Thursday, November 14, 2013

Non-Profit Roundtable Discussed Healthy Bodies, Minds & Workplace

While getting a flu shot is of utmost importance for many people this time of year, maintaining our overall health is just as critical. Being healthy, staying healthy and supporting a healthy work environment were the focus of the Oakland Chamber’s October 15, 2013 Non-Profit Roundtable meeting.

The conversation began with the customary empowered introduction that included responding to the question of how each attendee kept healthy at work. Answers included eating right (especially snacks), drinking plenty of water, being positive and grateful even under duress, and taking elongated walks to the bathroom. One attendee shared how she has signed up to various list-serves that send her positive emails throughout the day.

Following the introductions, the guest presenters took the floor. Teryn Radvany of iTrim (, a new member of the Chamber, noted that maintaining a regular physical activity program or even getting occasional exercise is challenging for many people. Only a small percentage of us include exercise as a lifestyle habit. In response, the iTrim program is a multi-faceted and sustainable combination of eating, exercise and encouragement that notes that the faster a person loses weight or gains muscle in the beginning of a program, the more motivated that person will be to continue. iTrim is currently planning to offer a series of workshops for companies and to integrate into ClubOne at Oakland’s City Center.

Local Massage Therapist Chantelle Lorenz( spoke eloquently about the importance of breathing and touch in our lives. She noted that many American adults do not get enough physical contact, which affects our health and our dispositions. While the workplace environment may impose many strictures on contact between employees (especially between supervisors and their subordinates), there are gentle ways to connect with each other during the day, such as patting someone on the shoulder or guiding a colleague by the elbow. She further noted that body pains and discomforts are connected to what we do during the day, and a person can only hold a good posture for 20 minutes before needing a break. She also shared that proactive massage in the workplace decreases incidences of worker’s comp claims. Lorenz offers a variety of massage styles for individuals and programs for companies.

With the Affordable Healthcare Act (also known as Obamacare) and Covered California on everyone’s mind, Colonial Life ( representatives Diane Hur and Ryan Behm shared some of the
oft-misunderstood stipulations and benefits of the plan with the attendees.
Some of the basic points include:


·         The Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010

·         Parents can keep their children under their coverage until the child turns 26

·         Insurance companies may no longer exclude members for pre-existing conditions

·         Small business owners may qualify for tax credits

·         All insurance companies must offer certain basic coverage

·         And there are four levels of coverage

·         Companies that provide insurance for their employees must cover all the basic needs

·         Companies with 15 or fewer employees have different options

·         Everyone must have insurance coverage by March 2014 or be penalized

·         The amount of the government subsidy is based on individual’s income

Following the information about Affordable Healthcare, Ryan shared several of the options that Colonial Life offers to help individuals and families prepare for health and life emergencies.

Being prepared for a variety of emergencies is also important to mental health and safety, and Non-Profit Roundtable Co-Chair Âna-Marie Jones, Executive Director of CARD ( led the attendees through an exercise on how our smartphones can be used for a variety of health purposes. In addition to making sure that all of our important family and personal contacts are loaded in, she suggested creating groups for texting (like all of your work colleagues); adding not just emergency numbers but also the non-emergency numbers for police and fire; including your medications and allergies; programming meeting locations for family and colleagues in case of emergency; and recording multiple routes to destinations like home or a parent’s house. Having all of this and other information just a quick lookup away reduces stress and anxiety before and during any emergency.


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The next Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, from 2:30-4:30pm in the Chamber Boardroom. RSVP HERE.End-of-year solicitations are looming on the horizon, so please join us in a conversation and activities on FUNdraising.

Co-Chair Âna-Marie Jones, Executive Director of CARD (
Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Marketing Manager of Biotech Partners (

Chamber Liaison Nikki Mendez, Membership Director (

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