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BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month Resources for Business Health Trust Members

In honor of BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month this July, Business Health Trust is reaching out with valuable resources for members with access to the employee assistance program through Wellspring EAP. Login at wellspringeap.org to access a curated list of resources specific to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) mental health awareness, or click the below links to attend unique live webinars and restorative micro-sessions.

These live events will be available on-demand 24 to 48 hours after the live session.

Webinar: BIPOC Mental Health Awareness

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (PST)
Register to Attend

Explore how anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma impact the BIPOC community in this webinar and learning conversation.

Facilitated by Sauntia Griffin, LSWAIC, MSW, M.Ed., an educator and mental health therapist, you’ll learn about common emotional and physiological experiences, and strategies and coping tools to implement for self-care.

This session will best support those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), allies, and those who would like to deepen their understanding.

Live Guided Restorative Micro-Sessions

Click on the title to attend these 15-minute guided restorative micro-sessions:

About Wellspring’s Trainers

  • Sauntia Griffin, LSWAIC, MSW, M.Ed.
    Sauntia Griffin was born and raised in the Central District of Seattle, where she lives and practices therapy with teens and adults. Sauntia operates under a critically conscious, anti-oppressive framework, her goal being to provide a space that allows individuals to work through and grow into who they want to be. Sauntia earned a Bachelor’s in Social Work, a Master’s in Education, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Seattle University. She has practiced with Atlantic Street Center, Northwest Kidney Centers, as well as in private practice. She has been trained in trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and a variety of techniques for evidence-based practice — regularly drawing from mindfulness and Gestalt approaches.
  • Summer Brown, LMFT
    Summer Brown self-identifies as a Black, Queer, Fat, Cis Woman. Summer is a Sex and Fat Positive, Social Equity Minded, Solution Focused, CBT, EMDR and Feminist Narrative therapist. She provides support for individuals throughout the lifespan, partnerships of any relationship style as well as family systems work. Summer prioritizes providing affirming, inclusive, client-directed, culturally competent care for marginalized communities (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other folks who hold systemically non-dominant identities). She provides AAMFT supervision as the Clinical Director of Therapeutic Change PLLC, group practice in Vancouver, Wash. Summer has taught at the Community College and graduate school levels with a focus on self-discovery and counseling skills development.
  • Kaylee Torres, MCFT Intern
    Kayle Torres is pursuing her Master’s in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis and Clark College. She identifies as a queer, Asian and Pacific Islander, neurodiverse, femme person who is temporarily able-bodied and currently exists in a mid-size body. She provides individual, family, and relational therapy to teens and adults who identify as LGBTQIA+, Gender Diverse, all ethnicities, all body sizes, types and abilities. She approaches her work from a relational and ecosystemic lens, meaning she acknowledges that we exist in relation to other people and beings, as well as the land we occupy, and our daily life is impacted by larger systems including systems of oppression. She draw from Systems Theory, Intersectional and Feminist perspectives, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Attachment Theory, Internal Family Systems and an Intergenerational framework in her therapeutic work with clients.

Confused About Wearing Masks Indoors? Public Health Has Answers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that fully vaccinated people can resume activities they did before the pandemic without wearing a mask or socially distancing, and meanwhile all counties in Washington state are in Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery with a full reopening expected June 30.

But what does that all mean exactly, especially for business owners who want to keep their employees and their customers safe?

Indoor Mask Directive Guidance for Businesses

If you have questions, Public Health — Seattle & King County has answers.

Check out this Indoor Mask Directive — Guidance for Businesses, to help you decide how to implement indoor mask guidelines.

Because there is no easy way to check vaccination status at this time, King County’s Local Health Officer Directive strongly urges businesses to continue implementing mask mandates for all employees and customers in indoor settings.

For companies that choose to allow fully vaccinated employees and customers to remove their masks, the directive suggests:

  1. Verify the vaccination status of everyone.
  2. Create a system of process to monitor that unvaccinated people continue to wear a mask.
  3. People who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must wear a mask and maintain physical distancing at all times.

For more details, please download the Indoor Mask Directive — Guidance for Businesses.

Gov. Jay Inslee also offers industry-specific information on the website COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers, including an overview of COVID-19 Workplace Safety and Health Requirements based on requirements from the Department of Labor and Industries.

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.

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.

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.

Stay Up-to-Date on COVID-19 Vaccine with 2 Partner Webinars Next Week

The COVID-19 vaccine is all over the news, but many questions remain.

Our Business Health Trust partners are ready with answers to help you navigate the next normal of COVID-19 at the following free webinars:

Kaiser Permanente: COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Mental Health Resources

Thursday, December 17, 2020
3 – 4 p.m.

Learn about the scientific realities of coronaviruses and COVID-19, control measures, the human impact, and Kaiser Permanente’s response, including:

  • COVID-19 updates and trends — Insights on the current state of the pandemic, including treatment and testing
  • Emerging vaccine developments — Relevant information regarding the development, FDA review, and distribution of recently approved COVID-19 vaccines
  • Mental health resources

Speakers are Dr. Lisa Jackson, Senior Investigator and Internist, and Jessica Sandhu, Flu Campaign Manager.

Seattle Chamber’s #WeGotThisWA Series: Update on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Thursday, December 17, 2020
11 a.m. to noon

Hear the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health – Seattle & King County. Francesca Holme, Flu Coordination Technical Specialist, will share the most recent COVID-19 data for King County and provide an update on the plans for vaccine rollout in the region.

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the plan sponsor of Business Health Trust. Its ongoing #WeGotThisWA Webinar Series is designed to provide timely and accurate information and resources on the COVID-19 pandemic.