Showing posts with label Working in Bethlehem PA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Working in Bethlehem PA. Show all posts

Friday, October 26, 2012

FamilyWize Points Donegan Elementary in the Right Direction



COMPASS
Students at Donegan Elementary School
attend FamilyWize event.
On October 17, FamilyWize joined Donegan Elementary School in a ribbon-tying ceremony celebrating its introduction as the newest United Way COMPASS School in the Lehigh Valley, PA as its lead corporate sponsor. The FamilyWize initiative began in 2005 with the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley at the Fowler Family Center, located in Donegan. After recognizing and fulfilling a need within this localized community, CEO Dan Barnes points to Donegan and United Way as one of the key motivating forces that “challenged us to expand.” FamilyWize is so happy for the success it has gained since then and to have come full circle and be able to give back to the community in which it first gained a foothold toward success. Lehigh University also joined FamilyWize as the school’s sponsor.

The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s COMPASS program (Community Partners for Student Success) is an initiative that encourages community partnership with educational institutions to ensure that students have all the resources necessary to follow their dreams and pursue academic success. These resources are not only limited to financial sponsorship but especially focus on mentorship from leaders in the community. It encourages students to take part in community service projects and empowers parents to take a more active role within the student body. COMPASS emphasizes education, leadership and character development to help guide students toward a fulfilling future.

The United Way of the GLV states that the community school model focuses on the following elements, reported by the Coalition for Community Schools that have been proven to increase students’ learning potential:

  • Access to high quality early childhood programs
  • Quality education through high standards for all students
  • A wide range of positive youth development opportunities
  • Services that help students/families to meet their basic needs
  • Mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents, staff and the community
  • Safe and supportive learning environment

Susan Gilmore, President of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, noted that efforts to provide quality education for children in their community cannot be totally fulfilled by the United Way alone, but depend heavily on the support and partnership with businesses and individuals within the community. She spoke about leadership programs within the school, reading programs and activities at the school that were made possible through United Way and participation from the community. The Lehigh University Black Student Union also showed their support by taking part in a performance of “Lean on Me” by Donegal’s students. Some Lehigh University student athletes were also present and Lehigh University president, Alice Gast, discussed their involvement in the “Reading Rocks” program which drives home the importance of education in addition to students’ extracurricular activities.

A student at Donegan, although seemingly nervous, spoke to the crowd with great insight about how involvement from the community, Lehigh University students, United Way volunteers and local small business owners had positively impacted his experience in school.“I like telling people what to do”, he said. “And with the leadership programs here, I could.”  He also spoke about improvement in his reading skills and touted himself as an example of the types of students such partnerships could foster.

United Way
Part of the ribbon that was tied by Dan Barnes,
CEO and Co-Chair at FamilyWize.
When Dan Barnes spoke about FamilyWize’s relationship with Donegan Elementary school, he noted that it began further back than the business relationship that started in 2005. He told about his mother’s involvement with the school as a teacher and continued involvement as the coordinator between FamilyWize and Donegan, today.  Emphasizing the special relationship he has with Donegan both professionally and personally, Dan Barnes volunteered at Donegan when he was in middle school, reading to the younger children . He then tied a ribbon with the FamilyWize name onto a larger ribbon with the other community partners’ names, signifying multiple entities and institutions coming together to help usher in a new future for the students at Donegan Elementary School.

working in Bethlehem PA
It takes a village to make a school successful.
FamiliyWize is proud to embark on this journey
with the people of Lehigh Valley.
The faces of proud parents, students and teachers spoke volumes about how the United Way COMPASS movement inspired real faith and optimism in the community about the future of their school. Many of the speakers talked about their long history of participation in the Bethlehem Area school district. Visitors to the school got the sense that the audience was made up of much more than just individuals but rather a school community that has come together as a family to ensure that their children have the optimal potential for success. FamilyWize is excited and proud to embark on this new journey with them, toward helping improve the lives of people in the Lehigh Valley by creating happier, healthier communities through quality education and community involvement.

Christina Colon
Contributing Writer and FamilyWize Marketing Team Member


Thursday, August 9, 2012

FamilyWize Employee Insight: What's the "Wizest" Thing You've Ever Heard?

Being a part of a community service organization, like FamilyWize, allows every employee to hear some really great things; compliments, suggestions, and stories.  You name it, we've heard some great ones!  Besides the knowledge of everything FamilyWize, we have all these shared "Wize" words stored in our heads from partners, pharmacists, and prescription drug card customers.   We thought we would dust them off and share with you what the FamilyWize discount drug card is doing for others!  Wisdom is meant to be shared because at times we all need to be a little bit "wizer."


Kathy, Program Coordinator

What is the "Wizest" thing I’ve been told by a United Way colleague?  Wize, and memorable too!  Earlier this year, I spoke with an executive director of one of the United Ways we partner with.  The United Way really appreciates the FamilyWize partnership as well as how much it has helped many of their community residents with great savings on their prescription medications!


prescription assistance
Wize sayings to live by!
"Wize" part: The Executive Director let me know that they had an older woman come into their United Way asking for prescription assistance and really she was asking for “help” to be able to afford medications for herself and her elderly husband.  She obtained and used the FamilyWize discount card a few times.  However, her husband was somewhat stubborn and a total “unbeliever” to even try to use the FamilyWize savings card.  It took some coaxing and relaying her savings amount to make him a believer.  Finally he tried using the FamilyWize prescription savings card.  And much to his skepticism, he actually saved a great deal on his essential medications.
The elderly woman informed the United Way Executive Director about this great “success story” of someone there using the FamilyWize card.  At the United Way they continue to tell the story about turning a “non-believer" into a "believer!"

Kim, Program Coordinator


The ‘wizest’ thing I have been told thus far in my career at FamilyWize was by a pharmacist.  When I went to fill my prescriptions at my regular pharmacy, I thought I would introduce myself and see if the pharmacy was familiar with the program I helped implement.  He had heard of the program, but didn't know too much about it, so I explained to him who can use the prescription discount card and how it works

I also shared our new feature to the program that allows peopleto text "RX to the phone number "700700" and get a FamilyWize card right to their phone.  I thought I would share it with the pharmacist and his techs since it's an easy way for uninsured or underinsured customers to get help right away.   His exact words to me were “Wow! You guys are on the bleeding edge of technology!"  That made me chuckle, and him chuckle, too.  The pharmacist saying that made me realize FamilyWize is truly a step ahead and has found another way to reach those who need help filling prescriptions. 


Dave, Team Leader

Because the FamilyWize program has no registration or sign-up requirement, many people comment on how easy it is to let others know about the program.  The Rx discount cards are free and can be given away to anyone and everyone we meet!  What an excellent way to strike up a conversation with a total stranger!  One of the wizest things I have ever heard is, "the FamilyWize card is a vehicle to provide an act of random kindness."  I never thought about it, but it's very true! 

Some pretty wise things, right?! Whether you use the technology or are looking to provide someone with an act of random kindness, it only takes a few seconds to help someone in need.

Now that we've shared with you, share with us.  What's the wizest thing YOU have been told?  Our ears (and comment box) are open! 
Krysta W.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ode to Tammie




free prescription drug card
Tammie's enthusiasm and generosity will be missed at FamilyWize.
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave foot prints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same." 
---Flavia Weedn


Man, isn't that the truth!  For more than a year, all of us at FamilyWize have been given the unbelievable privilege of spending eight hours each day working with an amazing woman and friend -- Tammie. 


Yesterday, we had to say goodbye to a fabulous co-worker and send her off to Oregon where her family is moving to support her husband and his new job. Great for him, bad for us.  We are however very happy for both of them!

We unanimously agreed all of her baked goods, from cookies to scones, will be greatly missed.  But most of all, Tammie's enthusiasm about getting the FamilyWize free prescription discount card to those in need will be missed the most.


As a tribute to Tammie, each FamilyWize employee, friend, and family wrote down what we will miss most about her.  And believe us when we say it was hard to keep it to a single Post-It note!






































Thank you for leaving foot prints in all of our hearts, Tammie! 

Krysta W.

Monday, July 9, 2012

FamilyWize Receives Common Good Award for Savings on Prescription Discounts

The wonderful aspect of working at FamilyWize is being able to see first hand all the good this company is doing.  Even with the healthcare reform in progress—there are still millions who are struggling to get their prescription medications and receive proper healthcare.  But every day, FamilyWize and the United Ways are making a difference in people’s lives with free prescription medicine discount cards.

Not to toot our own horn, but to give you insight on what these cards are doing in towns just like yours, I want to share with you some FamilyWize and United Way news!  This is just one example of what is happening across the country.

Partnership Hits Close to Home in a BIG Way!


Dennis Carmen, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County (in MA), knows to the dollar how much impact the free FamilyWize prescription cards that their United Way distributes has had on the area.  As of June 26, this one United Way has saved individuals in this county over $875,000.  The impact is huge and growing daily. You can even watch the savings change by the second on the United Way of Plymouth County’s website.

familywize united way unitedway
Carol Brian, VP of Partner Support receiving
Common Good Award from CEO Dennis Carmen
Recently Carol Brian, our Vice President of Partner Support, journeyed up to Plymouth County Massachusetts on June 6th to attend the 90th Annual Meeting of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County.   FamilyWize was honored with the Common Good Award in the area of Health.   We were the only non-local company so honored. Carol accepted the award on behalf of FamilyWize.

Mr. Carmen stated, “For a community this size, the savings we provide on medicine for people is significant.” Carmen pointed out, “FamilyWize makes it possible for our neighbors who are struggling, many of them older folks; to buy both the medicine they need plus pay for necessities like food, utilities, clothing, etc. This is a phenomenal alliance with almost 1,000 local United Ways like ours, nationwide, but it is felt so strongly locally.”

Carmen went on to say, “It’s truly wonderful to be able to honor such a partnership that works so directly.  These free cards we distribute have been used about 55,000 times and give an average savings of over 30%.  For a person who might take $500 or $600 worth of medicine a month, think of how much they save.  We’ll soon have saved $1 million dollars with a simple free card we give out.”

United Ways like the one in Greater Plymouth County are amazing partners for this grassroots effort,” states Dan Barnes, co-founder and CEO of the FamilyWize Community Partnership.  “We need partners like them to reach all those people who don’t even know that this kind of assistance is available to them no matter what their age or income is.  These are savings negotiated on behalf of the 2 million people who used our discount drug card in 2011.  No one should hesitate to get a card and see how much they can save."

Isn’t that amazing!!!  Imagine saving your community $1 million dollars in prescription medicines.  As of April 2012, the free FamilyWize cards have helped more than 4 million people save over $345 million.  But as the saying goes, “It takes a village to a raise a child.”  But, we know it only takes one person to make a difference in another’s life.

Part of what Familywize does is help individuals like you to pay it forward!  It takes just a minute of your time to get a FamilyWize United Way free medication discount card and pass it out to your co-workers, friends, family, church; the potential is limitless.  You can go online to www.familywize.org and Get a Card or call us for a free Rx card at 800-222-2818.

An even easier option now to get a discount drug card is to text “Family” to 700700.  A text message will be sent to your phone that you can show to the pharmacist at one of the 65,000 participating pharmacies to receive your discount automatically.

Our cards are free, but we need your help in reaching the millions who need help with their brand name and generic medicines!

For more information about how you can help or to find out more about the FamilyWize company visit www.FamilyWize.org or Facebook.com/familywize.

Thank you for helping us to reach one more person!

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July Safety Tips - Word to the Wise

The 4th of July - the day we - as a country no matter our ethnicity, culture, or heritage - come together in one day or week (if you're lucky) to celebrate this country's unity and declared freedom.  Being of multicultural descent - my family, who has been here for several generations, celebrates in typical American style of barbecue, swimming, enjoying our friends and family and going to see the display of fireworks in town.

July fourth is the day we celebrate freedom and unity.
We also get to enjoy our Indo-Armenian neighbors who once a year have a blow-out bash with their friends and family.  Amazing sweet smelling cultural cuisine wafts through the air, the exotic, beautiful bells and music of their heritage plays as they dance through the night, ending with their own colorful fireworks display.

Now I realize I have a couple of days, but the July fourth holiday period actually is much longer than just one day or so the statistics show.

From traveling to swimming at the beach to boating and backyard bashes with friends and family, there are barbecues, an abundance of tasty treats, drinks of all flavors and fireworks!  However, what is supposed to be a day of celebration is often reflected as a day of many accidents and injuries.  Therefore I thought some insight, wisdom, and a few statistics might be a bit prudent.

Impaired Driving - Not a Wize Way to Spend Your Holiday

According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA), "Most Americans don't realize that July 4th is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes."  During 2010 Fourth of July celebrations (from 6:00 p.m. on July 2 - 5:59 am on July 6):
  • 392 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes
  • 39% involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher
  • 80% more alcohol-impaired driving fatalities took place at night
  • 50% of young drivers killed were alcohol impaired (BAC of .08 or higher)
If you do drink on the 4th, please DO NOT drive! 

Getting Fired Up - Not Just From Fireworks
Did you know that a Sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees? This small fact from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is just one reason NOT to let children light or play with Sparklers.  The CPSC also offers other safety tips for a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.  Some alarming burn and firework statistics for not following the tips in 2011 resulted in:
  • An average of 200 people visit the emergency room every day with fireworks related injuries
  • 65% of these injuries occurred within the 4th of July holiday period
  • Most injured body part is no surprise the hands and fingers - 46%
  • Most injuries by type of fireworks goes to the Sparklers - 17%
For more interesting statistics go to www.cpsc.gov.  Be sure to know some basic burn care as well - just in case.

Also - watch the barbecues, backyard fire pits and camp fires - statistics from the National Fire Data Center indicate that more than half of the 11,000 injuries related to these types of fires happen the first week of July.

Turning Up the Heat
Keeping to the hot topic of heating things up.  It is July and the temperatures across the nation have been hot and the weather unpredictable.  With temperatures soaring into the 90's in many states, drink your water!  Alcohol will actually cause you to get dehydrated, so drinks with electrolytes, juices, and water, water, water - will help prevent the many heat related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and sunburn.  Even if you are in the water don't discount the power of the sun!   For tips on preventing heat related illnesses check out www2.redcross.org. One food with sweet water power and great nutritional benefits is watermelon - check out some amazing recipes from our "Fruit-tastic Watermelon News For Your Summer" blog!

Have fun, be safe, and if you find yourself packing this week for your holiday summer vacation check out Krysta's blog of things to remember on your summer vacation "Don't Forget FamilyWize this Summer!"

Happy 4th of July from FamilyWize!

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Monday, June 4, 2012

FamilyWize Showers Amber!



Amber opens shower gifts at FamilyWize.org


Oh, boy!  The FamilyWize family will be getting a little bit bigger! Team leader, Amber, and her husband are expecting their first child, so we threw her a little "surprise" baby shower at the office. 

And oh, was she surprised! Amber was showered with tons of loot for her baby boy who will be here before we know it! 

As with planning the perfect surprise baby shower, having a baby requires planning.  One of the many decisions a woman has to make concerning her pregnancy, besides which color to paint the baby's room or what to name the baby, is which prenatal vitamin to choose.  

For all those soon to be moms out there like Amber, do you know that FamilyWize can help with prescription prenatal vitamins?
participating pharmacies FamilyWize card
Team Leader Amber at Family Wize surprise baby shower

FamilyWize saves an average of 18% on prenatal vitamins. DuetDHA, PreNexa, Prenate, NataChew are just a few of the prescription vitamins we have helped women fill.  To see the other prenatal vitamins the program can help with, use our Drug Price Lookup tool.

If your doctor writes you a prescription for a FDA approved prenatal vitamin, check out the list of our participating pharmacies to see where you can take your prescription.   Don't forget to use the FamilyWize Card to see if you can get additional discounts on other medications you are prescribed as well.

If you have questions about your prenatal vitamins, only your doctor can provide advice on which one to take.  If you have any questions about FamilyWize, visit our FAQ Page

Krysta W.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The FamilyWize Fever!

Part of what we do here at FamilyWize is answer calls from consumers.  There is one call in particular that stands out to Amber and David, our team leaders.

A woman from Arizona called in towards the end of the day and spoke with David.  She used the card recently and raved about how well it helped her.  She requested ten FamilyWize cards to be mailed to her so she could give them out.

She called back about an hour later after David had left for the day and spoke with Amber.  The woman said she started to ponder about all of the people in her life who could benefit from the program that were in the same boat as her—uninsured.  She requested 50 cards to give to her relatives in California and 30 cards to give to her boss who is a caseworker.  She shared that she was going to discuss the program with her pastor to see if the 10,000 members of her church could use assistance from FamilyWize as well.

“All it takes is one person to become an advocate,” Amber said.  “This woman is a such a great example. I have been with FamilyWize for almost two and a half years and have spoken with individuals who literally take the cards EVERYWHERE with them, and give to EVERYONE they come in contact with.  Once you see what the cards can do, it’s like you immediately want to share the wealth.”

“We really get all sizes of advocates,” David said.  “Some people can connect with hundreds of friends, relatives, and neighbors who they may see as possibly needing the card.  Other people may only have a small handful of people they see as needing help.  Either way we all know someone who may need help.  Advocating on any scale is a tremendous help to anyone in need.”

One song can spark a moment.  One flower can wake the dream.  One tree can start a forest.  One bird can herald spring.  One FamilyWize advocate can light the pathway to prescription assistance.

Krysta W. 
prescription drug card summer vacation
FamilyWize's pet eagle hanging out in our backyard. Good thing statues don't eat because all we could feed it is discount cards!

Monday, May 14, 2012

If the Tables Were Turned

May 3rd marked my seven month anniversary with FamilyWize.

When I first started working for FamilyWize, I was completely blind in the world of
prescription discount cards.  I was always lucky enough to have parents who both had full-time jobs that provided great health insurance for all three of their kids. I was biased and thought everyone was insured one way or another.

But without the new federal health law that started in 2010, I would have been in need of a FamilyWize card for a handful of months.

The new health law currently allows adult children to be covered by a parent’s health insurance until the age of 26.  Before the new law kicked in, adult children could only stay out their parent’s health insurance until the age of 19 or as long as they were enrolled as a full-time student.  Every year, I used to send my dad’s insurance company my tuition bill as proof that I was still in school and therefore insured.

After graduating from college last May, I didn’t start working at FamilyWize until October.  Even though I started applying for a job months before I graduated, not one of the positions I applied for would consider me because of a quality I lacked—experience.

If the new healthcare law wasn’t in existence today, I would have been uninsured for five months and not able to take the medications I am prescribed.

By working for FamilyWize, I am able to hear about situations people are in every day that poses a road block between them and their medicine:
  • Someone over the age of 26 quits their job and goes back to school full-time
  • Someone is laid off due to the lousy economy; 
  • Someone’s insurance does not include a prescription plan. 

Everyone’s relationship with prescription insurance is different whether it's not ideal or even non-existent.
Facebook often hits the nail on the head with its option to describe a relationship—“it’s complicated.”
Here is to FamilyWize making prescription coverage a little less complicated!

Krysta W.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Working for the FamilyWize.org Family

What’s it like working for FamilyWize? 

Hmmmmm. Well, working period is a privilege in itself. But working for FamilyWize?

Here is a little background: Last May, I was proudly able to hang my Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Media Writing from East Stroudsburg University (ESU) next to my Associates in Liberal Arts from Northampton Community College (NCC).  

I thought by the time I graduated from community college, the field I wanted my career to be in would have targeted and tackled. Not the case. A few inklings were brewing and psychology was one. When I transferred to ESU and started on the psychology track, one of the classes required was quantitative statistics. After I would complete that class, there would be a handful more psychology-based math classes to come. I thought math’s wrath was escaped by completely knocking out all of my general education classes at NCC. After my first semester at ESU, I switched a major I felt comfortable with and had no absolutely no math associated to it—English. After taking a liking to journalism, I interned at a small newspaper in a neighboring town. 

At the same time I was interning, I was volunteering at the local Red Cross. I started covering stories that revolved around community service and non-profit organizations such as fundraisers and ribbon cuttings. I was quickly able to see the amount of energy, dedication, and selflessness those employees and volunteers had for a cause just because they simply care.  It just amazed me. Then, I had a revelation. 

When I was six, I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I was 11, I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. When I was 16, I wanted to be a psychologist. Even after receiving my bachelor’s degree, a microscopic part of me still doesn't know what I want to do. Looking back at all of the careers I had prematurely chosen, I now realize the positions all had one quality in common—to help people.

Working forFamilyWize allows me to help people every single day. By giving cards to family members, friends, and complete strangers; By calling a participating pharmacy to see how the program is going; By working with United Ways to coordinate the program—all that adds up to create an wonderful impact of  helping to reduce the disheartening statistic that more than one out of every five people has no prescription coverage.

pharmacists Rx discount cards
Pathway in Bethlehem, PA - Headquarters of FamilyWize.org
I get to carry on the philosophy that stronger, healthier and happier people make healthier, better communities and a stronger, gentler nation which was molded by FamilyWize’s founders, Dan and Susan Barnes. 

I get to help people. What a better job for me than to work for FamilyWize:)
 
Krysta W.