Health e-News
July 2014
First Aid Essentials
Introducing Ted Tate
Prevent Injury Off the Job
On-Site PT Services
Keep Workers Safe in the Heat
Workers' Rehab Gets Employees Back to Work
Complimentary Case Management Services
Injury Care Services
Top 6 Summer Health Concerns
Quick Links


Work injuries can cost employers and employees a lot of time, money and heartache. At Affinity Occupational Health, we're committed to partnering with you in providing the most effective prevention and treatment for work-related injuries. 


This edition of Health e-News is focused on how to prevent and heal injuries both at work and after hours. Meet our new physical therapist, Ted Tate, and hear his ideas for staying fit off the job so you can stay effective on the job. And learn about a variety of programs available through Affinity Occupational Health to help keep your employees safe and fit for work.


Please share this valuable information with your employees. Their version of today's edition is available at:     


To your good health,   

Linda Hale-Graves

Director, Wellness and Employer Solutions

Affinity Health System

First Aid Essentials
Does your workplace have a "first responder" plan in the event of an injury or medical emergency? It should! Here are three essential components of an effective first aid program.

1. People: First Responders
Every organization should have a qualified person or team designated to deliver first aid when needed. First responders should be:
* willing
* assertive
* clear-headed and quick-thinking on their feet
* not shy about the sight of blood
* compassionate

First responders need specialized training in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Look for accredited training programs by professionals with real-life experience in responding to medical emergencies.

2. Communication: Crisis Planning
It's critical to have a communication plan with a backup system in place in case the first line of communication fails.
* At the onset of an emergency, how will you alert first responders?
* How will first responders stay in contact with each other?
* How will they know what the others are doing or planning to do?

3. Supplies: Stock Your Kit
Once you have your first responders in place, make sure your facility is stocked with these essential supplies.

* Automated external defibrillator (AED)
* Oxygen
* Nitrile gloves
* CPR barriers
* Gowns/face shields
* 4x4 dressings
* 5x9 dressings
* Major trauma dressings
* Eyewash
* Band aids
* 81 mg baby aspirin for heart attacks
* 4-inch Kling or Kerlix brand bandages
* Large ice packs

Check your kits regularly and replace any supplies that are out of stock or expired.

Introducing Ted Tate, PT, CEAS 


Affinity Occupational Health is pleased to welcome physical therapist Ted Tate to our team. Ted provides comprehensive physical therapy care including injury prevention and management with the use of exercise instruction, ergonomic education, manual therapy, and various technology-based techniques such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. 
Ted has a special interest in gait and movement analysis, manual spine treatment, and functional job evaluation to help place employees in work functions well suited to their physical abilities. Ted is a certified ergonomic assessment specialist.

Ted earned his master's of physical therapy degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and has been practicing physical therapy since 1998. His goal is to help establish the work environment as a place of comfort and solace by healing existing injuries and preventing further harm.

Outside of work, Ted enjoys videography, reading for personal growth and development, and playing tennis. Please join us in welcoming Ted to Affinity Occupational Health! 


Preventing Injury Off the Job (So You Can Stay On the Job) 
By Ted Tate, PT, CEAS

Well, you've endured an exceptionally long and brutally cold winter by sitting down on the couch, eating brats, consuming beverages, and watching exciting Green Bay Packers football. Now that winter is over, it is time to trade the winter apparel, snow shovels, and snow blowers for shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, and grilling utensils. Summer fever is in the air, and everyone seems to be excited about getting outside and performing their favorite outdoor sport or activity. These may include jogging, basketball, tennis, golf, soccer, volleyball, softball, etc. The little kid inside of you is ready to get started right away; however, the older and wiser part of you realizes the importance of warming up and stretching before engaging in athletic activity. So, how do you prepare?

Recent research suggests that dynamic stretching and "sports-specific" warm-ups are an effective strategy to preventing sports injuries from occurring. Dynamic stretching increases blood flow to multiple muscle groups. It increases multiple joint range of motion, awareness of joint position, and athletic performance. The secret to dynamic stretching's effectiveness lies in your ability to focus on many different muscle groups at the same time. Your arms and legs perform different movements and warm up simultaneously.

Tennis and Soccer
For example, sports such as tennis and soccer involve quick changes of direction and rotation of the torso. To prepare your muscles and joints for these sports, a couple repetitions of simple low-level agility drills are recommended. The drills include a light forward jog followed by a back peddle for about 10 to 20 feet for 3 to 5 repetitions. Performing a lateral shuffle for 10 to 20 feet each direction for 3 to 5 repetitions is also recommended. Including what many coaches call "carioca" stepping or braiding for 3 to 5 reps is ideal. Braiding involves crossing one foot in front and behind the other while stepping sideways. Another great dynamic warm-up for tennis involves slow and repeated trunk rotation while performing walking lunges for 5 to 10 repetitions. To prepare for serving the ball, performing a couple of "hooray" stretches with both arms outstretched above your head and tennis racquet in your hand would be appropriate.

Volleyball and Basketball
Jumping sports such as volleyball or basketball require a couple minutes of "doorway jumps" to prepare your muscles and joints for activity. Doorway jumps are very light and quick jumps performed with your arms above your head to reach the top of a doorway or volleyball net. They are performed repeatedly in 15 to 30 second increments for 3 to 5 sets or until you feel appropriately prepared for the activity. To further prepare for basketball, skipping for 3 to 5 lengths of the basketball court while swinging your opposite arm across your body is a good warm-up. Actual "lay-up" drills with a basketball could also be implemented after skipping to complete the warm-up.

Sports such as golf require increased torso and shoulder mobility for driving the ball down the fairway without injury, so performing 10-20 slow trunk rotations each direction with the golf club resting behind your neck would help. Resting your hands on the golf club with it behind your neck applies a stretch to your shoulders. Taking a couple of practice swings progressing from slow to medium speed would also be appropriate in preparing the torso and shoulders for driving the ball with a golf club.

The same warm-up strategy would be true for softball, except you'd place the bat behind your neck instead of the golf club. Adding the agility drills recommended for soccer and tennis would also aid in preventing injury running the bases during softball. Since softball combines long periods of inactivity followed by bursts of running to/from a base, I would suggest incorporating the agility drills intermittently on the sidelines during the game to stay warmed-up and flexible.

Efficient and pain-free jogging relies on flexible hip muscles and hamstrings. Five to ten reps of walking single knee hugs to your chest with the opposite leg on the ground will stretch your gluteus maximus (your bottom). Performing a similar movement by pulling the knee across your torso with the knee bent will increase gluteus medius or lateral hip flexibility.

Believe it or not, jogging may be considered a dynamic sport due to the stabilization of the torso, hip, and knee that has to occur when your feet hit the ground. It is estimated that a force equal to approximately eight times your body weight goes through your knee repeatedly while jogging. As a result, it is important to perform exercises that strengthen the "core" to maintain proper alignment and decrease the risk of injury with jogging. I would suggest single-leg balancing while kicking the opposite leg forward, sideways, or backwards with or without resistance for 10 to 20 repetitions. The resistance may be in the form of ankle weights or a resistance band. It is important to stand up straight while performing the exercise in order to train your body to maintain the correct position.

Although nothing is fool-proof, utilizing the preventive strategies outlined in this article will decrease the odds of developing a new injury or re-aggravating an old injury while playing sports. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you in remaining injury-free during your leisure time at home! 
On-Site Physical Therapy Services

Did you know? Affinity Occupational Health offers on-site physical therapy and ergonomics programs. We bring our experts to your workplace to provide these helpful services where and when your employees need them:

* On-site active physical therapy treatment
* Job/task analysis
* Office ergonomic analysis
* Pre-recordable interventions
* On-site stretching programs
* Educational resources

On-site physical therapy services save your organization time and productivity and can help build stronger employer-to-employee relations. For more information, contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or Cindy Budiac at (920) 628-1533.
Keep Workers Safe in the Heat 

With summer upon us, now is the time to prepare for sweltering work conditions. Are you keeping your employees safe indoors and out? 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 or proper air ventilation.
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) of 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. 
Workers' Rehab Gets Employees Back to Work Safely

When your employees experience an injury, you can count on Affinity Workers' Rehabilitation to get them safely back in shape and back to work.

Workers' Rehab provides a comprehensive set of evaluation and treatment services.

Evaluation Services
* Work Capacity Evaluation - An assessment of physical activities.
* Job Analysis - Measuring the demands placed on a worker by the physical characteristics of the job.
* Ergonomics Assessment - Adapting job stations to better fit the worker.
* Functional Prework Screening - The non-discriminatory testing of an applicant's ability to perform essential demands of a job.
* ADA Paratransit Certification - As assessment of an individual's functional ability to use accessible fixed route public transportation within the Fox Cities.

Treatment Services
* Work Hardening - Simulated work stations in an industrial setting to increase a worker's tolerance and physical abilities.
* Physical/Work Conditioning - Helps increase strength and improve flexibility and endurance.
* Rehabilitation Psychology - Addresses psychological factors that may affect a positive vocational outcome.
* Back School - Provides instruction in proper body mechanics, posture, basic anatomy and general fitness.
* Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling - Helps a worker explore his or her return-to-work options.
* On-site Work Hardening - The provision of occupational rehabilitation services directly at the work site.
* Biofeedback - Assists with reducing stress and normalizing muscle functions.

Skilled Experts
You'll be cared for by an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation specialists:
* A physician experienced in industrial rehabilitation and occupational health
* Occupational therapists
* Physical therapists
* Vocational rehabilitation counselor
* Psychologists
* Other disciplines as required

Award-Winning Service
When you do business with the Workers' Rehabilitation team, you're getting award-winning service.

* Accredited in both general occupational and comprehensive occupational rehabilitation programs since 1990 by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the most prominent and prestigious national review organization of rehabilitation services.
* Winner of the J.M. Foundation National Award for Excellence in Vocational Programs for Outstanding Achievement in Work Hardening
* Recipient of a Ministry Health Care peer award, "Circle of Excellence," honored for demonstrating continuous improvement in quality and customer service

Convenient Locations
The Affinity Workers' Rehabilitation Program has been established for more than 26 years. We offer experience, knowledge, and a team of skilled professionals at two convenient locations.

Workers' Rehabilitation Program North
St. Elizabeth Hospital Rehabilitation Center
N496 Milky Way (intersection of East College Avenue and Highway 441)
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 730-5337

Workers' Rehabilitation Program South
Mercy Medical Center
2700 W. Ninth Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(920) 236-1850

To learn more about Affinity's Workers' Rehabilitation program or to make a referral, call us at 1-800-541-0351. 
Complimentary case management services 

Did you know? Affinity Occupational Health case managers are available at no additional cost to you. Here's why you should take advantage of this helpful service.

What does a case manager do?
* When an employee is injured, the case manager gets the patient on track, helping him or her better understand the medical maze and return to work.

* Communication starts with a phone call. The case manager contacts the patient to discuss the situation and answer questions.

* Case managers serve as liaisons, facilitating communication among the patient, employer, and care providers. They are the pivot point from which everyone involved can share information.

* They're also educators, keeping all parties informed of available resources and Worker Comp laws.

Who benefits from having a case manager?
Everyone! When all parties are communicating openly and knowledgeably, the provider can offer the most effective treatment while the patient and employer can enjoy a more efficient recovery and return-to-work process.

How can I learn more?
If you have questions or want to speak with an Affinity Occupational Health case manager, call:

Joy Marks - case manager, Menasha - (920) 727-8733
Lisa Reinke - case manager, Menasha - (920) 727-8742

Did you know? Affinity Occupational Health case managers also assist truck drivers with meeting their medical requirements for the federal medical card. For more information, call Joy or Lisa. 
Injury Care Services

If you or your employee has been injured on the job, turn to Affinity Occupational Health for the full spectrum of injury care. Our injury care management team combines optimal occupational health care with efficient case management to help facilitate a timely, safe and productive return to work.

Injury Care 
* Patients are treated by providers who specialize in occupational medicine. 
* Quality care is provided with a thorough understanding of each patient's job requirements and return-to-work options. 
* Practitioners are well-versed in state and federal guidelines. 
* Same-day injury care is available.  
* Occupational health assistance with injury triage assures the most appropriate level of care for each injury. 
* Post-accident drug and alcohol testing services are available.

Case Coordination 
* On-going injury care case tracking helps decrease expensive delays or setbacks. 
* Feedback is encouraged with employers and employees about return-to-work expectations, concerns and restrictions. 
* Patients receive help in coordinating timely and appropriate follow-up care. 
* Employers receive educational services covering Workers' Compensation statutes, restricted duty programs, special accommodations, and need for professional evaluations.

For more information about Affinity Occupational Health's injury care services, contact Tammy Davis at (920) 628-1532 or Cindy Budiac at (920) 628-1533. 
Top 6 Summer Health Concerns 
An Urgent Care physician tells all

Flu season might be behind us, but Urgent Care clinics are as busy as ever in the summer. Joe Dias, MD, Urgent Care physician for Affinity Medical Group, explains the top six health concerns that might land you at the doctor's office this time of year-and how to prevent them!

1. Colds 
Who knew the cold was still common after May? Dr. Dias says colds and upper respiratory issues are still the top reason people come to Urgent Care in the summer. So just be aware that even though cold and flu season is over, viruses are still among us. Tend to a summer cold just as you would any other time of year - with plenty of rest, fluids, and hand-washing to keep from spreading the joy to others.

2. Allergies 
Blame it on the pollen. Or the mold. Or your neighbor's grass clippings. Allergies can be fierce this time of year, so make sure you're up to date on your allergy prescriptions or over-the-counter relief.

3. Insect Bites 
Bugs are part of summer's charm. Dr. Dias advises using insect repellent and wearing cool long sleeves to keep ticks and mosquitoes at bay. If an insect bite becomes infected, you're unsure what bit you, or you develop flu-like symptoms, see a doctor to rule out complications such as West Nile Virus. Wood ticks pose no threat, but always seek medical attention for deer tick bites. They carry Lyme's disease.

4. Heat Illness 
Hot, humid weather can sap anybody's energy. But see a doctor immediately if you experience signs of serious heat illness such as headaches, light-headedness, dizziness or confusion. "Elderly people are at higher risk because their body just can't compensate," Dr. Dias says. If you have relatives or neighbors who live without air-conditioning, check on them regularly during hot weather spells. Make sure they're staying hydrated and have fans running. A wise rule of thumb for everyone, Dr. Dias says, is to try doing outdoor activities when it's cooler - morning or evening - rather than the middle of the afternoon.

5. Sunburn 
You know what to do. Sunscreen is your friend. Use it. And make sure your kids are covered, too.

6. Injuries 
More outdoor play time means more safety hazards for kids. Prevent injuries by following smart safety rules everywhere you go - at home, the pool, playground, camp site, etc. Dr. Dias advises parents to make sure kids are wearing helmets when riding bikes, and be especially careful around water. "Make sure kids are not by themselves, that someone else is present."

Affinity's Urgent Care physicians welcome kids and adults of all ages. Clinic locations and hours are as follows:

Appleton, WI 54914 
(920) 380-2715 
Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 7:30 a.m. to noon

Neenah, WI 54956 
(920) 727-4200 
Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Friday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 8 a.m. to noon

Oshkosh, WI 54902 
Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 7:30 a.m. to noon
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