Featured Blogs

Preventive steps can lead you to good health and wellness

by Wellness Champions, Concordia Plans

Upcoming Health topics: 
1st Quarter Focus: All Things New!
February – Heart Health
March – Nutrition

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! - Psalm 96:1 

Happy 2024! Can you believe it’s already here?

What new adventures are you looking forward to this year? Any milestones you or your loved ones will be reaching: graduation, wedding, birth of a child, 50th wedding anniversary, 65th birthday?! A new year brings many new and exciting possibilities. I pray that you jump into this new year with positive expectation of blessings, successes and all things worthy of singing praises to our Lord. 

The beginning of a new year is also a great time to evaluate our health and wellness – particularly our prevention strategies. This looks a little different for everyone, but the reasons for a prevention focus and opportunities for support are very similar. Let’s unpack what prevention means and what steps you can take to get the year started off on the right foot – preventing, reducing and/or properly managing disease and illness to Be Well and Serve Well. 

The CDC reports that 60% of Americans live with at least one chronic disease, such as heart disease and stroke, cancer or diabetes – some of the leading causes of death and disability in the US. Getting preventive care reduces the risk for diseases, disabilities and death — yet millions of people in the United States don’t get recommended preventive health care services (Source: 

Primary prevention aims to prevent disease before is occurs. Even if someone has a family history or considered “at risk” for some other reason, a level of prevention is possible. This is where regular screening tests come into play. As well, as healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, drinking plenty of water, sun protection, and positive spiritual and social activities. 

Secondary prevention is focused on reducing the impact of current disease or injury at an early stage. This includes the healthy habits already mentioned, in addition to taking prescribed medications and keeping regular appointments with providers and following their recommendations. 

Tertiary prevention includes proper management of chronic illness or injury to improve quality of life and life expectancy. Once a chronic illness/disease has been identified, the goal is to prevent the disease process from progressing too rapidly and negatively impacting daily life. This may be accomplished by a combination of higher level of medications, more strict nutrition and exercise planning, etc. 

Where do you see yourself within the three levels of prevention? What are you already doing well? Are there areas that need more of your attention? 

Can’t decide where to start? An annual physical with your primary provider is the perfect place! This comprehensive appointment with your provider will cover the usual items like height, weight, blood pressure, etc. But also it’s the perfect time to discuss questions, concerns and other areas of your health. Beyond telling your doctor about any changes you’ve noticed or responding to his/her questions during your exam, Harvard also recommends being prepared with a few of your own questions. 

Am I due for any vaccinations? Your age, health history, occupation and lifestyle all affect the types of vaccines you need. It also may be time for a booster shot. 

Which health screenings or blood tests do I need? Mammogram, colonoscopy and other screenings shouldn't be postponed for long, since early detection can mean the difference between a treatable or untreatable condition. You can have your provider complete the Biometric Screening form available on your Vitality account and submit it for BIG POINTS – another great way to start the new year! 

Do I need any changes to my prescriptions? Changes to your health or lifestyle can influence dosages. Some medications may no longer be necessary or a new medication may be appropriate. 

What lifestyle changes should I consider improving my overall health? Blood pressure or weight changes may prompt you to tweak your diet or exercise patterns. 

You can also schedule your biometric screening with one of our partner labs – LabCorp or Quest – via your Vitality account. This screening will assess your blood pressure, height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, lipids and glucose levels. 

Once you’ve completed your biometric screening, the on-demand EAP Wellness Webcast “Know Your Numbers” is a great resource for understanding lab results and other numbers that are included in a biometric screening, as well as ideas for improving them.