September 2022 Open Line

Year 2022 for You

September 30, 2022


Thank you to all who submitted their best autumn-inspired snapshots AND voted on them! The DCS Wellness Council is pleased to announce the Fall Photo Contest winners, including:

  • Autumn Leaves & Fall Breeze -- Sara Haun
  • Fall In LoveTeresa Grey
  • Pick of the Patch -- LaToya Todd

Congrats to all our winners!

Wondering what’s next from the DCS Wellness Council? This October, we’ll have two quick calendar challenges:

  1. October 2022 Wellness Calendar (Oct. 3-14): This 2-week Wellness Calendar provides tips and resources to help you care for yourself so you can care for others! Download your calendar HERE and/or sign-up for the optional challenge communications HERE.
  2. Shred Your Stress Challenge (Oct. 17-28): Join us as we aim to complete daily activities to help shred our stress. Visit to sign up for challenge communications by Friday, Oct. 14, and grab the challenge calendar! (Click 'Challenges' to expand the menu.)

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!

There are so many ways to celebrate fall! Enjoy the fall foliage by getting active on one of the thousand of greenways across the state or plan a trip to a state park.

You can also enjoy seasonal produce and Pick Tennessee Products, like pumpkins and apples. Send photos of your produce to for a chance to win a prize! 🍎🎃
There will be FIVE prizes given to participants chosen at random!

Upcoming Virtual Events

Fall Fun Trivia!
Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 10:30-10:45 a.m. CT
Let’s take a mental break to help lower stress and bring some fun into your day.

What to Expect: WFHTN Wellness Coordinator Morgan will lead trivia. The top three winners will be awarded a prize! We’ll play using the platform
Mentimeter. A link to play will be provided on the day of trivia.
Download calendar invite.

You can access all upcoming WFHTN activities, webinars, and workouts at

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Recipe of The Week

‘Tis the season for pumpkins!

Enjoy pumpkin in this whole grain oatmeal breakfast treat!

September 23, 2022

Voting Is Open for Our Fall Photo Contest!

You submitted your best autumn-inspired snapshots to the DCS Wellness Council and now it’s time to vote for your favorites at:

Photo Contest categories include:

  • Fall In Love -- Anything autumn you love.
  • Autumn Leaves & Fall Breeze -- Fall foliage or landscapes.
  • Pick of the Patch -- Cute kids and/or pets.

Voting will be open until Thursday, Sept. 29. (Access the photo submissions for each category at: DCS_fall_photo_contest_2022.pdf) The winners will be announced on Friday, Sept. 30 here in Open Line! 

World Heart Day

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 18.6 million lives each year. World Heart Day is designated as a day to learn the ways to prevent and control this deadly disease.

Learn more from the American Heart Association about preventing heart disease at any age: 

Keep Calm & Carry On

Keep Calm & Carry On

Calm Break
Thursday, Sept. 29 from 10-10:15 a.m. CT
September 29 is World Heart Day. One way to take care of your heart is to relax. Join WFHTN for a chance to de-stress with a live-streamed calm break.

Download the calendar invite.

You can access all upcoming WFHTN activities, webinars, and workouts at


Recipe of the Week

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! To celebrate, try some Pupusas Revueltas, Salvadoran-style Stuffed Masa Cakes. Low-fat ground chicken and cheese help reduce the saturated fat and calories in this tasty dish.  

Fall Photo Contest

September 16, 2022

Enter Our Fall Photo Contest!

Send in your best autumn-inspired snapshots to the DCS Wellness Council!

Photo Contest categories include:

  • Fall in Love
    • Anything autumn you love.
  • Autumn Leaves & Fall Breeze
    • Fall foliage or landscapes.
  • Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice
    • Homemade fall foods.
  • Pick of the Patch
    • Cute kids &/or pets.

Please submit your photo entry(s) by 9/22 to and be sure to include the category you’re entering.

Voting will be open from 9/23-9/29.

And the winners will be announced on 9/30 here in Open Line.

Celebrating Child Welfare Worker Week!

Weight Loss Story

Staff Success Story: Michelle’s Way Back to Her “Wedding Weight

“I found out I was diabetic on 5/7/22. My A1C was 9.6 and my fasting blood sugar was 286. I was at very high risk of a stroke because my blood was so filled with sugar, that it was the consistency of syrup. I made a change that very day. Today, I'm 80 lbs. down and my A1C is 6.1!! I’m down from a size 28 to a size 20/22. 1st picture is 5/8/22, 2nd picture is 7/8/22 and 3rd picture is today 9/8/22. I'm 45 lbs. from my final goal and only 20 lbs. from my "wedding weight" in 2009! The next picture will be of me fitting into my wedding dress again! I'm on track to reverse my diabetes and high blood pressure! How did I do it? Dedication to no starches and no simple carbs.”

The DCS Wellness Council wants to congratulate Michelle on all her success thus far and thank her for sharing her inspiring story! If you have a wellness win that you’d like to share with staff, we’d love to hear from you at

P.S. Did you know that all state health plan members have access to the Diabetes Prevention Program if you meet the eligibility criteria? (The DPP is administered by either BlueCross BlueShield or Cigna, depending on which health insurance carrier you chose.) Learn more at

Whole Grains Month

It's Whole Grains Month

What is a whole grain and why are whole grains a healthier choice? Whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Learn more at

Read Nutrition Lists

Tips for Reading the Ingredient List

An ingredient list is an informative tool you can use when you're making decisions about what to eat. Wellness Coordinator and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Morgan McFarlane have a tip to help you better understand this important part of the nutrition label! (44 seconds)

Brown Rice, Chicken and Veggies

Recipe of the Week

A delicious way to enjoy more whole grains! This rice bowl with vegetables and chicken is simple to prepare and appealing to children and adults.

Cholesterol 101

Upcoming Virtual Events

Cholesterol 101 (presented by ActiveHealth)
Thursday, Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

Did you know high cholesterol levels raise your risk for heart disease? It’s true. If your levels are high, your risk could be twice as high as people with ideal levels. In this webinar, you’ll learn ways to lower your risk.

Download calendar invite.

You can access all upcoming WFHTN activities, webinars, and workouts at

Breakfast Month

September 9, 2022

It's Better Breakfast Month!

Do you prefer a savory breakfast or something on the sweeter side? Celebrate Better Breakfast Month with the DCS Wellness Council! Here are two ways to celebrate and possibly win a prize:

  1. Complete Working for a Healthier TN’s Breakfast Crossword.
  2. Share a photo of a balanced breakfast you enjoyed.

Send in your crossword and/or photo to by Friday, Sept. 30.

There will be FIVE prizes for EACH activity given to participants chosen at random!

Upcoming Virtual Events

DCS Wellness

Boost Your Welfare with Us in honor of Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week!

The DCS Wellness Council exists to encourage and enable our staff to lead healthier lives. Please check out all that we have to offer (at no cost to you) and reach out for even more support for your team!

Grab a wellness calendar for daily activities to help you make the most of this month, and/or join these virtual workouts, activities, and webinars hosted by Working for a Healthier TN:

Don’t miss these upcoming DCS Wellness Events:

  • Thursday Fitness Break -- Give your body a break every Thursday from 11-11:15 a.m. CT
  • Fall Photo Contest -- Send in your best autumn-inspired snapshots!

Contest categories include:

  • Fall in Love (Anything autumn you love.)
  • Autumn Leaves & Fall Breeze (Fall foliage or landscapes.)
  • Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice (Homemade fall foods.)
  • Pick of the Patch (Cute kids &/or pets.)

To Participate:

  1. Submit entries by 9/22 to
  2. Voting is open from 9/23-9/29.
  3. Winners are announced on 9/30 in Open Line.

Fall in Love with Veggies

Fall in Love with Veggies

(presented by ActiveHealth)

Thursday, Sept. 15 from 12-12:30 p.m. CT

Most of us don't eat enough vegetables, but they can add some sizzle to our diet. Learn fun ways to add more veggies to your meals and get some tips on how to pump up the flavor.
Download calendar invite.

You can access all upcoming WFHTN activities, webinars, and workouts at

Veggie Breakfast Casserole

Recipe of the Week

Get some veggies in with breakfast! This veggie-packed Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole is a delicious way to start the day!

September 2, 2022

National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. We can all help prevent suicide. Check out The Role of Co-Workers in Preventing Suicide in the Workplace and join in the “Suicide Prevention Efforts in Tennessee” webinar this Friday, Sept. 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. CT to learn about statewide suicide prevention efforts. This session will be presented by the Tennessee Department of Health’s Suicide Prevention Program.

Download calendar invite.

You can access all upcoming WFHTN activities, webinars, and workouts at

Yoga Instructor Kristina Giard-Bradford

Spotlight on Yoga

It’s National Yoga Month! You can give yoga a try with these on-demand yoga video resources or attend a live virtual yoga class. (Pictured: Department of Health employee Kristina Giard-Bradford who is a certified yoga instructor and voluntarily leads some of the weekly yoga offerings.)

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls with Lemongrass

Recipe Spotlight

Have you ever wanted to try tofu? This Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Lemongrass Tofu is a flavorful way to enjoy tofu.  

Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week

As part of Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week, September 12-16, 2022, NCWWI and the Children’s Bureau are hosting a one-hour virtual recognition event on Tuesday, September 13 at 3 pm EDT.

This event is about taking time to reflect, connect, and recharge. You do so much for others, so we hope you’ll join in and encourage those around you to do the same.

Register to attend at

Child Welfare Worker Resources

This Page Last Updated: September 30, 2022 at 3:06 PM