Environmental Factor, September 2009, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Work/Life Event Focuses on Community Resources
By Eddy Ball
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/) , a clearinghouse for information about assisted care options; Cornucopia House (http://www.cornucopiahouse.org/) , 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) , 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/) and Sarah B. Duke Gardens (http://www.hr.duke.edu/dukegardens/) . 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.