Issue #6

February 2013
AlaskaCare Employee News from the Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits

In this issue

February is American Heart Health Month!

February Health Hero

Wellness Challenge

A Happy Heart

Healthy Recipe

Quick Links

AlaskaCare Wellness

Contact our Wellness Team

Are you an AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Member?

State Employee Fitness Discounts

February is American Heart Health Month!

Girl Heart

You’ve heard the phrase “heart health,” but what does it mean? According to the American Heart Association, you are more likely to obtain heart health and reduce your chances of heart disease if you follow the Simple 7:

  • Get Active
  • Control Cholesterol
  • Eat Better
  • Manage Blood Pressure
  • Lose Weight
  • Reduce Blood Sugar
  • Stop Smoking

Heart Health Month Events

Saturday, February 23

Anchorage - A Fair of the Heart, sponsored by Alaska Regional Hospital

Fairbanks - Diabetes Expo, sponsored by Fairbanks Memorial Hospital

Juneau - Glucose/Cholesterol Screening, sponsored by Bartlett Regional Hospital

Wear Red Day is tomorrow, February 1

National Wear Red Day® was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to encourage women to learn about their risk for heart disease and use tools to reduce their personal risk. On February 1, join us and wear red to show support.


February Health Hero: Daniel Gallagher


Daniel Gallagher and several of his colleagues in the Alaska Court system have made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle by eating better and being more active. After several months of working in an environment that supports healthy changes, he has made progress toward his wellness goals. He can tell the work is paying off because he is now able to run and play with his kids without being short of breath, he feels more energized, his flexibility has increased and pain he has experienced in the past is subsiding.

Daniel says, “I feel more confident than before. This is something I’ve gained and have seen other Court System participants gain as well. Having more confidence in oneself is priceless.”

Daniel has more energy during the work day and he feels more aware due to the healthy changes in his life. Daniel puts emphasis on small changes, because they can make a big difference over time. A small step in the right direction is still movement towards your goal. Daniel thinks of a favorite quote from Walt Disney, “Never Stop Moving Forward.”  With the support of his colleagues, and with the Wellness program options offered, he knows he won’t ever stop moving forward!

Complete a Health Hero nomination form to recognize someone in your office.


Wellness Challenge: Build a Stronger Heart

Walking Dog

Build a stronger heart with these tips:

  • Park farther away from your destination.
  • Take short, brisk walks throughout the workday, in 10-minute chunks of time. After dinner, bring your dog along for a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Organize school activities around physical activity.
  • Ride your bike or walk to work.

Learn how to set and meet goals in the February monthly challenge. Just print the challenge log [PDF]. At the end of the month send the complete form to Mike DiFilippo, the Wellness Coordinator for HealthSmart.

Upcoming Wellness Trainings

Build a Stronger Heart Webinar
February 12, 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. More details
Using Emotional Intelligence to Work Smarter as a Manager
February 13, 10 a.m. More information and register
Navigating the Grocery Store
Visit for dates and times.

A Happy Heart: Nurture Healthy Relationships

Coffee with Friends

Studies suggest positive emotions can make life longer and healthier. If you want to decrease stress and improve your health, focus on healthy relationships that bring you happiness.

Use your EAP resources to learn to cultivate and nurture positive connections. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide confidential assistance at no cost to you. Call
(800) 478-2812 or use the self-help tools and other resources online.


Healthy Recipe: Alaska Game Stew

Game Stew

For additional healthy recipe ideas and inspiration, visit the HealthSmart Wellness Portal.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound game meat, trimmed and cubed
  • 2 cups pearl onions, canned, frozen or fresh (peeled)
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ tsp. oregano dried (or 1 tsp. fresh minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (or 3 cloves fresh garlic minced)
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup low sodium tomato juice
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. On your stovetop, in a heavy ovenproof stockpot, heat oil. Add meat and cook until brown. Remove meat and set aside. Add pearl onions to stockpot and cook until soft. Reduce heat to low, add canned tomatoes, carrots, and spices. Mix broth, juice, wine and cornstarch together. Add the liquid mixture to stockpot vegetables, bringing it to a simmer. Return meat to stockpot, cover, and place in oven. Bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 one cup servings and provides one serving of vegetables in each cup.

Source: Alaska Department of Health and Social Services - Eat Smart Alaska

Estimated Nutritional Information Per Serving:

  • 263 Calories
  • 3g Fat
  • 1g Saturated Fat
  • 59mg Cholesterol
  • 27g Protein
  • 27g Carbohydrate
  • 6g Fiber
  • 281mg Sodium
  • 6% Calcium
  • 697mg Potassium
AlaskaCare Wellness  •
Phone: (907) 465-4460  •  Fax: (907) 465-3086  •  TDD: (907) 465-2805
This electronic newsletter and services described within applies only to State of Alaska AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan members and their dependents.