Health e-News
Brought to you by Affinity Occupational Health
Good health: Good for business
June/July 2010
In This Issue
Colon Cancer - Are Your Employees at Risk?
Are You Ready to Go Smoke-Free?
Pass It On! Stay Healthy on Vacation
Workers' Rehab Has Moved
What's Happening in Health Care?
Are You Well Connected?
Get to Know Our Physicians
Ask the Expert: Smoke-Free Policies
Try This! Drink Up
Meet Our Staff
Welcome, New Providers
Occ Doc in a Box
Colon Cancer - Are Your Employees at Risk?
DoctorAs a business leader, you know prevention is the best medicine when it comes to keeping your workforce healthy.  But are your employees getting the preventive screenings they need, when they need them?  In each edition of Health e-News, we'll highlight a preventive screening that your employees should be aware of, and we'll offer simple ways to encourage your team to take action.
Colonoscopy is the key
Did you know colon cancer is the number two killer in the United States?  It claims more lives each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined.  And, to make matters worse, colon cancer often has no symptoms. 

But that's not the end of the story.  If it's detected early, colon cancer is more than 90 percent treatable.  Colorectal screenings and colonoscopies are vital tools in the fight against cancer.  They're recommended for most people starting at age 50, or earlier for those with high risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer.  Yet some people put off these important tests because they're embarrassed to talk with their doctor, or they're afraid it will be uncomfortable.  According to Affinity gastroenterologist Sudeep Sodhi, MD, only about 50 percent of people get their colonoscopies done on time.  How can you help your employees get the care they need?

Share true stories.  Visit for real stories from local patients.  Click the following links to see You Tube videos of two local radio personalities' actual testimonies on the importance of getting a colonoscopy.  Forwarding these links to employees allows them to consider the value of this screening in a way that's indiscreet and sensitive to their apprehensions.

Bob Burnell (WNAM Radio) - Click here to hear Bob's story.

Kathy Keene (WHBY Radio) - Click here to hear Kathy's story.
Invite a speaker.
  Are you interested in doing a workplace campaign on preventive health?  Affinity's physicians can be available for educational presentations and Q&A with your employees.  Call Affinity Occupational Health at 1-800-541-0351 for more information.
 Are You Ready to Go Smoke-Free?
 E-cigarette is not the answer 
MadisonThe statewide smoking ban kicks in on July 5.  Is your workplace ready?  If your employees are counting on the smokeless, electronic cigarette or "e-cigarette" to get them through the work day, encourage them to think again. 

Brian Harrison, MD, medical director of health and productivity management for Affinity Health System, makes a good case for bypassing the e-cig and instead focusing on the heart of the issue.  Click here for a video of Dr. Harrison's views.

For more information on the statewide smoking band, titled 2009 Wisconsin Act 12, visit or
Stay Healthy on Vacation - Pass It On!
News to share with employees 
Flip-flops, sunglasses, maps, travel games for the kids...  Check!  You're all packed for the family summer vacation.  Nothing could possibly go wrong.  But what if it does?  Here are some tips for staying healthy on vacation - and what to do when an unexpected bug or injury throws a wrench your plans.

Eat smart.  Ok, so you're on vacation - live a little.  But indulging too much in rich foods or big meals can cause an upset stomach, not to mention bumping you off your fitness wagon.  Enjoy the cuisine but opt for at least one healthy meal per day, and choose nutritious snacks such as fruit or nuts.

Stay active.  If your vacation plans involve a lot of driving or beach bumming, aim for a little exercise each day.  Walk the shoreline in the morning, stop for a 20-minute hike at rest areas, swim laps in the hotel pool - there are plenty of ways to stretch your muscles while enjoying the respite.

Drink up.  If you're spending the day foot-peddling through the theme park, you'll need plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.  Keep a bottle of water in your backpack and take frequent sips throughout each hour.  Watch kids for signs of overheating and encourage them to drink often.

Get shot.  Are you planning an overseas trip?  Do your homework on any health alerts or recommended vaccinations.  Affinity's Travel Medicine program can help.  Visit for more details.

Pack a kit.  Keep the following essentials stashed in your car or suitcase:
  • the phone number for your doctor or clinic
  • health insurance cards
  • any medications you take
  • pain relief medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)
  • motion-sickness medicine, such as Dramamine (rollercoasters, anyone?)
  • thermometer
  • band-aids
  • sunscreen.
Map a doc.  Before leaving town, research the location of urgent care facilities in your destination city.  Even if you never need to use it - which chances are you won't - you'll have peace of mind knowing you're prepared.

Click here to print or forward this article to employees.
Workers' Rehab Has Moved
Tour our new facility on June 16

Affinity Occupational Health's Workers' Rehabilitation program has moved to a new location!  On June 1, this specialized program for getting workers safely back in shape and back to work relocated to:

St. Elizabeth Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
East College Avenue Location
N496 Milky Way
Appleton, WI 54915
Milky Way map

Through Affinity's physician-referred Workers' Rehab program, your employees receive personalized care tailored to their work functions and health needs.  Our team includes:
  • doctors with experience in industrial rehabilitation and occupational health
  • occupational and physical therapists
  • vocational rehabilitation counselors
  • psychologists
  • exercise physiologists
Our Workers' Rehab program is certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Open House - See the new facility!
In addition to Workers' Rehab, the new facility provides a full spectrum of services including occupational therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation psychology.  You are invited to tour the new location at a special open house event.

Wednesday, June 16
3 - 6 p.m.

RSVP by calling Affinity NurseDirect at (920) 738-2230 or 1-800-362-9900.  Treats will be provided.  Please join us!
What's Happening in Health Care? 
SunglassesIn your neighborhood and around the globe, here's what's happening in health care this summer.

National Cancer Survivors Day
June 6, 2010
We all know someone affected by cancer.  On June 6, cancer survivors and their loved ones unite to celebrate recovery from this life-changing disease.  For more information, visit the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation web site at

Lightning Safety Week
June 20 - 26, 2010
What would you do if you got caught outside in a lightning storm?  Do you know how to react when your car or home is struck?  Learn more at

UV Safety Month 
July 2010
Summer means sun - and potentially damaging UV rays.  Each July, the American Academy of Ophthalmology hosts UV Safety month to generate awareness of the danger of UV rays to your eye health.  Learn more about sun and vision safety at
Are You Well Connected?

Well Connected is a wellness networking forum for employers, brought to you by the experts at Affinity Occupational Health.  Our goal is to provide employers an opportunity to network while sharing your company's success stories and challenges in creating and maintaining a healthy workplace.  Participation is free and open to anyone interested in worksite wellness. 

Join us!  You're invited to attend the next Well Connected forum:
Corporate Response to the Stress Epidemic
Will Your Business See Success In... The Stress Contest?
STAT HeaderMarket competitors oppose one another like armies on a battlefield.  Throughout military history, victory has gone to the healthiest army.  So, too, in business competition, healthy workforces triumph with lower costs and higher productivity.
Now a stress epidemic erodes employee health, both physical and emotional.  Your "employee army" lives an increasingly stressful life, at work and home.  How will YOU lead them through this storm of stress, more effectively than your competition?  It is no longer enough to provide EAP, wellness, and mental health benefits.  All your competitors have those, too.  What can your organization uniquely give employees to withstand stress and bring you success in The Stress Contest? 

Discussion facilitated by Brian Harrison, MD.  Continental breakfast will be provided. 
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
8 - 9 a.m.

St. Elizabeth Hospital
1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, Wis.
Helen Fowler Conference Center - Conference Room 2
Use the Hospital Main Entrance.  Go up the stairs to conference room 2. 
Free parking is available in the ramp across the street. 

To RSVP for this free event, please contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or
Get to Know Our Physicians
Dr. Sudeep SodhiSudeep Sodhi, MD, is a gastroenterologist with Affinity Medical Group, specializing in personalized care for people with digestive system disorders. 

Dr. Sodhi attended medical school in India before relocating to Philadelphia to complete specialty training in internal medicine, gastroenterology and hepatology.  He has been with Affinity Health System since 2000 and is now pursuing a fellowship in integrative medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil through the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sodhi is very passionate about nutrition and its effects on a person's health and well-being.  He speaks frequently to community and business groups on the importance of maintaining healthy eating habits.  He is also the medical advisor to the Fox Valley Celiacs Support Group, a local organization dedicated to educating and encouraging people diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

"Prevention with better eating and regular exercising is the key to good health (we are what we eat), followed by regular visits to the physician for health care screenings like colonoscopy," Dr. Sodhi says.

Dr. Sodhi lives in north Appleton with his wife and two children.  When he's not busy with work and family, be enjoys reading a variety of books and practicing yoga.

Dr. Sudeep Sodhi's Philosophy of Medicine
"Medicine" is not simply about a set of treatments or remedies - for me, it is much bigger than that. It is about relationships, about harmony, about spirit.

Good medicine brings us into relationship and harmony with self, others and our world: kindness, forgiveness, grace, nourishing the body with healthy foods and exercise. Bad medicine encompasses all that disrupts relationship and harmony: destructive thoughts, abuse (alcohol, drugs, money, power, physical), failing to care for self or for others.

Thus, my treatment philosophy is aimed at helping the individual move towards a life that emphasizes the good and diminishes the bad. It is based upon seeing the individual as a whole human being with a story that is filled with triumphs and failures, joy and heartache, beliefs and attitudes, and a multitude of relationships.

As a doctor, I seek not only to understand the pathology of the disease but also to understand what the illness represents to the person experiencing it. There is no division in my mind between conventional and non-conventional approaches. I hold in my heart and mind that healing is always possible, even when cure is not; thus there is always something that I might offer, something to be shared.
Ask the Expert
Brian Harrison
Brian Harrison, MD,
 Affinity Occupational Health
Q: What changes should I make to our company's smoking policy in order to comply - and succeed - with Wisconsin's smoke-free workplace law?

Wisconsin's smoke-free workplace law will hand all Wisconsin employers a golden opportunity starting July 5, 2010.  But it's not enough!  Wise employers must not stop there!

Because it makes virtually every workplace smoke free, employee medical expenses will drop in both the short- and long-term.  And, workplace productivity will improve.  

Employee cigarette consumption will drop by about a third.  That results from 15 percent of smokers simply stopping altogether.  And those who continue smoking will reduce their cigarette consumption by about 12 percent.  

Productivity improves because smokers will take fewer smoke breaks and need less time away from work to perform "smoking rituals." 

Plus, less tobacco means less absenteeism.  Smokers average three more days absent per year than non-smokers.  And once they stop smoking, their absence improves, reaching the same level as never-smokers within five years.  Likewise, lost productive time at work from smoking-related health problems equals about 2.5 percent of the wages paid to employees who smoke; this, too, gradually returns to normal levels within five years.  

Plus, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) will no longer inflict harm on non-smoking co-workers and visitors to the workplace.  

As welcomed as these improvements are, employers should see an even bigger opportunity.  Wise organizations will "seize the day" in order to more fully free themselves from the costly burden of tobacco they have carried for years.  

I want every employer to succeed by adding three key enhancements to their own company tobacco policies.  I know the importance of these three things based on over 10 years of experience with workplace tobacco control.  The law is great and of course, all employers will gladly follow it.  But the greatest rewards will come to employers who add these three policy items, to bring true success and not merely legal compliance: (Read more.)
Have a question for our experts?  Click here.
Try This!
Workplace Wellness Tip
Drink Up
Hydracoach yellow
It's hot out there!  Are your employees staying hydrated?  Whether your workforce spends the day laboring outdoors or you're hosting a company picnic, summer weather means sweating.  It's important to replenish those fluids before thirst, or worse (heat illness), kicks in.  Encourage workers to consume plenty of water or low-sugar, electrolyte-rich sports drinks on hot days.
Need a little help?  Try the Hydracoach.  It's an interactive water bottle that calculates your hydration needs and tracks your fluid consumption in real-time, helping you keep pace with your H2O.  Affinity Occupational Health can place a direct order of Hydracoach bottles for your employee group.

For more information, contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or
Meet Our Staff
Bob Verkins
Bob Verkins is
a familiar face.  As coordinator of the Affinity Workers' Rehabilitation Program, Bob regularly visits employer sites to get to know his patients' job roles and physical demands.  Then he brings that important vocational information back to his team so the therapists can develop an individualized treatment plan geared toward getting each patient back to his or her specific job. 

Bob has been in his position with Affinity for 22 years and is an expert in vocational assessments.  He holds a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from the University of Wisconsin Stout. 

In addition to on-site job evaluations, Bob orientates all new patients to the Workers' Rehab Program.  He enjoys playing a vital part in helping workers return to work following an injury.
After hours, Bob is an avid bicyclist and tennis player.  He coaches the Appleton East tennis team and is proud to accompany four of his players to the state tournament this month.
Welcome, New Providers
Welcome Mat
Affinity Health System invites you and your employees to experience personalized care from our newest providers. 

Mayumi Cayde Leslie, MD
Family Medicine, Winneconne

Lynn Dahlke, APNP
Family Medicine, Winneconne

Mary Reszczynski, APNP
Family Medicine, Brillion

Samuel Hofman, MD
Pediatrics, Oshkosh

To meet more Affinity providers, visit our online Find a Doctor listing.
Occ Doc in a Box
Want more helpful tips and insight on workplace wellness?  Check out Dr. Harrison's 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
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, or