Gerber Memorial’s Girls’ Night Out on Nov. 2 will feature local women’s stories of hope, healing
FREMONT– Local women from diverse backgrounds will share their individual health journeys during Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s Girls’ Night Out on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts in Fremont.
The free event is open to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gerber Memorial invites the community to attend the event, which will feature free screenings, useful information about health and wellness for the family, free nutritious appetizers, and fun activities. Attendees will get the chance to win door prizes that include a Vitamix blender and other items, and receive Yeti-inspired tumblers as free giveaways at the door.
The centerpiece of Girls’ Night Out 2017 is an onstage coffee-table conversation and discussion with local women from diverse backgrounds about their individual health journeys and situations that could affect women at any age.
“Gerber Memorial is excited that Girls’ Night Out this year will put the spotlight on women who live and work right here in our community as they share their stories of hope and healing that will inform and inspire all of us,” said Gerber Memorial Chief Operating Officer, Shelly Johnson. “Gerber Memorial is committed to our community and to partnering with the people we serve to share information that can help promote health and wellness for everyone in the family. Girls’ Night Out is one opportunity for us to connect with our community, and we invite everyone to join us for fun, food and the journey toward greater wellness.”
Women who will speak live include Danielle McCabe-Arbogast, Lisa Soueidan and Joni Erlewein. Other local women will also share their stories via video. Personal stories range from discussing journeys through cancer, post-partum depression, quitting tobacco, pelvic health and mindfulness.
Gerber Memorial fundraiser invites community men to skip shavers, support babies
FREMONT, Mich. (October 11, 2017) – This November, growing a beard is more than a fashion statement. It’s an easy, no-effort way for men to support babies and for the entire community to give to a fundraiser benefitting Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s Family Birth Center.
During the month of November, the “Beards for Babies” fundraiser encourages men to grow a beard and mustache, and ask supporters to give to their efforts as part of a friendly competition. On Nov. 29, the participants will show off their beards during a showdown at Lakes 23 Restaurant and Pub.
Participants of the “Beards for Babies” event can sign up at give.spectrumhealth.org/beardsforbabies and use their custom page to raise funds, by sharing the link and their efforts with friends, family, coworkers and others.
“Gerber Memorial’s Family Birth Center does phenomenal work bringing more than 500 young lives into the world every year, and ‘Beards for Babies’ is a fun way men can skip shaving for a month while supporting mothers and their children,” said Spectrum Health Foundation Gerber Memorial Director Paul Bedient. “We encourage men to give their razors a break, let their facial hair go and show off their whiskers for the community to admire on Nov. 29. At the end of the day, families and babies across Newaygo County and beyond are the ones who will benefit.”
A panel of judges will pick the best facial hair based on the following categories:
The fundraiser will help purchase items such as: safe sleep books, safe sleep sacks, diapers and wipes, and other much-needed items. In addition, funds raised will help certify another lactation consultant for the Family Birth Center.
Participants will use Gerber Memorial’s TeamUp! fundraising website to raise $50 or more to earn free entry into the event and beard contest. Men wishing to sign up as participants can go to: give.spectrumhealth.org/beardsforbabies. Registration is now open. Participants are encouraged to register now to create their own page and start sharing their efforts.
Those who wish to donate but not participate in the beard growing can also visit the website to make a general donation or find a participant to support. For more information or questions, call 231-924-3681.
Newaygo Fire Department holds open house to educate residents on fire prevention
NEWAYGO, Mich., 10-06-2017 – Consider this scenario: Its 2 o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Carlos Escalante, Captain at the Newaygo Fire Department. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. The Newaygo Fire Department is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages. Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017.
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Carlos encourages all Newaygo County households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA and the Newaygo Fire Department offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
For more information on fire prevention and the open house, visit newaygofire.com.
As the school year kicks off, youngest Newaygo County students CATCH up with nutrition, wellness program
FREMONT– To the sounds of children reciting the alphabet or laughing in hallways, add some new sounds in elementary schools throughout Newaygo County’s five school districts: lessons on nutrition and Zumba sessions in the gym.
These and other activities, woven into the curriculum of K-5th-grade students in Hesperia, White Cloud, Grant, Fremont, and Newaygo are part of the nationally recognized Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH, program. Piloted in White Cloud and Hesperia last school year, the program is spearheaded by Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in partnership with the districts and Michigan State University Extension. Focusing on helping students embrace nutritious eating habits and physical activities, educators from Gerber Memorial are sharing easy-to-understand information ranging from how much sugar is in a can of pop and how to work fresh unprocessed affordable foods into kids’ daily diets, to easy fun exercises for school and home.
Researchers generally find that a higher quality diet is associated with better performance on exams, and that programs focused on increasing students’ health also show improvements in students’ academic test scores.
“The evidence is mounting that healthy kids are better learners. Schools play an important role in shaping our children’s health and wellness. Improved nutrition and increasing physical activity at school can create an environment that supports children’s readiness to learn,” explains Jena Zeerip, community health program lead at Gerber Memorial.
Upper elementary students will begin receiving 30-minute CATCH lessons starting in October, with lessons scheduled every other week, totaling eight by the end of January. Lower elementary students will begin in February and will also receive 30-minute CATCH lessons. The CATCH lessons are being slated this year for Grant, Hesperia, and Newaygo K- to 4th-grade students; 3rd- to 5th-grade students in Fremont; and K- to 5th-grade students in White Cloud.
Nearly 50 colleges, universities, trade schools, and military organizations were represented at College and Career Night Out on September 28.
Held at Fremont High School, the annual event drew hundreds of students and families from across Newaygo County to learn more about post-secondary education, career opportunities, and financial aid. WE CAN! Newaygo County—the local career and college access network—and Fremont Area Community Foundation organized and sponsored the event.
Melissa Miller, WE CAN! coordinator, said that the event was designed to streamline the college and career decision process for local students.
“With so many factors that can influence a student’s decision to pursue higher education or training, this event continues to serve families in this process by bringing numerous resources and current information under one roof,” said Miller. “Families are able to make connections, get their questions answered, and hopefully realize there are many resources to support them as they navigate this selection process.”
Attendees enjoyed free pizza, spoke to college and career representatives, learned more about scholarships, and were able to attend informational sessions on financial aid and college affordability, hot jobs in West Michigan, and how to choose a college.
The college and career fair included a wide variety of public and private colleges, trade schools, and military branches. Representatives came from as far as Alabama and as close as schools with classes right in Newaygo County. Students and parents could ask questions, compare programs, and explore financial aid opportunities.
Other partners with a presence at the event included Early College Newaygo County, Gerber Foundation, Michigan Works! West Central, Newaygo County Area Promise Zone, Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Telamon, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. College advisors and high school counselors were also available to check in with students and answer questions.
“I loved how organized and educational it was,” said Ali Dronchi, a senior at Fremont High School. “All the staff and college representatives were so helpful and approachable. It truly was a key-turning experience for my college readiness. It was a really great way to talk to all the colleges I’m interested in without traveling, and it was free!”
Fremont Area Community Foundation’s scholarship application for high school seniors and medical students is now open. The online application opened on October 1 and will close on March 1.
Each year, the Community Foundation awards hundreds of scholarships to college-bound students and residents pursuing career training. The online application is opening earlier this year to coincide with Michigan College Month, which takes place in October. The statewide campaign focuses on supporting seniors as they complete important steps in the college-going process like applying to schools and for financial aid.
“Opening our scholarship application in October will be a great fit with Michigan College Month,” said Robin Cowles, FACF scholarship and technology manager, noting that the change was made based on feedback from local educators. “Now, while students are already working on completing college applications and filing their FAFSA, they can also start on their Community Foundation scholarship application.”
By completing the Community Foundation’s general scholarship application, students will be considered for more than 90 scholarships. High school students interested in applying must live in or attend a high school in Newaygo County.
The Community Foundation also offers scholarships to local adult students who have been out of high school for at least two years and/or have a gap in their post-secondary education. The scholarship application for adult students is open year-round.
All scholarship applications must be submitted online. For more information or to apply, visit facommunityfoundation.org/scholarships.
Free workshops to give Newaygo County parents resources for talking to teen kids about abstinence, sex
NEWAYGO COUNTY – Schools in Newaygo County will host free workshops this Fall that are designed to provide resources, tips and empowerment for parents to have conversations with their teen children about abstinence and sex.
The nationally recognized workshops, called Talk Early & Talk Often, are two-hour sessions designed to help parents and caregivers recognize and use opportunities to open the door for conversation. The workshops will also help parents and caregivers listen to and respond with greater confidence and skill.
The free workshop is organized by LiveWell Newaygo County, with a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. A free dinner will be provided to attendees of the workshop, which is for adults only. Child care will be provided for parents with young children, who will also be provided with dinner. Attendees will be entered into gift prize drawings. Seating is limited, so interested parents can register online or by calling 231.924.5350.
The workshops are scheduled to be held:
Teen pregnancies may increase the risk of repeat pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, according to the RWJ Foundation County Health Rankings.
Pregnant teens are more likely than older women to receive late or no prenatal care, which could negatively affect the health of the mother and her child. Teen moms are also more likely than older women to have pre-term deliveries and low birth-weight babies, which could impact the child’s development and overall health.
To proactively address the issue of teen pregnancy, Fremont Area Community Foundation applied for a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support a multi-year community education effort led by LiveWell Newaygo County, the community health and wellness collaborative that includes Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, NCRESA, District Health Department #10, Newaygo County Mental Health, Alpha Family Center, Family Health Care, and more.
In Spring, Fremont Public Schools hosted the first free workshop to provide resources, tips and empowerment for parents to have conversations with their teen children about abstinence and sex.
“As a parent and an educator, I found the workshop very informative because it really provides parents with the necessary tools to talk to our children about an issue that is hard to talk about,” said Christina Yuhasz, who attended the May 30 workshop at Fremont High School. “What’s great about the workshop is that it empowers parents to address a subject that’s sensitive, in a nonjudgmental way. I recommend the workshop to all parents because it can even help strengthen our relationship with our children.”
The workshop provides parents with the skills to:
ABOUT TALK EARLY & TALK OFTEN
For nearly a decade, Talk Early & Talk Often has received high praise from parents, educators and community leaders. The workshops are a project of the Parent Action for Healthy Kids, an organization based in Oakland County, Michigan, that aims to provide parents with resources to advocate for improved health initiatives in communities and schools. The organization also provides Teacher and Parent Education Workshops, Teacher Training, and Training of Trainers services for parents, teachers, school administrators, public health professionals and community-based organizations throughout our home state of Michigan and across the United States.
Gerber Memorial hosts event to help people reduce falling, with expo continuing Friday
FREMONT– More than 25 people stopped by a Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial expo on Wednesday that aims to reduce the number of falls and help people prevent injuries and even death resulting from those falls. The free expo will be held again on Friday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the main lobby of the hospital.
On Wednesday, the Gerber Memorial team of nurses and physical therapists helped people, including those with ill-fitting or worn out walkers. In some cases staff adjusted the walkers or made minor repairs.
The Gerber Memorial team also performed balance tests.
The free event also featured free giveaways, including free no-slip socks to the first 100 people to show up. In addition, attendees got free information from Gerber Memorial’s pharmacy team about medications that can contribute to falls, as well as free blood pressure screenings. Physical therapists and visiting nurses were on hand to provide additional information and resources.
Attendees of the expo were also eligible for raffles and free gifts.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls affect one in four Americans 65 and older, and older Americans die from falls every 19 minutes, making falls the leading cause of fatal injury – more than 27,000 deaths a year – and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Falls also cost families more than $34 billion a year, the CDC reports.
For more information, call 231.924.3195.
Mammogram on wheels heads to Holton Oct. 6 as part of Gerber Memorial effort to boost cancer screenings
FREMONT– Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is bringing the mobile mammogram vehicle to Holton on Friday, October 6, to The Pizza Mill, 8485 Holton Road. The vehicle will be parked at the restaurant’s parking lot from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of Gerber Memorial’s commitment to encourage screenings for breast cancer by making access to high-tech 3-D mammography easier for residents in the area.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial wants to make it as convenient as possible for people to get quality health services where they live, and bringing our mobile mammo vehicle to local communities is part of that effort,” said Brian McClain, director of clinical and ambulatory services, and Gerber Memorial’s lead organizer of the mobile mammogram effort. “This past year, our mobile mammo service has received a tremendously positive response in the communities we’ve visited. We want to encourage anyone who should get screened for breast cancer to do so at our mobile mammo unit, and let as many people know about this visit on October 6.”
Because the mobile unit can take a limited number of patients, women are asked to make an appointment to reserve a spot, by calling 616.774.7998, option 1. Walk-ins will be accepted if space is available. Women who schedule appointments are asked to bring insurance information.
Free mammograms will be available for uninsured or under-insured women. For women who want to see if they qualify, call 616.486.6050.
A service of Spectrum Health Betty Ford Breast Care Services, the mobile mammogram unit has visited White Cloud twice, as well as Croton Township once this year.
Breast cancer will affect one in eight women during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. When detected early, breast cancer can be treated and cured. The American Cancer Society recommends women with average risk of breast cancer 40 years and older have a mammogram once a year.
Cancer survivors celebrate faith, family, friends at Gerber Memorial’s annual brunch
FREMONT – Modern medicine may have helped many of the attendees at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s annual cancer survivors’ brunch beat back the disease.
Nearly 90 people from throughout Newaygo County – more than 40 of them cancer survivors – attended the brunch at Tamarac on Saturday, September 16, to share stories about hope and healing, enjoy a nutritious brunch and find common strength and inspiration that transcended age and even language. What truly sustained them throughout their ordeal, however, were the powers of faith, family and friends, and the support from caregivers and cancer survivors alike.
Andrew Everding, who said he is now in remission since he was diagnosed in October 2014, thanked patients, survivors and friends and family for the work they do: “The support from everyone is more important than anything you can go through.”
Mary Rottier, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, shared her story of finding strength in her faith and in God, for herself as well as for her young children.
“What I gained from having cancer is far more than what I lost,” Rottier said. “I beat it, I am a survivor. Cancer strengthened my relationships with my family and with my faith.”
Gerber Memorial Chaplain Ed Arndt said he was privileged and honored to deliver the breakfast prayer.
“It’s amazing to see the impact we can have on our community,” Arndt said. “It’s good to see so many smiling faces after everything they’ve been through. I’m glad I can be here today.”
In addition to stories of courage and hope, attendees at the brunch also heard a presentation from Gerber Memorial volunteer Dianne Taylor-Chandler, an avid fly-fisherwoman who is also a volunteer guide for Reeling and Healing Midwest, a nonprofit that provides fly fishing wellness retreats for women battling and surviving cancer.
Taylor-Chandler said the group’s missions is to provide women with a one-of-a-kind experience that allows them to renew their spirit and hope through fly fishing, nature, peer coaching, positive camaraderie and support.
The brunch buffet for survivors and their families also received an unexpected addition when survivor Juana Ovalle brought 45 homemade chicken tamales, inspired by her family recipe traditional to San Luis Potosi in central Mexico, to share with the attendees. Now cancer free, Ovalle said the tamales were her way of showing her thanks to the Gerber Memorial staff who cared for her during her battle and to express her empathy and solidarity with the other cancer survivors at the brunch.
The brunch was also supported by the American Cancer Society.
Gerber Memorial reports more than 1,900 Cancer Center provider visits a year, and more than 60 chemo infusions on average every month.
To learn more or to contact Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center, call 231.924.1305.