Employee Wellness

Your health and well-being are important. Pacific University wants to help its employees feel fulfilled, healthy and well in all that they do – at work, at home, and in their communities and beyond. We offer several resources to support their overall wellness.

Special Considerations

As a university with a specialty in healthcare, we are dedicated to ensuring the continued educational progress and success of our students. However, we also believe it is critical that we participate in preventing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic to avoid overloading our hospital systems.

Pacific University is actively monitoring this rapidly evolving public health issue, building on established emergency preparedness and response procedures, and compiling information and support resources for our university community. Find additional information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In conjunction with recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority and guidelines from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, the university will alter its course delivery and upcoming events to limit gatherings and encourage social distancing. Pacific University has setup dedicated pages to address measures related to the coronavirus. Please visit pacificu.edu/coronavirus to learn more.

Until the university is able to resume normal access to in-person Faculty and Staff wellness resources, please explore the trusted resources below - some are member- or employee-exclusive and some are free to the public.

It is understood that this is uncharted, unpredictable territory. Please take steps to care for yourself, those around you, and the greater community as a whole.

Your overall well-being is important. Uncertainty can make situations feel even more overwhelming. As you are able, explore the options below and gain access to tools that can help you care for your wellness at this time.


Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program through Cascade Centers provides free and confidential assistance, including wellness support, counseling, legal and financial consultations, and concierge services for community resources. Cascade Centers also partners with the Advantage Home Plus home ownership program.

It is always important for employees to care for their wellness, but now, more than ever, it is critical for employees to be attentive to their overall health - mental, physical, financial, and social. Utilizing the tools available through the Employee Assistance Program can assist in stress reduction, building confidence in short- and long-term goals, and the support of healthy coping mechanisms.

For immediate assistance, EAP also has crisis counseling available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get more details and review a summary of benefits on our dedicated Employee Assistance Program webpage.

Did you know that the Employee Assistance Program has live, ongoing webinars? For session details, visit the Cascade Centers Webinar webpage.


Support and Resources for Trauma, Grief and Racism

As we face unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19, which disproportionately affects communities of color, we have also witnessed horrific brutality against Black people across the country. These appalling acts are the most recent symptoms of ongoing systemic racism, oppression and violence. The pursuit of justice is an aspect of Pacific University's mission, and for the wellness of our entire community, we encourage everyone to come together to actively seek the dismantling of institutionalized racism. We recognize that our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community members have specific well-being needs. Gaining appropriate assistance is essential, and the following resources can offer paths to accessing specialized support. 

A Message of Commitment and Demand for Change - President Hallick (All Community Members)

Employee Assistance Program - Ongoing Support and 24/7 Crisis Counseling (Cascade Centers)

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Support, Referrals and Pacific University Resources)

Rising from the Margins - Student Counseling Center Weekly Web Series for Students, Faculty and Staff

Coping with Violence and Racism - Employee Assistance Program (Cascade Centers)


Additional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

May we each take action to uplift, empower and support the BIPOC community.

Anti-Racism Resources

Effective Communication in a Culturally Diverse Workplace

Managing Cultural Diversity

Emotional Intelligence for Employees

Helping Children Respect and Appreciate Diversity

Racial Injustice: Awareness & Advocacy (Basics for Non BIPOC Allies - 60 Minute Video - Employee Assistance Program)


Blue and White Mental Health First Aid Logo on a White Background

Mental Health First Aid Training | Faculty and Staff

Mental Health First Aid is a training — like regular First Aid or CPR — designed to give people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program reflects that it helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 

The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of specific illnesses.

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Why Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid helps people know that mental illnesses and addictions are real, common and treatable and that it’s okay to seek help. Research demonstrates this program’s effectiveness in improving knowledge of mental illnesses and substance use, removing fear and misunderstanding and enabling those trained to offer concrete assistance.

Individuals trained in Mental Health First Aid can help:

  • Raise awareness and encourage understanding of the ways in which one’s cultural background can impact the discrimination associated with mental illness
  • Reach out to those who suffer in silence, reluctant to seek help
  • Let students and colleagues know that support is available on campus and in the community
  • Provide information on self-help strategies and campus and community resources
  • Make mental health care and treatment accessible to thousands in need 

The program is listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidenced Based Programs and Practices. Mental Health First Aid is a low-cost, high-impact program that generates tremendous community awareness and support. Since 2008, more than 1 million people have been trained in Mental Health First Aid through a network of more than 12,000 certified instructors.

Training Specifics

Participants will complete a 2 hour, self-paced online course, and then attend two 3.5 hour live instructor-led virtual trainings. To ensure participants have enough time to complete the self-paced course prior to instructor-led training, participant sign ups will close 7 days prior to the first day of training. 

  • In an effort to make the training more accessible to a wide variety of Pacific University scheduling needs, the instructor-led portion will take place on two consecutive days. If you are unable to attend the instructor-led portion or complete the self-paced course, please prioritize your wellness. Wait for a more convenient time to take the course.
  • The two instructor-led sessions MUST be attended together. One cannot be attended one month and another session a different month.
  • Participants who complete the self-paced course, attend the instructor-led sessions and are able to demonstrate competency of the materials will receive a Mental Health First Aid certification that is valid for three years. 
  • Please be aware that there will only be 12 participant spots per trainingIf there are fewer than 5 participants signed up for a training, the instructor-led sessions will not take place and participants will be offered seats in future trainings. 

Though the Mental Health First Aid course is valued at $170 per participant, it is offered at no cost to Pacific University Faculty and Staff. Course funding is provided by the Human Resources Department and through a grant from Nonstop Wellness.

This training will be led by Jamie Loken, Pacific University Wellness Coordinator, and take place monthly on an ongoing basis. If you have questions or would like to discuss training for your department, please contact Jamie at jamiel@pacificu.edu.

Upcoming Live Training Sessions: May 20 and 21, June 3 and 4, July 8 and 9, August 12 and 13

Registration is required for this training. Sign up today.


Faculty and Staff Wellness Workshops

Compassion Fatigue Presented by Cascade Centers

Compassion fatigue happens when you care about other people who have been experiencing significant challenges, and you feel or are responsible for helping. Over time, compassion fatigue can lead to changes in emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual well-being. This training explores what compassion fatigue is, who may be “at risk,” identifying signs of compassion fatigue and developing new ways to cope.

On-Demand Webinar

Presentation Slides


Stress Management Presented by Cascade Centers

Managing all of the different stressors in life is a challenge. Because of the effects stress creates on physical health, emotional well-being, and work productivity, people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of stress reduction and management. Faculty and staff employees are invited to attend this online workshop to explore the effects of stress and techniques you can use to reduce it.

On-Demand Webinar


Work/Life Balance Presented by Cascade Centers

In our fast-paced, busy world, balancing personal and professional responsibilities is a common challenge. The stress it creates can be detrimental to an individual’s physical health, emotional well-being, and work productivity. Interested employees are encouraged to attend this workshop to learn the effects of work/life balance stress and gain helpful techniques and strategies to reduce it.

On-Demand Webinar

Presentation Slides


COVID-19: Coping with Financial Stress During Times of Crisis Presented by Cascade Centers

Many areas of our lives have been affected by COVID-19. Feelings of loss, grief and anxiety are common during this time and when unexpected financial worry takes place, life can feel even more overwhelming. This webinar will review steps to reduce stress and anxiety related to financial stress:

  • Managing grief and its stages
  • Financial worries and role changes
  • Anxiety as a source of resilience
  • Resources to feel connected and find support

On-Demand Webinar


Interpersonal Effectiveness Presented by Cascade Centers

Communication is a critical aspect of overall well-being. This seminar will explore how everything we do is a form of communication, including not communicating. This workshop will discuss active listening, assertiveness, boundaries, self-awareness and locus of control.

On-Demand Webinar


Ergonomics and Work Well-Being Presented by Pacific University Wellness Coordinator, Jamie Loken

We dedicate a considerable portion of our lives to work, and how you feel while you work can impact your entire life. Watch this session to learn how to adjust your office workspace for optimal comfort and overall health. Guidance will also be provided for those who work from home and have variable resources in their work areas. In addition to equipment setup and ideal body positioning, this workshop will address strategies to care for short-and long-term well-being – whether you’re in or out of your traditional office environment.

On-Demand Webinar and Presentation Slides


Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Self Compassion Presented by Cascade Centers (Employee Assistance Program)

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is an evidenced-based intervention that helps with numerous symptoms, including depression and anxiety. This seminar discusses some core MBSR skills to use for self-care and how self-compassion factors into effectively taking care of yourself. 

On-Demand Webinar

Presentation Slides


Avoiding Job Burnout Presented by Cascade Centers (Employee Assistance Program)

In this seminar, participants will learn the potential causes of job burnout and how to reduce their chances for burnout by better managing internal and external boundaries. Participants will also learn how to recognize the warning signs and assess their level of job stress and burnout. 

On-Demand Webinar

Presentation Slides


Employee Wellness Mini-Sessions Presented by Pacific University Wellness Coordinator, Jamie Loken

Taking conscious breaks can improve your overall well-being and productivity. The live employee wellness mini-sessions were structured to allow employees to attend more easily with set transitions at 5, 10, 15, and 30 minute increments and many are now available on-demand in BOX.

Mini-Session Format:
First 5 Minutes: Stress reduction, relaxation, wellness or productivity tip/technique
Next 10 Minutes: Guided relaxation, visualization and/or breathing exercise

Employee Wellness Mini-Sessions On-Demand Access


Mindful Moments

Mindful Moments provides a short, guided meditation, intended to offer space for centering, grounding and connecting within. The sessions, led and organized by Suzy Kropf, MSW Program Coordinator, YTT200, are held every Friday from 8:30 am - 9:00 am. Suzy earned her BA in Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon College of Education in 2015. She is also a certified yoga instructor, with a passion for supporting people in their wellness and self-care practices. All Pacific University staff, faculty and students welcome! For more information and to get the Zoom link, contact Suzy at skropf@pacificu.edu.


Virtual Fitness Classes

Director of Intramurals and Recreation, Mallory Hiefield, has taken steps to allow students, faculty, and staff to more easily participate in virtual and in-person recreation classes. Yoga and Zumba classes are available to employees, and Intramurals is utilizing the IMLeagues system for scheduling and sign ups. If you are interested in exploring the options and signing up for a class, use your Pacific University email to sign up for an account at imleagues.com/pacificu/registration. When you are logged in, search Group Fitness Classes. Intramurals has also set up a Pacific University Recreation Group on Strava. You can access the group at https://www.strava.com/clubs/pacific-university-recreation-753270. Questions about these offerings? Contact Mallory at mhiefield@pacificu.edu.

Schedule as of 1/22/2021:

  • Mondays6:00 p.m. Yoga with Cydni Zoom link on IMLeagues. (Cydni is Pacific’s Cheer & Dance coach as well!)
  • Tuesdays10:30 a.m. Yoga with Tabor Via Facebook Live in the Pacific University Intramurlas & Recreation group – People are also able to access past recordings so they can follow along at a time that is convenient for them.
  • TuesdaysZumba with Sarah Class recording available anytime on Tuesday starting at 6 a.m. on Zumba’s web platform. The code to access the class is on IMLeagues.
  • Wednesdays6:00 p.m. Yoga Basics with Lila Zoom link on IMLeagues.
  • ThursdaysStrong Nation with Sarah Class recording available anytime on Thursday starting at 6 a.m. on Zumba’s web platform. The code to access the class is on IMLeagues.
  • Fridays – 5:30 p.m. Chair-Based Mindfulness & Yoga class with Suzy via Facebook Live in our Pacific University Intramurlas & Recreation group - People are also able to access past recordings so they can follow along at a time that is convenient for them. (Suzy works at Pacific’s Eugene campus and is a Program Assistant for the Master of Social Work program.)

Are you a Faculty or Staff team member who would like to know more about the Health and Wellness Committee? Sign up for more information today!

Be the first to know about Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness events! Get email updates.


Click on the image below to access the Faculty and Staff Wellness Resource Guide.

Pacific University Faculty and Staff Wellness Resource Guide Front Page Image

Upcoming Virtual TIAA Sessions

    For those with TIAA, one-on-one consultations are offered free as a part of your retirement plan. There is no additional cost to you. You’ll get answers to these questions and more:

    • Am I invested in the right mix of investments to help meet my goals?
    • Am I saving enough to create the retirement income I need?
    • How do I take income from my retirement account once I stop working?

    TIAA sessions that were previously scheduled as on-campus appointments are now taking place virtually. If you’ve confirmed a session with TIAA, you should have received an email regarding your virtual appointment details. 

    Please note that there is also a COVID-19 Financial FAQ sheet available on BOX.

    Space is limited. If you’d like a session, please schedule one today. Explore upcoming consultation dates and appointment details


    Upcoming TIAA Webinars

    Estate Planning Basics March 24, 9 a.m. (PT) Sign Up

    Ensuring that our assets will pass to loved ones, and causes that are near and dear is important to most of us. Discover the components of a basic estate plan and strategies to ensure that your wishes are met.

    Paying Yourself: Income Options in Retirement  April 13, 9 a.m. (PT) Sign Up
    You can learn the rules that govern retirement assets and find out when to consider using different income sources. Save time, manage your money, and feel empowered by learning and using the latest digital enhancements.

    Making it Easier for You: Online Tools and Resources April 13, 12 p.m. (PTSign Up             
    Save time, manage your money, and feel empowered by learning and using the latest digital enhancements.

    Quarterly Economic and Market Update April 14, 9 a.m. (PT) Sign Up  
    Take a closer look at our views on the financial markets, including key market drivers, U.S. economy, policy and politics, and investing in public markets. This seminar will also cover the challenges that investors face and how to navigate them.

    The Power of Saving April 14, 12 p.m. (PT) Sign Up            
    Whether you’re the kind of person that lives and spends in the now or plans for what’s ahead, there are always ways to save smarter. In this seminar, you’ll learn a number of strategies for better managing your money, so you have the knowledge and confidence to pay your bills, save for a rainy day, and achieve any larger financial goals you’ve set for yourself.

    W2W Attention to Detail: Financial Finishing Touches for Women April 15, 9 a.m. (PT) Sign Up
    Am I ready to retire? How do I know if I have enough? How do I plan my income? What should I look out for as I plan and even after I am retired? Financial success can often complicate your life and we are going to try to help you answer those questions and more.

    Making Gifts to Loved Ones and Charities April 15, 12 p.m. (PT) Sign Up 
    You can help to maximize the value of your life’s work and help to take care of your survivors and philanthropic causes with a little planning. This webinar will review basic strategies for giving to individuals and charities during your lifetime, as well as legacy planning.


    Out of the Box[er] Recognition Program

    The Out of the Box[er] Recognition Program is a way for staff to nominate their colleagues for small acts that can have big, positive implications for the university. For example, members can be nominated for actions like helping visitors navigate to their desired destinations or suggesting/implementing ideas that help save resources. 

    Eligibility/Nomination Guidelines

    • All Full-time and Part-time Staff are eligible
    • No minimum length of service is required
    • An individual can be recognized multiple times per year
    • Self-nominations will not be considered

    Nomination Process

    • Fill out the Nomination Form
    • A committee reviews all submissions
    • If the nominated employee is eligible, a recognition email is sent
    • The nominated employee has a brighter day


    Outdoor Pursuits

    The Pacific Northwest conjures up images of peaks rising above green forests, hidden coves and bays dotting the coast, and rivers that flow year round from the Cascade and Coastal Ranges. Pacific University is located right in the middle of it all.

    Whether you seek to explore our region's amazing outdoor landscapes by signing up for a coordinated day trip or would like to rent equipment for a weekend adventure on your own, Pacific University's Outdoor Pursuits can help! Equipment rentals are available to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Adventure trips are open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and also non-affiliated parties.

    Also, with an AFree Bike Association membership, anyone in the university community can gain access to a bike for a leisurely lunchtime ride through town or a quick two-wheeled cruise across campus. With the free membership, a bike can be picked up at the Outdoor Pursuits office in the Milky Way between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Visit their team there to learn more!


    Fitness & Fun

    Pacific University employees have free use of the Stoller Center, Holce Tennis Courts and the Lincoln Park Athletic Complex with a Pacific ID. 

    Stoller Center facilities include the fitness center, three-court gym, and the turf-floored fieldhouse. Check the facility website for current hours.

    The Holce Tennis Courts may be closed certain hours for tennis team practices and competitions. Normal hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but check the gates for special hours.

    The track and field at Hanson Stadium is open for public use from 6 a.m. to sunset, when not scheduled for competitions or special events. Schedules are posted at the west gate of the stadium. Chuck Bafaro Stadium (baseball) and Sherman/Larkins Stadium (softball) are limited access and must be reserved for use.

    Faculty and staff also are welcome to take part in free fitness classes and intramural competitions, such as yoga and Zumba classes or intramural basketball leagues. Find current schedules and opportunities on the Intramurals webpage.

    For Hillsboro Campus Faculty and Staff employees, the Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center in Hillsboro offers a 6 month membership for a discounted rate of $100. Please present your Boxer ID at the facility to obtain the discount.

    Each spring, students in the exercise science program at Pacific also offer Boxer Boot Camp, a one-on-one personal training service open to faculty and staff. Watch for opportunities to sign up each February. 


    Smoke-Free Workplace & Tobacco Cessation

    Smoking of any kind is prohibited on all university-owned or controlled grounds, including the Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn campuses, offices in Portland and Honolulu, and all clinic sites.

    Use of all types of tobacco products, including smokeless chew, is also prohibited at the Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn campuses and at locations in Portland.

    We support our employees' choice to live healthier lives through tobacco cessation with a number of programs:

    Employees who enroll in Kaiser Permanente healthcare have access to Freedom from Tobacco classes, phone counseling, and an online program. Coverage for medication therapy may also be available.

    Employees with Pioneer Educators Health Trust healthcare also are covered for smoking cessation programs, online resources and medication therapy as needed. 

    The Employee Assistance Program with Cascade Centers offers provides unlimited access to wellness coaches for help in making lifestyle changes, including smoking cessation. 

    Cascade Centers also has interactive online resources, such as self-assessments and informative videos, to help you kick the habit.