Health e-News
November 2012
Caring for the Caregiver
Tackling Turkey Dinner
Great American Smokeout
Workplace Wellness Tip: Peer Gratitude Lists
What's Happening at Affinity?
Breakfast With the Experts
Quick Links

November is a month filled with special health observances, including American Diabetes Month, National Family Caregivers Month, and the Great American Smokeout. All of this adds up to one important goal: improving your long-term health.


At Affinity, we're committed to building healthier workforces, families and communities. This edition of Health e-News examines long-term health from a variety of angles, including caring for aging parents, quitting tobacco, and facing that Thanksgiving dinner with moderation in mind.


We encourage you to share this information with your employees. Their version of this month's newsletter can be found at:

From all of us at Affinity Occupational Health, we are THANKFUL for the opportunity to partner with you! 

Holly Tomlin

Lead Employer Health & Wellness Consultant

Affinity Occupational Health

CaregiverCaring for the Caregiver
By Kadihjia Kelly, Affinity EAP counselor

Are you caring for an aging parent or disabled family member? You're not alone. 16 million Americans today provide care for loved ones who are no longer able to take care of themselves. This growing family need can often become a source of stress, affecting your relationships, your job, finances, and your emotional well-being. Affinity's EAP counselors encourage all caregivers to prevent burnout by taking care of yourself first.

Establish limits. Rotate priorities and communicate your limits.

Recognize your own needs--and meet them. Do you need a couple hours away? Do you need someone to help cover a doctor's appointment? Maybe you need visiting in-home care or a friend to rake the lawn or shop for groceries. Whatever the need, don't be afraid to ask--and be specific. Asking for help does not mean failure on your end. Then be flexible with others who are helping out. You're in this together.

Be aware of pathological stress. Watch for signs that caregiving may be stretching you too thin. These may include emotional or physical exhaustion, marital or family problems, alcohol or drug misuse, conflict among life roles, physical breakdown and health problems, isolation, extreme anger or frustration or feelings of being irreplaceable.

As with any stressors in life, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint when the stress began; however, the sooner we identify the stressors, the sooner we are able to take the steps towards eliminating most of them.

If you need help sorting through your caregiving stress, talk with your EAP counselor.
Turkey DinnerTackling Turkey Dinner 

Mashed potatoes. Cornbread. Sweet potato pie--yum! How do we enjoy Thanksgiving without getting stuffed like a turkey? Here are some friendly tips from Affinity's wellness experts.

1. Be physically active! The best way to compensate for eating a little more than usual is to be active. Start a new tradition that involves moving around--and away from the food. Ideas include taking a walk with the whole family or playing Frisbee, soccer, or touch football with your children, grandchildren, or the neighborhood kids.

2. Nibble on snacks while you are cooking or waiting to eat. You can curb your appetite on healthy munchies before the big dinner so you won't over-eat those rich dishes. Bring a platter of raw or blanched veggies with your favorite low-calorie dip, or have a few small pieces of low-fat cheese. Don't indulge on high-calorie or fried appetizers.

3. Make selective food choices. Many traditional Thanksgiving foods are high in carbohydrates: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and other desserts. Don't feel like you have to sample everything on the table. Have a reasonable portion of your favorites, and pass on the rest. For example, if stuffing is your favorite, pass on rolls. Choose either sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes. If you really want to try everything, make your portions smaller.

Contact Affinity Wellness and Prevention at (920) 628-1532 for a free turnkey "Maintain, Don't Gain Over the Holidays" program.

CalendarPlan to Quit! Great American Smokeout 

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers and their support people are invited to participate in the Great American Smokeout.

On November 15, the American Cancer Society is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout, a date to invite all smokers to quit for good, and to raise awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco.

"Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the U.S., and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes. Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help."
--From the American Cancer Society website,

Affinity has a solution. Our Call It Quits tobacco cessation program offers a telephone-based counseling service or classroom support for people who are ready to become tobacco-free.

The Call It Quits classroom program will help you assess your tobacco habit, identify triggers, and develop a personalized plan. Classes are led by a tobacco cessation counselor, and they provide a supportive group of fellow participants who will cheer you on toward your common goal.

Phone support is FREE to anyone in the Fox Cities or Oshkosh. It can be used alone or as a follow-up to the classroom program.

When you call, a Call It Quits counselor will ask you a series of questions and help you decide your next steps.  The counselor will:
  • assess your smoking or tobacco habit
  • discuss your readiness to quit
  • help you develop a personalized plan to quit
  • send you a free educational packet to assist you in the process
  • provide you with support.
Why telephone counseling?
  • Privacy and confidentiality: Only you and the counselor will know you are trying to stop.
  • Convenience: You can call from your home, work, car, or any other place.
For more information or to register for Call It Quits, click here.

ListTry This! Workplace Wellness Tip:

Peer Gratitude Lists

By Kelly Kelderman, wellness account specialist
In a healthy work environment, people are willing to lend a hand. One way to cultivate this mutual cooperation is through "peer gratitude lists." Have employees make lists of why they are grateful for each other. Set up a paper with each employee's name at the top, pin it up outside that person's office or cubicle, and have co-workers write down anything for which they are grateful about the named person. You can either do this as a one-time activity or have a running log hanging up all the time. Reading these comments can help employees feel more appreciated, and more willing to help one another out.
Neenah ClinicWhat's Happening at Affinity?
New Neenah Clinic Opens This Month
Welcome to Main Street! Affinity Medical Group is pleased to announce our new clinic at 101 Main Street in Neenah is opening to patients this month. This newly constructed, modern facility in the heart of scenic downtown replaces our long-standing clinic on Lincoln Street. Here are some dates to remember:

Nov. 8--Last day Lincoln Street clinic will be open.

Nov. 10--Affinity Medical Group Neenah clinic Urgent Care opens (101 Main Street). Urgent Care welcomes adults and children!
Urgent Care hours are: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon. Closed some holidays.

Nov. 12--Affinity Medical Group Neenah clinic primary and specialty care opens.

The new clinic is our latest Medical Home for primary and specialty care, including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Urology, Neurology, Podiatry, and Urgent Care.

We're dedicated to caring for your long-term health. To schedule an appointment, call (920) 727-4200.

NewbornIntroducing St. Elizabeth Hospital's New Postpartum Unit
The St. Elizabeth Hospital BirthPlace staff is excited to invite you to visit our newly renovated Postpartum Unit, opening to patients on Monday, Dec. 3. Here, moms, their newborns and families can enjoy a peaceful and private recovery from labor and delivery. Enjoy a spa-like atmosphere offering an innovative level of comfort and amenities, including a double bed with memory foam, remote control blinds, a cordless phone, on-demand movies and a spa tub.

Come see for yourself!
Open House - Public Welcome
Saturday, Dec. 1
2 - 5 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton
Cereal with blueberriesBreakfast With the Experts


Non-Surgical Help for Orthopaedic Conditions: Handy, affordable, low-tech options you and your employees should know
Presented by Brian Harrison, MD
Medical director of Health and Productivity Management
Affinity Health System

Wednesday, Nov. 7
7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Bridgewood Resort and Conference Center
1000 Cameron Way, Neenah

Joint replacements, back surgeries, and shoulder procedures account for a large and growing share of corporate medical costs. Orthopaedic surgery for musculoskeletal conditions like these strain disability, worker comp, and employee out-of-pocket funds, too. And in your company's ultra-competitive "Lean Redesigned" production systems, musculoskeletal presenteeism costs may climb!

Yet most often, these surgeries are elective. The employee can choose the timing of the procedure. In fact, non-surgical options make these surgeries avoidable, in some cases. 

This presentation will show how employers and employees alike can optimize the value of every dollar spent on these painful and costly problems. Learn practical ways to promote these neglected alternatives, including Self Care, Musculoskeletal Wellness Programs, Behavioral Health Pain Management, Best Use of Over-The-Counter Remedies, Perspectives on Pain v. Distress, Decision Support, Health Coaching, and Expectation Management.

To register for this free seminar, contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or
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. As a certified massage therapist, Holly has a special interest in educating others on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, including wellness and prevention initiatives. 

Tammy Davis, employer health and wellness consultant for Affinity Occupational Health, provides corporate clients with valuable information regarding services offered through Affinity Occupational Health. She works closely with clients to determine their specific needs for health and wellness services. Tammy has a bachelor's degree in business administration from UW Oshkosh and over 20 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 or