BWN Spotlight

The Business Women's Network of Howard County is built upon an outstanding foundation of members and sponsors. Their combined subject knowledge is unparalleled. All of our sponsors are also members! Here, we feature a monthly blog post written by a current member-sponsor.

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Current sponsors can contact Christine Lowe at christine@christinelowevo.com to request a spotlight month.



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  • May 15, 2020 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Rebecca Bitzer

    telehealth dietitian visits

    Since so many people are staying at home during the COVID pandemic, we thought it would be helpful to share what we have learned on how to work remotely from home. Here is one of our Registered Dietitians speaking to another one of our Registered Dietitians. Each of our Dietitians specializes in a specific area of nutrition.

    Tips for the Newbie on How to Work Remotely from Home

    Make sure to have a quiet space

    • It is understandable during the pandemic that your space might not be completely quiet because of children in the background or barking dogs, but do your best to keep these to a minimum.  Remember, that even the professional newscasters are dealing with the same issues.  You can assure your clients that they will not be heard by others in your home.
    • Do your best  keeping furry coworkers occupied, cannot always control  dogs barking. So remember,  “this wont be perfect, there may be dogs barking” and trying to stay calm as you can. Luckily cats just sleep near you most of the day

    Good lighting

    • Just like your workspace in the office away from home, make sure that your home office has good lighting. Ideally, natural lighting is the best, but if that is not possible, make sure to move a lamp close to you so that your clients will be able to see you.  Be careful of backlighting which makes it difficult for your clients to see you.

    Earphones or Earbuds

    • Since you will be on the phone and/or in front of a screen for more hours than usual, make sure that you have comfortable earphones or earbuds.  This also protects the privacy of your client.

    Privacy

    • In terms of privacy, make sure you have a HIPAA compliant platform.  Even though the rules have loosened a bit with this during the pandemic.  Common sense rules. Do what you can to keep your client’s information private. More on HIPPA compliant platforms below.

    Video Area

    • Make sure that the area behind you is professional. Your clients will be seeing you in your home environment which makes it especially important to be mindful of what they are able to see on their computer screen.

    Tips for the Pro on How to Work Remotely from Home

    HIPAA compliant platforms for Telehealth

    • There are so many to choose from, either stand alone platforms or ones that are interfaced with appointment/billing platforms.  Like most things, there are pros and cons for each platform.  We have experience with many of them including:
      • VSEE
      • doxy.me
      • google video
      • zoom
      • Screensharing
      • We find that it is worth the extra cost to make sure that you can share your screen with your clients.  This makes the educational part of your counseling session run much more smoothly. So far, we have liked doxy. me the best.

    **If you are a health professional, make sure that your platform is HIPAA compliant.**

    Backup plan

    • This may seem like overkill, but we believe it is essential to have an alternative platform available if your primary platform is not working well on a specific day.  Believe me, we have had to switch back and forth fairly often.  We do whatever we can to make the user experience as good as possible.

    Be prepared

    • Send links to your client prior to call so that everyone is ready for the telehealh appointment.  It is best to include as much information as possible in terms of how to connect as possible to prevent miscommunication.
    • Have patients (clients) upload documents on a HIPAA compliant portal prior to call

    In case of problems

    • Have your administrative team available to help you troubleshoot
    • If none of your telehealth platforms are not available due to loss of internet, feel free to use your telephone to stay connected

    More Tips to Work Remotely from Home

    Take care of yourself

    • Make sure to stay grounded.  Take a look at this blog for grounding exercises that you can do at home.
    • Make sure to take breaks like you would at work.  Eat lunch, eat snacks, walk around or stretch between appointments.

    Connect with others on your team

    • Since you no longer have the same ability to destress with your team members face-to-face, make sure to stay connected to them periodically throughout the day.  For more tips on how to stay connected remotely, take a look at this blog on remote team building.

    Make your workspace enjoyable

    • If possible have your cat or your fish tank close by to help calm you
    • Decorate your workspace like you would if it were your permanent workspace.  Maybe set up by a window or have favorite plants or photos where you can see them.
    • Try to keep your space decluttered to help your mind rest in between sessions.

    Desk

    • If you can get a desk, that will help you feel more productive and comfortable and help you to separate work/home.  Here is what one of our dietitians said, “desk with a cork board and dry erase board, which makes it easy to stay organized while working from home”

    Work Boundaries

    • “Try to find a way to create space between work and home for balance, if you have a home office, try to leave work in there, closing the door, or if you aren’t working in an office. Try to put away work things in a box or designated area until it is time to work again.  These tips should help you create some mental distance for self-care.

    What tips have you found to be most useful when working remotely from home? 

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Rebecca Bitzer & Associates  Rebecca Bitzer

    Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD
    Registered Dietitian
    Rebecca Bitzer & Associates: A Dietitian for Every Condition

    For more tips and hacks on how to work remotely,  email rebecca@rbitzer.com or if you are interested in referring a client, your loved-one or yourself for nutrition counseling, email admin@rbitzer.com

    We are here to help during the pandemic and beyond.

  • March 25, 2020 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Nirit Roddy


    There is nothing like an international pandemic to show us how truly important our health is and how crucial it is to do our best when it comes to our physical and mental well-being. When it comes to getting in shape, it is key to find something you can stick with that works for you both physically and mentally.

    Most entrepreneurial women work 10-12-hour days and are constantly putting out fires in both their business and in their home – often at the expense of their physical and mental health, not making time for proper rest, and not making good exercise and food choices.

    Women are often afraid to try new eating, sleeping, and exercise routines because they are afraid of not meeting all their other demands. But the truth is that self-care does not require making drastic changes or completely changing your entire life. You don’t have to exercise intensely for an hour daily to get in shape. You don’t have to eat clean in order to be healthy! In fact, as a certified nutritionist, I can tell you that this is incredibly unhealthy for you on a mental, physical, and emotional level.

    So, what does a busy, over-taxed, self-aware professional woman do?

    Start implementing these 5 steps right away:

    1. Start eating 3 meals a day. Try to incorporate protein and healthy carbohydrates is each meal. Do not deprive yourself of any foods: just monitor your portions.
    2. Incorporate 20 minutes of exercise daily. Take a walk a couple days a week. If you are over 40 start lifting light weights to prevent osteoporosis. Try online workouts.
    3. Drink water!  Try to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. If water isn’t your favorite thing, consider tea without sugar or add some flavor into your water.  Water is the # 1 nutrient when it comes to your health and weight loss.
    4. Get support and share your goal with others. Working women need one another. Their tribe is so important to them. Tell your friends that you are trying to improve your physical and mental health and ask your family and friends for their support.
    5. Get an accountability coach. All these steps are fantastic but if you are like most people you can’t do it all on your own. There are so many women coaches out there that would love to support you. Find an experienced expert that you trust and ask for help.

    As women leaders we are role models to our colleagues and our children. We need to model self-care as a huge priority. Now is always the best time to start.   

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Fit With Nirit  Nirit Roddy

    Nirit Roddy is the founder of Fit With Nirit an online fitness and nutrition program that works WITHOUT dieting or going to the gym. Her mission is to help women regain their power by unapologetically putting themselves first. Her amazing energy can be found at www.fitwithnirit.com and on Facebook

    In 12 weeks, Nirit helps women reshape their bodies and feel amazingly confident in their clothes without dieting or killing themselves in the gym.

  • February 20, 2020 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Ruth Lamberty

      

    January was National Mentoring Month, and though it has passed, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the importance of mentors in society, with the hope that you’ll seek one out and/or become one!

    Mentoring can mean a lot of things – tutoring, guiding, coaching, developing, supporting, and I could go on. At its core, mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced person helps to guide a less experienced person towards personal and/or professional growth. I’ve had many mentors over the years – friends, an executive at a previous job, a Score mentor when I decided to start Adult Prep and, most recently, a life coach mentor. Each of them has had an important role to play in my development and growth, which is the main reason that I decided to train to become a life coach. Growth is important for each of us.

    Research proves that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, effective mentoring guarantees to the mentee that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, transitions and, here’s that word again, growth.

    Did you know that students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class?

    Did you know that young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor?

    Did you know that more than 9 in 10 workers who have a mentor are satisfied with their jobs, including more than half who are “very satisfied?”

    So, how do you become a mentor? Find someone you’d like to help teach, guide or support in some way and then…teach, guide or support them! It can be something you wish you’d had help with when you were younger, like how to find the right college for you, how to ask for a raise and the like. Or it can be something you’re great at now. Are you a workout fiend? Find a mentee that would like to have a healthier lifestyle. Are you great at calculus? Tutor someone who isn’t. Want to help with all the things? Volunteer for a Big Brother/Big Sister program. You get the point.

    How do you find a mentor? Just the opposite. Write down your goals and start looking for someone who can help you reach them. Search for a program that meets your needs through the National Mentoring Partnership or find a life coach in your area.

    Lastly, a friendly reminder to be thoughtful and purposeful with your actions; warm and inquisitive with your words. You never know who may be watching/listening.   

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Adult Prep, LLC  Ruth Lamberty

    Ruth Lamberty founded Adult Prep, LLC, a hands-on education company, after nearly 2 decades of marketing, communications and engagement work for various non-profit and for-profit entities.

    She began her career as a communications associate and rapidly progressed to the positions of Director of Marketing; and Director of Engagement and Communications, responsible for overseeing community outreach and meeting formerly unmet public needs. Ruth was twice recognized by her employers for her outstanding performance in these positions by receiving the Mensch (good person) Award and ProfessionalExcellence Award for exceptional achievement. 

    Ruth has trained teens and adults in the areas of message development, media representation, public speaking, online presence and presentation skills.  She also volunteers with several community organizations where she helps shape programs for team building, community building and self-focused building. 

    The creation of Adult Prep came after Ruth noticed an unmet need to better enable our children to stand on their own two feet when they leave home as young adults. This enriching of lives through the hands-on teaching of life skills focuses on rapid skills development in the area of independent living. Ruth received her B.S. from the University of Florida and has received numerous continuing education credits in related fields.

    Visit Adult Prep's website

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