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April 2007


Volume 7, Issue 4

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In This Issue...
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Health Observances & Healthcare Recognition Dates

This is a calendar of all 12 months of health observation and recognition dates for the health, medical and hospital industry. Health observances are days, weeks, or months devoted to promoting particular health concerns. Recognition dates are those weeks or days set aside to honor specific healthcare professionals.

The calendar is provided by the office of Pam Pohly Associates. Pam Pohly Associates is a national management consulting firm with exclusive specialization in healthcare. The calendar can be accessed on the Internet at:

This calendar will come in handy for community relations programs as well as employee appreciation events. Health professionals, teachers, and community groups can all use these special times to sponsor health promotion events, stimulate awareness of health risks, or focus on disease prevention. Materials are available from sponsoring organizations and range from a single flyer to packets of promotional materials. Many of these materials are available here on the internet.

Copyright© 1997 - 2005, Pam Pohly, All Rights Reserved.

Safety Tip!

"National Window Safety Week"

April 22-28, 2007 is National Window Safety Week. Windows play a vital role in home safety, serving as a secondary escape route in the event of a fire or other emergency. The Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council reminds parents that windows play a vital role in home fire safety, but they can also pose a risk of a fall in the home if other safety measures are not followed.

The National Safety Council and the window industry has compiled some very useful information to help you learn about the potential risks of window falls in your home. For some simple, common-sense actions you can take to reduce these risks log on to:

The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, nongovernmental, international public service organization dedicated to protecting life and promoting health. The NSC is a membership organization, founded in 1913 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1953. Members include more than 48,000 businesses, labor organizations, schools, public agencies, private groups and individuals.

Step Aerobics

Place: Wilson Elementary Gymnasium

Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Instructor: Colleen Valenta

Must bring your own step (“The Step” recommended)

Wear good aerobic or cross-trainer shoes

Contact Tonie at 632-3275 to sign-up or email Sharon Wilkes

Ballroom Dancing Lessons

Great Fun, Great Exercise!

Place: Cathey Middle School

Dates: Mondays

Times: 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Instructor: Orlando Perez

Place: Travis Middle School

Dates: Thursdays

Times: 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Instructor: Orlando Perez

Be sure to wear tennis shoes.

All staff and students welcome!

Contact Tonie at 632-3275 to sign-up or email Sharon Wilkes

Water Aerobics

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Nikki Rowe High School Pool


Monday - Friday until further notice


6:45 - 7:45 p.m. Water Aerobics

7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Lap Swimming


$1.00 per session
$8.00 per 10 sessions

Free to MISD employees (must show ID)

Wellness...a way of life!

It doesn't take any more time to eat well. You hear it all the time: "I just don't have time to exercise." So be it, this may be the case. Don't buy it! Let's just say this is the reality for a lot of people. What's our excuse for our choices for the foods we stick in our mouth and into our bodies? How did food get thrown into the "lack of time" mix?

  1. Convenience - It's just easy to find packaged foods or "snacks" that you can throw in your mouth and keep on moving. It is amazing how many of us don't sit to enjoy our meals. We are on the go!

  2. Comfort - A lot of people (including me, chocolate is my food of choice) use food to help them deal with stress, anxiety, loneliness, or other emotionally charged situations.

  3. Habit/discipline - We have just gotten into the habit of eating certain foods, or we don't exercise our self control.

  4. Fun/social - Let's face it, yummy food is fun, and we set up "eating dates" for our social lives. Plus, food that is often times more "nutritional" is quite frankly more boring.

  5. Cash - A tough one; all in all healthy food is more expensive.

  6. Conditioning/education - Our parents ate a certain way, and we have just been raised with particular foods. In some ways a lot of people just don't know better.

  7. Pure flavor - Are fast food fries better tasting than steamed broccoli? Would you like that diet soda with crushed ice or a glass of water?

  8. Point of view - Some people haven't even really connected their health and how their body works with the food they eat. It's really a disconnect.

Surely, some of the reasons have been left out but this is a good start. Well, if you really don't have the time to exercise, then you do have an opportunity to improve your health through the foods you consume. Oh, and the other good news is it may take a little imagination and organization but it won't take more time. Look at eating as an opportunity to lose weight and get energized. It is critical to eat the right kinds of calories every day. People, don't think starving yourself is going to be the way to lose those inches.

Can you improve in your nutritional life? Click here to see how?

Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There's no better way to start your day - and shed pounds - than by eating a healthy breakfast. And here's a surprise for most dieters: Eggs are a healthy option, as long as you know how to fix them.

Eggs are high in protein, surprisingly low in saturated fat and more satisfying than carbohydrates. In fact, people who had eggs and toast for breakfast ate 419 fewer calories the following day than those who had a bagel with cream cheese and yogurt, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reports.

The trick to including eggs in any healthy eating plan is to avoid cooking them in a lot of fat. For a tasty, filling meal, coat a pan with cooking spray and scramble up an egg or two with veggies; have it with a slice of whole-wheat toast, as the fiber will help you stay fuller longer.

Because eggs do contain a fairly high amount of cholesterol, limit your intake to no more than seven per week.

Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Spotlight in Wellness, by Sharon Wilkes

You have no doubt read about the health benefits of exercise, but when we know someone who has had personal success by incorporating exercise into their lifestyle, it somehow has more meaning. I am so pleased to introduce you to Amparo Gonzales.

Amparo amazes me. She has worked for MISD for 15 years and is very active in our Wellness Program. She participated in the kick-boxing class last year, and this semester she is a regular-attendee at the step aerobics class. She attends because ”she sweats like heck!” She says the exercise actually invigorates her after a long work day. “I love it! It is mentally uplifting”, says Amparo.

Last week, when Amparo came in for her weekly weigh-in and blood pressure check, she excitedly reported to me that her doctor reduced her blood pressure medication by half last week when she went in for her check-up! He told her it was directly related to the exercise program that she has implemented, and to keep up the good work. Congratulations, Amparo. You are “in the spotlight”.

If you would like to participate in any of the district’s activities (step aerobics, ballroom dancing, water aerobics, or lap swimming) it is not too late to make a difference in your health for this year. Contact my office for further information.

Sharon B. Wilkes, RN, MA, CPS, CCS, Coordinator, Prevention Services

Benefits Corner, by Andy Silva


Did you know?

McAllen ISD offers you & your family "Free & Confidential Internet Counseling" through Deer Oaks!

  • Deer Oaks offers Face-to-Face, Telephonic or Internet Counseling. 

  • You choose which method you’re most comfortable with. 

  • Internet counseling is a great idea for your troubled teens that may not want to see someone in person. 

  • Receive professional counseling from a masters or doctoral level clinician in person, over the phone or on the Internet! 

Deer Oaks can help with any personal concerns you have:

  • Get tips on how to start a healthy diet.

  • Learn how to quit smoking and stay motivated.

  • Become debt free and save for retirement or college!

  • Find helpful community resources from childcare to eldercare.

  • Deer Oaks can create a Simple Will for you, Free of Charge!

  • Log on today and explore thousands of articles, links and resources available at your fingertips.

Have you checked out their interactive website?

  • Interact and get advice live from healthcare professionals who are standing by to answer your questions over a variety of topics.  Log on to see the schedule of live chats today!

Who is eligible for EAP Services?

  • Employees, Dependents and any household member.

  • No need to be enrolled on the medical plan to access EAP benefits

  • Benefits can be used for up to six months after termination or layoff from employment.

Let Deer Oaks be your one stop for all of life’s Roadblocks.

Call Deer Oaks at 956-631-6188 to make your appointment today. Or log on to:

For Deer Oaks "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)", visit:

Visit the MISD Employee Benefits Department web site for up-to-date benefit forms and information.

Contact the Employee Benefits Office at 618-6007 for additional information.

Mr. Andres Silva is the Director of Employee Benefits/Risk Management

Employee Assistance Program
Your free, confidential EAP benefit includes short-term counseling and referrals for you and your dependents. DeerOaks Logo
"" Help is just one phone call.  Local: (956) 631-6188 Toll Free: (877) 865-9322 Website: Relay Texas: (800) 735-2989

For Health/Wellness Information, library of resource documents and other useful information, click here.

© 2007 McAllen Independent School District. All rights reserved.
Images licensed by Microsoft Media Elements, Copyright © 2005 Microsoft Corp.

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