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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – January 2018 – Issue 301

Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • January 17, 2018 • Issue Number 301


The 4J Joint Benefits Committee, in partnership with Cascade Health, will be offering a free Healthy Sleep wellness class to 4J employees and benefits enrolled retirees. This class was originally scheduled for October 26th, but was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. The rescheduled class will take place:

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Ed Center Auditorium

In this workshop you will:

  • Learn the science behind healthy sleep and why it is so important
  • Discover the important elements of a good night’s sleep and create your own “sleep plan”
  • Practice sleep enhancing techniques to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer

RSVP by Thursday, February 15th to Julie Wenzl: wenzl@4j.lane.edu or 541-790-7682.


The 4J Joint Benefits Committee, in partnership with Cascade Health, will be offering a free Retiring Done Well workshop to 4J employees and benefits enrolled retirees. The workshop will take place:

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018
  • 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Roosevelt Middle School Library

Retirement is not just about the money and insurance. There are other factors you will want to consider in order to create a graceful retirement for yourself. This workshop will help you:

  • Visualize your ideal retirement
  • Explore who you are now and where you are heading
  • Explore your use of time and social connections

An e-mail reminder of this workshop and RSVP information will be sent closer to the event.


There are many reasons for not accomplishing a New Year’s resolution, but one you may not fully appreciate is a lack of belief in your ability to be successful. You may want and hope to be successful with your goal, but a barely noticeable, negative self-talk script doubting your ability will make your goal elusive.

Fight negative self-talk scripts, which you can assume will creep up on you, by practicing affirmations that inoculate you against them. An affirmation is a positive statement that you declare to be true and that you rehearse frequently in a manner that allows it to sink in. Think of affirmations as “software for your brain.”

Assertiveness, determination, feeling that success is inevitable, quickly dismissing setbacks, and ignoring others’ negativity are critical skills in achieving any goal. A gut belief in your anticipated success, made possible by affirmations, allows these skills to carry you to the finish line.


If you want to test your hearing, one easy way is the National Hearing Test (NHT), which was developed by a scientific group through research in VA clinics and at Indiana University. The test was developed with the support of a research grant from the National Institutes of Health and was validated by a study done at VA centers, which found that the results correlated well with gold-standard hearing tests.

The NHT is done over the telephone and involves listening to a series of numbers spoken against a background of white noise, simulating the attempt to discern speech in a crowded room. If you are doing well, the test becomes more difficult by making it harder to hear the digits. If you are making errors, the test gets easier. This method provides a very accurate assessment of your ability to distinguish spoken words in different levels of background noise. The NHT can detect the most common types of hearing loss, those that are age-related and those that result from exposure to loud noises. It cannot detect hearing loss as a result of a problem in the middle ear or ear canal.

The NHT takes 10 minutes, and must be done on a landline in a quiet room. After you’ve completed the test, a recorded voice gives you the results for each ear as within normal limits, slightly below normal limits, or substantially below normal limits. If your hearing falls into the two latter categories, you’re advised to consult a hearing professional. Even if you pass the screening test, you should seek professional care if you have concerns about your hearing.

The NHT costs $8 but is free for AARP members. After you’ve paid online, you get a personalized code to access the test. Go to NationalHearingTest.org for more information, or call 844-459-0569.


OEBB offers a weight management benefit to help you achieve your weight-loss goals and improve your overall health. OEBB’s Medical Plans cover Weight Watchers Meetings and Online at NO COST to you.

OEBB offers up to four 13-week series per plan year. Anyone covered on an OEBB medical plan can enroll for the first 13-week series of the year. (Age limitations may apply.) Proof of participation in at least 10 of the 13 weeks of each series is required in order to enroll in the subsequent series at no cost.

You can choose the offering that best meets your needs: Weight Watchers Local Meetings, Weight Watchers At Work Meetings, or a Weight Watchers OnlinePlus Subscription

To enroll in any of these Weight Watchers offerings, or for more information, call 866-531-8170. If you live in Lane, Douglas, Coos, Curry, Josephine, Jackson or Klamath County call 800-651-6000 to request your initial At Work or Local meeting vouchers.


Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories. It’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.


As an OEBB member, you have a variety of wellness programs available to you through your OEBB medical plan. Whether you prefer in-person groups, one-on-one coaching, or self-paced online programs, OEBB may have something to fit your needs. To learn more please visit: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEBB/pages/wellness-resources.aspx

To access resources showing on the “Health Shelf,” you will need to log into your myModa account and then click on the Momentum link. From there, you will find a wealth of information on a variety of health topics.


Reminder – the 2nd Annual Employee Wellness Fair is coming next week and is open to all employees, retirees, and their families.

  • Thursday, January 25th
  • 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Ed Center Auditorium

The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.

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