A-Z Index

May 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

Welcome our new Bearcats!


 Lucius Creamer

GeoTech Service Coordinator

Humanities and Social Sciences



Cassandra Farrell

Facility Services Specialist

Facility Services


Christopher Guess

Assistant Women's
Basketball Coach


 Daniel Harrison

Associate Head
Athletic Trainer - Football



 Cherokee Odle


Facility Services


 Cody Schniedermeyer

Accounts Receivable Coordinator

Student Account Services


 Mckenna Staples

Graduate Records Specialist

Graduate Office


 Melissa Van Buren

Employee Wellness Coordinator

Human Resources



Employee Anniversaries

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


Ann Heidendal Graduate Records Specialist  Graduate Office
Rachel Roush Financial Assistance Coordinator Financial Assistance
Zachary Schneider Associate Men's Basketball Coach Athletics
Hilary Steinman Custodian Custodial Services


Aaron Antisdel Custodian Custodial Services
Tricia Collins Daily Tour Coordinator Admissions - Recruitment


Matthew Baker Vice President of Student Affairs Student Affairs

Upcoming Events

Mental Health Awareness Fun Fest

Mosaic Life Care will host a Mental Health Awareness Fun Fest on Saturday, June 3, from 4 to 8 p.m.

All Northwest employees will receive a free Hangar pizza by showing their Bearcat Card. Click this link with a flyer for more details.

Staff Council Fundraiser

Staff Council will host a scholarship fundraiser at Taco John's on Monday, June 12, from 4 to 8 p.m.. Mention Northwest Staff Council when placing your order.

Click this link with a flyer for more details.

Summer Parking

From Monday, May 8, through Friday, Aug. 4, the following applies to parking on campus:

  1. A parking permit is required to park on campus.
  2. All parking permits (employee, commuter, resident) will be honored in all lots on campus.
  3. Camp participants and guests may pick up a free, three-day visitor parking permit at University Police at any time.
  4. Camp hosts may request e-permits sent to them by email at to forward to all participants, counselors, coaches and guests.
  5. All traffic and parking policies are enforced 24/7, with the exception of lot designations (refer to No. 2 above).
  6. Refer to the “policies” tab at
  7. For more questions or requests, contact or 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.

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 located in North Complex in preparation for the building’s demolition. Through collaboration with numerous campus stakeholders, the committee evaluated various options and provided the following space allocation recommendations, which the Northwest Leadership Team 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.

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. 

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

Benefits & Wellness Information

End of Public Health Emergency

The public health emergency period expired May 11 at 11:59 p.m. Beginning May 12, over-the-counter COVID-19 home tests are no longer be covered. Members may use their Health Savings Accounts or Flexible spending account to purchase tests.

Also, beginning May 12, COVID-19 anti-viral medical (i.e. Paxlovid and Lagevrio) and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will continue to be no member cost share while the government supply is available. Once the government supply ends, these will be covered in accordance with the terms of members health plan.

For complete details, visit the BlueKC website.

Benefits Resource Center

USI's Benefits Resource Center is a free resource service for employees and encourages you to reach out for any information, questions, or help with insurance or benefits.

Please see attached flyer for more details and contact information

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.

Beware of financial planning emails

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.

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

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 more information about the program, 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 about the program, 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

Beginning in May, all Northwest employees will receive an e-bill to their University email, rather than a mailed paper bill. To opt out of an e-bill, complete the Paperless Billing Opt-Out form in MyNorthwest under Employee Resources -> Finance & Administration -> Billing.

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.