Assistance News Feed - LaPorteCountyLife Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:03:30 +0000 en hourly 1 Easing the Transportation Burden for Behavioral Health Tue, 21 Jan 2020 23:25:08 +0000 UnitedHealthcare Getting the necessary treatment and recovery support for those seeking help for a mental health or substance abuse disorder can be challenging, if you don’t have access to reliable transportation. 

This is especially true in rural areas, where there can be a lack of public transit systems, longer distances to appointments and a need for improved infrastructure. 

Take Clark County, Kentucky — where opioid misuse and addiction is prevalent. According to state health records, Clark County had the fourth highest per capita rate of overdose deaths in the state in 2018. 

“Our mission is helping people get into recovery and also stay in long-term recovery,” said Juanita Everman, executive director of Achieving Recovery Together, a local nonprofit focused on helping address addiction within the community “And to do that you have to get to your appointments.”

When clients were asked, “How many appointments have you missed due to lack of transportation?” the answer was startling. Ninety percent had missed three or more appointments in the previous 30 days.

A local church, Calvary Christian, recognized an opportunity to help. The church had vans that were sitting idle during the week and in a conversation with UnitedHealthcare suggested working alongside a strong local partner, Achieving Recovery Together. UnitedHealthcare provided Calvary Christian a $10,000 grant to cover the cost of insurance and gas.The funding also allowed Achieving Recovery Together to bring in a part-time mobility manager, a driver and peer support specialists. These peer support specialists have also been in recovery, and ride along with the clients — providing crucial connection and support.

So far, the program has been a success. Since the beginning of the program there have been 132 rides given to 80 individuals for everything from rehab placements, appointments for medication and behavioral health, and support group meetings. There is hope to expand the transportation offering to reach more people who need it.

“We really want to walk alongside our partners when we do community investment,” said Whitney Allen, community engagement manager for UnitedHealthcare. 

When support for behavioral health and access to transportation come together, more can be achieved to help people on the road to recovery. 

Easing the Transportation Burden for Behavioral Health
Start the New Decade Off Right – Get the Most Out of Your Health Care Benefits Tue, 21 Jan 2020 23:21:36 +0000 UnitedHealthcare For most Americans, their health plan benefits began in January, regardless of whether they switched to a new plan during open enrollment or opted to stick with the plan they had in 2019. Better understanding your coverage may help you get the most out of your plan, improve your health and even help save money in 2020.

Rebecca Madsen, chief consumer officer at UnitedHealthcare, said people can save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year by learning how to maximize their health plan’s offerings.

“People can save money on their health care if they take a little time to understand their plan and consider some tips such as making sure their doctor is in network or asking their physician about generic medications,” she said. “Fully understanding how your health plan works not only can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs but also avoid surprise bills.”

Madsen offers the following tips that may help people get the most out of their benefits this year.

  1. Learn the lingo – Using your health plan to your advantage starts with understanding basic health plan terms such as deductible, copay, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. Need a refresher course? Watch this video or go to to better understand common health insurance terms, and help you apply them to your situation by checking your specific plan amounts. That way you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when you access care throughout the year.
  2. Know what’s covered – You can usually find your coverage and benefits information on your insurer’s website or in the plan documents your insurer sent in the mail. Review this information before you start receiving treatment.
  3. Stay in network – Choosing doctors in your plan’s care provider network will most likely mean you’ll pay less. Also, check out 24/7 telehealth services, which more plans are covering. Virtual visits can help save you time and money by providing convenient access to care via a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer for certain medical issues including allergies, bronchitis and seasonal flu.
  4. Save on medications – Make sure your medications are covered by your plan, and ask your doctor about generics to see if there’s a more affordable and equally effective alternative to a drug you’re taking. Also, getting prescriptions through the mail is often a good cost-saving option. Most plans enable you to order up to a three-month supply of medication you take regularly, sometimes at a discount. Your medication will be delivered right to your home, saving you a trip to the pharmacy.
  5. Shop around and get cost estimates – Several health insurers offers online or mobile health care tools and resources that enable you to check on the quality and cost of health care services and care providers before you make appointments. Be sure to double-check the cost with your care provider before getting treatments, as prices can vary significantly for the same procedure within the same city.
  6. Take advantage of wellness programs – Many health plans offer discounts on gym memberships and provide financial incentives – some more than $1,000 per year – for completing health assessments, signing up for health coaching programs, lowering your cholesterol, losing weight, meeting certain walking goals or stopping smoking. Incentive-based wellness programs are designed to reward people for making healthier choices and being more engaged in helping improve their well-being.
  7. Maximize your Medicare benefits – If you’re one of the more than 60 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, many of these tips will apply to you. You can also check out Medicare-specific tips that can help you get the most from your plan this year. Doing so may offer double the rewards – better health and more money in your wallet. 
Start the New Decade Off Right – Get the Most Out of Your Health Care Benefits
How a Lack of Sleep May Affect Your Weight — and Health Tue, 21 Jan 2020 23:17:23 +0000 UnitedHealthcare If you’ve been having trouble getting enough sleep, you’re not alone. About 50 to 70 million Americans, of all ages, have issues when it comes to sleep. And it’s not only from staying up late. Whether it’s due to an increase in absorbing technology or a shift from the typical 9-to-5 workday, not getting enough zzz’s will not only leave you feeling tired, it may have an impact on your weight. 

Sleep can affect hormone levels that are linked to your metabolism and appetite, which may cause a person to overeat. One study found that, if a person regularly slept fewer than six hours a night, he or she was more likely to be overweight. Conversely, people who slept eight or more hours a night had the lowest body fat in the study group. A lack of sleep may also affect hormones ghrelin and leptin, and thus increase hunger, particularly for foods high in carbohydrates and calories. In addition, not getting enough sleep leaves people with little to no energy, which decreases physical activity. 

Poor sleep can also impact your overall health in a big way. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to have a link to increased rates of Type 2 diabetes, as well as hypertension (or high blood pressure) and obesity. And obesity can raise the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. 

In another study, women who slept five hours or less at night over the course of 16 years had a 15% increased risk of becoming obese, versus those who slept seven hours a night.

So, what can you do to get better shut-eye? Here are a few tips that may help you sleep smarter and perhaps stay at a healthy weight: 

  • Hours matter. Simply put, there’s no way you can cut corners on the hours of sleep you need. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep each night. Children need a minimum of eight hours every night, which varies by age.  
  • Practice good sleep hygieneStick to a regular schedule, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and make sure your thermostat is at a comfortable temperature.
  • Go easy on caffeine and alcohol — and do it well before bedtime. Foods and beverages with caffeine shouldn’t be taken right before bedtime. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep. 
  • Turn off your screens. The blue light from devices such as TVs and cell phones can interfere with the hormone melatonin, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.

If you still have concerns about not getting enough sleep, talk to your doctor. He or she might recommend a sleep study, which can determine whether you have sleep apnea or another condition that’s affecting your rest. 

How a Lack of Sleep May Affect Your Weight — and Health
Franciscan Health grief support groups Wed, 15 Jan 2020 01:08:09 +0000 Franciscan Health Those who have lost a loved one are invited to share in the support and wisdom of others by participating in grief support groups offered by Franciscan Health Dyer, Hammond and Munster.

Franciscan Health Palliative Care Department offers a grief support group on Wednesday evenings throughout the year. Each group meets for 10 weeks. The groups use the book “Understanding Your Grief” by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., as a guide through the journey of loss to healing.

The spring session will run Feb. 12 through April 15 with meetings from 7 to 8:30PM each Wednesday. A fall session will be Sept. 9 through Nov. 11.

Registration is required by calling Hospital and Palliative Care Chaplain Nicholas Perkins at (219) 864-2055. Meeting locations will be provided upon registering

Franciscan Health grief support groups
La Porte Hospital Multiple Sclerosis self-help group Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:43:20 +0000 La Porte Hospital Providing emotional and social support to patients, families, and caregivers affected by MS, this group meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the Month. The next meeting will be held on February 11th in the La Porte Hospital Auditorium, 1007 Lincolnway, La Porte. Call Kathy May at 219-874-2681 for more information or to ask questions.

La Porte Hospital Multiple Sclerosis self-help group
La Porte Hospital Women Heart Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:41:55 +0000 La Porte Hospital This group offers support and education on living a heart healthy life and meets at 6:30 p.m., the second Thursday of every month (Feb 13). This group meets at La Porte Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center, 901 Lincolnway, in the First Floor Conference Room. Call Sue Chlebek at 219-324-7519 for more information.

La Porte Hospital Women Heart
La Porte Hospital cancer support group Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:40:26 +0000 La Porte Hospital Have you been affected by a cancer diagnosis? The Cancer Support Group provides patients, families, and caregivers a chance to share experiences and learn new ways of coping with the disease process. The group meets 4-5 p.m. every other month on the third Tuesday of the month, with the next meeting being February 18. They meet at the La Porte Hospital Heart & Vascular Center, 901 Lincolnway, in the First Floor Conference Room. Contact 219-785-3444 or 219-785-3442 for more information.

La Porte Hospital cancer support group
La Porte Hospital Parkinson’s support group Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:38:35 +0000 La Porte Hospital Supporting those with Parkinson’s disease, their families, and caregivers in adapting more positively to the physical, emotional, and social changes associated with the disease. The group meets at 2:00 p.m. every third Tuesday (Feb 18) at Brentwood Assisted Living, 2002 Andrew Ave., La Porte (park in back and use back door). Call Sherri Moorehouse at 219-362-5749 for more details.

La Porte Hospital Parkinson’s support group
La Porte Hospital diabetes support group Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:36:50 +0000 La Porte Hospital The Diabetes Support Group provides a place to share ideas, experiences, and problems related to diabetes for those with diabetes, as well as their support team. The group meets from 11 a.m. – Noon, the fourth Monday of the month (Feb 24), in the Heart & Vascular First Floor Conference Room, 901 Lincolnway, La Porte, or from 11 a.m. – Noon, the fourth Tuesday of the month (Feb. 25) in the First Floor Conference Room at Starke Hospital, 102 E. Culver Road, Knox. Contact 219-326-2478 for more details.

La Porte Hospital diabetes support group
Wellness screenings in Michigan City and La Porte Fri, 10 Jan 2020 23:30:21 +0000 La Porte Hospital The Michigan City and La Porte communities will be the location of two wellness screenings provided by the Wellness Outreach department of La Porte Hospital. Screenings offered include a blood glucose screening and a depression screening. Information about cervical cancer will also be available. These events are free and registration is not required. Stop by between 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. for screenings and to chat with a wellness coach.

Wednesday, January 15: Wellness Screening in the lobby of the Physician Offices at 3777 N. Frontage Road, Michigan City, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, January 21: Wellness Screening in the Lobby at La Porte Hospital, 1007 Lincolnway, La Porte, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


La Porte Hospital provides full service hospital and outpatient care to residents of La Porte County and surrounding communities. The mission of La Porte Hospital and La Porte Physician Network is to improve the health of our patients and communities.

Wellness screenings in Michigan City and La Porte