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Humana's Park Prescription Program Evaluates Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is partnering with MetCare to pilot Park Rx, a program that will evaluate the health benefits of the outdoors through a new program providing physicians with the option to write prescriptions to patients for spending time in local parks.

MetCare patients who choose to participate in the Park Rx program will receive a written prescription to visit nearby green spaces or parks and participate in an activity tailored to their individual needs. As part of the Park Rx program, a clinical study will assess whether providing a Park Rx increases how patients utilize the parks and how it impacts their health. Researchers will use the Center for Disease Control’s “Healthy Days” measures to evaluate the patients’ outcomes over a period of a year. The “Healthy Days” measures are a series of questions about physical and mental health used to evaluate overall health-related quality of life.

“When people hear the word ‘prescription,’ they usually think of pills, but there are so many ways people can improve their health without medication,” said Yogi Hernandez Suarez, M.D., Humana Vice President and Chief Medical Officer-Integrated Care Delivery Organization. “We hope this program can show people that being outside can improve their physical and mental health.”

According to the University of California, Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center, research shows that spending time outdoors has a variety of health benefits, including boosting energy, improving focus and creativity, strengthening immunity, and lowering levels of depression and stress.

“Park Rx is more than just a prescription to spend time in a park or green space,” said Mark Steffen, M.D., Humana Medical Director. “We hope that the data gathered from the program will show the need for additional, larger clinical studies examining the health benefits of time in nature and encourage communities beyond Plantation, Florida, to take advantage of the beauty just beyond their front doors.”

The Park Rx program is part of Humana’s partnership with the National Park Foundation for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and encouraging people to enjoy America’s national parks as a resource to stay healthy and active.

To discover parks across the country and learn more about National Park Service Centennial events, including healthy park programs, visit http://findyourpark.com.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information

About The National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a $350 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

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