Newsletter from Employee Health Promotions

December 2018

Your Recipe for Simpler Holidays

As you plan a special meal or time with family or friends, take advantage of this time to craft plans for a simple, joyful, meaningful holiday season. We’ve got all the ingredients you need for you to mix and match, however you like.

Ingredients to Simplify the Holidays

Share a custom holiday wish list of gifts that you or your family would like to receive this year—gifts that may not be “things,” but experiences, skills, and donations to charity. On this website and in a few simple steps, you can create an account and start your list. The possibilities for truly meaningful gifting are endless.

SoKind Holiday GiveList – You’ve got so much to offer! Create your Holiday GiveList to offer your time, skills, gently used items, and other gifts from the heart. Then share the link with your friends and family so they can claim the ones they’d like. Perhaps you’ll be sharing your salsa dancing skills to your co-worker, or passing along your outgrown tent to your nephew.

Simplify the Holidays Guide with ideas for each of the following:

  • Interactive Holiday Calendar
  • More Fun, Less Stuff Gift Catalog
  • Easy-print Coupon Book
  • 15 Tips for Families
  • Family Celebrations Guide
  • Real-life Holiday Simplifying Suggestions
  • Short (shareable!) Video
  • Last-minute Gift Ideas

This year, give thanks for what and who matters most—and nip all the holiday hype in the bud. Simplify the Holidays and find the clarity, inspiration, and tools you need to make your more joyful, sustainable season a reality.

published November 1, 2018, used with permission from The Center for New American Dream: More of What Matters. Learn more about ways you can #QuestionConsumption through the holiday season and all year round.

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It's Available NOW for EVERYONE

Check out the Blue Cross do.® app. It’s the ‘fun stuff for your health’ app that uses simple activities to help you fuel, move and relax your body all day long. The app is available for both iPhone and Android and has more options and reminders, like:

  • Choose activities and content based on your in-the-moment mood.
  • Get a feel-good message after each activity to spur yourself to do a little bit more.
  • See how you stack up against yourself over the week
  • Plus, you can favorite activities — and then set more reminders to breathe, dance, hydrate, reflect, stand or stretch when it fits into your life.

But wait! There’s more… Snippets of useful health info inspires you to make healthier life choices — and impress your friends during that next game of trivia.

Download the app in your app store.

Or You Can Move YOUR Way

Walk. Run. Dance. Play. What's your move?

Everyone needs physical activity to stay healthy. But it can be hard to find the time in your busy routine. The Move Your Way tools, videos, and fact sheets have tips that make it easier to get a little more active. And small changes can add up to big health benefits!

No matter who you are, you can find safe, fun ways to get active — to move your way.

Move Your Way is a physical activity campaign from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote the recommendations from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Find tools and resources:
MAPS employees can join in on pick up basketball at East High School on Friday mornings.  If you have other ideas, contact Tia Dupont

Other Resources for Your Wellness

  • MAPS Community Education and Recreation classes and events are advertised in the seasonal brochure each Fall, Winter and Summer. Employees are eligible for a $10 fee reduction for a class in each brochure. Each individual must register and provide their employee email address and work site. Contact the CER office at 507-387-5501 for more information.
Current Winter Brochure

  • READY! for Kindergarten. At the time of a requested paternity/maternity leave, an employee is entitled to two (2) years of READY! for Kindergarten Classes advertised in the seasonal Early Childhood Brochure. Registration is conducted through the Early Learning Office by calling 507-625-4620 or stopping by the Family Learning Center, 820 Hubbell in Mankato and completing the paperwork process.
Current Winter Brochure

  • Vitals SmartShopper is another new program. It’s a health care shopping and savings program that works with your medical benefits. With SmartShopper, you and your covered family members shop for different medical procedures and tests via phone, web, or mobile device. When you choose to have your procedure at a facility on the SmartShopper list, you earn cash. You also save money on what you pay out-of­-pocket for the procedure. Register by calling the SmartShopper Personal Assistance Team at 1-866-285-7452 or go online to

  • The Omada program is now available to all our health plan participants and adult dependents. Omada® is a digital lifestyle change program that inspires healthy habits that last. It combines the latest technology with useful information and ongoing support from a health coach - an approach shown to promote weight loss and reduce risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Watch a two-minute overview at Individuals can find out if they're eligible for the program by taking a one-minute risk screener at

  • 2019 MAPS Employee and Dependent Flu Shot Clinic - August 29th 11:30-5:30 PM

Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program

Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program. This service is geared toward recognizing an employee's life situations and helping to find appropriate help. It is confidential and is available to both the employee and members of their household - at no cost to the employee.

Examples of services available:

  • Phone Coaching

  • Online Seminars

  • Chemical Dependency Assessment

  • Face to Face counseling

  • Legal and Financial discounts

  • Click HERE for a complete list of services offered by this provider.

Phone number is: 1-800-383-1908.

Website is: username-mankatoschools, password -member

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