RamStrong is a collective wellness resource for VCU faculty and staff focused on the eight dimenions of wellness – physical, emotional, financial, intellectual, occupational, evironmental, social and spiritual wellness. RamStrong also offers resources for navigating the COVID-19 crisis with the eight dimenions of wellness in mind. The RamStrong concept was developed by the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.
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During this challenging time, it’s so important to take care of yourself! We have many resources available. You can find them here as well as on RamStrong - where we provide resources for all eight dimensions of wellness: Physical, Emotional/Mental, Environmental, Financial, Occupational, Social, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Resources will be added and updated as they become available so continue to check the webpage.
The impact of COVID-19 seems to grow every day. It’s only natural to feel stress and anxiety related to it. The Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help!
The EAP website offers a variety of tools and resources related to COVID-19 including
And of course the EAP can help you manage all the changes that are occurring each day. You can use the website for:
Visit the Anthem EAP website for free confidential help! Click on the Log-In button and enter: EAP Can Help
This special entry portal is available for all employees, including those without health coverage.
Health Benefits Program Offers Online EAP Resources to Wage and Waived Employees: To assist with work, family and other personal issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, state wage employees may access website resources through the Anthem and Aetna Employee Assistance Programs. These online educational services are offered at no cost to wage and waived employees who are not covered by a state health plan. Individual services such as face-to-face counseling, legal consultation, telephonic financial counseling, and work/life consultation services are not included.
Returning to work - COVID-19 checklist
As many will start returning to work, there may be people feeling anxious about possily being exposed to COVID-19 or even returning to theri old routine after months of upturn. Below are some tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help you adjust more easily.
VCU's Massey Cancer Center's registered dietitican, Allie Farley, sends out a simple and healthy recipe along with meal planning tips you can use through the week.
Click here to sign up and receive these weekly emails!
Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for recipes and more information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship.
VCU HR provides employees with a list of curated wellness resources to support your well-being during the COVID-19 crisis. These resources are categorized by the eight dimensions of wellness listed in the dropdown boxes below.
Across the United States, many communities are experiencing unrest and distress related to the unjust treatment of individuals who are Black in this country. Coping Tips can be found here in the article Coping During Community Unrest.
As we move forward and doors begin to open again, we must remember that these doors open our hearts to great understanding and shared experiences. The Joy on the Other Side of the Door.
Anthem's myStrength recently added several new activities to address racism. You can sign up for myStrength via the Anthem EAP website to bypass any need for a code. Go to anthemeap.com and enter Commonwealth of Virginia. Find the myStrength Center and choose the sign-up buttom. You can then set up your account and unique password. There is also a myStrength app.
AnthemEAP also offers articles and resources which can offer support to those impacted by recent events.
As communities lift stay-at-home restrictions, it's important to keep taking steps to protect yourself from COVID-19. Find out how to safely travel, visit restaurants, go to the gym and more during reopening.
As VCU begins a phased on-campus opening of the university, here are some resources.
Life after lockdown should start with this healthy to-do list By American Heart Association News
Amid COVID-19, Rams in Recovery advice resonates with a broader audience. Tools that help people recovering from addiction get through their day-to-day lives are largely applicable during this time of social isolation.
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember phone number connecting people with free information on available community services.
You may view more information on Virginia 2-1-1
Help1RVA enables you to search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training and more. You may view more information on Help1RVA.
The University of Missouri provides many public self-care resources such as:
Did you know......
If you are an Anthem COVA Care member, you can pay $0 for a LiveHealth Online visit! No need to get in the car and go to the doctor. You can now see a doctor using your smartphone, tablet or computer, any time, day or night.
Go to livehealthonline.com or download the app so you'll be ready whenever you need these LiveHealthOnline services.
When you smoke, it puts you at a higher risk for diseases like COVID-19. Quit smoking for yourself and the ones you love. For support and resources to help you quit, visit QuitNow.net/Virginia
Wellness is an active process through which people can make choices toward a more holistic well-being. RamStrong is a collective wellness resource for VCU faculty and staff. The RamStrong concept was developed by the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute. Learn more about RamStrong.
All Well-Being Programs are now virtual - Join in from anywhere! Open to everyone!
Monday, April 5th – 11 am
Eating Local: Reasonably, Feasibly, and Seasonally
(Presented by VCU HR and Stony Point Women’s Health)
Join VCU Health registered dietitian, Dana Henderson, and learn how to take advantage of the fresh and flavorful things from the earth this spring!
Wednesday, April 7th – 1 pm
Healthy Numbers: Integrating healthcare into your retirement plan
(Presented by VCU HR and TIAA)
Enjoying your retirement begins with your health. But are you budgeting for the costs of healthcare in retirement? Together we’ll cover the key ideas, trends and numbers you need to be prepared.
Thursday, April 8th – 11:15 am
Core Exercises with Jasmine
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Strength starts with the core. This class will help you build a more stable, powerful abdomen and lower back to improve fitness, straighten posture and provide a foundation for an active daily life.
Wednesday, April 14th – 12 pm
Slow Flow Yoga with Hannah
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
In this Slow Flow class, you will practice about half the number of poses you might practice in a regular Flow class. The pace is meditative, emphasizing peace and calm in body and mind.
Thursday, April 15th – 12 pm
Strategies for Eliminating Debt
(Presented by VCU HR, VCUHS HR, and Virginia Credit Union)
Learn helpful tips on how to reduce your debt through specific examples and strategies.
Friday, April 16th – 12:15 pm
Financial Literacy Challenge with Kahoot
(Presented by VCU HR, VCUHS HR, and Virginia Credit Union)
Financial Literacy Challenge! Join us for a lively interactive test your knowledge game of KAHOOT! Participants can answer questions along the way at www.kahoot.it or using the Kahoot app on their mobile device. Kahoot is FREE and can be downloaded from the app store of your choice. You can learn more about Kahoot at www.kahoot.com
Friday, April 16th – 12 pm
Healthcare Decisions Day
(Presented by VCU HR)
Join founder of Healthcare Decisions Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Nathan Kottkamp of Waller Law, on Healthcare Decisions Day! Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions related to end of life care and medical decision-making. Learn about Advance Directives, the Virginia Health Care Directive Registry, DNR orders, and more! You can learn more at: https://www.vsb.org/site/public/healthcare-decisions-day
Tuesday, April 20th – 12:15 pm
Bodyweight Strength with Jess
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Strengthen all of the major muscle groups in your body by participating in this Bodyweight Strength fitness class! With a focus on utilizing your bodyweight with high repetitions, participants will be guided through a series of exercises targeting the chest, back, arms, legs, glutes, and core. No equipment requirements, though a yoga mat is recommended.
Wednesday, April 21st – 12 pm
Learn the Basics of When and How to Claim Social Security
(Presented by VCU HR and Fidelity)
Join Fidelity and learn tips to help you make the right claiming decision on when to start collecting social security.
Friday, April 30th – 12 pm
Exercise with Heart
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Join Jess Norman, Assistant Director for Fitness & Wellness, for an educational session about the basics and benefits of cardiovascular exercise. During our time together we'll review the current exercise guidelines and discuss tips on how to meet them.
Additional webinars and virtual sessions:
Although we are not offering in person events at this time, here are some other virtual well-being classes:
VCU Recreational Sports – offers a diversity of virtual programs including fitness, wellness, outdoor programs, parent and child programs fun and games, and more!
Commonwealth of Virginia employees enrolled in a state health plan are eligible for WW discounted pricing and a 50% subsidy. Employees not enrolled in a state health plan, spouses, and adult dependents are eligible for WW discounted pricing only. Sign up today! (You will need to enter your state ID # for the unique ID field - To find your State ID # - it is on your VCU health plan ID card. If you don't have a health plan ID card you can get it from the state's employee direct system (https://edirect.virginia.gov) by using the Forgot ID function under the register now link)
This is your fresh start!
WW’s (Weight Watchers® reimagined) NEW myWW+, the most holistic weight-loss program that’s made for you, gives you the tools to make healthier choices—and reach your wellness goals—so that you don’t have to rely on willpower. With myWW+ you’ll get…
A customized, science backed action plan based on how you eat, move, sleep, and think
Purchase a WW membership today and get a FREE Fresh Start Kit (over $100 value)!*
WW Fresh Start Kit includes: myWW+ Starter Guide, $50 coupon booklet, The WW Mediterranean Table cookbook, food chopper, cookbook/tablet holder, set of tea towels, and set of flex chopping matts.
Take the first step to a healthier you today!
*FREE WW FRESH START KIT OFFER: To get a free kit, you must purchase a WW membership plan between April 1 and May 15. Available only where WW membership plans are offered through your employer or health plan, and in participating areas only. One kit per member. Kit must be redeemed by May 31. While supplies last. Over $100 in value includes $50 worth of coupons. U.S. addresses only. Please allow at least 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. Offer not available to current members. Offer may be revoked at any time and may not be redeemed for cash. Nontransferable. Void where prohibited.
A happier, healthier life starts here
Now and throughout the coming year, the Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to helping you, your spouse, and adult dependents reach your wellness goals—to lose weight, eat healthier, move more, develop a more positive mindset, or all the above—by offering exclusive pricing when you join WW (Weight Watchers® Reimagined). Watch to learn more about the WW program then sign up at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
The Commonwealth of Virginia and WW have launched new Private Virtual Workshops just for us!
WW’s Workshops have helped millions of members build healthy habits for real life, and I’m excited to share that employees now have access to Private Virtual Workshops through the Commonwealth of Virginia and WW partnership.
Who: Just us—that’s it! These Workshops are exclusive to our organization, so get ready to see some familiar faces.
What: Weekly guidance from a WW Coach in a virtual group setting that will help move you closer to your weight-loss and wellness goals. The Workshops are fun, supportive—and did I mention private?
Where: Right on your phone (or computer). These private Workshops are virtual, so you can get live stay-on-track support from a WW Coach in the palm of your hand. It couldn’t be easier!
When: Current WW Members can view the Workshop schedule by joining the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Connect Group. Just click here to join. IMPORTANT: You must open this link on a mobile device to be directed to the Connect group.
⭐ WORKSHOP SCHEDULE ⭐
Tuesday, 11:30 AM EST with Coach Debbie B.
Wednesday, 12:15 PM EST with Coach Bobbi C.
Thursday, 12:15 PM EST with Coach Denise S.
Not a Member? Learn more about our partnership with WW at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
New Private Virtual Workshops for WW members
Exciting news for WW members! The Commonwealth of Virginia and WW have just launched a Private Virtual Workshop exclusively for our organization. Get ready to see some familiar faces as we join together for a weekly workshop guided by a WW Coach. Move closer to your weight-loss and wellness goals in this fun, supportive – and did I mention private? – live Virtual Workshop. Current WW Members can view the Workshop schedule by joining CommonHealth’s Connect Group. Important: You must select the link from your mobile device. Not a Member? Learn more about our partnership with WW at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
WW members within our organization, get ready to see some familiar faces at your weekly workshop. I’m excited to share the launch of a new Private Virtual Workshop exclusive to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Join your colleagues each week for guidance and motivation from a WW Coach. WW members, to view the Private Virtual Workshop schedule, join CommonHealth’s Connect Group. Important: You must click the link from a mobile device. If you’re not a WW member, learn more about our partnership at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
WW’s Workshops have helped millions of members build healthy habits for real life, and I’m excited to announce that employees now have access to Private Virtual Workshops through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s WW partnership. Get weekly guidance from a WW Coach in a virtual group setting that will help move you closer to your weight-loss and wellness goals. The Workshops are fun, supportive—and did I mention private? WW members, to view the Private Virtual Workshop schedule, join CommonHealth’s Connect Group. Important: You must click the link from a mobile device. If you’re not a WW member, learn more about our partnership at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
Get a sneak peak at the power of coaching & community
For a big dose of inspiration and the latest nutritional and behavioral science to help you lose weight and build healthy habits for life, look no further than a WW (Weight Watchers® Reimagined) Workshop. These expert-led weekly Workshops provide practical, easy-to-use tools and techniques to help reach your wellness goals.
Check out the exclusive pricing offered to Commonwealth of Virginia employees, spouses, and adult dependents at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
VCU Health and Wellness Library, located in the Gateway Building, Group Floor, Room G-112 offers Meditate with Georgianne Ginder, MSC, CHWC, JSJ Certified Practioner every Wednesday and Friday from noon to 1 pm. Free and open to all. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-2432.
VCU's Institute for Contemporary Art offers mindfulness meditation sessions guided by highly experienced meditation teachers. These sessions are offered from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Sessions are free. To register, visit the ICA website and search "mindfulness."
ConditionCare provided to VCU employees with Anthem. ConditionCare can help you get help managing asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, heart failure or coronary disease. You can talk to a nurse for help with health questions, anytime, anywhere. You get a health screening by phone at no extra cost. Get support from other health experts like pharmacists and dieticians. Other education guides, email newsletters and toolds to learn more about your condition are provided. You can receive certain medications or supplies at no cost upon meeting certain requiremetns. Call 1-844-507-8472 to get started.
Anthem subscribers also have access to myStrength, the health club for your mind where you can get resources such as videos, articles, quotes, and inspirations as well as tools and exercises to help you develop a personal action plan and make healthy changes. To sign up go to anthemeap.com and enter Commonwealth of Virginia. Find the myStrength Center and choose the Sign-up button. Set up your account and unique password. Take the confidential wellness Assessment and fill out the personal profile. Both take just a few minutes to complete. Your answers will create your personal home page with topics and updates that interest and inspire you. Take myStrength with you on the go by downloading the i0S ir Android app.
One in five adults in the United States face a mental illness in any one year – that’s almost 44 million people. And especially right now, people across the country are experiencing feelings of stress and fear because of the new disease and feelings of isolation because of physical distancing requirements. This means someone around you right now may be struggling.
People who are facing mental health or addiction challenges may find it hard to seek and get the help they may need. They may not know who to talk to, where to go or even what to say.
Thankfully, there are a variety of things that can help, including having a good support system of people that you like, respect and trust. Support from loved ones, peers and appropriate professionals can make a big difference on your mental health and well-being. It can even make recovery from mental health symptoms easier and quicker.
Did you know VCU faculty and staff have access to numerous financial webinars from Fidelity Investments, TIAA, Virginia Credit Union (VACU), Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and more! There are many live and on demand sessions including:
Also, VCU HR Work Life does monthly virtual live financial sessions. Check it all out on the VCU HR Work Life website.
Check out some upcoming webinars listed below!
Register at TIAA.org/webinars. Below are some upcoming webinars. These webinars are open to everyone!
Paying Yourself: Income options in retirement
You can learn the rules that govern retirement assets and find out when to consider using different income sources.
April 13 at 12 p.m.
Making It Easier For You: Online tools and resources
Save time, manage your money, and feel empowered by learning and using the latest digital enhancements.
April 13 at 3 p.m.
Quarterly economic and market update
Take a closer look at our views on the financial markets, including key market drivers, U.S. economy, policy and politics, and investing in public markets.
April 14 at 12 p.m.
The power of saving
In this webinar, you’ll learn a number of strategies for better managing your money, so you have the knowledge and confidence to pay your bills, save for a rainy day, and achieve any larger financial goals you’ve set for yourself.
April 14 at 3 p.m.
Attention To Detail: Financial finishing touches for women
Am I ready to retire? How do I know if I have enough? How do I plan my income? What should I look out for as I plan and even after I am retired? Financial success can often complicate your life and we are going to try to help you answer those questions and more.
April 15 at 12 p.m.
Making gifts to loved ones and charities
This webinar will review basic strategies for giving to individuals and charities during your lifetime, as well as legacy planning.
April 15 at 3 p.m.
You can register for upcoming titles at TIAA.org/webinars. All live webinar times are (ET).
Practical conversations to help you live well financially, today and tomorrow – webinars from Fidelity
And so many more on Preparing for Retirement, Managing Life, and Saving & Investing
Explore Ways to Manage your well Being through the COVID-19 Resource Center
Don’t let an unexpected expense catch you off-guard. Take the new myVRS Financial Wellness course, setting up an Emergency Fund, to learn how you can prepare for life’s financial surprises. You have access to an entire curriculum of financial wellness courses, articles, tools and more directly through your myVRS account. Visit showcase.varetire.org to learn how the financial knowledge you gain and the steps you take today help you build the future you imagine.
Register today for an online Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan Regional Education Meeting or a virtual one-on-one with your Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialists
Learn More About Your Retirement Options
VRS 457 & Cash Match Plans Overview
What is a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan? How about a Cash Match 401(a) Plan? Learn about how these plans help you build your retirement future.
Select How Your Savings Are Invested
VRS Plan Investments
Do you find investing confusing? Learn about asset classes, diversification and the three investment paths available to you.
How Do I Withdraw My Money in Retirement?
VRS 457 & Cash Match Distribution Options
Retirement on the horizon? Understand the various distribution requirements and options under your 457 and 401(a) plans.
Personal Individual Account Review
Need assistance? Sign up for a 30-minute virtual one-on-one with a Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialist.
Learn how to access a free copy of your credit report and the importance of reviewing and understanding the report
Learn the components and how to build, manage and maintain a great credit score
In times of economic uncertainty, it’s essential to focus on what you can control. In “Surviving In Today’s Economy,” we’ll share tips on increasing your value in the workplace, cutting expenses, boosting savings, and reducing debt. Watch now»