Friday, October 26, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

Our Facilities Director, Al Kolan, just sent out this message to the staff. It's a little example of how he looks out for all of us.

With the threat of a serious storm heading in our direction, the following information is being provided.
  1. Please review the attached file for general information relative to preparation for a major storm.
  2. If, as a result of the storm, normal business operations may be interrupted, information about our status will be available in the following ways.
  • Call 301-296-5700 for a recorded message after 6 a.m. Monday thru Friday.
  • An e-mail message will be sent to the same persons to which this message is being sent.
  • ASHA staff may get information which will be posted on ASHAnet.
  • ASHA staff may receive information via our “OneCall Now” notification system if you have previously registered to do so.  If you have not registered or you want to check your contact information, please go to the HR Service Center on ASHAnet
 Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and cooperation.
On a related note, One Call Now is a useful tool to enhance communication with your staff. We use it for weather emergencies, convention information, and wellness program reminders and notifications. 

I haven't shared enough about our wonderfully supportive facilities team. If you want to run a good wellness program, you definitely need the help of the staff in your facilities area. I'll devote a post to this one of these days. 

Stay safe everyone!

 Hurricane Info from the America Red Cross

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Help Select a Book for the December 19 CoHealth Virtual Wellness Book Club Chat

I was excited by the level of engagement with our first CoHealth book, Persuasive Technology. Having the author, BJ Fogg, participate in our discussion and the CoHealth Checkup radio show certainly helped make it more interesting. 

We hope you'll consider joining us for our next book club discussion on December 19 at 12:00 EST. Read more about CoHealth if you're new to the group and then go to the CoHealth LinkedIn page to voteWe received six suggestions for our next book club chat. The poll would only accommodate five options, so we set aside the most expensive book for now -- Why Nobody Believes the Numbers

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fighting the Flu with UHC

We worked with United HealthCare (UHC) who contracted with Mollen Immunization to administer our flu shots this year. The experience turned out to be frustrating. The forms Mollen used were long and asked for a lot of duplicate and irrelevant information. The communication from Mollen was poor. Mollen actually delayed the start of our clinic insisting that they were required to collect a credit card number from each person even though the individuals were not paying for the vaccines. UHC stepped in and resolved that issue in about ten minutes, but by then a line had formed. Mollen sent two nurses to administer the shots, but no one to handle the paperwork. The line moved slowly and continued for the full duration of our clinic which ran from 10:00 until 1:00. The nurses were actually at our office until 5:00 p.m. working on the paperwork from administering 136 flu shots. 
We shared our feedback with UHC and painted a picture of the differences between this year’s flu shot clinic and past year’s clinics when LifeWork Strategies (LWS) administered our flu shots.  Past year’s clinics had reasonable wait times, there was minimal paperwork, and communications from LWS regarding what they needed was very clear.  UHC was empathetic and very disappointed that we were not pleased. They have approved for us to use LifeWork Strategies to administer our flu shots next year. They've given us a reasonable budget and will reimburse us for our actual expenses up to that amount. 

This represents our experience working with UHC well. They're consistently accessible, reasonable and responsive. When we switched our coverage to UHC in 2011, I was concerned that the service would be impersonal dealing with such a big company. However, our experience has been just the opposite. We work with a wonderful team of folks at UHC and they treat us like we're a key account. Special thanks to Eugenia Perna and Lisa Roy. We love working with you both.

On a related note... read about how we passed the time while waiting in line.

Wondering why you should hold a flu shot clinic in your workplace? Read Staffing Continuity, Flu Shots and Workplace Wellness.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Road ID -- A Smart $20 Investment for Yourself and Your Loved Ones

If you tend to train alone or you have a serious medical condition, it's wise to wear a Road ID with your emergency contact information. There are multiple styles and colors to choose from -- surely something to suit everyone -- and you can personalize the content. I purchased one when I started cycling. Then, decided it was smart to wear it when I swim and run too. 

I started out with the Sport and then upgraded to the Elite. The Sport version is velcro and I didn't like how wet it felt on my wrist after I swam. The Elite is made from silicone so it stays dry. A minor thing, but I find it more comfortable. 

Road IDs also make great medical alert bracelets. You can opt for an interactive model so that you can keep your medical information up-to-date online. In an emergency, a caretaker can access your secure online records or call and talk to a live operator to get access to the information you want them to have. 

I also recommend wearing one when traveling alone. I gave my son one to wear when he traveled through Europe on his own. He didn't actually wear it, but I still think it would have been wise.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Foam Rolling Mania

Sometimes it's the little things that make you happy! We've added to our foam roller collection and will be holding instructional sessions for staff soon. In the meantime, people can get started by watching this video. I like the Rumble Roller and the Y-Roller. Let me know what your favorite is.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How Germy is Your Desk?

According to this infographic posted on, pretty darn germy and gross -- 100 x germier than most kitchen tables. The biggest contributor to the germiness -- eating at our desks. Only 1 in 5 of us takes an actual lunch break and only 1 in 5 of us cleans our desks before eating. Maybe we'd all benefit from treating our desks a little more like our kitchen table and wiping them down after lunch. 

Many thanks to Erin Mantz for sharing this with me. I'm going to grab some Lysol wipes right now.

August 11, 2016 update:

"Why do we eat lunch at our desks?" Thanks for sharing Guillermo Galdamez.

And, if we are going to eat at our desks, we may as well eat something healthy. Check out these ideas from Deb Dixon. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Help People Make Smart Health Care Decisions with NurseLine

When I attended the Healthiest Employers event, I picked up an idea from a presentation that Irene Myers-Thompson from UHC did on using health plan resources to build a wellness program. She suggested having people enter the NurseLine number in their cell phones to be entered into a raffle.

The NurseLine is a great first point of contact for people with a health concern. A team of experienced registered nurses is available to answer health questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no cost to the caller. They're available at 2:00 am when a child has a high fever. They can help a caller decide when a family member might need stitches or an x-ray. When someone is traveling and gets sick, they can help the person decide when and where to seek care. Our challenge is to make sure people think to call and have the number available when they need it. 

We held our flu shot clinic today, so I figured we had a captive audience while people waited in line. We chatted with folks and had them save the number in their phones. People earned a second entry if they downloaded the Health4Me app on their smart phones. We announced the contest on our intranet and gave staff until 5:00 to stop by and show us that they had entered the number and/or downloaded the app. 

Very few people already had the number saved in their phones. (A handful of folks actually had the NurseLine number from the insurance coverage we had with Guardian back in 2010.) We distributed 136 flu shots and received 73 entries for our drawing. Our winner was Tracy Schooling. Tracy won a $25 iTunes gift card. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our New Activity Based Wellness Challenge

Kip Shapiro coach of In the Zone -- our Week 1 Winning Team
​We recently kicked off a new activity based challenge similar to the Biggest Mover program we held a couple of years ago. We are using the Presidents Challenge site​ again to track our activities. We formed four teams and the teams compete each week based on their logged activity points. We just announced our first weekly winner -- In the Zone. At the same time the teams compete, we can all work individually toward our Presidents Challenge awards.
To enhance the fun factor, the Wellness Team created a Backfield in Motion football theme. Participants will be invited to play Frisbee football, attend a tailgate party and other things throughout the campaign. Members of winning teams receive small footballs to display on their badges. Kip is proudly displaying his in the photograph. This campaign will run through super bowl Sunday.

This challenge is unique in that you can really engage as part of a team or more quietly just record your activities and work toward your individual goals, so there is something for everyone.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why ASHA is the Healthiest Employer [video]

We put together this fun little video for the Healthiest Employers' Award event. Many thanks to Mike Cannon, aka Muscle Mike -- our on air celebrity, Doug Plesh, our director and videographer, and Nina Kranz, our producer.