Managing Illness

"Healing is a matter of time, but it is also sometimes a matter of opportunity" - Hippocrates

Chronic Illness is a disease or illness that is long term or permanent. Living with Chronic Illness can cause significant disabilities in the way individuals live their lives, their ability to be productive and most importantly, happy.

Effectively managing these illnesses has successfully allowed individuals to lead happier lives with less pain and less limitations. The Breakroom's Managing Chronic Illness Page identifies the tools to accomplish this through providing the following information:

  • FREE Support Services (via online, phone or in person)
  • FREE or DISCOUNTED Medical Devices for diverse programs
  • Quality Physician Reviewed Resources

Speak to a Nurse Today!

Living Well Program


Beginning April 1, 2016 - A new Program - Living Well - will be available to participants (Members and Spouses) covered under the current full medical Plan R, U & S.


To enroll in the UFCW Local One "Living Well" program click HERE

Need Help with enrollment & questions: 1-800-959-9497 


Excellus BCBS Case Management Program for Complex Medical Illnesses

Serving individuals diagnosed with a complex medical illness, the Case Management Program provides a variety of benefit management and individual care planning. Services include:

  • Personalized care and coordination of services provided by a Nurse Case Manager
  • Development of a care plan addressing the goals of you and your health care provider
  • Assistance with benefit information
  • Help obtaining referrals to community resources
  • Ability to be a liason between you and your health care team
  • Register or Get More Information HERE

For more information about this program, please contact us:

  • In the Central New York, Binghamton, Elmira, Utica or Watertown areas:
    Call 1-800-251-78841-800-251-7884 FREE (TDD/TTY 1-888-442-7486)
    Contact the supervisor at 585-238-3615585-238-3615 or 1-877-222-12401-877-222-1240 FREE x 3615
  • In the Rochester area:
    Call 1-877-222-12401-877-222-1240 FREE (TDD/TTY 1-877-398-2282)
    Contact the supervisor at 585-238-3615585-238-3615

Speak to a Nurse Today!

Chronic Conditions

ufcw medic bagArthritis

If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Over time, a swollen joint can become severely damaged. Some kinds of arthritis can lead to additional problems in your organs, such as your eyes or skin. Read more.

Arthritis Learning Center

The Arthritis Foundation is a reliable source of information about the leading cause of disability; Arthritis.  This resource will offer information about Arthritis, as well as treatment and management of this debilitating disease.  Through videos, research, support articles and testimonials an individual can gain the knowledge to effectively manage this disease and improve their quality of life. Enter HERE

Arthritis Support & Tools

Arthritis Drug Guide: Read HERE

The Arthritis Today Drug Guide provides information about the many drugs used to treat arthritis and arthritis-related conditions. The guide gives you the must-know facts, details on dosages, side effects and warnings – that leading experts in Rheumatology want you to know about. 

ufcw medic bagAsthma

asthma inhaler

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen. This results in significant difficulties with breathing.

Asthma Learning Center

Asthma is a long term problem but does not have to limit your activities or affect your quality of life. The Asthma Learning Center provides practical, how-to information on topics such as medication, identifying triggers, and steps to creating a personal action plan.  Enter HERE

Asthma Support & Tools:

Excellus Guide to Managing Your Asthma: Read HERE

Allergy & Asthma Symptom Test: Start HERE

ufcw medic bagChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

copdCOPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) makes it hard for you to breathe. The main cause of COPD is long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs. This is usually cigarette smoke. Air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust can also cause it. There are two main types of COPD:

Chronic Bronchitis


COPD Learning Center

If you have COPD, you know how scary it can be to feel short of breath. Whether you just found out that you have COPD or you've been living with it for a while, you will find helpful information here. Our topics will teach you about the disease and give you some tips on breathing easier. Enter HERE

COPD Support & Tools

Excellus's Guide to COPD: Read HERE

Quit for Life Smoking Cessation Program: HERE

ufcw medic bagCongestive Heart Failure

heart failureHeart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should. It can affect one or both sides of the heart.

Heart Problems Learning Center

Everyone can benefit from learning about heart health. If you or a loved one is living with a heart condition, or if you want to learn how to prevent heart problems in the future, our topics can give you the information you need. From heart defects in babies to heart failure in older people, we cover a wide range of heart problems. Enter HERE

Congestive Heart Failure Support & Tools

Excellus's Guide to Understanding Heart Failure: Read HERE

Quit for Life Smoking Cessation Program: HERE

Interactive Tutorial on Congestive Heart Failure: Start HERE

MedlinePlus presents Interactive tutorials on Congestive Heart Failure from the Patient Education Institute. The tutorial includes animated graphics, audio and easy-to-read language. Tutorials includes Anatomy of the Heart, Heart Failure, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment Options and LIfestyle Changes.

ufcw medic bagDiabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. There are different types of Diabetes:

Excellus Diabetes Management Program

A program that helps you maintain the quality of your life and in some cases, makes it better.

Program Includes:

  • Help obtaining diabetes supplies and equipment (often for FREE)
  • Personalized care and coordination of services
  • Access to educational information and community services
  • Ability to be a liaison between you and your physicians office for best coordination of treatment
  • To read more about the program click HERE
  • Enroll or request more information  HERE
  • Learn if you are eligible for a FREE Glucometer HERE

Diabetes Online Learning Center

Learn about the type of diabetes you have, how to eat well, control your blood sugar levels, manage your diabetes along with helpful tips on taking care of your feel. Visit the Diabetes Learning Center HERE!

Diabetes Support & Tools

Excellus's Guide to Managing Diabetes:  Read HERE

FAQ about Diabetes: HERE

Diabetes Support Groups:  Search HERE

Complex Conditions

ufcw medic bagCancer

cancer cellsCancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body. Read more.

Cancer Learning Center

Facing cancer can be scary, and most people have lots of questions. Excellus's Learning Center covers topics including: types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and many more. Whether you just found out you have cancer or have been living with it for a while, you'll find useful information such as treatment options and tips for living with cancer. Enter HERE

Cancer Support & Tools

Find Support & Treatment: HERE

Coping with Cancer: HERE 

Current Research: HERE 

ufcw medic bagHIV/AIDS

Infection with HIV is serious. But the outlook for people living with HIV/AIDS is improving. There are many things you can do to help ensure you have a longer, healthier life. One important thing is to take your medications. It is important to make a wise decision as to who you choose to treat you. Make sure your provider is knowledgeable in HIV.  You may want to join a support group. Learn as much as you can about your disease and its treatment. And eat healthy foods and exercise regularly - things that everyone should try to do.  Read more.

HIV/AIDS Learning Center

This resource center provides quality information on medication, current research, testimonials, support resources. Learn more about both prevention as well as living with AIDS and optimizing resources to enhance your quality of life. Enter HERE

HIV/AIDS Support & Tools

Learn how to navigate the system: HERE

Managing Doctor, Clinic & Dental visits: HERE

Personal Tracking Chart: HERE

Diet & Nutrition & HIV: HERE

Emergency Preparedness with HIV: HERE

Employment & HIV: HERE

ufcw medic bagPain Management

Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, such as your back, abdomen or chest or you may feel pain all over, such as when your muscles ache from the flu.

Pain can be helpful in diagnosing a problem. Without pain, you might seriously hurt yourself without knowing it, or you might not realize you have a medical problem that needs treatment. Once you take care of the problem, pain usually goes away. However, sometimes pain goes on for weeks, months or even years. This is called chronic pain. Sometimes chronic pain is due to an ongoing cause, such as cancer or arthritis. Sometimes the cause is unknown. Read more.

Learning Center

WebMD Managing Pain Learning Center offers quality researched based tools and resources to help individuals better understand their pain, understand diagnosis and tests and make wise decisions about treatment & management. Enter HERE.

Pain Support & Tools

Excellus's Pain Management Guide: Read HERE

Alternative Therapies to Pain Management: HERE

Drug Interaction Checker: HERE

ufcw medic bagStroke

A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain stops. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. There are two kinds of stroke. The more common kind, called ischemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain. The other kind, called hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain. "Mini-strokes" or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), occur when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted. Read more.

Learning Center

iHope is an online Learning Center provided by The National Stroke Association.  It offers a series of webinars and Ask the Experts Q&A sessions led by topic experts on stroke recovery issues. The program is designed for an individual experience where you can learn at your own pace and gain specific knowledge for personal needs. Enter HERE.

Stroke Support & Tools

Tools to Help with Medical Adherence: HERE

Interactive Tutorial on Strokes: Start HERE

MedlinePlus presents Interactive tutorials on Cancer from the Patient Education Institute. The tutorial includes animated graphics, audio and easy-to-read language. Learn about what is a stroke, causes, signs, emergency prevention and treatment.

ufcw medic bagManaging Chronic Illness Video Library

WebMD Diabetes Video Library Enter HERE

Health Channel Video Library

Designed to help you understand various conditions and treatments that are related to certain illnesses. Watch, learn and live better HERE!