Health and Wellness

College hosts "Back to School" Blood Drive

Madison College will host a “Back to School” Blood Drive on Monday, Sept. 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Truax Student Lounge.

The college will partner with the American Red Cross and Sports Clips–anyone who comes to donate at the blood drive will receive a coupon for a free haircut at Sports Clips. In addition, there will be a raffle to win a pair of Badger Football tickets.

Give the gift of life. Nearly 6,000 times a day someone receives blood from a Red Cross donor and yet, only about three percent of the population donates.

It is so important that generous donors give regularly so that blood of all types are available whenever and wherever they are needed.

Sign up at American Red Cross–enter Madison College as the sponsor site.


Contact Madison College Health educator, Anna Marie Hoffmann at (608) 245-2116.

Published September 17, 2014.

Free five-minute cholesterol and glucose tests at Convocation

Do you know your numbers? Stop by the Health and Wellness Mini-Expo during Convocation for a free biometric screening. This is open to all employees. GHC staff will have stations in the cafeteria to check cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure during the following expo hours:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 26, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

No appointment is necessary. Just get in line when it is convenient for you.

The Cholestech LDX test will be used for non-fasting cholesterol and glucose results. This is a simple finger-stick test with results in five minutes. All results are confidential and protected in your medical record.

If you have a few extra minutes, we also can check your pulse, body fat percentage, waist measurement and weight. Knowing your numbers is a great first step for preventing heart attack, stroke and other chronic health problems.

Earn 15 Well Credits:

Full-time employees can earn 15 Well Credits by participating in this free biometric screening during Convocation. If you earn at least 40 Well Credits by May of 2015, you will be entered into the drawing for waived health insurance premiums for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Lisa Lanting.

Published August 14, 2014. Updated August 15, 2014.

New Stress-busting sessions at Convocation

Upon request from employees, we are pleased to offer four stress-busting sessions on Wednesday, Aug. 27, during Convocation. Recharge your batteries before the semester begins.

Please join us and learn new ways to find peace, boost your energy and enhance your overall well-being in life.

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014

Room: A1017R (Formerly 102, across from Gourmet Dining Room)

Stress Busting: Simple Self-care During Conflict

11:15 a.m.

Presenter: Don Heitzinger

We all face times in life when a conflict throws us off balance. In this session we will focus on self-care strategies to build our capacity to bounce back and thrive, even in difficult times. Learn new ways to center, find your balance and honor your underlying needs.

Stress Busting: Easy Mind-Body Techniques for Relaxation and Healing


Presenter: Rian Podein, MD

Meet our Integrative/Complementary Medicine expert at the Truax GHC Clinic and learn how anyone can use his or her mind to relax and heal the body. In this session, Dr. Podein will guide us through a relaxation exercise and provide resources for further healing and practice. Please bring a yoga mat if you’d like to sit or lay on the floor during guided relaxation exercises.

Stress Busting: Burn It off in the New Cardio Center!

2:30 p.m. (30-minute session)

Presenter: Scot Vesterdahl

Test out the new machines and take a tour of the new Cardio Center in the Truax Fitness Center. Scot Vesterdahl will lead us through a short stress-busting workout and share some tips and tricks for fitting exercise into your day. Please wear comfortable clothing and workout shoes. We are going to use the equipment (and maybe even sweat).

Contact Lisa Lanting.

Published August 14, 2014. Updated August 19, 2014.

Fitness center announces hours before semester starts

Faculty and staff looking to get a head start on their workouts can stop by then Truax campus fitness center week before the semester begins.

The fitness center will be open from Aug. 25-29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

During this time faculty and staff members can purchase memberships, rent lockers and ask staff any questions.

Visit the Fitness, Health and Recreation website for more information in hours and offerings.

Fall semester schedule begins September 2.

Published August 13, 2014.

Couch to 5K starts Sept. 3

Madison College will hold another guided Couch to 5K program this Fall. This program is a gentle introduction to getting active. The training will start by alternating between walking and running to slowly build strength and endurance.

At the end of the nine-week program, you will be prepared to run the Turkey Trot 5K Race on Sunday, Nov. 2. The group meets once per week and you will need to complete two other weekly trainings on your own. All fitness levels are welcome. No running experience necessary.

What: Nine-week walking and running program

Cost for employees is $29 (excludes Turkey Trot 5K Race fee)

When: Sept. 3 - Oct. 30

  • Wednesdays at 4:45 p.m. (Starts Sept. 3)
  • or Thursdays at 12 p.m. (Starts Sept. 4)

Who: For anyone who wants to get active. The program is led by Coach Rebecca Price. 

Where: We will start in Room 131 in the Health Education Center at Truax

Why: Boost energy, confidence and overall fitness

How: Register online by Sept. 3 at

Contact Lisa Lanting.

Published August 12, 2014. Updated August 13, 2014.

Today is the last chance to change health insurance plans

Today, Monday, June 30 is the deadline for full-time employees to switch between health insurance plans.

If you would like to switch plans, please send the required forms by 11:59 p.m. (see instructions below for switching plans). Payroll deductions for health insurance will change in July (one month in advance).

How to switch plans:


Kristin Gebhardt at 608-246-6902
Lisa Lanting at 608-243-4133 
Helga Vrany at 608-246-6908 

Published June 30, 2014.

Informational meetings to discuss health benefits

In June, three informational meetings will be held to discuss the current health insurance options available for full-time employees. The meetings will also cover this year’s changes that will start on August 1. The first meeting will be recorded and posted online.

·Friday, June 6 from 10 – 11 a.m. at the Administration Building, Room 122.
·Tuesday, June 10 from 3 – 4 p.m. in Room C1435 at the Truax campus.
·Monday, June 16 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Building, Room AB122 

Group Health Coorporative (GHC) will visit the Reedsburg campus to explain new coverage in Sauk and Portage County on Monday, June 9 from 1 - 2 p.m. in Room 111. 

Coverage details, enrollment and change forms will be posted on the Madison College benefits web page.  

Contact Lisa Lanting

Published June 4, 2014. Updated June 5, 2014.

Norovirus reports showing up on campus

The Madison area has seen an increase in the number of cases of persons who have gotten sick with symptoms of gastroenteritis. This is a very unpleasant illness characterized by vomiting and diarrhea, but most people recover from it by themselves within 24 to 48 hours.

These particular cases most likely have been caused by a norovirus. Because this virus can be easily transmitted when people are in close contact it is always a good idea to be proactive and take steps to keep it from spreading to large numbers of people.

To limit the spread of illness, individuals should stay home and avoid group gatherings until they return to health. This includes students, workers, and those who work in food service or child care settings where illness can spread more readily.

Below are some important tips on how to help contain the spread of norovirus and how to decrease your own risk of exposure:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water—especially every time after you use the bathroom and before preparing or eating food (alcohol-based hand sanitizer is good to use when soap and water aren't available, but soap and water are preferred). Dry them completely.
  • When you apply an alcohol-based gel hand sanitizer, rub it all over both hands and wrists.
  • Get in the habit of washing your hands several times a day, such as when you come home and take off your coat.
  • Clean surfaces, door knobs, other common household objects used frequently with a disinfectant or bleach solution.
  • Avoid putting your hands in or near your mouth.

Additional information can be found by looking at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health Novirus Fact Sheet

Contact the campus health educator Anna Marie Hoffman at 608-245-2116.

Published April 25, 2014.

Blood drive held at Truax campus

A blood drive will take place at Madison College on Tuesday, May 6 from 10 a.m.—3 p.m. in the Student Lounge at the Truax Campus.

Every two seconds a patient in the United States is in need of blood. In fact, about one of every seven people who enters a hospital requires a blood transfusion. These statistics underscore the crucial nature of blood donation. Yet, only about 3 percent of the population currently gives blood. The number one reason these donors say they give is because they “want to help others.” This attitude of selfless giving supplies the necessary blood used each day in the United States.

There is no substitute for human blood. Many of these patients are among the most vulnerable in our hospitals such as premature infants, children being treated for cancer and children having heart surgeries. Additionally, adult cancer and trauma patients may require platelet transfusions to survive. Some patients who require life-saving organ transplants are tragically passed up for the procedure, even when the organ is available, due to a lack of compatible blood to support the transplant.

The actual donation process only takes about ten minutes, though you can expect to spend about an hour total at the blood drive. Healthy adults can safely donate about a pint of blood every two months. Remarkably, it would only take one more percent of Americans donating blood for blood shortages to disappear.

One pint of blood can save up to three lives, which makes blood donation a unique chance to change multiple lives.

Register on the Red Cross website or email Madison College Health Educator Anna Marie Hoffmann

Published April 9, 2014.

Employees advised to consider Shingles immunization

Health professionals were asked to spread the word about the low immunization rates in Wisconsin for Shingles - a painful and problematic rash that currently only 24 percent of Wisconsinites have been immunized against. If you are over 60 years of age, or a person with an immune system that is compromised, please talk with your health care provider about your risk and if vaccination is right for you.

Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster. There are an estimated 1 million cases each year in this country. Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles. However the risk of disease increases as a person gets older. About half of all cases occur among men and women 60 years old or older.

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.

The most common complication of shingles is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with PHN have severe pain in the areas where they had the shingles rash, even after the rash clears up.

The pain from PHN may be severe and debilitating, but it usually resolves in a few weeks or months in most patients. PHN can, however, persist for many years in some people.

As people get older, they are more likely to develop PHN, and the pain is more likely to be severe. PHN occurs rarely among people under 40 years of age but can occur in up to half (and possibly more) of untreated people who are 60 years of age and older.

Shingles may lead to serious complications involving the eye. Very rarely, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.

The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain that can follow shingles is to get vaccinated.  Please make this a health priority for yourself and for the people who love you.

For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's shingles webpage.

Published March 14, 2014. Updated March 20, 2015.