Summer 2018 Medicare Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the newest issue of “Health Matters.” As we head into the warm summer months, we’d like to pass along some important health information to help you make the most of this activity-filled time of year.

A few of the topics you’ll find covered in this issue are information on better understanding depression, cholesterol basics, the upcoming health awareness months that you can honor for the betterment of your well-being, and, as always, a recipe for a delicious and healthy meal to share with those you love, or to keep all to yourself.

Nothing means more to us than knowing we’ve helped make our members’ lives better. That’s why we’re so thankful for the privilege of being able to give you the highest-quality health care!

In good health,

Nancy Horstmann
Chief Executive Officer
CHRISTUS Health Plan

Download the PDF
Summer Rx Health

Summer RX Health

Summertime means many of us are spending more time outdoors, and our daily routines and schedules are disrupted by vacations and holidays. While we all welcome the lifestyle changes that come with the season, it’s important to consider how these changes affect those taking chronic medication. Be aware that some medications affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and can cause skin reactions and/or sensitivity. Healthy Summertime Rx Practices:

  • Check medication labels for information about sun exposure.
  • Check medication labels for proper storage and temperature guidelines.
  • Take extra precautions like drinking plenty of fluids, limiting sun exposure and reapplying sunscreen.
  • Prepare extra reminders on your smartphone so you take medications on time, especially when traveling.
  • Pack a full supply of your medication, plus extra in case you experience travel delays.
  • Keep all medication together and in the original containers.
  • If your travels take you to a different time zone, you may need to alter your dosing regimen.
  • If your medication looks or smells different, call your doctor or specialist pharmacist to make sure the medication is safe for you to take.

Ask the Pharmacist:

Plain Talk On Cholesterol

Plain Talks on Cholesterol

Express Scripts cardiovascular specialist pharmacists help answer questions about cholesterol and good cardiovascular health.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. Atherosclerosis – the hardening and narrowing of arteries – is the most common cause of this disease, increasing heart attack and stroke risks. Fortunately, you can control these risks by reducing high cholesterol. As blood cholesterol levels rise, so does the risk of coronary heart disease. But not all cholesterol is bad.

Good and Bad Cholesterol – There are two types of cholesterol, and the difference is significant.

  • Good cholesterol that decreases heart disease risk is known as HDL
  • Bad cholesterol that increases heart disease risk is known as LDL

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Keep Cholesterol Levels Balanced

  • Eat healthy: Choose a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in salt, fat and cholesterol.
  • Know your fats: Saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol raise LDL levels. Saturated fats come from animal fats and dairy products, and trans fats are found commonly in baked goods.
  • Eat the right fats: Choose good fats from seeds, nuts, oily fish and olive oil as part of a healthy diet.
  • Lose extra weight: Losing as little as 5% to 10% of body weight can significantly reduce LDL levels.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity raises HDL levels. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or jogging three to five days a week, can help one’s body produce more HDL.
  • Stop smoking: Cigarette smoking decreases the good HDL cholesterol.

Source: © 2014 Express Scripts Holding Company. All Rights Reserved. EME25740-7-2014

When It's More Than Just The Blues

When It's More Than Just The Blues

Sadness is a rational response to troubling situations in our lives. In most cases, sadness is short-lived, and it goes away. However, depression goes beyond sorrow, and it doesn’t go away. Depression is a real illness, a medical disease that causes ongoing feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can cause physical symptoms too.

Depression affects how you feel, think and act, and if left untreated, it can lead to a variety of emotional problems as well as physical problems. Suffering from depression can make doing normal day-to-day activities a burden and may even make you feel as if life isn’t worth living. Other symptoms of depression can include:

  • Not sleeping well or sleeping too much
  • Having body aches and pains
  • Losing interest in friends and things that used to bring happiness
  • Feeling tired all of the time
  • Gaining or losing weight

It’s important not to get discouraged. Depression is a treatable condition, and some people feel better with medication, counseling or other treatment. If you think you may be depressed, CHRISTUS Health encourages you to take the first step and make an appointment with your doctor. Your provider can make a diagnosis of this condition and then work with you to develop a treatment plan. Schedule your appointment today!

How To Contact Us
USFHP: (800) 67-USFHP
Hearing Impaired: 711

Refried Black Bean & Spinach Rollatini


Refried Black Bean & Spinach Rollatini


1 whole-wheat tortilla
¼ cup fat-free refried beans
1 tablespoon salsa
¼ cup bagged spinach leaves

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 368
Total fat: 6g
Saturated fat: 2g
Sodium: 836mg
Carbs: 65g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 11g


On the whole-wheat tortilla, thinly spread the fat-free refried beans, salsa and spinach leaves.

Roll up tortilla and cut into three pieces.

Simple to make and easy to eat, this black bean and spinach rollatini is perfect as a summer snack or meal.

Back to top