Health e-News
Brought to you by Affinity Occupational Health
 
Good health: Good for business
Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010
In This Issue
Winter Parking Lot Safety
Pass It On! Healthy Holiday Recipes
What's Happening in Health Care?
GINA Update
Ask the Expert: Hard Times for the Holidays
Try This! Holiday Season Volunteering
Meet Our Staff
Occ Doc in a Box
Winter Parking Lot Safety
 
Snowy carAh, winter.  The warm cozy fires, the sparkling holiday lights, the first fresh flakes of snow... followed by a foot of the nasty stuff that doesn't seem to let up until June.  As employers, we need to ensure the safety of our staff and customers in the midst of snow-piled parking lots and ice-glazed sidewalks.  Here are some handy tips for avoiding winter wonderland injuries.

Be Heart (and Muscle) Smart - Not every business's budget covers professional snow removal.  If shoveling and plowing duties fall to a staff member, make sure he or she is in good enough shape to handle the physical activity.  Poor ergonomics or overexertion can lead to muscle strain and even heart attacks.  Instruct shovelers to push the snow in front of them and lift with the legs, not the back.

Be Salt and Light - Keep steps and walkways well-lit and clear of ice and snow.  Sprinkle rock salt or sand to melt what the shovel missed.  Maintain an ample supply of de-icing compounds on site.

Stick with It - Never leave a snow blower or snow plow unattended.  Make sure all people are out of the path of the blowing snow, and if the blower becomes stuck with packed ice or snow, NEVER try to clear it by putting your hand in the machine while it's running.

Lend a Glove - Keep a few shovels, ice scrapers, gloves and boots on hand for employees who are caught unaware.  One Wisconsin employer recalls a new employee from South Carolina resorted to using his briefcase to shovel snow from his tires when a daytime snowstorm left the workers' cars steeped in six inches of the chilly white stuff.  Encourage staff to keep their cars equipped with snow- and ice-removal tools for the drive home from work, but for those who don't, a little planning on your part will ensure safety and spare a perfectly good briefcase from permanent water damage.
Healthy Holiday Recipes - Pass It On!
News to share with employees 
  Eggnog
Looking for ways to indulge in traditional holiday fare without sabotaging your healthy habits?  Try these tasty versions of old favorites.
 
Egg-free Eggnog
Minus the fat, sugar and alcohol, this eggnog is easy and kid-friendly!

11 cups cold skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 packages (1 oz. each) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
Alternative sweetener (such as Splenda) equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar
tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine the milk and vanilla in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry pudding mix, sweetener and nutmeg.  Whisk into milk mixture until smooth.  Refrigerate until serving.  Makes 12 cups.

Nutrition per one-cup serving: 105 calories, 408 mg sodium, 4 mg cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein, trace fat.

Source: Taste of Home.com

Chex MixGluten-Free Cinnamon Cranberry Chex Mix
Saying no to wheat?  No problem!  This party favorite is easy on the tummy and the tastebuds.

6 cups Cinnamon Chex cereal
1 cup walnut halves
cup packed brown sugar
cup frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
cup sweetened dried cranberries

In a large microwaveable bowl, mix cereal and walnuts; set aside.  In a separate 2-cup microwaveable bowl or measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and oil on high for 1 minute; stir.  Microwave about 1 minute longer, stirring after 30 seconds, until mixture is hot.  Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.  Microwave uncovered on high 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.  Stir in cranberries.  Spread on waxed paper to cool.  Store in a tightly covered container.  Makes 8 cups.

Nutrition per 1/2-cup serving: 190 calories, 7 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 30 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein.

Source: Chex.com

Click here to print or forward this article to employees.
What's Happening in Health Care? 
 
Christmas treeIn your neighborhood and around the globe, here's what happening in health care this holiday season.

Love Lights
Monday, Dec. 7
St. Elizabeth Hospital's annual Love Lights event is an opportunity to honor loved ones who have passed.  Participants are invited to share their memories in a tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the hospital.  An informal reception with refreshments will follow.

Love lights will shine on the evergreens throughout the month, and names of those honored will be displayed in the hospital lobby through Dec. 18.  A minimum gift of $5 is requested per light.  Proceeds will benefit the St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteers Scholarship Fund.

For more information, call the St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer department at (920) 738-2425. 

National Hand Washing Awareness Week
Dec. 6-12, 2009
Wash those paws!  Hand washing is the single most important weapon against spreading colds and flu, and what better time to be reminded than during this season of "germ media" attention.

For more information and resources to share with kids, visit Henry the Hand's web site at http://www.henrythehand.com/pages/content/hwaw.html

Glaucoma Awareness Month
January 2010
When was the last time you had your eyes checked?  Regular eye exams are part of a good preventive health routine.  Not only do they assess and correct vision problems, but they detect early signs of glaucoma and other potentially serious eye diseases.   For more information, visit Prevent Blindness America at http://preventblindness.org/.
GINA Update
 
Genes
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers and health plans from discriminating based on genetic information, including information pertaining to family history or genetic testing. In response to this new legislation, as of Nov. 19, 2009, Affinity Occupational Health will no longer include questions pertaining to family history on our health risk assessment questionnaires (HQ) provided through our partnership with WebMD. We will also be adding a statement to our HQ to inform participants that we do not ask questions regarding family history. We currently do not share any family history data with our client companies, and it is not a component of our aggregate report. This data has only been used in the past to provide participants with information regarding their overall risk profile.

In consulting with our clients, we take great care assisting them with designing and implementing wellness programs that correspond with applicable federal and state guidelines. While family history information is not a component of the incentive programs or scorecards that we have implemented with our clients, we encourage you to contact your legal counsel should you have any questions regarding your company's compliance with GINA in regard to your incentive and/or mandated wellness programs.

Please feel free to contact Lisa Kogan-Praska, sales and marketing manager for Affinity Occupational Health, if you would like additional information or assistance.  Lisa can be reached at lpraska@affinityhealth.org or (920) 628-1531. 

We appreciate your continued partnership with Affinity Occupational Health and look forward to a healthy New Year!
Breakfast with the Experts
 
STAT HeaderKeeping Your Wellness Program Within Legal Parameters
Presented by attorney Bob Simandl 
 
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010
7:30 - 9:30 a.m.


Bridgewood Resort and Conference Center
1000 Cameron Way
Neenah, Wis.

To register for this free seminar, contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or tadavis@affinityhealth.org.
Ask the Expert
Kathleen Schiltz
Kathleen Schiltz, MS,
 EAP Counselor,
 Affinity Occupational Health
 
Q:  How can I be sensitive to those around me who are having a hard time during the holidays (due to financial or family stress, grief, etc.)?

A:  The holidays are full of expectations. Too often we're focused on what the season is "supposed to be," and we try to do too much.  Sometimes we stretch outside of our emotional, physical and/or financial means.  For someone who is grieving or experiencing hard times, this can be especially true.  If you have the opportunity to be supportive, reach out!  Let your loved one know that you are aware of their potential difficulty and would like to be supportive.  Start by listening with your heart, without judgment.  Put yourself in their shoes and don't worry too much about fixing their problem.  Sometimes, a simple "I'm sorry you're experiencing that" will do.  Let them know you are willing to help in whatever way they need, and let them communicate their needs to you.  The best gift you can give is an open heart and a helping hand.  If your loved one prefers to be alone, that's ok, but let them know that you care and that you'll be there when they decide to reconnect.  For more information or help, contact your EAP.
 
Have a question for our experts?  Click here.
Try This!
Workplace Wellness Tip
Holiday
Season Volunteering
Bell
'Tis the season for giving!  This year, instead of the usual office gift exchange or department after-hours cocktail party, why not rally employees around a good cause?  It's a great way to build team morale while boosting the spirits of people in need this Christmas season. 

Salvation Army Bell Ringers - All it takes is a couple hours of your time and a friendly smile to encourage store patrons to support year-round programs by donating to this annual charity drive.

Adopt-a-Family - Love to shop?  Fill your cart with gifts and necessities for needy families in our area, or volunteer to sort and distribute packages.

Fill Their Plates - Several agencies and churches in our area need volunteers to serve holiday meals.

Party People - Many organizations invite volunteers to help with annual holiday parties for at-risk youth, seniors or disabled residents. 

Crafty Christmas - Volunteers are needed to make hospital tray favors, knit hats and mittens or paint festive faces for children, to name just a few.   

For a complete list of volunteer opportunities available throughout our communities, and information on how to get involved, visit www.1-800-volunteer.org to download a holiday guide.
Meet Our Staff
Todd Repp
Todd Repp has been with Affinity Occupational Health for 11 years.  Functioning as coordinator of clinical operations for the Menasha location, his role involves many responsibilities including provider and staff scheduling, coordinating on-site services, and staff supervision.  Customer service is Todd's main focus, assisting internal and external clients and employees on a daily basis.  During peak service times, you will also find Todd in the clinic assisting with patient care, drug screening and reception duties.
 
Life-long residents of Oshkosh, Todd and his wife Brenda enjoy cooking and entertaining with friends and family.  Todd is also an accomplished pianist.  He accompanies the Oshkosh Choraliers (a community choir) as well as spends many weekends serving as church organist and handbell choir director at First English Lutheran in Oshkosh.
Occ Doc in a Box
Want more helpful insight from Dr. Harrison?  Check out his blog, "Occ Doc in a Box," which focuses on topics relevant to the health and safety of your workforce.  Click here to follow it today.
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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 13 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 13 years of experience in the health care field, with a strong background in employee assistance programs and occupational health. 

Tammy Davis, customer account liaison for Affinity Occupational Health, provides immediate response to customer service requests.  She works closely with Lisa and Holly to coordinate educational programs and provide clients with valuable services information.  Tammy has 13 years of experience in marketing, sales and customer service.

To contact Lisa, Holly or Tammy, call the Affinity Occupational Health office located in Menasha, at 1-800-541-0351, or e-mail  lpraska@affinityhealth.org, htomlin@affinityhealth.org or tadavis@affinityhealth.org