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People power: PostalPEOPLE is sharing its services nationwide

The Postal Service has reached a milestone in its efforts to streamline Human Resources (HR) operations - all performance clusters (PCs) are now supported by PostalPEOPLE shared services.

With the integration of all 80 PCs and the Inspection Service into the system, 700,000 career employees can tap into the expertise offered by the Human Resources Shared Service Center in Greensboro, NC, to handle benefits, retirement, separation and management hiring.

Headquarters and the remaining postal facilities will be added to this initial phase in the PostalPEOPLE rollout in coming months.

"Just like we've made it quick, easy and convenient for customers to use our products and services online, employees can handle their HR transactions online as well," says Chief Human Resources Officer Tony Vegliante.

With millions of personnel transactions conducted each year, PostalPEOPLE is helping to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

September's mission — Avoid infectious diseases

Washing hands under running water.Viruses, bacteria and parasites now have an implacable foe - you.

That's because September is National Preparedness Month. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is running its "An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away" campaign. The message is simple: The battleground for the war against infectious diseases is your .

The CDC reports that the spread of germs at and in the workplace has a significant impact:

• More than 160,000 people in the United States die yearly from an infectious disease.

• About 10 million adults in the United States could not work during 2002 due to health problems.

To download the CDC's Seven Keys to a Safer, Healthier , go to Brochure 12.20.05.pdf.

PMG delivers first and 1 billionth Highlights to National Postal Museum

PMG Jack Potter with highlights for Children, Inc.PMG Jack Potter (left) with Highlights for Children, Inc., Chief Executive Officer Kent Johnson at the celebration of the 1 billionth delivered copy of Highlights for Children magazine.

For more than six decades, the Postal Service has worked with Highlights for Children, Inc., to help children become their best selves. This achievement was celebrated recently as both organizations presented the National Postal Museum with one of the very first copies of the magazine - printed in June 1946 - and a copy from the 1 billionth print run this summer.

The two magazines will be preserved at the museum, where they will complement the existing anthology of significant postal history, publications and philatelic collections.

With more than 2 million subscribers, Highlights for Children provides a monthly collection of letters, drawings, questions and poems submitted by its readers. Each issue delivered by a letter carrier helps encourage a child to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning.

"Reaching this milestone has been a true partnership between Highlights for Children, Inc., and the U.S. Postal Service," said Kent Johnson, Highlights for Children chief executive officer.

After Katrina, USPS employees deliver the promise of a brighter day

Rural Carrier Associate Elise GipsonRural Carrier Associate Elise Gipson, outside the Buras, LA, Post Office that was destroyed one year ago by Hurricane Katrina.

It was one year ago last month that Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, pummeling the community with 125 mile-per-hour winds and signaling the start of the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the Gulf Coast.

Buras, LA, Rural Carrier Associate Elise Gipson delivers the mail to Plaquemines Parish. Like the bright strobe light on the roof of her jeep, Gipson is a beacon of hope to her community. "We started delivering in May, and once they saw the blinking light, they started replacing their mailboxes from one end of the parish to the other like crazy," she says. "They knew it meant things were going to get better. One man was so excited he put up flowers at the mailbox."

As a lifetime resident of the small community, Gipson had plenty of experience with storms and she evacuated in time. Since returning, Gipson - like her neighbors and co- workers - copes each day with the challenge of trying to return to a normal life after experiencing firsthand such wide-spread devastation. Wind, tidal surge and mud caused the roof and walls of Gipson's to partially collapse.

"We're glad she's delivering mail for us," says customer Nicole Bourgeos. "We look forward to her little white jeep coming down the road."

Carrier Pickup is off the charts

Carrier Pickup recently made its 40 millionth pickup at's main office in Hoboken, NJ. has been in business for five years now. It fulfills contact lens prescriptions through its Web site and ships them using the Postal Service's domestic and international expedited services. And each day, for five years, owner Kevin Walsh was going into the local Post Office with satchels full of outgoing packages.

Customer Service Supervisor Dennis Haggerty was the first to speak to Walsh about Carrier Pickup. "I told him that we could pick up his packages at no extra charge and his eyes bugged out," said Dennis. "I walked him through the Web site and he started requesting pickups the next day."

Walsh is seeing clearly how Carrier Pickup saves both time and money. "Now, I just give my packages to my carrier and he takes care of the rest."

Richard Potter dies at 79: PMG's father was career USPS employee

Richard "Dick" Potter, a 40-year postal veteran and father of Postmaster General John E. Potter, died recently at 79. Dick began his Postal Service career as a letter carrier and worked in several stations in Manhattan, retiring in 1985 as Director of Station Operations for the New York Post Office, with responsibility for some of the most complicated delivery zones in the nation. Other survivors include his wife Maureen; sons Richard, Christopher, Brian, and Brendan; daughter Mary Anne Gassert; and 14 grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Anna Nestor, and his brother, James.

In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Richard Potter may be sent to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation for Research, 710 W. 168 St., New York, NY 10032-3726.

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