Washington's NARFE chapters are closing out the 2020-2021 year of meetings, which have largely been virtual with the pandemic raging through the state and the country. but, we did meet, using GoToMeeting or AOOM to conduct business and socialize with our NARFE "family". Thank goodness we made it through!
Now we are looking forward to meeting in person again, beginning in September (we hope). Stay in touch with the website and your chapter newsletters for more information on when, where, and how. We also are beginning to plan for the 2022 FEHB Open Season meetings with health care vendors. So far, we are planning in person gatherings, as we did before Covid, but for those who can't make it to the meetings, there will be virtual presentations, with questions and answers, too. Watch for more on this coming in October.
Have a terrific and safe summer 2021, remembering that the pandemic is still out there, so while you can start to relive life as it was in 2019, remember to be careful. See you in September!
A year after the announcement of a new potentially dangerous virus, and nearly a year since it arrived in the United States, first identified in WASHINGTON STATE, fa vaccine to control and modify the novel coronavirus/COVID-19, is coming to a medical facility near you within weeks or months. Getting the two-shot series does not mean you can't get the bug. But it does mean that the version of the virus you do get is far less likely to cause your death. More than likely,it will morph into something like an annual disease that we need to get vaccinated for, similar to the flu. And getting it under control to allow it to die off, for however long that may last, means that we have to get vaccinated and still wear masks, social distance, and use a lot of soap, water, and hand sanitizer until at least 75-80% of our fellow Americans get vaccinated. Until then, below you will find links to some useful information, on other websites, about the novel coronavirus/COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Washington State Department of Health
What is the novel coronavirus? - Johns Hopkins Medicine
Coronavirus Resource Center - Harvard Medical School
1. - Stay home when you can,
2. - Don't shake hands and try not to touch anything that someone else might have handled.
3. - Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in soap and water. If you can't get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer. Your hands are going to become drier with this activity so also keep a moisturizing lotion close by - this will cut down on paper cuts that can get infected.
4. If you cough, do it into a tissue and then toss the tissue or into the crook of your arm (elbow) so that the bug can't escape into the air around you.
5. - Don't hoard hand sanitizer, tissue, toilet paper, or anything. There is enough to go around as long as we don't get greedy.
Resources for information on the Coronavirus:
Every even-numbered year, the Washington State Federation elects new executive officers who will lead and govern the federation for the next two years. Those officer positions are up for election and you have a chance to cast your ballot for the leadership of the federation. Winning candidates will be sworn in at the state federation conference, May 19-21, in Lynnwood, WA. You can find out more about the conference HERE.
From time to time, our emails get hacked. Maybe we selected a link in another email that opened the door, or we signed into the internet from an unsecured location. It doesn't matter - you will get hacked. If you receive emails that come from a person you know and trust, be less trusting and verify that the email actually came from that person. How can you do that? I use a Chrome browser and Yahoo email. When I get emails, they look like this: FriendsName@someplace.com (someplace being aol.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc).
I received an email from our own Lorie Bennett that looked like this:
Lorie Bennett@firstname.lastname@example.org. The clue that this was not a legitimate email from Lorie comes in that @ address - it is from a university email address in Greece.
Lorie's email is from a more common provider. If you use another browser and email service, you can also hover the cursor over the name of the sender and the originating email should show up. Always verify who it is you are getting links from BEFORE you select the link to view. This will help you keep your email account safe from hackers - not perfect, but safer.
For more information read this article.
From Leland “ Wally” Walbruch, NARFE-Alzheimer’s National Committee Member & NARFE Region IX Alzheimer’s Coordinator: This week the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations is expected to act on vital funding for Alzheimer's research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
On Tuesday the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee will consider our funding request of $350 million for NIH, as well as funding to implement the #BOLDAlzheimer's Act. These increases would be part of a larger Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations bill. Following action by the subcommittee the full Appropriations Committee is then expected to act on the bill later in the week.
This is a critical time for your Senators to hear from you. Contact them today!
Call your Senators and reach out to them on social media. Then, please share with your network and ask them to take action too.
Over the past six years we have seen monumental increases in Alzheimer's and dementia research at the NIH. After so many years of historic funding increases, it's important that your Senators recognize how important each additional increase is to achieving our mission. Take action now!
August seems to have just started, but we are already heading into the middle of the month. Schools will be starting soon and so will our 2019/2010 NARFE Chapter meetings. Check out the NARFE WSF calendar to see what's coming up in September.
The WSF Executive Board meets next week (August 13th) in Tacoma.
NARFE Headquarter's replacement for the OAM/ORM membership management system, now called Automated Management System (AMS) is still going through some growing pains. Be patient. Report problems to IT@narfe.org with a cc: to email@example.com. The NARFE Configuration Board is working with Headquarters to get the system operating as we need it to work. Reports functions (the old Activities Reports) are coming soon. Do not hesitate to contact me if you need help. I hope to post some How-to items on AMS, such as How to update your Chapter's information in AMS.
Besides my last post, we have the Conference Report from Washington State Federation President, Nancy Crosby. You can find it on the Chapter Newsletter page under
Chapter 1192 for Jun-Aug, 2019.
If you have a newsletter and want to share it with us, please send me the digital version. I'll be happy to post it.
We went. We heard. We are enervated! The Luncheon (and banquet) food was delicious - vegetable of the week was locally grown asparagus and it was the best - and I am not a big asparagus fan.
On day one, we heard from James Marshall, the Director of the Federal Benefits Institute discussing webinars as tools for recruitment and some of the issues that NARFE has been working on; Ken Thomas, NARFE President and Barb Sido, NARFE Executive Director talked about the direction NARFE is taking, advocacy, and the new computer and software system; Keri Gibbs, past President of the Idaho Federation presented a Membership Forum, with panelists David Epstein (Alaska Federation/Juneau), Johanna Taylor (Washington Federation/Tri-cities), and Harold Kehr (Idaho Federation/Idaho Falls). The day ended with Arlene Patton (Washington Federation/Spokane) discussing pre-retirement seminars.
Day two started with an energetic presentation, in person, by Jessica Klement, NARFE Staff Vice President/Advocacy. Jessica is the associations's chief lobbyist, responsible for taking NARFE members' concerns to Congress. We are lucky to have her on our side. She was followed by Mary Binder (Washington Federation Vice President) discussing the Bylaws updates and revision. There are still a few kinks in the standardized template. but that should not stop chapters and federations from updating. Linda Wallers (Region IX Representative to the Configuration Advisory Board) talked about NARFE's Association Management System upgrades and some of the things to watch for when the Membership Experience (MX) goes operational on June 3rd.
Lanny Ross (Washington Federation NARFE-PAC Chair) discussed the past year and presented figures for the distribution of PAC funds - this information is on the NARFE Headquarters NARFE-PAC website. Wally Walbruch (Region IX Alzheimer's Coordinator) closed the meeting, collecting another $800.00 (plus) from attendee donations.
The next Conference will be in 2021 - Region IX is looking for a host Chapter/Federation.
We have posted the minutes from the April 10, 2019 Executive Board and Advisory Board meeting that was held recently, in Tacoma. We also have current newsletters from Chapters 131, 181, 193, 1006, and 1192.
We are getting ready to pack for the Region 9 Training Conference. I hope to see you all there. I hope to have updates on the new AMS-MX membership portion of the headquarters upgrade by the time of the conference. the CAB meets on Monday, May 13. That gives me a few days to make any changes to my presentation. Sounds like a fun but packed few days. Enjoy!
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