Early Detection Pays Off: Blueprint for Wellness Helps Participant and His Doctor Spot Cancer
In late 2022, Rev. Joe Stobaugh just wasn’t feeling like himself. At age 44, he thought his low energy and slight weight gain could likely be chalked up to the stress of his job, needing to be a bit more active and improving his diet. But thanks to his annual Blueprint for Wellness screening—and an attentive doctor—early diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer helped save his life.
"I've done the Blueprint for Wellness screening for seven years in a row," Rev. Joe shared. "It's helpful to see the numbers [in the results] compared year over year. And the $100 incentive every year is definitely nice, too."
After completing his annual screening and reviewing the results with his doctor, Rev. Joe’s doctor suggested he might be anemic from a tear in his colon and ordered a colonoscopy to confirm. The results were not at all what Rev. Joe or his doctor expected.
"We do the colonoscopy and the first thing he says is ‘We’ve got a problem. You have colon cancer,'" recalls Rev. Joe. "The tumor was in a strange place, which is becoming more and more the case for people under 50 who are diagnosed with colon cancer. It was a tough surgery that took about 7.5 hours—they took out 18 inches of my colon."
According to Rev. Joe's oncologist, he was lucky he had done the initial bloodwork and that his doctor had ordered the colonoscopy. "He said that if we had waited four to six months, it would have been stage 4 and we’d be having a very different conversation."
After the surgery and chemotherapy, Rev. Joe’s doctors now report there’s no evidence of cancer. He’s doing well, especially with the support of his community.
"I've always appreciated the Blueprint for Wellness because it gives me a chance every year to look back at the previous years and see where I need to get a little bit better," said Rev. Joe. "But in this case, the Blueprint for Wellness—and having a smart, proactive doctor—tipped us off that something might be going on."
What is the Blueprint for Wellness?
The Blueprint for Wellness screening involves one blood draw and a few measurements (height, weight, blood pressure and waist circumference) that can help you and your doctor spot health concerns early. More than 25 key indicators are measured, including blood glucose, cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C. Test results provide valuable information about several common health risks, such as heart disease, diabetes, thyroid function and more.
You can earn $1001 and up to 140 Wellness Credits in Virgin Pulse for completing your screening by August 31.
1 Incentive rewards are provided in “Pulse Cash,” the “rewards currency” for HealthFlex—you must be enrolled in Virgin Pulse to earn and redeem Pulse Cash. Pulse Cash is delivered straight to your Virgin Pulse account and can be transferred to your checking account or redeemed for gift cards, merchandise or charitable donations. The IRS considers cash wellness incentives as taxable income. Contact your tax adviser for more information.
How Can You Complete the Screening?
HealthFlex participants and spouses:
- Log in to Virgin Pulse and search for Quest Blueprint for Wellness on the Benefits tab. Click “Start Now” to schedule an appointment.
- OR: Call 1-855-623-9355 to schedule your screening.
Via Benefits participants (check with your conference benefits office to confirm eligibility)
- Call 1-855-623-9355 to schedule your screening