The Resource

In This Issue

Combined Fund Drive
Career Development
Home Loan Program

Published: February 13, 2013

Compensation at the University of Washington goes beyond salary. The UW offers a vast range of benefits—from the traditional to those offered by other premier employers to those that are truly unique to working at the UW. The Resource—UWHR's e-newsletter—keeps you informed of all of these offerings so that you can make the most out of your UW employment.

Combined Fund Drive  

March Make-A-Wish Drive to Bring Dreams to Life
The UW Combined Fund Drive is once again teaming up with Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring dreams to life. You may remember last February when hundreds of students, staff, and robots burst into a flash mob in Red Square to make a wish come true for a boy named Alex. This year we continue the spirit with Wishes in Flight, a drive to collect 1 million airline miles from March 1-31.

You can help give a life-affirming adventure to a very brave kid living with a serious medical condition. Miles are in high demand as the majority of wishes involve travel. Giving is easy. Go to the Wishes in Flight page and donate your frequent flyer miles through one of their airline partners (Alaska, Delta, United, and US Airways). Make-A-Wish has granted more than 250,000 wishes to kids like Ethan who went on a dinosaur dig with a paleontologist, and Anastasia who sang her song on live TV. Donate now and help make a wish come true for an extraordinary child. You may also support Make-A-Wish through payroll deduction by visiting the UW Combined Fund Drive.


Distinguished Staff Award Reception
The UW community is invited to the Distinguished Staff Award reception honoring individual and team nominees on Tuesday, March 26, from 2:30-4 p.m. in the HUB Ballroom. Come and celebrate colleagues who have exemplified innovation and excellence in their work while promoting a culture of collaboration and respect. UW leaders will be on hand to open the festivities and highlight the incredible contributions of the nominees. Learn more on the Distinguished Staff Award site.


Flexible Spending Account Grace Period
Did you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through December 31, 2012? If so, you have until March 15 to incur claims against your 2012 FSA. All eligible FSA claims for services provided from January 1 through March 15, 2013, will automatically be processed against the 2012 plan year. If your claim exceeds the available funds from the 2012 plan year, any excess will be automatically applied to your 2013 FSA if you are enrolled in one. Otherwise, funds will be forfeited. However, if you elected to change to a Consumer-Driven Health Plan (CDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2013, you were required to use all FSA funds by the end of 2012. Learn more about FSA.

Career Development  

Professional & Organizational Development (POD) courses are open to all UW employees, subject to supervisor/budgetary approval and UW’s release time policy. Please view our policy page for additional information.


Navigating Change in a Complex World
Since the degree of change in the world is only increasing in frequency and complexity, how we deal with change is integral to our overall success, both in and out of the workplace. Ultimately, managing change is about managing ourselves and our reactions to change. In this highly experiential and interactive course, participants discover their own methods of dealing with change. Access course information and registration.


Customer Service Excellence
In this interactive half-day course, learn how all points of customer contact can occur in the best way possible—whether that's dealing with external customers on the "front lines" or providing service and support to colleagues down the hall. Access course information and registration.


Discovering Your Dependable Strengths
This two-day workshop uses a proven process for uncovering what you do best and helps you learn new ways to use your unique excellence. The more you know about your strengths, the more you understand how to adapt them to different careers and the changing demands of the workforce. Access course information and registration.


Rapid Process Improvement
Rapid Process Improvement, under the guidance of popular instructor Clive Shearer, helps you understand the mindsets of process improvement and the difference between rapid and traditional process improvement. In addition, this one-day class focuses on practical tools and concrete steps that can immediately be applied to real workplace issues. Access course information and registration.


Hourly Career Counseling
What's next for you and your career? One-on-one career counseling can help you make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or explore a new career path. Sessions are offered through Training and Organizational Development Consultant Susan Templeton for $95 per one-hour career counseling session if paid with a UW budget number (with supervisor approval) or $109.82 if paid with cash, check, or credit card (due to a mandatory institutional overhead fee). Learn more about this service.


Step Aboard the MammoVan
Women ages 40 years and older know it's not always easy to find time to get a routine mammogram to screen for breast cancer. Thanks to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) mobile mammography service, or "MammoVan," now there's a faster and more convenient way to get it done. Step aboard the MammoVan parked near the UW Tower on March 13. Schedule your appointment today!

Note: Women 40+ who are enrolled in a Uniform Medical or Group Health plan are allowed one free mammogram screening per calendar year when seeing an in-network provider like SCCA. Because it's covered at 100% and not subject to the medical deductible, you pay nothing.


Special Speech Evaluation and Treatments Available: Apply by March 15
Do you or a loved one have speech, language, or social communication challenges? The UW Speech & Hearing Clinic offers special evaluation and treatment packages to children and adults. A speech language evaluation during spring quarter leads to customized therapy sessions in summer quarter. To receive an application, email or call 206-543-5440. Learn more about evaluation and treatment packages.


Flu Prevention Resources
Flu activity remains high and widespread across the country. At work, flu prevention is a priority. Take precautions to stem the spread of the virus by reviewing the refreshed content on the UWHR and Wellness sites. Find answers to questions on when to call in sick, leave use, caring for family, and temporary telework arrangements.

The Wellness page features local vaccination spots, details on coverage, prevention tips, and UWHR's Guide for Employees during Flu Season. Flu vaccine is in high demand, but has been available on campus at Hall Health. Note that all health plans available to benefits-eligible faculty and staff cover flu immunization. Make sure you review these resources for a healthy close of winter.


Celebrate “Heart Month” with UWalk
Did you know that walking for as little as 30 minutes a day improves circulation, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and promotes weight loss? In fact, according to the American Heart Association, for every hour of regular, vigorous physical activity like brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours. Because walking regularly is one of the best things you can do for your heart, the UW has its very own walking community—UWalk!

UWalk is a virtual space where UW students, faculty, and staff can join walking groups, participate in events and group activities, keep track of their progress, and connect with a community of walkers to share stories and photos. Use your UW NetID to join a free walking group that matches your style.


Weight Watchers at Work
Weight Watchers teaches you how to stick to healthy living and have a healthier relationship with food so you can lose weight and keep it off. Sign up for a monthly pass to attend sessions at Schmitz Hall on Tuesdays and/or UW Medical Center on Fridays. The pass allows you to enjoy lower monthly fees, attend unlimited meetings anywhere, and get free access to Weight Watchers eTools—interactive web tools, tips, and recipes that help you stay on track. Learn how to get started.

Home Loan Program  

Hometown Program Celebrates a Milestone
The Hometown Home Loan program offers reduced fees on mortgages to qualified employees buying or refinancing anywhere in the Puget Sound region. The program recently celebrated its 10,000th loan transaction with none other than a UW employee! As a permanent employee, you and your immediate family members (parents and children), can take advantage of significant savings on closing costs, free on-campus homeownership seminars, free counseling appointments, and access to down payment assistance. Learn more about this program.


Free Seminars from Hometown Home Loan Program
The Hometown Home Loan program offers free seminars to all UW faculty and staff:

Buying a Distressed Property Thinking of buying distressed real estate? Learn where to find properties, how to finance this type of purchase, and how the industry defines terms like short sale, bank-owned, owner-occupied, and investment home. Attend this free lunchtime seminar on February 19 at Seattle’s UW Tower and March 21 at Health Sciences.
Budgeting for a Home: How much cash will you need to buy a home in today's market? Learn how to create a household budget, set your savings goals, and pay off debt—all while saving for a home. Attend this free lunchtime seminar on February 21 at UW Bothell.
The Path to Homeownership: First-time homebuyers, consider attending this seminar to learn about today’s real estate market, how to use down payment assistance, and special programs specially designed for you. Find out what costs to expect in your first transaction. Attend this free lunchtime seminar on March 26 at Seattle’s UW Tower.
Understanding Credit: Do you know why credit history is important when getting ready to refinance your home? Learn how to clean up your credit history and fix reporting errors. Attend this free lunchtime seminar on March 26 at Harborview.

Access event information and registration at the HomeStreet website.


Free Individual Homeownership Counseling
The Hometown Home Loan program is here to help make your dream of homeownership a reality. Schedule a free, private, half-hour, one-on-one counseling appointment with a HomeStreet Affinity Loan Officer to discuss your homeownership options. Spouses, partners, and anyone else who might be on the loan are welcome to attend with you. HomeStreet will visit UW Seattle on February 25 and Health Sciences on February 27. Register here.


America Saves Week—Save for All that Life Entails
Join UW Benefits and saving partners like Fidelity Investments and three local credit unions in “Support America Saves Week”, February 25–March 2. This national campaign involves more than 2,000 nonprofit, government, and corporate groups, that encourages individuals and families to plan and save for what matters most to them. Pledge to save, test your savings knowledge, picture your savings goals, read saver stories, and more at America Saves Week.


Thinking of Retiring This Year?
If you're planning to retire from the UW within the next 12 months, be sure to attend a retirement workshop to help you plan for this major milestone. Each three-hour workshop is geared toward your specific retirement plan—UWRP, PERS, TRS, or LEOFF. Topics include arranging details for retirement, tailoring your benefits to best meet retirement income needs, and continuing your health plans. Timelines, forms, and procedures are also covered—plus you’ll receive all of the materials necessary to file for retirement. Access event information and registration.


Schedule a One-on-One Consultation
Experienced financial professionals from Fidelity or TIAA-CREF are available to meet with UW employees in person or over the phone to help maximize retirement savings and other financial goals. Take advantage of this opportunity to:

  • See how you can save more through Voluntary Investment Program (VIP) contributions, either pre-tax or after-tax (Roth)
  • Evaluate investment choices that meet your needs
  • Create an action plan to get and stay on track for retirement
  • Review retirement income options

Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, schedule a free retirement planning guidance appointment today!


V-Day: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
While Valentine’s Day is all about love, V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Local and collegiate V-Day campaigns consist of creative performances, workshops, and events. The V-Day site details the thousands of events produced by volunteers to educate people about violence facing women and girls. On campus, the ASUW Women’s Action Commission is producing their annual event entitled “The _________ Monologues.” Formerly “The Vagina Monologues,” the name has changed to reflect the wider diversity of voices students want to embody in their performance. Notably, this year’s production is entirely written and performed by students. Shows are February 14, 15, and 16 at the HUB Lyceum at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the event page.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call SafeCampus at 206-685-SAFE (7233) for assistance.


Building a Resilient Relationship
It’s February, a month where we’re reminded to focus on our relationships. Resilient relationships have a better chance of thriving for the long term. Yet we must build and nurture them by communicating, making time, showing we care, asking for what we need, and focusing on what we give instead of receive from the relationship. UW CareLink has more detailed tips this month to help you “Build a Resilient Relationship.”

If the above tips aren’t enough, it’s important to talk to someone. UW CareLink also offers free, confidential counseling services that include up to five sessions with a state-licensed professional who can help to provide further tools and resources for a healthier, happier relationship. To get started, call 1-866-598-3978.


Webinar: Keeping Your Love Alive
UW CareLink will offer a webinar, “Keeping Your Love Alive” on February 19 at 9 and 11 a.m. Important relationships take work. Explore the essentials that will strengthen your current connections.

To register go to (enter “UW” as the company code) and look for Online Seminars in the lower right-hand corner of the home page. Since these times may not be convenient for everyone, the webinar will also be archived on the site and available for viewing by the beginning of March.


Gifts for Valentine's Day
Looking for that special something for Valentine’s Day? If you’re a U-PASS holder, you’ll love the great deals on jewelry, gifts, performing arts, and restaurants available through Commuter Services Merchant Discounts!

View more discounts at UW Discounts.


Cell Phone Plan Savings
Want to save money on your cell phone plan? UW-IT negotiated special discounts with AT&T and T-Mobile that continue for 2013. The discounts range from 15-18% for UW employees and 10%-15% for students depending on the carrier. Other vendors may also offer discounts too; inquire directly with the vendor. Learn more about these discounts.


Take a Break
Have you seen the tell-tale signs that spring is approaching? The Brockman Memorial Tree Tour is a great reason to take a break, whether you want to experience nature's annual awakening, are fascinated with ecological roles of trees, or are a voracious gardener seeking new ideas. For more than a century, UW forestry professors, botanists, gardeners, and landscape architects have planted native and non-native trees for decoration and education. A printable guide will introduce you to nearly 70 varieties of trees as you tour the Seattle campus. Indulge your senses as you watch trees bud and change color as spring draws near, touch the varying textures of bark and leaves, enjoy the fragrances as blooms appear, and listen to the sounds of birds flitting about. Take the tour periodically to fully experience the seasonal transformations.

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