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From the CEO

Greetings and Welcome to April 2019! As Spring brings new beginnings and thoughtful reflections, I feel privileged to serve more than 82,000 American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA) members every day.


April is Defeat Diabetes Month. The Defeat Diabetes Foundation is on a mission to save children and their families from the pain of diabetes by empowering them with the tools to prevent diabetes or its complications. This month raises awareness of diabetes prevention and treatment. According to www.healthfinder.gov, diabetes is a leading cause of disability and death in the U. S., and it is rising globally. Diabetes increases the risk for heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, and more. You can prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes by watching your weight, eating healthy, and staying active. Spring is the perfect season to increase the amount of walking you do. Park farther away, use the stairs, or take a 10-minute morning walk. Make small changes to your daily routine to reach the recommended 10,000 steps per day.

Let the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) help you manage your diabetes. Try using:

  • Livongo – You and your covered family members with diabetes can join the Livongo program at no cost. Receive a digital meter, unlimited testing strips, and even a support coach. Learn more at FSBP.livongo.com.
  • KidsHealth – A library that provides information and guidance designed specifically for parents, kids, teens and even educators. KidsHealth, provides the entire family age appropriate information and tools to make the best health choices. FSBP members can access this resourceful website by logging into Aetna Navigator. Then select, “Discover a Healthier You,” under the Stay Healthy tab. Finally, select the “KidsHealth Library,” at the bottom of the page (under Important Links).

Of course, my monthly message would not be complete without mentioning wellness. The term wellness means to actively make choices toward living a healthier life. FSBP offers many programs to support you on your personal health journey. If you do have a medical condition, our Wellness Chart may help you identify the best FSBP programs to assist. Review our Wellness Chart to learn how to address your specific condition. This Spring, improve your overall health by using your available FSBP services and resources.


Lastly, believe it or not, April is National Humor Month. Yes, there is such a thing. National Humor Month heightens public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Laughter leads to boosted morale, increased communication skills, and an enriched quality of life. Humor lifts ailing spirits, as supported by scientific research. Laughter’s ability to relieve stress may be one of the greatest medical discoveries of our times. We all have hectic lives and busy schedules. Let’s try to take a few minutes a day to bring some laughter back into our lives.


Recently, we mailed out the Senior Living Foundation (SLF) Newsletter to our foreign service colleagues. This charitable Foundation, sponsored by AFSPA, supports retired Foreign Service Personnel and their spouses. If you know someone in need of assistance, call 202-887-8170, to see if SLF can help. Learn more at www.slfoundation.org.

I hope you enjoy this season of fresh starts and new beginnings. As always, thank you for your trust and for giving AFSPA the opportunity to serve you.

To Your Health,

Paula S. Jakub, RHU
CEO, AFSPA
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation

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