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REE Work/Life Programs
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  1. REE Work/Life Programs Liz Parker, REE Work/Life &Wellness Program Manager Phone: 301-504-1387 EMAIL: LIZ.PARKER@ARS.USDA.GOV

  2. Today’s Objectives Provide an overview of Work/Life Programs Discuss Wellness Share My Wellness Journey Brainstorm how you may support wellness for your locations

  3. Striving for Work/Life Balance Transit Subsidy & Pre-Tax Parking Child Care Tuition Assistance Telework Employee Assistance Program/WorkLife4You Maintaining Personal Wellness

  4. Transit Subsidy Program • Up to $245 per month for public transportation expenses for National Capital Region employees; • Up to $120 per month for field employees • Administered by Department of Transportation • Each REE Agency has a Transit Benefit Coordinator • AFM Website for application forms and more information:

  5. How Transit Subsidy Benefits are Paid • Benefits may be downloaded to… • SMARTrip Card • To pay for Metro or Metro bus • Debit Card • To pay for MARC, VRE, Commuter Vans, or other vendors • See for more info • Vouchers • To pay for public transit means outside the Washington, DC Area and other locations using debit cards

  6. HQ Transit Benefit Coordinators • Tamara McKinney, 301-504-1449, or • Liz Parker, 301-504-1387, or • Mari Gomez, 301-448-5597

  7. Pre-Tax Parking Program Allows employees to use up to $245 of their pre-tax income to pay for parking when using public transit (2013 IRS maximum) Application form and instructions for submission are available on the AFM website at: Call Liz Parker, 301-233-2995, for more information

  8. Child Care Tuition Assistance (CCTAP) • Provides up to $500 per month to eligible employees in ARS, ERS, and NIFA to use safe, reliable day care • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must be $60,000 or less for the household to be eligible • Must use a licensed or accredited child care center • May be home- or center-based • Includes qualified summer camps and before/after school programs • Dependent must be under the age of 13 or under the age of 18, if mentally or physically disabled

  9. CCTAP (continued) • Contract to administer program expired 9/30/13; in process of obtaining a new contract • Managing program internally in interim • Bulletin 13-403 dated 12/18/13 expired on 9/30/13 • Contact Mari Gomez for more information • 301-448-5597 or

  10. REE Telework Program • Alternative workplace flexibility that allows eligible employees to work from home or other approved alternative location typically closer to their home • REE Telework Policy and Procedure 402.5, v2, 3/28/12 • Defines eligibility criteria and procedures for participating • P&P found at

  11. REE Telework Program (continued) • Your supervisor should inform you in writing of your eligibility to participate in the telework program within your first 90 days • If eligible, a written telework agreement must be submitted to your supervisor for approval • Form REE-45 for ARS Employees • AFM Website for more information:

  12. Employee Assistance Program • Helps employees resolve personal problems that may adversely impact their work performance, conduct, health, and well-being. Services include: • Assessment, counseling and referral; • Financial and legal services; • Advance directives; • Presentations on various topics and EAP orientations • Help is just a phone call away!Call 1-800-222-0364 (24/7/365), or visit

  13. WorkLife4You • New in FY 2013; will continue for many locations in FY2014 • Comprehensive resource and referral program. Examples of information available: • Child/elder care resources and referrals • Education resources (financial aid, special education, Nursery-Grad School) • Financial/legal educational materials • Daily life services referrals • Call 1-800-222-0364, or visit

  14. More Information about Work/Life Programs? Contact: • Liz Parker, REE Work/Life & Wellness Program Mgr • Located in Beltsville, MD • Phone: 301-233-2995 • Email: • Mari Gomez, Work/Life and Wellness Specialist • Located in College Station, TX • Phone: 301-448-5597 • Email:

  15. What is Wellness? • Many wellness definitions, but my favorite so far is from the National Wellness Institute ( • Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential . • Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment. • Wellness is positive and affirming.

  16. An Integrated Wellness Model(from Dr. Bill Hettler, National Wellness Institute)

  17. All of Us May Contribute to Wellness! • Exercise personal responsibility • Lead by example! Attend to your own wellness across all six dimensions • Engage through USDA Connect Health and Wellness Community • Organize and/or promote wellness activities locally • Become a Wellness Ambassador • Activities can include workshops, health screenings, presentations, competitions, or other events • Remind others of resources available to them • Ensure compliance with existing regulations and policies

  18. My Personal Wellness Journey Set personal goals Took Action… Sought EAP Counseling Began a walking program Joined Weight Watchers Lost 50 lbs since 3/2013! Now setting new personal goals for 2014

  19. Promoting Wellness Locally What kinds of wellness activities are going on in your location? What kinds of wellness activities would you like to see in your location? What can you do to promote wellness locally?

  20. Questions?

  21. Thank you!