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News Briefs

Get Ready for Pumpkin Chase

The 5th annual Great Pumpkin Chase is set for Sunday, Oct. 27 and will benefit the Friends of the Clinical Center (FOCC). The 5K run and 1-mile walk will be sponsored by the NIH Federal Credit Union and radio station WKYS. Individuals and teams can sign up for the races. There will be t-shirts, prizes and refreshments. For more information call Wendy Ladas, 230-4817. To sign up as an FOCC volunteer to help with the event, call Pat Turner, 6-9271.

FARE Awards for Fellows

The Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) this year will again recognize outstanding scientific research. One hundred twenty basic science and clinical fellows will be awarded $1,000 each for domestic travel and costs associated with a scientific meeting. Applications, including abstracts, may be electronically submitted to the NIH Fellows committee website Felcom (ftp://helix.nih.gov/felcom/index.html), mailed or hand-delivered to the Office of Education, Bldg. 10, Rm. 1C129, Attn. Shirley Forehand, before Nov. 15. Winners will be announced next January. Questions should be emailed to award@atlas.niaid.nih.gov or your institute's fellows committee representative. The application form and instructions can be accessed at Felcom.

Asian Heritage Program Planning Starts

The first planning meeting for the 25th annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Program at NIH is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24 at noon in the Little Theater, Visitor Information Center, Bldg. 10. The program will be held in May 1997. All interested parties are invited to attend the planning session. For more information, call Victor Fung, 6-1625.

Cafe Verde 'Green' with Envy

The Cafe Verde operated by Guest Services, Inc. (GSI), located above the Visitor Information Center in Bldg. 10, will be receiving a new look starting this month. GSI's makeover plans include installing new carpeting, new and additional tables and chairs, cushioned benches, and a high bar. For patrons who cannot miss a day without their favorite cup of brewed coffee, GSI will continue services at this location as usual during the renovation of the ACRF cafeteria. The grand reopening is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Reminder: Only 85 days left until the Bldg. 31 cafeteria renovation begins.

New Uses for Employee Express

Did you know that Employee Express, the automated system that allows federal employees to manage many aspects of their own payroll/personnel information, now permits changes to health benefits (FEHB) and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?

Yes, it's true. Using a touchtone phone or touch-screen kiosk, employees may make changes beginning this open season, the first pay period in November 1996. All employees need is their Social Security number and personal identification number to start, change or stop their FEHB or start, change or allocate funds in their TSP.

If you have lost or forgotten your PIN, contact the Employee Express help desk, (912) 757-3030.

Payslips Undergo Changes

Beginning with the payslip for paydate Oct. 8, all Social Security numbers and home addresses have been deleted from the payslip. This step was taken to reduce the amount of personal information on the payslip that could be used for fraudulent purposes, said the Office of Human Resources Management. This change may cause some minor inconvenience for some timekeepers and for those employees designated to distribute payslips. Care must be taken in the distribution process if a timekeeper has employees with identical or similiar names.

Employees who may be concerned that their address is incorrect in their personnel records can easily verify their address through the use of Employee Express (EE). Also, whenever employees make any personnel changes using EE, they can also use EE to verify that the change has been made to their personnel record. Usually, when changes are made using EE, the change can be verified by the employee the next day.

If you are interested in using EE to make your personnel changes, call the Customer Support Group at 6-5072 or 6-4556 for information. EE is fast, secure and the most efficient way to make changes to your record.

Camera Club Meets, Nov. 12

The NIH R&W Camera Club will meet Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Bldg. 31, R.m. 6C08. Guest speakers will be Pat Hansen and Mollie Issacs of F2 Photography Design Studio who will talk about portrait photography. The subject for the evening's competition is "Abstract." All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Dr. Yuan Liu, 4-6382.

Use or Lose Annual Leave

Annual leave in excess of the maximum carryover balance (in most cases 240 hours) is normally forfeited if not used by the end of the current leave year. Employees who have not already planned to take those excess hours should discuss leave plans with their supervisors now, while there is still time to schedule leave. Bi-weekly Earnings and Leave Statements (pay slip) tell how much annual leave must be used or lost when the leave year ends on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Despite planning, circumstances sometimes arise that prevent taking scheduled and approved leave. In such cases, employees and supervisors are jointly responsible for ensuring that "use or lose" leave is scheduled in writing. This year, use or lose leave must be scheduled in writing no later than Saturday, Nov. 23.

Questions on use or lose leave policy should be directed to ICD personnel offices.

Attention Former NAFI'ers

If you have had prior service with a nonappropriated fund instrumentality (NAFI) of the Department of Defense or Coast Guard, you may be eligible to make a retirement election to include your NAFI service toward your FERS retirement or to have all of your current service credited under a NAFI retirement plan. If you believe you may be eligible to make such an election, contact your personnel office as soon as possible for details.

Kaiser Plan Service Day

Kaiser Permanente Health Plan will be on the NIH campus Thursday, Oct. 24 to assist plan enrollees who have claims or enrollment problems or questions. A plan representative will be available from 10 a.m. to noon in Bldg. 31, Conf. Rm. 7 and from 2:15 to 4 p.m. in Bldg. 38, Conf. Rm. B. No appointment is necessary. Assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series, held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10, ends the month on Oct. 30 with a talk by Dr. Kenneth D. Stuart, senior scientist and director, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, and professor of pathobiology, and adjunct professor of microbiology, University of Washington. His topic will be "The Mechanism of mRNA Editing: gRNA-Specified Uridylate Insertion and Deletion." The lecture is hosted by the Molecular Biology and RNA Interest Groups.

On Nov. 6, Dr. Tim R. Mosmann will address "Immune Regulation by T Cell Subsets and Their Cytokines." He is professor, department of medical microbiology and immunology, University of Alberta, Canada. Hosts for the event are the Immunology and Cytokine Interest Groups.

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 4-5595.

Why Change the NIH Home Page?

If you visit the NIH World Wide Web home page you will notice it has taken on a different look. The new page was designed to load faster, but the real reason for the change was to accommodate a new, first-level area called "Information for Employees." In the early days of the web, (a few years ago) the NIH web site was used primarily for communicating with the public and the extramural scientific community. As web use has become more commonplace, there has been an expansion in online information resources for internal agency use.

This new area provides a "home" for the many information links designed to help NIH employees. For example: you can look up items in the NIH Manual chapters, get procurement information, shop in the virtual computer store, look for career development courses, and submit requests to the NIH Library. You can even get the latest interest rates from the NIH Federal Credit Union or see what tickets are selling at the R&W.

If you have ever had a hard time trying to find something on the NIH web site, you will appreciate another change to the NIH home page -- the addition of an NIH "search engine." This service automatically creates a searchable index of the entire NIH web. As with most Internet search tools, you will often uncover too many items when running a search. Successful searching involves learning how to select and associate your search terms carefully. The current search engine is still undergoing tests. User feedback is appreciated.


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