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September 11, 2014

Pitt Benefits

FitnessForLife2014 Flu Shot Schedule

Even though it is mid-September and it may still be warm outside, flu season is around the corner. According to Web MD, the influenza vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, and flu prevention should be a goal for everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months old and older receive a flu shot!

According to the CDC, up to 20% of Americans get the flu each year, with more than 200,000 people in the U.S. hospitalized. These statistics would decrease if more people took advantage of the opportunity to prevent flu with an influenza vaccine or flu shot.

Because the peak flu season may begin as early as October and run through May, it is best to obtain a flu shot as soon as possible starting in September. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be most effective. You can obtain an influenza vaccine in December or later — flu season lasts well into spring — but the earlier in flu season you get it, the better your odds of staying flu free. Please note that this year’s shot provides protection against the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 virus.

The School of Pharmacy, working with Falk Pharmacy, will be conducting flu shot clinics on the Pittsburgh campus. Through the dedication of Dr. Deanne Hall and her team, the University has consistently achieved high levels of participation.

In addition, arrangements also are underway to conduct clinics at the regional campuses.

Listed below is the current flu shot clinic schedule:

Pittsburgh Campus Flu Shot Clinics


Regional Campus Flu Shot Clinics


Falk Pharmacy flu clinics will be held every Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., through Thursday Nov. 20. After Thanksgiving, flu shots will be available during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Prior to the clinics commencing, you will receive information at your home address regarding flu shots from UPMC Health Plan, which includes an “Intake and Consent Form.” In order to expedite the administration of your flu shot, you are asked to complete the form in advance and bring it with you to the flu shot clinic. If you do not bring the form with you, you will be asked to fill out a form before receiving your flu shot.

UPMC Health Plan members also may obtain a flu shot from a participating provider at no out-of-pocket cost. If plan members obtain a flu shot at a clinic or pharmacy that does not participate with UPMC Health Plan, then they will need to pay for the flu shot at the time of service and file a claim for reimbursement. Reimbursement forms can be downloaded from UPMC Health Plan’s website at, select the “Individuals & Families ” tab, then “Member Forms/Resources”, then scroll down to “Claim Forms.” Individuals who participate in the Panther Advocate plan can receive $25 in HIA credits for obtaining a flu shot.

Flu shots are covered by the University’s UPMC Health  Plan at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Obtaining the shot is convenient!  You will only need to sign the consent form and display your University ID and your UPMC Health Plan membership card.

Note that if you do not carry the University’s medical insurance, you still can obtain a flu shot on campus for a $25 out-of-pocket charge.

Reintroducing the Benefits Department

With the new academic year underway, it is a good opportunity to reintroduce the Benefits Department staff. Feel free to call us if you ever have any questions. We are here to serve you. The Benefits Department can be reached at:

412/624-8160  •

John Kozar, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources

Responsible for overall function, strategic initiatives, compliance, contracts & renewals

412/624-4845  •

Lori Carnvale, Director of Benefits

Day-to-day operations of Benefits Department

412/624-8050  •

Aynsley Jimenez, Benefits Supervisor

Supervisor responsible for retirement, retirement savings, life insurance, FMLA, disabilities

412/624-8047  •

Stan Charie, Benefits Analyst

Day-to-day activity for retirement, retirement savings, retirement counseling

412/624-8057  •

Amelia Conte, Benefits Representative

Day-to-day activity surrounding FMLA, disability & life insurance

412/324-8059  •

Melissa Kluchurosky, Benefits Supervisor

Supervisor responsible for medical, dental, vision coverages, customer service, flex spending, tuition

412/624-8067  •

Meghan Tintera, PT Benefits Analyst

Day-to-day activity surrounding medical, dental, vision, flex spending, bill payments, surveys, open enrollments

412/624-8054  •

Kate Young, PT Benefits Analyst

Day-to-day activity surrounding medical,dental, vision, flex spending, bill payments, surveys, open enrollments

412/624-8054  •

Ryan Arrington, Benefits Representative

Tuition program, quality controls & special projects

412/624-8040  •

Kim Phillips, Benefits Representative

Customer Service Desk, fielding calls & walk-in customers

412/624-8160  •

LaKeisha Gray, Benefits Representative

Customer Service Desk, fielding calls & walk-in customers

412/624-8160  •

Pharmacy Benefits

How to Obtain the Best Value

From a treatment perspective, it is the best of times. Most categories of medications have generic equivalents. In fact today, over 85% of the University’s fulfillment of prescriptions involves generic medications. Use of generic medication helps keep pharmacy costs lower. On the other end of the scale, new and very effective drugs classified as specialty medications are being developed by pharmaceutical companies. They can be very helpful, more convenient and may have fewer side effects. Specialty medications are defined by Medicare as prescriptions that cost in excess of $600 per month. Many of the medications utilized today exceed $2,000 per month. Regardless of the medications you may take, the University has a special arrangement with three University-related pharmacies to help meet your needs and to stretch the value of the copayments for these medications.

University Pharmacy

On the Pittsburgh campus, University Pharmacy (previously known as Student Health Pharmacy) is conveniently located in the heart of the Pittsburgh campus at street level in Nordenberg Hall, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and University Place. It has the reputation for providing superior customer service. This tradition continues today. Maintenance prescriptions can be filled at the University Pharmacy for a 90-day supply at the cost of two copayments. It also offers over-the-counter medication at attractive pricing.

Falk Pharmacy

Falk Pharmacy, owned and operated by UPMC, also can provide savings by offering a 90-day supply at the cost of two copayments. It also offers over-the-counter medication at attractive pricing and provides office delivery to many University buildings. Falk Pharmacy is located at 3601 Fifth Avenue.


The newest partnership with the University is PANTHERx. PANTHERx is a specialty pharmacy that offers many benefits:

  • Industry-leading turnaround time for new referrals ensure patients receive their medications promptly and without complications.
  • Proactive prior authorization support prevents gap in care.
  • High-touch, disease-specific clinical programs have extensive, fully customizable reporting capabilities.
  • Patient-centric approach to disease state management, 24/7 clinical support, and patient-friendly packaging provide best-in-class medication adherence support and waste reduction.
  • Single point of contact provides one-call issue resolution.

As you well know, if you are taking a specialty medication, even though the copayments are a fraction of the total cost of the medication, they are very expensive. PANTHERx will work proactively with you to identify financial support that is sometimes available through grants or special programs offered by the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

You may call any of the pharmacies at:

University Pharmacy    412/383-1850

Falk Pharmacy         412/623-6222

PANTHERx         412/246-9858

UPMC HealthPlan