A-Z Index

March 2023 | HR Monthly Bulletin

Health Risk assessments no longer offered in 2023 - Change to Wellness program

Northwest cares about the health and wellness of its employees and is responding to feedback from the employee engagement survey regarding concerns about the rising costs of health insurance premiums. For these reasons, the University’s employee wellness program is changing in 2023.

Preventive care is routine healthcare that includes screenings and labs to help prevent illness, disease or other health problems. Along with a healthy lifestyle, taking basic preventive care steps can immensely improve your health in the future and reduce healthcare costs. 

What is changing

In 2023, Northwest is moving away from annual health risk assessments and implementing a primary care provider wellness program. 

The primary care provider wellness program consists of an annual preventive visit and routine labs ordered by a healthcare provider. Our health plan covers an annual preventive visit and routine labs, funded at 100 percent, when you see an in-network provider. 

Employees will need to download and print a Physician Screening Form (PSF) from the A Healthier You portal to bring with them to their preventive care appointment. Employees on a Northwest health plan who do not return the PSF by Oct. 15, 2023, will be assessed a $50 per month premium differential beginning with the December 2023 paycheck. 

The on-campus biometric screening event that typically happens in October each year will no longer be offered.

The online health risk assessment questionnaire will not be required as a part of the primary care provider wellness program, but employees are still encouraged to complete the online assessment. 

At this time, spouses on a Northwest health plan will not be required, but are encouraged, to participate in the primary care provider wellness program. 

Next steps

For additional resources, including quick references and answers to frequently asked questions, such as how to access A Healthier You, how to download the Physician Screening Form and what to say when you call to make your preventive care appointment, visit

Please Welcome Our New Bearcats!


Lacy Carlson

Facility Services


Brianna Colvin

Facility Services

Kaitlin Epperson
Assistant Professor

Agricultural Sciences

Employee Anniversaries

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


Brooke McAtee Director of Nursing Nursing

25 Years

Darla Runyon Director, NW Online & LTC
Learning & Teaching Center
Kimberly Todd Business Operations Specialist Information Technology

Upcoming Events

Atlantic Hope 2023

Atlantic Hope, will be taking place Thursday, March 30, through Sunday, April 2, at Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area. Atlantic Hope, like Missouri Hope, is a multi-discipline mass casualty training experience that involves various workers in the medical field, police forces, fire brigades and armed forces, in addition to faculty and students in emergency management and other areas. 

Individuals interested in participating as role players or in other roles may sign up by visiting For more information, contact Peter Adam,

Denim Day

Wellness Services Education and Prevention invites you to wear jeans to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence on Wednesday, April 26. 

Post a picture wearing jeans with #NWdenimday to receive a limited-edition Denim Day pin from Wellness Services Education and Prevention. Pins may be picked up at the J.W. Jones Student Union from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or at the Bearcat Bash from 3 to 5 p.m. 

For more information about the history of Denim Day, visit

Diabetes Support Group

Wellness Services will host a diabetes support group from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in Student Union Meeting Room C. 

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. 

Bearcat Bash

Staff council is hosting the Bearcat Bash for all Northwest employees from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at the Raymond J. Courter College Park Pavillion. There will be free food, music, prizes and more. Click here to add this event to your calender.

Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony

The Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony is a collaborative celebration involving the Office of Student Involvement, Student Success Center, Office of Human Resources, Student Senate, International Involvement Center, Library Services, Graduate School and Student Employment to recognize excellence among Northwest students and employees.

Northwest employees and students are invited to enjoy refreshments from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. The program begins at 3:30 p.m. and concludes by 5 p.m. Dress is business casual.  

National Student Employment Appreciation Week, April 10-16

Students make up an important and valuable part of the workforce at Northwest. Acknowledging the contributions made by student employees and graduate assistants encourages and motivates them to do their best. Click this link with suggestions for ways to let your students know how much their work is appreciated. Use these tips during National Student Employment Appreciation Week or any other time.

For more information, contact Student Employment at 660.562.1140 or Paula McLain at

Student Employee & Graduate Assistant Appreciation Event

The Office of Human Resources and Graduate Office are hosting an appreciation event for student employees and graduate assistants from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 12. Click here for more details.

Ramadan 2023

Ramadan 2023 will last from approximately March 23 through April 22 and is the Muslim month of fasting. Ramadan is scheduled according to the lunar calendar, so dates change each year. Please see attached flyer for more information.

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.

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 


Contact Elyssa Ford 

ALLY Affinity Group Logo




Employee Resource Groups

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

Diversity Groups

Space Allocation Committee

Northwest has reformed a standing Space Allocation Committee to assess and make recommendations to the Northwest Leadership Team in accordance with developed procedures. The committee is charged with ensuring the allocation of campus space is conducted in a consistent and strategic manner to optimize the productive use of spaces in relation to demonstrated need and to meet the University’s strategic priorities.

The Space Allocation Committee is comprised of the following individuals:

The Space Allocation Committee includes the following ad hoc members:

Most recently, the committee has recommended space allocations for programs currently located in North Complex in preparation for the building’s demolition, beginning in May. Through collaboration with numerous campus stakeholders, the committee evaluated various options and provided the following space allocation recommendations, which the Northwest Leadership Team has approved.

Additionally, the committee has worked to refine space allocation procedures, including an electronic form for space allocation requests. The Capital Programs Space Allocation Request form is now accessible on myNorthwest by clicking Employee Resources on the left menu, clicking Facility Services and then Capital Improvement.

For more information about space allocation on the Northwest campus, contact Scott Kuhlemeyer at 660.562.1009 or

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.

Don't forget to complete the Staff Council survey sent to employees emails on March 21. The deadline to complete the survey Friday, April 7.

Staff Council elections are happening soon for the upcoming year. Look for more information from your area leaders or talk with your Staff Council representative. 

Employee Engagement Action Tracker Update

Well-being and perks:

Health care:


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 or 660.853.8196.

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 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

Wellness Education

March is National Nutrition Month

The body is like a machine. For it to work optimally, it must have fuel. Nutrients from food are our fuel. Not all food is created equal, and just as if you put the wrong fuel in your vehicle over and over, it wouldn’t work well. The same happens in the body. However, our bodies are so incredibly smart that it may take time for them to show signs of wear from lack of nutrients or fuel.

The body is always working to maintain homeostasis or a balanced state. There is constant communication happening within our bodies and between body systems. Our body systems are interconnected; if one system is struggling, others will work extra hard to try to compensate for the struggling system. The same is true if we are lacking nutrients; our bodies will try to compensate until they can’t any longer. When they can no longer compensate, we begin to see signs and symptoms of illness or disease.

One of the most important foundations for your health is nutrition. Research information about nutrients and how to best fuel your body. Add some colorful fruits and vegetables to your meals and talk to your healthcare practitioner to figure out what foods are best for you.

Benefits & Wellness Information

MOSERS On-Campus Ready to Retire Seminar

MOSERS will be on campus to offer one Ready to Retire session from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 20, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. The session is designed for higher education institution employees who are within five years of retirement eligibility and are either MSEP or MSEP 2000 members.

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, BackDROP, and termination and re-employment rules. 

If you are interested in attending, you must register by Thursday, April 13. MOSERS will move this session to a webinar if there are not enough registrants.

To register, go to myMOSERS. You are required to have a MOSERS password to register. The password can be reset online if you do not have one or have forgotten it. Registration allows MOSERS to create for you a personalized benefit estimate for the seminar and to gain an accurate headcount. If you have any trouble with the MOSERS registration process, contact their customer service line at 800.827.1063.

If you are unable to attend the on campus offering but are interested in attending a webinar, click here to see the schedule for 2023.

If you were employed by the state of Missouri for the first time on or after Jan. 1, 2011, or transferred from CURP as of Jan. 1, 2021, or after, you are a MSEP 2011 member. Please visit the MOSERS website at to find seminars and webinars designed specifically for that plan.

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

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 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 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, 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 to learn more about the plan, register for upcoming 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

*Reimbursement from Blue KC for over-the-counter COVID tests will end when the public health emergency ends at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 11, 2023.*

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 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 // and, if you already are a customer, you can verify with on the payment page of your account to begin receiving 10 percent off all future orders.


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

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 paperless billing form.

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 or visit

Does your department need office supplies?

Visit 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.