- Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
A New Direction for OEA Choice Trust: Our members are familiar with OEA Choice Trust as providing health insurance benefit plans with an outstanding level of personal service AND we continue to provide Dental programs, Long Term Disability, Section 125 Flexible Spending Accounts and benefit consultation.
Why a new direction? During the 2007 Oregon Legislative Session, Senate Bill 426 was passed which established the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB). Effective October 1, 2008 school districts were required to join OEBB at the end of their contract year, or earlier if they chose. Most districts and community colleges have opted to enroll in OEBB and as a result are receiving insurance benefits in a large pool that provides comprehensive benefit plans with competitive premiums. We have had many questions about what is going to happen to OEA Choice Trust and are pleased to share with you that we are progressing in a new and exciting direction while maintaining the same commitment to our members made almost thirty years ago. We have already developed the following ways of giving back to Oregon public school employees:
The OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant Program presented us with a unique opportunity to help improve the health and well-being of Oregon school employees by awarding grants to qualified educational organizations for self-designed wellness programs created and personalized by school employees for school employees. They determine what works best in their community setting. The goal is to enable each participant to have a long lasting, positive impact in their lives through healthier lifestyle choices; which in-turn goes beyond the school setting; to students, parents, and communities.
We already have some wonderful testimonies and stories gathered from our Pilot Grants – here are a few:
From Griffin Creek Elementary: “…I have observed more conversation in the staff room regarding health and nutrition. Teachers of a similar age and weight are paring up together to walk and attend classes at the YMCA. Support and camaraderie is evident among staff and welcomed at this stressful time of year. Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to participate in this life changing, purposeful activity.”
From Cascade SD: “Our program is going great. …The test results are very interesting and a little scary. I have had two employees come thank me for having the testing because they said it may have saved their lives. They had no idea they had a severe health issue.”
To read more go to the stories section.
The Tooth Taxi was launched September 2008 through an innovative partnership among OEA Choice Trust, The Dental Foundation of Oregon (DFO) and ODS. A state of the art dental clinic on wheels; the Tooth Taxi in one year has helped improve the oral health of over 4, 000 children and provided over $1,000,000 in value of free dental care through-out the state of Oregon.
School employees have witnessed firsthand the improvement of children in class after a visit on the tooth taxi – a note from one of our visits:
“Just wanted to let you know how pleased the folks in Falls City were with the dental van!! At our service integration team meeting last week Aaron reported on how it all went. Teachers are reporting improved behavior from kids, almost instantly after their visit with you. I heard from Jessica that had the high school students known how much work would be done (not just assessment and referral as had been done before), more of them would have come over. So next time you are in town there I think you’ll see more of the older kids. Hope all is going well and the team is enjoying much success. Thanks again for all you do for the kids!”
The Tooth Taxi also works with the OEA Foundation when it can to help provide much needed dental care to those students identified by school employees.
For more stories on the Tooth Taxi please visit www.smileonoregon.org.
We are excited to share this new information with you; please take some time to explore our new website. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
- Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
We hope you will take time to tour the site; learn what wellness resources are available to you including wellness grants accessible to eligible education organizations K-14, updates on our blog and much more.
Investments in wellness help improve lives, ensure a healthier future for our children and contributes to the development of communities. It is our hope that your will join us on our “Journey to Wellness.”
The mission of the OEA Choice Trust Wellness Grant Program is to improve the health and well-being of Oregon school employees through grant-making; focusing on empowering and enabling the participants to take responsibility for improvement of their health within a supportive environment.