Newaygo County 4-H is pleased to announce it is the recipient of three grants from the Gerber Foundation for youth programming. Annual grants are awarded through a competitive application and review process and are geared toward projects serving youth from 0 – 18 years of age. Grant funds awarded to Newaygo County 4-H will provide Fab Lab STEM education, 4-H Day Camps for youth at Legends Ranch and Discover 4-H! SPIN Clubs focusing on in school and after school programming with local elementary schools.
In partnership with Muskegon Community College, the 4-H Fab Lab SPIN Club will take place in downtown Muskegon. Youth will have the opportunity to connect with high technology equipment and STEM related “gadgets” while working with knowledgeable Fab Lab staff and volunteers. The 4-H Fab Lab SPIN Club is open to youth, ages 5 – 19 and will begin in March.
Newaygo and Lake County youth will have the opportunity to attend multiple 4-H Day Camps at Legends Ranch in Bitely starting in July. Outdoor education, environmental activities, hiking, archery, fishing, and crafts will be just some of the activities offered. Camps will be open to 4-H youth, ages 9 – 13. Older teens, ages 14 – 19, are encouraged to serve as chaperones for the camps alongside Legends Ranch staff and 4-H volunteers.
In partnership with TrueNorth Community Services, the Discover 4-H! SPIN Club will be working with students enrolled in the Engage! Out-of-School Time programs offered at Patricia St. Clair Elementary School in Hesperia and the REACH Out-of-School Time programs offered at White Cloud Elementary School, as well as with students at Big Jackson Public School. The Discover 4-H! SPIN Club will center on food and nutrition, STEAM activities, and environmental education beginning in January.
Since 1902, 4-H has been reaching out to young people across America to develop leadership, citizenship, and life skills as they work in partnership with adult mentors. In 4-H, we are committed to helping young people, ages 5 – 19 years of age, develop skills that will help them succeed and reach their full potential.
The Gerber Foundation supports a variety of youth programming within a 4-county area that includes Lake, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties. The Foundation has a long history of community support, including support to youth programs (for youth aged 0-18 years), education, and health and human services.
To learn more about Newaygo County 4-H, contact Laurie Platte Breza, 4-H Program Coordinator at email@example.com.
The Gerber Foundation is accepting scholarship applications
The Gerber Foundation sponsors three competitive scholarships for students graduating from a high school in Newaygo County, including home-schooled students residing in Newaygo County, who are pursuing postsecondary education at colleges, universities, as well as trade and vocational educational training. Newaygo County high school seniors may apply for one of the below listed scholarships:
In addition, high school students graduating from Holton, Muskegon, Ravenna, Hart, Pentwater, Shelby, and Walkerville high schools may apply for the Merit Scholarship.
Students must complete their application online. Each application requires a student personal statement, a letter of recommendation, and high school counselor GPA submission.
Scholarship application instructions and the link to apply can be found online at the Foundation’s website at www.gerberfoundation.org. Click on the Scholarships LEARN MORE button.
Applications are due Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 4:00pm. Individual winners will be announced at each high school graduation awards ceremony.
For questions, contact the Gerber Foundation at 231.924.3175 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compassionate care earns Watson a DAISY Award at Gerber Hospital
FREMONT, Mich., Nov. 14, 2022 – Ladonna Watson, RN, an inpatient charge nurse at Corewell Health™ Gerber Hospital (formerly Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital), was selected as the hospital’s latest recipient of The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
Watson was not aware she had been nominated and selected until her name was called during the ceremony held inside the hospital.
“I was definitely surprised,” said Watson, upon learning of her selection. “Receiving this award is an honor, but I can’t take all the credit, as my team around me helped ensure I could provide the best care possible for this patient.”
Watson was nominated earlier this year by a former patient’s family member.
“She has so much love and care for her patients and family members,” the nomination read. “She’s so knowledgeable with every question we’ve had. She even took the time to print off information about my mother’s conditions. It truly is a blessing to have a great nurse and someone who, when I leave my mom, I know she is in good care, with someone who cares about her!”
Angela Frye, director of nursing at Corewell Health Gerber Hospital, said Ladonna is very deserving of the recognition.
“Ladonna is known for her kindness and compassion for others,” said Frye. “She always makes extra time for her patients and their families and provides empathetic care to all her patients.”
During the ceremony, Gerber Hospital chief nursing officer Nicholas Strait commended Watson on receiving the DAISY Award.
“This award is in deep appreciation for all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people,” said Strait.
Strait also commented, “One of the special qualities about Ladonna is that she works really hard to ensure her patients are as educated as possible about their conditions and helps their family members understand how to best help care for their loved one.”
As a young girl, Watson knew she wanted to be a nurse. She earned her nursing degree from Grand Rapids Community College and came to Gerber Hospital in 2006. She shared that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a nurse is the feeling you get when you know you’ve taken good care of someone, and they get to go home.
“That’s the best feeling in the world.”
Care and compassion are at the core of the Watson household. Ladonna’s husband and former Gerber Hospital registered nurse, Charlie, received the DAISY Award in March 2022.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Nurses are nominated for the DAISY Award by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Corewell Health Gerber Hospital. Awards are given multiple times a year, with each honoree given a certificate and a sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch.”
Online nominations can be completed at www.spectrumhealth.org/gerber by clicking on the DAISY Award section at the bottom of the page. At Gerber Hospital, nomination forms and boxes are also at all nurse stations, in lobbies and in the medical offices.
“I still have that feeling the first time we met every time I see you.”-Jayson Edgay
So, where did you two meet?
Years ago I co-facilitated a couples therapy group and as a bit of introduction this was the question that generally got asked.
Is it important? Who knows. But generally it makes a good story.
We all know those who met in school with some who stayed together until marriage and some who kind of knew each other but ended up together years later. Couples I have known over the years have met in bars, grocery stores and workplaces, at parties and book stores, while attending concerts and ballgames.
There are set ups from friends, online services designed to match folks up and and speed dating has apparently made a comeback in some circles.
The couples listed below have recently decided to sign on for the delightful duration known as marriage. Each has a story of how they met. Call it Chapter One
Some kind of way that meeting led to showing up at the clerk's office.
And the opportunity to add many more chapters to the story of their relationship.
Tianna Snyder, Fremont & Eric Stowell, Fremont
Timothy Allan Otteran, White Cloud & Dawn Marie Otteren, White Cloud
Esteban Rodriguez, Hesperia & Mayra Aleman, Hesperia
Guy Chadwick Gregory, Fremont & Tiffany Niole Little, Fremont
Traci Miller, Howard City & Robert Rednour, Grandville
Sydney Ensing, Fremont & Logan Mullett, Fremont
Autumn Zimmer, Grant & Kollin Knight, Grant
“Love, like Fortune, favours the bold.”- E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly
Corewell Health Gerber Hospital to offer workplace wellness assistance to area employers
FREMONT, Mich., Nov. 1, 2022 – Corewell Health™ Gerber Hospital, formerly Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, seeks to partner with Newaygo County employers interested in establishing a workplace wellness program for employees.
Gerber Hospital community health specialist Stephanie Kooistra shared this was a need identified in the community health needs assessment completed in 2022. She has seen first-hand the negative impact that preventable, chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes have on individuals, families and the workplace.
“We are looking to partner with local businesses to offer services such as blood pressure screenings, tobacco cessation classes, health coaching, weight management and other health and wellness education,” said Kooistra. “By promoting healthy living and providing health education at local worksites, employers can help their employees make healthy, positive choices that will benefit not only the employee but their families and workplaces.”
These services provided by Gerber Hospital’s Community Health team are free for employers, with all screenings and classes to be held on-site at the workplace, making it easy and convenient for employees to participate.
This initiative will implement The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Workplace Health Model, a coordinated four-step approach to building workplace health promotion programs. The four steps include an initial assessment, planning the program, implementing the program and determining impact through evaluation.
“This model uses a coordinated approach that focuses on policies, systems and environmental change to build a healthier workplace,” said Kooistra. “Through this, workplaces can adopt policies that promote and encourage health for their employees.”
Health educators from Corewell Health Gerber Hospital will support the businesses and workplaces as each selects the evidence-based strategies they want to implement.
“It’s very employer-driven,” added Kooistra.
Collaborators in this initiative also include District Health Department #10, LiveWell Newaygo County, the Newaygo County Community Collaborative, Michigan Works! West Central and the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, a partner of The Right Place, Inc., a regional economic development collaborative.
“As employers from every sector struggle to attract and retain employees, this new strategy can help set companies apart,” said Julie Burrell, economic development director, Newaygo County | The Right Place. “Through these free classes, screening and education, employers can positively contribute to the culture of their organization, prioritizing healthier worksites and healthier employees.”
Interested employers can learn more by completing an online survey at https://bit.ly/3TFXyhD, emailing email@example.com or calling 231.924.3073.
Newaygo office to close
FREMONT, Mich., Oct. 28, 2022 – Effective December 1, 2022, Spectrum Health will be consolidating its home health services in West Michigan into one home health agency titled Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association.
Currently, Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association is divided into two regions, North and South. The alignment into one home health agency will help patients, staff, payors and those who provide referrals, according to Steve McNeely, home care senior director.
“Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association – North and Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association – South will consolidate and just be called Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association,” McNeely said. “Aligning to one certified home health agency will eliminate the confusion of multiple points of entry and overlapping service areas, reduce costs and more effectively support a seamless transition in care for our patients.”
Patients of Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association – North may choose to continue to receive services from Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association or transition services to another home health agency.
“For those who choose to remain with Spectrum Health, they can expect to receive the same exceptional care from their same nurses and other care providers,” McNeely said. “There will not be any interruption in services due to this consolidation. It is more of an administrative change.”
As part of the consolidation, the Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association – North will close its office located at 1 State Road, Newaygo, Mich., 49337. The office was used as a staff location and not a place where patients have been seen or treated.
Corewell Health Gerber Hospital offering free training in White Cloud
FREMONT, Mich. – Corewell Health Gerber Hospital, formally Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital, will offer suicide prevention training on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. inside the White Cloud Public Library. Corewell Health’s certified trainers will lead the free, one-hour “Question, Persuade, Refer” training designed to teach participants how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, offer hope and get help to save a life.
“There is a real need to address mental health and well-being in our communities, and Corewell Health is pleased to offer this training to anyone who wants to be empowered to help someone in crisis,” said Jennifer Kurnat, Corewell Health Gerber Hospital community health worker and trained QPR instructor. “During the training we provide statistics, myths vs. facts, warning signs/clues, risk factors and how to help someone by using the ‘Question, Persuade, Refer’ method. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion throughout the training, along with availability after the training for individual questions better addressed one-on-one,” added Kurnat.
This training is designed for parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, youth leaders, doctors, nurses, office supervisors, foremen, police officers, advisors, caseworkers, firefighters, and others who may be in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.
To register please call 231.924.3073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
College and Career Night Out Celebrates Post-Secondary Opportunities
More than 50 colleges, job training programs, military organizations, and community resources were represented at College and Career Night Out on September 29 at Fremont High School.
The annual event drew hundreds of students and families from across Newaygo County to learn more about post-secondary education and job training, financial aid, and more. WE CAN! Newaygo County—the local career and college access network—and Fremont Area Community Foundation partnered on the event.
Melissa Miller, Administrator of Career and College Readiness for the Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency, said that the event was designed to spark curiosity and connection regarding college and career opportunities for local students.
“With so many factors that can influence a student’s decision to pursue higher education or training after high school, this event continues to serve families by bringing numerous career and college resources and representatives 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 pizza and were able to attend informational sessions on financial aid, choosing a college, the Promise Zone, and career preparation through apprenticeships. After informational sessions concluded, a college and career fair in the gym allowed students to speak with representatives from a wide variety of public and private colleges and universities, military branches, trade schools, and career training programs.
Representatives from Early College Newaygo County, Gerber Foundation, Michigan Works! West Central, Michigan Student Aid, Newaygo County Area Promise Zone, Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Telamon, and the Community Foundation were also available to share more about the resources their organizations offer to students and families.
Event organizers extend their thanks to their hosts at Fremont High School, the community members and students who volunteered during the event, session presenters, and the local businesses who supported food and beverages, including Biggby Coffee, Family Fare, and Walmart.
Is marriage easy?
Probably ‘no’ is the most straightforward answer. But, as Tom Hanks said about baseball in the movie A League Of Their Own, ''If it was easy everyone would do it.”
But wait, nearly everyone does it right?
Well, not quite.
The marriage rate has actually dropped a fair amount in the past couple of decades and particularly during 2019-20, likely due to the pandemic. But in 2022 the projected number of couples who take the proverbial plunge is projected to rise to its highest level since 1984. It is estimated 2.5 million marriages will occur this year so 5 million or so are jumping into coupleship.
I guess despite the challenges of sharing your life with another person, for many the benefits seemingly outweigh any perceived difficulties.
Must be where love comes into play.
Here the couples who recently made their way to the county clerk’s office to sign on for nuptials.
Rachelle Zimmerman, White Cloud & Matthew Hickey, Kent City
Rhea Gibson, Muskegon & Matt Baker, Newaygo
Gavin Cornell, Lansing & Sienna Ledezma, Grant
Alyssa Toth, Newaygo &Nicholas Robertson, Detroit
Derrick Stahl, White Cloud, & Sarah Whipple, White Cloud
Katrina Ann Huffman, Hesperia & Paula Joann Glenn, Hesperia
“A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.” Andre Maurois
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital Recognized With 2022 Maternity Care Excellence Award
FREMONT, Mich., September 21, 2022 – For the fourth consecutive year, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital has been recognized with a Maternity Care Excellence Award from the Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM).
EAM, a nonprofit group comprised of Michigan’s largest employers and unions, announced the annual EAM Hospital Maternity Care Awards September 15, recognizing hospitals throughout Michigan that have demonstrated excellence and improvement in maternity care and delivery outcomes.
“This is wonderful recognition for Gerber Memorial and a true testament to the continuing high level of maternity care provided by our physicians and nurses,” said Drew Dostal, president of Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
Only thirteen hospitals in Michigan earned an excellence award for 2022. This marks the fifth year for the awards.
The awards are part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to decrease the state’s infant mortality rate, reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections, and be an educational resource for new and expecting parents residing in Michigan.
For the award, hospitals were evaluated in four areas: cesarean rates (less than 23.6% of low-risk deliveries), episiotomy rates (less than 5% of deliveries), elective early delivery rates (less than 5% of deliveries), and maternity care processes (90% or greater). The data is from the 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Survey performed by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.