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Dear MBA Members: It is clear that change is once again coming to the health insurance industry. Based on discussions with senior officials in Washington D.C., ObamaCare likely will be repealed and replaced as one of the first orders of business under the new Trump administration. The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) has continued to carefully monitor and lobby for health-care reform, and we will continue to do so on behalf of our members’ interests. We are encouraged by President-elect Trump’s selection of Representative Tom Price as the Health and Human Services Secretary. Representative Price has been a leading advocate for repeal and replacement of ObamaCare and has set forth a number of replacement options for consideration by the incoming administration and Congress. Mr. Price is expected to be confirmed by the Senate. Here is a brief list of action items that the MBA has and will continue to advocate for: 

Private sector solutions to the health-care cost crisis. Representative Price’s vision for health reform hinges on eliminating much of the federal government’s role in favor of privatization, state flexibility and changes to the tax code.

Patient control over health decisions. Representative Price, under his proposed Empowering Patients First (EPF) Act, will help put patients, families and doctors in charge.

Health-care access and availability that allows for the creation of individual and small employer membership associations that will make health insurance available to their members through contracts with health insurers.

Expanded health savings accounts, tax credits for the purchase of coverage, lawsuit abuse reforms, interstate market for health insurance, as well as the repeal of mandatory coverages/flexibility in benefits.

The MBA supports the total repeal and replacement of ObamaCare and will begin discussions with insurance companies to explore exclusive options that will be most beneficial to our members. We can’t be certain when a repeal or replacement will happen, but we will continue to monitor it closely. If you have questions about the Affordable Care Act or the MBA, please contact us at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.








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GET YOUR WORKPLACE IN GOOD SHAPE Why it’s time to start moving.

COVER STORY | LOCAL PROFILE HOSPITALS FOR 5 SHRINERS CHILDREN - ERIE Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie is marking its 90th anniversary in 2017. The medical center, which has expanded its role in the Erie community, is now known as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center.




















Scott Greenwell, executive director of the Community Blood Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York, talks about the organization’s mission and how employers can get involved with corporate blood drives to help save lives.


Take a look at exclusive coverage from the Association’s fourth annual HR & Employment Law Conference to see what’s in store for 2017.


READ ON THE GO! For the most current Business Magazine updates, visit

Clearing up the confusion: How tiered and narrow networks can help control healthcare costs. Kim Cepullio



Medical marijuana in the workplace: Is your business prepared? Dominick Sisinni

ENERGY UPDATE | SOLUTIONS Executive Editor Karen Torres

Feature Photography Shriners Hospitals for Children - Erie

Contributing Writers Kim Cepullio Steve Fisher Judy Rosatti Dominick Sisinni

Additional Photography Casey Naylon


Advertising Sales David Thornburg 814/833-3200 Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc.



On the Cover: Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie is marking its 90th anniversary in 2017. The medical

center, which began as a summer cottage for children, today is known as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center. For full story, see page 5.

Mission Statement: The Manufacturer & Business

Association is dedicated to providing information and services to its members that will assist them in the pursuit of their business and community interests. – Board of Governors

Manufacturer & Business Association 2171 West 38th Street | Erie, Pa. 16508 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660

© Copyright 2017 by the Manufacturer & Business Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial, pictorial or advertisements created for use in the Business Magazine, in any manner, without written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage. The magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. The Business Magazine and Manufacturer & Business Association do not specifically endorse any of the products or practices described in the magazine. The Business Magazine is published monthly by the Manufacturer & Business Association, 2171 West 38th Street, Erie, Pa. 16508. Phone: 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

Why employers should be selective about their energy provider. Judy Rosatti

Guest columnist Steve Fisher of The DJB Group in Meadville addresses ObamaCare after the election and how the incoming administration should handle it at this time.



Learn about the the wellness solutions that can give your team a competitive edge in our 2017 Health & Fitness Guide. • FEBRUARY 2017


At Highmark, we’re dedicated to keeping the heart of your company healthy and happy. We’re here to help you find the right coverage for your employees. To connect them to the right care. And to make both of those as simple as the truth: your business is only as good as your people. Learn more at

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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


Get Your Workplace in Good Shape

WHY IT’S TIME TO START MOVING Change is hard, and instituting a workplace wellness program can be a big change for some employers and their employees. But committing to wellness in the workplace can have long-range benefits that include improved productivity and lower healthcare costs. One of the easiest ways to get started is to simply get up and start moving around.

According to recent research, sitting for long periods of time has become as bad for your health as smoking. Researchers found that sitting for hours at a desk each day can be linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. In fact, a recent American Heart Association advisory warned that sitting too much is dangerous to your health. The advisory, published in the American Heart Association journal, showed that prolonged sedentary time is bad for your heart and blood vessels even if you are physically active and exercise regularly. In order to prevent some of the health issues, researchers recommend a range of 2 to 4 hours of varied movement— standing, walking, and other activities — in a typical 8-hour day. Indeed, experts agree that the best corporate wellness programs require a

change in mindset. Consistent affirmation from leadership that employees can do things like take their breaks, have walking meetings, participate in health challenges, get up from their desk, move around, and order and bring healthy options for meetings and events, can help. In fact, in this edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll explore some of the many health-care and wellness resources that are available in the Association’s membership region, and those that have been here for a long time, such as the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie. Now known as the Shriners Hospitals for Children ­— Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center, the medical center is marking its 90th anniversary in 2017 by providing renowned pediatric orthopaedic/ neuromuscular medical care.

We’ll also talk with Scott Greenwell of the Community Blood Bank on corporate blood donation drives, and the benefits to employers and employees and the community at large. Also, be sure to check out this month’s On the Hill by guest columnist Steve Fisher on the questions about ObamaCare after the election. The article offers insights into what may be ahead for 2017 and what recommendations can help get it right. For the latest updates on the Affordable Care Act or any insurance or workplace health and safety matters, visit the Association’s website at!

Resolve for a Healthy Workplace in 2017! • FEBRUARY 2017



ERIE MEDICAL CENTER CELEBRATES 90 YEARS Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania is a beacon for children in need of pediatric orthopaedic/neuromuscular medical care. In 2017, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie will celebrate 90 years of caring for kids. Indeed, one only has to look at the Erie medical center’s rich past to understand why its staff and patients are looking forward to an exciting future.

Where It Began

“Sunshine Valley Camp” is where the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie story begins. In the summer of 1924, a cottage was built to treat 12 children to a summer of sunshine, good food and physical therapy. The evolution from a summer cottage for 12 to a state-of-theart, pediatric orthopaedic health-care facility, complete with surgical services and a residency program, has spanned a period of 90 years. Those years of birth, growth and change began with a suggestion from a young Erie woman, Elizabeth Milne, which was acted on by local Shriners in the same spirit that prevails among them today. The success of that first summer greatly enthused the Nobility of Zem Zem Temple and at a Ceremonial held October 30, 1924, Noble Isador Sobel introduced a resolution to “build and maintain a convalescent home for crippled children.” After the Temple unanimously adopted the resolution, construction began in October 1925 under the Potentate of Zem Zem Temple, Emil E. Knobloch. A completed “Zem Zem Hospital for Crippled Children” was The Erie location is one of 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children across North America offering specialized, intensive treatment to children.

dedicated on June 26, 1927. The original hospital had 48 beds and treated children from nine counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. “Those first years saw cases of polio, tuberculosis and hip dislocation,” says Administrator Mary Jane Antoon. “The hospital was especially busy during the early 1950s with as many as 60 polio patients being cared for at one time.” As the incidence of polio and tuberculosis decreased, the focus of the hospital’s treatment program broadened and shifted to meet the needs of other children in the area. To this end, in 1967, the Zem Zem Hospital joined the national network of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

New Era

As medical treatment protocols and the needs of its patients changed, the leadership at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie made the decision to transition the facility from an inpatient hospital to a multi-faceted ambulatory medical center. On April 24, 2012, while remaining part of the Shriners Hospitals for Children system, the facility became known as the Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center. “The Erie medical center is the first facility in the Shriners Hospitals for Children system to undergo this transformation and is serving as a model for other Shriners hospitals that will be making this same transition in the next few years,” Antoon explains. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center continues to provide the best pediatric orthopaedic/neuromuscular medical care available. Currently, the medical center serves thousands of children from six states (New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and Michigan) and the Province of Ontario with medical services delivered regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

Mary Jane Antoon, MSN, RN, Administrator

Throughout its history, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie has helped children with complex orthopaedic conditions defy the odds and lead healthy, prosperous lives. “The ‘Sunshine Valley Camp’ has come a long way,” notes Antoon, “but the vision ‘to transform children’s lives by providing exceptional health care,’ has not wavered.”

About Shriners Hospitals for Children Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. A network of 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provides advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. About Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie Since opening its doors in 1927, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Erie has been providing specialized pediatric orthopaedic medical care to children regardless of the patient’s/family’s ability to pay. The medical center serves children from six states and Ontario. Location: 1645 West 8th Street Erie, PA 16505 Phone: 814/875-8700 Website: • FEBRUARY 2017



How Corporate Blood Donation Drives Are Saving Lives Giving blood saves an estimated 4.5 million people each year, yet fewer than one out of every 10 people in the United States donate. To help fill this gap, many employers have been crucial in ensuring regular contributions to blood banks by making the workplace available for donations. Here, Scott Greenwell, executive director of the Community Blood Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York, talks about the organization’s mission and how employers can get involved. The Community Blood Bank was

to donate. The federal laws administered

Employers can contact our director of donor

established as nonprofit organization in

through the FDA and state health departments

services, Deanna Renaud at 814/456-4206 or

1966 to connect donors to patients who are

are as stringent to ensure the safety of blood to learn more.

in need of life-sustaining blood products

donors as they are to ensure the safety of the

in the communities it serves. What is the

hospital patient receiving the blood transfusion.

demand for blood donations in our region and what kind of difference can a single donation make? The need is constant and never goes away. It is a perishable product that must be used relatively soon after it’s donated, which explains why we must constantly ask for your blood donations to meet the needs of the trauma centers, emergency rooms and everywhere

What are some of the health benefits to donors?

We will take care of all of the details and walk drive is a success.

constantly being tested for infectious diseases, such as the Zika virus, and when donating

Is there anything you would like to add?

regularly every two months, we are monitoring

Definitely. There is no substitute for blood

your health status on a routine and

anywhere on the research and development

frequent basis.

horizon. It is unlikely we will see any form

How can employers partner with the

each blood donation into three or four different

Blood Bank?

different patients.

hosting a drive?

them through the process to ensure their blood

Donating blood regularly means you are

else doctors need blood to save lives. We divide components because each is so important to

What should employers know before

of artificial blood in the next few decades. Volunteering to donate blood can be a vital and important means of giving back or paying

We work with many organizations and

it forward for any individual, group, family,

employers — large, medium and small — and

organization or business to fulfill the need we all

How safe is donating blood? What is

tailor blood drives to meet their need to fulfill a

have to believe we’re giving more to the world

involved in the screening process and

mission of volunteerism and giving back to the

than we are taking. Not everyone can donate

donation time?

community throughout Northwest Pennsylvania

money or has spare hours to devote toward

and even Western New York. We need new

volunteerism but donating blood regularly costs

employers to host blood drives to help us meet

nothing and will literally save another’s life.

Donating blood is completely safe. All potential blood donors are given a thorough health history examination and tested for an adequate level of hemoglobin to ensure they are eligible

the constant demand for blood and blood products in our local area community hospitals. • FEBRUARY 2017


Erie FCU provides business banking solutions that are designed for your profit instead of ours. We are owned by our members and operate for our members’ benefit. That means we do banking differently than banks do. Let us help you make every dollar go further keeping you one step ahead with low rates, innovative products and personal attention. Isn’t it time to get your business headed in the right direction? Learn more, contact Kristi Bailey, Director of Business Development (814) 825-2436 • •

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Clearing Up The Confusion: How to Use Tiered and Narrow Networks to Control Health-Care Costs

1) Does the network encourage improved patient outcomes? The main objective of tiered or narrow networks is to lower costs for employers and members. Some plans also seek to improve patient outcomes by incentivizing its preferred providers to provide coordinated care and achieve certain quality metrics. For example, a shared saving arrangement ties provider payment amounts to the ability to stay within budget while meeting quality standards. 2) Is there an adequate pool of providers for the patient population? Normally this isn’t a problem, but employers need to be careful here. For example, some narrow networks offered by some insurers may not include providers who offer highly specialized care. For some patients, especially those with complex health conditions, such restrictions can be problematic.

Kimberly Cepullio is the vice president of Sales, Account Manangement and Product Development for UPMC Health Plan, which is an affiliate company of the UPMC Insurance Services Division. The other integrated partner companies of the Insurance Services Division include: UPMC WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You Advantage, UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health, LifeSolutions, EBenefit Solutions, and Askesis Development Group. If you’re an employer, chances are you’re looking for ways to control health-care costs, yet still provide high-quality coverage to your employees. Health insurance plans with restricted networks are becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to curb rising employee premium costs. When done right, they can save money without sacrificing quality. However, limited networks can confuse even the most astute employer — not to mention employees. Here are some questions to ask as you weigh the choices for your health plan: What’s the difference between narrow networks and tiered networks? In a narrow network, a health insurance carrier contracts with select doctors and hospitals that charge lower prices or have a track record of quality. By steering a greater volume of business to these providers, insurers can negotiate lower prices. The savings are passed on to employers and their

employees in the form of lower premiums. The tradeoff for lower premiums is less choice for members. A variation of the narrow network is a tiered network, which offers a potential compromise. In this plan design, members have access to a broad network of providers. Within this broad network, health-care providers are ranked based on cost — and quality. Differing cost-sharing arrangements drive members toward certain providers. Members have the lowest cost share when they receive care from Level One providers. Their out-of-pocket costs are higher when they see providers in other levels. This type of plan lets your employees decide whether to incur higher costs to see their preferred provider, or have a lower cost share and see the network’s preferred providers. What kinds of questions should employers be asking when considering narrow networks?

3) How well do your employees understand their options? Many members choose a plan with a narrow network because of the lower premiums. People may not understand the tradeoff between choice and price. Make sure your insurer has a communication plan to explain what it means to choose a narrow network. Before committing to a plan, employees should be able to search for doctors in the network they’re considering to see if their doctor accepts that plan. In general, including a tiered network plan among your insurance offerings to your employees is a smart move. It incentivizes employees to seek medical care at preferred or low-cost tiers. That’s a good thing for them and for you. The key is to not limit the employee’s ability to get the care he or she needs from the provider that is in the best position to provide that care. Therefore, it is especially important that employees with unusual or complex medical conditions take extra care when it’s time to select a tiered plan. Once they choose their plan, their complex condition may force them to pay a higher cost to have that condition treated at a non-preferred provider. Again, this is why communication is key to making wise choices. For more information about tiered and narrow networks, visit • FEBRUARY 2017



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Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: Is Your Business Prepared?

LEGAL BRIEF | LEGISLATION Importantly for employers, the Law places certified medical marijuana users in a “protected class” by declaring “no employer may discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee … solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” Since employers violating the Law’s antidiscrimination provision are subject to a $10,000 fine for each violation, now is the time for employers to ensure their policies are in conformity with the Law. How Can Employers Prepare? • Update job applications and interview questions. Since the Law prohibits employers from discriminating against those who use medical marijuana, in job interviews and job applications, employers should avoid asking questions about medical marijuana use. • Modify drug-testing policies. While nothing in the text of the Law specifically precludes employers from drug testing employees (both pre-hire tests and ongoing, random tests for current employees), employers must develop a plan whereby those testing positive for marijuana are able to avoid adverse consequences by demonstrating that their positive test results are due to their certified use of medical marijuana.

Dominick Sisinni is an associate with MacDonald Illig where he is a member of the Firm’s Business Transactions, Real Estate and Banking, and Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Groups. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Gannon University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School. By now, many have heard that medical marijuana has been legalized in Pennsylvania. While medical marijuana has generated much chatter, it hasn’t yet affected the average Pennsylvanian since the law has not been fully implemented. By 2018, however, the state expects that medical marijuana will begin being commercially dispensed to those who need it. This will not only be a “game changer”

for those who will receive medical marijuana, but for employers, as well. The Medical Marijuana Law in Sum The Medical Marijuana Law (Law) establishes a system for individuals suffering from a covered “serious medical condition” to obtain medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The covered “serious medical conditions” include the following: cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, MS, intractable spasticity, epilepsy, IBS, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease, Crohn’s disease, PTSD, intractable seizures, glaucoma, sickle cell anemia, chronic pain of neuropathic origin not responsive to traditional treatments, and autism. Under the Law, an individual suffering from one of these “serious medical conditions” can receive a “certification” from his physician indicating that he is eligible to receive medical marijuana. This “certification” will permit the individual to receive medical marijuana at a licensed dispensary. Dispensaries may only dispense medical marijuana to individuals in the following forms: pill, oil, topical forms, tincture, liquid, or a form able to be administered by vaporization/nebulization. Notably, the Law prohibits medical marijuana in “dry” or “leaf” form that can be smoked.

• Review job descriptions. The Law permits employers to discipline employees for working while under the influence of medical marijuana “when the employee’s conduct falls below the standard of care normally accepted for that position.” Accordingly, to the extent possible, employers should update their job descriptions to explicitly reference the standard of care a given position requires. • Follow federal regulations. To the extent your business is subject to any set of federal regulations (e.g., Department of Transportation Regulations requiring zero tolerance for drug use), you must follow them. The Medical Marijuana Law expressly recognizes this fact and imposes no penalty on employers for following existing federal regulations. • No duty to permit employees to use medical marijuana at work. The Law does not require employers to provide accommodations for employees to use/ administer medical marijuana on their premises. The Law further permits employers to discipline employees “for being under the influence in the workplace.” These are just a few ways that employers can prepare for the full implementation of the Medical Marijuana Law. Employers should continue to monitor this evolving area as new administrative regulations are issued. If you have any questions about the Medical Marijuana Law and its impact on your business, contact Dominick Sisinni at MacDonald Illig at 814/870-7764 or • FEBRUARY 2017



UPMC Hamot officials recently announced that they will begin construction on the largest project in the hospital’s 135-year history and continue to build on the promise to deliver world-class health care to the Erie region. “Our new $111 million patient care tower will transform the landscape of health care in Erie and will accommodate increasing patient volumes and demand for our services,” said Jim Fiorenzo, president of UPMC Hamot. “This expansion project, known as Project 20/20, reflects our continued commitment to our patients, our employees and our community.” The seven-story, 177,000 square-foot building will be located at the site of the current Professional Building at 104 East Second Street, situated between the main hospital and MageeWomens, UPMC Hamot. The project will include accommodations for 64 ICU beds, an expansion of the current imaging department, upgrades to the central plant and shell space for the campus master plan. “When the new facility is complete, UPMC’s investment in UPMC Hamot will have exceeded $300 million in capital and physician recruitment since our affiliation in 2011,” said David Gibbons, chief operating officer for UPMC Hamot. “Presently, 30 percent of our patients live outside of Erie County. It’s important that our plans include future growth projections as that number will only increase as we expand our services and specialties.” Offices in the Professional Building will be relocated, and construction is scheduled to start on the new facility in early 2018. A completion date of late 2020 is expected. The announcement comes on the heels of a new affiliation with WCA in Jamestown, New York, now known as UPMC Chautauqua WCA, the first hospital outside of Pennsylvania to join the UPMC network; and the final approval of an adult kidney transplant program making UPMC Hamot the only hospital in the region to perform transplants. UPMC Hamot also recently expanded its new OB/ GYN services with the opening of its third MageeWomens Specialty Center on West Ridge Road. For more information, visit

UPMC Hamot is embarking on an expansion project known as Project 20/20 that includes a multimillion-dollar patient care tower. ERIE INSURANCE TO BEGIN $135 MILLION BUILDING PROJECT Executives of Erie Indemnity Company recently announced the construction of a new office building on the Erie Insurance Home Office campus in downtown Erie. The 346,000-square-foot building will be located on East Sixth Street next to the historic Erie Insurance Heritage Center and extending to East Seventh and French Streets. Total building and related project costs are estimated to be $135 million. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017, lasting about three years. The LEED-certified, environmentally friendly building will have four larger floors and three, smaller tower floors. It will be the largest building on ERIE’s campus, housing up to 1,200 employees. For more information, visit SAINT VINCENT CORPORATE MEDICINE PROGRAM ASSISTS EMPLOYERS According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), employee wellness programs offer a solid return on investment. HBR reported that Johnson & Johnson saved $250 million on health-care costs over a six-year period, netting $2.71 for every dollar spent on employee health. Acording to Allegheny Health Network, Saint Vincent Corporate Medicine and Occupational Health programs have engaged thousands of large and small employers in Erie, Crawford, Venango, Warren and McKean counties and in western New York. Services include: Corporate Medicine — biometric screenings, preventive exams, school and sports physicals, health fairs, health screenings, onsite dietician services, vaccinations, and Lunch and Learn programs. Occupational Medicine — pre-employment and DOT physicalls, fitness for duty and return-to-work exams, DOT and non-DOT drug and alcohol testings, respirator and asbestos surveillance physicals, worker’s compensation injury care and management, and testing



and screenings, including hearing, vision, lung function, X-rays and EKGs. The Corporate Medicine program also offers the Saint Vincent Mobile Medical Unit, a 40-foot medical office on wheels. To learn more, contact Sueann Wiest, Corporate Client Liaison at 814/452-5264 or NIAGARA THERAPY, LLC MOVING TO NEW LOCATION Niagara Therapy, LLC is moving to a new location in the Erie area. The offices will be located at 2631 West 8th Street in Millcreek Township across from Colony Plaza. The new location will double the space to offer services to more clients. One significant addition to the location will be a Wellness Center that is fully accessible and therapy treatment hours until 7 p.m. Niagara Therapy offers a full therapy team of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech services for adults and children. The practice specializes in neurological disorders, including stroke, autism/PDD, parkinson’s, ADD/ ADHD, multiple sclerosis, sensory processing disorder and more. For more information, see their ad on page 21 or visit

The new home of Niagara Therapy, LLC is located on West 8th Street across from Colony Plaza.


TWO NEW PROVIDERS JOIN TRI-STATE PAIN INSTITUTE Tri-State Pain Institute, the region’s premier pain management center, recently welcomed physician assistant Brook Kramer and physical therapist Beth Knight to their staff.

NORTHWEST APPOINTS ASSISTANT VP OF BUSINESS BANKING Luke Davidoff has been named assistant vice president and business banking relationship manager of Northwest bank.

Licensed in Pennsylvania, Kramer has significant experience in spine and pain management and orthopedics. Kramer’s background includes work for the Trauma/General Surgery Department at UPMC Hamot, Great Lakes Neurosurgery, The Regional Cancer Center and Erie Spine and Pain Management. She earned her master’s degree as a physician assistant at Gannon University. Certified in both the McKenzie method and Graston Technique, Beth Knight offers significant expertise in manual physical therapy techniques and the treatment of shoulder, knee and hip problems. She also has specialized training in golf rehabilitation. Knight has more than 20 years of experience and works closely with physicians in pain management, orthopedics and sports medicine. She earned her doctorate in physical therapy from Utica College after completing her graduate and undergraduate degrees at Gannon University and Michigan State University, respectively.

Davidoff will assist customers with their business goals, loans, cash management and other financial needs. He has more than 25 years of experience in banking and financial services, including as manager and small business lender for Northwest. He attended Gannon University and completed his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.


Davidoff also is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association Advanced School of Banking at Bucknell University.

Journey Health System, the support corporation of Stairways Behavioral Health, named Craig Moffatt as its new chief financial officer. Moffatt replaced Tom Kirkwood, who retired after 31 years serving as CFO for Journey Health and Stairways Behavioral Health. He oversees all financial operations for the support corporation as well as the affiliates: Beacon Light Behavioral Health System, Beacon Light Adult Residential Services, Forest/ Warren Mental Wellness Association, and Stairways Behavioral Health. Moffatt joined the system with more than 30 years of financial experience in the private sector and nonprofit arenas.



Niagara Therapy, LLC recently announced several additions to its therapy team in Erie. Kiley Mier has joined the practice as a full-time occupational therapist. Mier is a recent graduate of Gannon University where she earned a BS/MS in occupational therapy. She completed her graduate fieldwork at Niagara Therapy, and she will be starting a Dementia Reminisces-Based treatment protocol there. Occupational therapist Megan McLoughlin joins Niagara Therapy, LLC from the Boston area. She is a graduate of Tufts University, where she studied the relationship between the student and the clinical performance. McLoughlin has significant experience with the pediatric population with numerous diagnoses. She has been the lead coordinator for now offering Niagara Therapy, LLC services in the Fairview Elementary School to improve accessibility for children in the Fairview area.

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Tammy Riccardi, a well-regarded speech language pathologist in the Erie community, also has joined the practice. She is a valued expert in the areas of communication, speech and swallowing. She will not only bring her strong clinical background to Niagara Therapy, but also the only outpatient site to currently offer PROMPT therapy in Erie. PROMPT is a highly specialized technique that Riccardi has been trained in to improve oral motor production.


Joe Holody

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814.454.1000 x 126 VisitErie major sponsors: • FEBRUARY 2017


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CO M PAN Y PR O FIL E Domestic Violence Affects Your Bottom Line

If an employee is being victimized by a significant other at home, you might not realize how this affects their work life, their job performance, and ultimately your bottom line. The cost to employers is high. Eight million days of paid work are lost each year because of domestic violence according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study. This is the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs or an estimated $727.8 million.

Among employed adults, one in five experiences domestic violence. That could be 20 percent of your workforce! In addition to missed days, tardiness, and impaired performance that affects both victims and the abusers, victims often experience health issues, seemingly unrelated to physical injury (migraines, stomach issues, depression etc.).

SafeNet provides counseling and outreach, civil legal representation, a program for children, emergency shelter and transitional housing. All services are free and confidential and the hotline operates 24/7.

But the good news is employers can increase workplace safety and productivity by learning to recognize warning signs and then referring employees for assistance. SafeNet is a certified domestic violence services provider offering a comprehensive range of services.

Training is available for managers and supervisors to help them better understand intimate partner violence and make appropriate referrals. For information or training, call 814/455-1774 Ext. 0 or visit For SafeNet’s 24/7 hotline assistance, call 814/454-8161.

Life is Better at Westlake Woods W hen your loved one requires

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Empower Your Business! Be Selective About Your Energy Provider

increase!”When the PTC is down, the calls will sound something like, “Rates have gone down. You are entitled to a lower rate, and we just want to be sure you are receiving it.” Some may even offer rebates. Beware of rebates; they require participation for 12 months and, during that time, will increase your monthly rate to supplement that so-called rebate. All approaches are marketing techniques. How Can You Protect Your Business? Here are some simple steps that can help: 1.) Do not provide any specific information and never say “yes” over the phone. Most calls are recorded; any yes can be used as authorization to switch an account. Even an innocent confirmation of your account number can be considered a verbal commitment.

Judy Rosatti is the manager of MBA EnergyAdvisors, an affiliate of the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA). She has an abundance of consulting experience assisting a variety of businesses in reducing their costs and increasing their bottom line for the past 25 years. You may have noticed a sudden spike in the number of electricity calls you are getting at your place of business. Why? Recently, several laws and regulations in neighboring New York state have limited such solicitation, and these suppliers/ brokers — which number more than 300 in Pennsylvania — are turning their

attention to the Keystone State and your business. Buyer Beware Many of these callers speak fast and are highly skilled at what they do — selling electricity programs. Many will lead you to believe they are with the utility and that they are not changing your service. Indeed, your “service,” the word they use for distribution, will not change. However, they do want to change your supplier. Much of your information is already available to these callers. They will use this material to make it sound like they already know your account — a formality to be sure you are getting the best rate. When the “Price to Compare” (PTC) is increasing, many of these callers use scare tactics that sound something like, “Rates are increasing by X percent. You need to lock into a rate now to avoid this

2.) Know who your supplier is presently. Be sure you know and understand your current contract, terms and price. Many callers want you to believe they know your contract terms. They will tell you most suppliers do not have penalties for early termination and can trick you into early cancellation. Most suppliers do have early termination clauses, which can cost you significant early termination fees. 3.) Ask for everything in writing. Review all documentation. Know what is and is not included in your rate and ask for a second set of eyes to examine any contract before signing. Remember the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it often is. You can save your business a lot of headache by empowering yourself and being selective about your energy provider. To learn more about how EnergyAdvisors can help you, contact Judy Rosatti at or 814/833-3200. • FEBRUARY 2017



ObamaCare After the Election — What Now? Steve Fisher is an insurance agent at The DJB Group in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The DJB Group specializes in all lines of insurance including individual, group and property & casualty insurance. The DJB Group is a full-service agency representing all of the major carriers in our region. You can contact Steve at 814/724-1516 or On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Since then, there have been many changes and delays to the law. So what can we expect from a new president who campaigned on a promise to fully repeal and replace what has become known as ObamaCare. How will this be done — and when? Many believe this is an easy thing to fix, and that the new president can simply say he is ending ObamaCare and everyone can go back to the insurance they used to have. The only problem is that the carriers have invested millions of dollars into complying with the new law and can’t just flip a switch to bring the old plans back. There are parts of the law that carriers have agreed with, such as covering preventive care and covering children up to age 26 (although some do not feel children should be covered if they are married before 26). However, many other parts of the law need to be removed or fixed. This is obvious by the horrendous rate increases that we have been experiencing — along with a reduction in benefits. ObamaCare was created out of a sense of urgency by President Obama to get a health plan established during his first term. Instead of working with providers, carriers, employers, etc. to create a plan that made economic sense, we were sold a bill of goods that most



believed could not work. This has proven to be the case.

so they would need to make cuts elsewhere to remain tax neutral.

So what can be done at this time?

We hear that we need to allow carriers to sell across state lines in order to create competition. This may not be the answer, as there are many questions that would need to be considered. Each state currently has its own Insurance Commissioner — would we turn this control over to the federal level? Each state has its own mandates — how would out-ofstate carriers abide by these? Many of our local providers are now owned by carriers — why would they give comparable discounts to an out-ofstate carrier with no market share?

The new administration needs to take time to get it right and not simply rush to repeal ObamaCare. Far too many people are now enrolled in the system under individual plans, or employersponsored ACA plans. We need to bring all vested parties together to evaluate what will and won’t work. In the meantime, there are some steps that the new administration can take to stop the bleeding of ObamaCare. For example, they can end the employer mandate and return fulltime status to those working 40 hours per week. This would allow employers to end the need to track “variable” employees using measurement and stability periods. The individual mandate could also be eliminated. Of course, by doing this, the government would be losing tax revenue from the fines, and those revenues are needed to fund other parts of ObamaCare (i.e. individual subsidies). Another recommendation would be to allow Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for all plans — not just qualified high-deductible plans — allowing all individuals to establish a savings account to pay for medical bills. The argument from D.C. on this position is that the government would lose tax revenue as more people participate,

The major concern should be regarding what will happen to rates if nothing changes and everyone is forced into an ACA plan after 2017. Yes, some (very few) employers have saved money enrolling in an ACAbased plan. However, the majority of employers will be looking at rate increases of 60 percent to 100 percent or more when forced into the ACA plans — with many receiving a reduction in benefits. And, these will be aged-based rates with older employees paying up to three times what the younger employees will pay. How will employers maintain reasonable employee contributions when this happens? This is why we need to at least see a delay in forcing employers into ACA plans. Yes, we need to fix ObamaCare, but let’s take the time to do it right.

HR CONNECTION | WORKPLACE TRENDS STUDY LINKS WORKPLACE WELLNESS, MENTAL HEALTH New research conducted by UCLA researchers has found a correlation between effective workplace wellness program on employees’ mental health. The data was provided by 281 participants in the school’s Bruin Health Improvement Program. “This was the first study of a workplace wellness program that showed a clear link between improvement in physical health and improvements in mental health, quality of life, stress and energy,” said Dr. David Merrill, a UCLA assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and a co-author of the study in a statement. “Participants reported improved feelings of calm, social satisfaction, ability to cope with stress, and an overall sense of wellbeing. They also reported improvement in their energy levels and better productivity at work.”

How to Set Up a Wellness Plan for Your Workplace Workplace wellness doesn’t have to mean onsite gyms and in-house personal trainers. Small companies may be able to encourage healthy living without spending a lot of time and money. Many employers report that healthier employees show up to work more often and are more productive. Wellness programs should excite and encourage employees, not threaten them. Having the right attitude and getting everyone involved in a positive way is a good first step, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. In fact, here are a few tips for small companies that want to get started with wellness at work: 1.) Clean out the vending machines. Strip out the cookies and candy bars, and replace them with healthier snacks such as granola bars and reduced-fat or low-calorie treats. 2.) Invest in pedometers. For just a few dollars each, you can buy pedometers for your employees. Pass them out and

Throughout the study, volunteers were asked to report stress levels based on a “Perceived Stress Level” to determine to what degree they felt their lives were “unpredictable, uncontrollable and overwhelming” as they participated in the 12-week program. Researchers found that at the conclusion of the 12-week program, mental health improved by nearly 19 percentile points, compared to baseline levels measured at the beginning of the fitness program.

encourage staffers to keep track of the number of daily steps, walking a few extra each day. You can even start a walking competition at work. 3.) Give employees fast-food facts. Did you know that a Whopper with cheese packs 770 calories and 48 grams of fat? Your employees might not know, either. Create a pocket guide to help employees make informed decisions for themselves and their families when they run through the drive-thru window after work or at lunch.

TAKE TIME TO PREP FOR WINTER WORKPLACE HAZARDS According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slips, trips and falls rank as the second leading cause of general industry workplace accidents and account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. Such accidents also can result in significant business costs associated with lost productivity, replacement employee costs, overtime for existing employees and increased workers’ compensation costs.

4.) Offer health-risk assessments. Employees who complete assessments may find risk factors and then be able to take steps to head off health threats. Your insurance company or a third-party vendor may be able to provide personal online assessments based on a user’s family health history, eating habits and physical activity. Be sure to make assessments voluntary and confidential, and assure employees that the results won’t be shared with anyone.

A recent article in The Business Times, suggests that employers can help prevent such accidents by preparing their facilities in these ways: 1.) Formulate a snow and ice removal plan. Make sure your maintenance staff or vendors clear snow and melt ice quickly. 2.) Continuously check for hazards in parking lots and sidewalks. Many falls occur when people come and go from their vehicles. 3.) Ensure adequate lighting covers parking lots and sidewalks at night to improve visibility of possible hazards. 4.) Know which areas have historically presented the biggest problems and address them well ahead of time.

Melissa Damico is manager of Client Services for the Manufacturer & Business Association Insurance Agency (MBAIA) and a licensed insurance agent. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or

5.) Keep indoor entrances dry with a floor fan or beveled floor mats and clean up puddles quickly. Use wet floor signs to caution people to slow down. • FEBRUARY 2017


HR Q&A | GET ANSWERS IF WELLNESS PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS ALREADY GET A NOTICE UNDER THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPAA), DO THEY NEED TO GET A SEPARATE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) NOTICE? New rules published in May 2016, under the ADA require employers who offer wellness programs that collect employee health information to provide a notice to employees informing them what information will be collected, how it will be used, who will receive it, and what will be done to keep it confidential. Wellness programs often gather health information through voluntary health risk assessments (HRAs) or voluntary biometric screenings that include medical examinations (such as tests to detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes).

How GINA Impacts Workplace Wellness

Employers that already provide a notice that informs employees what information will be collected, who will receive it, how it will be used, and how it will be kept confidential, may not have to provide a separate notice under the ADA. However, if an existing notice does not provide all of this information, or if it is not easily understood by employees, then employers must provide a separate ADA notice that sets forth this information in a manner that is reasonably likely to be understood by employees.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), passed in 2008, is intended to prohibit employers from using an applicant’s or employee’s genetic information as the basis for making employment decisions, setting premiums for group health insurance or providing other privileges of employment. GINA also requires employers to refrain from asking employees to provide genetic information and to keep confidential any genetic information that they happen to acquire. In order for genetic information obtained through wellness programs to conform with Title II regulations, employees are to provide their genetic information on a voluntary basis. This means the employer neither requires employees to provide information nor penalizes those who do not.


Employees must also voluntarily provide prior written authorization for employers to collect their genetic information. The form employers use for such an authorization must also meet certain requirements:

Aside from the requirement for a standardsbased program that you keep rewards to no more than 30 percent of the employee-only premium, you may implement rewards as you see fit. Studies have shown that employees in wellness programs are most motivated by gift cards, insurance premium reductions and cash awards.

1. It should be written so that the individual is likely to understand it; 2. It must describe the type of genetic information that will be obtained and the general purposes for which it will be used; and 3. It must describe the restrictions on disclosure of genetic information and the safeguards in place for ensuring its confidentiality. This authorization may be made electronically, as long as it is functionally equivalent to a written authorization.

Any fringe benefit you provide is taxable and must be included in the employee’s pay unless the law specifically excludes it. A de minimis benefit is any property or service you provide to an employee that has so little value that accounting for it would be unreasonable or administratively impracticable. Items of de minimis value could include a badge, coffee, doughnuts, etc. Cash and cash equivalent fringe benefits (for example, a gift card or savings bond) — no matter how small the amount — are never excludable as a de minimis benefit and are always taxable. Non-cash awards that are not of de minimis value generally must be included as income at their fair market value. Fair market value is considered the amount an employee would have to pay a third party for the benefit.



Individually identifiable genetic information should be provided only to the employee, or the employee’s family member if the family member is receiving genetic services. Additionally, the licensed health-care professionals or board-certified genetic counselors involved in providing such services may also receive the information. It should not be accessible to supervisors or anyone else in the workplace.

Stacey Bruce is the director of HR Services at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or

EVENTS & EXTRAS | NETWORKING & MORE Human resource professionals from around the region came together for a full day of thought-provoking presentations and networking opportunities during the Manufacturer & Business Association’s (MBA) fourth annual Human Resources & Employment Law Conference on October 21, 2016 at the Association’s Conference Center in Erie. Sponsors included: the Manufacturer & Business Association, ECCA Payroll and Business Solutions, Erie Times-News and, Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency, Securian, UPMC Health Plan, Waddell & Reed/Nationwide and Widget Financial. To view photos of the event, visit

HR professionals were welcomed to this year’s annual HR & Employment Law Conference held on October 21, 2016. This year’s conference is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 2017. possible thanks The 2016 conference was made sors. to the generous support of its spon

Scott Warrick, JD, MLHR, CEQC , SHRM -SCP, one of Business First Magazine’s “20 People to Know in HR” spoke about the “7 Myth s and 7 Skills of Strategic HR.”

Nearly 70 participants registered for the 2016 conference in Erie.

Miller from MacDonald Attorneys John Persinger and Dan tes on employment law. Illig Attorneys shared some upda

MBA Training Specialists Lisa DeFilippo and Tracy Daggett discuss generational challenges in the workplace as part of their dynamic presentation, “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation.”

Michael Parkinson, M.D., senior director overseeing employer health and productivity strategies for UPMC Health Plan and WorkPartners, shares some key information on total worker health using an Employer Health and Productivity Roadmap.

The Leslie West, HR administrator at winner of Resource Center, was the lucky the grand prize raffle drawing. • FEBRUARY 2017


2017 Health & Fitness Guide The new year is a good time for employers and their

employees to focus on wellness and fitness solutions that can help lower health-care costs while improving overall health. Here are some options that you may want to consider to give yourself and your team a healthy and competitive edge:


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Full in-network access to UPMC. Another reason we’re the fastest growing health plan in the region. You and your family deserve only the best care. So when your employer gives you a choice of health plans, choose the one that includes full, affordable access to the top-ranked care of UPMC doctors and hospitals, plus other exceptional doctors and hospitals in your community.

To learn why more and more people are choosing UPMC Health Plan, visit

Chadwick Martin Bailey, January 2016 Nondiscrimination Statement UPMC Health Plan1 complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. 1 UPMC Health Plan is the marketing name used to refer to the following companies, which are licensed to issue individual and group health insurance products or which provide third party administration services for group health plans: UPMC Health Network Inc., UPMC Health Options Inc., UPMC Health Coverage Inc., UPMC Health Plan Inc., UPMC Health Benefits Inc., UPMC for You Inc., and/or UPMC Benefit Management Services Inc.

Translation Services ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-855-869-7228 (TTY: 1-800-361-2629). 注意:如果您使用繁體中文 ,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務 。請致電 1-855-869-7228(TTY) 1-800-361-2629) 。

February 2017 Business Magazine  

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie is marking its 90th anniversary in 2017. The medical center, which has expanded its role in the Erie...

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