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myHR: December 12, 2012

Thousands of Faculty and Staff Are "In the Know" About Their Health

Do you have high blood pressure? Are your cholesterol or glucose levels in the danger zone? Thousands of Penn faculty and staff now know these answers, thanks to our “Be in the Know” wellness campaign which began in October.

Over 4,200 faculty and staff members learned their key health biometrics (blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar) by participating in free and confidential on-campus screenings that ran over a four-week period. Health professionals from AreUFit, a third-party provider of workplace wellness services, conducted the screenings and met with each participant privately to review the results and recommend what next steps the individual should take, if any.

While Penn will never see individual screening results, AreUFit’s initial feedback revealed that nearly a hundred participants had seriously elevated blood pressure and/or glucose levels. Some were advised to contact a physician while others sought immediate medical attention and even made a trip to the emergency room.

What’s more? Everyone who participated in a health screening was entered into a raffle and will receive a $75 cash award in their December paycheck. Congratulations to our two raffle winners—Ming Li (Systems Analyst, Perelman School of Medicine) and Sasha Renninger (Administrative Assistant, Penn Museum)—who won an iPad for participating.

If you didn’t participate in an on-campus screening, there’s still time to be in the know (and be rewarded). You have until January 2, 2013 to submit documentation of a health screening and be eligible for the $75 cash award (which you’ll receive in your February paycheck). Click here for complete details on how to participate.


When Bad Weather Strikes, Do You Have a Child Care Plan?

The winter season is here, and bad weather can hit at a moment’s notice. If you have a child, finding dependent care can be challenging when your kid has a snow day but you need to get to work. Well rest assured—Penn can help you make a plan!

From now through April 1, you can take advantage of Penn’s Snow Day Child Care Program when the University is open but Philadelphia public schools close due to inclement weather. You’ll have access to all-day care for your child (ages 12 weeks to 12 years old), whether he or she attends a Philadelphia district school or not.

Child care is provided by the Penn Children's Center. Keep in mind you need to pre-register in order to participate in the program. Because space is limited, child care is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can also take advantage of Penn’s backup care program if your child’s school closes due to inclement weather. You're eligible for up to ten days of in-home backup child care per calendar year. Through a partnership with Parents in a Pinch, Inc., care is available for children up to 17 years in age who reside in your household.

For more information on Penn’s dependent care resources, click here.


Increase Your Emotional IQ

Your relationships with colleagues are just as important as your technical skills when it comes to career success. That means you have to know how to relate to people in order to be a top performer on the job—and we can help!

Join us on January 22 to learn about Emotional Intelligence—The Biggest Predictor of Success. This workshop will teach you what it means to be emotionally intelligent and how it can help you build more relationships and success in the workplace. You’ll learn how to manage your emotions in a healthy way, and how to use your emotions to improve productivity and overcome obstacles.

Your department will be charged a nominal fee ($50) for this workshop. Click here to register.


Penn Makes it Easy to Plan for the Future

Preston Broderick, Clinical Research Coordinator, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Preston Broderick is nowhere near being eligible to retire. In fact, the twenty-something clinical research coordinator has worked at Penn for only six years. But he’s well on his way to a healthy financial future.

With the help of the University’s retirement plans, Preston saves a whopping 14% of his annual salary for retirement—and he says it’s not as difficult as you might think.

“Penn makes it really easy to save for retirement. I can adjust my contributions online at any time, and they’re automatically deducted from my paycheck which means I never see the money leaving my account—and I never miss it,” Preston said.

Most of his savings come from Penn’s Tax-Deferred Retirement (TDR) Plan. When you participate in the TDR Plan, the University makes regular contributions to your account regardless of whether you contribute. And if you do contribute, Penn matches your funds dollar-for-dollar up to 5% of your base salary.

Since Preston is under 30 years old, Penn contributes 1.5% of his salary towards retirement. But in order to make the most of the University’s contributions, he contributes 5% of his salary to the plan—and the University matches it dollar for dollar.

Preston also contributes an additional 2.5% of his salary to the Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan.

"Saving for retirement was drilled into me by my parents and grandparents—and once I did the math, I realized how important it was, too. No matter how small your contribution, it adds up over 20 or 30 years,” Preston said.

He’s also keen on other resources Penn offers, like free retirement counseling for faculty and staff. He met with a retirement counselor to talk about Penn’s recent retirement plan fund changes and how his own investments would be impacted.

“It was really helpful. I learned a lot about Penn’s new fund lineup, and I got all the information I needed to choose new funds that closely matched the ones I invested in before,” Preston said.

Want to learn how Penn can help you get on the road to retirement? Click here for more information.