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HR Monthly Bulletin April

Please welcome our new bearcats!

 

Samuel Feenstra
Senior Maintenance Technician
Maintenance

Justice Mang'anda
Counselor
Wellness Services

Gaige Olivero
Officer
University Police Department

 

Madeline Smith
Project Assistant for Curriculum
& Instruction
Regional Professional
Development Center

 

Ronald Wendle
Groundskeeper
Landscape Services

 

Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service
in April 2022!

5 Years

Scott Kuhlemeyer Director of Capital Programs Facility Services
Tyler Steele Project manager Facility Services

15 Years

Robert Archer Groundskeeper Landscape Services

25 Years

Ricky Allen Senior Maintenance Zone Supervisor Maintenance

Policy & Required Training Updates

 Mandatory Training

Northwest is again partnering with Vector SafeColleges to provide training related to a variety of topics throughout the 2021-2022 academic year. The deadline to complete the following trainings is July 1, 2022.

  • FERPA
  • Hazard Communications
  • Drug Free Workplace
  • Organizational Profile
  • Email & Messaging Safety
  • Password Security Basics
  • Active Shooter: Run, Hide, Fight

Opportunities to Get Involved

Northwest Affinity Groups

Affinity groups are designed to create safe spaces for members to share and process experiences. As allies, our affinity group also allows participants the opportunity to identify ways in which we can appropriately use our privilege to bring about social change. For more information, visit Northwest affinity groups.

Affinity group and Employee resource groups logos, listed are ABE, LGBTQIA, Ally and Community Connections

 

Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony 

Congratulations to all of the Recipients of the HR and Student Employment Northwest Awards of Excellence

  • Student Impact Faculty Award: Jacquie Lamer, School of Communication and Mass Media
  • Student Impact Staff: Will Murphy, School of Communication and Mass Media
  • Student Employment Supervisor of the Year: Julie Johnson, Office of Academic Success and Retention
  • Student Employment Team of the Year: Student Success Center, leadership staff
  • Student Employee of the Year: Martina Pascuzzo, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
  • Quality of Work: Annaliese Punt, Office of Student Involvement
  • Reliability: Kaylin Byland, KXCV-KRNW
  • Initiative: Joseph Gruber, School of Computer Science and Information Systems
  • Professionalism: Haley Endsley, Office of Human Resources
  • Uniqueness of Contribution: Christian Dixon, Office of University Marketing and Communication

Staff Council

Northwest Staff Council represents a unified voice for all Northwest staff. To learn about staff, upcoming events or voice concerns, visit Northwest Staff Council.

Employee Recognition

The Employee and Recognition Committee of Staff Council has initiated the use of Kudoboard! This is a way for any employee to give thanks to colleagues who have gone above and beyond and deserve recognition. Each month Staff Council representatives will send links from the previous month’s Kudoboard, so you can view all of the kudos and see if you received a shout-out. We encourage everyone to use this frequently as a way to say thanks to our coworkers who work so hard.

You can now access the Kudoboard at myNorthwest. To view past Kudoboards and submit a shout-out, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/intranet/employee/.

 

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

The Office of Human Resources highlights the following resources that employees may use as necessary. Mindful by BlueKC, the EAP and TAO are completely confidential.

Family Guidance partnership to assist employees

Northwest is committed to providing employees with a resource to assist with mental health needs.

The University has established a partnership with Cali Lloyd at Family Guidance, who can provide assistance to employees with locating available resources based on need. Cali will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. In addition to those days, she can be available as needed by appointment.

Contact Cali via email at clloyd@fgcnow.org.

This service is confidential, and employees will work directly with Cali for assistance.

For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127.

Mindful by BlueKC

Mindful by BlueKC is a behavioral health initiative dedicated to reducing stigma around behavioral health in our communities while making care accessible and affordable for members. Mindful by Blue KC is a commitment to covering the health needs of the whole person and comes to life as a set of tools and resources to address stress, depression, anxiety, substance use and more. This ensures that members can access and afford the behavioral healthcare they need. 

Mindful Advocates are available 24/7 and are licensed behavioral health clinicians who match members to providers and guide care plans. Mindful Advocates may be contacted at 833.302.6463. For more information, visit Mindful by BlueKC initiative.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

All Northwest employees are eligible to use 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. It is a free and confidential resource available to faculty and staff as well as students. For more information, visit TAO-Therapy Assistance Online. 

Wellness Services is offering a variety of online programing. Follow Wellness Services on Twitter and Instagram at @nw_wellness for updates.

New Directions resource program center

The center provides reliable information about a variety of mental and behavioral health topics. For more information, visit New Directions Health Resources.

For information about a specific substance use, visit New Directions Substance Use Disorders Center, or call the Substance Use Disorder Hotline at 877.326.2458.

If you have any questions, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.

Benefits & Wellness Information

MOSERS termination and reemployment rules

This month, active employees who are within one year of normal retirement eligibility or already eligible to retire received a letter about the MOSERS termination and reemployment rules. Additionally, an automatic reminder letter will be sent to active employees when they reach the following milestones: one year before early retirement eligibility, two years before normal retirement eligibility, and one year before normal retirement eligibility.

The termination and reemployment rules state that before receiving a benefit payment from MOSERS, IRS rules require a “bona fide termination” of a member’s employment. For purposes of MOSERS Board Rules, a "bona fide termination" occurs when:

  • They have completely severed employment;
  • They have not entered into a prearranged agreement (written or oral), prior to retirement, with the state of Missouri or any MOSERS-covered employer for subsequent employment on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other); and
  • They are not subsequently employed with the state of Missouri or any MOSERS-covered employer on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other) within 30 days after their employment with their prior employer has ended.

For more information, please see our FAQs on termination and reemployment rules and our termination and reemployment rules flyer.

Please note that if they do not have a bona fide separation of service, their retirement will be null and void, meaning they will not receive their pension payments.


BlueKC SmartShopper

BlueKC is partnering with Sapphire Digital to offer SmartShopper, an incentive platform that can save members money on healthcare expenses every time they select a reward-eligible, lower-cost care for qualifying procedures such as MRIs, colonoscopies or blood work. 

SmartShopper is embedded within the provider finder and cost estimator tools in your mybluekc.com portal. To watch a short video about SmartShopper, click here.


MOSERS educational programs

MOSERS offers educational programs to help members learn information about their benefits as they progress through their career and experience different life events along the way. 

Newer Employees and MOSERS Webinars: Start learning about the state benefits administered by MOSERS.

  • For employees who are newer to the state with at least six months but less than five years of service (not yet vested)
  • Speakers include MOSERS and MO Deferred Comp
  • Daytime and evening sessions available
  • Sessions last approximately 90 minutes
  • Register via GoTo Webinar for a daytime session or evening session.

Mid-Career Webinar: Learn how different career and life events may affect your pension benefit.

  • For employees with at least five years of service (vested) and 10 or more years until retirement eligibility
  • Speakers include MOSERS and MO Deferred Comp
  • Daytime and evening sessions available
  • Sessions last approximately two hours
  • Register by following step-by-step instructions for enrolling in a webinar via myMOSERS and GoTo Webinar.

Ready to Retire Sessions: Learn about the retirement process and how different decisions may impact your pension benefit.

  • For employees within five years of retirement eligibility
  • Speakers include MOSERS, MO Deferred Comp, MCHCP and Social Security
  • Daytime and evening sessions available
  • Sessions are full-day or part-day or evening depending on the audience

Stay up to date and visit www.mosers.org/education frequently for more information, including schedules and how to register. 


MyBlueKC mobile app now includes virtual care

Blue KC offers members digital tools to allow quick access to health insurance plan information to support them along their health journey.

Today many members enjoy the convenience of Blue KC Virtual Care from their mobile device or laptop computer. Virtual care offers a fast, simple way to see a doctor 24/7 for sick care or to make an appointment with a behavioral health provider.

The Blue KC Virtual Care has moved from its own, standalone app to the MyBlueKC mobile app. This change means virtual care is now a feature in an app that members frequently use. With just a few taps, members can have a video visit with a doctor as well as get benefit information, view claims, download digital ID cards, and connect to health and wellness programs – all in one place. Make sure you have updated to the latest version of the MyBlueKC mobile app through your device settings for the virtual care functionality.

For instructions on how to get the MyBlueKC app, click here


Reimbursement for over-the-counter COVID tests

On Jan. 10, the Biden administration released new guidance requiring health plans to reimburse covered individuals for over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 diagnostic tests. This policy went into effect Saturday, Jan. 15, and will remain in effect through the end of the public health emergency.

Coverage is limited to eight tests per covered individual per 30-day period for OTC rapid antigen diagnostic tests. Tests must be for personal use, not for employment purposes, have not or will not be reimbursed by another source and may not be resold. OTC COVID-19 tests purchased prior to Jan. 15, 2022, are not eligible for reimbursement.

How does it work?

Eight OTC tests with no out-of-pocket expense

Members who have pharmacy benefits through Blue KC are eligible to obtain eight tests directly from their local in-network pharmacy with no out-of-pocket costs. They simply show their Blue KC member ID card at an in-network pharmacy and ask them to process up to eight tests through the pharmacy benefit*. Please note, members are limited to a maximum of eight tests with no out-of-pocket costs at the in-network pharmacy; the tests can be obtained all at once, or incrementally over time, but cannot exceed the maximum of eight. Members who purchase OTC COVID-19 tests and pay out of pocket can be reimbursed as described below. Additional tests are limited to eight per 30-day period per member.

*If the pharmacy will not process the member’s test(s) through their pharmacy benefit the member is asked to follow the subsequent test reimbursement direction listed below.

OTC test reimbursement:

Individuals will be reimbursed for 100 percent of the cost of the test. Sales tax and delivery charges are not covered and will not be reimbursed. Individuals can use this form to request reimbursement for tests. Please note the reimbursement eligibility requirements, including the link to a list of FDA-approved tests, are listed at the top of the form.

Types of tests eligible for no out-of-pocket expense and/or reimbursement:

Tests must be authorized or approved by the FDA. For a list of EUA authorized tests, click here and enter OTC into the list search box located under the article titled "Individual EUAs for Antigen Diagnostic Tests for SARS-CoV-2" and above the table. The list may be subject to change. Please note, tests must be self-administered and self-read. Any COVID-19 test that requires a healthcare provider to administer or read is not eligible under this OTC benefit but may be eligible under your medical benefits.


Extension of COVID-19 coverage and policies

Blue KC remains focused on ensuring our members have access to the care they need as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will extend the COVID-19 public health emergency period through April 15, 2022.

As a result, Blue KC is announcing it will go beyond the public health emergency period and extend the following coverage and member relief through June 30, 2022, for commercial plans (ACA individual and family plans will observe the COVID-19 benefit coverage until the end of the emergency period only).

  • Waiving all member cost sharing for virtual (face-to-face), telephone, email or text visits for medical services or behavioral health therapy (cost sharing still applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy). Please note, effective Jan. 1, 2022, this waiver does not apply to Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible health plans to the extent such coverage would disqualify the member from making a contribution to an HSA.
  • Prior authorizations will be waived for diagnostic tests and for outpatient covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 tests ordered by a physician, and associated services, will continue to be covered with no cost sharing for Blue KC members. Note, tests and services that are work-related, as well as public surveillance testing, are not covered.

Due to the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, after Dec. 31, 2021, we will no longer waive all member cost sharing and copayments for in-patient hospital admissions due to the diagnosis of COVID-19


Beware of financial planning emails

It has come to our attention that some employees have received emails from financial planning companies implying they are partnered with MOSERS. The content of the emails suggests that members must pay for a meeting with a retirement counselor and that they can learn how to increase their retirement savings. This is inaccurate. MOSERS has not authorized any outside financial planners to advise our members on their MOSERS benefits. 

As a reminder, the services offered through MOSERS and MO Deferred Comp are provided to MOSERS members at no cost. In regard to increasing their retirement savings, MOSERS members have the ability to meet with MO Deferred Comp financial education professionals to help make savings decisions as they prepare for retirement.

We advise all MOSERS members to stay vigilant and double-check the addresses of email senders before clicking any links. 


Mindful by BlueKC

Mindful by BlueKC is a behavioral health initiative dedicated to reducing stigma around behavioral health in our communities while making care accessible and affordable for members. Mindful by Blue KC is a commitment to covering the health needs of the whole person and comes to life as a set of tools and resources to address stress, depression, anxiety, substance use and more. This ensures members can access and afford the behavioral healthcare they need.

Mindful Advocates are available 24/7 and are licensed behavioral health clinicians who match members to providers and guide care plans. Mindful Advocates may be contacted at 833.302.6463. For more information, visit Mindful by BlueKC initiative.


A Healthier You (AHY)

A Healthier You is Blue KC's health and wellness program focused on achieving outcomes by improving the health of members. AHY offers helpful tools and resources as well as a personalized empowerment portal and mobile experience, uniquely designed to learn more about each member and provide the appropriate support, incentives and interventions for the members health journey. Members also may earn points for completing health actions and can potentially win digital gift cards to retailers such as Amazon, Target and Walmart.

For information about logging in to your AHY portal, visit Accessing A Healthier You. To learn how to earn points and be entered into the gift card sweepstakes, click here


Blue365 deals

Blue365 is a free health and wellness discount program offered to Blue KC members for year-round discounts on gym memberships, fitness gear, healthy eating options and more. To register and browse available discounts, log in to your mybluekc.com portal and select Health Programs in the Health & Wellness menu. For more information, click here.


Campus recreation offerings 

The Foster Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Center and the Hughes Fieldhouse walking track are free for all employees and spouses to use. Employees and spouses must complete the assumption of risk and waiver of liability form on CatPAWS in advance of using the Foster Fitness Center. For more information, visit the fees and memberships.  

The Mozingo Outdoor Education and Recreation Area (MOERA) is located nine miles east of 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 crec@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1759 for information and reservations. 

View a complete listing of campus recreations hours here


Mosaic offerings

Mosaic Medical Center-Maryville offers 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, visit Healthy Lifestyles: Personalized Weight Management Program.

Employee Discounts

State Employee Discount

The State Employee Discount Website provides Missouri State Employees and Retirees with opportunities to purchase deeply discounted tickets for events the whole family can enjoy. In addition to attractions and entertainment, the website offers year-round savings for education, products, services and technology.  

To learn more information on other products and services available, visit State of Missouri Employee Discount website.


T-Mobile

View T-Mobile's perks for Northwest Missouri State employees »


Home Chef

Home Chef is recognizing our nation’s educators and school support personnel with a 50 percent discount on their first scheduled Home Chef meal kit and a $10 discount on five subsequent deliveries. Simply use code EDU50 at checkout to begin receiving your education discount.

Get Started with Home Chef

Home Chef makes home cooking simple. Their fresh, weekly meal kits are customized to your liking and delivered straight to your doorstep. Minimize your trips to the grocery store and distress your evenings with delicious, pre-planned meals starting at just $6.99 per serving. Here’s how it works:

  • Select recipes each week that fit your preferences.
  • Use their Customize feature to upgrade, swap, or double up on your favorite protein.
  • Receive fresh, pre-portioned ingredients delivered to your door.
  • Effortlessly create exciting dishes with step-by-step recipe cards.

Your education discount is available at //homechef.com/edu and, if you are already a customer, you can verify with ID.me on the payment page of your account to begin receiving 10 percent off all future orders.

Miscellaneous

Summer Parking

From Monday, May 9, through Friday, Aug. 5, the following policies apply to parking on campus.

  • A parking permit is required to park on campus.
  • All parking permits (faculty/staff, commuter, resident) will be honored in all lots on campus.
  • Camp participants and guests may pick up a free, three-day visitor parking permit at the University Police Department (open 24/7).
  • Camp hosts may request e-permits sent to them by email at police@nwmissouri.edu to forward to all participants, counselors, coaches and guests.
  • All traffic and parking policies will be enforced 24/7, with the exception of lot designations referenced above.
  • Refer to the “policies” tab at nwmissouri.edu/police/parking/
  • Direct questions or requests to police@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1254.


Authorization for Fee Reduction

The Authorization for Fee Reduction form used to request and authorize fee reductions for faculty, staff, senior citizens, retirees and dependents of faculty, staff and retirees is now an online Dynamic Form.  To complete the form, login with your network ID and password.  Please be sure to complete the form prior to the first day of the semester.  The form is available through the Student Account Services website.  


COVID-19 Vaccine

The Wellness Center has the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Walk in at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, or call 660.562.1348 for an appointment.


Paperless Billing

Would you like to sign up for paperless billing? We can email your billing statement to the email address of your preference. You can sign up at any time by completing the Faculty/Staff email billing address under Personal Information in your CatPAWS account, or complete the information at https://www.nwmissouri.edu/studentaccounts/paperless-billing.htm


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 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Northwest accepts food donations for the pantry at the Student Engagement Center and the Office of Student Affairs located on the second floor of the Student Union. For a list of most needed items, visit Bearcat Food Pantry. Monetary donations to support the food pantry should be directed to the Northwest Foundation and are tax-deductible.


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 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, contact board members at FIS@nwmissouri.edu or visit www.nwmissouri.edu/international/services/friends/.


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 the Materials Distribution Center.


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.