A-Z Index

March 2020 | HR Monthly Bulletin

Please Welcome our new bearcats:

Abbie Cornelius
Facility Services

Miranda Hoyt
Graduate Records Specialist
Graduate Office

Remington Long
Facility Services

Machelle Miles
Facility Services

Kimberly Violett
Registrar Services Specialist

Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service in March 2020!

5 Years
Cynthia Williams Executive Secretary Graduate Office
Cathy Barr Asst Coordinator/Field Experience Facility Services
Cassandra Tavorn TRIO Director TRIO Program
10 Years
Kurt Davis Pellet Plant Operator Landscape Services
Clinton Farnan Custodian Custodial Services


Mental Health and Wellness Resources

The Office of Human Resources would like to highlight the following resources that employees can use if needed. Both resources are confidential:

Employee Assistance Program
All Northwest employees are eligible to utilize Ability Assist Counseling Services sponsored by The Hartford. Read about the many benefits this program provides »

TAO-Therapy Assistance Online
This is a private online library of behavioral health resources. This is a free and confidential resource available to faculty and staff as well as students. Additionally, if you sign up with Be a Better Bearcat you will be eligible for prizes while also reducing your stress.

Wellness Services is offering a variety of on-line programing while we are all social distancing.  Make sure to follow us on social media @nw_wellness for all the updates. 

Benefits and Wellness Information

Insurance Updates Related to COVID-19

MOSERS Pre-Retirement Seminars 

MOSERS pre-retirement seminars were previously scheduled on campus on April 15, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and April 16, from 9 am to noon, Due to COVID-19, pre-retirement seminars will now be available by webinar only. 

Pre-retirement seminars are designed for MSEP and MSEP 2000 members who are within five years of their first normal retirement eligibility date. Topics include pension plan features, the retirement process (due dates, etc.), benefit formula, cost-of-living adjustments, and the decisions you will have to make during the retirement process, including benefit payment options and BackDROP. Life insurance in retirement and re-employment are also reviewed.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

NOTE: If you were employed by the state of Missouri, for the very first time, on or after January 1, 2011, you are a MSEP 2011 member, please visit the website at for seminars and webinar specifically designed for you.

BCBS COVID-19 Updates

We’re living in unprecedented times. Blue KC is here to help. We want to make sure you’re informed which is why we’ve taken steps to support you during this ever-changing health pandemic. We’re all in this together. Feel better knowing:

Your PCP has your back - What’s the first thing to do if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19? Call your primary care physician or healthcare provider for instructions. Do not walk into a healthcare facility without contacting the facility in advance – it could put others at risk. 

The COVID-19 test is covered 100% - Does your physician recommend that you be tested? There’s no cost sharing to worry about. All members should contact their primary care physician or healthcare provider to discuss criteria and availability of COVID-19 testing before visiting a healthcare facility. 

You can access from home - There’s no reason to leave home. You can access a video (face-to-face) visit right from your smartphone, tablet or computer with a virtual care doctor who’s been trained to evaluate for COVID-19. Services provided in the Blue KC app are at no cost until June 30, 2020. Download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play or go to In addition, until June 30, 2020 you can see your in-network providers, at no cost for virtual (face-to-face), telephone, e-mail or text visits. Cost sharing* still applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. *Deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance.

Relaxed rules on Rx refills - Like the CDC, we want you to have more than a one-month supply of medications on hand. So, we’ve waived early medication refills on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (excluding opioids and controlled substances). This means you won’t have to wait until you’re three-quarters into your medications to get a refill. To learn more about your plan’s pharmacy benefits, log into the member portal at

For the latest updates, visit

Optum 2019 HSA Contribution Deadline Extended

The federal income tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. As a result, the amount of time that individuals have to make 2019 health savings account (HSA) contributions has also been extended to July 15.

MO Cafeteria/ASI Flex Claims Submission

Effective March 24, ASI is taking the precautionary measure of allowing incoming mail to remain untouched and unopen for three (3) days to ensure the safety of our employees opening the mail. 

ASIFlex highly encourages participants to file claims electronically as this will result in quicker reimbursement to your employees and safer processing for our employees.  Participants can file claims via the free mobile app, online by signing into their account, or by fax at 877-879-9038.  We are asking participants to consider signing up for direct deposit and electronic communications via email or text as this will also reduce paper usage and wait times.  Participants can do this online once they sign into their account.

Spring 2020 Wellness Opportunities

5KXCV-KRNW Run for Radio Virtual Fundraiser

Practice social distancing while still enjoying the camaraderie of a 5K Run/Walk with other participants

To register for the 5K Run/Walk, click the button below or go to

Be a Better Bearcat 

The spring 2020 Be a Better Bearcat series will focus on behavioral health, wellness and professional development opportunities available to employees. Employees have the option to participate in two different pathways. 

The first pathway involves completing modules in Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). TAO is online self-help available 24/7 for Northwest employees. Several behavioral health modules are available, including general well-being and resilience, stress, anxiety, depression, pain management, and relationships and communication. TAO is interactive and allows employees to watch engaging videos and complete exercises. Employees who earn five badges by May 1 will be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the spring semester. One TAO administrator will be able to see only the number of badges earned for those employees participating in the Be a Better Bearcat group. If you are interested in participating with TAO, email TAO is completely confidential if you do not wish to participate in the Be a Better Bearcat group.  

The second pathway involves attending Wellness Workshops or Career Pathing events.

Employees who attend six of any Wellness Workshops or Career Pathing events by May 1 will be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the spring trimester. If you are interested in participating, please email Sign-in sheets are available at all Wellness Workshop and Career Pathing events. Be sure to sign in to those you attend. 

The Benefits and Wellness Committee also is implementing a year-long Be a Better Bearcat series. The series will focus on the available resources and tools found on the BCBS wellness portal, A Healthier You. Employees who earn 3,000 points between January 2020 and December 2020 will be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the year. Points can be earned by logging in, condition management, daily tracking through a connected fitness device and preventive actions such as flu shots, cancer screenings and completing the Health Risk Assessment. Points can also be spent on sweepstakes for a chance to win digital gift cards from BCBS. In 2019, 40 Northwest employees earned gift cards. For more information about earning points, read How to Earn Points. If you are interested in participating, please email

Fitness Challenge

The Benefits and Wellness Committee is sponsoring a fitness challenge in April. Watch for additional information to be emailed next week.

Personal and Professional Development Webinars

All BCBS members have access to free live webinars available through New Directions each month. >For a list of available webinars and for instructions on registering, read NDBH Webinar Schedule. If you have any questions, please email

Campus Recreation Offerings 

Please note: Campus Recreation offerings are not currently available due to COVID-19

The Foster Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Center and the Hughes Fieldhouse walking track are free for all employees and spouses to use. 

Free group exercise classes are also available at Foster Fitness Center at 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday; click See available classes »

The Student Recreation Center has three basketball courts, a four-lane suspended track, a newly renovated exercise area and six racquetball courts. 

The Hughes Fieldhouse walking track is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The Mozingo Outdoor Education and Recreation Area (MOERA) is located nine miles from Northwest at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park. It offers a variety of outdoor programs, including a high ropes challenge course with a Carolina climbing wall, Alpine obstacle tower and TDC team-building course as well as a shotgun range, and canoes and kayaks on the lake. Contact Chase Hall at or 660.562.1759 for information and reservations. 

For a complete listing of campus recreation hours of operation, please see campus recreation hours webpage

Mosaic Offerings

Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville is offering a personalized weight management program called Healthy Lifestyles. The program is designed to help people of all ages and sizes achieve an improved quality of life through medical nutritional counseling, teaching and lifestyle changes. For additional information about the program, view Mosaic Healthy Lifestyles.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield Updates

Prescription Drug List Updates - BCBS will be making changes to some prescription drugs that will go into effect January 1, 2020. 

Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transition - Beginning January 1, 2020, pharmacy benefits for BCBS will be administered by a new pharmacy benefit manager, OptumRx. This new partnership will allow BCBS to drive greater affordability for customers through highly competitive pricing and continued innovation. 

Change to BCBS ID Cards - BCBS will be issuing new member ID cards for 2020 with the following changes:

  1. Cards will reflect new pharmacy information
  2. Copays will no longer be listed on the ID cards. Copays and member responsibilities can vary based on different services, providers and other circumstances. Copay references were removed from ID cards to reduce member confusion at point of care.
  3. Cards will have clear description of Behavioral Health and Substance Use next to the customer service phone number related to those benefits. 

Student Employment

Students make up an important and valuable part of the workforce at Northwest. Acknowledging the contributions made by your student employees and graduate assistants encourages them and motivates them to do their best.  Here are some suggestions for ways to let your students know how much their work is appreciated. Use these tips during National Student Employment Appreciation Week (second full week of April) or any time!

Realizing the current circumstances may require some creativity to show our appreciation, here are some ideas to celebrate employees remotely.

Don’t forget to watch social media for the Northwest Awards and Recognition nominees and winners!

Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony
In alignment with Northwest’s response to COVID-19, the Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony is canceled. Instead, Northwest will recognize all nominees and winners via its social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), April 6–17, and a webpage will list all nominees and winners.

Nominees and winners will receive a copy of their nomination and certificate; winners will receive their award, via mail.

The Northwest Awards and Recognition committee thanks all who took the time to nominate individuals and teams for this year’s awards. We are saddened to cancel this event that recognizes Bearcats who strive for greatness every day. Please join us in congratulating all of the nominees and winners.

2020 Federal W-4 and Withholding Tax Changes

The Internal Revenue Service, IRS, has released a 2020 Federal W-4 form that is different from previous versions. The IRS is not requiring all employees to complete the 2020 Federal W-4 form, but advises all employees to review their paycheck and evaluate the need to make adjustments to tax withholdings. If employees do not complete a 2020 Federal W-4 form, withholding will continue based on the most recent W-4 form completed.  Effective January 2020, all new employees and employees making withholding changes must complete the 2020 Federal W-4 form.

We encourage all employees to consult their tax advisor to review existing withholding status, evaluate the impact and make any corresponding changes using the 2020 FederalW-4 form on MyNorthwest. Employees should complete the form online, print, sign and submit to payroll. Forms received by the 10th of the month will be included in the respective month’s payroll.

Contact the payroll office at 660.562.1108 if you have questions.

Staff Council

Northwest Wesley Foundation wants to introduce additional services to the Bearcat community!
What: Prayer/Meditation Space
Purpose: To support interfaith practices, as well as, stress reduction. It is available for quiet contemplation, meditation, reflection and prayer.

Available for all students, faculty, and staff during normal hours of operation and when space is available. The Wesley Center is located just south of Hudson-Perrin at 549 W 4th St. For more information about the Wesley Center please visit

Staff Council
Northwest Staff Council represents a unified voice for all Northwest Staff. To learn about the staff, upcoming events, or if you have any concerns please visit us at

Employee Discounts

United Fiber
Due to the increased likelihood of remote work, United Fiber is offering Northwest employees who are current customers a free upgrade to their Home internet package (500 Mb). If interested, contact United Fiber at 800-748-1488.

State Employee Discount
The State Employee Discount Website provides Missouri State Employees and Retirees opportunities to purchase deeply discounted tickets for events the whole family can enjoy. In addition to Attractions and Entertainment, the website also offers year round savings for Education, Products and Services, and Technology.   
Use this link to find more information on other products and services available on the State Employee Discount website.

Interstate All Battery Center $10 Off Coupon
Interstate All Battery Center in St. Joseph is offering a $10 off coupon for any mobile device repair. Click here to access the coupon. This is only valid at the St. Joseph location.

Verizon Wireless Personal Account Discount
Verizon Wireless is offering employees of the University an 18% discount on their personal Verizon Wireless accounts. Employees will need to go to to get the discount set up. You will use your work email address as verification of employment. 

Sprint Works Program
Click here for details on new promotions from Sprint.


Reminder: Bearcat Food Pantry
The mission of the Bearcat Food Pantry is to provide a source of food and necessities for Northwest students and employees experiencing food insecurity and hunger. The food pantry is located in the J.W. Jones Student Union and is accessible from 8 am to 5 pm. Northwest accepts food donations for the pantry at the Student
Engagement Center and the Student Affairs office both located on the 2nd floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union. For a list of most needed items, click here. Monetary donations to support the food pantry should be directed to the Northwest Foundation and are tax deductible.

"We Gotchya!" 
"We Gotchya!" is supplying feminine products in high-traffic ladies’ rooms on campus. For more information about “We Gotchya!” visit

Friends of International Students
Friends of International Students (FIS) is a community-based organization established to match interested area individuals and families (friends) with international students at Northwest. The program goals are to provide support to the students as they become adjusted to their new home and to promote friendship and understanding between people of different nationalities.

FIS is currently recruiting more friends to connect with international students. Friends are asked to make contact with assigned students at least once a month during their year-long commitment to the program. Contact can take many forms including family dinners, attending sporting events, pumpkin carving, and various other activities involving two-way cultural tradition sharing. For more information or to apply, please contact the board members at or check it out online

Does your department need office supplies?

Please check the “How to Purchase Office Supplies” guide. Various binders, hanging file folders and other office supplies are available at no cost to departments at Central Receiving.

Purchase Requisition Training Videos

Purchasing has created instructional videos explaining how to create a purchase requisition and a Central Stores purchase requisition in Banner/INB. The videos are available in MyNorthwest, Employee Resources - Finance

Workstation Safety Guidelines

It is important for employees to apply good ergonomic practices. To view a complete list of ergonomic suggestions, visit Workstation safety guideline.