Category: Feature

Bridging the gap between UF and Spanish-speaking communities throughout Florida

Since 2010, the population of Hispanics in Florida experienced one of the biggest population increases at over 1.4 million. This dramatic growth created the need for programs that can adequately and inclusively serve this population.

In 2017, a group of UF/IFAS Extension agents seeking to address this issue created the Coalition of Florida Extension Educators for Latino Communities, or CAFE Latino; a grassroots organization with the goal to create science-based educational materials for the benefit of Spanish-speaking communities.

Review your benefits and make changes during Open Enrollment, now through Oct. 29

The State of Florida and UF’s Benefits Open Enrollment period is your opportunity to make changes to your benefits enrollments for the upcoming calendar year. This year’s Open Enrollment started yesterday and runs through Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. EST. 

Importantly, note that UFHR Benefits will never contact you to ask you for your personal information. Please do not share your Social Security number or any other private information with anyone who calls claiming to represent the university or the State of Florida during Open Enrollment or at any other time throughout the year. 

Your annual opportunity to ensure you have the benefits that meet your needs

Century Tower

Each fall, the annual open enrollment period provides you with an opportunity to evaluate your current benefits to determine if adjustments are needed for the new plan year. This year’s open enrollment period begins today and ends on Friday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m. EST. Changes made during open enrollment will take effect Jan. 1, 2022. 

Aid-a-Gator provides a lifeline to employees in need

Aid-a-Gator is an emergency relief fund for UF employees experiencing financial hardship. Funds are not meant to replace income, but to provide needed assistance in a crisis. Over the past four years, the program has expanded beyond hurricane relief, assisting over 400 employees as they weather hardships such as sudden illness, family crisis or natural disasters.

Any UF employee, including graduate assistants, can apply for emergency relief through Aid-a-Gator; and applicants can receive a maximum of $1,500 per calendar year. A committee of staff and faculty work alongside the UFHR Benefits team to review each application and a decision is usually made within the month.

Claiming a space for community with the Latinx Staff & Faculty Association

What does it take to create a community of belonging and inclusion? In the fall of 2016 — when racial tensions flared up around the presidential elections — several Latinx staff and faculty came together to envision what would ultimately become the UF Latinx Staff & Faculty Association. 

From the outset, the association has sought to create a community for all UF employees that identify as Hispanic/Latino. This space has proven to be integral for many who previously felt isolated. 

Higher Education Opportunity scholarship applications due Nov. 1

Created in 2003, the Higher Education Opportunity, or HEO, program provides tuition assistance for an undergraduate education at the University of Florida to children of full-time TEAMS employees in the form of a scholarship. In March 2022, UFHR will randomly select up to 150 TEAMS employees from a pool of eligible applicants to participate in the HEO. The deadline to submit an application is Nov. 1, 2021.

Schedule your flu shot today — available at the UF Student Health Care Center

Getting vaccinated for the flu can prevent you from getting sick and from spreading the flu virus to others. UF faculty, staff and students are encouraged to schedule their flu or COVID-19 vaccine through the UF Student Health Care Center. 

If you live outside of Gainesville or prefer to get your flu shot through your provider, you may do so through your private insurance at no cost to you.

Benefits Open Enrollment runs Oct. 11–29

Open Enrollment for 2022 benefits will take place Oct. 11 through Oct. 29. UF’s annual Open Enrollment period is your opportunity to add, change or remove benefits enrollment elections for the next plan year. Elections made during this period will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

UF Health academic hub aims to advance AI in the health sciences

As part of UF’s Artificial Intelligence, or AI, initiative, UF Health is creating an academic hub to advance AI in the health sciences, grounded in the values of community, trustworthiness, diversity, equity and inclusion. To advance this goal, UF Health is seeking faculty to join the university’s growing community of researchers and clinicians developing and applying AI methods in health care delivery, biomedical discovery, and public and population health. 

Dr. Michael Lauzardo answers questions about COVID-19 booster shots

Dr. Lauzardo

As the delta variant of the coronavirus persists, federal officials are urgently studying the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines as well as a second shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If the Food and Drug Administration and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee agree to proceed, shots could be administered sometime this fall.

Michael Lauzardo, M.D., deputy director of UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute and an associate professor in the UF College of Medicine, recently answered questions about the third vaccine dose.

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