StayWell website down starting December 23rd

Website

Due to preparation for the 2018 program year, the StayWell wellness portal will not be available after December 23, 2017 through early January 2018.

Continue working on your health goals
Try one or more of the confidential StayWell services available to you through December 22, 2017, like Self-Directed Coaching, the Mindfulness Series and more. For more information on the resources available, log in to wellwisconsin.staywell.com.

Watch for 2018 program information
Information on the 2018 Well Wisconsin Program will be coming to you in January.  Watch your mail for your Well Wisconsin Program brochure which will contain all the details on earning your 2018 incentive.

December Wellness Webinar: Celebrate with Energy and Cheer

The holidays are fast approaching and you might be feeling excited and anxious at the same time. Past experience shows you head back to work after the holidays feeling a bit drained instead of energized. Join us for this webinar for tips on truly celebrating with energy and cheer through the New Year.

Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2017HolidayShopping

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for their health benefits. Research results on the effectiveness of aromatherapy have been mixed, but it’s possible that aromatherapy works by sending chemical messages to a part of the brain that affects moods and emotions. Perhaps you’ve seen lavender eye masks or pillow sprays that are intended to help you relax and sleep. But lavender isn’t the only scent known for its relaxing properties. Vanilla, valerian, rose, and jasmine are also potential sleep inducers.

Keep in mind that any scent that makes you feel good can help you relax. If you have fond memories of Grandma baking pumpkin pie, a candle with that scent might lull you into slumber. Just be sure to blow it out before you doze off! Also, be careful with scents containing lemon; while research has shown it to be a mood enhancer, it’s also considered to be a stimulant.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Turkey Sausage Stuffing

 

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  • 1/2 pound turkey sausage
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 12 slices whole-grain bread
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 cups fat-free chicken broth

Directions
Cook the sausage in a skillet, breaking it into small crumbles. Drain excess fat. Add onion and celery, and cook briefly. Let cool. Cut sliced bread into small cubes, and put in a large bowl with chopped apple, chopped mushrooms, and poultry seasoning. Add sausage mixture to bread, and mix well. Using your clean hands is OK. Stir in chicken broth one cup at a time–you want it moist, but not too wet. Refrigerate until ready to use. Divide the stuffing into two equal parts. Half will be enough to stuff a 6-pound turkey breast. With turkey breast-side-down, lightly mound stuffing between ribs. Cover with aluminum foil. Turn breast over, and place in roasting pan. Add stuffing to neck cavity, and cook the turkey breast as directed. Freeze the remaining stuffing for another use, or bake in muffin cups for about an hour. Paper liners make it easy, and the muffin cups aid portion control.

Serves 12; each serving contains about 128 calories, 8 g protein, 2.5 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, and 246 mg sodium.

Recipe from the StayWell Company, LLC

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program can help employees pay off their student loans.  This program forgives the remaining balance on qualified federal loans after borrowers have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer, such as the University of Wisconsin System.  Further information can be found at the Department of Education website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.StudentLoan

There are a number of federal income-based repayment plans, including the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE) and the Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE), both of which has monthly payments of ten percent of discretionary income (the difference between your annual income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size). Whether the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is right for an individual can vary.  A student loan borrower needs to work for ten years in a public service qualifying employer to receive the loan forgiveness benefit.  Therefore, for many borrowers, the standard 10-year repayment option may be the best option and examining the total cost of different federal repayment options can be helpful.

The above information was provided by the UW-System Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

The Department of Education recommends that if you would like to qualify for this program now or in the future, you would complete the Employment Certification form as soon as possible. You would complete sections 1 and 2 of this form, as well as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness fax cover sheet (https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/publications/voe-uws-pslf-request.pdf), and fax or mail (don’t email due to the confidential information on the form) the forms to the UW-Service Center.

 

Plan Ahead for Food, Fast—Not Fast Food

GroceryAt the end of a long day, coming up with a recipe, stopping at the store, and making a meal can be more than you can manage.

Instead, plan ahead for what you want to cook and need to buy. This can keep you from splurging on high-calorie, costly takeout or restaurant meals.

Find a system that works for you, whether it’s posting your menu and grocery list on your refrigerator or entering it into an app or spreadsheet.

Keep It Healthy

These tips can help you prepare healthy, low-fat meals:

  • Keep fresh and frozen vegetables on hand. A supply of salad greens and other veggies makes it easy to whip up a salad. And frozen veggies can be quickly warmed up in the microwave for a side dish.
  • Stock your pantry with healthy ingredients so you can create nourishing dishes with little fuss. Include brown rice, whole wheat pasta, kidney and black beans, cans of diced tomatoes, olive oil, and your favorite spices.
  • Use your grill. Outdoor barbecues and indoor electric grills cook foods quickly and with less fat than pan frying or sautéing.
  • Make meatless meals, which are healthier and less expensive. Food items like almonds, black beans, chia seeds, chickpeas, edamame, Greek yogurt, lentils, and tofu are all excellent sources of protein.

Make It Fast

When time is of the essence, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for recipes with few ingredients. Less measuring, slicing, and dicing make dinner come together faster.
  • Use your food processor. These machines are great for chopping vegetables and blending sauces.
  • Master quick-cooking techniques. Stir-frying and microwaving take less time than stewing, for example.
  • Double your recipes and freeze them in meal-sized containers. Soups, stews, casseroles, and grilled meats freeze beautifully.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

Annual Leave Conversion Forms Available for University Staff

BankedLeaveFormForms for University Staff employees who are eligible for the Annual Leave Conversion Option (also known as banked leave or sabbatical) are now available on our My UW System Portal, under the Time and Absence section, Leave Reports tab.  Please click on the “2017 Banked Leave Report” link to open the form, and then print it.

  • Part 1 – Review that the appropriate option box is checked.
  • Part 2 – Enter the number of vacation hours that you would like credited to your banked leave in the top row (A), and/or the number of vacation hours you would like paid out in the second row (B).  Please note that you must enter whole numbers, not partial hours (ex. 32 hours – not 32.75 hours).
  • Sign and date the form, and submit it to Human Resources by Friday, December 8, 2017.

Here is a link to the Vacation Policy, showing when University Staff employees are eligible to bank vacation hours (page 5): https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/download/policies/ops/bn1.pdf

Page three of these instructions shows how to check your paid leave balances.

Please contact the Payroll & Benefits office at 920-465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu if you have any questions.

Crockpot and 5-Minute Meals Cooking Demo held November 7th

CookingPizza CookingOverview CookingJolene Quinoa

CookingSydneyCookingOverview2Thank you to Jolene Sell, Registered Dietician with Chartwells and Sydney Keidl, Nutrition Intern, for their interesting and practical presentation and cooking demonstration on Tuesday, November 7th about “Crockpot and 5-Minute Meals”!  We enjoyed delicious samples of Sweet Potato Chili, Snickerdoodle Hummus with sliced apples, Mexican Quinoa, Pumpkin Acai Bowl, and Pepperoni Pizza Wrap!

Important Year End Leave Information for University Staff

As we near the end of the 2017 calendar year, University Staff employees are reminded to review their leave balances.

Vacation Carry Over
Normally, vacation time must be used within the calendar year during which it is earned.  Employees may carry over any unused earned vacation into the following calendar year.  Any vacation carried over from the previous calendar year must be used by December 31 of the following calendar year.

The Human Resources System (HRS) will automatically take any vacation absences entered first from carry over balances before taking from the current year’s allocations.

Compensatory Time
Compensatory time is able to be carried into the following calendar year if approved by the immediate supervisor.  If carried over, unused compensatory time must be used by April 30th of the following year or it will be paid out on the pay period that includes May 1st.

Personal and Legal Holidays
Personal and Legal holiday hours may not be carried into 2018 and if not used by December 31, 2017, will be forfeited.

We have two floating legal holidays this year, for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  Your legal holiday balance includes both observed and floating legal holidays.  The remaining observed legal holidays this calendar year include Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You can take your available “Legal Holiday Balance-YTD” and subtract these two observed legal holidays to see if you have any floating legal holiday hours left to use.

Annual Leave Conversion Option (Banked Leave or Sabbatical)
Forms for employees eligible for the Annual Leave Conversion Option will be available soon on your My UW System Portal, under the Time and Absence section, Leave Reports tab.  We will post a notification when these forms are available.

Please note that the above information applies to University Staff positions, not Academic Staff, Limited, or Faculty positions.

How do I check my paid leave balances?  Please review page three of these instructions.

Please contact the Payroll & Benefits office at 920-465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu if you have any questions.

Get Financially Fit with ETF’s Financial Fitness Program

  • Tuesday, November 7thMoneyJar
  • 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

Get ready for an engaging, informative ETF webinar on how to improve your overall financial wellness through our online Financial Fitness Program! This exciting new program, available at no cost to WRS members, has 3 core moves:

  1. Financial  Fitness CHECKUP™ -Benchmark your financial well-being
  2. Financial  Fitness ACADEMY™ – Build your financial savvy with courses that meet your life goals
  3. Financial Fitness COACH™ – Get one-on-one financial coaching from a certified financial advisor

Learn how to access and use dozens of online Financial Fitness Program tools designed to help you take charge of your financial future, including: creating an emergency fund, setting a budget, saving for college, preparing for retirement, and much more.

The Financial Fitness Program is available at no cost to all Wisconsin Retirement System members. There will be time at the end of the webinar to ask specific questions about the program, which is offered in partnership with the Department of Employee Trust Funds, Department of Financial Institutions, Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association.

Hurry! Space is limited. Register now for this free webinar, hosted by ETF.