Health and Wellness

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.

Program Activities Council presents Hula Hoop Fitness

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate in a Hula Hoop Fitness event on Thursday, March 13 in the Truax Student Lounge from 4 to 6 p.m. Those interested can bring their own hoops or use one provided. Attendees will learn the basics of hula hooping while getting a workout. 

Published March 10, 2014.

Calling all moms: learn how to do child massage on March 24

Madison College Moms will host a special meeting from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, March 24 for moms-to-be and mothers of young children.

Brenda Frasser, faculty member in the Madison College Massage Therapy program, will lead attendees how to do infant and child massage. Participants are welcome to bring a child to this meeting.

Location: Room 141, Health Education Building

Door Prizes: two prize drawings will be held at the end of the meeting.

Please RSVP via email to Tina Rettler Pagel to reserve a seat.

View other resources available for moms at Madison College.

About the Madison College Moms Group 

This group is open to any Madison College community member with an active OneCard. Participation in the group is open to all parents, however most of the topics and discussion are geared towards moms with children ages three and under.

Stay tuned to Matters for announcements of future meetings for moms. 

Contact Lisa Lanting.

Published March 4, 2014. Updated March 5, 2014.

New yoga session starts March 24

The Truax Fitness Center is offering a second session of yoga classes. This session starts the week of March 24. All classes will be held in the Health Education building.

Class Days and Times:

  • Monday and Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m.

For more information and to register online, please visit the group fitness webpage

Published February 28, 2014.

Wisconsin Retirement System representative visits Truax Campus

A representative from the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and Employee Trust Funds (ETF) will be at the Truax campus on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to give an overview of WRS retirement benefits and procedures for those who are thinking about retiring within the next five years.

Space is limited. Those interested email Marie Dusio if you would like to attend this session.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 25
Time: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Health Education Building, Rooms 309-311

Learn about:

  • Annuity vs. lump sum option
  • Beneficiary designation
  • Retirement benefit calculations
  • Core trust fund vs. variable trust fund
  • Purchasing service
  • Annual annuity adjustments
  • Additional contributions
  • Return-to-work rules
  • Health insurance/life insurance

Visit the ETF website to view informational videos and find out about upcoming learning opportunities.

Questions about WRS or ETF?

Contact their customer service call center at 608-266-3285.

Published February 21, 2014.