By Kim and Sheri, Virta patients for 6 months
Sheri Turner: SAIC cares about our employees and our employees’ health. That is why we offer Virta. Claims data highlighted a growing concern with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes within our population. And because we believe a healthy employee is a happy employee, SAIC fully covers Virta. There are no hidden costs. All the tools you need to succeed are included for free.
Kimberly West: I really want SAIC employees to know that this works. It fits into your life easily, and provides the support you need from doctors and coaches who make it a very safe alternative to traditional management options. And we’re not just saying that as benefits leaders. Sheri and I have both put Virta to the test ourselves as patients.
Sheri: When we expanded with Virta to cover prediabetes at the beginning of the year, I was all in. Like many of us, the pandemic was not good to me. When I lost my mother, I started eating my emotions, and not in a healthy way, so my A1c was right up there.
Kim: I first heard of Virta as part of the initial benefit announcement, but I wasn’t originally eligible because I was on my husband’s insurance. I thought it looked like a great benefit—and one I could really use because my own A1c levels were on the rise, which really concerned me. I was also having a difficult time bending over just to tie my shoes. I really didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. When I changed my insurance to SAIC mybenefits, I applied to Virta right away and was so excited. I told Sheri, posted on Facebook, and even got my boss at the time to join.
Sheri: One thing that really impressed me happened about a month ago. It was a day off and I was working outdoors. All of a sudden I got really light headed, so I called my Virta health coach. I wasn’t sure what was happening. She asked me to check my blood pressure. It was 74 over 50! My coach was concerned. In less than an hour I got a call from a Virta Doctor. Within 10 minutes, she gave me my steps. No time was wasted. I was taken off my blood pressure medications and arthritis medication was cut in half. Without that aspect of care, I don’t know what would have happened to me.
Kim: On Virta, I have lost around 20 pounds and reduced my A1c from 6.2 to 5.8. And even though I think there’s still work to do, I am so impressed with my results so far—and they are not limited to those numbers.
Kim: I have a great 2-mile greenway near me, and I can now walk the entire thing without an inhaler. I’m no longer in pain and my legs don’t get nearly as tired.
Sheri: Virta has made me so much more self-aware of what I am putting in my mouth. I love food. One month after I started treatment, I visited family in Florida and we went out to eat. I was easily able to stick with my treatment because it makes me feel better. It’s easy to think of Virta as a diet, but it’s really not. You wouldn’t say someone who is allergic to peanuts is on a “nut-free diet.” What I was eating before was hurting me.
Sheri: Within the first three months on Virta, all my numbers had come down and I lost 60 pounds! I can play with my grandkids now and get back up again without pain. It is incredible.
Kim: Exactly! Knowing that I have found a lifestyle change I can stick with that makes us feel better, helps me lose weight, helps me reduce medications amazes me. I thought this would be more difficult, but it really isn’t. I also find myself being more positive. I went from saying I can’t to I can!
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