Got your shades on? Grab a tall glass of iced tea because in this edition of Health e-News, we're talking all about summer. Picnics, sports, vacations, working in the heat and more - we're here to keep you healthy in the dog days of July and beyond.
As always, we encourage you to pass along the news to your team. The employee version of this month's newsletter can be found at: http://conta.cc/N4jtZZ
From all of us at Affinity Occupational Health, we value the opportunity to partner with you in building healthier workplaces. Thanks for reading!
Lead Employer Health & Wellness Consultant
Affinity Occupational Health
|Making Time for Vacation
Remember summer vacation? Many employees struggle to take time off. This isn't healthy for anybody, says Affinity EAP counselor Kadihjia Kelly.
"People have this thought that if they leave for a couple days, they'll just come back to more work," Kadihjia says. Consequently, they skip vacation time, forge ahead on the job, and eventually become burnt out and less productive. This harms employees and the company they work for.
The Employer's Role
Employers can prevent this pitfall with two important steps. First, Kadihjia says, "I tell companies they need to start cross-training so folks know what other folks do. So when someone does take off, there's somebody else to fill the void."
And second, stop sending mixed signals. "Most companies don't understand the message they're sending. They say they offer this vacation benefit, but they don't make it easy or encourage people to use it." Kadihjia advises employers to build a culture that supports vacation time--then stand by it. "If employers can relate that there won't be retaliation for taking time off, it can lead to better rested, more focused employees, and more productivity."
Unplugged and Present
Of course, vacation doesn't just benefit the employer. For the employee, it makes a huge impact on personal well-being and family ties, especially for people who are easily consumed by work. "If we do not take time off, we miss those moments with our families. It's really necessary to take time off once in a while so you're 100 percent present in those relationships," Kadihjia says.
In order to reap the benefits of vacation, Kadihjia advises people to turn off work--literally. No cell phones, no e-mail. "Yes, it might create some anxiety to not know what's going on at work. That's why it's key that folks put things in place beforehand so they'll be better able to turn off," she says. "Prep better for the vacation, and you'll be able to enjoy it."
Affinity EAP counsels individuals and families on a variety of emotional health issues related to stress, relationships, work concerns, substance abuse, grief, financial and legal concerns, and more. For more information, call us at 1-800-894-9327.
|Expert Care for Weekend Warriors |
They're sitting at desks, standing in production lines, and sweating on construction sites. They are the employee athletes--good sports who sign up for the company 5K or softball team and give it their all. So what happens when they're injured--not on the job, but in the employer-sponsored game or training run? Who will care for them?
Affinity will. Our Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine team is comprised of licensed athletic trainers and physicians, working side-by-side to treat sports-related injuries. "We take a holistic approach to the athlete," says Kerrie Linsmeyer, licensed athletic trainer for Affinity Health System. "Our specialty is to keep in mind how and why the athlete got hurt, how it affects the mind and body, and how to safely yet gradually return to play."
Affinity's licensed athletic trainers focus in a variety of areas, including gait analysis, strength and conditioning, speed and performance, and ergonomics. Many of the team members hold certifications in these specialties.
Kerrie points out that Affinity's Sports Medicine experts are also athletes, so they can relate on a personal level to how an injury affects the mind, spirit and body.
The Latest Treatment
Our Sports Medicine team stays on top of new treatments available to care for sports injuries. One of the latest techniques is ultrasound-guided injection, which uses ultrasound technology to safely and accurately locate injuries of the muscles, tendons and joints. Doctors can aspirate or inject medicine directly into the affected areas, using smaller needles, which means more comfortable, effective treatment.
Did you know? Your organization can hire Affinity's licensed athletic trainers to cover weekend tournaments or other sporting events. For more information, call us at 1-800-541-0351.
|Food Safety at Company Picnics |
Is your company planning a summer picnic? These are great opportunities for socializing and building morale, but they also increase the risk of food poisoning. Here's how to dine safely outdoors.
- Wash hands before, during, and after preparing food, and always before eating. If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizing wipes or gel.
- Keep coolers, utensils and serving plates clean.
- Scrub your grill with hot, soapy water before throwing on the burgers.
- Use a meat thermometer. Cooking to the right temperature kills bacteria without making the meat tough. Proper temps are:
- Burgers - 160 degrees
- Poultry - 170-180 degrees
- Steaks and chops - 145-170 degrees
- Brats or hot dogs - 165 degrees
- Seafood - until it flakes.
- Don't throw cooked meat back on the same plate you used for the raw stuff. Reserve one platter for raw meat, and a different platter for the cooked meat.
- Nestle salad dishes, dairy products and beverages in buckets of ice. In hot weather, do not keep perishable food out longer than one hour.
Tips for packing a cooler:
- Start with cold food. Do not use the cooler to chill your food. Aim to refrigerate food overnight before transferring it to the cooler.
- Pack your cooler with bags of ice or ice packs. Keep the lid sealed as much as possible.
- Set raw meat on the bottom so leaking juices can't drip onto other food.
- Transport the cooler in an air-conditioned car. Once you arrive at your destination, store the cooler beneath a shade tree if possible.
- Bring plenty of moist sanitizing wipes to use while cooking and before eating.
|Try This! Workplace Wellness Tip |Turn Your Company Picnic Into a Wellness Fair
It's company picnic time! Want to add some extra flair to your event this year? Consider making it a wellness festival! Affinity can help you plan fun activities such as healthy cooking demonstrations, sports challenges, exhibits, and more. Call Tammy Davis for more information at (920) 628-1532.
|Working in the Heat |
Sweating, anybody? So far our Midwest summer has delivered some sweltering hot days, with temps in the 80s to 90s and high humidity. It's perfect weather--for swimming. Not so much for working outside, which thousands of workers in Wisconsin do every day. Here are some tips for preventing heat illness on the job, from Affinity Occupational Health physician Charles Capasso, MD.
The body maintains a consistent internal temperature by sweating and increasing blood flow to the skin. When high temps, hot sun and humidity enter the mix, the body's ability to regulate itself can become compromised. This is especially true when a job demands intense physical activity, either outdoors or in a building without air conditioning.
There are three important types of heat illness to remember: fainting; heat exhaustion (weakness, headache, nausea); and heat stroke, a medical emergency in which a person can become delirious, unconscious or suffer seizures. If you suspect heat stroke, call 911 immediately.
Prevent heat illness by taking these steps:
- Encourage workers to drink plenty of cool water, about one cup every 15 to 20 minutes, even if they're not thirsty. Avoid beverages that can dehydrate the body, such as coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks and, of course, alcohol.
- Help workers adjust to the heat by assigning a lighter workload and longer rest periods for the first five to seven days of intense heat exposure. Start the process over again when the worker returns from vacation or is absent for two weeks or more.
- Encourage workers to wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Workers should change their clothes if they get completely saturated.
- Use general ventilation and spot cooling at points of high heat production. Good airflow helps sweat evaporate and cools the skin.
- Train supervisors and first aid workers to recognize and treat signs of heat illness, and make sure all employees know who is trained to provide aid. Allow employees to interrupt work if they become extremely uncomfortable.
- Consider a worker's health and physical condition - is he or she fit to work in hot environments? Obese or out-of-shape workers, pregnant women and anyone getting inadequate sleep are more susceptible to heat stress.
- Alternate work and rest periods with rest stops in a cooler area. Short, more frequent work-rest cycles are best. Schedule heavy work for cooler times of the day and use appropriate protective clothing.
- Monitor temperature, humidity and workers' response to heat at least hourly.
For people working outdoors, extra precautions are recommended:
- Wear protective clothing that does not transmit visible light.
- Frequently apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher.
- Wear broad-brimmed hats that protect the face, ears and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.
- Seek shade, if possible, when the sun's intensity is at its peak.
- Beware of signs and symptoms of skin cancers and see a doctor if an unusual skin change occurs.
|Have You Met Our Connection Specialist? |
We recently welcomed Sarah Jedlicka to the Affinity Occupational Health team, in the newly created role of Affinity Connection Specialist. Sarah is here to serve you, to connect you to personalized care, and to act as your organization's liaison for all things Affinity. There is no charge for the Affinity Connection Specialist's services!
Have you met Sarah yet? What are you waiting for? She is available to come on site to provide the following services:
- Set up a booth to meet and greet your employees with a variety of information on Affinity's services
- Provide information on Affinity Medical Home and our specialty providers
- Answer questions about which providers are taking new patients
- Meet one-on-one with employees to provide a concierge-level service to help them find a physician
- Sarah can even help employees set up their first appointment.
To schedule a time for Sarah to visit your workplace, please call Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532.
|Fall Program Planning |
Fall planning is underway! Looking for something new to boost your wellness game plan this fall and winter? Affinity Occupational Health experts have plenty of ideas for getting your employees motivated and healthy.
Have you considered...
- On-site healthy cooking demonstrations
- Lunch and Learn presentations
- Can the Soda incentive program
- Don't Gain, Maintain holiday challenge
- Pedometer rewards
- On-site nurse practitioner services
- And much, much more!
For ideas, call Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or Holly Tomlin at (920) 628-1530. We can help customize the right mix of wellness programs and services for your workforce.
|What's Happening at Affinity?
|20th Annual Women's Golf & Luncheon Benefit
Join the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation on Monday, August 6 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Butte des Morts Country Club! Our annual Women's Golf & Luncheon Benefit features a silent auction, raffles, golf or games. This ladies-only event has something for everyone! Don't golf? BYOB (Bring Your Own Boa) and play Bunco! Come for all or part of the day.
To register, visit our web page
Proceeds will support and equip a new Mother Baby Family room in the renovated St. Elizabeth Hospital BirthPlace unit. This new concept in post-partum care allows the new mom and her family to recover in a quiet area separate from the labor and delivery area. The suite offers the mom a larger bed and the family a pull-out sleeping couch and chair for the family to stay with their newest member. The golf benefit will assist the Foundation's "It's Personal-Continuing Our Caring Commitment" capital campaign in raising the target goal of $6M for St. Elizabeth Hospital. Visit the Golf Homepage
to learn more!Grand Raffle:
Win one of two great prizes! Purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win either a trip for four to Disney World or the Sports Package, which includes a suite for 14 at the Brewers vs. Cubs game and two Packer tickets! To purchase tickets, contact Becca Kavanaugh at (920) 831-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Tickets are $20 each or three for $50. The drawing will be held on August 6, 2012. You need not be present to win.
|Holiday Urgent Care
The 4th of July brings fun and festivities--and potential health hazards. Affinity Urgent Care clinics are open for the holiday! For minor fireworks burns, poison ivy, sprained ankles, or a variety of other picnic or camping-related injuries, we are here to care for you and get you quickly and safely back to the party.
Appleton - Richmond Street Urgent Care
Caring for adults and children
3329 N. Richmond St.
Open July 4, 7:30 a.m. to noon
Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to noon
Oshkosh - Koeller Street Urgent Care
Caring for adults and children
1855 S. Koeller St.
Open July 4, 7:30 a.m. to noon
Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to noon
Neenah - Lincoln Street Adult Walk-in Care
Caring for adults only
411 Lincoln St.
Open July 4, 8 a.m. to noon
Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to noon
For more information, visit us online at:
|Your Affinity Occupational Health Sales Team Holly Tomlin
, lead employer health and wellness consultant for Affinity Occupational Health, enjoys building relationships with clients while finding creative solutions for their needs. Holly's background includes 15 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 Holly and Riley to coordinate educational programs and provide clients with valuable services information. Tammy has 14 years of experience in marketing, sales and customer service.
To contact Holly or Tammy, call the Affinity Occupational Health office located in Menasha, at 1-800-541-0351, or e-mail email@example.com