The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council serves the local governments of Central Oregon, providing regional collaboration, efficiencies and service delivery for a stronger local economy and quality of life.”

DOC Wellness

Well Connect provides anyone enrolled in the Deschutes County Employee Benefits Plan, including employees (and their dependents) of Deschutes county or COIC, retirees, and people enrolled in COBRA coverage access to wellness program information and additional resources.

Juli McKee, Registered Dietitian, is the on-site Wellness Coordinator and is the primary contact for wellness; she is available to provide nutrition counseling, fitness programming, smoking cessation, health and wellness coaching and more!

Contact her today!  Juli.McKee@medcor.com 541-330-4613

To schedule an appointment, call (541) 330-4613 , send an email, or simply stop in! Juli’s office is located at 1340 NW Wall Street in Bend – just steps from your DOC. And, appointments with Juli are available at no charge to anyone on the Deschutes County Employee Benefit Plan.

If you have any ideas or programs you would like to see explored, please contact your department’s Wellness Task Force representative.  COIC’s representative is Barbara Taylor – btaylor@coic.org


Back pain can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). It can feel like a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.

ACUTE back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. It is often caused by an accident, fall, or lifting something that’s too heavy. Acute back pain usually gets better on its own, without any treatment.

CHRONIC back pain lasts for more than three months. It is much less common than acute back pain. Most chronic back pain can be treated without surgery. If you experience chronic back pain you should consult your health care provider.

Back pain may be avoided or improved with the following self-care techniques:

Strengthen your back, core and other supporting muscles. Physical activity in general can make your back stronger and lower your risk of back pain. Weak or imbalanced strength in abdominals, hips, gluts and leg muscles can also lead to back pain.

Focus on good posture A good posture means standing straight with your weight distributed evenly over your feet, your shoulders are back and your back is straight, with core muscles activated. If you are sitting, focus on the shoulders and core.

Lift correctly Lift objects with your legs, not your back. Keep a straight back and bend at your knees and hips with the object close to your center and weight on your heels, not your toes.

Take breaks from sitting or standing for too long. Sitting or standing for extended periods can lead to poor posture and weak, imbalanced or tight core muscles.

Invest in supportive footwear. Especially for use during long periods of movement or high intensity activity.

Stretch before, during and after work and activity. Tight muscles are more prone to injury, keep them loose and avoid over or under use with stretching.

Get enough calcium and vitamin D. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D helps keep bones strong to prevent fractures. Dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, greens and fish will supply you with calcium.

Work towards and maintain a healthy weight for your body type. Excess weight for your bone structure, especially in the mid-section, can put extra pressure on your back.

Resisting Temptations

Temptations are everywhere—the temptation to snack, to skip your workout, to buy impulsively, or hit the snooze button just one more time. While we’d like to rely on willpower to help us overcome these temptations, the amount of willpower you have each day is limited. Here are some things you can do to resist a variety of temptations:

  • Forget the word “can’t.” This word can have a pretty powerful (and often negative) effect on our moods when it’s a factor in a decision. Instead, try “don’t” or “won’t.” These are more empowering alternatives because they illustrate that the choice is yours, and when you resist the temptation, you’re achieving something rather than denying yourself something. It’s not that you “can’t” have dessert with lunch, it’s that you “don’t” have dessert with lunch.
  • Get others involved. Work with your colleagues to bring healthier treats to meetings, or go with friends to a fitness class. When the people in your life are also involved in healthy choices, it can make it easier to prevent temptations, rather than trying to overcome them.
  • Keep food temptations out of sight. You know the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? It’s easier to avoid candies and treats when you can’t see them and therefore don’t think about them. At home, keep food in the pantry or cupboards, rather than on the counter. If there are candies or treats at work or at home, keep them in containers or boxes that you can’t see through.
  • Consider your schedule. If your after-work activities are unpredictable and fluctuate by the day, chances are you’re often tempted to skip your evening workout to accommodate other activities. If that sounds like you, try doing your workout first thing in the morning or during your lunch hour. That way you won’t be tempted to skip it in the evenings. Do what makes the most sense for your schedule.
  • Plan ahead. If you’re trying to work out or eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, but you’re tempted to sleep in, prep what you can the night before. Set out your workout clothes, or sleep in them. Get your breakfast ingredients together and make sure your kitchen is clean. Planning ahead can make resisting temptation later on a little bit easier.
  • Remove the temptation. Sometimes, a temptation is just too tough to pass up. When that’s the case, remove it. If you’re often tempted to eat ice cream before going to bed, don’t buy ice cream. Resisting temptation is easier when giving in to it would be really inconvenient.
  • Find distractions. When you find yourself tempted to do something that goes against your health goals, find a better distraction. This works well if the distraction is something that you enjoy and can do or think about anywhere. If you can focus on something other than your temptation, you’re off to a good start.
  • Make the most of your morning. Since your willpower is strongest in the morning, try to deal with the toughest temptations then. You won’t always have control over this, but when you can, use your mornings to help you prevent potential temptations. Make meals ahead of time, exercise in the morning, do you grocery shopping in the morning, walk your dog—do the things that you might otherwise skip if you were to wait until later.
  • Come up with alternatives. In this case, think of your temptations as triggers. If you’re tempted to have a doughnut for breakfast, find a healthy, satisfying option to be your go-to doughnut alternative. That way, when you crave a breakfast doughnut, you can look forward to your healthier option.



….and prevent a cold virus from catching you this fall and winter season.

The fall and winter months provide an ideal climate for cold viruses to thrive and wiggle their way into our body systems. So once the leaves start changing colors and the frost covers the ground it becomes all that more important to take preventative measures to stay well.

Contributing factors include getting moderate activity for fresh air and blood flow, adequate sleep for body recovery and rejuvenation, and self-care for avoiding emotional distress.

Oh yes, and food. Nutritious, immune boosting food!

Certain nutrients help the immune system directly or indirectly by prevention of cell damage from unstable molecules (antioxidants), preventing the growth of or killing off microbes (which include bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) and decreasing inflammation in cells and tissues.

Here are a few key foods, and their highlighted nutrients, to include in your diet to help prevent those annoying cold symptoms.

  1. Garlic and onions. Contain the phytonutrient allicin, among other compounds= antimicrobial.**
  2. Peppers, all varieties! Contain vitamin C, vitamin A and capsasin= antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  3. Contain vitamin E and omega-3 oils= antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  4. Lentils and pumpkin seeds. Contain minerals zinc, selenium and iron= help with activity of antioxidant enzymes.
  5. Green tea. Contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)= antimicrobial and antioxidant.

Plus any produce that is naturally blue, purple or green; these colors represent thousands of phytonutrients that work in sync with your body to prevent and fight sickness and disease.

Meal and snack ideas to cover all the bases=

  • Lemon and ginger green tea with cayenne and a dab of local honey.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds and handful of blueberries.
  • Lentil soup with onion and garlic, flaxseed crackers on the side.
  • Salmon fajitas with sautéed peppers and onions, avocado and salsa.More information can be gained online with the OSU Linus Pauling Institute.

Anyone enrolled in the County Employee Benefits Plan, including employees (and their dependents) of Deschutes county or COIC, retirees, and people enrolled in COBRA coverage may use the Deschutes Onsite Clinic (DOC)DOC Pharmacy, and Well Connect. The clinic practitioners will see adults and children ages two years and older.

**Have you ever eaten a raw clove of garlic? It is spicy and potent! Raw or lightly cooked garlic is shown to have more antimicrobial benefit than roasted or fully cooked garlic. The more pungent your breath the better!



The following local fitness centers have discounted rates for Deschutes County and COIC employees. Please contact the fitness center or your Wellness Coordinator for details.

  • Max Fitness, Bend
  • 9Rounds, Bend
  • Central Oregon Strength and Conditioning, Bend
  • Anytime Fitness, Bend
  • Anytime Fitness, LaPine
  • Norm’s Xtreme Fitness, Prineville
  • SNAP Fitness, Bend
  • Fitness 1440, Bend and Redmond
  • Bend Downtown Athletic Club
  • Sisters Athletic Club (contact your Wellness Coordinator first)
  • Redmond Athletic Club (contact your Wellness Coordinator first)
  • Madras Athletic Club
  • Sunriver Fitness and Aquatics
  • Jazzercise, on Empire in Bend
  • Barre3, Bend
  • Orange Theory
  • Bend Rock Gym

Raise your hand if you get groggy in the afternoon. Raise your hand if after lunch your mind easily wonders and work becomes a struggle. Raise your hand if you had a bed in your office around 3pm you would fall asleep in it.

If this is you, here is something to consider: Mid-day movement…

Blood circulation means moving sugars, hormones, proteins, and other necessities to and from our tissues so we can fully function. Moving your body increases blood flow to muscles and your brain to keep you alert and focused throughout the afternoon so you can stay energized and engaged in your work.

Being sedentary slows all the systems in the body down. If you are feeling sluggish, there is a good chance your bodies systems are barely crawling along, at a “slugs” pace, making your body feel heavy and your mind feel slow. This is how our bodies respond when it is time to sleep; this should not be how we are responding throughout the work day.

The Well WorkPlace Health Letter – Year 2017

The Well WorkPlace Health Letter – Year 2018

Freedom From Smoking

Next FFS workshop starts November 14th, 2017

Sign up by calling 541-330-4613 or emailing Juli.McKee@medcor.com

Repeats every week every Tuesday 7 times. Also includes Thu Dec 07 2017.

Quitting tobacco is a difficult endeavor but can be done! According to the American Cancer Society, most success comes from utilizing 2 or more of the following; encouragement and support from friends and family members, telephone smoking-cessation hotlines, stop-smoking groups, online quit groups, counseling, nicotine replacement products, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, and guide books.

Resources to prepare for your quit attempt:

Freedom From Smoking Workshop:

Deschutes County offers employees and dependents on the Deschutes County Health Plan a free workshop in tobacco cessation through the American Lung Association, titled Freedom From Smoking. This workshop provides you with the tools necessary to quit smoking and successfully stay smoke free.

The Oregon Tobacco Quit Line:
1 (800) 784-8669 English, 1 (877) 266-3683 Spanish.

Online cessation resources:

American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking, www.ffsonline.org

American Cancer Society’s Quit for Life Program, www.alerewellbeing.com/quit-for-life/

Become an EX, www.becomeanex.org