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October 11, 2012

Pitt Benefits

Breast Cancer Awareness

pinkHave you been seeing a lot more of the color pink lately? You may have noticed that you’re seeing more people wearing pink shirts, there are more pink signs in and around communities and even many football players are sporting pink shoes, wristbands, etc. during NFL games.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the color pink, most notably pink ribbons, are everywhere reminding us of the importance of detecting the disease in its earliest stages and encouraging others to do the same.

Experts note that the best way to fight the disease is by detecting it at its earliest stages when it is the most treatable. In fact, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the survival rate for breast cancer is 98% when it is caught early and at a localized stage. Recommendations to detect breast cancer at an early stage include doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

The University fully stands behind these recommendations and encourages ALL adult women covered under the University’s medical plans to obtain these clinical exams. In an effort to remove any “barriers” to obtaining these preventive exams, the University covers them in-network under all four University-sponsored medical plans at 100%, meaning that there is no cost to the member for these preventive exams. If you or your family member(s) are not up-to-date with these critical exams, you should take action immediately and schedule an appointment with your physician.

Staff Association Council Brown Bag Lunch Session

The first brown bag lunch presentation of the fall semester will be made by LifeSolutions. The topic will be “Feeling Stressed? Seeking Work/Life Balance? Try LifeSolutions!”

Date:    October 24

Location: 309B Parran Hall

Time: Noon to 1 p.m.

Topic: “Feeling Stressed? Seeking Work/Life Balance? Try LifeSolutions!” presented by Tom Koloc, LifeSolutions

All members of the University community are welcome to attend.

FitnessForLifeNational Depression Screening Day

According to Web MD, depression affects one in 10 — or nearly 15 million — adults in the United States. If you think you might be depressed, don’t try to tough it out. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor, a behavioral specialist or talk to Life Solutions to start down the path of appropriate care.

Everyone feels sad sometimes. Depression is when those feelings of sadness get so intense that you feel helpless, hopeless or worthless for longer than a few days. Sometimes you also may have trouble concentrating or sleeping and you may feel incredibly tired all the time.

The good news is there now are many effective, proven ways to relieve depression.

For most people, the first treatments a doctor will try are antidepressants and psychotherapy. Some studies have found that combining therapy with medication works better than medication alone.

The important thing is that there are a lot of options.

Therapy is a key part of depression treatment. While it might not work as quickly as medication alone, some studies show that certain types of psychotherapy may help your medication work faster and have more lasting benefits. You may need to talk to several therapists until you find the perfect fit for you. You can take part in therapy either one-on-one, with your spouse or family, or in a group. Your therapist will help you determine what is right for you.

Thursday, October 11, is National Depression Screening Day. You may find a number of different screening tests online. The Fitness for Life web site has a screening tool called the PHQ-9. The PHQ-9 is the nine-item depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire. The PHQ-9 is a powerful tool for assisting primary care clinicians in diagnosing depression as well as selecting and monitoring treatment.

The PHQ-9 is short and confidential. You can use it as a basis for having a discussion with a medical professional. It can be found at:

Life Solutions can be contacted at:

Telephone: 1-866-647-3432

Web site:

Flu Shot Clinics

Flu shot clinics continue to proceed throughout the fall semester. “Don’t be caught without the shot.”

The following clinics are scheduled for the fall:

Pittsburgh Campus Flu Shot Clinics


Regional Campus Flu Shot Clinics


Faculty and staff and their covered family members can receive the flu shot vaccination at no cost. Arrangements have been made with Falk Pharmacy, Student Health Service and UPMC Health Plan to provide this service without the need to submit a claim.

Regional campuses vary in how they handle the reimbursement of the claim. If you obtain a flu shot from a clinic that requires payment upfront, a reimbursement form will be mailed to you by UPMC Health Plan; the form also can be found through a link on the Human Resources web site:


Important Vendor Contact Information

Benefits Department

Office hours: 8 am-5 pm EST, 320 Craig Hall

412-624-8160 (Main Line) • 412-624-3485 (Fax)

Please visit our web site for FAQs, downloadable forms and other benefits information.


UPMC Health Plan



United Concordia 1-877-215-3616


Davis Vision 1-800-999-5431


TIAA-CREF 1-800-682-9139

Vanguard 1-800-523-1188

Flexible Spending Accounts







Faculty Records


UPMC HealthPlan

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