Join us on a 20-30 minute walk while we talk about health, wellness, and life in general. From the Employees Retirement System of Texas, podcast host Lacy Wolff walks and talks with her mentors, friends, experts and leaders about health and wellness.
When a state employee needed a kidney, his co-worker donated hers
Lacy interviews her ERS co-workers, Armando Villarreal and Amy Chamberlain about an unusual “office gift exchange.” When Amy learned that Armando was undergoing daily dialysis in January, she already knew what that meant… that his kidneys were failing and that his life had become extremely difficult. In this episode, Amy and Armando share their story about what it’s like to be in need of a kidney and what it’s like to become a living donor. Although Amy’s kidney was not a match for Armando, she decided to donate to a stranger through the National Kidney Registry (NKR) so that Armando can be matched with another donor and return to living a long and full life.
Share your well-wishes for Armando to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Elisa Brown-Pruett, M.D: MORE Q&A about Women's Health
In the second part of this two-part series on women’s health, Lacy brings your questions about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), urinary incontinence, sex drive, hormones and weight gain (and more!) to Dr. Elisa Brown-Pruitt, M.D., Regional Director for the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Odessa.
In a recent webinar with Dr. Brown, we received more questions from participants than we had time for, many of them on this topic. In Part 2 of this two-part episode series, Dr. Brown gives her thoughtful answers to questions like:
What is PCOS and is it our fault? (no!)How can I treat the symptoms of PCOS, like weight gain, at any age? How should birth control pills be used as a treatment for PCOS?What impacts lack of sex drive in women and how can we address it?What causes urinary incontinence in women, and how can we prevent and treat it?What kinds of specialists can best diagnose and treat pelvic floor disorders?What causes vaginal atrophy and how can we treat it?Resources:
Link to full Webinar Recording
Link to CDC Women's Health Information
Dr. Elisa Brown-Pruett: Menopause & Perimenopause Q&A
In this two-part series, Lacy brings your questions about menopause and perimenopause to Dr. Elisa Brown-Pruitt, M.D., Regional Director for the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Odessa.
In a recent webinar with Dr. Brown, we received more questions from participants than we had time on this topic, so we’re using the podcast to share the answers. In Part 1 of this two-part episode series, Dr. Brown gives her thoughtful answers to questions like:
What are the causes of and the difference between menopause and perimenopause, and how long does each stage last?
How can you treat symptoms like hot flashes, poor sleep and mood, or a slow-down in libido and metabolism?
For treating symptoms, what kind of hormone replacement therapies are safe and effective, and which over-the-counter supplements do you recommend?
Can you become pregnant when you are in the perimenopausal stage?
Link to full Webinar Recording
Link to CDC Women's Health Information
Dr. Alex Lesko: How we can support the health of men in our lives
Lacy talks with Dr. Alex Lesko, Executive Medical Director for the ERS HealthSelect health plans, about how we can support our male family members and friends when it comes to their health and well-being. Up to 60% of men do not see a doctor on a regular basis and are less likely to take ownership of their health and well-being than those who do. For example, 36% of men (vs. 50% of women) get annual check-ups in the ERS HealthSelect plans; compared to women, men are also more likely to develop a chronic condition, such as hypertension, have shorter life spans, and are more likely to die by suicide. Why? And what can we do about it?
Lacy and Dr. Lesko talk able the key reasons that keep men from seeing the doctor and the important role their spouses play in changing that. They also discuss the cues to look for when someone is struggling with a mental health issue, and the ways that the ERS HealthSelect plans can help them access the care they need.
Registration link for Dr. Lesko's webinar
ERS Wellness Page
HealthSelect Men's Health Webpage
Tara Humphreys: State Parks are for Everyone!
Lacy talks with Tara Humphreys, Field Interpretation Coordinator with Texas State Parks, who shares her passion for connecting our hearts and minds with all that our state parks have to offer. With 89 parks that are as varied as this state, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department celebrates 100 years our Texas State Parks with special events – making this a particularly fun time to visit! Whether you are seasoned park visitor or brand new to experiencing the outdoors, Tara says “We’ve got you!”
Tara shares the resources for planning your visit and your activities (including accessible options) – from walking to hiking, to kayaking and birdwatching. Or just sit and take in the sights, sounds. Never camped? Tara shares information about an affordable program for a group of up to 6 people called Texas Outdoor Family that will provide all the camping gear you need and teach you how to use it.
LINK to Andy Walton’s song about the Frio River or Garner State Park
Annual Park Pass – 512-389-8900 or purchase at a local state park $70 for a primary holder (valuable if you visit more than a couple of parks a year
TPWD Centennial Celebration Information - check out all of the celebration opportunities at State Parks around the state!
State Parks for Beginners - easy steps to get started using our beautiful state parks!
Texas Outdoor Family Page - let the experts take you out camping! Groups of 6 can learn how to camp through this program
Todd Whitthorne: Finding Strength in Relationships
In this episode Lacy talks with Todd Whitthorne, a nationally recognized health and wellness speaker about the one key driver for health and happiness, the quality of our relationships. Todd shares insight on what distracts us from our relationships and strategies for how to be more intentional in building healthy relationships at work and home.
Register for Todd's Webinar through this registration link. Watch recordings of previous webinars through the ERS Wellness Channel.
Learn more about wellness offerings, upcoming events and more through the ERS Wellness Webpage.
Links to resources mentioned in the webinar:
Harvard Study of Adult Development
The Good Life
Surgeon General's Advisory on Loneliness
London Black Cab Study
Keep ‘em coming!
These are great little nudges to keep you moving! Enjoy the positive affirmations and bits of advice.