Meet the doctor spreading her preventive care message to the entire country.
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Cigna 2017

LaTasha Seliby first knew that she wanted to become a doctor after her aunt passed away at a very young age.

Her aunt had died of a "very, very preventable" ailment that could have been treated if she had just gotten the proper care. And when Seliby realized that, it lit a fire inside of her.

All images via Cigna.


After all, family always came first for her. That's why, soon after the incident, she decided to dedicate her life to health care and make sure nothing like what happened to her aunt ever happened again — to her family and to others.

"I wanted to be kind of a catalyst of change," says Seliby. And today, that's exactly what she is.

Because on top of being an accomplished physician, Seliby is also creating change in ways that go beyond the definition of her profession. In fact, you can see exactly how she's doing that in the amazing video below:

This is a day in the life of a doctor who is trying to make preventive health care the norm.

Posted by Upworthy on Friday, July 28, 2017

Seliby is redefining how we think about health care by putting preventive care at the heart of everything she does.

"Medicine has been looked at as sick care — you go to the doctor, and you find out what's wrong," she explains. "What I want to do is change that. Let's go to the doctor and find out everything that's right — and how to keep it right."

What's one easy way to do that?  Well, you can start by keeping an eye on your health before something goes wrong. Head to your doctor for a regular check-up and know your four health numbers — blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body mass index (BMI). That way, you can easily spot red flags and worry less when it comes to your health.

Taking care of yourself, though, is especially important for young people.

With the modern world becoming faster than ever and the daily grind for many getting more pressure-packed by the minute, it can be easy for a young person to let their well-being fall by the wayside. In fact, in a survey conducted by Zocdoc, 9 in 10 millennials admitted to avoiding regular doctor visits — skipping check-ups and screenings altogether.

And that's exactly what Seliby wants to change. Because consistent visits to your primary care provider, according to a study by UCLA, can lead to fewer ER visits and hospitalizations in the long run.

That's why Seliby is taking her mission to Capitol Hill to get the word on preventive care out to the entire country.

She regularly speaks with various lawmakers about how she can translate her firsthand experience into actionable bills that get as many people as possible understanding the value of preventive care.

"You feel like you're a part of a bigger purpose when you're able to go speak to lawmakers about things that will affect entire populations," she says.

And she's not stopping there.

Seliby is also affecting countless lives through her work as a writer and editor for Heart and Soul magazine, a national publication that "focuses on women of color, health prevention, fitness, and wellness."

Everything Seliby does is about one thing: getting people to take care of themselves before they get sick.

It's the first step needed to redefining how we all view health care. And it's the step that Seliby has worked her entire professional life to help everyone take.

Because if more people are able to practice regular preventive care moving forward, the more "catalysts of change" we'll see for generations to come.

"I feel like I'm doing what I said I want to do," says Seliby. "And I'm working to leave the legacy that I really want to leave."

Learn more about how to take control of your health at Cigna.com/TakeControl.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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via Matt Radick / Flickr

Joe Biden reversed Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military earlier this year, allowing the entire LGBTQ community to serve for the first time.

Anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. military goes as far back as 1778 when Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin was convicted at court-martial on charges of sodomy and perjury. The military would go on to make sodomy a crime in 1920 and worthy of dishonorable discharge.

In 1949 the Department of Defense standardized its anti-LGBT regulations across the military, declaring: "Homosexual personnel, irrespective of sex, should not be permitted to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces in any capacity, and prompt separation of known homosexuals from the Armed Forces is mandatory."

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