Terri Fountain, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial infection preventionist, demonstrates how to properly wash hands as a way to help minimize the spread of the flu, to Taylor Tyndall, an intern at Gerber Memorial and Ferris State University health care administration student. Fountain says people should wash their hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds. If using hand sanitizer, Fountain says people should rub their hands until the liquid dries.
Gerber Memorial takes steps, offers tips to minimize flu as disease spreads statewide
FREMONT – With flu now widespread across Michigan, including in Newaygo County, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial recommends residents follow some simple steps to help minimize symptoms and even avoid the flu altogether, including getting a flu shot and handwashing.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, doctors’ offices, clinics and other area health facilities are seeing an increase in the number of people showing flu and flu-like symptoms so it’s important for our community to know how to prevent flu, when to get care and where to get it,” said Terri Fountain, Gerber Memorial infection preventionist. “The flu shot may not always prevent the illness 100 percent, but people can take precautions to reduce pain and discomfort. The flu season usually lasts until spring, so people can still go and get a flu shot.”
One of the most important tools in fighting the transmission of flu is limiting exposure, Fountain said.
The flu can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly. For the safety of patients and staff, Gerber Memorial is limiting visitation to their hospitals. In addition, they are asking patients to limit the number of people who accompany them to office and clinic visits.
Visitors are asked to respect the following restrictions:
Runny nose or congestion
Vomiting or diarrhea
Rash or draining sores
These conditions apply to visitors at Gerber Memorial and at all Spectrum Health hospitals outside of Grand Rapids and are effective until further notice. These measures are designed to protect vulnerable patients.
Visitors are also asked to get a “healthy visitor” sticker at the main lobby when entering the hospital.
Influenza is a respiratory illness that is especially harmful to children, people over 65 years of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions. Common symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, chills, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Fever is another symptom, although not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
Gerber Memorial joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts in recommending the following steps to avoid the flu:
Treatment can range from staying home and taking over-the-counter medication for less severe symptoms, to visiting a clinic to using the MedNow telehealth service.
Fountain said patients can treat the flu at home with over-the-counter fever and pain reducers, cough medicine and other products. Patients in high-risk groups should go to a primary care provider, convenient care or urgent care if they are not experiencing warning signs. People who are experiencing
shortness of breath, numbness, facial or arm paralysis, slurred speech or other heart attack or stroke symptoms, should call 9-1-1 for immediate medical care.
Warning signs of flu for kids, adults
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial urges patients and caregivers to watch for certain symptoms in high-risk groups and get emergency treatment:
Warning signs in children
Warning signs in infants:
Warning signs in adults
FACF grant helps open the areas first home for the terminally ill
FREMONT— The Newaygo County Compassion Home has received a $85k grant from Fremont Area Community Foundation to support its mission of providing a full-service home for guests facing end of life as well as support for their family members. The award comes from the Community Grant at the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Diane Rudholm, executive director of the Newaygo County Compassion Home, said the funds would be used to provide compassionate, loving support to the terminally ill in a peaceful, comfortable home setting while caring for the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of our guests and their families.
“The Compassion Home is meeting a genuine need in the Newaygo County community. For the first time, families will have peace of mind knowing that we now have a designated place where their loved ones can receive professional and compassionate end of life care as a result of the grant.”
The Newaygo County Compassion Home was started in 2013 by registered nurses at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial. Ann LaPres-Hindes, Amy Drilling and Brandee Chase identified the need for end of life care options in Newaygo County and the Compassion Home mission began. Several other like-minded health care professionals and community members have worked diligently to bring the mission to reality. The Compassion Home is expected to serve around 100 guests a year and will be able to serve up to three (3) guests at a time. The home will be available to guests who are in the final days or weeks of a terminal illness, with each guest under the care of a hospice provider in Newaygo County and surrounding communities.
Today, the Compassion Home is preparing to open a temporary location in White Cloud, Michigan in late January 2018 and will be able to serve two guests at a time while they work on their Capital Campaign for their permanent headquarters which will be located on Stewart Avenue in Fremont, MI. Volunteers are working to make this vision a reality.
It takes a community and our volunteers are the heart and mission of the Newaygo County Compassion Home. If interested in learning how you can help or for more information about Compassion Home, call 231-750-0875 or visit http://newaygocountycompassionhome.com
School-Based Health Centers Receive Top Grade
BALDWIN – Family Health Care is pleased to announce its Child and Adolescent Health Centers (CAHC) located in Grant, White Cloud, and Baldwin public schools achieved an "A" grade following a rigorous review from the State of Michigan. This grade is the highest achievement score from the state.
Every day many students arrive at school, impacted by health and social issues. A majority of these students deal with these symptoms alone, choosing not to seek help because they can't afford it, can't get to it or not aware they can get help.
Serving those needs is the reason Family Health Care has established the three school-based CAHCs. These centers help reduce barriers to health related to race, ethnicity, and family income. They provide students with access to medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care right near their classrooms—creating an equal opportunity for each child to learn and grow. Providers at these locations specialize in caring for pediatric patients and understand the challenges our youth face every day.
Over the last year, 8,673 visits were provided.
"Receiving recognition of this magnitude shows the dedication our staff has to improve the health of our children," stated Kathy Sather, CEO/President of Family Health Care. "These centers play a vital role in the development of future generations, teaching them essential life skills including how to access health care and their responsibility in managing their health."
The CAHCs made a tremendous impression on the reviewers, leading to statements including, "I would love to have a clinic like this in my child’s school," and “All kids need services like this provided by caring people like yourselves."
All three CAHCs are open to the community year-round from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. assisting parents and school staff by embedding health care services inside the schools. Along with offering medical, dental, behavioral health and vision services, the CAHCs also provide specialists who can assist families in navigating insurance enrollment, and area resources and services.
All three locations are currently accepting new patients between 5-21 years old. For more information or to contact the CAHC nearest you, visit familyhealthcare.org.
Opt for a brighter future and long-term weight management
By Robert Clouse, MD, medical director for OPTIFAST weight management program
A new year has many taking the opportunity to change their health and wellness goals and opt to shed those extra pounds. Although the goals might be lofty and well thought out, it can be difficult to stay on track.
Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese and many of them have significant health problems, like Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea as a result. Weight loss and lifestyle modification are essential in treating these conditions. I recommend OPTIFAST.
OPTIFAST helps you to make important lifestyle changes. Along with professional medical supervision, it uses a complete meal replacement program that includes shakes, bars and soups to allow you to be successful and rebuild your dietary plan. In addition, you will receive lifestyle education, weekly support with a health coach, one year of weekly classes covering behavioral, nutrition and physical activity topics along with a quarterly InBody assessment for muscle and fat analysis.
Individuals who benefit the most from the OPTIFAST program are those who have significant weight to lose, those who have medical conditions associated with their weight or have struggled with weight loss in the past and need assistance to be successful.
There are a few things that come with the OPTIFAST program that you can’t get elsewhere. OPTIFAST offers complete nutrition with the meal replacement along with added fruits, vegetables and healthy fat that allows you to be satisfied. The health coaching, lifestyle education and class feedback allows you to get beyond those mental hurdles that can cause you to lose focus.
OPTIFAST is not just another diet plan. I recommend those with 20 or more pounds to lose, attend a free information seminar to learn more about this comprehensive weight management program, Monday, January 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Tamarac in Fremont. To reserve your place at this free seminar, call 231.924.3073.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Community Health Director Josh Gustafson and MedNow specialist Fritz Petersen show how to download the new MedNow telehealth app on a smartphone so people can get connected to a healthcare provider quickly and conveniently. More than 100 people visited the demonstration booth Tuesday, just as the flu season is intensifying.
More than 100 check out new MedNow telehealth app as flu season intensifies
FREMONT – A simple telehealth service that connects patients to providers got even simpler for more than 100 people who showed up at the Sullivan Street Café at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
On Tuesday, January 9, Gerber Memorial Community Health and Wellness Director Josh Gustafson and MedNow specialist Fritz Petersen based in Ludington performed quick demos for how to download MedNow’s free app on any smartphone, and how people could connect with a provider 24/7, 365 days a year via video on their smartphone in a few quick taps. Depending on availability, patients could connect with providers in a matter of minutes, avoiding long drives to and waits at clinics — especially critical as flu season kicks in.
“For people who are sick, MedNow’s new app helps them speak directly in real time to a healthcare provider, and they can do that in their pajamas without leaving their homes,” Gustafson said. “You don’t even need to be a resident of Michigan to use this service. As long as you are physically in the state of Michigan, you can receive care from a provider through the MedNow app. At Gerber Memorial, one of the things we’re always working toward is helping people get access to healthcare, and the MedNow app is an easy way to do that. And with flu season ramping up, MedNow is a great way to get care and treatment quickly and conveniently.”
MedNow allows people to connect with a Spectrum Health physician or advanced practice provider through a smartphone, laptop, tablet or personal computer. The service is for illness or injuries such as coughs, colds, flu-like symptoms, sprains and more than a dozen other non-urgent, non-specialty conditions. A full list of those conditions is available at spectrumhealth.org/MedNow. MedNow video visits cost no more than $45 each, and copays may be different depending on insurance coverage.
For questions about MedNow, call: 844-322-737
State Dept. of Ed. unveils new parent dashboard
LANSING -Parents now have their own online dashboard that shows the performance of all K-12 public schools in Michigan and represents a new, improved level of transparency, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.
The Parent Dashboard for School Transparency, available at www.MISchoolData.org/ParentDashboard, is a combined effort of MDE and the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) – based on significant parent feedback on its planning, content, and design.
After the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Parent Dashboard school transparency concept last summer, the website was unveiled at the monthly Board meeting today.
This Parent Dashboard is an integral component of the state’s Strategic Plan to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years. It builds on the Strategic Partnership with Parents, Families, and Community Services that encourages and promotes meaningful, authentic engagement with parents and families.
“Parents asked and we listened,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “I’m very pleased to make the Parent Dashboard available to parents and other Michigan education stakeholders who want a more complete picture of how their local schools are serving children.”
Whiston emphasized that the dashboard provides school building-level data important to parents or caregivers wanting to check the performance of their child’s school.
CEPI Director Tom Howell said the Parent Dashboard shows nearly 20 separate measures that parents say are important to them.
“Families and others can use the dashboard to compare a school’s performance with the average performance of other, similar Michigan schools, including charter schools,” Howell said. “The site is user-friendly and can be accessed on any computer or mobile device.”
The dashboard allows deeper dives into the performance of various groups of students, such as gender, race, subject, and services to students, he added.
Today’s roll-out marks the first of three phases for the dashboard.
Phase One dashboard indicators or measures, now available, include:
State assessment performance
State assessment progress
Advanced coursework (e.g. Advanced Placement, early middle college, International Baccalaureate (IB), dual enrollment, career/technical education postsecondary enrollment)
English Learner progress
Student support staff
Transfers in and out
Postsecondary- Enrollment,Persistence and Completion
Gerber Memorial welcomes first baby of 2018
FREMONT- A baby boy is the first of 2018 at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, arriving at 9:31 p.m. on January 2, 2018.
Christian Rodriguez was born to parents Christian and Jenna Rodriguez, of Shelby.
“He was five days early. His due date was January 7th,” mother Jenna Rodriguez said.
The delivery process started at 8 a.m. that morning when her water broke and the family checked into Gerber Memorial at 1 p.m. January 2.
“Baby Rodriguez weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and measured 19 ½ inches long,” father Christian Rodriguez said.
The newborn Rodriguez is the fourth child born to his mother and out of sheer coincidence, all his brothers and sisters were also delivered in the exact room at Gerber Memorial: room 12.
“We are excited that he was the first baby of the new year – we were hoping he would be,” said his mother..
“Each baby born at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is special to us, but we’re particularly excited to welcome the first baby of 2018,” said Beth Coulier, director of clinical nursing at Gerber Memorial. “We look forward to adding many more babies to our family this year.”
The hospital also provided some special gifts to the growing family – a large basket filled with toys, books, clothing and other essential baby items.
New Class for Moms & Moms-to-Be will help Quit Smoking, Vaping
Countless moms and moms-to-be quit smoking and vaping every day! And a new class by Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will offer the tools and support to help give a healthy start in life to unborn, newborn and growing children.
This free, 4 week class will be held on Wednesdays, January 10 through 31, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Tamarac, 1401 W. Main Street, Fremont.
Free child watch services will be provided during the class at the Tamarac Tree House.
Smoking tobacco and vaping nicotine products are harmful to a growing unborn child, as well as to the mom and other children in the household. A mom smoking while pregnant, or even smoking around young babies and children, can increase the risk of prematurity and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Children living with smoke in the home grow up with more ear and lung infections as well.
But ask any mom: quitting can be one of the hardest things to do because nicotine is so addictive. The Quit Smoking, Vaping Class is the only one of its kind in Newaygo County that is just for pregnant and new moms.
The class will be given by Sally Wagoner, an RN at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. Wagoner was trained through the University of Massachusetts’ nationally recognized tobacco treatment certification program, as well as by the SCRIPT program – Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Pregnancy Treatment.
For information, and to register for the free class and child watch, contact Sally Wagoner: 231.924.7589; firstname.lastname@example.org
You can’t say we haven’t tried.
From the eclectic collection of creations that continue to emerge at the Artists Market to the eclectic collection of creations coming forth with froth from Newaygo Brewing Co. the staff of Shopping With Ken, a congenial though somewhat intrusive lot, has poked about to find some last minute ideas for our readers.
Our latecomers guide continues on knowing full well that we may be preaching to the choir at this point. If by now you haven’t dug in with a few ideas there’s no need to read on from here.
Because you have no time!
The rambling repartee’ these pages are noted for….well maybe mentioned as….ok, complained about..will need to be limited because you have to hop to it
You can still get to all the places mentioned in the previous articles (search SWK} a collection of our local faves and in addition here are ideas as you wander about aimlessly wondering where on earth the time ran off to.
If you’re looking for the gift for the special someone you want to convince of their specialness though you’ve not even started to get them a gift….
Guys. If you are thinking about getting a woman who shares your life clothes a few thoughts. When it comes to style and size do not and I mean Do Not guess. While recognizing there are those of you out there perfectly capable of making successful sartorial selections for your spousal partner, many many more of you believe you possess such capacity.
And if you think it’s not a big deal?
You really, really don’t.
So a stop at Rivers End, or 37 North should likely result in a gift card.
A great fallback for a late in the game rush. A cautionary note however. You’d best know what would be pleasing to your giftee because if you’re rolling out something with a little expense attached there’s no pretending you bought it months ago so while a late thought is forgivable a total miss on what might be desired is less so. Ask the friendly folks at Liberty Jewelers about exchanges or similar strategies.
Massage, facials, mani/pedicures and all kinds of other pampering gifts are available locally. The Spa at Tamarac has a number of services focused on helping folks feel their very best and there are massage opportunities in Newaygo with Newaygo Therapeutic Massage.
Hard to miss on these but DO NOT buy a loved one a gym membership unless they said “Please for Christmas Buy Me A Gym Membership” and you have it recorded. Likewise any piece of exercise equipment.
Only advice on this one? Go big.
Not your Primary Present person?
Get a gift card at one of our local eateries for friends, co-workers, neighbors extended family members and others you might feel generous toward. Check our Nibbler section for ideas. Nobody hates food as a present (unless of course it's fruitcake) and listen, don't be cheap. Make sure if you're gifting to make it worth the effort and include enough for a date night.
Got it? Now go get it.]
It’s a sliver of time til Christmas and you’ve still a chance to be a hero.
TrueNorth’s CCP Provides Christmas for over 2,100 Newaygo County Kids
NEWAYGO COUNTY – Every year since 1952, TrueNorth has run its Children’s Christmas Programs to ensure that kids of low-income Newaygo County families get to experience the joys of Christmas morning, and 2017 was no different. The distribution, which took place December 11 – 15 and 18 - 19, was busy, fun, and exhausting. After all the Christmas dust had settled, over 775 families were served, ensuring Christmas morning joy for 2,123 Newaygo County children, a number slightly higher than in 2016.
Children’s Christmas Program couldn’t happen without the support of the community. Many volunteers gave countless hours of service to the program. Although contributions are still coming in, TrueNorth is happy to report that more than enough money has been raised through the generosity of hundreds of supporters, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Gerber Foundation, and the Keith Johnston Memorial Fund at Fremont Area Community Foundation to help purchase age-specific gifts and provide them a head start for next year’s event. All this in addition to the hundreds of donated toys, stuffed animals, socks, hand-knit hats, mittens and scarves, sporting goods, bikes, and the like. Because of you, Christmas morning was filled with joy and good memories for thousands of local children.