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Stacy Gardner

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Stacy Has a Healthy Connection to Blue Health Solutions

In the age of e-mails, texts and social networking, Stacy Gardner of Forest City is proof that good old-fashioned mail delivered to your doorstep, can still make a difference … and a life-enriching one, at that. Stacy received information in the mail from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania about our Blue Health SolutionsSM health and wellness programs and decided to give us a call.

Stacy, a retiree who lives at home with his "best buddy," an 8-year old Brittany dog named Sparkey, has a host of health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), borderline diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart issues. Taking care of one’s health with added concerns like these can be a challenge; add the stress that comes from trying to manage these conditions alone and it can become overwhelming. Fortunately, Stacy realized that he wasn’t really alone. He reached out to the health coaches available through Blue Health Solutions and made a valuable health connection.

The relationships that he has formed with the health coaches on the other end of the phone—in particular with Vicki Shaffer, RN—have proven invaluable. He says, "They are so talented. Their interpersonal skills are so good. They're always there to help me and set aside time; I never feel rushed."

Stacy says that he likes receiving calls because it reminds him and his doctor that someone else is there making sure that he is doing what he is supposed to do to stay healthy. He says that he especially appreciates the connection the health coaches have with his doctor because he benefits from this team effort: “It helps me to know that they are there looking over my shoulder to help keep me in check; they get me re-focused if I were to slack off, and, more importantly they ask me if it's okay to provide a copy (of my information) to my doctor too.”

What strengthens the team approach even more is how the team of available health coaches works with Stacy to prepare him for his visits to make the most of his time with his doctor and help him with any questions he has about his prescriptions. “They coach me along and advise me about what questions I need to ask the doctor so I get the answers I need. And probably the most important thing I get is the insight on medications that the health coaches give me.” Stacy says he finds it very helpful that Vicki and the rest of the team can tell him what to expect from his medicines, as far as benefits, side effects and any potential interactions with other medicines, especially since he does take a number of medications.

In addition to the support by phone, Stacy also benefits from reading material that the health coaches send through the mail on topics that are specific to his conditions. Thanks to some resources to which he has been referred through Blue Health Solutions, he has received support for depression and the opportunity to chat with people online who share his concerns. He has learned from other people with whom he chats and feels like he is part of a social network, he says.

Stacy says, “The biggest change for me is that I understand my body's needs a lot more. I feel better, in spite of all the problems I have. I feel, like if I do a certain exercise before I go to bed, for example, I can sleep better. I learned if there is something that stresses me, I should either get away from it or ignore it.”

Our experienced and specially trained nurses, dietitians and social workers who serve as health coaches for the Blue Health Solutions MyHealth Manager programs are just a phone call way to offer information, support and encouragement to BlueCare® members. Please feel free to call a health coach weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.