March 28, 2014

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Finding happiness when disasters are commonplace

I was visiting the Philippines when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit a far-away region. But I hardly knew about the devastation. On Friday, November 8, 2013, I was enjoying the warm and sunny weather from the balcony of our new house in the Philippines. My wife, Chato is a native of the island nation, and I [...]

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March 17, 2014

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Co-pilot. Co-host. Copay??

In today’s Jargon Buster post, we take on “copayment,” or “copay.” If you’ve ever had health insurance and visited a doctor, you’ve probably had hands-on experience with a copayment. A copay is a set amount of money an insured person pays at each trip to the doctor. So, if your plan has a $20 copay [...]

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March 6, 2014

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Learn “The Real Story” about people like me who have disabilities

A new documentary – produced by the St. Paul disability newspaper where I serve as editor  – explores gains we have made and common media stereotypes Last fall, the St. Paul disability newspaper Access Press produced a broadcast-quality documentary on the role of small, independent news sources in telling the underrepresented stories of the disability community in [...]

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February 26, 2014

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How our members’ needs and backgrounds influence everything we do

At UCare, we work to ensure that our members’ needs are at the forefront of everything we do. That’s why we launched a program last year to formalize how we manage the “customer experience.” As you may know, a customer’s experience with an organization can include everything from how knowledgeable and friendly the organization’s representatives [...]

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February 14, 2014

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A playful spirit

Performance troupe of seniors helps audiences giggle, groan at aging together; UCare video about group is third in occasional series The saying goes that growing old isn’t for sissies. It’s also not for those lacking a sense of humor. Or so say the Pretty Good Players. The Twin Cities senior volunteer performance troupe mines the laughable, [...]

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February 3, 2014

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Lost in translation

As a registered nurse and the program manager who oversees the Culture Care Connection website for Stratis Health, I realize the importance of clear health communication and having an interpreter for all patients with limited English proficiency. To broaden my experience in this area, a few years ago I decided I should learn a second [...]

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January 24, 2014

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New videos promote child and teen checkups among Hmong, Somali, and Spanish speakers

Minnesota families that primarily speak Spanish, Hmong, Somali — or basic English — have a new resource to help ensure their children stay healthy! Six short videos in four different languages promote the benefits of medical checkups for children and teenagers (Note: That link will bring you to all six videos on ECHO Minnesota’s website — the tabs on [...]

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January 17, 2014

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Friends, fitness, and fun with the Loppet Foundation

This fall some middle schoolers and I shared a common milestone: completing our first Surly Trail Loppet, a trail-running race put on by the Loppet Foundation. The Minneapolis nonprofit is best known for the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, which is just around the corner (Jan. 31-Feb. 2 — register through Jan. 28). The [...]

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January 7, 2014

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Let’s bust some insurance jargon!

My new Jargon Buster posts will break down confusing terms into clear language  Jargon is ever-more ubiquitous these days. You hear it at work (“What’s the value-add?”). You read it online (“The new app is problematic.”). And, yes, you see it on your health insurance bill (“Your deductible is increasing this year.”). Together, let’s decode [...]

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December 18, 2013

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75-year-old ironman? You betcha!

UCare member and triathlete Gil Rein

In this video, UCare member Gil Rein tells how the feel-good effects of running — and competing — keep him in the race One day years ago, Gil Rein realized he was having trouble simply bending over and picking up a golf ball. Excess weight had started getting in the way of a favorite activity. [...]

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