"Shaving Policy" infractions bring in donations
Last year at the suggestion of Lt. Jon Borgman the Sheriff’s Office initiated a No Shave Fundraiser during October and November when officers who sprouted facial hair were fined for violating the “shaving policy”. Money collected from the fines was distributed to worthy local causes.
This year the SO once again launched the fundraising activity allowing others in the office to join the bearded guys with donations of their own.
Over 30 employees took part and to top it off the Bitely Homecoming Parade Committee also donated by awarding the Sheriff’s Office the Judges’ Choice Award in the 2018 Bitely Homecoming Parade.
When all was said and done the initiative garnished $1675.00 which will be distributed to the local Families Against Narcotics (FAN) program and the Kevin and Ashley Kolk family.
The recipients were chosen from suggestions made by the deputies.
Sheriff Bob Mendham: The Kolk Family was chosen due to Ashley’s medical struggles and the desire to help a member of our Law Enforcement family and
FAN, because of the ongoing opioid crisis in our county and the terrific work they do to help those addicted.
Sheriff Mendham expressed his appreciation to all who participated in this worthy program.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial named a Top Rural Hospital in U.S.
FREMONT– For the third time in four years, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial was named a Top Rural Hospital by The Leapfrog Group in a national ranking that focuses on safety and quality outcomes.
The Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital recognition is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive honors U.S. hospitals can receive. The Top Hospital designation is awarded by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization.
Gerber Memorial was one of 118 U.S. hospitals in 24 states to receive Leapfrog’s Top Hospital recognition, and one of 17 in the Top Rural Hospitals category. In addition to 2018, Gerber Memorial was recognized as a Top Rural Hospital in 2015 and 2016.
“Being recognized as a Top U.S. Rural Hospital for the third time since 2015 is a reflection of our commitment and our culture of excellence. Our hardworking, dedicated staff put the safety and wellbeing of patients and the families we serve front and center every day,” said Randy Kelley, president, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital. “The credit goes to the entire staff at Gerber Memorial, who aim to go above and beyond for our patients from the time a patient walks through our front door to their discharge and follow-up care.”
Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, maternity care, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors. The rigorous standards are defined in each year’s Top Hospital Methodology.
“Being acknowledged as a Top Hospital is an incredible feat achieved by less than 6 percent of eligible hospitals nationwide,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “With this honor, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial has established its commitment to safer and higher quality care. Providing this level of care to patients in Newaygo County and beyond requires motivation and drive from every team member. I congratulate the board, staff and clinicians whose efforts made this honor possible.”
To qualify for the Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must submit a Leapfrog Hospital Survey and achieve highest performance in its category. The selection of Top Hospitals 2018, announced Tuesday, Dec. 4, is based on surveys from nearly 1,900 hospitals. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2018 Top Hospitals, visit www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.
Family Clinic Moves to Multispecialty Clinic
FREMONT–Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital will be moving two of its practices this month.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial pediatric practice will be moving from the Multispecialty Clinic at 230 W. Oak Street to 204 W. Main Street in Fremont starting on Monday, Dec. 10.
Gerber Memorial Family Medicine-Fremont will relocate from its current home at 204 W. Main Street to the Multispecialty Clinic at 230 W. Oak Street during the move.
Patients at both clinics are being notified by letter of the move.
Betsy Welsh, MD, Julie Norris, MD, and Rebecca Collaer, MD, as well as Sarah Degen, PA-C, will relocate to the new pediatric clinic, which will be called Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Pediatrics and Walk-In Clinic.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s pediatric team is very excited about our move to our new home,” said Welsh.
“Moving to Main Street reflects our commitment to providing exceptional patient care to our families and to our youngest patients. This new space offers spacious exam rooms and natural light so that children can feel more comfortable during their visit.” Gerber Memorial pediatric team’s new home on Main Street is the current location of Gerber Memorial’s Family Clinic and Convenient Care Walk-In Clinic. The walk-in clinic will remain at that location. The clinic serves patients of all ages during its hours - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Gerber Foundation announced that their scholarship applications are now open for students graduating in May 2019 and planning to continue their education.
Scholarships are available for all high school seniors in Newaygo County, including home school students. A separate scholarship is available for students graduating from one of 12 Newaygo County Career Technical Center programs. Students may apply for only one of the available scholarships.
Scholarships are also available for students with a GPA of 2.00-3.70 at Holton HS, Muskegon HS, Muskegon Heights HS, and Ravenna HS in Muskegon County or Hart HS, Pentwater HS, Shelby HS, and Walkerville HS in Oceana County.
The Foundation will award up to $350,000 in scholarships in 2019.
Information about each scholarship can be found on the Foundation’s website at www.gerberfoundation.org. Students may initiate their application athttps://gerberfoundation.smartsimple.com. The deadline for application is February 28, 2019. For questions, please contact the Gerber Foundation at 231.924.3175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Health Care employees awarded for pioneering school-based health centers
BALDWIN– Starting healthy habits at a young age can help reduce future health issues as children move into adulthood. Family Health Care’s (FHC) Child and Adolescent Health Centers play an important role in helping our area youth start life out on the right foot. On November 8, Kathy Sather, President & CEO, and Carol Burba, CAHC Health Educator and Program Supervisor, were presented the Trailblazer Award from The Child and Adolescent Health Center Program, a division of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, along with the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan.
The award is given to leaders that help lay the foundation for school-based health centers. Over the last three decades, school-based health centers have expanded from one center in 1981 to now over 120 centers throughout Michigan. They have diversified to include primary care, dental care and behavioral health services to a variety of ages.
“Working with the professionals that devote their time and talents for our children is the most inspiring and motivating aspect of the school-based concept,” said Sather. “Our children are our greatest commodity; they should never be left out of receiving quality, integrated and comprehensive health care.”
School-Based Health Centers, like the ones FHC has in Baldwin, Grant and White Cloud schools, ensures all school-aged children have access to professionals who can help make a difference in each child’s life, not only as a medical professional but as a role model and mentor. FHC’s Child & Adolescent Health Centers see over 1,500 patients per year providing primary medical care, dental, behavioral health, vision and Medicaid enrollment.
“Seeing the youth grow into healthy adults and knowing how to navigate the health care system is one of the things that motivates me about school-based health care,” says Burba. “It’s not only what I give, but also what I receive in return; the joy and satisfaction of making a positive difference in a life, one child at a time.”
Each of FHC’s Child & Adolescent Health Centers is open year-round and will see any child age 5-21, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay. To learn more or contact a location near you, visit familyhealthcare.org/service/CAHC.
Fremont– What happens when you mix a unique portrait of a Chihuahua, a second grader with a huge heart, and a Kent City veteran? You get a heartwarming story that left few with dry eyes.
River Botten, a second grader at Fremont Christian School, loves Chihuahuas, mainly because her aunt, Natacha Valmont, currently has three, two of which she adopted through Bellwether Harbor. The pair attended a reception at the NCCA Artsplace where paintings of dogs and cats that were adopted through Bellwether Harbor were displayed, and also featured on their annual calendar. River loved the portrait of Coco, a cute Chihuahua mix, and asked her aunt to purchase it.
When River found out that a veteran adopted Coco, she asked her aunt to contact Bellwether to see if she could give the portrait to the vet and thank him for his service. River made a thank you card that said: “I bought this picture of Coco and I thought you would like it. Also, I want to thank you for fighting bad guys for our country, so we can have freedom.”
The exchanged happened on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, just a week after Veterans Day.
Irv Byxbe, and his wife, Marci, arrived at Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter in Fremont with Coco, and flowers for River. He explained how much the picture meant to him and why Coco is a big piece of their family.
“When I first met Coco at Bellwether, I picked him up, he cuddled with me, and I knew he was the one,” Irv said as he petted Coco. “Coco keeps me calm. I have a disease from being a veteran. Whenever I come home, he gets excited to see me and rolls around and is cute to watch. I find comfort when Coco is in my lap, Coco keeps me calm,” Irv said.
He further explained that he wouldn’t have a dog if it weren’t for the K9 Camo Companions, a nonprofit based in Sparta, whose goal is to give back to Veterans who served in the United States military by matching them with a companion dog that is rescued and trained under the Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) standards. K9 Camo Companions paid for Coco’s adoption fee for Coco and pays for all of Coco’s needs.
“I wanted to give this (picture) to you because you served our country and gave us freedom,” River told Irv. “It was an honor to serve you, and my country,” Irv replied.
Bellwether Harbor Shelter and Training Facility is a 501(c)3 organization whose 16-year mission is to help animals and people make a connection through education, training, and adoption.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Wendy Sinicki at 231-924-9230 or email at email@example.com.
TrueNorth’s Coats for Kids (& Adults) Provides More Than 550 Coats to Community
NEWAYGO COUNTY – There were more than 550 children, men and women who found coats to stay warm at TrueNorth Community Services’ Coats for Kids (& Adults) Distribution on Saturday.
People were nearly non-stop in getting winter apparel through Coats for Kids (& Adults) at the TrueNorth Service Center in Fremont.
The Coats for Kids (& Adults) program is focused on making sure “everyone in Newaygo County can keep warm this winter,” said Mike Voyt, Volunteer & Special Projects Coordinator for TrueNorth.
The participants included people like Rebekkah Kortman and Brandon Perales.
Kortman, of Newaygo, brought her 12-year-old daughter and three sons, ages 10, 8 and 6, to Coats for Kids (& Adults). Her family just moved back in August to Michigan from Mexico.
“I found something for everyone. Well, except for me. That’s just how it always goes,” she said. “It was a big blessing for me to find I could do this, and see I could get winter stuff here.”
Her youngest son, Zander, was especially excited. He had an ear-to-ear grin bundled up in his new coat and scarf.
Perales, of White Cloud, had his four sons, ages 14, 13, 11 and 2, with him.
With growing boys, “it can get expensive,” he said. “It’s good to be here. ... This helps us out.”
There were people waiting nearly 11⁄2 hours before the event’s start. The temperature was 19 degrees with a 5 degree wind chill at nearby Fremont Municipal Airport, according to the National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids office.
There were about 50 more people getting coats from Coats for Kids (& Adults) Distribution Saturday than on the day of the event in 2017, Voyt said. Last year, nearly 840 people eventually got coats through the program.
About two dozen volunteers were at the three-hour distribution Saturday, Voyt said. There were also a few dozen more volunteers helping with set up and the month-long Coats for Kids (& Adults) Collection.
The coats distributed came from 40 collection locations across Newaygo County in Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Newaygo, and White Cloud; and from donations through Burlington’s Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coats Drive. Some were also purchased through monetary contributions from Fremont Area Community Foundation, The Gerber Foundation and individuals, families and groups from greater Newaygo County.
While camp is considered by most to be a fun time with many outdoor activities, the camp experience also provides a wealth of opportunities for children to grow – socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Peter Scales from The Search Institute lists problem-solving, making social adjustments, responsibility, and improving self-esteem as some of the benefits of a camp experience. This past summer The Gerber Foundation supported camp scholarships at 9 local camps for youth from Lake, Newaygo, Oceana, and Muskegon Counties.
Camp scholarships included grant support to Camp Newaygo, Camp Pendalouan, Rose Lake Youth Camp and Camp Henry for general summer and day camp activities as well as some specific targeted camps. A grant to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp fosters an appreciation for the Arts among attending youth. Grants to Harbor Hospice (Camp Courage) and Hospice of Michigan (Camp Good Grief) provided opportunities for children dealing with a loss to participate in activities to bolster their ability to cope with that loss.
A grant to Samaritas provided scholarships for youth in foster care to experience a safe and encouraging camp environment while allowing them time to ‘just be a kid’. This camp also works to bring together siblings who may be in different foster homes so that they can spend quality time together.
While all camps include sports and crafts in their schedule, the campers also benefit from team building, science, math, confidence building, and leadership skills. The Gerber Foundation is proud to partner with all of these camps to improve the lives of children in our community.
The Gerber Foundation’s next deadline for youth related programs in West Michigan is March 15, 2019. Grant applications may be completed online at https://gerberfoundation.smartsimple.com. This application is currently open.
Family Health Care receives Tess Canja Award for providing innovative services
BALDWIN– Finding ways to ensure elderly patients are safe at home is a goal of Family Health Care (FHC). One way FHC accomplishes this goal is through the organizations bathing program, which not only helps older adults remain safe by helping prevent slips and falls, but also relieves the strain on caregivers.
On October 10, during the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan Annual Conference, Family Health Care was presented with the Tess Canja Innovation Award from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. This award is given to social service agencies that work to improve health-related situations for older adults. Winners are selected by a committee of state-wide volunteers who consider the creativity, cost-effectiveness, replicability and quantified positive impact demonstrated.
“This was a bit of a surprise since the Tess Canja Award is very competitive,” said Renee Kopach, outreach services manager at Family Health Care. “Our goal is to ensure someone’s mom or dad, grandma or grandpa is provided the care they need so their family can spend time making memories.”
In 2015, in response to an identified need among its respite clients, FHC implemented the bathing service. This service is available to seniors who are not eligible for skilled home care and would otherwise have to pay privately for the service or go without. A major safety concern for the senior population is getting in and out of the shower, a task that is often difficult or uncomfortable for family caregivers to assist with. FHC respite aides assist with bathing and personal care which increases bathroom safety, improves hygiene, and decreases risk of skin break down and infection rates while providing essential support for family caregivers
Family Health Care’s In-Home Respite Care program is comprised of men and women who have a passion for ensuring elderly community members receive the compassionate care they deserve while providing the caregiver time to rest and recharge. These experienced respite aides provide weekly visits during the day, on the weekends and sometimes overnight. They help with meal assistance, reading, visiting and companionship, and provide time to socialize with another adult.
To learn more about respite services and how Family Health Care is working to give our elderly in the community the best life possible, visit familyhealthcare.org.
Gerber Federal Credit Union Awards $60,000 Community Dividend to Newaygo County Projects
FREMONT- Gerber Federal Credit Union awarded three grants as part of a one-time Community Dividend: 1) A $25,000 matching grant to the ‘Building a Healthy Future’ capital campaign to produce a new Health and Leadership Lodge at Camp Newaygo 2) a $25,000 matching grant to the ‘Leave a Legacy’ capital campaign for improvements to the accessibility of the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts 3) a $10,000 grant to the City of Fremont in cooperation with the Fremont Community Recreation Authority and the Newaygo County Pickleball Club for the construction of an outdoor pavilion in the new Darling Walkway development.
“Gerber Federal Credit Union is pleased to support the communities we serve,” said John P. Buckley, Jr., Gerber Federal Credit Union President/CEO. “We encourage the community to donate to these important projects. Gerber FCU will match the community’s generosity up to $25,000 for each of the Camp Newaygo and Dogwood projects.”
The Camp Newaygo project to build the Health & Leadership Lodge caps the three-phase, two-year Building a Healthy Future Campaign for Health, Leadership, & the Arts. The Health & Leadership Lodge is a two-story, 6,085-square-foot facility that replaces the 85-year-old nurses’ cabin on the 104-acre camp’s grounds. The lodge is to provide space for community use and health initiatives along with care for campers with health concerns and clinical experiences for nursing students. The lodge includes additional staff and intern housing for an enhanced year-round program, along with recovery rooms, a nurses’ treatment station, two meeting rooms and outdoor adventure staging area and gathering space. For more information on Camp Newaygo visit www.campnewaygo.org.
The Dogwood Center for Performing Arts project includes improvements that will increase accessibility to the facility with a canopy covered drop-off point, push-button handicap entrance doors, additional handicap parking, and increased designated walkways and crosswalks. For more information on the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts visit www.dogwoodcenter.com.
The City of Fremont Darling Walkway downtown beautification project includes replacing two blocks of Darling Avenue and one block of Sheridan Street as part of a Streetscape project to install a walkable parkway with decorative sidewalk, art nodes, landscaping, benches, lighting, and a new parking lot. The Project also includes the installation of a new Outdoor Pickleball Court system and pavilion on the Rec Center’s parking lot at the southwest corner of Darling and Maple. For more information on the City of Fremont visit www.cityoffremont.net.
Gerber Federal Credit Union was founded here, and we’re focused on growing here. We have two branches located in Fremont and one in Newaygo. Stop in or visit www.gerberfcu.com to learn why Newaygo County trusts Gerber FCU as their financial partner.
(Left to Right) City of Fremont Manager Todd Blake, Fremont Area Recreation Authority Center Director Tom Elmer, Fremont Area Recreation Authority Chair Bryan Kolk, Newaygo County Pickleball Club Member Chris Christoffersen, Gerber Federal Credit Union President/CEO John Buckley, Newaygo County Pickleball Club Member Lance Anderson, Newaygo County Pickleball Club President Dean Morehouse and various Newaygo County Pickleball Club Members.