Health e-News
Brought to you by Affinity Occupational Health
Good health: Good for business
August/September 2008 
Greetings again - I hope you're having a wonderful summer.  Affinity Occupational Health is pleased to continue our Health e-News.  I certainly hope you find information in these pages that can lead to meaningful action in your workplace wellness programs.

In this issue you'll find a new feature we're calling "Pass It On," a short article highlighting mindful topics important to the health, wellness or safety of your employees.  Our first feature addresses infusing physical activity into desk jobs, as well as tips for easing into the back-to-school craziness.  Please "Pass It On" to your staff and, as always, we appreciate your feedback.

We are grateful for the opportunity to partner in your good health.  Please feel free to contact me any time, for any reason, at (920) 727-8710 or

Best regards,
John Weinsheim, Director
In This Issue
Welcome, Dr. Christopher Westra
Effective Drug Testing
Match the Worker to the Job
High Honors for Workers' Rehab
Pass It On!
Ask the Expert: Pre-Placement Exams
Create an Exercise-Friendly Workplace
Meet Our Staff
Welcome, Dr. Christopher Westra
Chris WestraAffinity Occupational Health is pleased to welcome a new physician to our team, Christopher Westra, MD, MPH.  Dr. Westra has worked in the field of occupational medicine since 1993.  He most recently served as the associate medical director and occupational medical director at Kimberly Clark (for the past 10 years).

Dr. Westra is board-certified in internal medicine and occupational medicine.  He earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and holds a master of public health degree from West Virginia University. 

Dr. Westra has a strong passion for preventive health and is an avid athlete himself.  Among many other things, he brings to this team extensive experience in work injury evaluation and preventive health, travel-related illness prevention, executive health and pandemic preparation.  He has been published on a variety of topics including prostate cancer screening, monoclonal antibodies in acute leukemia and lymphoma, and a method of stepwise surgical excision. 

Dr. Westra's primary clinical location will be Oshkosh.  He looks forward to meeting you and your employees as we serve your many occupational health needs.  Please join us in welcoming Dr. Westra to Affinity Occupational Health!  
Effective Drug Testing
cupsThink you don't have drug issues in your workplace?  Think again.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 6 percent of full-time employees and 8 percent of part-time employees are drug users.  Drug abuse costs employers as much as $100 billion a year in lost time, health care, accidents and workers' comp. 

Drug screening can help mitigate this risk.  Follow these tips for getting the most out of your drug testing program.  Read more.

New!  Electronic Drug Screening Results
Get results fast with Affinity's new automated drug testing reports, now available via internet or e-mail for non-DOT testing.  Track drug screens and get negative results within 24 hours.  This paperless reporting service is better for the environment AND enables you to move forward with hiring in a timely manner.  For more information, call us at 1-800-541-0351.
Match the Worker to the Job
WorkerDo you want to reduce your workers' compensation costs?  Better matching of employees to jobs may be the answer. 

Functional Prework Screenings, offered through the Affinity Workers' Rehabilitation Program, are non-discriminatory tests of a person's ability to perform the essential demands of a job.  These screenings help you match employees to the tasks that best suit their strengths.  When workers are given roles that fit their physical abilities, the chances of work-related injuries decrease. 

Functional Prework Screenings are ideal for heavy labor jobs, such as construction, dock or delivery positions.  We design each screening according to the job involved.  Our specialists analyze the job functions, working conditions and protective equipment.  Then we develop a test to assess a person's ability to perform the required duties.

The result: more satisfied employees, fewer injuries and better productivity for your organization.  If a Functional Prework Screening is right for your company, call us at 1-800-541-0351.
High Honors for Workers' Rehab
AwardWhen you do business with the Affinity Worker's Rehabilitation team, you're getting award-winning service.  Accredited by CARF International (the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) since 1990, the Worker's Rehabilitation Program was recently awarded a renewal of the highest level of accreditation granted.  CARF surveyors placed the program among the top 3 percent nationwide, identifying no recommendations for improvement - "an extraordinary accomplishment," according to Brian J. Boon, PhD, president and CEO of CARF International.

Moreover, the Workers' Rehabilitation team was recently recognized among its peers with a "Circle of Excellence" award from Ministry Health Care, one of Affinity Health System's sponsoring organizations.  Cited for demonstrating continuous improvement in quality and customer service, the team was honored for consistently meeting their goal of returning injured workers to gainful employment as soon and as safely as possible. 

Congratulations to the Affinity's Workers' Rehabilitation Program for these remarkable achievements!
Pass It On!
News to share with employees 
Brian HarrisonGet More Exercise on the Job
Got your bottom glued to the chair?  Inactivity can lead to headaches, back aches and brain drain.  If your job requires long hours of sitting, try these tips for adding a boost of fitness to your day:

-- Set an alarm every hour reminding you to get up and move around.  Just standing up, stretching and waving your arms will help you feel more alert.

-- Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair.  They're great for toning the abs and improving posture.

-- Use the restroom on a different floor or across the building.  Extra steps add up.

-- Deliver documents in person instead of by inter-office mail.

-- Lift dumbbells while on the phone.  Water bottles or soup cans work just as well.

-- Going out for lunch?  Choose a restaurant within walking distance, or go to the mall food court and park farthest from the door.

-- Walking clubs aren't just for lunch hours.  Why not arrive 20 minutes early and start the day with a brisk stroll?

-- Suggest standing or walking meetings.  Be creative!  Any extra movement is a bonus.

Click here to print or forward this article to employees.

Chalk BoardTips for a Smooth "Back to School" Transition
Backpacks - check.  #2 pencils - check.  An ice pack for the headaches brought on by back-to-school craziness - check.  The start of a new school year can be exciting and stressful for both kids and parents.  Bob Carroll, Affinity EAP counselor, offers the following tips for easing into the swing of things:

-- Schedule routine medical, eye, and dentist appointments before the school year starts.  If you have concerns about your child's physical or emotional health, address them with your family doctor.

-- Read all information sent from school to make sure no important details are missed. If the parents are separated or divorced, make sure both parents get the information.  

-- Attend helpful "see the classroom" or "meet the teacher" events prior to the first day of school.  These can give the kids (and mom and dad) a chance to get comfortable with their new environment.

-- Buy school supplies early.  Find out if your child's school has a dress code, and take time to buy new clothes when you're not in a rush.

-- Gradually transition the kids' schedule and activities back to school mode.  Cut back on TV or video games and encourage more reading.  One week prior to the start of school, set the alarm to wake on school time, and shift bedtime to an appropriate hour for your child.

-- Designate specific areas of the house for backpacks and homework.

-- Prepare and freeze some meals ahead of time.  During the first busy days of the new school routine, you'll be grateful for a quick and easy family dinner - and you won't resort to fast food.

-- When your child expresses concerns or fears, don't overreact.  Remain calm, get the facts, and assure your child that you care.  Keep a positive attitude.

-- Get to know your child's teacher.  Consider volunteering at school.

-- Take pictures!  These days go by so fast.  Enjoy your kids while they're still under your roof!

Click here to print or forward this article to employees.

Ask the Expert
Dr. Menet - 75
Dr. Richard Menet, Affinity Occupational Health

Q: What are the most effective pre-placement exams for new hires?

A: The purpose of pre-placement exams (formerly known as pre-employment exams) is to ensure a person does not have any medical conditions that may be significantly aggravated by the job duties or that may adversely affect the health and safety of other workers.  Pre-placement exams can also be valuable to employers in complying with OSHA standards and establishing a baseline for workplace wellness programs. 

The key factors in any pre-placement exams are the employee's health and the essential functions of the job.  Therefore, the physician conducting the exam must have a thorough understanding of the job duties and the work environment.  Which exams to choose depends on the industry and specific job duties involved. In some cases, when workers are exposed to substances regulated by OSHA standards - such as asbestos - medical evaluation and testing are mandatory.  Read more
Have a question for our experts?  Click
Try This!
Workplace Wellness Tip
Create an Exercise-Friendly Workplace
Want your employees to get in shape?  Transform your workplace into an exercise-friendly zone.  Here are some ideas for making fitness a part of the daily job.
Join the club.  Provide gym memberships or discounts as part of the employee benefits package.
Ban the board room.  For small groups, conduct walking meetings outdoors or through the halls.
Have a ball.  Offer exercise balls as an alternative to chairs.  Keep a supply in the closet for workers to use throughout the day, or swap out chairs for exercise balls at the weekly staff meeting.
Step it up.  Form a lunch hour walking club.  Hold a pedometer contest in which employees keep track of their steps and earn rewards at certain milestones.
Sport your logo.  Encourage employees to form a community softball or golf league and provide team shirts.  It's a great way to promote your business while supporting employee wellness.
Be flexible.  Offer flex time to employees who want to take a break from the work day to go to the gym.
Bring in the experts.  Affinity's wellness specialists can conduct seminars, body fat testing and other health services at your workplace.  Call us at 1-800-541-0351 for more details.
Meet Our Staff
C Davison
Colleen Davison, the controlled substance testing compliance specialist for Affinity Occupational Health, manages federal and nonfederal drug and alcohol testing programs for businesses throughout Wisconsin.  Much of her time is spent consulting with companies about federal regulations, addressing controlled substance testing policies and protocols in the work place. 
Colleen has ten years of experience working with the Department of Transportation Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations.  She is a certified Breath Alcohol Testing Trainer (BAT), a member of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), and a board member for the Fox Cities Safety Council.

When she is not working, Colleen enjoys playing golf for the Affinity Ladies' Golf League, traveling and boating with friends and family.  
For more information on drug testing services, call Affinity Occupational Health at 1-800-541-0351.
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Your Affinity Occupational Health Sales Team
Lisa Kogan-Praska, sales and marketing manager for Affinity Occupational Health, focuses 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. 

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. 

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