Home » News » Newsletters » Employee Health and Wellness Newsletters » 4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – March 2019 – Issue 311

4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – March 2019 – Issue 311

Eugene Education Association - EEA

Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • March 19, 2019 • Issue Number 311


If you are enrolled in a Synergy CCM medical plan through OEBB/Moda and use the 4J Wellness Clinic for your primary care needs, please consider naming the Wellness Clinic as your Moda Medical Home (MMH).

The MMH model is designed around one goal: to achieve the best possible health outcomes for you. A medical home keeps all your providers on the same page, so you don’t have to work hard to get the care you deserve. Instead, you can stay focused on getting better and living well. If you seek the bulk of your primary care outside of your MMH, you may be cutting your MMH provider out of the equation and not getting the most out of the MMH model.

Additionally, the Wellness Clinic is partially funded by insurance reimbursements, which help maintain the cost to operate the clinic for 4J. If you use the Wellness Clinic for your primary care but have named a different clinic as your MMH, our clinic is considered an out-of-network provider. As such, the reimbursements from Moda are much lower than they are when the clinic is a designated MMH.

If you would like to select the 4J Wellness Clinic as your MMH, it is listed in the Moda system as Cascade Health Solutions at 200 N. Monroe Street, Eugene Oregon 97402.

OEBB members enrolled in a Connexus PPO medical plan are not required to name a MMH, and the Wellness Clinic is considered an in-network provider for all PPO enrolled patients.


Cascade Health continues to look for the best people to serve the 4J community at the 4J Wellness Clinic, and the newest member of the team is Jennifer Young, FNP. Jennifer started at the Wellness Clinic January 18, 2019.

Jennifer asked me to share the following with you:

I am delighted to join the Cascade/4J Wellness Clinic partnership. I have thirty-five years of experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner, fifteen of those in Emergency Department settings. I relocated to Oregon ten years ago from Southern California. The past five years I have been working in Primary Care with Lane County Public Health. I have done past medical missions to Guatemala, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Last fall I was able to participate in a refugee project in Southern Italy.

I just completed my first month at the 4J clinic and so appreciate the warm welcome. I have been very impressed with how invested the district and employees are in clinic.

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and gardening. I love living in Oregon with our beautiful coast and rivers. I look forward to meeting many of you and working together to meet your healthcare goals.


Just a reminder: the 4J Wellness Clinic is open during spring break. If you have been putting off getting your physical, spring break might be a great time to get it scheduled and crossed off your list. To make an appointment, please call 541-686-1427.


If you return to employment with a private employer after retirement, your PERS retirement benefits will continue unchanged. PERS does not limit the hours you may be employed or the amount of money you can earn from a private employer.

If you return to employment with a public employer in the state of Oregon after retirement, Oregon statutes impose certain limitations on that employment. It is your responsibility to be aware of these limitations and to track your hours to ensure compliance if you do not want your retirement benefits to stop.

If you are a Tier One/Tier Two retired member, you may be employed by an Oregon public employer and continue to receive retirement benefits as long as your employment with one or more participating public employers does not total 1,040 hours or more in a calendar year. Please note that hours are counted in the year in which you performed the service, not in the year in which the hours were reported. Hours of employment are hours worked on or after your effective retirement date for which you receive wages, salary, paid leave, or other compensation. For additional details, please visit:   https://www.oregon.gov/pers/RET/Pages/Work-After-Retirement.aspx

If you are an OPSRP Pension Program or IAP retiree (collectively referred to as “OPSRP retiree”) who is receiving a monthly pension or installment payment, and you become employed in a “qualifying position” by a participating employer, you will become an active member of the Pension Program and the IAP immediately, and all payments will cease. You are employed in a “qualifying position” if your employer reports the position as “qualifying,” based upon hire intent, OR, if you work a total of 600 hours or more in a calendar year for one or more participating employers (regardless of hire intent). Hours worked with all participating employers in a calendar year count toward the 600-hour limitation. For additional details, please visit: https://www.oregon.gov/pers/MEM/Pages/Work-After-Retirement-for-OPSRP-Members.aspx

There are certain exceptions to these work limitations. If you have questions or need additional details, please contact PERS directly at 888-320-7377. You can also submit questions electronically to PERS Member Services: https://www.oregon.gov/pers/Pages/Submit-a-Question.aspx


The health experts at UC Berkeley recently shared this Berkeley Wellness Alert.

It’s great to have tried-and-true routines if they work for you and give you pleasure. But if you’re totally a creature of habit, perhaps it’s time to try some new things. Why? Interest in or love of new things, known as neophilia, is a trait associated with curiosity, exploration, and innovation. Neophilia has served humans well throughout history. Doing something new doesn’t mean it has to be something wild. It can mean exploring different parts of your city or area, going to work a new way, visiting an unfamiliar museum, or learning a new skill.

Novelty may enhance memory and learning. An area of the brain, the substantia nigra, has been dubbed the novelty center since it is activated by unfamiliar stimuli. This area exerts a major influence on learning because it is functionally linked to both the hippocampus (an area of the brain critical for learning and memory) and the amygdala (important in processing emotional information). That helps explain why some studies have found, for instance, that when people are shown both novel and familiar images, they’re more likely to remember both types than when they’re shown only familiar images. What’s more, novelty stimulates the secretion of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the brain’s rewards system, which can motivate us to explore more new things. Dopamine secretion also leads to new connections between nerve cells (neurons), something that’s important for learning to take place.

Novelty is associated with happiness and well-being. In a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2011, researchers found that three traits were linked with emotional, physical, and psychological well-being: persistence, novelty-seeking, and self-transcendence (which involves the expansion of personal boundaries). Other research has found that curious people tend to be happier; curiosity and novelty-seeking are closely linked.

Novelty may enhance creativity. Novelty-seeking is linked with creativity, according to a paper in Creativity Research Journal in 2013, in which people were asked to write about a novel experience or a familiar one and then were given a test of creative thinking. Those in the novelty group were more likely to produce original answers.

Novelty can help slow down time. Time seems to fly faster as we age, but engaging in new experiences can make time seem to slow down. Neuroscientist David Eagleman has conducted experiments involving participants’ perception of time. In one, people looked at a computer screen that rapidly showed repeated familiar images interspersed occasionally with novel ones. Though each image appeared for the same short interval, people reported that the novel images stayed on the monitor longer than the routine images. It’s likely that novelty caused the participants to pay greater attention to some images, thus making them seem to stall on the screen. In addition, repeated routine images may get “compressed” in the brain because it has already processed them, making them seem to fly by quicker. For young people, life is often full of novel experiences that cling to time, so it’s no wonder that days seem long and eventful, while for older folks, days tend to be filled with routine and familiar things, so days can pass as hours, and hours as minutes.

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.

This entry was posted in Employee Health and Wellness Newsletters. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • News Archives

  • RSS Recent Posts