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January 2023 | HR Monthly Bulletin

Please welcome our new bearcats!

Deanna-Clayton

Deanna Clayton
Dispatcher
University Police Department

 Keatley-Cotter

Keatley Cotter
Resident Director
Residential Life

 

Cammi Faustlin

Cammi Faustlin
Custodian
Facility Services

Kyle-Hansen

Kyle Hansen
Fleet & Small Engines Mechanic
Facility Services

Kathryn-Hansraj

Kathryn Hansraj

Resident Director
Residential Life

 

 

Stephanie Smith

Campus Tour/Visit Assistant

Admissions

 

 Faith Thompson

Student Involvement Coordinator

Student Involvement

 

 

Johnathan Riley

Recycling Center Technician

Facility Services

 

 

Weipeng Wu

Intructor

Finance

Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service
in January 2023!

5 YEARS

Jessica Anderson Instructor Nutrition/Dietetics
Caleb Booth Groundskeeper Landscape Services
Marc Gordon Head Soccer Coach Athletics
Greg Hansen AVP Student Affairs - Campus Recreation Student Affairs
Holly Kunkel Custodian Custodial Services

10 Years

Mellanie Faustlin Custodian Custodial Services
Alyssa Pulley Director of Purchasing Purchasing

 15 Years

Robin Moser Custodian Custodial Services
Christopher Redden Recycling Center Supervisor Recycling Center
Kim Surprise Creative Services Manager University Marketing & Communication

Sweets for Scholarships Bake Sale

The Staff Council's Outreach Committee is hosting a Valentine's Day bake sale Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Council members will visit various buildings on campus throughout the day. Cash payments only.

Click the link to this flyer for more information.

Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony

Call for Nominations

Is there an outstanding student, student organization, faculty or staff member that comes to mind when you think of their exceptional dedication to Northwest or the Maryville community?

Nominations for the Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony are now open.

Please sign into BearcatLink using your Northwest username and password before filling out any of the nomination forms linked below. There is no limit on the number of nominations an individual may submit. The deadline to submit nominations is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, unless indicated otherwise below.

Click here for descriptions of all awards and nomination forms. 

B.D. Owens Library

Submission deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 31.  

Student Employment Awards
Graduate Office Awards
Office of Student Involvement

Student Organizations and Leadership Awards:  Submit a nomination

Student Success Center
Office of Human Resources

Student Impact Awards: Submit a nomination

International Involvement Center: Submit a nomination
Student Senate: Submit a nomination

Parking Permit Registration

Registration for the annual parking permit is available on CatPAWS for the spring semester price in January. Permit purchases are longer applied to Northwest accounts and may be paid by debit or credit card.

Register and collect temporary and visitor permits 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the University Police Department. Temporary and visitor permits are not available at the Administration Building, effective Dec. 31.

If you have any questions, please contact UPD at 660.562.1254.

Policy & Required Training Updates

Mandatory training

Northwest is again partnering with Vector SafeColleges to provide training related to a variety of topics throughout the 2022-2023 academic year.

Additional training opportunities

RESPOND Training

The dates for the 2022-23 RESPOND trainings have been set. Register at www.nwmissouri.edu/wellness/education/respond.htm.

Staff training is 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 30-31 and attendance on both days is required to receive credit.

Remaining student dates are Feb. 9 from 4 to 8 p.m., March 21 from 1 to 5 p.m., and April 15 from 1 to 5 p.m.

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.

Association of Black Employees Logo

Contact Giselle Greenidge ggreenidge@nwmissouri.edu 

LGBTQIA Logo

Contact Elyssa Ford ebford@nwmissouri.edu 

ALLY Affinity Group Logo

Contact ALLY@nwmissouri.edu 

Community-Connections-logo

Contact Maryvillecommunityconnections@gmail.com 

Employee Resource Groups

These employee-led groups aim to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace. Contact each group individually. 

Diversity Groups

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 Engagement Action Tracker Update

Well-being and perks:

Health care:

Compensation

Trust and communication

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

The University has established a partnership with Family Guidance Center to provide a crisis counselor on site. Holly McMillen, a certified licensed professional counselor, is available Monday through Friday to respond to any crisis or resource needs.

This service is confidential. Contact Holly directly to schedule an appointment at hmcmillen@fgcnow.org or 660.853.8196.

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

Supporting Colleagues Through Tough Times

Holly McMillen, our embedded certified licensed professional counselor, will host a session, "Supporting Colleagues Through Tough Times" in the J.W. Jones Student Union, Meet Room A on the following dates:

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 health care 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 Northwest employees and 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 questions, email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.

Diabetes Support Group

Wellness Services will host a diabetes support group from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Student Union Meeting Room D. 

This fun and educational event is open to community members, Northwest employees and students of all ages to gather and discuss living with Type 1 Diabetes. Snacks will be provided. 

Benefits & Wellness Information

Ameritas Policy Claim Deadline 

Our former vision provider, Ameritas, will consider any covered vision expense incurred prior to the policy termination date of Dec. 31, 2022. A claim must be received within 90 days of the date the expense was incurred. Any claim received after the 90 days will be considered if it can be shown that it was not possible to submit the claim within the time allowed. 

For claim forms or additional information, visit www.ameritasgroup.com or call 800.255.4931.


Heart Health Challenge 

Foster Fitness Center is hosting a Heart Health Challenge in the month of February for National Heart Health Month. The challenge is held from February 1st - March 3rd. Sign up deadline is February 7th.

Contact fitness@nwmissouri.edu for any questions.

Please see attached flyer for full information and QR code.


Maintain Don't Gain Challenge Winners

The prize drawing winners from the Maintain Don't Gain Challenge are:

Thank you to all individuals who participated!


BlueKC Premium Formulary Updates

Changes have been made to the Prescription Drug List for 2023. The Blue KC Medical and Pharmacy Management Committee reviews and maintains the Prescription Drug List. The Committee, consisting of practicing physicians and pharmacists in the Kansas City area, hosts quarterly meetings to evaluate new drug therapies and review drug utilization issues. Medications are evaluated based on drug safety and costs.

Any member impacted by premium formulary updates should have received a letter from BlueKC outlining the changes. If you have questions about the Premium Formulary list for 2023, contact BlueKC at 816.395.2222 or the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127.


BlueKC SmartShopper

BlueKC is partnering with Sapphire Digital to offer SmartShopper, an incentive platform that can save members money on health care 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. Click here to watch a short video about SmartShopper.


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.

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

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

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


MOSERS termination and reemployment rules

For employees in a MOSERS eligible position and nearing retirement, keep in mind the termination and reemployment rules. Those 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:

For more information, please see MOSERS' FAQs on termination and reemployment rules and its termination and reemployment rules flyer.

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


MO Deferred Comp Retirement Plan

The MO Deferred Comp plan is a supplemental retirement savings option available to employees. Visit the website at www.modeferredcomp.org to learn more about the plan, register for education sessions, or find financial planning options.


MyBlueKC mobile app 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.

Click here for instructions on how to get the MyBlueKC app.


Reimbursement for over-the-counter COVID tests

On Jan. 10, 2022, 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 Jan. 15, 2022, 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.


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)

The A Healthier You program gives you convenient online and mobile access to wellness tools that you can use to live your healthiest life. Plus, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for chances to win gift cards to some popular retailers. For additional information about the program, please 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. 

The Hughes Fieldhouse walking track is available for employee use, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Employees should enter through the south doors, and parking is available in the south lots. Kids are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult at all times while on the track. Click here to view a listing of when the walking track is not available.


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

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:

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

Federal Student Loan Debt Relief

Federal Student Loan Debt Relief Plan

In August, the Biden-Harris administration announced a three-part plan to help student loan borrowers transition to post-pandemic loan repayment. Part of this plan includes two tiers of loan forgiveness for an estimated 43 million student and parent loan borrowers.  

Borrowers are eligible for this relief on outstanding student loan debt if their individual income is less than $125,000, or $250,000 for households. Those who received a Pell Grant in college and meet the income threshold will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation. Others who meet the income threshold will be eligible for up to $10,000 in debt cancellation. An online application for qualified borrowers to request debt relief is now available at https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application.

For more information about actions you can take now and to sign up and receive updates directly from the U.S. Department of Education, visit https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/debt-relief-info.

Miscellaneous

COVID-19 vaccine / booster

Wellness Services is offering COVID-19 first and second vaccines as well as the bivalent COVID booster (Pfizer and Moderna). Call 660.562.1348 to schedule an appointment. 


Flu Shots

For the remainder of the fall semester, employees may walk in to Wellness Services for an influenza vaccine between 10 and 11 a.m. Monday through Friday when the University is open. Bring your insurance card with you.



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 may 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


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 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 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.