Optima Health Joins The Great American Smokeout

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On November 17, Optima Health will support the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. Optima Health is providing free materials on its website to help people quit and stay tobacco-free.

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John Vasilake thanks Kaitlin Cochran, MPH, CHES, CTTS, Health Educator and Tobacco Cessation Specialist for Optima Health, for the support of Optima Health in his smoking cessation efforts.

There’s something good about the Optima smoking cessation program, and I wish I would have found it sooner. I haven’t completely kicked the habit, yet, but with all the tools offered by Optima Health, I know I have support, and I know I can do it.

Life is short, and for those who smoke, quitting returns precious years and vitality. That’s why Optima Health is delighted to announce it is proudly supporting the 2016 American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. On November 17, Optima Health and parent-company Sentara Healthcare will stand with members, patients, providers and employees, as well as with all members of the community, in support of those who pledge to go tobacco-free for 24 hours.

To help people quit and stay tobacco-free, Optima Health has a variety of materials available on its website, and by calling 1-800-SENTARA (1-800-736-8272), including a tobacco cessation resource toolkit, the “Get Off Your Butt: Stay Smokeless For Life” self-paced audio program and workbook, and information on group classes - all offered free of charge. Employer groups insured by Optima Health also have access to on-site tobacco cessation presentations, as well as one-on-one coaching and individual programs. To further demonstrate its commitment to a healthier community, all Optima Health and Sentara Healthcare facilities have been designated tobacco-free campuses for over a decade.

“At 73, I have smoked for over 50 years, and I find myself wondering why I had to go through all the bad stuff – triple by-pass surgery, a surgery on my left leg, a surgery on my right leg – before I decided to quit,” said John Vasilake of Virginia Beach. “There’s something good about the Optima smoking cessation program, and I wish I would have found it sooner,” said Vasilake. “I play the ‘Get Off Your Butt: Stay Smokeless for Life’ audio program at night before I go to sleep, and I find myself not getting up in the morning and lighting up right away. I actually started to leave the cigarettes and lighter in my car, so they’re not as accessible. I haven’t completely kicked the habit, yet, but with all the tools offered by Optima Health, I know I have support, and I know I can do it. I’m ready for November 17, and I’m ready to quit for good!”

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes – that’s about one in every five adults.

The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for one day – smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can help lead to reducing cancer risk.

On November 17, join John, Optima Health and millions of Americans who begin living tobacco free.

About Optima Health
Optima Health, based in Virginia, provides health insurance coverage to approximately 450,000 members. With 30 years of experience in the health insurance arena, Optima Health offers a suite of commercial products including consumer-directed, employee-owned and employer-sponsored plans, individual health plans, employee assistance programs and plans serving Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. Our provider network features 26,000 providers including specialists, primary care physicians and hospitals across Virginia. Optima Health offers programs to support members with chronic illnesses, customized wellness programs and integrated clinical and behavioral health services, as well as pharmacy management – all to help our members improve their health. Our goal is to provide better health, be easy to use and offer services that are a great value. To learn more about Optima Health, visit http://www.optimahealth.com.

[1] The membership figure includes total membership in all group and individual insured products, Medicare Managed Care Plans, Medicaid and Famis Plans, and self-funded health plans issued or administered by Optima Health. Total Medical Membership based on Membership History Report, June 2016. Includes members from all Optima Health Licenses, products, Medicare and Medicaid products. Optima Health is the trade name of Optima Health Plan, Optima Health Insurance Company, and Sentara Health Plans, Inc. Optima PPO plans, and Medicare Managed Care Plans are underwritten or administered by Optima Health Insurance Company. Optima Vantage HMO plans, Medicaid, and Famis products are underwritten or administered by Optima Health Plan. Sentara Health Plans provides administrative services to self-funded plans but does not underwrite benefits. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are administered by Optima Behavioral Health Services, Inc. Wellness programs are administered by Sentara Health Plans. Source for provider network is Optima Health, Provider Status Report, February 2016.

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Pamela Walters
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