It’s that time of year when most individuals return to busier schedules and responsibility. For many people, a new school year is the perfect opportunity to get back to healthy habits or establish new ones. Here is a list of ideas to help you focus on your health during the new school year.
Visit a Park - Now that school has started, there are fewer people at local parks and swimming pools. Take advantage of the decreased crowds by planning a morning swim, walk, or bike ride during school hours.
Take your lunches –Brown bagging is one way to save money and eat healthier. Go shopping for healthy lunch items and snacks on Sunday. Prepackage as many items as possible into individual storage bags for the entire week.
Do more walking /biking – If your children walk or bike to school, plan to go with them even if it is only a short distance. Walking and biking are also great after dinner activities to do as a family. It not only gets your family moving together, but also gives you time to connect after a hectic day.
Focus on your sleep – The new school year means no more late nights and a good opportunity to get more rest. Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. If you cannot fall asleep after 15-20 minutes, get up and do something productive until you feel sleepy, then try again.
See your doctor – School means check-ups and shots for children, so why not schedule a check-up for yourself? Get a clean bill of health for everyone before the school year begins.
Create a Health “Report Card” –Progress should be monitored whether you are in school or not. Set some health goals for yourself, and establish specific dates to check in and monitor your own progress. Reward yourself for meeting your goals, and adjust your plan if needed.
Beautify your surroundings– Plan a beautification day at your child's school or a local park if you don't have children. Pick a weekend day, and invite others to help. Not only will you get fresh air and exercise, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you helped others.
Savor seasonal fruits and vegetables – Many fruits and vegetables will be in season when fall arrives. Enjoy them while you can. Consider canning and freezing summer produce to continue enjoying these foods into the fall.
Pack your bags and have peace of mind.
You shouldn't have to worry about getting sick on vacation
or while traveling for work.
When you need a doctor on the road, use MDLIVE. Our Board Certified doctors are available 24/7/365.
Call us at 1-888-726-3171 or visit us online at MDLIVE.com/ums
Use MDLIVE anywhere, anytime.
Perfect when you're away from your primary care doctor, MDLIVE can also be used:
What can MDLIVE doctors treat?
Designed to help with most non-emergency conditions, our Board Certified doctors can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medicine, when appropriate, for many common medical conditions including:
And, by the way, look for your MDLIVE magnet in the mail in June...a handy way to keep the web site and phone number close at hand for quick reference all summer long!
Campus Community Events on the Rise!
If you are wondering where all this variety comes from in seeking a happier and healthier lifestyle, try your University of Maine System Wellness Program!
More and more activities are being created by campus champions, committees, and individuals and gaining rapid approval to keep everyone moving forward in new and exciting ways.
“The number of community and multiple-session events coming through our approval process is phenomenal,” says Director of Benefits Tony Richard. “We’ve seen dozens just since the turn of the year!”
One of the main reasons that these Level Two qualifiers are multiplying around the System’s seven campuses is that the process for forwarding and approval has never been easier.
Once you or your colleagues have developed an idea for how you would like to begin your own brand of wellness programming, all you need to do is fill out a simple form for either a Campus Community Event or Multi-Session program.
Criteria for approval include a description of your event, method of documenting participation, structure of activity, and how it relates to achieving a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Most requests are processed within five working days and if they meet the criteria for approval, activity can begin almost immediately.
“Teamwork and competition are powerful motivators to
change behaviors,” says UMA-Bangor Wellness Champion Lori
Googins. “When we developed our Walk Across North
America community event, we knew just counting steps wouldn’t
be enough. So, we set up a fifteen-week format, campus
members created teams of six or seven participants, and we
tracked progress weekly and every three weeks had built-in
incentives. Our participants have noticed some significant
health benefits! It was awesome and they’re already asking what’s next!”
Please note that once an event is approved and the event or program is completed the following is still required for appropriate credit:
University of Maine
Colleen Gagnon email@example.com
Bridget Gaug firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Drisko email@example.com
Kelley Strout firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maine at Augusta
Jeanne Mathews email@example.com
Brendan Gilpatrick firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maine at Augusta – Bangor
Lori Googins email@example.com
University of Maine at Farmington
Michael Colella firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maine at Fort Kent
Joyce Plourde email@example.com
Alyssa Anaya firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maine at Machias
Michelle Hale email@example.com
University of Maine at Presque Isle
Keli Marston firstname.lastname@example.org
Alyssa Anaya email@example.com
University of Southern Maine
Amy Blaisdell firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Mahoney Katherine.email@example.com
Hello, you've reached the Employee Benefits Center.
How may I help you?
Dozens of times a day, University of Maine System employees hear that helpful greeting as they reach out to the Office of Human Resources and its Employee Benefits Center with all sorts of questions and issues.
Do you ever wonder who is on the other end ready to join your journey for information and understanding?
Perhaps it's Karla Kemp, the EBC's Coordinator
A customer service professional with seventeen years’ experience in the hospitality industry and with state government, she’s seen her share of challenging inquiries!
“We see ourselves in the very same situation as you are. The EBC isn’t outsourced. We are University of Maine System employees just like everyone else. That’s why we have so much empathy and understanding. The issues we hear about are the very same ones that impact us as well. “
For leave questions, Fred Meserve is your source
The veteran of the group, Fred’s been with the EBC since day one three years ago when the
One University concept and then the single HR organization operation moved forward. Now the EBC’s Leave Coordinator, he has a background in disability benefits and customer satisfaction…and he’s a true partner not a passenger!
“Answering a question or helping you navigate your benefits plan is something we do together. It’s the feeling of working on a solution or resolution of a problem with you. That’s what leads to our best outcome.”
Value added from the team and Tammie Perez
Twenty-two years of customer service in retail, payroll, and the military has taught her a thing or two about how to provide for your current and future needs!
“Our role is to educate you while we are providing information and answers. Helping you understand how things work is really the best approach. You’ll come away from the call with not only your short-term needs met, but also knowing more so you can answer your own questions down the line.”
You get way more than a headset and keyboard with Ann Remick
An HR generalist who has not only explained benefits, but developed a plan or two during her thirty-one years on the front lines, Ann knows how to field the tough questions.
“The most difficult calls are the ones when System co-workers are struggling with a variety of issues. It can be stressful. But, in the end, taking a step back and inviting your caller to do the same sets up a level of trust that we are there to help them and will do everything we can to do it.”
Kristen Cobb is the newest team member, but she’s no rookie
Benefits, billing, life insurance, Kristen brings a broad background to her customer support in the EBC. Even so, she and her colleagues know that sometimes, the issue may need a little bit of research.
“If we don’t have the answer at hand, we will tell you up front. Our promise is to get it in a timely and responsive way and follow up diligently. You need information sooner rather than later.”
"We may not all be in the same location, (Tammie and Kristen actually call USM’s Gorham campus home), but rarely does an hour go by without our touching base with other members of the team. Ours is not a solitary activity. You wouldn’t believe how often we’re on HipChat to get you what you need when you need it!”
How do you contact us?
Toll-free (866) 269-9635
“Yes, the work can be demanding, sometimes even stressful but would you believe it, we really do have a sense of humor and fun and we take it as a point of professional pride that we rarely push a question or issue to others. We are problem solvers, but smart enough to know when it’s time to reach out for help.”
Getting better every day and improving our level of customer service is a priority
Hearing what we have done to respond to your needs or how we can provide even better service is invaluable feedback. That’s why our customer service process includes a survey to share your experience.
“The most rewarding calls are those in which we are able to not only provide what you need, but partner to build a relationship of support and trust. You can rely on us to be responsive and dedicated to a positive outcome. If you hang up or log off knowing the answer, but also understanding more about your benefits package in the exchange, we’ve succeeded.”