Home » News » Newsletters » Classified Benefits Newsletter » Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter February 2020 Issue #6

Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter February 2020 Issue #6

Published by:

Arthur Hart, Classified Benefits Coordinator

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

Save the Date

Upcoming benefits events at 4J:

  • Tuesday, April 28thUnderstanding your PERS Pension presented by Kris Kartub in the Ed Center auditorium, 4:30 to 5:45 PM.
  • Monday May 18thHealth Insurance in Retirement presented by Steve Halberg in the Ed Center auditorium, 4:00 to 5:30 PM.

PEP Fund Update

The Classified PEP fund has helped quite a few staff this year with their professional goals.  However, over $5,000 remains in the fund that must be used by May 15th.  Classified employees may make up to two requests, not to exceed a combined total of $500. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis until funds run out.  As funds are limited, it is recommended that you check on the fund level before making a purchase commitment.

This year PEP funds have been used for:

  • Spanish and English language classes, books, and class supplies.
  • Communications, leadership, transitions and cultural sensitivity classes and conferences.
  • Microsoft Office, Synergy, and keyboarding classes, conferences, and lodging
  • ACT WorkKeys study guides
  • Trades classes, workshops, and reference materials.
  • Classroom and behavioral management training and books.

The PEP Fund provides opportunity for professional development to help classified employees improve professional knowledge, competence, skills and effectiveness relevant to their current district position. The program allows for reimbursement for job-related training activities, tuition, registration or material costs, conferences, and workshops. PEP funds are limited to staff development initiated by employees.

Please contact Arthur Hart at hart_a@4j.lane.edu or 541-790-7679 for questions regarding the use of PEP funds.


Coronavirus COVID-19 has been in the news a lot lately, but it can be difficult to ascertain what COVID-19 means to us on a local level.  Lane County Public Health is a great source for local answers about public health issues.  They have an available Novel Coronavirus fact sheet, and information video.  For up to date information from Lane County Public Health consider following them on Twitter.

Be Well

The Moda Health “Be Well” monthly webinar series is available to all 4J employees with OEBB Moda or Kaiser Permanente health insurance.  In these webinars, you will learn actionable tips and takeaways for improving your own health as well as ways to inspire wellness in your workplace.  The OEBB Wellness Resource webpage will have links to register for these webinars.

For the remaining 2019/20 school year the remaining webinars are:

  • March Nutrition: The simple guide to healthy eating
  • April Eco-Friendliness: Tips and tools to reduce plastic usage and food waste.
  • May Sun Safety, Hydration, and Health in the throughout the summer

March 4th Blood Drive

4J is collaborating with Bloodworks Northwest to offer our district-wide blood drive. We are hoping to get 20 donations for this drive. This event is open to everyone, so bring your friends, family and neighbors to help our community in such an important way.

The Bloodworks Northwest Bloodmobile will be parked at the 4J Ed Center (200 N Monroe St) from 2-5pm on Wednesday, March 4th.  You may book an appointment to donate by emailing HR_benefits@4j.lane.edu, but walk-ins are welcome too.

Can I donate blood?

  • Most people are able to donate and many restrictions have been lifted in recent years, but please review the Bloodworks Northwest website for eligibility.
  • Those who are 16 years old and weigh at least 110 lbs can give as often as every 56 days and up to 6 times per year.

Why is it important to donate blood?

  • More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada. That means someone needs blood every 2 seconds
  • Lane Blood Center is the SOLE provider for blood products in Lane County
  • One pint of blood can save 3 lives
  • Emergent need for type O and platelet donations

More info is available at www.bloodworksnw.org

The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.”                 — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

4J Wellness Program

4J is starting a new employee wellness program in March.  All 4J employees are welcome and encouraged to participate in our monthly health promotion campaigns.  The wellness program materials are provided by Moda Health, but are available to all employees regardless of district health insurance coverage.  Keep an eye out for new wellness program flyers and posters in worksite break areas.

For the month of March we will focus on healthy aging.  The aging process is inevitable, but we all have a choice in how we age. To help encourage you to live healthy at any age, here are a few tips to help you take control of how you age and stay in top condition for years to come:

  • Get moving – Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy body and brain.
  • Stay social – Take a class, volunteer, see old friends, and make new ones.
  • Bulk up – Eat beans and other high-fiber foods for digestive and heart health.
  • Add some spice – Add herbs and spices to your meal if medications dull your taste buds.
  • Stay balanced – Practice yoga or tai chi to improve agility and prevent falls.
  • Go on a hike – Brisk daily walks can bolster both your heart and lungs.
  • Get enough rest – Talk to a sleep specialist if you don’t sleep soundly through the night.
  • Beat the blues – If you are feeling down, see a doctor. Depression can be treated.
  • Sharpen your mind – To aid your memory, make lists, follow routines, slow down and organize. Try the free Total Brain App.
  • Embrace your age with knowledge, experience, and a zest for healthy living.

Something to keep in mind is that physically inactive people can lose as much as 3-5 percent of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you’re active, you’ll still have some muscle loss. As you age, you can slow down muscle loss (also called sarcopenia) by increasing strength training with endurance activities such as using weights or resistance bands.

4J Wellness Clinic

The 4J Wellness Clinic will be open for spring break, and that might be an excellent opportunity to schedule your annual exam.  The clinic provides a full range of primary health care, diagnostic tests, minor surgery and preventative care. For a full list of services, visit the 4J Wellness clinic webpage.

Clinic hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm, but closed daily from 1pm-2pm for lunch.  Call (541) 686-1427 to schedule your appointment.  The 4J clinic is located at 200 North Monroe Street in Eugene.

Want a Healthier Lifestyle?

You can have a coach in your corner! Whether you have an ongoing health issue, like diabetes, or just want to eat better and exercise, there’s a health coach for that.

An OEBB insurance health coach creates a partnership with you to discuss your goals and create a plan of action that feels good to you. Your coach will give advice or information when you ask for it, but you will be the one to decide what you want to work on and how you will achieve it.  Health coaches can assist with nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress, tobacco cessation, and more.

For more information on health coaching:

  • Moda Health medical plan members can call 877-277-7281 or email careprograms@modahealth.com.
  • Kaiser Permanente medical plan members can call 866-301-3866 and select option 2, or sign up online at kp.org. To sign up online at www.kp.org click on “Schedule appointment,” then scroll down to “Health and Wellness Education”. From there, select “Health Coach”, and follow the prompts for the date and time that you want. 

Bacteria or Virus?

Bacterial and viral infections have many things in common; specifically they both can cause mild, moderate, and severe diseases.  Antibiotics work wonders against infections caused by bacteria, but they do not treat infections caused by viruses.

Not sure which type of infection you have?  Fortunately, the CDC has some helpful guidelines regarding bacterial vs viral infections.

  • Strep throat and Urinary tract infections are bacterial.
  • Sore throats (that are not strep) common colds, runny noses, and the flu are viral.
  • Chest colds, Bronchitis, Sinus infections, and middle ear infections can be bacterial or viral.

Talk with your healthcare professional about the best treatment for any illness.  If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed.

Both bacterial and viral infections can be reduced with good health practices such as hand washing, disinfecting your environment, vaccinations, covering a cough, and staying home when ill.   

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

― Benjamin Franklin

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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