Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

'Since You Asked': On-site Gym, Daycare and More


Since You Asked has gone digital, and The Bridge is now publishing answers to employee questions as a regular feature. Please email questions to SinceYouAsked@cshs.org. This issue's questions deal with an onsite gym, daycare facilities and vacation accural for long-term employees.

What About an On-site Gym?

Question: I wanted to bring an idea of adding an on-site gym with personal trainer and giving employees incentives to work out at least three times a week and getting a gym membership fee waived.

Answer: Thank you for this great suggestion. The Benefits and Wellness teams have already explored and advocated for an on-site gym and at this time, unfortunately, all available space is prioritized to serve our patients. Please visit our Wellness and Employee discount site at the Employee Wellness website for details.

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

What Happened to Jiff?

Q: I recently found out that Jiff went away and that the points we have with Jiff did too. There was no notification at all to me or any of the other Cedars-Sinai employees that this was discontinued. Is there any way possible we can recoup our points? I feel like the rug was pulled from under us when all we wanted to do was track our steps, sleep and food for rewards and points.

A: In our continuous effort to increase wellness awareness and engagement, and offer our employees a comprehensive wellness program, we have ended our relationship with Jiff. Our FSA/HealthFund provider, TRI-AD, is now providing administration of the HealthFund wellness program. A HealthFund FAQ was mailed to the address on file to all employees prior to the March 1, 2019, transition from Jiff to TRI-AD. While any point not redeemed by March 1 went away, you will still be able to earn rewards through TRI-AD. You will complete just one healthy action from the Healthy Actions List and submit proof of your activity to TRI-AD instead of to Jiff. If your healthy action is approved, TRI-AD will deposit your HealthFund contribution in an HRA account for you to spend on eligible healthcare expenses. You will still be able to earn an additional $50 reward by taking one more healthy action from the Healthy Actions List. Submit proof to TRI-AD using the same process as for the HealthFund, and receive $50 via check or direct deposit to your bank account (based on your preference) to spend on anything you wish.

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

Can We Add United Behavioral Health?

Q: Can we get United Behavioral Health added to our benefits?

A: Thank you for inquiring about this important benefit. We do not offer behavioral health benefits through United. However, behavioral health benefits can be obtained either through our Anthem medical plans, our internal Work and Life Matters team by calling 310-423-6447 or by calling our external partner, Empathia Life Matters at 866-713-1979.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

Can We Get On-site Daycare?

Q: Why don’t we have any daycare facility catered to kids of Cedars-Sinai employees? I understand that it will not be free of charge. As a mother myself, it would be very convenient to have a daycare facility within the campus at a minimal charge for employees.

A: Thank you for this great suggestion. We have already explored the on-site daycare option, and unfortunately, the organization cannot support it at this time due to the lack of space. All space is prioritized for serving our patients. However, we have a partnership with Bright Horizons Child and Adult Care to provide affordable options for childcare, eldercare or assisted care needs for our employees and their families. You can learn more about all these benefits online at http://clients.brighthorizons.com/cedarssinai or by calling 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737).

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

Can We Revamp Accrued VHT?

Q: Is there a possibility that the accrued VHT might be increased for employees who have been here long term? It doesn’t seem fair that an employee who has been here for 10 years accrues the same amount as an employee who has been here 20, 25, 30 years or more. Currently the max is 6.15 hours per pay period. Has this ever been discussed?

A: Thank you for this suggestion. We want to provide competitive vacation accruals which also recognize our longer tenured employees. We regularly review market trends for all benefits, including vacation time. Our analysis shows that our vacation time benefits are competitive.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

Sign Up for Benefits Online?

Q: Since Cedars-Sinai now has many facilities that are not at the main hospital campus would it be possible to sign up for the credit union and other offered benefits online?

A: Thank you for your interest in joining the credit union. You may sign up for the credit union online by using the following link: https://www.cusocal.org/Cedars-Members. Please visit our Employee Wellness website for hundreds of other multi-dimensional resources.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

Is It Acceptable to Request VHT Next to Weekends?

Q: I keep hearing from our department shift supervisor that it's frowned upon to request VHT next to your weekend (three consecutive days off). I've also heard that management is keeping track of our VHT request and it may affect our yearly evaluation negatively. I thought VHT was earned, and we request it for days we need at our own choosing. I understand days being denied due to shortage of staff, but I don't understand the logic of management or HR limiting the days we can choose our VHT. I don't believe that is fair.

A: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We agree and we do not support a philosophy of denying an employee to use their VHT or time off. Please work with your HR Business Partner if you feel that the time off policy has been unfairly applied towards you.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

How Can Employees Away From Medical Center Get Same Improvement Programs?

Q: As a Cedars-Sinai employee who works at a remote location, I read about the many great employee improvement programs offered at the main campus, but feel somewhat left out. The hours for the Wellbeing Fair did not allow those of us at other locations to participate. As Cedars-Sinai expands its operations, especially in Marina del Rey, Playa Vista and Culver City areas, are there any plans to offer any similar programs out this way? It also seems that most things are only offered for day shift employees. Night shift employees need access to these benefits, too.

A: Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. Our goal for wellness at Cedars-Sinai is to provide programs and services for employees that meet them where they are and as we create and implement new wellness programs and events, we try to offer programs that can be accessed by most if not all employees. We understand that Cedars-Sinai is a 24/7 operation that includes multiple remote locations, but at this time we are not staffed to offer events to accommodate every shift and location. 

  • Many of the vendors who attended the Wellness Fair are on the Employee Wellness website and would love to interact with our employees at a more convenient time for them. Additionally, numerous options for wellness can accommodate night shifts or employees at other locations. Please allow us to provide a general sampling of services:
  • Daily (Monday-Friday) on campus fitness classes at 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Gym and fitness discounts
  • Employee Wellness websitewith hundreds of multi-dimensional resources
  • Annual Employee Wellness Fair and Recognition celebration that starts at 7 a.m.
  • Headspace app (free for the first month) that teaches meditation at your pace and schedule
  • Painted stairwells and healing gardens
  • Online wellness videos (with more in the works)
  • Free InBody composition analysis
  • Work and Life Matters counseling services
  • A lifestyle change program (through your Anthem medical coverage) that offers wireless scales, activity trackers, group support, weekly lessons and access to a personal health coach at no cost to you, if you qualify. Take the one-minute quiz.
  • Our latest resourceto help with sleeping.

This is not a complete list and we know there is always more we can be doing. Please believe we are regularly looking for ways to expand and improve our program in hopes of reaching everyone in a meaningful and personal way.

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

What is the Impact of Positive Result for Marijuana?

Q: I was hoping to get some clarification on the "Since You Asked" webpage, posted on Jan 12, 2018. When the bulletin states: "A positive result for marijuana in addition to other prohibited substances constitutes a failed screening and results in the applicant being denied employment." Does this mean that a positive result for only marijuana, absent of any other prohibited substance, will or will not result in disqualification from employment on the pre-employment drug screening?

A: While cannabis (aka marijuana) is legal to use for recreation in California, it is still illegal to possess or use under federal law.  Specifically, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently considers marijuana an illegal Schedule I controlled substance. There are several important reasons why Cedars-Sinai considers evidence of marijuana use during the pre-employment drug screening as a “fail” resulting in disqualification for hire. Cedars-Sinai is subject to the DEA’s regulations in operating its pharmacies and dispensing medications to patients among other things. In addition, Cedars-Sinai is accredited through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency that administers the Medicare program through which we receive financial reimbursements for providing health care to our patients. As federal regulatory and accrediting agencies, ignoring federal law including the illegality of marijuana could result in loss of our accreditation and thus federal funding for the hospital as a participant in the Medicare reimbursement program. Furthermore, Cedars-Sinai would not want to jeopardize its accreditation as a healthcare organization by The Joint Commission, a separate prerequisite for eligibility for insurance reimbursement among other things.  Given the conflict between state and federal law in this area, we understand that this topic can be a confusing, but we hope everyone understands the high stakes associated with failing to comply with the federal standards in this area.

- Mylene J. Brooks, Esq.
Executive Director, HR Compliance and Labor Relations

Why Are Only Styrofoam Plates and Cups Available?

Q: I apologize if this has been asked and answered but with the plastic island in the ocean the size of Texas, why are only Styrofoam plates and cups available as office supplies through Peoplesoft? Our office is using mugs and ceramic plates whenever we can for ourselves, but for guests this practice presents a problem. With all of us trying to do our part, why can’t we be given a choice for paper plates or cups to order through Peoplesoft?

A: We will be moving away from Styrofoam products. We are evaluating paper cups to replace Styrofoam cups to start with and will move on to other products in the future. There is no specific time line for complete elimination.

- Jerry Dea
Director, Supply Chain Management

Are Updates Coming for Windows?

Q: I recently heard that all work computers will need to be updated to Windows 10 by 2020. Our department has many old computers with Windows 7. Due to cost containments, our computers are over five-years-old and our department is not willing to buy new computers unless we absolutely need to. Would this mandatory update to Windows 10 slow down the old computers?

A: Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 in January 2020. Their position is to increase overall security posture and compliance for enterprise customers. In order to maintain the security and compliance of our devices we have to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 before January 2020. Over 50% of our workstations (9,000) are currently running Windows 10 and we will be upgrading the remainder in place. There should not be any degradation of performance regardless of computer age and users should not notice any difference.

- Wayne Tanaka
EIS Systems Manager