DETROIT, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In what may be the largest effort of its kind for a health care organization, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a Michigan-based nonprofit health plan, and its parent organization, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) are launching a public health campaign that includes the distribution of 260,000 masks to promote a very simple prevention message – Mask Up! - to slow the spread of coronavirus. HAP hopes to encourage greater mask use by providing masks to Medicaid and Medicare members, among our most vulnerable populations, as we enter flu season and a new wave of COVID infections. HFHS is providing masks to employees, community groups, Henry Ford LiveWell senior citizens, corporate health partners and other affiliated groups.
"One of the things we've learned during this pandemic is just how impactful taking simple steps to protect yourself and others can be," said Michael Genord, M.D., HAP's CEO. "We know that personal protection is going to be increasingly important as the flu season progresses and that indicates a double threat with COVID-19. We want our members to be as prepared as possible to mitigate some of that risk."
HAP and HFHS hope every mask will remind the public of all the effective and protective steps they can and should take every day, starting with the right way to mask up. Wash your hands before handling the mask, always wear the mask over both your nose and mouth, avoid touching the mask during use, remove masks by the strings, always keep the same side of the mask facing out and try to wash the mask between uses. In addition to mask instructions, HAP is reminding members to get a flu shot. Flu shots are available, and are a simple, important step in protecting health. And, as always, wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water and practice social distancing.
"Even though two promising vaccines appear close to approval, it is vitally important for the public to adhere to strict face mask usage," said Adnan Munkarah, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer, HFHS. "We hope this effort to distribute masks in our community and our efforts to share the science that supports face masks will prevent this second wave of cases and deaths we are seeing now from becoming a crisis situation."
HAP is committed to supporting its members in the current COVID crisis and every day. In the first months of the pandemic, HAP reassigned eight community relations employees to a personalized outreach team. They called HAP's most vulnerable members and asked one simple yet important question, "How are you doing?" That personal outreach resulted in more than 9,000 calls and helped connect members to mental and physical health resources, food services and more.
For more information on the COVID-19 resources that HAP has made available to its members, visit www.hap.org.
About Health Alliance Plan
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to individuals and companies of all sizes. For 60 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives it touches. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid (through HAP Empowered Health Plan), Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, as well as personalized customer service. HAP is an operating unit of Henry Ford Health System, one of the nation's leading health care systems. For more information, visit www.hap.org.
SOURCE Health Alliance Plan