If Your Health Plan Has a Drug Formulary
The following information may be useful to employees enrolled in plans with closed formularies for prescription drug benefits. At this time, Foundation, Health Net, Kaiser and PacifiCare have closed formularies.
A formulary, as described in the Employee Benefits Review mailed to employees' homes in September 1995, "is a list of drugs that a plan will cover for its members. In a closed formulary, the physician may prescribe only from the drugs included on the formulary." Each plan has its own formulary. While there is some overlap in what drugs are available in another plan, there also are many differences. If you want to check about a certain medication, call your plan's customer service number.
To ensure that a prescription will be covered when you get it filled, remind your physician that your plan has a closed formulary and ask that your medication be prescribed accordingly. Physicians who feel it is medically necessary to prescribe a drug not on the plan's formulary may contact the plan's pharmacy department, discuss that medication and alternatives and, if necessary, request that medication. Each pharmacy department reviews such requests case by case.
Medical Plan Carriers
To assist the many employees who made plan changes during open enrollment, the Personnel Benefits Unit has invited each of the medical plan carriers to offer informational sessions about their plans. Sessions will cover the referral process, prescription drugs, emergencies, providers, wellness programs and the function of customer service.
All plans have been invited. PacifiCare, being new to campus, has been scheduled first on Thursday, March 7. The session will begin at 12:10 p.m. in Room 150 of University Hall.
Those planning to attend are encouraged to send ahead any questions or concerns. Email to mjohnson@uclink or send to Marie Johnson, Personnel Benefits Unit, #3540, 207 University Hall by March 1.
Seating capacity is 80, and will be on a first come, first served basis. The other medical plans are being scheduled for May and June. Announcements will be made in Berkeleyan and to department benefits counselors when the dates are established.
Domestic Partners Report Available on Gopher
A report of preliminary findings on extending benefits to domestic partners of UC faculty, staff and students has been posted on the Personnel Office gopher.
In 1994, the University of California Academic Council recommended extending health, pension, survivor and other benefits, as well as campus amenities, to the domestic partners of employees and their children. The president requested an analysis of the impact of adopting the recommendation. The report was prepared by the Office of the President, with staff members from the systemwide Academic Affairs, Employee Benefit Programs and Human Resources offices, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel.
As described in a letter to deans, directors, department chairs and administrative officers on July 17, 1995, the Berkeley campus already extends access to campus amenities, such as library and recreational sports, to domestic partners on the same basis as legal spouses. A review of sick leave is also underway. Human Resources will publish more information on these and other issues as it becomes available.
Employee Development and Training
For more information, for copies of the 1995-96 Employee Development and Training catalog or for information on how to enroll in classes, call 642-8134.
Practical Business Writing
March 4, 8, 11 and 15, 1:30-4:30 pm, plus one half-hour individual tutorial to be arranged on April 18 or 22 between 1 and 4 pm. Fee: $350 for Berkeley employees.
Strategies for writing effective memos, letters, personnel evaluations, proposals and reports. Participants will be encouraged to bring samples of work writing to use during the class.
New Employee Orientation
March 5, 8:30 am-noon, plus an optional campus tour from 1-2:30 pm.
An opportunity for new employees to learn about the university and the Berkeley campus, meet other new employees and obtain specific information needed within the first month of employment. Topics to be presented include benefits of UC employment, campus culture and values, employee support services and common personnel policies.
Dealing With Difficult
Behavior in the Workplace
March 6, 1-5 pm. Prerequisite: "Resolving Conflicts" or "Managing and Mediating Conflict" classes.
This course provides the opportunity to analyze problematic situations, practice effective communication skills through role play and obtain confidential assessments of participants' communication styles. The course includes a follow-up individual discussion session.
Managing and Mediating
Conflicts in the Workplace
March 13, 8:30 am-4:30 pm. For managers and supervisors only.
Participants will learn how to analyze and map workplace conflicts, select the appropriate strategy for managing them, maintain neutrality and learn supervisory mediation through role play.
For more information, a program flyer or to enroll, call 643-4646. The following classes are free of charge.
Tuesdays, March 5-19, 12-1 pm.
Find out how the body changes during menopause and identify methods to cope with symptoms. Class includes an evaluation of estrogen replacement versus hormone therapy. The last class in the series will be a support group with a CARE counselor.
March 15, 234 Hearst Gym, no enrollment necessary.
This class will offer two short stretch routines that can help relieve muscle aches and pains and boost energy. The benefits of stretching and how to incorporate stretching into the day also will discussed.
Making VDT Workstations
March 12, 8 am-noon.
This class offers training for departmental VDT workstation evaluators, including the ABC's of a successful departmental VDT health and safety program and practice evaluating the basics of a VDT workstation. Identify how to set priorties in modifying VDT workstaitons.
Joanne Ikeda, nutrition education specialist in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, will become president-elect of the 6,900-member California Dietetic Association July 1.
Ikeda, a member of the Berkeley staff for 25 years, says "choosing a career in dietetics was one of the best decisions I ever made." Over the years, she has been active at the local, state and national levels of the association.
California dietitians, she notes, were the first to receive professional recognition when a bill granting them entitlement was passed, and recently a law was passed which allows the state's registered dietitians to be reimbursed by insurance companies for medical nutrition therapy.
Charles Townes, professor in the graduate school in physics and Nobel laureate, was presented a Medal of Honorary Citizenship of the city of Kwangju, Korea, for his involvement with the Kwangju Institute of Science and Technology.
The presentation was made Dec. 8 by Young Chul Park, honorary ambassador of Kwangju City, at the J. Oppenheimer Center for Thoeretical Physics in Birge Hall. Also present were Townes' wife, Frances; Korean Consul General Jung Ha Lee and several Berkeley department heads.
Townes was keynote speaker at the Kwangju Institute's opening ceremonies in March 1995.
Andrew Brocato, a machinist in the physics department, died unexpectedly while at work Feb. 9. He was 44. The cause of death has not been determined.
A member of the physics department for 16 years, Brocato was known as a superb machinist and welder. His colleagues describe him as "an exceptional person who added much to the department and the university. He had a strong commitment to teaching, research and public service. Many graduate students learned skills and techniques at his bench, and faculty members appreciated his hands-on support in resolving complex, experimental problems."
Brocato recently completed a large project for Professor Paul Richards, which involved building a balloon gondola to study cosmic radiation. Much of the success of the balloon flight was attributed to Brocato's contributions in design and construction.
In 1993, Brocato built a cone magnet that traps radioactive isotopes a hundred times more efficiently than prior methods. The research group was not sure that the magnet could be built, but Brocato was able to solve myriad fabrication problems.
Brocato was the recipient of two Distinguished Service Awards. His commitment to his co-workers extended outside the department through his involvement with the union UPTE. Brocato served as a tech mobilizer and was a candidate for the local 1 executive board.
His friends and co-workers remember him for his wonderful sense of humor, as a lover of sports, especially sailing; and as a talented sculptor of abstract metal forms.
Brocato was a resident of Castro Valley. He is survived by his wife, Regina Ann, and two children, ages 6 and 9. A trust fund has been set up for the children. Donations may be sent to the Julia and Evan Brocato Trust Fund, Glendale Federal Bank, 3288 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley 94546.
Funeral services were held Feb. 15 in Castro Valley.
Gail Ow, undergraduate assistant in the history of art department, died Jan. 12 in San Francisco after a brief struggle with cancer. She was 41.
Ow joined the Berkeley staff in 1985 as a student services assistant in psychology, transferring to history of art in 1987. In 1991 she received a Special Performance Award for years of excellent service to students, many of whom said they would not have graduated without her administrative and moral support.
A native of San Francisco, Ow received a BA in sociology from Berkeley in 1977. She was an avid Cal Bears fan, ice skating enthusiast and animal lover.
She is survived by her father, George Ow; sisters Sandra and Stephanie and longtime friend Llewellyn Phelan. At her request, no memorial services were held. Those wishing to make charitable contributions in her memory may do so to women's health programs, especially those emphasizing regular physical screenings; or to pet therapy groups, in which volunteers bring pets to visit patients.
Two New Books Get Critics' Nod
Two new books by Berkeley faculty examine equally hot topics in America--from a case study exposing the "soul of suburbia" to an examination of this country's coming of age with the press.
In "Our Town: Race, Housing and the Soul of Suburbia," David Kirp, professor of public policy; Boalt Hall law professor John Dwyer; and Larry Rosenthal, a lecturer in the Graduate School of Public Policy, focus on a landmark fair-housing lawsuit.
The book, published by Rutgers University Press, is anything but a dry case study. A Jan. 21 book review in the New York Times said the authors "write with clarity and passion.
"As we follow the long march of the lawsuit through the courts, the book becomes an unexpectedly moving account of hope, idealism and intelligence."
At the heart of the story is the struggle in Mount Laurel, N.J., over a legal challenge by African-American residents to exclusionary zoning.
In the 1970s, the town's mayor told them, "If you people can't afford to live in our town, then you'll just have to leave." They choose to fight instead.
In his new book, "News for All: America's Coming-of-Age with the Press," Tom Leonard, associate dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, takes a look at America's love-hate relationship with the news business.
Starting in the early 19th century, Leonard explores the reality and critical importance of print journalism in daily American life.
A reviewer for the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Leonard strips away the romanticism of the business and guides us through an anecdotally rich story of how newspapers transformed themselves from a tool of mass democracy to an advertising-driven medium in search of the most prized of free agents: the almighty, affluent demographic."
"News for All" is published by Oxford University Press.