Home » News » Newsletters » Classified Benefits Newsletter » Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter December 2019 Issue #3

Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter December 2019 Issue #3

Published by:

Arthur Hart, Classified Benefits Coordinator

Phone: 541-790-7679 e-mail: hart_a@4j.lane.edu


Wellness Clinic

During winter break the 4J Wellness Clinic will be closed from December 23rd, through January 1st.  The Wellness Clinic will reopen on Thursday, January 2nd.


PacificSource FSA

For those participating in a district Flexible Spending Account (FSA), this is still a good time to submit receipts for the 2018/19 plan year.  The district FSA plan year starts on October 1st, and goes through September 30th.  However, until December 31st, you may still submit receipts of eligible expenses to PacificSource for the 2018/19 plan year.  Remember, only $500.00 can carry over from one plan year to another, so check your balance before 2019 is over.  If you would like assistance with your FSA account, please call PacificSource at (541) 485-7488.


Accidents at Work

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  The best cure for an on-the-job injury is to avoid it all together.  Most worksite accidents are preventable, but since time travel technology is fictional, we must actively prepare to prevent accidents.  If you notice an unsafe situation at work, please alert a 4J Safety Committee member.

In case of an on-the-job injury, first establish if treatment is wanted or needed.  Then determine if the injury is minor or major.  A minor injury may be treated on-site, or may require treatment by a doctor.  In an emergency, call 911.

MedExpress is a first aid treatment service that gives 4J staff an option for a Cascade Health Solutions EMT or Paramedic to provide on-site treatment for a minor on-the-job injury.  Treatment on-site can entail up to a 30-minute wait for MedExpress to arrive. When contacted, MedExpress can:

  • Assess the severity of an on-the-job injury on-site or over the phone.
  • Treat on-site an on-the-job injury, up to first aid.
  • Transport the injured worker to a physician, if recommended and injured worker agrees.

Injury reporting:  Report all worksite injuries to your supervisor.  It is recommended that you fill out an incident report.  If a worksite injury requires treatment beyond first aid (when you want or need to see a doctor) please contact HR at 541-790-7670.


There is a point at which even justice does injury.



Safety Scavenger Hunt

Emergency evacuation map- Safety is the treasure this map will lead us to.  Look around for an evacuation map of your worksite complete with an assembly area, and arrows leading the way to the best exits.

Fire extinguisher- It’s best to know where the closest fire extinguisher is before you need it.  Extra points for those who look at the charge level, and inspection tag.

Worksite first aid kit- Knowing where your worksite first aid kit is located is a great way to be prepared.

AED- An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.  A district provided AED can help save a life, but not if you can’t find it.

MedExpress information- MedExpress information can be found on the 4J website, but it’s even easier to find if placed next to the first aid kit (hint hint).


WW (Weight Watchers)

With the season of eating already upon us perhaps you are looking for a way back into the good graces of your favorite pants.  Fortunately anyone enrolled in an OEBB Moda or Kaiser medical plan (age 18 and older) is eligible to join WW at no cost.  Sign up with the WW OEBB enrollment web portal, or call 1-866-531-8170.

WW welcomes everyone who seeks to be healthier, not just manage their weight.  Utilize digital resources like the WW phone app, and in-person workshops to help you achieve your goals.


2019/20 By the Numbers

PEP Funds- $3,478.10 in PEP funds have been utilized so far this year.  $11,521.90 remains available for classified staff to use before June 30th.

Sick Leave Bank- This year 396 people enrolled in the Classified Sick Leave Bank.  The Sick Leave Bank has been able to assist three members so far this school year.

403b Matching Funds– About 50% of classified staff members have signed up for a 403b savings account and are receiving matching funds from the district.

For more information on any of these programs contact Arthur at 541-790-7679 or hart_a@4j.lane.edu.


Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.  The same virus (varicella-zoster) that causes chickenpox causes shingles. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive.  Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

People looking to receive the shingles vaccine have two options: Zostavax and Shingrix.  Zostavax, has been shown to offer protection against shingles for about five years. It’s a live vaccine given as a single injection, usually in the upper arm.  Shingrix is the preferred alternative to Zostavax.  It’s a nonliving vaccine made of a virus component, and is given in two doses, with two to six months between doses.  Shingrix is approved and recommended for people age 50 and older, including those who’ve previously received Zostavax.

Common side effects from the shingles vaccine include pain, redness, soreness, or swelling at the site of the injection, or other symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, fever, shivering, fatigue. People who have one of these reactions after the first dose of vaccine can still get the second dose. Serious side effects from the shingles vaccine are rare.

You should not get a shingles vaccine if you have a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine. In addition, women who might be pregnant or are breastfeeding, and people with a current outbreak of shingles should wait before getting the vaccine.

District Moda and Kaiser medical insurance do offer free shingles vaccines to adults 50 years or older.


Benefits Contact Numbers

Moda Health or Delta Dental benefits or claims:

Kaiser Health appointments, benefits, or claims:

VSP Vision benefits or claims:

  • VSP Member Services 1-800-877-7195

Willamette Dental Group appointments, benefits, or claims:

The Employee Assistance Program:

OEBB life or long term disability insurance:

Flexible Spending Plan:


Waking Up to Our Need for Sleep

A full night’s sleep is an essential ingredient for a healthy mind and body.  If your body doesn’t get a chance to properly recharge you’re already starting the next day at a disadvantage. You might find yourself: feeling drowsy, irritable or sometimes depressed, struggling to take in new information at work, remembering things or making decisions, and perhaps craving more unhealthy foods.

Are we getting enough sleep?  Maybe not.  According to the CDC about one in three Oregonians are usually getting less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night.  Not getting enough sleep is associated with an increased risk for a number of chronic diseases and conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, and depression.  Not getting enough sleep also contributes to motor vehicle crashes and machinery-related injuries.

How can I improve my sleep?  Sleeplessness can be complex and may ultimately require a doctor’s attention, but there are many things you can try yourself to improve your sleep.

  • Reduce blue light exposure in the evening. Exposure to light during the day is beneficial to sleep, but nighttime light exposure is not.  Blue light is considered the most detrimental light to a good night’s sleep.  Devices like smartphones and TVs emit quite a bit of blue light, and turning them off a couple hours before bed can make a big difference.
  • No caffeine after noon. Caffeine can stay in your system for 6-8 hours.  Caffeine can be found in lots of unlikely things such as decaffeinated coffee, so check carefully what you are consuming after noon.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can make you drowsy, but it also increases symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns.  Alcohol consumption can also reduce melatonin production.
  • Optimize your bedroom. Key factors for great sleep include: the right temperature (between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit), less light (softer room lighting and room darkening curtains), and less noise or white noise.

Sometimes an underlying health condition may be the cause of your sleep problems.  If making some simple changes aren’t improving your rest, it might be time to check with your doctor about a possible sleep disorder.


I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?                    Ernest Hemingway

This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

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