Health e-News
Brought to you by Affinity Occupational Health
Good health: Good for business
Spring 2008 
It is our pleasure to bring you the new "Health e-News" from Affinity Occupational Health. 

Preventive medicine and wellness is our business, so it's a real privilege to share our knowledge and experience with you.  Our goal is to keep your workplace safe, keep your employees on the job, better manage your health care-related costs and improve overall health. 

We realize just how important it is to implement effective workplace health and safety initiatives, and avoid - to the extent possible - unnecessary encounters with health care providers in the first place.  We also realize it's not always possible, so our newsletters will focus on cost-effective, evidence-based ways to get employees back to work - quickly.

You'll also hear from our experienced, award-winning Health and Productivity Management team about high impact (as well as simple) ways to keep your staff healthy and present on the job. 

We look forward to your feedback, and thank you for the opportunity to partner in your workplace health.

Best regards,

John M. Weinsheim
Director, Affinity Occupational Health
In This Issue
Five Steps to a Healthy Culture
On My Weigh - It Works!
Corporate Wellness Services
Welcome WebMD
Ask the Expert: HRA Participation
Vending Machine Makeover
Five Steps to a Healthy Culture
FeetA healthy workplace is good for the bottom line.  It means less absenteeism and fewer medical costs.  How can you create a culture of wellness in your company?  Begin by taking these five steps.

1. Survey: Start by surveying employees to determine their needs and interests.  Do they want to learn more about heart health, weight loss, lower back care?  Are they game for a basketball league, a walking program, a healthy recipes contest? 

2. Plan: Based on survey data and aggregate data from your health risk assessments (HRAs), map out a year's worth of activities that are most likely to attract participants.  Invite spouses and retirees to participate.

3. Brand: Get everyone on board by branding your efforts with a title and logo.  This special identity tells employees you're in this for the long run, and it will help them connect with the program.  Use the logo on posters, e-mails and other communication related to your wellness program.  Get employees involved from the start by hosting a contest for the best program slogan.

4. Promote: Use a variety of mediums to promote events on a regular basis.  Ideas include a wellness newsletter, posters, table tents, wallet cards, payroll inserts and e-mails. 

5. Reward: Design incentives for participation.  Reward employees for reaching their personal goals.  This encouragement can help create a positive buzz about your wellness program.  Have fun with it!
On My Weigh - It Works! 
Weigh In - ScaleLooking for a work site weight loss program that really works?  Introducing "On My Weigh," a new program from Affinity Occupational Health designed to help employees kick-start their healthy lifestyle.

"On My Weigh focuses on long-term weight loss success.  The program empowers participants to follow a personalized action plan they can be confident in," says Mark Geiger, program coordinator.  Read more.
Corporate Wellness Services
Healthy workers are better for your bottom line.  But how do you create - and keep - a healthy workforce?  Affinity Occupational Health answers the call with Corporate Wellness and Preventive Services.  Our program provides a three-pronged solution tailored to your business:

1. Professional consultation - A corporate wellness specialist is assigned to work with your team, leading you through the journey to a healthier, more efficient company.

2. Health-risk assessments (HRAs) - Accurate data means smarter decision-making.  We help collect and analyze valuable information on your employees' health, lifestyle factors and risk profile.

3. Follow-up interventions - Based on your company's specific needs, we design and help implement programs to get your workforce on track toward better health and productivity.

For more details, visit us online.  To speak with an Affinity Occupational Health expert regarding wellness programs, call 1-800-541-0351.
Welcome WebMD
Affinity Occupational Health is excited to announce our new partnership with WebMD!  Beginning in June, we will offer health management tools powered by WebMD, the trusted health resource.  Your employees will have access to:
  • Comprehensive online HRAs, tailored to each person's needs
  • Interactive programs on the key areas of nutrition, exercise, weight management, smoking and stress
  • Personalized resources to help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, back pain and arthritis
  • Message boards on a wide spectrum of health topics. 

See why WebMD can help you provide a seamless wellness program to your employees nationwide.  Leading-edge technology in a fun and engaging platform will keep them coming back for better health and productivity!  For details, read more

Ask the Expert
Brian Harrison
Dr. Brian Harrison, Affinity Occupational Health

Q:  We've been doing health risk appraisals at our company for a while, but participation is low.  It doesn't seem to be going anywhere!  What can we do to boost our HRA numbers?

A:  HRA participation is vital to a wellness program.  But, it isn't an end in itself.  Instead, it is a means to an end.  That is, participation leads to engagement which leads to behavioral change, which ultimately improves the health of the population.  That means getting employees to participate is just one step on the way.  But, it is among the first steps, and the most important.  Read more. 
Have a question for our experts?  Click here.
Try This!
Workplace Wellness Tip
Vending Machine Makeover
Eating Apple
It's 3 p.m.  Lunch was hours ago, and dinner is far from sight.  You're hungry, so you scrounge for spare change and take a walk to the vending machine.  But what awaits you behind the humming glass?  Candy bars?  Chips?  Donuts?  If your workplace is guilty of purveying high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks, it's time for a vending machine makeover.

"One of the simplest things an employer can do to help promote wellness at work is to offer healthy snack options," says Brian Milnarich, manager of Wellness & Preventive Services for Affinity Health System.  Here are some tips:

* Know your organization.  Many people will appreciate having smart choices, but not all employees want to trade their Milky Way for a carton of yogurt.  Begin by stocking your machine with 50 percent healthy options and test the response.  You can modify offerings depending on which items sell best.

* For snacks, opt for items containing no more than 5 grams of fat and 30 grams of carbohydrates.  (Nuts and seeds are exempt from these restrictions due to their heart-health benefits.)  Great choices include non-frosted animal crackers, trail mix, fresh or dried fruit, beef jerky and fat-free popcorn.

* Low-fat milk, water and 100-percent fruit or vegetable juices are best.  Aim for beverages with less than 50 calories per 12 oz. serving.  Be sure to drink water while enjoying your snack. It's not just healthy for you, but it makes you feel more full, too.

* Be positive and non-judgmental.  You're offering options, not acting as the snack police.
Breakfast with the Experts
Join us as Dr. Richard Menet shares insights on:
Infectious Disease in the Workplace
May 14 - St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton
May 21 - Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh

To register, contact Jill Hernandez at (920) 727-8717 or
Quick Links
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Your Affinity Occupational Health Sales Team
Lisa Kogan-Praska, sales and marketing manager for Affinity Occupational Health, enjoys helping local businesses create and maintain a healthy workplace.  She is focused on developing programs and services to fit each client's unique needs.  Lisa has more than 12 years of professional experience in the health care industry, including eight years specializing in occupational health and wellness.  Originally from Oklahoma, Lisa is now an adopted native of the Fox Valley area in which she frequently travels to meet face-to-face with customers.  Lisa and her husband David are the proud parents of 3-year-old Saul.  Beyond the office, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family and scouting for antiques. 

Holly Tomlin, sales and marketing representative for Affinity Occupational Health, enjoys building relationships with clients while finding creative solutions for their needs.  Holly's background includes 12 years of experience in the health care field, with a strong background in employee assistance programs and occupational health.  Holly is a certified massage therapist.  She and her husband Seth are blessed to share their home with two children, Grace and Zeke.  Outside of work, Holly likes to spend time with family and friends, especially when it involves shopping!

To contact Lisa or Holly, call the Affinity Occupational Health office located in Menasha, at 1-800-541-0351, or e-mail or