Teams & Issues: Benefits, Health & Well-Being Team

Benefits, Health & Well-Being Team

2014 Team Roster (PDF)


The VOICES of the Staff Benefits, Health and Well-Being team is dedicated to exploring ideas concerning Benefit, Health and Well-Being programs that are important to staff and how to maximize the value of these programs.


  • Support the promotion of health and well-being efforts by partnering with the Benefits Office and Michigan Healthy Community
  • Serve as a sounding board for new benefits, health and well-being initiatives and strategies
  • Provide input and feedback on best practices and programs in the arena of benefits, health and well-being
  • Provide advice and input about how best to engage employees and their families in Michigan Healthy Community programs


Benefits Health & Well-Being Team VIDEO from the VOICES annual meeting 2010

  • A smooth integration of two different VOICES teams into one cohesive team to address benefits, health and well-being topics.
  • The team is utilized as a health and benefits resource and sounding board, and to provide advice, input and feedback.
  • The team has provided a valuable staff perspective on various health and wellness programs such as MHealthy, Ergonomics Awareness, Active U, and Understanding U.
  • At the suggestion of the team, the Benefits Office designed a user-friendly on-line medical navigator tool to help staff better understand their medical plans in preparation for open-enrollment.
  • The team’s input to the Benefits Office about dental coverage and choices was used to develop a request for proposal. At the invitation of the Benefits Office, two team members will attend dental vendor meetings to discuss their proposals.
  • The focus on learning and building awareness of benefit and health and well-being plans and programs has resulted in a more educated team and broader knowledge base.

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Topics Explored at Team Meetings

  • Michigan Healthy Community – An Orientation
      • Outcome: Overview of the mission and goals of Michigan Healthy Community.
  • Presentation: Physical Activity for Life Taskforce
    Alisa Morningstar, Associate Director – MFit promotion
    • Fall fitness assessments
    • Fitness center discount updates
      • Outcome: Input provided to MFit regarding promotion and marketing of programs. Several suggestions were made such as using a seven point checklist, and a magnetic calendar to track goals and progress.
  • 2008 Benefits Plan Update
      • Outcome: A suggestion was made that HR include a comparison of last year’s MCare plan with the other plans offered for 2008 in its online Medical Plan Navigator.
  • 2008 Benefits Plans – Plan Comparisons – An Overview
      • Outcome: The team reviewed the medical navigation tool developed by the Benefits’ Office. The tool shows a comparison of medical plans at a glance and is available on-line for plan comparison during open enrollment.
  • MHC Ergonomics Awareness program update
      • Outcome: Input about grant and awards program (providing money for departments to help provide ergonomics materials).
  • MHC 5 Year Strategic Plan: Prioritization Matrix
      • Outcome: The team discussed and provided input to the Michigan Healthy Community Strategic plan.
  • Active U- Year 3
      • Outcome: Input on incentives and promotions. The team suggested several ideas for incentive options.
  • Dental Coverage RFP Process:
    • Suggestions and concerns about current Dental coverage
      • Outcome: Provided input and made suggestions about current dental coverage. The Benefits Office proposed that two VOICES members attend vendor presentations in February 2008.
  • Preview of “Understanding U: Managing the Ups and Downs of Life” website
      • Outcome: Provided input and feedback about new website.
  • Healthy Eating Awareness Campaign
      • The team generated multiple ideas for the health eating campaign such as developing a healthy eating weekly menu, and supporting shopping list. VOICES' input resulted in alternate incentive item being selected.
  • Consumer Driven Health Plans
      • To increase awareness of what is happening in the market place, the team listened to a presentation about innovative benefits designs currently offered by a number of employers, such as Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) and BCN’s Healthy Blue Living.

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Work in Progress

  • Two team members will attend the dental vendor Request for Proposal presentations in February 2008
  • As a result of a discussion about the different needs of various employee groups, a team member is engaged with the Health and Well-Being programs to develop a nursing staff-specific health and wellness program.


Suggested Websites

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Network Team Members

2014 Rosters will be updated in July. For the current list, see the 2014 Team Roster (PDF).

Benefits, Health and Well-Being Team Photo

Team Members


Arnold, Natasha


Balan, Virginia

Ross School of Business

Batra, Peter

College of Pharmacy

Beattie, Kim

Residence Education

Brock, Annie

College of LS&A

Brotchner, Kathleen

College of Engineering

Canada, Stephanie


Cardenas, Kathryn

College of LS&A

Carter, Karen


Ferro, Michael

Security Services

Flannery, Susan

Dearborn-Mardigian Library

Godell, Susan

Occupational Health Services

Hargrave, Theresa


Kerr, Connie

Nursing 4D Neuro ICU

Larue, Karen

Taubman Center Administration

Okuly, Julia

Spine Occ Therapy

Schulte, Heather

UMH Operating Rooms

Shepard, Carey


Thompson, Theresa

Central Staffing Resource



Team Members Department
Linda Atalla UHR Benefits Admin
Karen Schmidt UHR M-Healthy



Team Members Department
Joy Choiniere UMH Contracts & Procurement
Julie Brinkmeier Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine

2014 Team Roster (PDF)

Contact the Benefits, Health and Well-Being Team

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