Winter 2018-2019 US Family Newsletter

Dear Friends,

All of us at CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan want to wish all of our members a happy holiday season and a wonderful 2019! As you can see, we are beginning the New Year a little early with a fresh new look! But you can rest assured we remain just as focused as ever on bringing you the most relevant health information. In this issue of Be Well Informed, we are highlighting the importance of hand washing, information about cervical cancer, and the differences between the cold, flu and pneumonia. We also included information about Member Advisory Committee (MAC) Meetings, as well as a tasty, heart healthy recipe, perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. If you ever have any questions, please call Member Services at 800.67.USFHP or go to We thank you again for giving CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan the opportunity and privilege of giving you the highest quality health care. Enjoy this holiday season and have a happy new year.

Anita Leal
Executive Director
CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan

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Cold, Flu, or Pneumonia: Know the Difference

This is the time of year that many people get sick. People often wonder if their illness is a cold, the flu or pneumonia. The viruses and bacteria that cause these illnesses are around all year, but people are more likely to be exposed in winter because they spend more time inside, in closer contact with other people. The chart below summarizes these illnesses. All three have similar symptoms, but mistaking one for the other can mean serious complications. You can help prevent these infections by following good hygiene practices such as washing your hands regularly and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. Also, making healthy choices, like quitting smoking and managing ongoing medical conditions can aid in avoiding these respiratory infections. For the flu and pneumonia, vaccines are available. Speak with your health care provider on the best time to receive these vaccines. If, in spite of all your efforts, you become ill, take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, pay attention to your symptoms, and stay home if you are sick. If symptoms worsen after they seemed to be getting better after about 1 week, contact your health care provider.



January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 50, and rarely occurs in women under the age of 20. Each year, an estimated 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and of those diagnosed, one-third will die as a result.Cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable cancer, thanks to improved screening and vaccination. A cervical cancer screening is usually part of a woman’s annual health exam.

What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance of the womb from the vagina). Studies have shown that risk factors for cervical cancer include family history of the
disease, smoking, a weakened immune system and long-term mental stress.

What are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

Symptoms are not always obvious in the early stages. Many health care professionals refer to is as the “silent killer.” Possible symptoms include abnormal bleeding after sexual intercourse, during menopause or between periods; heavy or prolonged periods; and/or unusual discharge. Symptoms may not be present until the cancer reaches an advanced stage.

Why is It Important to Get Screened?

Cervical cancer screening is usually part of a woman’s annual health check up. There are two types of tests: the Pap test and the HPV test. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends Pap testing every 3 years. The fact that cervical cancer rarely presents symptoms in early stages highlights the importance of regular screening for the disease. If these abnormal cells are found and treated early, cervical cancer can be stopped from developing. If caught at its earliest stage, there is a higher chance
of survival.

If you are in need of a women’s health care provider, please call Member Services at 800.67.USFHP or visit

Preventing the Flu

Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

The First Line of Defense: Hand Washing

In honor of National Hand Washing Week (December 2-8) and cold and flu season, this is the perfect time to review the basics of good hand hygiene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs (bacteria and viruses) to those around us. Proper hand hygiene can prevent 1 in 5 infections, including the flu. When soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Remember, hand sanitizers are not as effective if hands are dirty or greasy and do not eliminate all types of germs.

When to Wash Your Hands

  • If hands are visibly dirty or greasy
  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

How to Wash Your Hands

  • Wet your hands and apply soap
  • Lather all surfaces of of your hands, including the backs, between fingers and under nails
  • Scrub all surfaces of your hands for 20 seconds (A good rule of thumb is to hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice)
  • Rinse your hands
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel, or air dry them

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites


Buffalo Cauliflower Bites


2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup hot sauce, like Frank’s Kosher salt
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
8 cups cauliflower florets

Nutrition Facts


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Microwave butter in a small microwave-safe bowl on high until melted. Whisk in the hot sauce and lemon juice and set aside.

Mix olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl. Add in cauliflower and toss until well coated. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until slightly brown; about 20 to 25 minutes.

Whisk hot sauce mixture again, drizzle over cauliflower and toss with tongs to coat.

Roast the cauliflower until the sauce bubbles; about 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve warm with sides, such as carrots and celery, and dipping sauce.

These delicious buffalo cauliflower bites are sure to be a hit with family and friends. Happy healthy snacking! 

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