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Resilience Sessions with meQuilibrium

A 20-minute resilience session makes for a great break in the day. Join meQuilibrium’s 20-
minute sessions at noon each date.

You have four different options, or you can try them all!

Reserve your spot with the links below:

Lead by meQuilibrium’s Alanna Fincke, SVP Director of Content and Board Certified Health Coach, you will learn about the science of resilience and discover methods to boost your overall wellbeing!

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Protect Yourself & Others

Protect Yourself and Others

Now that there are authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health experts recommend adults get  vaccinated.


Vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. After vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection. The CDC has developed a post-vaccination health checker, v-safe, as a layer of safety monitoring.

For more information on vaccination, visit the Minnesota Department of Health or CDC website.


Newest recommendations from the CDC include: To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.


While COVID-19 vaccines are one of many helpful tools to end the pandemic, it is important for everyone to continue practicing physical distancing of at least 6 feet, avoid unnecessary crowds, and continue to wash your hands often. Children and adults currently unable to get vaccinated should continue to wear masks to stop the spread.

Together, we can end the
pandemic.

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New Ways to Earn!

You can select any combination of the Health Activities below to earn your points.  The deadline to complete the program is December 31, 2021.

 
Activity Reporting Points

Per 1,000 steps (max 14,000/day; 140 points) OR

Daily: Sync or manual
10 points
15 or more active minutes
Daily: Sync only
70 points
30 or more active minutes
Daily: Sync only
120 points
45 or more active minutes
Daily: Sync only
140 points
Get 7,000 steps 20 days in a month
Monthly
400 points
Get 10,000 steps 20 days in a month
Monthly
500 points
Learning Reporting Points
Learning Cards
Daily (max 2 a day)
20 points (40 max)
Complete 10 daily cards/month
Monthly
100 points
Complete 20 daily cards/month
Monthly
200 points
Healthy Habit Tracking
Daily (max 3 a day)
10 points (30 max)
10 days tracking in a month
Monthly
200
20 days tracking in a month
Monthly
300
First time tracking Healthy Habits 5 days in a month
One time
100
Getting Started Reporting Points
Set your interests
Quarterly
250 points
Add a profile picture
One time
100 points
Complete registration
One time
100 points
Connect first activity device
One time
200 points
Connect mobile app
One time
500 points
Set a wellbeing goal
Program year
500 points
Journeys Requirement Points
Complete a Journey Step
Daily
15 points
Complete a Journey stage
Quarterly (4 x a quarter)
50 points
Complete a whole Journey
Quarterly
250 points
Nutrition Requirements Points
Daily Calorie Tracking (via MyFitnessPal)
Daily
20 points
Track Calories 10 days in a Month
Monthly
200 points
Track Calories 20 days in a Month
Monthly
300 points
Choose your eating type
Quarterly
250 points
Connect to MyFitnessPal (calorie tracker)
One time
100 points
Sleep Guide Requirements Points
Track Sleep Nightly (validated)
Daily
20 points
Sleep > 7 Hours in a night (validated)
Daily
50 points
Track Sleep (manual)
Daily
10 points
Track sleep 10 days in a month
Monthly: Sync or Manual
100 points
Track sleep 20 days in a month
Monthly: Sync or manual
200 points
Sleep > 7 hours 20 days in a month (validated)
Monthly
500 points
Choose your sleep guide profile
Quarterly
50 points
City Specific Requirements Points
Omada
Program Year
750 points
Firefighter Screenings
Program Year
750 points
ERN the Burn
Per event
50 points
MeQuilibrium
Program Year
750 points
Other Requirements Points
Complete Health Assessment
Program year
1000 points
Virtual Care Education
Program year
250 points
Next Steps Consult
Program year
500 points
Phone Health coaching
Program year
750 points
Medica Programs - Case Management
Program year
2000 points
Health Screening
Program year
1,000 points
Healthy Savings
Program year
250 points
Covid-19 vaccine
Program year
1000 points
My Care Checklist
Program year
100 points / screening
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Behavioral Health Resources

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, especially those we cannot control. Taking care of your emotional health during this pandemic will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family and help your long-term healing. Medica has a variety of resources to help you during this difficult time no matter what emotional level you are at. If you, or a covered dependent, are struggling with a behavioral health concern such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, bipolar or post-traumatic stress disorder, reach out to the resources below available through your Medica plan:

Medica® Optum® Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

If you need help with life’s new challenges, EAP master’s-level specialists are available 24/7 to speak with you privately. With EAP, you have access to five counseling sessions per issue per year covered at 100%. To talk with an EAP specialist, call 800-626-7944.

Medica Behavioral Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. That’s why your plan includes coverage for behavioral health services, including mental health and substance abuse care. Medica Behavioral Health staff can help you get the right care when you need it, 24 hours a day, and your call is confidential. The large network includes providers who practice at all levels of counseling and treatment. Call Medica Behavioral Health at 800-848-8327.

Amwell, 24/7 Online Clinic

Get care online from home, work or anywhere. Connect with a provider from your computer or mobile device for most behavioral health concerns. Amwell’s team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists provide care and counseling for a variety of conditions. During a video consult with Amwell, a therapist or psychiatrist will ask you a series of questions to determine the best treatment plan. To get started, create an account with Amwell by calling 844-733-3627 or visit amwell.com.

Medica’s Live and Work Well Website

This website offers health resources and personalized support services to help you and those you care about live the healthiest life possible. The Live and Work Well site is available 24/7 for confidential access to professional care, self-help programs and a variety of helpful information. Go to LiveAndWorkWell.com. To view the educational content and provider search, enter access code MEDICA.

Omada

Free Behavioral Health Program
Healthy Saint Paul is excited about the partnership between Omada Health and the City of Saint Paul. Good news! Omada will be offering our behavioral health program at no cost until the end of September to help during this difficult time to all of your employees and will offer access to behavioral health coaching and 24/7 support.

Omada for Behavioral Health uses an evidence-based, transdiagnostic care model that leverages cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and distress tolerance techniques to reduce symptoms of challenges including anxiety, depression, and stress. Participants will work directly with a dedicated mental health coach under the guidance of a licensed specialist (e.g. Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Reach out to Nance Lee Mosquera at nance.lee.mosquera@ci.stpaul.mn.us if you are interested in enrolling.

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How are you feeling today?

News of a widespread public health concern like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can present new or unique challenges and with information changing daily, it can be difficult to maintain feeling your best.

You may be working from home, or maybe your facility is closed. Or, maybe you are on the front lines keeping essential services running. Meanwhile, the whole family is home together, you’re doing the distance learning and trying to keep an eye on the kids so they’re doing their schoolwork. How do you cope?

Here are a few healthy ways to cope with the pandemic.

First, go for a walk at a time that works for you. Maybe go on a bike ride over lunch hour; even though you’re working from home, it will help keep an at-work routine. Whatever works for you, move your body. It will help.

Second, have you ever tried guided meditation? I know, maybe not your usual go-to! But seriously, it’s a good way to bring yourself into the present and breathe and just be aware of what your body is doing. Meditation is simpler to do than what many think. In fact, it can be as simple as breathing! Try the breathing exercise on this meQuilibrium resource page.

Third, listen to music! Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life.

A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Read more and try out some music therapy with this link.

Finally, find one thing to be grateful for. That can be really hard when you have financial stress or when you have anxiety about the future, but if you can, find just one thing to be grateful for and then say it out loud. It’ll feel unnatural at first, but then it starts to become a little more comfortable: ”I’m grateful to offer help to our employees.” That’s mine today.

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Things to know about the Novel Coronavirus

Information about the 2019 novel coronavirus is now headline news. This new strain of viral respiratory illness was first identified in Wuhan, China, but has since spread to other areas of the world, including the United States. Scientists are working to better understand the virus and answer questions about its severity and duration and how easily it can be transmitted between people.

New form of a common virus

“Coronavirus is the name of a family of viruses that we’ve known about for a long time. In fact, a form of it causes about 30% of cases of the common cold. But this strain is new and there is still much to learn about it,” explained John Piatkowski, M.D., Medica’s Senior Medical Director.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are monitoring the new virus outbreak closely. As of March 2, there have been tens of thousands of confirmed cases and more than 2,000 deaths worldwide from the new virus strain including an estimated 100 diagnosed cases and six deaths in the United States. In comparison, there have been an estimated 26 million diagnosed cases and 14,000 deaths from influenza in the United States in the current flu season.

The health and well-being of our members is a priority for us and we will continue to monitor the status of the coronavirus. As with any other viral illness, Medica will cover diagnostic testing and care that is supported by the member’s health plan benefits.

How to protect yourself

“The best defense against any type of viral illness is to avoid being exposed to it. The infectious disease experts who are tracking coronavirus recommend the same everyday precautions you already use to avoid catching a cold or the flu,” said Dr. Piatkowski.

These include:
Wash your hands thoroughly – and often – with soap and water.
If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay at home when you are sick.

Learn more

Both the CDC and MDH offer helpful information on coronavirus and related viral illnesses:
CDC Coronavirus Website
CDC Travel Health Notices:
MDH Coronavirus Website

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stories

Sarah Reasoner

Sarah Reasoner has been an All-America track star, a bodybuilder, and a champion powerlifter. But firefighter is the job that really ended up being her calling.

As Sarah told the Star Tribune recently, “I put on that gear and I knew. This was it. This is what I wanted to do.” She added: “A lot of this job is realizing that we’re supposed to help people, and this world is not about us.”

Reasoner has only been with the department full-time since July. But she’s already one of its best-known firefighters. As shown in the attached photo, she was recently named one of the world’s strongest firefighters in Santa Monica, California in a competition hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Coming in 5th, was the event’s first female competitor.

Reasoner welcomes the physical demands of being a firefighter.

During a recent workout at a gym in northeast Minneapolis, she focused on strengthening her legs and back — doing dead lifts and leg curls. The workouts help her perform better in a job that has already involved going into burning buildings in full gear, she said.

After doing well on the written test, Reasoner spent the summer of 2018 training for the physical exam. In September 2018, on her 30th birthday, she not only passed it but broke the record.

Reasoner graduated from the three-month academy at the end of June and has been on the job since the start of July. For her first three years, she’ll rotate from station to station as needed, filling in for firefighters who call in sick, go on vacation or who are injured. She said she loves the collegiality. She loves the need for teamwork. She loves the physical demands of the job. Her goal is to be a firefighter her entire career.

This job is everything and more of what I wanted it to be,” she said. “It’s challenging every day. Every day, you learn.”

Despite the recent accolades, Reasoner said she simply wants to become the best firefighter she can be. And while she enjoys the strongman contests, she savors doing something meaningful with her strength.

“It’s pretty humbling to know there are guys who have been on this job and women who have been on this job who can run circles around me,” she said.

“It’s humbling and motivating to know that my crew depends on me. And the citizens of St. Paul depend on me.”

Story excerpted from www.startribune.com/to-recruit-more-women-st-paul-fire-department-taps-former-power-lifter/567838382/?fbclid=IwAR0JWIel5RecFm1J7uj0fgTeVxqVjtwxIRNUW_QwRQjxt61fRnvwDSU5rhQ

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5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Five Ways to Improve Your Hearth Health

If you worry that you or someone you love will get heart disease or even have a heart attack, it’s understandable.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Research shows you can lower your risk, particularly if you team up with family, friends or co-workers. This kind of social support may be the key to your success.

To mark American Heart Month, NHLBI, one of the National Institutes of Health, is inviting people across the country to team up and join #OurHearts, a national heart health initiative that encourages people to improve heart health together.

“Studies show that having positive, close relationships and feeling connected to others benefits overall health, blood pressure, weight and more,” said NHLBI’s Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences.

Consider these five tips that can help lower your risk of heart disease:

Risk: Inactivity

Solution:​

Move more throughout your day. Aim for at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity. Build up to activity that gets your heart beating faster and leaves you a little breathless. If you’re busy, try breaking your daily activity into 10-minute chunks.

Stay motivated: Make walking dates. Join a pickup soccer or basketball game. Join a fitness class with your neighbor. Grab a loved one and dance in your kitchen.

Risk: An unhealthy diet

Solution:​

Consider an option like NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is free and scientifically proven to lower high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Stay motivated: Invite friends to cook up heart healthy recipes together. Start a lunch club at work and trade recipe ideas.

Risk: Smoking, even
occasionally

Solution:

Quitting can be beneficial to your overall health, even if you’ve smoked for years. Set a quit date and let those close to you know. If you’ve tried quitting in the past, consider what helped and what made it harder.

Stay motivated: Ask your family and friends for support or join a support group. Find resources and connect with a trained counselor at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or smokefree.gov.

Risk: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep

Solution:

Sleeping 7-8 hours each night helps improve heart health. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight may also improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Resist that late afternoon nap. Turn off all screens at a set time nightly. Relax by listening to music, reading or taking a bath.

Risk: Uncontrolled stress

Solution:

To help manage stress, try relaxation therapy and increase physical activity. Talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone you trust. De-stressing may also help improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Join a friend or family member in a relaxing activity like walking, yoga or meditation every day.

Learn about heart health and heart healthy activities in your community at nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends, colleagues or family members are being heart healthy together.

 

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Pathway to 3500

Starting January 2020, earn a total of 3,500 points to qualify for your full $900 HRA contribution. Just 1,500 points needed for a $300 HRA contribution. And, earn Medica incentives along the way!

My Health Rewards by Medica is now powered by Virgin Pulse, a pioneer in digital health and wellness solutions that help you build healthy habits and live your best life. Whether you want to eat healthier, sleep more, stress less or get fit, My Health Rewards is an online tool that helps you take small steps to reach your health goals.

In addition to the well-being program, Healthy Saint Paul supports you throughout the year by offering a variety of exercise classes, challenges and promotions.

One pathway to 3500
Health Assessment
Biometric Screening
Set Goal
Journeys (2x)
Next Steps
1000
1000
500
500
500
Another route to 3500
Health Assessment
Biometric Screening
Set interest (2x)
Phone coaching
Next steps
1000
1000
250
750
500
Make your own way to 3500 by choosing from our list
of activities here!

Don’t Forget to Get More!

Earn rewards for healthy behavior. Rewards encourage and motivate you to complete healthy programs and activities. Redeem points for e-gift cards, or shop for health and fitness products in the Virgin Pulse store. You can even donate your rewards to a charitable cause.

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Josh Hern

Josh is an Accountant in Fire, working with grants and the budget process. He has been with the City for almost exactly one year (January 22.)

About four months ago, Josh had his body composition analyzed by a machine that was on temporary loan to the Fire Department. This machine measures the levels of fat, muscle and water in the body. Josh remembers being shocked at the results! He had been running, feeling ok – in no way imagined he had reached 190 pounds with a lower distribution of muscle than desired. He decided to “kick it into high gear.”

First he evaluated what he was eating – meals and snacks. What WAS he snacking on? Josh made healthier choices, forgoing Pop Tarts for almonds and string cheese. He remarked that as an 11-year-old he was thin as a rail and could eat whatever he wanted, but is sadly no longer the case. We lamented for a moment the loss of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts – a personal favorite for both of us!

Josh also increased his water intake, eventually reaching his goal of a gallon per day. In terms of workouts, he incorporated a mix of weights and cardio. He used a program called ’80 Day Obsession’ as an overall guide to workouts and attention to diet.

Josh dropped from 190 to 177, creeping up a bit to 180 during the holidays, but is working on getting back to 177. He has learned that it really comes down to what he puts into his body. “It’s about making conscious choices,” says Josh. “A friend or coworker may encourage you that ‘it’s just one cookie’ or it’s just one donut’, which might be true in that moment. But if you have ‘just one’ several days a week, it adds up.”

Josh said that Jody Griffin, our December Employee Story, was exactly right: it has to be long term. As he said, “this is my lifestyle now.”