The month of July is the perfect time to get out of town on vacation. Solidarity members living here in Arizona just experienced a whopping 115° Fahrenheit day making it understandable why this is the ideal time to get away. Most of us take a car, maybe a plane, or possibly even a cruise ship, but I know a gentleman who took an epic vacation from the beaches of San Francisco all the way across the country to the Atlantic Ocean of New York by train. He documented the trip every step of the way as he journeyed from state to state seeing this beautiful country God has blessed us with. I have always been fascinated by trains, especially steam engines. I appreciate their strength and their ability to transverse great distances carrying magnificent loads, all with the power of pressure from water. Each part of the machine plays an important role to carry out the goal it was designed for in order to get from one place to another.
I have been blessed to understand through my studies of medicine how our bodies are one of the most brilliantly designed systems created by the divine engineer. Even as well engineered as a train is, if it goes down the wrong track or worse, loses its track, it leads to a disastrous outcome. Solidarity focuses on wellness because staying on track is the best for us as individuals, our families, and all Solidarity members leading to better outcomes for everyone involved. Simply stated, prevention of disease is the easiest way to treat it. It is easier to keep that locomotive on the track than to pick up the pieces once it is fallen off. Our bodies can go off track and when they do, our bodies cannot be replaced like a locomotive and are much more difficult to put back together.
As members of Solidarity, we stand in solidarity with all our members to support each other going through these unseen medical difficulties when they arise. We also stand in solidarity to help you and your physician prevent disease, keeping us on track in being good stewards of our health so we can live out the life God has called for each one of us, to live free from chronic disease to the extent we can prevent it.
Jesus through Holy Scripture instructs us to be prepared. He provides us the parable of the virgins waiting for the bridegroom and only the ones who prepared their lanterns with oil were ready once the bridegroom came, “for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)
What can we do to prepare to live the best life on earth as we wait for God to call us home?
- Eat a healthy diet;
- Exercise regularly; and
- Schedule your yearly screening appointment with your primary care physician to discuss prevention and screening.
Download the Wellness Policy of Solidarity HealthShare and before your next doctor’s appointment, print them out or pull it up electronically to show your physician to make sure you are taking full advantage of sharing into prevention at your next appointment. Everything on Solidarity’s Wellness Policy are shareable before you reach your Annual Unshared Amount (AUA).
Many diseases can be greatly reduced and prevented if we stay on track. The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Diabetes Association all agree that today there are an overwhelming accumulation of scientific studies pointing to the dramatic conclusion that the majority of chronic disease plaguing Americans, including but not limited to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, are preventable and treatable by diet, exercises, and early detection through physician screening.1
It is disheartening for me to see far too many people in America suffering inordinately from preventable chronic diseases. Two out of three deaths in America occur as a result of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.2 Not only is this tragic to the families and individuals suffering with these diseases for years, but it also places a huge economic burden on our American healthcare system. In the United States, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes alone account for a total yearly cost of over $283 billion dollars.3 This accounts for close to $324 billion dollars of lost productivity costs yearly; the fruit of lives that have been stolen by largely preventable diseases.4,5,6,7
For us to live out our vision and dreams that God has placed on our hearts to serve His kingdom in our churches, workplaces, and homes, it is important to be a steward of our health and stay on track. Solidarity is here to help.
Dr. John C. Oertle
Chief Medical Officer
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
- Eyre H, Kahn R, Robertson RM, et al. Preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes: a common agenda for the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association. CA Cancer J Clin. 2004;54:190-207.
- Anderson RN, Smith BL. Deaths: leading causes for 2001. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2003;52:1–85.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey—Table of Total Expenses, 2010
- National Institutes of Health, Morbidity & Mortality: 2012 Chart Book on Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Diseases, 2012 ~
- National Cancer Institute, Costs of Cancer Care, 2012
- American Diabetes Association, The Cost of Diabetes, 2012
- Heidenreich, PA, et al., Forecasting the Future of Cardiovascular Disease in the U.S.: A Policy Statement from the American Heart Association, Circulation, 123(8):933-44, 2011