ESSA’s Asthma Case Management Program provides one-on-one help for MESSA members and their dependents who wish to effectively manage their asthma-related health issues.
MESSA’s asthma nurse educator, Susan Jahn, R.N.
, can help you:
Understand asthma and common asthma triggers
Learn how to monitor asthma
Figure out the right questions to ask at doctor visits
Obtain a written asthma plan from your doctor and help implement that plan, which is integral to controlling asthma throughout the year, saving time and money
MESSA’s program emphasizes education as a major component of managing asthma. By enrolling in the program, you receive asthma education materials, which can help you understand the chronic nature of asthma, guidelines for treatment, and information about MESSA’s asthma benefits.
Along the way, Susan will be available to provide information, encouragement and guidance to help you reach your asthma health goals.
To enroll in MESSA’s Asthma Case Management Program, call 800.336.0022 and select prompt 3 to speak with a nurse educator.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America can help answer questions about asthma or allergies. It also offers information on products suitable for people with asthma and allergies, and much more. Check out its website at www.aafa.org.
Informational videos from the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association offers a full library of instructional and informative videos that can help people living with asthma better manage their health, including:
More resources from the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association provides downloadable PDFs and infographics that cover action plans for home and school, workplace guidance, informative how-to documents and more, including:
School and Asthma
re you at risk of a heart attack or stroke? Are you struggling to control high blood pressure? MESSA’s Cardiovascular Case Management Program can provide you with free personal support from a certified nurse educator.
Our Cardiovascular Case Management Program gives you access to cardiovascular nurse educators who will provide you with important information, encouragement and guidance to help you reach your cardiovascular health goals. Our nurse educators can work with you over the course of several months, enabling you to reduce your cardiovascular-related symptoms and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Our cardiovascular nurse educator will help you:
Know and understand key numbers that affect your cardiovascular health
Make the changes necessary to living a healthier life
Communicate your needs and concerns to your health provider
Recognize complications that can occur with your diagnosis
Personal support for you
Our cardiovascular nurse educator, Cathy Scott-Lynch, R.N., will work directly with you to help develop a personal heart health action plan, including strategies you can use to make better lifestyle choices. You’ll learn how to identify and track your key health risk numbers, including blood pressure, blood sugar, and good and bad cholesterol, with an eye toward risk reduction.
In addition to healthy lifestyle measures, some people may need prescription medications to control blood pressure. Cathy can help you partner with your physician to develop an effective blood pressure management strategy.
And if you’ve already suffered a heart attack or stroke, Cathy will show you how to access specific MESSA benefits, such as cardiac rehabilitation, that can dramatically reduce your risk of suffering another attack.
MESSA members and their dependents are eligible to participate in MESSA’s Cardiovascular Case Management Program. To get started, call Cathy at 800.336.0022 and select prompt 3.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) nutrition plan
What you eat affects your chances of developing high blood pressure (hypertension). Research shows that high blood pressure can be prevented—and lowered—by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan.
The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also contains less salt and sodium; sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages; fats; and red meats than the typical American diet. This heart healthy way of eating is also lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and rich in nutrients that are associated with lowering blood pressure—mainly potassium, magnesium, and calcium, protein, and fiber.
Your Guide To Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH
(December 2006). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved April 2010.
Measuring Your Blood Pressure
Monitoring your blood pressure at home helps your healthcare practitioner determine whether your medication and other treatments are working. Home blood pressure monitoring is not a substitute for regular visits to your health practitioner.
The instructions for using blood pressure monitors vary depending upon the type of blood pressure monitor you choose. Refer to the Instruction manual provided with your monitor for the complete operating instructions.
Here are some general guidelines:
Before taking a measurement avoid eating, drinking alcohol, smoking, and exercising.
Take your blood pressure while you feel comfortable and relaxed. Sit quietly for at least 5 minutes with both feet on the floor. Try not to move or talk while you are measuring your blood pressure.
Sit with your arm slightly bent and resting comfortably on a table so that your upper arm is on the same level as your heart.
Place the blood pressure cuff on the skin of your upper arm. You may have to roll up your sleeve, remove your arm from the sleeve, or take your shirt off. The cuff should be wrapped snugly around your arm. However, there should be enough room between the bare skin of your upper arm and the cuff to comfortably insert an index finger.
At first it is a good idea to take your blood pressure 3 times in a row, 5 or 10 minutes apart. As you get more comfortable taking your own blood pressure, you will only need to measure it once or twice each time.
ESSA members and their dependents with diabetes can get personal help through MESSA’s Diabetes Case Management Program.
MESSA’s program is based on the latest guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and is appropriate for individuals with any type of diabetes, including Type 1, Type 2 and gestational.
Members who sign up for the free program will be contacted by Rachelle Twichell, R.N., MESSA’s diabetes nurse educator. Rachelle can provide important information, encouragement and guidance to help you reach your diabetes health goals, including:
A handbook for partnering with your physician that explains American Diabetes Association guidelines, provides a place to record test results and lists services and supplies covered by MESSA
Helpful information to help you better communicate with your health care providers
An assortment of materials to help you learn more about diabetes self-management
Millions of children and adults in the United States have diabetes — and many more have prediabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can take a toll on your health, according to the American Diabetes Association, leading to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, vision loss, nerve damage and more.
Rachelle is here to help you manage your diabetes and reduce the risk of more serious complications.
To learn more about MESSA’s Diabetes Case Management Program, call 800.336.0022 and select prompt 3.