January 2014 Communications To Non-organized P&S Staff


University Human Resources wants you to be aware of some recent work and improvements that will benefit staff in the new year:

Because of a new alliance with Genesis Health Group, Mercy Des Moines, and Mercy Care Cedar Rapids, the primary care providers affiliated with these organizations are now covered as Level 1 providers under the UICHOICE health plan.  This means that employees who live some distance from Iowa City can now receive the same level of benefit as those who use the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for their primary care.  A complete list of these primary care providers is available on the benefits website: http://hr.uiowa.edu/uichoice/university-iowa-health-alliance

With 73% participation in the Personal Health Assessment (PHA) in the 2013 calendar year, University employees continue to show improvements in benchmarks related to nutrition, exercise, stress management, smoking cessation and sleep.  Beyond the personal benefits experienced by individuals, the University benefits through reduced absenteeism and increased productivity, and for the second year in a row, there was no increase in health insurance rates for the University health insurance plan that took effect January 1.

The new year is a perfect time to complete an updated PHA for a fresh view of your health status and to take advantage of new resources available through the liveWELL portal in Self Service.  These additional resources are available to provide support for your emotional wellbeing, relationships, financial, health and/or legal concerns, provided online through articles, videos, and forms.

A new UI Ergonomics program is now available through University Human Resources.  Working with units and individuals, the program will provide prevention and education programs, ergonomic risk assessments and consultations, and the implementation of control measures to limit ergonomic risks in the work environment.  This new program is another way University Human Resources is helping to support an efficient and safe work environment for all employees.  More information is available through the Benefits website or at: http://hr.uiowa.edu/benefits/ergonomics

University HR –Information Management has been working closely with Information Technology Services to respond to the recent series of phishing attacks and to put additional safeguards in place to protect employee information from any unauthorized access and/or use.  In the short term, this has required us to restrict off campus access to some information and/or add additional ways to verify when changes are made.  We are actively exploring alternatives that balance efficiency and access with the need to assure identity and data security.  Please be alert to suspicious messages that ask you to enter personal information, and consult the IT Security website or Help Desk with any questions or concerns.

A new application in Self Service allows employees to set up and manage their contributions to the Voluntary Retirement Savings Program without having to fill out paper forms.  This makes it easier for you to be proactive in planning your future and set aside additional resources for use in your retirement.  More information is now available at: http://hr.uiowa.edu/retirement/saving-extra

With the deadline for annual performance reviews approaching (March 31, 2014), University HR staff have been providing training to supervisors and staff on the use of the new online tools for recording annual goals and completing performance review documentation.  Online resources are also available to assist staff and supervisors through the links under “My UI Career” in Self Service.

The excellent work of University staff is evidenced in the success of our students in their academic programs, in the research and discovery generated, and in the services provided to patients and other members of our larger community.  We should all take pride in these achievements and in the University as a great place to work.


Susan C. Buckley
Vice President for Human Resources