January | 2021
Skookum Update: Covid-19 Vaccines
Skookum Says Thank You to Tom Whipple

At the end of February, following 16 years with Skookum, Tom Whipple will be retiring. Before coming to Skookum, Tom served in the Army for over 30 years, retiring with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4). As a Maintenance Technician, during his last few years in the Army, Tom was a customer of Skookum’s JBLM Fleet contract and boy did he give us a hard time! 
Shortly after retiring from the Army, Tom joined Skookum in February 2005 on our JBLM Fleet contract as a Shop Foreman and, shortly thereafter, became the Quality Manager. After holding Skookum to a high standard as a customer, he enforced those standards with Skookum to help ensure we were providing a quality product to the soldiers we were supporting.

In 2009, Skookum was awarded a contract as a subcontractor to a Small Business for POV Storage at JBLM. Before this contract, when single soldiers or dual military deployed, their POVs (personally owned vehicles) sat in the elements in a fenced in area on post, with no one taking care of them. Under this contract, Skookum rented a climate-controlled facility just south of JBLM where we housed and maintained soldiers’ vehicles while they were deployed. Tom started this contract up and ran it for its duration until 2011 when the contract ended.

Just as POV Storage was winding down, Skookum was awarded the post-wide Janitorial contract for JBLM starting in March 2011. Tom started this contract up and continues to run it today. In September 2013, Skookum added the Fire Hydrant Maintenance contract on JBLM. Since it was a small operation, Tom gladly added it under his umbrella. Although Tom had worn many hats over the years, the fireman’s helmet was new to him.

Throughout all of these different positions and operations, Tom always took care of his employees and customers. No matter who it was, what they needed, or what time or day of the week it was, Tom was always willing and available to help anyone out who needed any kind of assistance. Tom, you will be missed! Congratulations to you and Chris (Tom’s wife) on your opportunity to tour the country in your motor home on your own schedule and enjoy your new pontoon boat. As your idol, John Wayne, would say “Good luck Pilgrim!”
Skookum Employee Receives Covid Vaccine
Violeta Candare, Executive Housekeeper at the Naval Hospital in Bremerton, WA, received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. As you can tell, she is very excited! Skookum is so appreciative of our employees who have worked the front lines throughout this pandemic and are looking forward to more employees receiving the vaccine to stay protected against this virus.
The Importance of Being an Ally

Ally: A person who supports, empowers, stands up for another person or group of people from a diverse background or oppressed group.

Why do people from oppressed groups or diverse backgrounds need allies?
Our society as a whole system has treated people from these groups/backgrounds with unfair treatment, inequality, discrimination, hostility, and violence. People who have had these experiences need allies who had not had these experiences to support them and speak up against this treatment.

Why should I be an Ally?
Humans are linked and connected being an ally builds strong relationships, improves society, is a useful skill as an employee, and it's simply the right thing to do. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated!

How can I be an Ally?
  • Reach out to provide support and care as a family member, friend, or coworker.
  • Educate yourself about diverse, and oppressed groups in history.
  • Learn about your cultural heritage, history, and treatment received in the past. This provides you with an understanding of how you might view others from different backgrounds.
  • Speak out against injustice such as when someone makes a negative remark, joke, puts down an individual, or discriminates against someone or a group from a diverse and oppressed background.
  • Volunteer for an organization in your community that works with people from different backgrounds. This empowers your community and you’ll feel good helping others.
  • End the Us vs. Them thinking which causes people to feel hurt and alone. Include everyone to grow and provide different voices. Everyone needs and deserves to be heard.

We love recognizing our employees! So much so that every week an employee wins the Skookum President’s Excellence Award! Each Excellence Award recipient is selected by our President/CEO and awarded a Skookum Excellence pin along with $100 check prize. Anyone can nominate someone!
January Health Awareness
  • Blood Donor Month
  • Healthy Weight Awareness Month
  • National Walk Your Dog Month
Skookum's New Wellness Program
Skookum’s new wellness program, administered by Marquee Health, officially launched on January 1st. Click here to learn more about all the amazing things Marquee has to offer!

New Wellness Challenge Coming February 8th
The first wellness challenge of 2021 is right around the corner, administered by our new wellness partner Marquee Health! More detailed information will be released as we get closer. In the meantime here is some basic information:

Mood Boost Challenge (4 weeks, 2/8 – 3/7) - Did you know the food you eat to fuel your body has a direct impact on how you feel? To celebrate food as fuel, we are teaming up with our wellness partner, Marquee Health, to host a Mood Boost Nutrition challenge. Weekly emails will be shared with tips and healthy meal ideas to help you incorporate key nutrients into your diet to help improve memory, reduce anxiety, feel more energized, and more!

Registration for the wellness challenge opens on Monday, February 1st so keep a lookout for more information!
Marquee Health Monthly Wellness

Click here to read Marquee Health’s monthly wellness newsletter which discusses how to set resolutions that stick, information about their monthly webinar, and a healthy veggie-strone recipe!
Blood Donor Month
Donating blood saves many lives and improves health for many people. According to the World Health Organization, “blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person – the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components – red cells, platelets and plasma.”

According to the American Red Cross, winter is one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. This is due to several factors such as busy holiday schedules, bad weather, and seasonal illnesses. The ongoing pandemic has made blood donations more important than ever so if you are in good health and are able to donate, go to www.redcross.org and find a blood drive near you!
5 Ways to Start Your Year Off Right
2020 has likely given you time to reflect and think about what you’d like to change about your lifestyle. This is a good time to make positive life changes and strive for an overall healthier self!

Click here to read more of the Live Well Work Well newsletter about having a successful start to the new year, how to avoid stress eating, and the benefits to donating blood.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Oatmeal Bars
(Source: The Baking Chocolatess)

Checkout this easy, delicious recipe:

Interested in Becoming a Wellness Champion?

If your site doesn’t have a Wellness Champion and you’re interested in helping promote Skookum’s Wellness Program in fun and creative ways, reach out to the Benefits Department for more information on how to get involved!
Current Sites with Wellness Champions:
-      Fort Hood
-      Bremerton (additional opening is available!)
-      Oak Ridge
-      NSBOSC
-      WSMR
-      Aerospace
-      Naval Hospital
January EAP Webinar

This month’s EAP newsletter topic: Depression and Older Adults.
Depression is more than just feeling sad or blue. It is a common but serious mood disorder that needs treatment. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, and working. When you have depression, you have trouble with daily life for weeks at a time. Doctors call this condition “depressive disorder” or “clinical depression.”

Click here to read more.
Interested in Sharing your Wellness Story?

“Skookum loves to recognize employees who are incorporating wellness into their lifestyles. If you’d like to recognize an employee (with their permission) or even yourself, please email benefits@skookum.org to share your story. We want to hear how you are improving your wellness!”
Skookum proudly operates in twelve states across the nation plus Washington D.C.