Gary Litz Has a Healthy Ending, Thanks to a Little Encouragement from BHS
Gary Litz jokes about being somewhat of a male stereotype when it comes to taking care of his health. He says that he usually doesn’t like going to the doctor without some prompting. But thanks to the Blue Health SolutionsSM incentive program offered through his wife Shelley’s BlueCare® coverage and her employer, the Williamsport School District, Gary went to see his doctor at what turned out to be a vital time.
Through Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Blue Health Solutions program, employers have the chance to work with client engagement consultants to create worksite wellness and incentive programs to promote healthy actions and healthier results. The Williamsport School District offers its employees the chance to earn rewards, such as gift cards to local stores, if they receive certain health screenings. Gary says the chance to get a $100 gift card for doing a simple screening sounded like a great idea. He went to an off-site cholesterol screening held at the Susquehanna Health LifeCenter at the Lycoming Mall … something that turned out to be the beginning of an important health journey.
Gary says the result of his total cholesterol was a score of 250—80 points higher than it was three years prior. He said that his doctor suspected that this quick rise in cholesterol might suggest a thyroid problem. After feeling a lump in Gary’s neck, his doctor sent him for testing. While the test result did not come back as cancerous, but rather abnormal, the doctor decided to remove the lump. A tissue sample later showed that it was indeed cancerous.
Gary says the timing of this Blue Health Solutions screening was very important because he had just begun to feel tired but he had no other reason to suspect anything was wrong and probably would not have gone to the doctor.
Gary says that he does get tired when he has radiation treatments, but otherwise he is feeling good and working at his job as custodian for the school district. With three active children: Sarah, Emily and Sam, ages10, 9 and 6, Gary is glad to have his energy back to take family camping trips and enjoy other activities with Shelley and the kids.
The Williamsport School District is part of the Lycoming County Insurance Consortium that began instituting a wellness program in all of the county’s school districts in 2008. For two years, LCIC has offered members with BlueCare coverage (along with their covered spouses) a $100 gift card as an incentive for completing an online health risk assessment at MyHealth Solution and a biometric screening that measured cholesterol, glucose, BMI and blood pressure. In addition to this, through Blue Health Solutions, LCIC promotes wellness to its employees through six-week walking programs, weight loss programs, contests and health education presentations.