Buffalo, NY

Promoting clean hands to reduce the spread of illness

Twenty Seconds to Clean is a Univera Healthcare initiative to encourage proper handwashing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the number one way to stop the spread of germs is through proper hand washing with soap and water, and that lathering for about 20 seconds has the most impact. 

“Washing hands is a simple activity that we do multiple times each day, usually without thinking about the mechanics of it,” said Richard Vienne, D.O., chief medical officer at Univera. “There’s a technique to make handwashing effective and sharing that information is what Twenty Seconds to Clean is all about.”  

A 2013 study by Michigan State University researchers, published in the Journal of Environmental Health, found that people are only washing their hands, on average, for about six seconds, which is not long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections. Additional findings include that 33 percent of the people surveyed didn't use soap and 10 percent didn't wash their hands at all. 

On a positive note, the study found that people were more likely to wash their hands if a sign encouraging them to do so was present. 

Univera’s Twenty Seconds to Clean includes an online tool kit with a downloadable handwashing sign illustrating handwashing tips and techniques, and why they work. For kids, there’s a certificate with a handwashing pledge for them to sign. There are informational videos, and even links to materials designed for businesses to use for reminders at the worksite. 

“Twenty Seconds to Clean promotes washing your hands properly by lathering with soap and water for 20 seconds,” said Vienne. “Getting adults to model this behavior for their kids will create a healthy habit for life and can help stop the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and other illness.”  

View our 20 Seconds to Clean handwashing animation below and video at https://youtu.be/I0S9wWG1aYQ

Olivia Linke, (716) 604-5414

Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that serves members across the eight counties of Western New York. With more than 500 Buffalo-based employees and a local leadership team, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. Univera is part of a Rochester-based health insurer that serves more than 1.5 million members across upstate New York. Its mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care, and its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. To learn more, visit UniveraHealthcare.com.


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