Top Ways To Live a Long, Health Life!


There aren’t any shortcuts to living healthily; and life comes with no guarantees – but here is an interesting infographic from that illustrates some ideas that might see you living a healthier, longer life.




Arizona Rural Schools Association Conference – Working Together to Save Money

The Arizona Rural Schools Association (ARSA) brings together Arizona rural school officials each year to pool their resources in facing challenges unique to non-urban and often smaller school districts.  Their small size means each of them has to wear multiple hats and keep in touch with more areas of legal changes and responsibilities than a manager from a larger district who may be able to specialize more.  By meeting together for annual training, they can network best solutions while hearing specialized training otherwise unavailable to many of them.

This year’s conference was held from September 20-22, 2012 and named appropriately, “Constructing Greatness.”  Among the many informational speakers was keynote speaker Flip Flippen, author of the author of the New York Times and USA Today best seller, The Flip Side:  Break Free of the Behaviors That Hold You Back, released in May of 2007.

Flip Flippen, Best selling author and keynote speaker at ARSA

In addition, they had speakers on a number of topics including Bill Munch of the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) speaking on ways to save money and stay compliant on procurement issues.  Recently, the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) a group purchasing organization serving the public sector, hired Bill Munch to work on procurement issues.  VSMG, run by Tom Boone, offers Bill Munch to other organizations to assist them in their purchasing needs and information.

Bill Munch graduated from Arizona State University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts in Purchasing and Materials Management.  He has received certification as a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB).  He was the first President of the Greater Phoenix Purchasing Consortium of Schools (GPPCS), a purchasing cooperative comprised of over fifty school districts in Arizona.  He has also served as Vice President and is currently Membership Officer of GPPCS.  He has dedicated his entire career to the topic of public procurement and has a flawless record.

Bill currently serves on the Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) Board of Directors as Treasurer and is a certified Arizona Community College Instructor that regularly teaches the AASBO 4-Day Purchasing Classes and “Purchasing for Users”.  He is a member of the Capitol Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (AZNIGP), has served on various committees and regularly presents at their conferences.  Bill has always been an active procurement advocate for Arizona public procurement entities.

Bill Munch

Congratulations to ARSA on another year, working together, to save money and resources!

H-PACT – Saving Money for Arizona Cities and Towns

H-PACT – The Health Insurance Plans for Arizona Cities and Towns, sponsored and endorsed by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns ( is a program administered through the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Group (VSEBT) which allows cities and towns in Arizona to group purchase employee benefits and other insurance.  Arizona has long enjoyed the benefits of its cities and towns working together on various projects and speaking with a unified voice.  H-PACT brings them the ability to save money by selecting either group purchasing options or purchasing individually.

By bringing together more employees into a purchasing entity, you can garner better services and lower prices.  It is the same reason that most state agencies use the state retirement system and the state employee benefits system rather than going out as individual agencies and all bidding separately.  Group purchasing also allows governments to shrink procurement costs.  Instead of a hundred separate entities working on their own, one group can act, cutting the work to around one percent of the previous efforts.

The strength of H-PACT is that individual cities and towns can pick and choose the services they utilize.  They do not have to go with a specific vendor or contract if they don’t wish.  It simply gives them more options and more leverage in the market than they had prior to creating H-PACT.

For more information on H-PACT, feel free to call Sheri Gilbert at 623-594-4370.

HPACT Program Information at the League Conference


League of Arizona Cities and Towns Honors VSMG for Gold Sponsorship


Is It a Cold or a Flu?

Many of us get colds and influenza or flu confused.  In addition, most people do not realize that both colds and flu are caused by a virus.  Viruses are NOT affected by anti-biotics.  You should not expect anti-biotics for cold and flu.  In fact, the best treatments are bed rest, lots of fluids, and zinc.  Zinc is the active ingredient in zycam, Airborne and other products.  Taking cheap zinc pills can reduce the severity and length of colds and flu significantly.  The reason you need fluids is kind of gross.  Over 90% of your mucus is water.  When you get congested, much of it goes into your stomach.  This can ruin your appetite and make you feel nauseous or full.  You can lose gallons of water this way and become quickly dehydrated, which can be life threatening.  So, force yourself to replace this liquid with lots of water, and maybe Gatorade or other sports drinks with electrolytes if you are not eating much.  Rest is your bodies way to relax and get better.












Some people do get post-viral infections.  Unfortunately, if your body is already fighting a virus, weak, maybe dehydrated and possibly full of mucus, it is a target rich environment for bacteria to jump in and attack.  The only time you should expect anti-biotics is if your doctor believes you have developed a bacteria based infection.

Here are some charts from various sources for you to look at to see if you have a cold or the flu.  In most cases, you should have it run its course in 7 to 10 days.  For the sake of others, please don’t roam around and spread your illness because you want to suck it up and do your job.  All you are doing is getting others sick.

Balsz Elementary School Recognized for Healthy School Environment

Balsz Elementary School in Phoenix will be celebrated their recent Silver Award status in the Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) on Thursday with a special visit from NFL Alumni

SchoolCenter Picture


Andre Wadsworth! The school has been focusing on creating a healthy school environment by implementing the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program and following the guidelines set in place by the USDA’s HUSSC program.

FUTP60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to combat childhood obesity. FUTP60 helps students make positive changes in their schools by improving opportunities to consume nutrient-rich foods and get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The program is customizable and non-prescriptive which makes it a great compliment to other school wellness initiatives (

The HUSSC is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and administered by the Arizona Department of Education, the initiative encourages all schools take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime (

The Arizona Cardinals have partnered with the Dairy Council of Arizona to promote healthier school environments by encouraging kids to eat healthy including dairy and other nutrient rich foods and be active for 60 minutes a day.

“The Department of Education is proud of Balsz Elementary School District for achieving the Healthier US School Challenge Silver Awards!  This award demonstrates their commitment to excellence in setting a healthy school environment, promoting student learning and well-being for lifelong success.  We hope this will encourage other schools to follow their example in providing and being recognized for excellent nutrition and physical education programs,” said Superintendent John Huppenthal.

Local School Districts Focusing On Kidney Health

Many local school districts are taking advantage of a program provided through the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) to its public entity members in partnership with Davita at and the   Sheri Gilbert of Valley Schools is very happy to see the commitment to screening.  “It is great to see school districts interested not only in saving money on future health care costs, but also so committed to taking advantage of free programs to promote health for their employees.”

The Kidney TRUST aims to benefit the 31 million American adults estimated to be living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), as well as the 506,000 Americans with kidney failure who require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

CKD is a silent epidemic. It often has no symptoms until the kidneys begin to fail. However, CKD is usually treatable if detected early. In response to the epidemic, the TRUST is seeking to reduce the progression of CKD through free, rapid-screening in non-medical settings and to provide assistance to people affected by the disease.

The Chandler Unified School District will be hosting their Kidney Screening on 10/16/12. Scottsdale Unified School District has also been approved for the screening to be held in conjunction with their Health Fair Event on November 1st.   These screenings are at no cost to the districts.   This is a not for profit group and an application must be filled out and submitted to the board for approval and both districts were granted the approval for the screenings.   Approval for the Peoria Unified School District is pending.

Here are some helpful links for more information:

Men’s Health – Men Die Earlier

Men die earlier than women for a number of reasons, though the gap is not as wide as it once was.  Men are more susceptible to the number one killer – heart disease at a younger age, thought the odds are even after women reach menopause.  Here are some other examples from Medline Plus, A Service of the National Library of Medicine, of the National Institute of Health.

While the life-expectancy gap between men and women has decreased, it’s no secret that men still need to pay more attention to their bodies. Several things work against men. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. They don’t seek medical help as often as women. Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to stress.

There are also health conditions that only affect men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone. Many of the major health risks that men face – like colon cancer orheart disease – can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. It’s important to have regular checkups and screenings.

Healthy Recipe Links from Mayo Clinic

Need ideas for some health recipes?  Here are links provided by Mayo Clinic.

Healthy Recipes

Balsz Elementary School District – Commitment to Employee Health and Fiscal Savings

Balsz Elementary School District has been on the cutting edge of improving employee health and wellness, not only to save money on health care costs to free up funding for more classroom funds, but to show their caring spirit for the dedicated professionals that work there.

Balsz recently held a Health & Wellness Fair with over 200 attendees and vendors.  The event took place on August 31, 2012 at Brunson Lee Elementary School. The folks that deserve the credit for this awesome event are as follows:

Devon Shehan, Assistant Principal at Orangedale School

Chris Canelake, Director of Human Resources

Josh Meibos, PE Teacher at Balsz Elementary School

Darren Hill, PE Teacher

Darien Schoolcraft, PE Teacher

Rob Boehnlein, PE Teacher

Kathleen Dubiac-Venerable, PE Teacher

Darlene Kracht, VSEBT Account Manager

UnitedHealthCare (UHC) provided the Body Mass Index (BMI) testing and Dura Scan machine which checks for skin cancer.  There were many screenings, including grip analysis and other tests.  The attendees also were shown work out techniques and yoga exercises for both break times and regular health routines.  Balsz also takes advantage of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits (VSEBT) group purchasing, which allows them to purchase benefits at the same low costs as the larger districts in the state.  VSEBT preferred providers attended (VSP, MetLife Voluntary Benefits, Delta Dental, Sun Life Financial, UHC and Solis Women’s Health and Mobile Onsite Mammography (MOM).

This and and many other efforts have led to Balsz Elementary School District to reduce the cost of employee benefits, save money for classrooms, and improve the health and morale of their employs.  During tough fiscal times, the folks at Balsz have dedicated themselves to putting in the extra mile, or the extra screenings and yoga, to make a difference!

Balsz employees learning yoga exercises.

UHC Representative shows grip test analysis results to attendees.

Pet Health – How Much to Feed Your Pet?

reposted from PetMD

Even Pet Health Care Providers Cannot Get Portion Control Right

July 19, 2012

This is a follow-up to my last post and other posts emphasizing the importance of portion control in the present pet obesity epidemic. Veterinarians and representatives of pet food companies continue to beat-up clients about feeding, or overfeeding, their pets. Owners leave veterinary hospitals feeling guilty for causing a host of future problems to their pets by their feeding practices. But guess what? Health care providers cannot do any better with pet portion control. A 2010 study from the United Kingdom is testimony.

 The Study

Four veterinarians and six employees of a major commercial food manufacturer participated in the study. They fed six different diets — four feline and two dog dry kibble products — from three different manufacturers to cats and dogs using measuring cups provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer recommendations were followed and each portion was shaken to level the food in the provided measuring cup. The food was weighed before feeding to document the actual food amount and calorie content for the study statistics. The statistics were then analyzed after the completion of the study.

Despite attempts to accurately measure the food amount, these health professionals had ranges of feeding amounts from 18% underestimated or inadequate amounts to 80% overestimation and excessive feeding. When multiple “feeders” were involved the quantities were the worst. Feeding small amounts to small cats and dogs had the greatest degree of overestimation. Precisely the group that every calorie counts! What is even more shocking is that two of the diets were pre-packaged, just as they are sold to the public, and were fed according to instructions; they were not even accurate.

What Does it All Mean?

Actually, I think there are multiple factors in play. First, is the probable inaccuracy of claims about calories per kilogram that commercial food manufacturers declare on food labels. My research suggests the means by which these figures are arrived at are guesstimates at best and probably vary from lot to lot.

Few pet food labels produce their own product. There are three major millers of pet food in the United States that package the hundreds of commercial pet food labels available. Calometric measurements (igniting the food and measuring its energy) is not required for every lot of food or combination of ingredients. It is not even clear if it is required at all, and calorie counts are derived by mathematical formulas. Estimation of calories are only required for the initial application of the formula. AAFCO is very lenient for the nutritional content of “families of foods.”

My point is that calorie claims made by manufacturers only approximate reality because the production process involves so many unsupervised steps.

Secondly, the calorie concentration in commercial food is extremely high. With counts near 400 calories per cup, each kibble piece is a calorie bomb. Simple, unintentional measured variations of leveling a portion measurement may mean the difference of 25-100 calories. For small or inactive dogs this is a significant difference. Pet owner obsession with the economical and convenience qualities of kibbled food means this problem is likely to get worse.

Thirdly is that proper pet nutrition is a dynamic process and not static. Owners cannot just settle on a portion and assume that it never changes. We have discussed many influences that affect diet in this post. Label instructions today may not be appropriate tomorrow.  Most humans don’t even eat correctly. How many families do you know who employ a registered dietician in addition to their house cleaning service, garden care service, car washing service, and pool cleaning service? All seem essential except the nutritional advice. We simply do not spend the necessary time and money to objectively understand nutrition. We are too absorbed with labeling “good” and “bad” foods and calories, which is a meaningless exercise and has little to do with weight control. Weight is about amounts of food, not the kind of food.

Weigh the food. It is still inaccurate, but it is better than measuring in a cup. Also realize that any recommendation is exactly that, a recommendation. Quantities need to be changed based on the body condition score (BCS) of your pet at any given portion. Reduce or increase portions based on their BCS.

Dr. Ken Tudor