Live your Healthiest Life 

Use the Opportunities Available to Employees 
Your health and wellness choices are yours to make. Why not include the many programs and resources available to you through the Employee Health and Benefits team, where you, your health and wellness matter? If you are a county employee sign up now on TRAC.

Annual Employee Cardiovascular Risk Screening 

This Cardiovascular Risk Screening is a confidential & voluntary on-site health benefit brought to you by the Employee Health & Benefits team. Why should you participate in this screening? Traditional cholesterol testing provides only part of your heart attack and stroke risk picture. We offer inflammation biomarkers (lab work) that when coupled with your cholesterol results can provide a more in depth clinical picture of your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. We also offer other assessments that are highly impactful to your overall well-being; such as a posture assessment and a physiological in-the-moment stress assessment and training. There are two appointments; the first appointment is to have your blood work drawn and the second appointment is to review your labs and complete the other assessments. The entire screening consists of the following: 

Appointment #1: (approximately 10-15 minutes) Class Code: 1FIT6001 in TRAC

    1. NON-FASTING blood work/laboratory. Non-fasting means you can have breakfast and your coffee prior to getting your blood work drawn. 

Appointment #2: (approximately 20-45 minutes) Class Code: 1FIT6002 in TRAC

    1.        Review lab results, benefits and blood pressure

    2.        Body composition (optional)

    3.        Postural assessment  (optional)

    4.       Heart rate variability - physiological stress assessment (optional) 

Why do the postural assessment? Good postural alignment allows us to move with less pain, fatigue & strain; not to mention the greater balance, stamina and strength we will also have. During this assessment; find out where your imbalances are and how to correct them with simple stretches and corrective exercises, all under the guidance of an AIS trained professional. 

Why do the heart rate variability, a physiological in-the-moment mini stress assessment and introduction to available training?  Witness in real time your body's physical reaction to stress and then receive a brief introduction to the training available to help you bring your physical, mental and emotional systems into balanced alignment. Many witness an immediate shift in their physiology even during this very basic introduction. Who wouldn't want to learn more?!  

When you arrive for your appointment; please let us know if you are doing the abbreviated version.   

At the second appointment, if you do all the optional assessments it can take approximately 30-45 minutes. But please note that we also offer an abbreviated appointment #2 where we will review your lab results and blood pressure only; attempting to get you seen as quickly as possible but still sharing the important health information. This can take approximately 20 minutes. Both, the abbreviated and full version of appointment #2 have the same class code of: 1FIT6002 in TRAC and are called  “Part 2 of 2 of the Cardiovascular Risk Screening”. You can tell us which you will be doing when you arrive for your second appointment (full vs. abbreviated). 

WHICH LABS WILL BE DRAWN: Laboratory blood work will consist of: OxLDL, hsCRP; Lp-PLA2; MPO; ADMA/SDMA; HgbA1C; ApoB; sdLDL 

WHO IS ABLE TO PARTICIPATE: Any employee of Sarasota County Government; full-time, part-time, opt-out medical coverage participants, bargaining unit members and employees of an elected official office, except for the Sarasota Sheriff's Office.  

New for 2019; no cash incentive will be distributed for participation in this activity. 

Screening appointments (Part 1 and 2) are offered once per year and all appointment dates are listed in TRAC. Appointments will be released for TRAC registration approximately one to two months prior to first screening date. This benefit is offered only once per year so register early to ensure your appointment.  

The Cardiovascular Risk Screening labs cannot be used to meet the Medical Insurance Premium Reduction laboratory requirement (i.e. preventive laboratory assessments that accompany a preventive physical exam; those labs should be ordered by your health care provider and are the only labs that meet the insurance premium reduction requirement).

Explanation of Labs

Wellness Resources

Trainer helping employee learn the proper stretching method.

Posture Improvement Program

Are you moving less, becoming stiff or restricted and missing life's opportunities because of discomfort? Would you like to prevent this from happening to you? 

Work with a certified professional to get your flexibility and mobility back; prevent disease and discomfort; start moving; and feel years younger.

The Posture Improvement Program is free to all employees; both part-time and full-time.

  1. Enrolled employees can take advantage of free assessments, training, 1:1 sessions and classes to regain or maintain their posture, flexibility and movement.
  2. Stretch Relief and Corrective Exercise go hand in hand, as each session will be covering both aspects.
  3. During the first session postural photos will be taken to assess your posture and identify any postural deviations.
    1. These identified areas are caused by either muscles that are tight or muscles that are weak.
    2. These results give direction on what to stretch (tight) and what to strengthen (weak).
  4. The stretching technique is based on Active Isolated Stretching and the strengthening exercises are ones similar to what you might expect in physical therapy and exercises you can do at home.

  • Our goal is to correct posture so on has less aches and pains and better daily function.
  • To enroll; complete the Posture Improvement Intake Form.
  • The Posture Improvement Manual (link coming soon) is filled with stretching and strengthening exercises to increase both flexibility and muscle balance.

Please Note: Employees must use personal time for the on-site registered dietitian, individualized stretching sessions or attendance at one of the many on-site exercise classes. 

Individualized Nutrition Coaching and Counseling

Let our on-site registered dietitian; Heidi-Jo Kaplan assist you in navigating these and any other nutrition concerns or changes you are considering. Heidi-Jo is also a certified diabetes educator who is available to you and your dependents to help manage not only your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure or digestive issues but diabetes as well. She can customize a healthy eating plan and encourage lifestyle changes that can result in an enhanced well-being.

  1. This benefit is free to all employees and their dependents 16 or older
  2. Limited early morning and evening appointments available upon request.
  3. Call 941-861-5239 to make your appointment for your FREE personalized nutritional coaching session.

Please Note:
Employees must use personal time for the on-site registered dietitian, individualized stretching sessions, or attendance at one of the many on-site exercise classes.  


(DELI) Diabetes Education and Lifestyle Improvement

DELI offers education on all aspects of diabetes. Help with nutrition, lifestyle coaching, blood sugar management and prevention of complications. Our goal is to help you manage your diabetes and enhance your quality of life. 

Person holding a blood monitor. Pricking their finger to get a reading.


DELI offers the following valuable benefits:

  1. Free diabetes medication (waving of the prescription co-pay).
  2. Free blood sugar monitor and testing supplies.
  3. Free lab testing.
  4. Free unlimited access to 1:1 coaching with a registered dietitian; diabetes educator and lifestyle coach.
  5. Free supplies for insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. 

 You can join DELI if:

  1. You are an employee and on our county's medical insurance plan.
  2. You are a spouse or dependent 16 years of age or older with diabetes and also covered by the county's medical insurance plan.
  3. Note: Retirees are not eligible.

How to Get Started:

Contact Heidi-Jo Kaplan at 941-861-5239 or email to make an appointment and request your start up forms:

Notice of Understanding

Nutrition Assessment Form

Food Journals

These forms MUST be completed and handed in at your first appointment. Laboratory values will also be a requirement of the program. Additional questions can be sent to:

Please Note:
Employees must use personal time for the on-site registered dietitian, individualized stretching sessions, or attendance at one of the many on-site exercise classes.

Wellness Program Incentives

Medical Insurance Reward Credits ($150) are available to employees choosing one of the county’s medical plans as well as to covered spouses also covered by one of the medical plans. Both the employee and covered spouse have the potential to earn the annual maximum of $150 in Medical Reward Credits.

Items to note about the Medical Insurance Reward Credits:

  1. Medical Insurance Reward Credits not used toward your deductible, co-insurance or health fund one year, will roll over to the next year, reducing your deductible or co-insurance or increasing your health fund balance even further.
  2. Exception for employees who change their medical plan coverage from the Aetna Health Fund to the POS II plan forfeit unused credits.
  3. Individuals going from the POS II plan to the AHF plan will retain unused balances, which will be forwarded and available in March of the same year.
  4. Rollover credits are available to use at the beginning of the plan year for those who stay in the same medical plan from year to year.
  5. Currently, there is no cap on the maximum amount of Medical Insurance Reward Credits that can be rolled over into a new year.
  6. Dental Exam for dental exam not cleaning only. Suggested codes: D120, D140, D150.
  7. Dermatology exams are covered 100%. Exception is if the provider performs a biopsy; then there is a co-pay for this procedure.
  8. Please note: plan year runs January-December. 

Medical Reward Credit Form for Vision and Dental

Stress Reduction Programs

Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems. You don't have to wait until stress has a negative impact on your health. You can begin practicing some simple but effective stress relief tools right now.   

With these practical and powerful techniques, you can take control of your stress and limit detrimental effects. You can learn ways to increase your state of ease, levels of well-being, and ability to bounce back from challenging situations!

Stress-Relief Programs for employees: 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP

With the County’s EAP Program, employees and families receive free, confidential counseling and/or life management coaching with 6 free visits per issue, per year. See the EAP Brochure to contact providers directly.

Restoring Employee Sleep Time (REST Program)

The REST Program provides evidence-based strategies to help SCG employees increase energy during the day, sleep more deeply at night, and re-initiate sleep after waking during the night (light sleeper, anxious thoughts, bathroom need, nightmares, hot flashes, etc.). A main focus of the REST Program is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). In 2016, the American College of Physicians stated in their Practice Guidelines: “All adult patients should receive CBT-I as the first step in treating chronic insomnia.”

Consistent, good quality sleep occurs when there is a strong sleep drive and a consistent sleep/wake schedule in place. This course is designed to target sleep-disruptive thoughts and beliefs participants have, as well as current sleep habits that keep insomnia going. Participants will learn how to change sleep behaviors, as well as how to manage any negative thoughts that may contribute to disrupted sleep.

Employees can attend the 4-week Insomnia Relief class (offered at different locations in Sarasota and Venice) and/or join the 1-1 REST Program (6-8 individual 55 min. sessions). Both of these resources entail learning:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
  • Relaxation Therapies
  • Sleep Efficiency Training with Sleep Logs
  • Buffer Zone Strategies
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • CPAP Exposure Therapy (if applicable)

How to Get Started:

Sign up on TRAC (1FIT3342) for the 4-Week Insomnia Relief Class; for the individual 1-1 REST Program Sessions contact Darcy Lord at or (941) 237-8037.

Please Note:
Employees must use personal time for the 1-1 REST Program individual sessions.

HeartMath: Resilience Advantage (1FIT3158)

The HeartMath® system of stress reduction techniques and heart rhythm monitoring technology is unlike other approaches to stress reduction. HeartMath's scientifically validated programs build on research into the heart-brain communication system, teaching users how to optimize the physiological processes that underpin health, well-being and high performance. Sign up on TRAC with 1FIT3158.

Mindfulness Classes (1FIT3290 & 1FIT3390)

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. These intelligent and engaging classes will teach you simple Mindfulness techniques that will leave you energized and focused – both at work and at home.

Other On-Site Stress Relief Classes

The following classes are available (infrequently) through TRAC, and they can also be scheduled anytime there is a group of 8 or more employees (at the same County location) requesting one.

  1. Breathing for Health & Well-Being (1FIT3126)

  2. What Happiness Does to Your Brain and Why You Should Care (1FIT3292)

  3. I’d Be Fine if It Wasn’t for You! What to do When People Don’t Behave (1FIT3230)

  4. 5 Proven Strategies to Decrease Stress and Increase Happiness Now (1FIT3237)

  5. Healing Power of Self-Compassion (1FIT3309)

  6. Meditation for Health & Well-Being (1FIT3151)

  7. The New Science of Gratitude (1FIT3144)

  8. Various classes taught by EAP professionals

6 Keys to Stress Reduction & Self-Care On-Line Program

Employees and families can watch this video program either from a county computer through TRAC (1FIT101-106), or by clicking on the below links. For employees who want TRAC credit for completing the program, you must use the TRAC system.

Key 1 - Self Respect
Key 2 - Empowerment
Key 3 - Body Matters
Key 4 - Appreciating Now
Key 5 - Self Talk
Key 6 - Hearts Intelligence

Audio/Video Resources

The following free resources are available by contacting Darcy Lord at or (941) 237-8037:
Gentle Yoga Stretching video (30 minutes):
15 min “Improving Quality of Sleep” mp3
21 min “Softening & Relief” Relaxation mp3

On-Site Stress Relief/Resiliency Training for SCG Teams

The Wellness team is pleased to come to your staff meetings, All Hands Meetings, staff retreat or planning days.  We offer individualized programs tailored to the needs of your group. Presentations range from 5 minutes to day-long programs and are ongoing. To schedule, contact Darcy Lord at or (941) 237-8037.

Sign up for all classes on TRAC. Questions to Darcy Lord Ph.D., Stress-Reduction Educator and Organizational Behavioral Specialist at or 941-237-8037.

Acupuncture/Chiropractic Services

Both are covered on our SCG Medical Insurance.

Discounted Massage

Find a list of Licensed Massage Therapists who provide SCG employee discounts on the Employee Discounts page:


Flu Shot Clinics 

Free on-site flu shots for you; a spouse and/or dependents 18 years or older.

The 2018-2019 Employee Flu clinics are available for you, your spouse or your dependent(s) over the age of 18 years. Click here to view our flyer! If one of the dates or times is not convenient for you, we welcome you at the Employee Health Center at 1301 Cattlemen Road, Building B from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning November 1, 2018. For more details call 941-861-6833.

Seasonal flu has a fairly predictable season to it, typically starting in the fall and ending by early spring. Getting your flu shot early and annually is your first step in prevention. Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the  flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. 

So frequent hand washing and covering your cough are other important steps to reduce spreading the flu.

Additional information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at or

Employee Stall Talk

Stall Talk is a bi-weekly Benefits and Wellness publication that goes, as the name suggests, in the bathroom stalls of county buildings!  

Employees are encouraged to help us get the word out about the wonderful programs offered. If your building doesn't yet have Stall Talk consistently updated, let us know, and perhaps volunteer to be the designated "Stall Talk contact" for your building. 

Current issue of Stall Talk

Tobacco Cessation

Sarasota County Government has teamed up with Tobacco Free Florida to provide you with all the resources you need to quit. Participate in an individualized smoking cessation program and choose which FREE and EASY option is best for you: 

  1. Talk to a Quit Coach over the phone 1-877-822-6669
  2. Online Web Coach
  3. Face-to-face classes can be found at:

More about the smoking cessation program options