HWYC is a YMCA nationwide initiative utilizing key components from the most extensive and successful child weight loss research program in the world, called M.E.N.D. (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!). The four-month long, child-centered program was designed with the whole family in mind, engaging the child and adult in education, healthy eating, physical activity, and behavioral modifications to elicit positive change and help families learn skills to live a healthier lifestyle, long-term. HWYC is a partnership program with YMCA of Honolulu and Hawaii Pacific Health supported by ‘Ohana Health Plan.
“Childhood obesity is one of the most common chronic diseases in Hawaii and poses a major risk factor for such diseases as diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said Scott Sivik, state president, ‘Ohana Health Plan. “In 2018, more than 5% of our members under the age of 18 were diagnosed with childhood obesity, and our adult members came in at more than 25%. Providing support for an evidence-based program like HWYC that treats the entire family is vital if we want to make a positive impact.”
“Evidence has proven that programs like HWYC are more effective when the whole family is involved and committed to adopting long-term healthier habits,” said Michael Broderick, president and CEO, YMCA of Honolulu. “Data from fiscal year 2018 showed out of 31 children enrolled plus 70 family members, 84.6% of participants lowered or maintained their BMI, and 100% of these families made lifestyle changes. ‘Ohana Health Plan’s much needed donation will allow us to offer additional program groups that will provide preference to Medicaid beneficiaries, increasing the number and reach of the families we can serve.”
During the 25-session program, families work with trained leaders, meeting twice per week over a four-month period. Participants learn about healthy eating; physical activity; portion control; internal and external triggers; food label reading; and goal setting and rewards in a fun setting.
To qualify, a child must be 7-13 years old; carry excess weight with a body mass index of the 95th percentile or higher; receive clearance from a healthcare provider or school nurse to participate in physical activity; and have a parent/guardian attend all sessions.
The actual cost of the program is $1,500; however, the YMCA of Honolulu’s partnership with Hawaii Pacific Health subsidizes costs to offer a more affordable $80 fee per child that includes a 4-month YMCA Family Membership. ‘Ohana Health Plan’s $10,000 donation provides additional program capacity, with preference given to Medicaid beneficiaries (QUEST). YMCA offers monthly payment plans and financial assistance to those who qualify.
For information about HWYC, visit www.ymcahonolulu.org.
About ‘Ohana Health Plan
‘Ohana Health Plan has more than 270 employees in Hawaii and serves approximately 48,000 members through its offices in Kapolei, Honolulu, Hilo and Kahului. Since 2008, ‘Ohana Health Plan has served members throughout Hawaii and has taken WellCare’s national experience and developed an ‘Ohana Health Plan care model that addresses local members’ healthcare and health coordination needs. As of June 30, 2019, ‘Ohana Health Plan serves approximately 41,000 Medicaid members, 5,000 Medicare Advantage members and 1,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) members in Hawaii. For more information about ‘Ohana Health Plan, please visit the company’s website at www.ohanahealthplan.com.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses primarily on providing government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, as well as individuals in the Health Insurance Marketplace. WellCare serves approximately 6.3 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2019. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company’s website at www.wellcare.com.
SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.