around the world but I’ll start within my community, I really didn’t get the help that I needed,” Howard said.

His father also struggled with mental illness, a situation that led Howard’s grandmother to refer to him and his sister as “demon children.”

Howard’s mental health went unaddressed as a child and he continued to struggle with mental illness into adulthood, which led to a crisis point in 2011.

Out of work at 20 years old, he learned his now-fiancé was pregnant. The anxiety of

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New Study Shows Rude Workplace Emails Can Harm Productivity And Mental Health

You open your computer to find an email in ALL CAPS and a series of exclamation points along with a frowning emoji. A coworker is furious about a mistake you made, a deadline you missed or something you forgot. You feel the stress of your heart slamming against your chest, rapid breathing and your shoulders tighten up to your ears.

With the advent of the pandemic and remote work on the rise, the sheer volume of email exchanges has skyrocketed. Electronic communication is efficient, but it’s also distant and detached and often can be rude. Two studies led by a University of Illinois Chicago researcher show that dealing with rude emails at work can create lingering stress and take a toll on your well-being and family life.

In the first study, Yuan and his co-authors surveyed 233 working employees

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University Health System looking to buy $28 million properties, consolidate office workers

University Health System is looking to buy two office buildings to keep up with its quickly expanding workforce.

Officials hope to secure a $28 million deal for the buildings, located in University Park, a 3.2-million-square-foot business park near DeZavala Road and I-10.

About 1,000 of UHS’s 8,600 employees hold non-clinical positions and currently work in seven office buildings around San Antonio.

UHS leases most of those facilities, an annual expense of $2.3 million. The acquisition is expected to start saving the system money in two years and will have a “positive bottom-line impact” in its third year, according to UHS documents.

“University Health System has grown significantly in terms of locations, services and staff over the past decade as we’ve seen demand for services dramatically increase at University Hospital and across our large network of primary care and specialty care locations,” spokeswoman Leni Kirkman said in a statement

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Paychex Introduces Solutions to Help Businesses Manage Employee Health and Safety

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As businesses across the U.S. reopen either on-site or virtually, many face new and evolving challenges with managing the health and safety of their workforce. Today, Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of HR, payroll, benefits, and insurance solutions, announced three new offerings to help its customers navigate new business and wellness needs, including COVID-19 leave tracking and screening, as well as health attestation solutions.

“Each phase of the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges that businesses must solve. Paychex has been by their side every step of the way, listening and providing resources and solutions that make it easier to continue business operations, despite the current challenges,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “We’ve taken a leadership role in informing employers about COVID-19 guidance impacting their specific geography through innovative tools such as our COVID-19 State Resources Map, we’ve provided comprehensive

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Charleston, a health city in the middle of the south | Charleston’s Choice 2020

The south is the birth place of sweet tea and home to a lot of the foods doctors advise people to limit after a certain age. 

When people look at maps for conditions like diabetes, this Southeastern state is often in the red for its high number of cases. So on paper Charleston, South Carolina wouldn’t sound like much of a health and wellness area.

But it kind of is. 

Charleston has countless options for people who want to prioritize their health. There are a four major health systems in the city’s region: Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Trident Health, the East Cooper Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Those institutions are filled with novel research opportunities that tend to keep the Charleston community in the know about medical developments. 

In my time covering health in the city, I found that

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New insights on pediatric mental health boarding in emergency departments

A Dartmouth-led study, published in the journal Pediatrics, offers new details about pediatric mental health boarding in emergency departments across the country, a problem that has steadily increased in the last 10 years and been made worse by a shortage of psychiatric resources.

Boarding refers to the practice of admitting children and adolescents–who are in need of inpatient mental health treatment–to emergency departments or inpatient medical units while they wait for a psychiatric bed to become available in the hospital.

Behavioral and mental health disorders are the most common and costly chronic diseases that affect children and adolescents. Approximately one in six U.S. youths has a behavioral or mental health condition, and treatment costs for these disorders are estimated to exceed $13 billion annually. Yet, 50 to 70 percent of children who have treatable behavioral and mental health conditions don’t receive

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AACE Convenes First Ever Conference on Cardiometabolic Clinical Practice in Partnership With Leading Health Organizations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), a professional community of health care providers specializing in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic disorders, is hosting the first Innovation in Cardiometabolic Clinical Practice virtual conference from October 2-4, 2020. The conference will offer interactive learning sessions on translational medicine and clinical applications of evidence-based guidelines for physicians and health professionals across specialties who are caring for patients with cardiometabolic diseases. Registration for the conference is now open and free for all attendees.

The conference is co-provided by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), American Society of Preventive Cardiology (ASPC), Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) and Endocrine Nurses Society (ENS). The collaboration among these leading organizations in cardiometabolic disease will ensure that the conference integrates multidisciplinary perspectives and fosters increased coordination among a patient’s care team.


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Anti-maskers protesters cause health officials’ press conference in Brooklyn to be cut short


Anti-maskers heckled city health officials during a southern Brooklyn press conference meant to address a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases on Friday — forcing the medical professionals to cut the gathering short. 

Various officials leading the charge against the virus within the Five Boroughs met at Gravesend Park shortly before noon, ostensibly to alert community members about new measures in response to the spike of cases in Brooklyn and Queens — but shortly before things kicked off, local resident and amateur radio host Heshy Tischler showed up filming himself bombastically denying the continued existence of COVID-19 in the area.

Tischler argues with a city staffer while disrupting the press conference. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Tischler, who continuously disrupted the press conference, called doctors and city officials

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Kids may need some help during pandemic, Montana mental health experts say | Local News

“Those are normal reactions to really painful experiences,” said Ann Douglas, who directs the All Nation’s Health Center’s Missoula Native Connections program. 

In communities like the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations, which have been hard hit by COVID-19, schools are often a front-line resource for kids, both for the effects of COVID-19 and mental health. 

Being “open and available” is a simple thing people can do, whether experts in the field or not, said Lily Gervais, the behavioral health clinical director at the All Nation’s Health Center. 

“I think all of us, as professionals or as community members, can put that out there,” she said. 

Romano plugged a campaign priority; as superintendent, she said that she would push for social-emotional learning standards. A 2018 analysis by the National Conference of State legislatures found that 15 states have such standards for grades K-12. Other states typically have them for preschool only. 

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