HMC HealthWorks provides Coronavirus resources reminding you to prepare and not panic.

PTSD Awareness

Depressed black man having a headache over gray wall background


According to the National Center for PTSD, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, sexual assault or a pandemic. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.

  • About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.

Recently released studies show the COVID-19 pandemic has caused different levels of stress. According to Psychiatric Times, “COVID-19 has already led to diverse mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other trauma and stress-related disorders”. In fact, all of the below groups of people have met the criteria for PTSD including:

  • individuals who suffered themselves from serious COVID-19 illness and potential death
  • individuals who lost family and friends
  • healthcare workers who have witnessed the pain and/or death of others
  • and those who were on the front lines as journalists, teachers, grocery store, delivery, and sanitation workers and all hospital personnel

After a traumatic event, including a pandemic, it’s normal to have trouble sleeping, to feel on edge or have upsetting memories. People may also have trouble doing day to day activities like going to work or school and being around friends and family. These feelings can go away after a few weeks or months but PSTD symptoms can also start later or can come and go. Be sure to seek support if you need it such as your Employee Member Assistance Program (EMAP). If you don’t have an EMAP, contact a doctor.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (also affiliated with Mental Health America): (800) 273-TALK (8255). Available any time of day or night, 365 days a year, this toll-free PTSD helpline has trained volunteers standing by to provide crisis intervention, to offer support for people in distress, and to give information and referrals to people with PTSD and their loved ones.

Veterans Crisis Line: (800) 273-TALK (8255) and press “1”. This toll-free hotline is available for veterans and their loved ones. You can also send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential, free support and referrals.

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741. This service is available 24/7 and provides free crisis support and information via text.

National Hopeline Network: (800) 442-HOPE (4673). Available 365 days a year, volunteers who staff this toll-free hotline are specially trained in crisis intervention to provide support, information, and referrals to people in need. You can also access services via chat by pressing the “Chat Now” button on its website.

PTSD Foundation of America, Veteran Line: (877) 717-PTSD (7873). Providing referrals, information, and helpful resources to veterans and their families, this toll-free hotline is available 24/7.

Lifeline for Vets: (888) 777-4443. Also geared toward veterans and their families, this toll-free PTSD helpline provides crisis intervention, referrals, and information.


Staci Rossi

VP, Marketing, Communications & Account Implementation

860.697.6960 x403

Top 10 Reasons to Get Vaccinations

Collage of diverse group of people wearing protective face masks looking at camera showing their arms with plasters on after getting the covid-19 vaccine. Men and women receiving coronavirus vaccine during pandemic. Composite shot.


    1. Vaccine-preventable diseases have not gone away. The viruses and bacteria that cause illness and death still exist and can be passed on to those who are not protected by vaccines. While many diseases are not common in the US, global travel makes it easy for diseases to spread. Also, the dangerous “anti-vaxx” movement has contributed to a resurgence in diseases like measles and whooping cough.
    2. Vaccines will help keep you healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations throughout your life to protect against many infections. When you skip vaccines, you leave yourself vulnerable to illnesses such as shingles, pneumococcal disease, flu, and HPV and hepatitis B, both leading causes of cancer.
    3. Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise. Like eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Vaccines are one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.
    4. Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death. Vaccine-preventable infections can be deadly. Every year in the US, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 50,000 adults died from vaccine-preventable diseases.
    5. Vaccines are safe. The US has a robust approval process to ensure that all licensed vaccines are safe. Potential side effects associated with vaccines are uncommon and much less severe than the diseases they prevent.
    6. Vaccines will not cause the diseases they are designed to prevent. Vaccines contain either killed or weakened viruses, making it impossible to get the disease from the vaccine.
    7. Young and healthy people can get very sick, too. Infants and older adults are at increased risk for serious infections and complications, but vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone. If you are young and healthy, getting vaccinated can help you stay that way.
    8. Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive. Diseases not only have a direct impact on individuals and their families, but also carry a high price tag for society, exceeding $10 billion per year. An average flu illness can last up to 15 days, typically with five or six missed work or school days. Adults who get hepatitis A lose an average of one month of work.
    9. When you get sick, your children, grandchildren, and parents may be at risk, too. Adults are the most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants which can be deadly for babies. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and your family as well as those in your community who may not be able to be vaccinated.
    10. Your family and co-workers need you. In the US each year, millions of adults get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including their children and/or aging parents.

Finding Vaccines in Your Area

Vaccines may be available at private doctor offices, pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics, health departments or other community locations, such as schools and religious centers. If your primary healthcare provider does not stock all the vaccines recommended for you, ask for a referral.

Federally funded health centers can provide services if you don’t have health insurance or a regular source of health care – you pay what you can afford based on your income. Locate a federal health center near you:

You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get vaccines in your community:

SOURCE: National Foundation for Infectious Disease



Staci Rossi

VP, Marketing, Communications & Account Implementation

860.697.6960 x403

NJ Task Force 1 Assists in Surfside Condo Collapse Recovery Effort


Dr. Christopher Valerian, National Medical Director for Integrated Behavioral Health, Inc. and HMC HealthWorks, LLC spoke with CBSN about his front-line experience as part of the rescue and recovery mission from the Surfside Condo collapse in Miami FL. Dr. Valerian is part of the New Jersey Task Force 1 who provided support to local authorities and help the families find closure.

Dr. Valerian’s account can be heard at 3:05 minute mark. Watch Now


IBH Contact:

Nicole Kreider

Director, Marketing


HMC HealthWorks Contact:

Staci Rossi

VP, Marketing, Communications & Account Management

860.697.6960 x403

Summertime Water Safety

Happy family in swimming pool at water park


Drowning is the #1 leading cause of unintentional death in children 1 to 4 years of age according to the CDC. African American children between the ages 5-19 years are 5.5 times more likely to drown in a pool than white children of the same age.

Swimming pools and spas are great places for family fun. It’s important to ensure everyone follows these simple safety steps to stay safer in and around the water.

Always watch children when they’re in or near water, and never leave them unattended. Designate an official Water Watcher, an adult tasked with supervising children in the water. That should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting, or playing games on their phone. Always have a phone close by in case you need to call for help, and if a child is missing, check the pool first. Even if a lifeguard is present, parents and caregivers should still take the responsibility of being a designated Water Watcher.

Swimming is not only fun, but also a lifesaving skill. Enroll children in swimming lessons; there are many free or reduced-cost options available from your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter or Parks and Recreation Department.

Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools, and never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken, or missing drain cover. Children’s hair, limbs, jewelry, or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. When using a spa, be sure to locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before getting in the water.

All public pools and spas must have drain grates or covers that meet safety standards to avoid dangerous incidents. Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can even trap an adult.

Proper fences, barriers, alarms and covers can be lifesaving devices. A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. Teach children to never try to climb over the gate or fence. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool and spa covers in working order.

Often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR can help save a life. And once you’re CPR certified, make sure to keep your certification current. CPR classes are available through many hospitals, community centers, or by contacting the American Red Cross.


Staci Rossi

VP, Marketing, Communications & Account Implementation

860.697.6960 x403

Our Furry Friends Feel Hot Temperatures Too

group of dogs with owner and  leash ready to go for a walk or walkies , outdoors outside at the park all wearing fancy sunglasses

| July 7, 2021 |


Summer is here and our furry friends get hot too. Below are some simple pet safety tips:

A Pet in A Parked Vehicle Is Not Cool.

Even when it’s a comfortable 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to 90 degrees in just 10 minutes—and up to 110 degrees in less than an hour—exposing animals to serious risks of discomfort, illness and even death.

During Hot Summer Months, Regular Exercise Can Be Dangerous for Pets.

Adjust activities to avoid midday sweltering temps during the summer. Remember, animals can’t cool themselves as well as we can! Take your pet outdoors during the early morning or late evening, which tend to be a bit cooler, to avoid overheating.

If Your Pet Is Left Outdoors, Ensure They Always Have Access to Shade and Fresh Water.

Since temperatures in a yard can increase to dangerous levels within a short period of time, ensure your pet has a shaded area in the yard, access back inside, and a bowl of fresh water nearby.

Protect Your Pet’s Paws on Hot Pavement.

Cats and dogs have sensitive paw pads that become vulnerable in the heat. Surfaces such as pavement, asphalt and artificial grass can become searingly hot causing blisters or burns on their paw pads. Hot pavement can also increase the overall body temperature of your pet and lead to heat stroke.

Be Aware of The Signs of Heat Stroke.

Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, lethargy, stumbling, seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible.



Staci Rossi

VP, Marketing, Communications & Account Implementation

860.697.6960 x403