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A Day in the Life: Corporate Communications Consultant, Humana

by Alan Player

Alan Player is a consultant in Humana’s Corporate Communications department. He helps manage the Team Up 4 Health pilot program, which aims to curb chronic diseases by helping people live healthier lives. He also coordinates internal Humana communications via an intranet news site, mass emails and digital signage.

8 a.m.– Arrive at work, sort through emails, check my calendar for the day’s meetings.

8:30 a.m. – Finish up a draft of an article for Humana Today, our intranet news site, about my recent trip to Bell County in far eastern Kentucky to facilitate our Team Up 4 Health pilot program, which is designed to help communities adopt healthy habits and lead healthier lives. We’ve partnered with MicroClinic International, a nonprofit health organization that designs and puts community health programs into effect, and Citizen Effect, a nonprofit that engages citizen philanthropists to sustain the program.

The mission of Team Up 4 Health is to curb chronic diseases, which are among the most common, preventable and costly health problems in the United States. Team Up 4 Health is also the first microclinic-modeled (small groups of 2-6 people) health and wellness program in the U.S. that leverages rigorous clinical studies to support its work.

The program strives to eliminate preventable diseases by empowering people to adopt healthy behaviors and change the three key risk factors — diet, exercise and smoking — that help trigger these diseases.

Knowing that good behavior is contagious, the 10-month program educates participants in small group and large group settings. Activities such as healthy cooking workshops, outdoor group exercises and grocery store field trips help participants achieve significant improvements in weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose measurements.

10 a.m.– Participate in Humana Today editorial board meeting, where we discuss upcoming stories, videos and announcements for the intranet news site.

11 a.m.– Take part in Team Up 4 Health weekly status call, where we discuss the early successes of the program: An 87 percent retention rate, an average weight loss of five pounds per person, and reports that the supportive microclinic model is influencing positive changes in participants’ health, lifestyles, attitudes and perceptions. We also discuss the upcoming graduation of the phase one participants. The pilot program adheres to guidelines of the Institutional Review Board, which protects the rights and welfare of people who participate in research studies. Because the participants are guaranteed anonymity, I won’t be able to attend the graduation ceremony. It’s decided that I’ll make a videotaped congratulatory message to send to the ceremony.

12:00– Grab a sandwich and read through the day’s health industry news.

12:30– Take a walk to rack up steps on my pedometer. Humana is sponsoring a companywide 100 Day Dash to promote health and wellness among employees, and we’re all competing individually and in teams. I’m nowhere near the top of the leaderboard, but I’m getting more exercise and paying more attention to what I eat.

1:00– Attend a meeting to review creative concepts for a website related to Team Up 4 Health.

2:00– Meet with our audio-visual expert to record the congratulatory message that we’ll send to the Bell County graduation ceremony. After four takes, we have a version that will work. I have new respect for people who read off teleprompters.

2:30– I have some quiet time at my desk to edit Humana Today submissions and send the stories around for final review.

3:00 – Attend a meeting where we discuss the citizen philanthropy part of the Team Up 4 Health program. Our partner, Citizen Effect, empowers people to become citizen philanthropists, engaging their social networks to fund important community projects. Citizen Effect’s online resources give people the tools and support to raise money for the causes that are important to them. We hope that by making more people aware of the good work going on with Team Up 4 Health, we can essentially crowd source the financing to help bring the program to more communities.

4:00– Attend a planning meeting for a 5k/10k walk and run to promote Team Up 4 Health and celebrate the completion of the 100 Day Dash. We want to make sure Louisville is aware of our work in Bell County, and this event in September will showcase it.

5:00 – Start wrapping up last emails; call up my calendar; check in with my wife about who’s going to the grocery, picking up our son; looking forward to another full day tomorrow.