SWH of NY Launches First in Series of Health Education Videos

ALBANY, NY (February 6, 2012) — In an effort to improve communications with its 9,000 members in New York and Massachusetts, many of whom have low literacy levels, Senior Whole Health (SWH) has launched a series of short, informational health education videos.
The initial four-minute episode focuses on congestive heart failure (CHF), a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. CHF is a serious condition that affects 25 percent of people older than 85 years of age.

"In the past we have relied heavily on pamphlets to educate our members," said Gabriel Martinez, director of branding and marketing for the voluntary health care benefits plan for those over 65 eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. "However, they were not meeting the needs of our members who often discarded them because they struggle to read.

"By having a series of educational DVDs that are a manageable length, we can now communicate with them more simply and directly," he added. "Members can either watch them on their own time or view them with a nurse who can answer their questions then and there."

The inaugural video provides a clear definition of CHF, as well as some of its most common causes, including heart attacks, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, as well as being obese or overweight. Through stills and simple bulleted illustrations, the video also focuses on how to read food labels, what foods to avoid, as well as CHF warning signs, which can range from rapid weight gain and shortness of breath to extreme fatigue and swelling in the abdomen.

"Our hope is to create an extensive library of health topics that provide real benefit to our members," said SWH Health Educator Kathy Farrell, explaining that the CHF video will be translated into Spanish in the coming weeks. "Based upon the success of that DVD, we'll then look to do follow up segments on topics such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes."