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Work/Life Event Focuses on Community Resources

By Eddy Ball
September 2009

Gathered at the AoLS table are, left to right, Page Myers, Durham Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull, Gina Goulding, Dick Sloane in back, Page Myers and Laura Miller DeGraff.
Gathered at the AoLS table are, left to right, Page Myers, Durham Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull, Gina Goulding, Dick Sloane in back, Paula Brown and Laura Miller DeGraff. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

As the Festival wound down, left to right, organizer Dona McNeill took a breather with Gerard and Juanita Roman.
As the Festival wound down, left to right, organizer Dona McNeill took a breather with Gerard and Juanita Roman. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

For Intern Jenn Evans, above, the Festival was the culmination of her summer's work at NIEHS. Evans is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Human Development and Family Studies.
For Intern Jenn Evans, above, the Festival was the culmination of her summer's work at NIEHS. Evans is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Left to right, Summers of Discovery interns Alan Chin, Patrick Li and Wayneho Kam dropped by to check out the Festival scene.
Left to right, Summers of Discovery interns Alan Chin, Patrick Li and Wayneho Kam dropped by to check out the Festival scene. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) employees Laura Hall, left, and Myra Westmoreland talked at the OCPL display.
NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) employees Laura Hall, left, and Myra Westmoreland talked at the OCPL display.
(Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS held its most recent Work/Life event on August 6 with a mid-day Community Resources Festival in Rodbell Auditorium. Representatives of NIEHS and local organizations staffed some 22 tables, handing out snacks, freebees and information as employees and contractors browsed, talked and asked questions.

While several of the displayers were veterans of earlier Work/Life events, the NIEHS Employee Services staff brought in some new people to introduce employees and contractors to lesser known homegrown support programs and educational opportunities in the Triangle. These included A Place for Mom (http://www.aplaceformom.com/) Exit NIEHS, a clearinghouse for information about assisted care options; Cornucopia House (http://www.cornucopiahouse.org/) Exit NIEHS, a cancer support center in Chapel Hill; and the North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/lbph/Lbph.htm) Exit NIEHS, a special public library for people who cannot use regular printed materials.

Also new to the Work/Life circuit was the NIEHS Assembly of Laboratory Staff (AoLS) Assembly of Laboratory Staff (AoLS), an organization started earlier this year to represent the interests of lab technical employees. AoLS joined other NIEHS organizations at the festival, including the Quality Council, the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Health and Safety Branch, Diversity Council, Disability Advocacy Committee and American Federation of Government Employees Local 2923.

Doing their part to support the theme of balancing work and life were representatives of educational and entertainment groups that were new to NIEHS, such as the North Carolina Museum of History (http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/) Exit NIEHS and Sarah B. Duke Gardens (http://www.hr.duke.edu/dukegardens/) Exit NIEHS. A few other familiar organizations were also on hand, with staff from with Durham Parks and Recreation and the Durham Bulls.

Even if some resources haven't changed much recently, people's lives can. Staff at tables for First Environments, the NIEHS/EPA childcare facility on campus, and tables on boating and cycling safety kept busy explaining their programs as the crowds passed through the auditorium.

According to Employee Services Manager Dona McNeill, the program is always glad to receive new ideas for Work/Life events. McNeill and co-organizer Intern Jenn Evans invite suggestions about new themes and resource groups for future events.

Research Biologist Donna Stefanick, standing foreground
Research Biologist Donna Stefanick, standing foreground, thumbed through maps and brochures from such local attractions as North Carolina State University's J. C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.
(Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)



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