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January 19, 2006

SAC supports national Wear Red Day

The Staff Association Council (SAC) is urging support for a national effort to raise awareness about women’s cardiac health. Feb. 3 is National Wear Red Day, part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women program.

Gwen Watkins, vice president for steering, reported on SAC’s efforts to support the program, which educates women about risk factors, warning signs and health initiatives related to cardiac health.

Watkins pointed out that coronary heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over age 25, and that 64 percent of women who died suddenly from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.

“SAC is about developing programs to increase awareness of health issues in order to make staff members healthier,” Watkins reported Jan. 11. “This fits in with the University’s Fitness for Life program. A healthy worker is a benefit to the University.”

SAC is selling enameled red dress pins for $5 and red wristbands for $2. Proceeds benefit the American Heart Association. For more information, contact Watkins at 4-7702.

In other actions, SAC gave preliminary approval to two resolutions.

Steve Zupcic, chair of the benefits committee, proposed that Human Resources negotiate with Falk Clinic Pharmacy and the Student Health Service Pharmacy to extend prescription delivery service to lower campus offices. The pharmacy at Falk already provides free delivery to on-campus sites for UPMC employees and for Pitt employees at Health Sciences schools, Zupcic said.

Because the Jan. 11 meeting did not draw enough members for a quorum, members agreed to vote on the resolution via e-mail over the next few weeks.

SAC also approved, pending an on-line vote, a bylaws change on meeting dates. Currently, SAC must meet the second Wednesday of each month (except August). But officers wanted more flexibility in the scheduling, requiring a bylaws change. The new resolution would allow the monthly meetings to be held on varying Wednesdays.

SAC also heard a report from campus police Officer Ronald Bennett, who discussed the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) system, a program of self-defense tactics and techniques for women, offered by the Pitt police.

“The program has been available [at Pitt] for about a year,” Bennett said. “There is information on our web site ( Basically, it’s a way of defending yourself safely against attack without learning martial arts.”

The 12-hour program, usually taken over three sessions, is free to Pitt employees, and the hours are flexible, Bennett said. “The three instructors, including myself, can do it any day, even evenings and Saturdays, and we will come to a site that is convenient for you. Only one thing: We need at least six people to sign up for a class.” The maximum number for a class is 12, he added.

Interested parties should e-mail or call 412/624-4040.

In other SAC developments:

• The elections committee reported that eight staff had applied for membership during the recent SAC membership drive. Those staff members are awaiting approval from Human Resources, ordinarily a formality.

• The safety and security committee is organizing on-campus CPR training sessions for staff on dates to be announced.

• The SAC-sponsored Pitt Kennywood Day tentatively is scheduled for July 9.

• SAC offered special thanks to non-member Kurt Lorence, who redesigned the SAC newsletter gratis. Lorence is a staff member in Computing Services and Systems Development.

—Peter Hart

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