Doctor giving a senior woman a vaccination

Partnership Breaks Down Vaccine Barriers in Bothell

Partnership brings 1,000 more COVID-19 vaccination appointments to King and Snohomish counties on April 28-29

BOTHELL – The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, T-Mobile, QFC and Business Health Trust will host a community vaccination clinic in Bothell as the group aims to provide 17,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses throughout the region by mid-May.

The Bothell clinic will provide more than 1,000 vaccine appointments from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 28 and 29 at the T-Mobile offices at 22209 30th Drive S.E. Organizers are working with more than 20 community partners serving populations who have faced historic and ongoing exclusion, as well as seniors, to support equitable access to these appointments.

“T-Mobile is all in to support community vaccination efforts alongside the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce,” said Darcey Estes, VP of Real Estate and Facilities at T-Mobile. “Through these community vaccination clinics, we are glad to be doing our part to bring us all one step closer to finally emerging from this pandemic.”

The clinic, which is expected to deliver 500 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine per day, will be co-run by the partner businesses. While all residents ages 16 and older are now eligible for the vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is only approved for ages 18 and older.

“Vaccine distribution is essential to recovery of our regional economy,” said Rachel Smith, President & CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Our businesses are working hand-in-hand every day to respond to the biggest challenges in this pandemic. This moment in history calls for leadership, partnership and results – and we will continue to take action to drive outcomes that move us forward.”

T-Mobile will provide the space, while Business Health Trust, the Chamber and QFC will provide staffing and operational support to run the new community vaccination center.

“QFC is guided by our values and our promise to Feed the Human Spirit. We work to help people live healthier lives, and vaccinations are an integral part of that,” said Chris Albi, president of QFC. “QFC, Fred Meyer and Kroger Health will be donating all professional services at vaccination sites, these services include scheduling, administering and observing the vaccinations.”

This will be the final first-dose clinic in this series for several weeks because the partnership will rotate back through previous clinic locations to offer the needed second doses. Clinics are being held across the region in Bellevue, White Center, Everett, Tacoma, Mountlake Terrace, Bothell, Georgetown, Capitol Hill and Tukwila.

“As vaccine eligibility has opened up more widely, it has become more challenging to secure a vaccine appointment,” said Sarai Childs, Executive Director of Business Health Trust. “We have targeted ZIP codes where barriers to vaccines are more likely to exist with the goal of ensuring that everyone in our communities who wants to be vaccinated can obtain an appointment.”

The clinics fill up fast. Signups for the Bothell vaccine clinic are available at qfc.com/covidvaccine. Search “Bothell,” then select “Bothell T-Mobile.” The clinic will not be able to accommodate walk-ups.

Volunteers are still needed. Come help your community and get vaccinated yourself. Sign up here.

Supporting this effort:

  • T-Mobile
  • QFC
  • Business Health Trust
  • Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Advanced Professionals Insurance & Benefit Solutions
  • Bothell Chamber of Commerce
  • Premera Blue Cross
  • The Boeing Company
  • Woodinville Chamber of Commerce

5,500 and Counting Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Through Business Health Trust Partnership

Business Health Trust is taking its core value to be a resource to employers throughout the Puget Sound region with COVID-19 vaccine clinics that so far have immunized 5,500 people and counting.

The clinics are being offered through a unique partnership between local grocery stores and business organizations, including Business Health Trust and its plan sponsor, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Each event needs about 50 to 60 volunteers to keep patients safely flowing through the pop-up vaccine clinics, and Business Health Trust members are among volunteers who have been willing to step up and help.

We first wrote about the clinics in the post Business Health Trust Partnership Provides COVID-19 Vaccine to Diverse Population, which highlighted a clinic in the White Center neighborhood where the diverse population has seen one of the highest rates of COVID-19 incidence in King County.

Since then clinics have taken place in Bellevue, Tacoma and Everett, with more likely as eligibility for the vaccine expands to all Washingtonians 16 and older as of April 15, 2021.

If you would like to be notified about future COVID-19 vaccine clinics as a patient or to volunteer, or if your company is interested in partnering, please fill out this survey.

How to Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine with Kaiser Permanente

Are you eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or about to become eligible and wondering where to start?

As of April 15, 2021, all Washingtonians age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and Business Health Trust partner Kaiser Permanente is offering tips to help both members and non-members register for the vaccine at one of their facilities.

For Business Health Trust members enrolled in Kaiser Permanente, it’s easy to sign up for your vaccine online at kp.org/wa. Once you’ve logged in, click on “COVID-19” and complete the “COVID-19 vaccination” e-visit to confirm your eligibility, then you can schedule an appointment for your first shot.

For members who do not have internet access or for non-members, you can make an appointment by calling 1-800-352-3610.

For more information, download the flyer Getting Vaccinated with Kaiser Permanente.

U.S. Senate Votes to Extend PPP Program to May 31

On March 25, 2021, Congress extended the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw deadline until May 31, giving eligible businesses and non-profits extra time to submit applications and work with lenders to secure this critical aid.

The U.S. Senate voted 92-7 in favor of the extension, giving small businesses and non-profits two more months to secure a forgivable PPP loan once the bill has been signed by President Biden.

This important update from the Washington Economic Development Association notes that WA employers have secured 54,471 loans, totaling over $4.6 billion in 2021 alone.

For more information, SmallBizHelpWA.com offers valuable information and links to help small businesses find funding, get help and find a lender, among other resources as Washington state continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Tips for Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene

From Business Health Trust dental provider Delta Dental of Washington.

Teaching a kid good oral hygiene is probably the last battle you want to take on at the end of a long day, especially when just getting them to bed can be a struggle. However, brushing and flossing is an extremely important part of children’s oral and overall health.

Start good habits at an early age and clean your baby’s teeth by wiping them with a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water. This gets them used to establishing a tooth brushing routine. When children are around 18 months of age, they can be introduced to daily brushing by using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and encouraged to spit, but not rinse. By age 2, or when teeth start touching, kids should be introduced to flossing. Tip: Some parents find flossing sticks much easier to start with than traditional floss.

Here are three more tips for teaching a child good brushing and flossing habits:

Tip #1: Use Visuals

Flossing and brushing doesn’t automatically make sense to kids. To demonstrate the importance of flossing and good oral health, have your child watch as you dig your teeth into some chocolate. Next, brush and floss your teeth to demonstrate how well both activities remove leftover food particles. Once they’re thoroughly intrigued, break out a toothbrush with their favorite TV character on it or a dental flosser pick (little kids find these easier to handle) and try it out on their teeth.

Tip #2: Give Rewards

As a parent, you know how well positive reinforcement works on kids. They love when something fun waits for them at the end of a task. Why not use this same idea for your children’s oral health? Create a chart and give your child a gold star each day they brush or floss. At the end of the week, reward them with a fun activity or a small toy (not candy). They’ll consider it a fun game, but you’ll know that, secretly, they’re building solid habits and learning how to take care of their smile.

Tip #3: Create Activities

Activities are a great oral health motivator for kids of all ages! All you need is play dough, a large Duplo block, and some yarn. The block represents the teeth, the play dough represents food and gunk caught between teeth, and the yarn is the floss. Use the yarn just like dental floss to show your kids how easily it removes food from teeth. This is a great visual, and kids love jamming the dough in the blocks. Plus, not only do you teach your child how to floss, but you’ve found a way to occupy her for a solid ten minutes — win, win.

If you need help finding a pediatric or family dentist visit our find a dentist tool and use the drop-down tool to select the type of dentist you’re looking for.

Sign up for MySmile to access your dental benefits, get reminders, find your ID card and access the cost estimator for treatment planning.

COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership with Business Help Trust Continues March 10-11

After vaccinating 986 qualified members of the White Center community March 4-5, a partnership between local grocery stores and business organizations is bringing its COVID-19 vaccine clinic to Bellevue March 10-11.

Business Health Trust and its plan sponsor, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, along with QFC have announced that their ongoing partnership to bring more vaccine appointments to eligible individuals will continue this week at the T-Mobile offices in Bellevue.

“This week’s clinic is a great example of our business community working together on the urgent task of vaccination,” said Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Chamber. “QFC’s donation of professional services at vaccination sites and scheduling support along with T-Mobile hosting the clinic site will make it possible for 900 people in King County to get their first dose of the vaccine this week.”

This partnership — which you can read more about in our post Business Health Trust Partnership Provides COVID-19 Vaccine to Diverse Population — is working together to distribute a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by mobilizing the business community like T-Mobile to provide space and volunteers to support the effort.

“Bringing the business community together to proactively support these efforts is key to helping us reopen safely,” said Sarai Childs, executive director for Business Health Trust. “As we continue to work to support more vaccine clinics, we are dedicated to helping bridge barriers such as language that arise. This clinic will have pharmacists and or other volunteers that speak Vietnamese, Khmer, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Tamil, Ukranian, and sign language.”

The clinic is reserved for eligible individuals, including:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • All people 50 and older in multi-generational households where two or more generations reside (such as an elder and grandchild)
  • High-risk health care workers in health care settings
  • High-risk first-responders
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • All other workers at risk in health care settings

Read more about the partnership in the article How an Army of Volunteers Helped Vaccinate Nearly 1,000 People in Two Days from The Stranger.

Health care worker withdrawing COVID-19 vaccine.

Business Health Trust Partnership Provides COVID-19 Vaccine to Diverse Population

Business Health Trust is among partners that are focusing on bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to diverse communities.

Throughout March, a partnership between local grocery stores and business organizations — including Business Health Trust and its plan sponsor, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce — is offering the vaccine to eligible recipients at pop-up clinics in White Center and Factoria.

“The partners truly came together in an impactful way to vaccinate hundreds of eligible people in the White Center community,” Sarai Childs, Executive Director of Business Health Trust, said about the first clinic in White Center on March 4, 2021. “We are committed to doing our part to bring businesses together to help get people vaccinated in a way that brings equity and access to all.

“We are so grateful for the dedicated teams at QFC, Fred Meyer, Comcast, White Center CDA and Evergreen High School who have been working hard to make this a reality.”

Quality Food Centers (QFC) and Fred Meyer announced March 4 that they had received a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and hoped to inoculate to 900 qualified patients at Evergreen High School in White Center March 4-5.

“QFC is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives, and it has never been more important as we help to vaccinate the public,” said QFC President Chris Albi. “That is why QFC, Fred Meyer and Kroger Health will be donating all professional services at vaccination sites.”

The location was chosen to serve the eligible population in the diverse White Center neighborhood, which has had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 incidence in King County and where fewer than half of residents age 65 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Working with the White Center Community Development Association (CDA), this vaccination site will offer materials and translation in five languages: Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer and English.

QFC and Fred Meyer thanked the Seattle Chamber for partnering to locate a facility and provide logistical support.

“Today’s clinic is an exciting example of how we can work together to expand vaccine access in an inclusive way and get our whole community on the road to recovery,” said Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Chamber. “We want to provide a model for future pop-ups in the region: businesses proactively thinking about the resources they can offer, organizations rooted in our communities bringing their expertise, and conveners like the Chamber bringing people together with the urgency this moment demands.”

The White Center clinic is reserved for residents in White Center and the immediately surrounding areas who are considered eligible including:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • All people 50 and older in multi-generational households where two or more generations reside (such as an elder and grandchild)
  • High-risk health care workers in health care settings
  • High-risk first-responders
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • All other workers at risk in health care settings

More information is available on the White Center CDA Facebook page.

BHT Introduces New 401(k) Plan for Businesses that Dream Big

Offering a 401(k) plan can be costly and time-consuming – and when you’re growing a business, you need to manage your resources wisely. As your source for employee benefits, Business Health Trust is proud to expand on its solutions by introducing the EVOLVE 401(k) plan for small businesses that dream big.

More than insurance, Business Health Trust is a resource, offering small employers in Washington the information and tools they need to design and manage a competitive employee benefits program. EVOLVE is the ideal 401(k) solution for businesses that want to offer full-service retirement benefits and keep costs in check.

Learn more about the plan in our Q-and-A with ABD Retirement Services, the team of professionals who handle the details so you can stay focused on growing your business:

How can adding a 401(k) program help a small business grow and succeed?

Offering a 401(k) plan gives your business a competitive advantage to attract and retain quality employees. In addition, a retirement plan at work addresses one of the main financial wellness concerns employees have and can help you increase loyalty and productivity.

How is EVOLVE different from other 401(k) plans?

EVOLVE is specifically created to address the challenges small businesses face when deciding to offer a retirement plan, including:

  • Fee Transparency – EVOLVE has no hidden fees
  • Simplicity – EVOLVE offers plan options that minimize employer tasks
  • Liability Protection – EVOLVE offers investment oversight by an independent fiduciary limiting your liability for plan investments
  • Employee Focus – EVOLVE is designed to make saving and investing easy for employees

EVOLVE offers large plan features to small employers. It’s for businesses that dream big!

Is EVOLVE only for companies that don’t already have a 401(k) plan?

EVOLVE is for any employer, including those with an existing plan. Contact the EVOLVE team to compare your current plan with EVOLVE plan options. You will get unbiased guidance to evaluate your options.

How does EVOLVE make it easier for small businesses to set up a 401(k) plan that meets their budget while satisfying employees’ needs?

EVOLVE uses a simple questionnaire to gather essential data that will help you setup your plan. The EVOLVE team provides guidance to make sure the plan is a good fit to your business. The simplified plan types that are offered by EVOLVE are designed to reduce operational burden on the employer. The easy-to-use website and app combined with low-cost investments help employees use the plan effectively.

What resources are available to help employees wisely invest in their future?

EVOLVE focuses on what matters. The platform is designed to assist employees making the two major decisions required for successful retirement outcome:

  • How much should I have?
  • How should I invest what I’m saving?

The platform has web-based tools that will guide employees in making these two key decisions. Keeping it simple helps keep cost low while helping employees make the right decisions. The EVOLVE platform can also automate the employee decisions with automatic enrollment and annual adjustments.

Is EVOLVE suitable for employers with complex needs or on a fast growth track?

Yes. EVOLVE is a solution, not a one-size-fits-all package. The EVOLVE team has experience working with a range of clients from startsups to publicly traded global companies. Reach out to us for free consultation at info@businesshealthtrust.com.

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from COVID-19

From our wellness partners at VSP Vision Care Inc.

Although Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease and experts are still learning how it spreads, touching a surface or object that has any virus or germs on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly eyes can lead to infection.

Business Health Trust wellness partners VSP Vision Care Inc. has teamed up with Dr. Jennifer Tsai, OD, to answer a few questions about ways to protect your eyes during this outbreak.

Is it safe to wear contacts?

Yes, as of now and the most sanitary option is daily contacts.

The cardinal rule for staying healthy is to wash your hands often. The eyes are an entry point for germs, including viruses which makes washing your hands immediately before handling contacts especially important. This will also help keep the silicone hydrogel clean and free of unwelcome particles, like skin oils, dust, and harmful bacteria. The American Optometric Association recommends that you scrub your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, followed by hand drying with unused paper towels. This should occur before every contact lens insertion and removal. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

How do you clean your glasses?

COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces for 1-3 days. To sanitize glasses, fill a spray bottle with 3/4 alcohol (70% ethyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol), 1/4 water, and 2-3 drops of dish soap. Apply the solution and wipe any part of the frames that touch your face. This solution is only recommended for glasses without anti-reflective coating and not plastic lenses, as the alcohol can strip off the coating.

For most frames, adding a drop of soap to the surface and rubbing with your fingers will do a substantial job of removing any bacteria. Be sure to wash your hands first (to remove any oil) and don’t forget the nose pads!

To dry, shake off excess water and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Be mindful that using your shirt or paper could scratch the lenses. Microfibers can sometimes leave particles so if you don’t have a cloth, use a compressed air duster instead (like the one for your keyboard).

Is it safe to wear eyelash extensions?

It’s currently unclear but why risk it? Bacteria can live on hair and lashes for short amounts of time. Stick to mascara for now and be sure to sanitize your brushes and applicators regularly.

How do you clean makeup applicators?

Easy! Fill a spray bottle with 3/4 rubbing alcohol and 1/4 water, then apply to any brushes before every application. You can also use gentle shampoo periodically. Simply squirt a bit into a cup of warm water, then soak your sponges in the bubbly solution. Squeeze and rinse until the water runs clear. For brushes, swirl the tips in the water and shampoo, then in the palm of your hand to work up a lather. Next, run the bristles under warm water until there is no more product. Finally, lay all your brushes and sponges flat on a clean cloth to dry. Voila!

This article was reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Tsai, OD. Dr. Tsai practices optometry in New York City.

Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Woman meditating next to smart phone.

Find Health in the New Year with Self-Help Apps

Business Health Trust members enrolled in medical from Kaiser Permanente now have access to two powerful apps that can help build resilience, set goals, and maintain health and emotional well-being in everyday situations and throughout challenging times. Calm and MyStrength® are evidence-based apps that are hand-picked by Kaiser Permanente physicians and are easy to use and confidential.

Calm app

Calm uses meditation and mindfulness to help lower stress, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality. Key features include:

  • Guided meditations
  • Soothing bedtime tales for grown-ups
  • Exclusive music tracks to aid focus, relaxation, and sleep
  • Master classes taught by well-known experts

MyStrength app

This app offers personalized programs designed to support mental, emotional, and overall well-being. MyStrength offers a broad range of programs focusing on:

  • Managing depression
  • Controlling anxiety and reducing stress
  • Supporting new parents
  • Aiding drug, alcohol, and nicotine recovery
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation

Members can get the Calm and myStrength apps and explore more self-care resources at kp.org/wa/mhw. Many of Kaiser Permanente’s mental health and emotional well-being tools are available to anyone. Only Kaiser Permanente members can access the Calm and myStrength apps at no cost.