Employee Assistance

About the Office of Employee Assistance

The Office of Employee Assistance (OEA) is the faculty and staff employee assistance program at FIU. The OEA provides free confidential professional assistance to help employees and their families resolve personal problems that affect their lives or job performance. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of FIU faculty and staff, improve personal effectiveness, and to create a healthier campus community by providing mental health assessments, brief interventions and/or referrals, small group facilitations, crisis responses, and customized educational and training programs.

Meet the OEA Team

Image of Isabel Alfonsin-VittoriaIsabel Alfonsin-Vittoria
Licensed Psychotherapist
Isabel.AlfonsinVittoria@fiu.edu
Isabel Alfonsin-Vittoria is a licensed psychotherapist and employee assistance administrator with over 25 years of diverse clinical programs management experience. Her administrative career include organizational consulting, continuous quality assurance and improvement, employee training and professional development, service excellence, provider network management, and health services accreditation. Her clinical profession has included development and oversight of local and national behavioral health clinics and hospitals as well as employee assistance and health and wellness programs. She is a skilled workshop facilitator and presenter, a life coach, and management consultant. Among her passions in the helping professions, Isabel has actively contributed to establishing best practices in the employee assistance field. As Director of the Office of Employee Assistance at FIU she provides overall administration of operations and provides and supervises all employee assistance clinical services. Major services include confidential consultation and assessment, brief counseling and/or referral to community organizations providing services when appropriate, and follow-up. Additionally, she consults with faculty, staff, and administration on issues related to employees’ health and wellness. She responds to crisis management issues affecting individuals and/or departments. Lastly, she develops and conducts training sessions to enhance faculty and staff quality of life, resilience and work/life balance.

Dalismar Morales
Licensed Psychologist
Dalismar.Morales@fiu.edu
Dr. Dalismar Morales is a bilingual (English/Spanish) licensed psychologist with experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Morales is an FIU alumna, having completed her Bachelor’s degree in psychology. She earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Albizu University. She has received training in areas such as chronic anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, chronic pain, and suicide prevention. She has worked in diverse settings such as community mental health clinics and private practice. She has provided psychological services (including outpatient/inpatient psychotherapy, psychoeducational groups, and psychological evaluations) to children, adolescents, adults, and elders. She served as a first responder to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, by providing emotional support and psychological services to survivors and their affected family members. Dr. Morales utilizes a holistic approach (body, mind, and spirit) to help individuals establish and/or maintain healthy lifestyles.

Douglas “Doug” B. Nelson
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Douglas.Nelson@fiu.edu
Doug Nelson has spent more than twenty-five years as a licensed mental health professional assisting clients with various concerns in outpatient counseling settings, schools and employee assistance programs.  He received his Master’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1988 and obtained licensure status during 1993 in Virginia.  He opened a private outpatient counseling practice in Northern Virginia in 1999 while serving as a part-time EAP Clinician for Business Health Services (BHS), headquartered in Baltimore, meeting clients for short-term assessments and providing crisis response services.  He conducted debriefing groups for persons adversely affected by the loss of a colleague, job loss and workplace violence.  Doug was one of the first civilians who entered the US Pentagon on September 13, 2001 to provide crisis response services to personnel who had been working around the clock since the 9/11 attacks.  He relocated to Florida in 2012 splitting his professional time between BHS and a private outpatient counseling practice in Wilton Manors.  Doug joined the FIU OEA in early 2019 on a part-time basis utilizing a brief solution focused model of intervention, as well as assessment and appropriate referral services to meet the needs of the FIU faculty and staff.

Contact Information

Image showing a telephone with the words contact us on it

Office of Employee Assistance (OEA)

Modesto A. Maidique Campus – GL-473
Biscayne Bay Campus – ACII-246B

To schedule an appointment for any of our services or to request information for courses, workshops, group events, and more call (305) 348-2469, or email us at oea@fiu.edu.
Appointments are available between 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Early morning and evening appointments are available by request.

Emergencies
In case of an emergency, call the FIU Police Department 24/7 at (305) 348-5911 (MMC) or (305) 919-5911 (BBC).

Please do not leave emergent or urgent messages on the OEA answering machine.
The OEA is staffed from 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Non-urgent messages left after hours will be answered the following morning.

Program Confidentiality

Image of a binder with a label that says confidential

The OEA carefully adheres to professional standards of ethics and confidentiality. Appointments and services are confidential to the fullest extent permitted by law. Legal exceptions are fully discussed in the initial consultation session. Except when legally mandated to breach confidentiality, no information is released without the specific, written consent of the individual. Information maintained by the OEA staff is not part of, or accessible by any other university record system.The OEA operates with scheduled appointments, and does not communicate personal information via e-mail without specific, written consent of the individual, as we cannot assure the confidentiality of that medium.

The OEA Experience - Help Within Reach

As much as we would like to separate our work life from our personal problems, it is often difficult to do so. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of active and retired FIU faculty and staff and their immediate family members, improve personal effectiveness, and to create a healthier campus community by providing mental health assessments, brief interventions and/or referrals, small group facilitations, crisis responses, and customized educational and training programs.

All student employees should contact the Counseling and Psychological Services Center. For information about walk-in hours at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, call (305) 348-2277, and the Biscayne Bay Campus, call (305) 919-5305.

Services

Image of a consultant helping a young woman and a young manThe OEA offers services including consultations, professional assessments, interventions, and/or referrals depending upon the nature of the problem and the specific circumstances. You will be able to consult with an experienced clinician who will listen to your concerns, discuss and explore your options, and work with you to determine a plan of action.

At the OEA, we utilize a brief problem-resolution focused model of intervention. Our services begin with an assessment of the presenting issues and concerns. Based upon that assessment we will make recommendations. If the OEA professional determines that the brief intervention model will be appropriate for your presenting problems or concerns, an OEA clinician will provide an intervention without charge. When the issues are beyond the scope of this brief model, appropriate referrals to community-based services will be provided to you. Your health insurance may help defray most or some of the cost of services.

Many people delay seeking help until problems pile up. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness nor personal flaw. Everyone needs help with something at one time or another.

Feelings can be a useful guide to deciding when to reach out for help. If you are experiencing any of the following feelings more often than you would like, do not let self-doubt keep you from consulting with the OEA:

  • Distressed, upset, hurt
  • Sad, depressed
  • Helpless, confused, stuck
  • Anxious, worried, suspicious
  • Over-stressed, fatigued
  • Guilty, ashamed

Any problem or concern that is bothering you is appropriate to discuss with us.

Issues

Some people have difficulty in contacting a resource for personal issues or deciding whether it may be beneficial. The OEA professionals often talk with people experiencing a range of personal, family, or work-related problems including:

  • Marital and relationship difficulties
  • Family issues, parent-child concerns, eldercare challenges
  • Psychological distress – anxiety/depression
  • Alcohol and drug concerns
  • Workplace adjustment challenges
  • Career issues, work conflicts, burnout, retirement
  • Stress-related emotional issues
  • Financial or legal situations
  • Grief/Loss experiences
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence
  • Supervisory Consultations
  • Trauma
  • Managing Change

Workshops

We also provide educational sessions on a variety of mental health and wellness topics for departments and workgroups throughout the university. These workshops can be customized to meet specific needs and objectives.

Topics include:

  • Work-life balance
  • Effective communication skills
  • Increasing resilience
  • Stress management
  • Mindfulness
  • Caregiver fatigue
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Enhancing relationships
  • Responding to the challenges of change
  • Capitalizing on diversity
  • Trust in the workshop
  • Cultivating compassion at work
  • Alcohol and drug awareness and education in the workplace

Crisis Intervention

Psychological First Aid/Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: Includes support services offered following a stressful event such as an incident, injury, death, disaster, threat or act of violence, or other traumatic event at the workplace. An OEA clinician will come to the work site to provide support and consultation to the affected individuals who choose to be involved. Private grief counseling is also available.

Online Mental Health Screenings

The OEA offers free, online, anonymous mental health screenings for a number of different emotional conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse.

Within a brief few minutes, the online program will produce a report based on the selected answers and will immediately be available to save, print, or email. Beyond the report, the program will offer recommendations, suggest related resources, articles, and information intended to help in taking the next step. Early detection, assessment, and connection with treatment can have a significant impact on individuals experiencing mental health issues.

Disclaimer

The Office of Employee Assistance maintains this Internet site as a service to the university community. It is intended as a resource to inform and educate. Included are direct links to other Internet sites which we believe may be helpful. However, this does not imply that the OEA endorses any or all of the information provided at each of these sites. Furthermore, while we attempt to monitor and update our listings on a regular basis, the OEA cannot make any claims or assume responsibility as to the reliability or functionality of the Internet addresses (URL’s) provided, or the information contained at these sites. The OEA does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these third party sites. By using this board, all users agree to the Privacy Statement and Terms of Use of Florida International University. Readers are encouraged to evaluate the material and to use what they find to be helpful. Information provided on our web page and at other Internet sites are not intended as a substitute for assistance from a qualified health professional. For personal assistance, FIU employees should visit the OEA to schedule an appointment with one of our staff.

If you or your family member take a screening and the recommendations point you in the direction of getting professional help, please call the OEA at (305) 248-2469 and let us help you.

Management Consultation Services for Supervisors

The OEA lends support to managers when addressing employee behaviors of concern. Management consultations can be geared toward supporting the manager experiencing the situation and/or how to assist the impacted employee(s). Management consultation is a voluntary service.

Management consultations can be offered in person or by phone at either the Modesto A. Maidique Campus or the Biscayne Bay Campus. An initial appointment can be arranged by calling the OEA at (305) 348-2469. Appointments are usually scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, alternative arrangements may be made upon request. If you call and do not reach us in person, please leave a message. In addition, the OEA staff may make arrangements to travel to other locations for consultations, as needed.

Employee Assistance Services

There are three types of employee referrals to the OEA:

  • Employee Self-referral
  • Informal Supervisory referrals
  • Formal/Mandatory referrals

A Quick Guide to using the Office of Employee Assistance for Department Heads & Supervisors.

Education & Support Conversation

Speak with your employees regularly about the services and aid that the OEA can provide. When it is apparent that an employee is troubled or distressed, a supervisor should encourage the use of the OEA services.

Informal Supervisory Referral

A supervisor should informally refer an employee to the OEA after consulting with Employee & Labor Relations (ELR) when job performance is impacted to a minor degree. The supervisor may be advised to simply offer the employee the suggestion to seek assistance from the OEA. However, when the impact on job performance is substantial, the supervisor will be coached by ELR as to how to make the supervisory referral and communicate this effectively to the employee. In instances where the employee permits it, supervisors may receive information about the employee’s participation in an assessment and their participation and engagement with any interventions that the OEA may recommend.

Formal Supervisory Referral

When it is apparent that the employee is troubled or distressed and the supervisor detects a change in the employee’s on-the-job behavior or decline in job performance, a supervisor should formally refer an employee to the OEA after consultation with ELR. It is not the supervisor’s job to attempt to diagnose problems, and it is important that the supervisor maintain the boundaries of the supervisory relationship. As part of the supervisory role, it is reasonable to formally suggest that the employee seek services from the OEA. This is appropriate when patterned absences, unusual mood changes, or clear and apparent decreases in performance are observed. The OEA professional will only provide information regarding participation in the OEA program to the supervisor and ELR representative with the written request of the employee to release information.

A formal/mandatory referral to the OEA requires an employee to participate in the OEA as a condition of continued employment. This type of referral is made only in extreme cases of deteriorating job performance where the individual’s continued employment is brought into question. This type of referral is initiated with the consultation of the OEA, the General Counsel’s Office, ELR, or other administrative entities as determined by university policy.

For formal supervisory referrals you need to print and complete the Supervisor Referral Form and fax it to (305) 348-3903.

Initial Appointment Forms

Please print and complete these forms to the best of your ability and bring them to your first appointment. During the initial consultation, an OEA clinician will answer any questions you have.

Background Information Form
Confidentiality Policy
Statement of Understanding
Explanation of Services
Email Communication Policy

Resources

Mindfulness and Other Relaxation Practices

Alcohol and Other Drug Problems

SAMHSA-The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
NCADD-National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
The Partnership at Drugfree.org
Alcohol Screening
Coalition Against Drug Abuse
StartYourRecovery.org

Emotional Well-Being

Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Depression
Anxiety
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Post Traumatic Stress
CHADD-Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Childcare Resources

Center for Children and Families at Florida International University
The Children’s Trust
Miami Dade County Child Care and Academic Resources
FIU’s Children Creative Learning Center
Early Leaning Coalition

Eldercare Resources

Caregiving Help Guide
National Family Caregivers Association
Family Caregiver Alliance
Miami-Dade County Elderly Social Services

Family Issues

Parenting
Family and Divorce
National Stepfamilies Resource Center

Financial Issues

Financial Assistance in Miami-Dade County
Financial Assistance in Broward County
Help with Budgeting
Financial Planning Association
Balance Financial Fitness Program
The Simple Dollar

Grief and Loss

American Hospice Foundation
Bereavement Groups
Loss and Grief Flyer

Health Concerns

Health Finder
Addiction Recovery
Quitting Smoking (Spanish)
Quitting Smoking
Student Health Services
Faculty Health Group Practice
Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits can Help

Increasing Resilience

Live Your Life Well
Mental Health and Wellness
Mental Health Information
On-Line Relaxation Exercises

Emergency Management

FIU Department of Emergency Management
Florida Division of Emergency Management

Housing Resources

FIU Housing Listings
Miami Dade County Housing Social Services

Workplace Issues

Stress at Work
Conflict Resolution

Workplace Bullying
Workplace Fairness Information

Other Resources

Get Help Florida
Seven Ways to Avoid a Meltdown
Seven Ways to Mindfully Increase Self-Esteem

Insights Newsletter

Faculty & Staff Behavioral Intervention Team (FASTeam)

Program Overview

The Faculty & Staff Behavioral Intervention Team (FASTeam) is a hybrid of a behavioral intervention team and a threat assessment team. The FASTeam combines expertise in the areas of law enforcement, mental health, disability services, academic affairs, employee and labor relations, employment law and emergency management.

In order to promote a campus that is safe, the goal of the FASTeam, in conjunction with the student-focused Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), is to provide an integrated and coordinated process for identifying and responding to students, faculty, staff and other individuals who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Achieving this goal involves:

  • Utilizing a multidisciplinary team to review, identify and develop specific intervention/prevention strategies.
  • Collecting and organizing information to facilitate communication on and off campus.
  • Analyzing information, discerning patterns, and following up as appropriate.
  • Providing education and training to faculty, staff and students in how to identify and address concerning behaviors that may need further assessment or response.

TLC University Hardship Fund

About the TLC University Hardship Fund
The TLC University Hardship Fund is sponsored by the Tender Loving Care (TLC) Brigade and coordinated through the OEA. We recognize that faculty and staff may experience hardships that require emergency financial assistance.The Hardship Fund is not a loan, rather it is a program available to assist eligible faculty and staff who are experiencing a “qualified” emergency and who have exhausted all avenues for obtaining assistance. The program is designed to address an event or catastrophe that is non-recurring, sudden, unexpected, and critical, such as but not limited to the following:

  • Domestic violence directly involving a faculty or staff member.
  • Death of an immediate family member, as defined by FIU’s Bereavement Leave policy.
  • Acute illness of a faculty or staff member, or of an immediate family member. (i.e., unexpected, sudden and temporary – not chronic like diabetes or hypertension) as defined by FIU’s Bereavement Leave policy.
  • Critical injury (i.e., automobile accident, unforeseeable surgical complications).
  • Fire in primary residence of a faculty or staff member.

To get involved and make a difference, please consider donating to the University Hardship Fund

WHO CAN APPLY

ELIGIBILITY – all of the following are required for consideration:

  • Full-time benefits-earning faculty or staff who has worked at FIU for at least one year.
  • The event must have occurred during the actual employment period at FIU.
  • Faculty or staff member’s performance record must be in good standing.

INELIGIBLE – conditions under which applicants may not apply:

  • If the facts of the hardship have not changed and the application has been denied prior, please do not re-apply.
  • Recipients of an approved hardship fund application will not be eligible to re-apply.
  • If the faculty or staff member has an active insurance policy that covers the property and/or other type of loss that is the basis of the application, they are ineligible to apply.

The 4-Step Application Process

1. Process:

  • Faculty or staff must complete the Confidential Application below, which requires documentation of the need and attestation to the accuracy and truthfulness of the situation, and submit same to the OEA.
  • Applicant must meet with staff of the OEA to determine whether the hardship situation meets the criteria of a “qualified” emergency.
  • Supporting documentation must be submitted to the OEA in a timely manner to justify all requests. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide required documentation by the time indicated by the OEA in order to expedite the review process.
  • Delays in the collection of required supporting documents may impact the scheduling of an application review.
  • A release of information authorization form must be signed by the applicant allowing the OEA to communicate with third parties involved in the situation. Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality and privacy.

2. The Application Review:

  • Applications are submitted to the OEA, whose staff will guide the applicant through the process.
  • The OEA will manage all of the supporting documents to ensure confidentiality to the extent possible and be the principal contact for the applicant throughout the process.
  • Only complete applications, as determined by the OEA, will be presented before the TLC Brigade committee, a multi-disciplinary group of FIU faculty and staff, active and retired.
  • With the applicant’s written permission, the OEA representative will present the TLC University Hardship Fund application to the TLC Brigade committee. Personally identifiable facts will be excluded from mention during the application review process with the committee members.
  • Every effort will be made to convene the TLC Brigade committee for an immediate review of a completed application. The TLC committee will review the case, and based on facts presented, they will determine whether the fund request is to be approved. Awards are made based on the severity of the need and documented reasonable efforts to resolve the situation prior to submitting the application. Efforts made by applicant may include initiating contacts with companies to which payments are owed (i.e., utility, mortgage, car note, etc.), to seek payment plans or other accommodations, initiating contact with community agencies that offer assistance, and seeking assistance from family members or others.
  • The TLC Brigade committee may request additional information prior to rendering a decision and that would place the application on a PENDING status.
  • If the additional information requested is not received within 30 days, the application will no longer be considered an emergency and become null and void.
  • The TLC Brigade committee’s decision is final. There is no appeal process.

3. Resources:

  • While the applicant may not be eligible to receive the TLC University Hardship Fund grant, the OEA will offer guidance and support in accessing other resources, (e.g., counseling, food pantry assistance and other community assistance information).
  • The OEA will offer to follow up with the applicant to provide additional support, as needed.

4. Disbursement of Funds:

  • All grants approved by the TLC University Hardship Fund will provide funds directly to debtors/creditors. No payments will be made directly to the faculty or staff member.
  • The maximum grant award will not exceed $1,000.
  • The grant, if approved, can only be awarded once during the recipient’s employment with FIU.
  • Arrangements for funds to be paid may take up to five (5) business days after the application has been reviewed and the request is approved. Every effort is made to process the check request as soon as possible.
  • The faculty or staff member awarded the fund will be taxed at 32.6% for the gift in their payroll. Details regarding the payroll deductions will be discussed in person.
  • Only individuals involved in the financial processing of the check request will be aware of the recipient’s name.

To begin the application process, please complete and submit the TLC University Hardship Form. Once the application has been received, a staff member from the OEA will be in contact with you to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your submission.

Please feel free to contact the OEA at (305) 348-2469 with questions you may have regarding this process.

TLC Brigade


The mission of the Tender Loving Care Brigade is to provide compassionate support to our faculty, staff, and retirees who may be experiencing difficult circumstances. The TLC Brigade is committed to achieving its mission through trust, loyalty, compassion, advocacy, caring, and guidance so that no identified individual face personal and/or professional challenges alone.

The TLC Brigade currently offers the following programs:

Food Bank Program

Donations

If you would like to make a donation to assist someone in need, please provide us with your contact information by clicking here. We will notify you as the need to replenish our food bank arises.

Sympathy & Support Program

Experiencing grief and loss may lead to a challenging time in the lives of those affected. Our Office of Employee Assistance is available to assist our faculty, staff, and retirees with counseling support and resources. For assistance, please call 305-348-2469, or via e-mail oea@fiu.edu to schedule an appointment.

In addition, the TLC Brigade is committed to demonstrating our concern for the affected FIU family members. As may be appropriate, a token of sympathy may be sent on behalf of the TLC Brigade and university community.

To inform us of the loss of a faculty, staff or retiree’s immediate family member in accordance to Bereavement Leave policy, or the loss of a faculty, staff or retiree, you may complete the form below. Please note that when reporting the death of an employed faculty or staff, an alert will also be automatically generated to the following:

  • Office of the President
  • Office of the Provost
  • Division of Human Resources – (HR Administration, Benefits, Payroll, Labor & Employee Relations, Office of Employee Assistance, and HR Relations)
  • TLC Brigade Committee Members

Questions?

Trudy Fernandez
Director, HR Relations
Director, FIU Retiree Association
Modesto A. Maidique Campus | PC-224
Telephone: (305) 348-0101 | Fax: (305) 348-0549
Email: hrrel@fiu.edu




HR Relations
Trudy Fernandez, Director of HR Relations
Modesto A. Maidique Campus | PC-224
Telephone: (305) 348-0101
Fax: (305) 348-0549
Email: hrrel@fiu.edu

Campus Lactation Rooms

The Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. In addition, we are to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion.

We are pleased to provide two dedicated, permanent lactation rooms in Primera Casa (PC 434A) and in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s Academic Health Center (AHC 2- 454) solely for this purpose. PC-434A has three private sections for nursing mothers to express, as well as a sink, table, chairs, and counter. The room is available to all faculty, staff, and students. The room is free from intrusion of coworkers and the public where an employee may reserve time to express breast milk. Nursing mothers will be provided a reasonable amount of time for each break and may break as frequently as needed. The frequency of breaks needed to express milk as well as the duration of each break will vary and should be requested through your department’s normal request process.

To reserve room PC-434A, please send an email request to hr@fiu.edu with the following specific information:

Subject Line: Lactation Room Reservation
Name:
Panther ID number:
Reserve date: Ex: January 1, 2016 through January 7, 2016
Reserve day(s) of the week: Ex: Monday through Friday
Reserve time: Ex: 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

You will be provided remote access to enter the room using your FIU One Card at the reserved and approved time. Access will be provided for requested dates/times only. Should you no longer need access to the room before the end of the time period granted to you, please cancel your request by sending an email with the subject line to read: Cancel Reservation – Name – Panther ID. To ensure privacy, only nursing mothers will be allowed in the room.
For more information regarding this process, please contact the HR Service Center at (305) 348-2181.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine also offers a lactation room that may be utilized by all faculty, staff, and students. The room has two private sections, a small refrigerator, sink, table, counter, and window. Those needing access to the lactation room in AHC 2 may contact Wendy Bravo or COM Student Affairs to retrieve a key. For more information, please click here.

Panthers Active Wellness Services

About PAWS

Our Goal
To make health and well-being a shared value, improving happiness, and synergizing balance with work and life.

Our Objective
Through a collaborative effort of all FIU community members to promote awareness, improve access, and encourage active participation in an innovative well-being program.

 

Message from the President

Florida International University and its administration value your personal health and well-being. The Employee Wellness Program is dedicated to providing awareness, education, and support for healthy lifestyle habits. I encourage you to participate in the Employee Wellness Program in whatever manner will help you to enhance your own health and well-being. The healthier we all are, the better equipped we are to fulfill our responsibilities to our students, our families, and our communities (and to ourselves!).

Mark Rosenberg
President
Florida International University

News & Updates

PAWScast and Newsletter

PAWScasts and Newsletters are released the first Monday of each month. Follow the link below to hear the latest podcast, and to sign up for our newsletter.

FIU | Health Update

FIU | Health is the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) Faculty Group Practice. Our physicians provide primary and specialized patient care anchored by the groundbreaking research and medical education at the HWCOM.

For a list of physicians click here.

To schedule an appointment call (305) 348-3627

For more FIU health information click here.

Programs & Events

Choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. PAWS wants to help you the entire way. Leading a healthier lifestyle will help boost your mood, increase your energy, reduce stress, and help you feel happier about yourself. FIU has many wellness offerings for faculty and staff that can help you achieve your optimum health and well-being.

Wellness Newsletter

Sign up for our monthly newsletter. It covers a range of topics from yoga in the office, better hydration, and many more!

Newsletter Archive

View PAWS Newsletter archive.

Panther Walking Challenge

Join us and your fellow colleagues every fall for our annual walking challenge. This eight week program is designed to help you increase your physical activity levels. Physical activity boosts your mood and helps you maintain attention and focus when you need it most. Let’s take that first step to a healthier more well life together.

Mindfulness & Meditation Program

Work can be stressful, and we want to help mitigate your stress as much as possible. Our program was designed from the ground up by our very own Office of Employee Assistance Director, Isabel Alfonsin-Vittoria. This program will take you from the science of Mindfulness & Meditation to the practice. Isabel will guide you through each step and help you towards a more peaceful mind. Register for Mindfulness & Meditation workshops today!

Sleep More Stress Less

Sleep More Stress Less is the sister program to our Mindfulness & Meditation program. Sleep is the often-overlooked component of physical health. Not only is it overlooked but it can also be interrupted by our daily stressors. This program helps to show you how important sleep health is for you and how you can gain back control over your stressors and sleep habits.

Journey to Financial Fitness

We are extremely proud to be working with SunTrust Bank to bring you this very special financial wellness program. This five-week program focuses on what matters most to people — their values — instead of money. It will demonstrate how having financial confidence enables participants to spend less time worrying about money and more time focusing on the things they love. The program has several components designed to inspire, educate, and equip you.

Maintain No Gain

Maintain No Gain is designed to help you stay happy, healthy, and well during the holidays. This program is arranged around mindfulness, ownership of action, and enjoyment. The goal of the program is to just not gain weight during the holidays. Of, course there is more to the program, but you will have to join to find out more.

Lunch Time Educational Series

Our comprehensive Lunch Time Educational Series is designed to bring awareness, education, and assistance in topics ranging from student loan debt to hypertension, the silent killer. Our series is a monthly, 30 minute, live webinar that is recorded and placed on our site. Each quarter we will have a live-in-person session where you can come sit, learn, and eat your healthy packed lunch from home. Sign up on the Professional Development site under Benefits Administration. Each course is worth one professional development hour.

Image that says tobacco and smoke free campusBreathe Easy – Tobacco Cessation Program

Please contact Healthy Living Program for more information or to schedule an appointment.
BBC: (305) 919-5620 ext. 4
MMC: (305) 348-2401 ext. 5

Fitness at the Recreation Centers

Both the recreation and wellness centers have a wide range of cardio, dance, and strength-related fitness classes that’ll help you get on the move. There are classes during lunch time and after work hours. Come and stretch your limits and get your heart rate moving!

BBC Recreation & Fitness
MMC Recreation & Fitness

Environmental Wellness

Image of the FIU Office of University Sustainability logo
We need your help going green and integrating a culture of sustainability on campus! There are many ways that you can learn and get involved including attending events, volunteering, and donating. You can also go green at home and in the office through simple steps. Learn more about environmental wellness.

Workstation Assessment

Environmental Health & Safety Guidelines

Utilizing computers and sitting for extended stretches can cause potential health effects. Environmental Health and Safety can help evaluate your station.
Get your assessment today!

Healthy Living

Student Health Services offers programs for faculty, staff, and students. The program offerings include acupunctures, massages, nutritional consultations, and more.

For more information contact:

BBC Healthy Living WUC:
(305) 919-5307

MMC Healthy Living:
(305) 348-2401
wellness@fiu.edu

PAWS Ambassadors

Ambassadors play a vital role in supporting the promotion of health and wellness programs among FIU faculty and staff. Wellness Ambassadors are the key liaisons helping direct faculty and staff to wellness programs, activities, and resources.

Participation:
Voluntary role to help drive participation and engagement in wellness activities.

Common Characteristics for Wellness Ambassadors:

  • Passion for health and wellness
  • Intuitive about health and wellness
  • Good communication, motivational, and interpersonal skills
  • Cares about fellow FIU colleagues

Role of Wellness Ambassadors

  • Market and publicize wellness activities and programs around campus
  • Recruit faculty and staff to participate in wellness programs and activities
  • Participate in wellness programs
  • Identify potential ideas, strategies and programs for enhancing the wellness program
Contact Us

Nathan Burandt
Benefits Administration
Program Manager
Tel: 305-348-2530
E-mail: Nathan.Burandt@fiu.edu

Florida International University
Human Resources
11200 SW 8th Street
Modesto A. Maidique Campus, PC-224
Miami, FL 33199

Mind and Body Videos

Many of us spend enormous amounts of time sitting behind a desk. Sitting for long periods of time and not handling stress properly has been linked to numerous health problems. The videos below provide a range of options, including yoga and stretches, to guided meditations. Take a moment to view these office exercises to improve your health.

5 Minute Fix Seated

5 Minute Fix Standing

3 Minute Therapy Seated

3 Minute Therapy Standing

1 Minute Wake Up Seated

1 Minute Wake Up Standing

Deepok Chopra: Transformative Meditation

How to Relieve Stress in 60 Seconds

DISCLAIMER: This website is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing any exercise programs, including the programs on this website. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed on this website, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.

Work Life Programs

In an effort to help manage work life balance for our employees, the university provides various programs to help employees toward this endeavor.

The programs available are as follows:

Alternative Work Site Allows an employee to work from an alternative work location.
Compressed Work Schedule Allows an employee to work his/her assigned number of hours in fewer than five (5) days in one (1) week or fewer than (10) days in one (1) pay period.
Flexible Work Schedule Allows an employee to adjust his/her work schedule to begin or end work up to two (2) hours before and/or two (2) hours after the employee’s regular work schedule.

It is important to note that not all positions are suited for alternative work schedule/work site options. You should review all policies and procedures to learn of the specific requirements and appropriate forms that must be completed before an employee’s work schedule/work site is altered. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that the job and business-related needs will be met with the alternative work schedule/work site arrangement, and ensure that the proper form is completed and submitted. The Division of Human Resources (DHR) must approve the request prior to the employee starting the program. The form must indicate a beginning and an end date for the arrangement. If no end date is known at the time of the request, DHR will approve the request for up to one (1) year from the time the arrangement begins. After that period, the arrangement request must be reassessed and resubmitted for approval.

If an employee wishes to alter their schedule by less than an hour before and/or after their regular work schedule, the department may internally approve the flextime schedule without completing the form or requiring approval from DHR.

Any change in work schedule or work site that is deemed by the department and/or university to no longer satisfy business needs may be adjusted or terminated at any time.

Variations of the policy may apply to in-unit employees. Please visit policies.fiu.edu for more information related to specific bargaining units’ policy on work life programs.

Procedures

  1. Both the eligible employee and his/her supervisor must complete and sign the Flexible Work Arrangement Request/Decision Form to clarify the conditions of the work arrangement.
  2. The eligible employee must select the type of request.
    • Note that an Alternative Worksite (Flex Place) request also requires completion of the Alternative Work Site Checklist to assess the adequacy of the alternative worksite environment.
  3. The completed form is to be submitted to Human Resources in PC-224 at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus for Employee & Labor Relations’ (ELR) review and final approval.
    • An initial review is performed to verify that the employee is eligible and that the documentation has been processed accordingly.
    • If there is an issue with the request that requires further clarification, a representative from ELR will notify the department supervisor and/or employee submitting the request.
  4. ELR will review and approve/deny the request, forward the approved/denied request form to both supervisor and employee, and retain a copy in the employee’s personnel file.
  5. If the arrangement is approved for a limited time, the department must notify ELR when the employee returns to the previous work arrangement. If applicable, the supervisor should also notify ELR if the arrangement is terminated earlier than scheduled due to the business needs of the department.
  6. The employee must indicate on the required form if the arrangement is related to a medical condition or medical leave in which case the Benefits Administration will be the approving authority.

FORMS

  1. Login to PantherSoft HR Employee Self Service.
  2. Navigate to: Human Resources Self Service > Employee Self Service > Employee Resources > Employee Forms.
  3. Select Employee Labor Relations Forms > Flexible Work Arrangement Request/Decision Form.
  4. Complete and print the form.
  5. Submit form to PC 224.