Making just one small lifestyle change a day, even one a week, can help you to be a healthier version of you. This month reach your goals and celebrate the successes! In this issue:
- Reap monetary benefits for making healthy choices.
- Work Life options that will put you in a better mood!
- Lower your High Blood Pressure.
- Dental care for your dependents in college.
Healthy Choices Incentive Program 2013
Earn $300 into your Health Savings Account or Paycheck!
Healthy Choices is a Health and Wellness incentive program that
complements Grand Valley State University’s commitment to healthy
lifestyles. As a Grand Valley faculty or staff member, your to-do list
for achieving a healthy lifestyle is made easier by taking advantage
of the wealth of Health and Wellness programs and resources,
including Healthy Choices, that are available to you. The 2013 program is underway for benefit eligible faculty and staff with a new online system developed to make participation in the program more user friendly. Review complete program details here.
Incentives for 2012 Participants:
The 2012 Healthy Choices Incentive Program payout will take place prior to the end of the first quarter 2013. Members who qualified for the $100 or $200 incentive will be notified accordingly via email communication from Human Resources Health and Wellness.
Watch our video to hear what your co workers are saying about the program!
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Success Story: Katie Clark
Katie Clark, a systems analyst for GVSU’s Information Technology Department, has been taking small steps and long bicycle rides to help cure diabetes. Katie started training for her first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ride to Cure in 2006, soon after her daughter, Ellie, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Clark, herself, was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease when she was only 2 years old. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
The JDRF Ride to Cure that Katie and her husband, Steve, signed up for in 2006 was to be 100 miles through the treacherous terrain of Death Valley. Clark didn’t finish the ride, however, until her 2009 venture. Clark and her husband attempted the 100 mile ride for four consecutive years and proved to be successful after, Clark states, she joined the spin class that is offered here at the GVSU Fieldhouse. Katie claims that this was the year that she was in the best shape of her life!
Katie, Steve, and their two girls, Ellie and Anna plan on riding in the JDRF Ride to Cure in Nashville this summer. While this summer’s race will be the longest ride that the family has ever done together, it will not be the first. The Clark’s started exercising as a family soon after they signed up for their first Ride to Cure. Since then they have completed runs such as the Color Run, Mud Run, Girl’s on the Run, and the 5/3 Bank River Run here in Grand Rapids.
“Be proud of those small steps!” She says. Clark also reminds us that, “you don’t have to go out and ride 100 miles.” For her, it wasn’t about the weight loss, either. Clark enjoys other benefits from exercising such as the community that it has created for her and her family. In fact, Katie says she never rides or runs alone. To her and the rest of the Ride to Cure crew, it’s not daunting to ride 50 miles if you’re with your best friends. Another piece of advice – do it for a cause. Whether you are riding for a cure, running to raise money, or swimming to raise awareness, you will be able to help others while improving your own health and well-being.
Do you know a faculty, staff member or department who serves as a role model for healthy living? Nominate them for our monthly newsletter feature!
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Life is Hard
“Work is Hard, Being Stessed is Hard, Life is Hard”. This month find help with what is hard for you. Take a few steps towards being more emotionally healthy and stress free by taking advantage of the resources offered by our Work Life program:
GVSU's Employee Assistance Service
Faculty, staff and their dependents have access to 5 free counseling sessions with a trained and licensed professional counselor. Encompass is available to help with life’s stressor’s including marriage counseling, relationship challenges, parenting, anxiety, depression and more. All visits can be set up by calling Encompass directly at 616-459-9180.
Work Place Options
GVSU's Resource/Referral Service
Many of GVSU’s faculty and staff have found themselves in the sandwich generation – caring for children and elderly parents. Work Place Options provides free referrals to elder care programs, child care providers, and facilities nationwide.
Financial services and legal services are also available!
-1 hour consultation with a financial planner
- ½ hour free legal service consultation with an area lawyer
- 25% off future visits if the lawyer is retained!!
For more resources and referrals call 1-800-952-3586 and press 4.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Would you like more control over when you come into work? Find more information about this option here.
Whether you’re interested in enriching your present career and employment experience or exploring an entirely new occupation,
learn more here.
Emotional Health Video
Take a few minutes to learn about GVSU's emotional health
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Taking Steps to Lower Blood Pressure
Did you know that you can have high blood pressure for years without showing any signs or symptoms? Blood pressure is typically higher in winter months, but YOU play the most vital role in managing your own blood pressure. Not sure where to start? GVSU provides a number of opportunities:
I Don’t Do Yoga [but I want to improve my balance!]
Reducing stress can improve your general health, including lowering your blood pressure. We’re now offering an event [ON BOTH CAMPUSES] where you can learn to exercise, alleviate stress, and improve your balance - even if you’re not a regular “yogi”.
Personalized Health Coach
GVSU offers free and confidential, one-on-one health coaching to help you set your own health and fitness goals when it comes to managing blood pressure! Visit our website to choose your very own health coach today!
Gluten Free Foodies
High blood pressure can be caused by hidden food allergies! In addition to the usual symptoms that we associate with food allergies, studies show that high blood pressure can also be added to the list. Join us at our Gluten Free Foodies meetings to learn the benefits of a gluten free diet and if it could be the right choice for you!
Weight Watchers @ Work
Attend our meetings once a week and start procuring the benefits of healthier eating to improve and maintain healthy blood pressure. Register here.
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What is High Blood Pressure?
Life's Simple 7
Get heart smart
Are you at risk for heart disease?
Staying On Top of Your Benefits
Time for a dentist visit for your college student?
The new medical plan eligibility rules for dependents provided by the health care reform act do not apply to GVSU’s dental plan. However, the dental plan does provide a special option that extends eligibility coverage beyond age 19 for your college student/dependent. Here are some key points to remember:
• Under-graduate students must be actively enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
• Graduate students must be actively enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester.
• It is your responsibility to complete the dependent audit requests sent by UMR.
• It is your responsibility to notify the GVSU Benefits Office if your student/dependents credit hours fall below the minimums or if they take a semester off.
• If your student/dependent loses coverage you can still provide the same level of benefit coverage through the COBRA continuation benefit.
You can check out the specific student/dependent rules for the dental plan by going to www.gvsu.edu/healthwellness, and select “Benefits”, “Benefit Information Center” then “Dental Plan” or call the Benefits Office at X12220.
Preventive dental health
Keeping your teeth and gums beautiful, healthy, and strong is about more than just brushing, flossing, and avoiding sweets.
Take better care of your mouth today.
Experiencing life in leaps and bounds versus one step at a time?
Remember, life changing events can have an impact on your benefits! We need to hear from you within 30 days of a life event like the birth or adoption of a child. Follow this link for more information: http://www.gvsu.edu/healthwellness/life-event-changes-111.htm
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The Little Things that Keep Love Alive
Keep Your Love Alive
February 25, 2013
Don't just rely on what you learned in school, continue the journey online! Kim Monaghan, Human Resources Career Services for Faculty and Staff Consultant, is offering a new step-by-step Webinar this month!
Strong relationships with the important people in our lives take work, but we get so much in return. In this session, explore the essentials that will strengthen your current connections.
Click here to register and follow the instructions provided.
Webinars are offered each month and provide you with the chance to continue learning about Work Life balance. So, take a step towards improving your health, and check out the complete listing of webinars that Kim will be hosting this year on our website!
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