Essential Oils 101

From Just a Drop Essential Oil

Why Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils are highly concentrated, 50-70 times per powerful than herbs! Did you know: 81% of body care products marked “gentle” or “hypoallergenic” contain ingredients proven to irritate skin, eyes, or allergies? Essential oils are safe support for the skin without preservatives, chemicals, or harsh ingredients.

If properly extracted, essential oils have the unique ability to benefit people in all areas of life, whether in food preparation, beauty treatment, or healthcare practice. You will be amazed with the diverse ways essential oils can help fulfill you and your family’s needs. dōTERRA essential oils are powerfully concentrated, so a little goes a long way. They are multi-purpose making them smart to have on hand.

How You Can Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are easy to use. Each oil can be used in one or more of the following three methods to promote ultimate health and happiness in your home:

  1. Aromatic – inhale or use an essential oil diffuser. When diffused, certain essential oils can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Using essential oils aromatically can also purify the air of unwanted odors and enrich your home with the lively benefits of oil fragrances.
  2. Topical – Powerful! One drop of essential oil can service every cell of your body. From the bottoms of the feet it nourishes the bloodstream in 30 seconds. Apply to feet, ears, chest, back of neck, head and troubled areas. For sensitivity dilute with fractionated coconut oil (FCO).
  3. Internal – Many of dōTERRA’s essential oils can be used internally to support a variety of health needs. The internal use of oils provides a natural way to receive the health benefits your body needs. Just add to water, drop under the tongue or put in a capsule.

Essential oils are both exciting and promising when it comes to taking care of your own and your family’s health. Whether you’re applying essential oils topically, enjoying the aromatic benefits through diffusing, or taking essential oils internally, the positive, healthful effects of essential oils are boundless.

That’s why you’ll want to ensure that the essential oils you are using are capable of delivering on their promise. You’ll want to make sure that you are choosing essential oils for their purity and their potency.

For more information, contact Diana Leighow, dōTERRA Wellness Advocate at 570-849-0019 or email, or also visit Just a Drop’s Facebook page or website.

Contribution strategies: Reduce employer expense, increase take-home pay with FSA, HRA or HSA

From ChamberChoice and Smart Business Pittsburgh Magazine

A crucial health benefits decision an employer must make when it comes to an employee benefits program is the employee contribution strategy. 

“The contribution strategy should be carefully considered because employees rate their contribution (payroll deduction) more importantly than the benefit level and often more than the network providers,” says Ron Carmassi, sales executive at JRG Advisors. “A skilled, experienced benefits professional working in tandem with the company’s HR can save an employer time and money.”

Smart Business spoke with Carmassi about employee contribution strategies — the second of two articles on health insurance cost reduction (see previous article).

What types of employee contribution strategies should employers consider?
The consumer-driven health care approach and plan coupled with the correct contribution strategy can lower monthly premiums while engaging your employee population to manage more of their health care and make smarter decisions. The main accounts utilized in consumer-driven health plans are Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA). All three are designed to get employees more engaged with health care decisions.

How can an HSA drive down costs?
An HSA is only available to individuals enrolled in a qualified high-deductible health plan that is approved by and meets the standards set by the IRS. This type of account can reduce employer costs because, typically, high-deductible health plan premiums are lower than traditional plans.

Individuals, employees and employers can contribute to the account. The insured’s funds, deposited pre-tax, can be used to cover qualified medical expenses. Withdrawals for qualified expenses or postretirement care, contributions, and gains or investment are also tax-free.

The IRS will allow a single insured person to deposit up to $3,400 in 2017, and anyone enrolled with a spouse or dependent up to $6,750 in 2017.

How does an FSA differ?
These accounts are similar to HSAs in that an employee can use pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. There are even options to use the account for certain dependent care and transportation expenses.

But this account is employer-established and only funded by the employee or the employer. An employee may choose how much to deposit in the account pre-tax from their paycheck and what qualified items to use the money for.

For 2017, the maximum that may be deposited in an FSA account is $2,600 and only up to $500 may be carried over. So, consider what the FSA will be used for to avoid overfunding and losing money. These  accounts don’t offer investment options and don’t earn interest, but they do allow a person to use pre-tax dollars for medical and non-medical items and services. It is important to verify items approved by the
IRS for purchase with an FSA. 

What is an HRA? How does it work?
With HRAs, an employer selects a plan with a higher deductible and a lower monthly premium. This account is employer-funded and the savings generated by the lower premium can be used to reimburse the employee for some portion of the deductible and out-of-pocket costs. These reimbursements are tax deductible for the employer and tax-free to the employee. This type is owned by the employer and typically administered by an insurance company or a third party administrator.

There are more restrictions on HRAs due to the Affordable Care Act. There may be limits on how much the employer may contribute. When considering an HRA, employers should work closely with an experienced benefits advisor to be sure to remain in compliance.

How should employers choose between the three options?
These reimbursement options should be studied and reviewed carefully to determine which type is best to help reduce your employee benefit program costs without lessening benefits. By better managing benefit costs, your employee benefits package can have even greater depth and flexibility, while also promoting employee wellness and healthy lifestyle alternatives.

JRG Advisors is available to Chamber members on a consultative basis for health insurance as a benefit of Chamber membership and can be reached at 1-800-377-3539. 

Members Learn About the Chamber’s Various Offerings and Benefits

Members enjoyed a hearty lunch from Berrigan’s Subs and learned about all of the various benefits available to them as Chamber members at the Member Orientation on Thursday, Aug. 24, held at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Bloomsburg (pictured) and sponsored by U.S. Gypsum, Kawneer and Bloomsburg University

 

A presentation detailed all of the various opportunities for members and/or their organizations to:

– Increase their business’ exposure
– Build business relationships through networking events
– Learn about various issues of consequence to the business community through the various educational programs offered by the Chamber
– Utilize the Chamber’s many informational resources to assist them in various aspects of their business
– Potentially decrease costs and save money through the Chamber’s affinity programs through ChamberChoice, including the Penn National business insurance program and the OnDemand Energy program
– Use the Chamber to advocate for or against a specific policy, ordinance or piece of legislation that could potentially impact their business, either positively or negatively

If you weren’t able to make it to the event, but would be interested in hearing a customized version of the presentation and learning about additional ways the Chamber can benefit your business that you may not already be aware of, please contact Matt Beltz at 570-784-2522 or by email to schedule a meeting. 

Bloomsburg University Students Move Into Soltz Hall

Throughout the week of Aug. 21st, incoming students at Bloomsburg University moved into a new residence hall named in honor of recently-retired President David Soltz. The seven-story, $61 million Soltz Hall features 138 suite-style apartments. The building’s first floor houses the University Store, Mail Services and two nationally known restaurants.

The 163,000-square-foot-structure will house nearly 400 students in 11 single, 37 double, 39 triple and 48 quad configurations. Three are four points of security between the front door and students’ rooms. Built on the site of the former University Store, the new construction includes an external gathering space with a fire pit, a second-story outdoor plaza, two lounges on every floor, and a “green” roof with sustainable, low-maintenance plants.

Classes began at BU on Monday, Aug. 28.

Member News – August 23, 2017

Member News

  • Zydeco music innovator Corey Ledet and his band will kick off the Weis Center for the Performing Arts’ 30th anniversary season this Friday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. on the Weis Center Plaza.

    Zydeco musician Corey Ledet

    This family-friendly performance is free and tickets are not required. The rain location is the Weis Center Atrium Lobby. Patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, blanket and picnic. A free pre-performance lecture and demonstration with the artist will take place the same day at noon in the Atrium Lobby.

     

  • The Exchange will host the 10th annual Bloomsburg ArtFest this Saturday, Aug. 26 in downtown Bloomsburg from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. It will take place on the Square surrounding the fountain and up Market St. in front of the Caldwell Consistory. Dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout the region, this event is Columbia County’s biggest one-day outdoor art event of the year. It will feature more than 30 regional artists’ original work, as well as live music, local food and activities for the whole family. Also on Saturday, Aug. 26, the eighth annual AGAPE Palooza will take place in Bloomsburg Town Park, located at Catherine St. and Fort McLure Blvd., from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. This event, which is organized by AGAPE, Love From Above To Our Community will feature over 100 craft and small business vendors as well as non-profits and lots of “fair food” vendors, free music and family activities. There is free admission, free parking and a free shuttle from Bloomsburg High School, which will also shuttle attendees to and from ArtFest. 

 

  • Co., a social and professional networking group that is run by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, will hold its fall kickoff event on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Farmhouse at Turkey Hill’s Greenhouse. Co. was founded to give area residents the opportunity to take advantage of all the great things this area has to offer. This group is for everyone, which means any age, ability, or area of residence. It holds multiple events each month. For more information about Co., including future events, visit its Facebook page

 

  • PA Careerlink will hold a free seminar on unemployment compensation titled Unemployment Compensation 101 on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the PA CareerLink Columbia/Montour Counties, located at 415 Central Rd., Bloomsburg. To register, call Donna Eyerly at 570-387-6288 or email. The seminar will guide employers through the process of the opening of a UC claim through the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s UC Service Center by an employee who has been separated from employment, permanently or temporarily, or is working less than the employer’s established full-time work week. Important points that will be explained include:
    • What forms will the employer receive when a UC claim is open or reopened and how will the information requested be used to determine the claimant’s eligibility and protect the employer’s UC liability?
    • What steps are taken by the UC Service Center to determine a claimant’s eligibility for UC benefits?
    • What issues does the UC Service Center consider in determining a claimant’s eligibility?
    • The employer’s right to appeal a determination issued by the UC Service Center
    • Any addition forms that employer may receive related to the unemployment compensation

    

  • From the Bucknell Small Business Development Center: Students enrolled in a Markets, Innovation and Design course this fall at Bucknell University are offering to design websites free of charge for local businesses and organizations during the fall semester. The web design project will provide a hands-on learning experience for the students while benefiting local organizations. Recent examples of their work include Amami, West Branch Brewery and Beer Barn. If your business or organization would like to be considered for a free website design or redesign this fall, fill out an application to be considered. The application deadline Thursday, Aug. 31

 

  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will host a pair of identical presentations titled “Planning Ahead: The Importance of Planning for the Future,” featuring local elder law attorney Marianne Kreisher. The events will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13,  from 8:30-10 a.m. at Bloomsburg University’s Monty’s on Upper Campus, and on Wednesday, Sept. 20, also from 8:30-10 a.m., at Susquehanna University’s Benjamin Apple Meeting Rooms in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center. Both events will feature a complimentary breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by the presentation. Attorney Kreisher will discuss the importance of open communication and collaboration between the investment advisor and attorney to achieve the best results for clients; well-drafted estate planning documents including power of attorneys, wills and trusts; understanding the lifetime and after death wishes of individuals; and examining the interplay of “gifting” on long-term care, taxes and asset protection. RSVP to Karri Harter by Sept. 6 by email or call 570-752-3930, ext. 6. 

 

  • The Bloomsburg University Department of Exceptionality Programs and the Jones Center for Special Education Excellence will host a screening and discussion of Mimi and Dona on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Greenly Center, rooms 116 & 117, located at 50 E. Main St., Bloomsburg. This film by Sophie Spartain is an “unforgettable story of love and tough choices, exploring issues of disability, long term care and the realities of aging.” This event is free and open to the public but due to limited seating, pre-registration is encouraged. To register, call Tammy Pursel at 814-270-5556 or email

 

  • McBride Memorial Librarylocated at 500 N. Market St., Berwick, will host its next Entrepreneur Breakfast on Friday, Sept. 15, from 8-9 a.m. These breakfasts provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to network, get support, collaborate on projects, trade problem-solving stories and challenges, and much more. Attendees will also have an opportunity to learn about the services that McBride can offer small business owners and that they are able to take advantage of. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested. To register, call 570-752-2241 or email.

 

  • Geisinger Health will hold its inaugural Dream Big Hot Air Balloon Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Spyglass Ridge Winery, 400 Plum Creek Rd., Sunbury. Proceeds from this event will benefit Geisinger’s Comprehensive Breast care Program. Activities include balloon rides (weather-permitting), live bands and food trucks, children’s activities and family fun, professional and amateur photo competitions, performances by local dance groups, a fresh food farmers market and family photo sessions in front of the balloons. Admission is free. For more information, read this flyer.Event organizers are also seeking donations of small items (approx. $10-20 in value) from area businesses and individuals for an auction. If interested in making a donation, please contact Linda Vaji at 570-214-2581 or email