Health e-News
October 2013
New Director Named
Boost Morale With Employee Recognition
Identifying Troubled Employees
Warning Signs of Stress
The Power of Laugher in the Workplace
Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training
Breakfast With the Experts
Quick Links

October is Depression Awareness Month, and Affinity Occupational Health is committed to equipping employers and employees to recognize and heal symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress - both in the workplace and at home. 


Read about how to identify stress signs, the power of laugher in your workplace, how simple employee recognition programs can boost morale, and more.

Please pass along this valuable information to your employees. Their version of this month's newsletter is available at:

To your good health, 

Linda Hale-Graves

Director, Wellness and Employer Solutions

Affinity Health System

Welcome Linda Hale-Graves as Director of Affinity Occupational Health 

We are pleased to announce Linda Hale-Graves has been named director of Affinity Occupational Health. Linda contributes 25 years of experience in occupational nursing, case management and clinic operations. She joined Affinity Occupational Health in 2005 as manager of operations, overseeing our two clinics, on-site programs, case management, workers compensation, travel medicine, athletic training services, and drug and alcohol compliance programs. 
In her new role, Linda will direct the strategic growth of Affinity Occupational Health as we continue to anticipate and serve your important needs in an evolving marketplace.
Linda takes a holistic approach to occupational health, or what she calls "caring for the whole person." Work injuries or illnesses can impact not only work life, but also home life and mental health--all of which affect healing. In the full spectrum of occupational medicine, from injuries to wellness to EAP counseling and more, Linda aims to build a patient-focused philosophy of care among all providers.
Linda and her husband live in New London and enjoy supporting their daughter's pursuits in music, horse shows, equestrian team and 4H. As a family, they are active downhill skiers, as well as classic car enthusiasts. They can be found at car shows throughout the area, displaying their '72 Mustang convertible and '66 Ford Fairlane.
Please join us in welcoming Linda to this key role within Affinity Occupational Health!

Try This! Workplace Wellness Tip:

Boost Morale With Employee Recognition  

By Megan Klug, wellness account specialist

Affinity Occupational Health


Are you looking for an easy way to boost employee morale? Make someone's day just by letting them know they are appreciated. It's a simple way to boost positive attitudes in the workplace. 


Employees feel good when they know their co-workers appreciate their hard work. You can facilitate positive feedback by establishing an employee recognition program. Create employee recognition forms that include who is being recognized and why. Make the cards available in common areas, or post the form on your company intranet. As recognition cards are submitted, display the cards on a wall of fame. You can also do a monthly drawing for a gift card or prize.    

 Identifying Troubled Employees  

Did you know that one in ten employees suffers from depression? Depression costs employers tens of billions of dollars each year. It's the leading cause of absenteeism and lost productivity in American companies today.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, offering minimal programs to help employees cope with depression could result in a nearly $3,000 savings per 1,000 employees over five years. How do we curb the impact of this disease and get our workforce back on track? Start by recognizing the signs of a troubled employee.
Calling in sick. Employees battling depression, anxiety or severe stress may often lack the energy to face another day. If you notice a worker is frequently absent, tardy or leaving early and doesn't have a solid excuse, it may be a sign that the employee is battling an emotional crisis.
Difficulty concentrating. Troubled employees often struggle with their daily responsibilities, take more time or effort to complete the job, and become easily or unnecessarily frustrated.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Depression may cause workers to display uncharacteristic mood swings and spasmodic levels of productivity--high one day, low the next.
Deteriorating job performance. If you notice a once-productive employee becoming progressively lackadaisical about the job, missing deadlines, turning in subpar work, making poor decisions or generating complaints from customers or co-workers--make note of it. It may be a sign of emotional trouble.
Affinity EAP counselors are available to provide training for supervisors on how to identify troubled employees. We explain the signs to watch for and how to refer to EAP when necessary. To learn more or to schedule an on-site training session, contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or

Warning Signs of Stress          


So far today you've showed up late to a meeting, spilled coffee on your desk and got into a heated argument with a co-worker. Pretty impressive, considering it's only 8:12 a.m. 

"If you're stressed at work, you're not alone," says Donna Schmitz, EAP counselor. "Stress can be healthy when it's channeled constructively. But when it gets out of control, it can hurt not only your job, but also your health and relationships."

Here are some warning signs that your stress is past its limits.

What a pain. Got a headache? Recurring upset stomach? These are some nasty ways stress shows up to taunt you. 

Losing the snoozing. Can't sleep at night? Or maybe all you want to do is sleep, regardless of the time of day. Both are signs of unchecked stress.

Space cadet. Difficulty concentrating, daydreaming or struggling to juggle multiple tasks at once are all red flags that your stress is out of bounds.

Picking fights. Does your temper feel like a burning stick of dynamite? A short fuse, especially when it leads to conflict with co-workers, is one way stress rears its ugly head.

Take this job and @%! If you finished this sentence with enthusiasm, your stress might be getting the best of you. Excessive stress can lead to job dissatisfaction even for the most loyal employee. 

How low can you go? Stress leads to job woes, which lead to low morale. Do yourself a favor--before dragging yourself and your co-workers to the depths--get some perspective on your stress. Talk to your EAP counselor or a trusted friend. 

The Power of Laughter in the Workplace 


Got stress? A little laughter goes a long way toward relieving tension and boosting creative energy. Here are some ways to infuse kicks and giggles into the workplace.


Laughing lunch. Play a slapstick comedy DVD over a couple lunch hours. Book a conference room or other common area where employees can congregate, chuckle, and eat popcorn.


She said what? Keep a running quote board of funny comments co-workers make. Quips that made sense in context - "Has anybody seen my eyeball?" - can be fodder for silliness for weeks to come.


Daily jest. Reserve a small corner of your company intranet or bulletin board for daily jokes, funny quotes or short humorous stories. This might even motivate employees to check communication boards regularly.


Jump start with jokes. Start each meeting with a joke or funny story. If blood pressures rise during the meeting, try ending with one, too.


Comedy show. Consider headlining a comedian at your next company picnic, conference or staff retreat. Promote the show ahead of time to build anticipation and morale.

Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training


We all have a responsibility to work drug-free. That's why supervisors should be critically aware of what constitutes reasonable suspicion for drug testing. Affinity Occupational Health can help. Our Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training sessions are designed to empower employers to enforce a work environment free from the pitfalls of substance abuse.
DOT regulations have been mandating transportation industry workplace drug and alcohol testing since 1991. Since that time, it has become a standard practice for the majority of all other employers to have a policy and program to test for the misuse of alcohol and use of controlled substances.
While policies may vary from one employer to another, the fact remains that supervisors play a critical role by enforcing the employer's policy and program. To properly do so, supervisors must complete training to identify the behavioral and physical indicators of possible alcohol use and the misuse of controlled substances.
Reasonable Suspicion Training Highlights
  • Identifies the physical, behavioral, speech and performance indicators for reasonable suspicion determinations
  • Learn from real life stories, visualizations and interactive role playing
  • Features methods for "constructive confrontation" and case scenarios that demonstrate the how, what, when, and why to confront employees
  • Learn to use the observed behavior form and the importance of documentation
  • See a live demonstration on alcohol testing

Training sessions are now available. For more information or to register for an upcoming training, contact Julie Peterson at (920) 727-8722 or  

Cereal with blueberriesBreakfast With the Experts


Updates on DOT Regulations and Policies
Presented by Brian Harrison, MD, medical director of health and productivity management
And Julie Peterson, controlled substance/compliance specialist
Affinity Occupational Health
Wednesday, Nov. 13
7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Bridgewood Resort and Conference Center
1000 Cameron Way, Neenah
Worried about the high cost of keeping your fleet drivers healthy and certified? On the other hand, does imagining the staggering cost of an unhealthy and unsafe team worry you even more?
In this timely and informative presentation, Dr. Brian Harrison will discuss how to control the cost of medical certification exams, health insurance, worker compensation, disability, and accident liability among your drivers. He will walk you through our history of responding to changes and challenges in truck driver health certification over the years, including the upcoming rule changes in May 2014 with the operation of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. 
We understand the day-to-day challenges you face managing the company's core business needs while trying to comply with a whole host of federal regulations and state laws. This is nowhere more true than in a workplace drug and alcohol testing program. Julie Peterson, controlled substance/compliance specialist, shares her expertise managing workplace drug and alcohol testing programs, using self-audit techniques, and minimizing exposure to non-compliance issues and fines.
To register for this free seminar, contact Stefanie Armstrong at  
Your Affinity Occupational Health Sales Team 
Holly Tomlin, manager of wellness and employer solutions 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, account manager 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. 


Cindy Budiac
, account manager for Affinity Occupational Health, is available to help clients determine the right services and programs for their needs. Cindy has more than 15 years of experience in clinical health care, sales and business development. As our newest account manager, Cindy looks forward to meeting you and partnering on all your occupational health needs. 

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