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Professional development seminar educates classified employees

Ohio University Classified Senate hosted its annual professional development seminar for classified employees on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The free seminar titled "FMLA and IMPACT: Getting the Most from Your Benefits" taught attendees about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as the services that IMPACT offers to University employees.

FMLA entitles employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage, allowing them to effectively balance their work and family life. IMPACT, a behavioral healthcare and people development consulting firm that works with Ohio University, was on hand to present information on the Personalized Medical Guidance (PMG) program.

The day-long seminar was broken into two sessions, and a free lunch was available to all participants between the sessions.
Erika Pearsol-Christie, director of Ohio University Employee and Labor Relations, offered advice to Classified Senate members about the benefits, policies and procedures provided to them through FMLA.

Following Pearsol-Christie's talk, Joel Gecht, CEO of IMPACT Solutions, and Colleen Byrne, account manager at IMPACT Solutions, spoke about the PMG program. PMG is a unique service, delivered through the IMPACT Employee Assistance and Work/Life Program, that enhances the medical care eligible employees receive by offering direct access to top physicians for education and guidance.

"The IMPACT presentation for PMG was important because it is a new benefit to Ohio University employees," said Jeff Fulk, chair of Classified Senate. "What stood out to me is the ability to use the group's network to get into specialists quickly. There is often a long wait, even months, to see a specialist."

Arman Askari, John Stephens and Mike Patrick, of Premier Health Advocates, were also on-hand to provide insights on the importance of their programs.

After the presentation, the audience was given the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with the group. Participants could also choose to meet one-on-one with representatives to have their specific questions answered more privately.

Each year, the focus of the professional development seminar varies, but the purpose remains the same: to help keep classified employees updated and informed about available resources and the different offices on campus. For more information, visit the Ohio University Human Resources website.