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Humana Launching Program To Understand Needs of Jacksonville Military Community

Humana will survey the amount of "healthy days" military families have, a measurement that comes from the Centers for Disease Control.
Humana will survey the amount of "healthy days" military families have, a measurement that comes from the Centers for Disease Control.

Health insurance company Humana is launching a program in Jacksonville to evaluate the physical and mental health of its military service members, veterans and their families. 

Humana held a summit Friday morning, bringing together nonprofit organizations to inspire them to collaborate with the company. 

Some of the topics discussed included drug and alcohol abuse, isolation and loneliness, and food insecurity.

"There are a lot of military families in this area," Humana Military President Brent Densford said. "So it's a good opportunity for us to be able to spend some time here, because so much of the community has a fabric based in the military."

Cella Logan works for CareerSource Northeast Florida. Before that, she was a caregiver for her husband, Daniel, who served as a corporal in the Marines.

"We recently lost him to PTSD. And this was about two years ago. So, obviously, it shook up our family," Logan said.

Now, Logan connects military families with resources so they have access to food, schooling, and other needs.

"He didn't die just to die," Logan said. "He died to help others. And if I can help save others that are going through the same experience, then that's what I'm doing."

Logan said she believes while it’s important to check on veterans and military members, it’s also essential to look at their spouses and children as well. 

"Your husband or your spouse can be very successful in the military," Logan said. "We all know that the pay isn't that great. And so there might be times where you're struggling and you have to go to the food pantry or you got to ask someone for help. And you do isolate yourself because right now in this social media world, everything has to look perfect on social media." 

The Humana program aims to survey the more than 140,000 military families under TRICARE health insurance on the amount of ‘healthy days’ they have, a measurement that comes from the Centers for Disease Control that looks at a variety of factors involving physical and mental health; including pain level, happiness and vitality. The surveys are being called a “population health strategy.”

With the information, Humana wants to find ways to collaborate with nonprofits to make marked improvements.

"We’ll be able to provide more deliberate and more directive information to them and will be engaging them on one-on-one and in community events to really help them improve their health," Densford said.

Humana officials said they are also creating a Military Health Advisory Board to collaborate with organizations in the region. They plan to hold their next board meeting in March. 

Jacksonville is one of just two cities in the U.S. seeing the launch of the program, alongside San Antonio. 

Sky Lebron can be reached at slebron@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.  

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.