We received the following announcement from our friends at the iconic Croton eatery that has been limited to take out since the onset of the pandemic in March.
While in a bit of mourning at the interruption of what has become an N3 World Headquarters Saturday night ritual of digging into one of their exquisite pies... kudos to them for taking the necessary steps to ensure safety.
From our perspective, this is what responsible business leadership looks like.
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this morning. We have been informed that one of our Saturday Pizza staff has been tested positive for COVID-19. This person is asymptomatic and thankfully is not feeling ill in the slightest currently. We have been informed by health authorities that we must quarantine as of the date of testing and until we are in the clear and the recommended number of days have passed. Our customers’ and community safety are of the utmost concern to us as without the support of both, we would not be here today.
In the interest of reopening as quickly and safely as possible, we are stopping all operations at the Café for the next several days. At this time, the immediate staff have tested negative, however we feel the responsibility to follow and observe the recommended MDHHS guidelines and will not put our community at risk. Hopefully, we will be reopened sooner rather than later and feel confident that we have gotten a jump start on containing the situation. Would like to wish you all a happy and safe holiday.
Health experts urge all who can to get their flu shot
November 17, 2020 – This year’s flu season coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the public’s risk for developing a respiratory illness with potentially serious complications. Fortunately, a safe, effective vaccine already exists for the seasonal flu and is updated each year in anticipation of the most prevalent flu strains.
Health experts warn that it’s even more important than ever to get a flu shot this year. The flu shot has proven benefits for people of all ages and is the best defense against the influenza virus. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated, including pregnant women. Each year, the flu vaccine prevents millions of adults and children from getting sick with this serious and potentially life-threatening virus.
District Health Department #10 is offering a free drive-thru flu clinic for anyone aged 6 months and up. The event will take place:
Monday, November 23; 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Oceana County Road Commission
3501 W. Polk Rd, Hart, MI 49420
No appointments necessary. Face coverings are required.
The vaccine is free for those without insurance. There will be no out-of-pocket costs for participants.
Insurance will be billed for those who have insurance.
The collaboration between the Shelby Adolescent Health Center, the Oceana County Road Commission, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and District Health Department #10 is making this event possible so individuals can get vaccinated without even getting out of their car.
Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for District Health Department #10 explained, “We are grateful for the efforts and collaboration across multiple organizations to deliver this important public health service," stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for District Health Department #10. "Not one single entity had the capacity to do this alone. By pooling our resources, we can now reach more community members than we would have individually. This is public health at its best.”
While the best time to get your flu shot is before the season hits, it’s never too late. For those who want a flu shot and cannot make an event, additional clinics are available through local health departments or by calling your primary care provider.
The Great American Smoke Out (GASO) is an annual intervention event on the third Thursday of November by the American Cancer Society. Thousands of people who smoke across the country use this day as their first step toward a healthier life without smoking. Newaygo County’s “BreatheWell” Coalition supports the GASO through promoting information and local resources to help people quit.
The US Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation [stopping smoking] represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.” Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the country, according to the American Cancer Society. The Great American Smoke Out challenges people to quit on that day, or to use the day to make a plan to quit.
“Newaygo County is fortunate to have a strong coalition of educators and tobacco treatment specialists to help our community members learn about the devastating health effects of smoking and vaping. We are also here to help support their efforts to quit,” states Caitlin Mitchell-Schucker, Tobacco Treatment Specialist at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and BreatheWell Coalition Chair.
“Even during this time of limited in-person gatherings due to Covid-19, our Tobacco Treatment Specialists are helping people quit by phone or through virtual classes,” said Caitlin.
Covid-19 impacts the health of people who smoke in other ways as well. According to the World Health Organization, smoking is associated with increased rates of severe COVID-19 infections and death.
“Quitting the addiction of tobacco, whether it is from smoking, vaping or chew, is not easy. But the first steps are to learn what can work for you and get the help and support that you need. The Great American Smoke Out is a great time to take these first steps,” added Shelly Klochack, RN, also a Tobacco Treatment Specialist at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
To learn more about GASO and how to take your Day 1 First Step, visit:
Great American SmokeOut (https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html).
For information on local quit classes, phone and virtual counseling, contact Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Tobacco Treatment Specialists: Shelly Klochack, RN, 231-924-3275; or Caitlin Mitchell-Schucker, 231-924-7589.
We’ve not had a lot of action in this section of late.
Of course most choose to marry in the summer with kindly weather offering better photo ops and such, but autumn often delivers some gorgeous days (and of course the occasional snowstorm) and personally I favor fall weddings.
You see, all of my marriages have been in the fall and though they number just one, it was a splendid affair that I would repeat in a heartbeat.
Perhaps some choose to wed during snow season because they love winter.
Or maybe all the desired venues were booked through the next decade for June through November.
Or they were just simply ready to get married and the time of year mattered as little as the size of the wedding and the shine on the ring.
If Cancun, Jamaica, Costa Rica or Barbados were in the honeymoon plans?
I’d opt for getting hitched in February.
These couples recently made their way to the Newaygo County Clerk's office in White Cloud:
Kevin Peets, Fremont and Ashley Scott, Fremont
Christina Marie Vincent, White Cloud and Jimmie Coleman, White Cloud
Brian Veenstra White Cloud and Jeannie Dulyea, White Cloud
Ryan Strikfaden, Bitely and Kayleigh Brock, Bitely
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.-George Carlin
Julie Tatko takes the reins at FHC
Family Health Care is excited to announce that Julie Tatko has accepted the President & CEO position at Family Health Care (FHC). Julie has been acting as Interim CEO for the organization since September 2020.
"We are thrilled to have Julie lead the organization into the future," said Bob Fisher, Family Health Care's Board Chair. "With her extensive experience in health care, specifically in community health, we believe she is the right person to continue the care we provide throughout our communities."
Julie was most recently the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Cherry Health in Grand Rapids. Her duties included the administrative and operational oversight of the organization with an emphasis on medical and behavioral health programming. Julie has many years of experience with the operations of Community Health Centers. Before joining Cherry Health, she was director of operations and enabling services at the Michigan Primary Care Association.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to lead one of the longest standing community health centers in Michigan," said Julie Tatko, President & CEO of Family Health Care. "I have spent my career serving in community health, including working with health centers in the states of Michigan and North Carolina. I remain passionate about those experiences and look forward to continuing our mission to provide quality, integrated, comprehensive, and accessible health care!"
Family Health Care was founded in 1967 in Baldwin, Michigan, as a single health care center. Since then, the organization has expanded to include five additional health centers and three school-based locations serving Newaygo, Lake, Mecosta, Wexford, and Missaukee counties. The organization provides primary medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and pharmacy services. It also provides specialty services, including medical and dental pediatrics, radiology, laboratory, and substance use disorder treatment.
"Julie has already made an impact on the organization during her brief time as Interim CEO, and our board of directors is excited to see what the future holds," said Fisher.
In her new role, Julie will be responsible for establishing community support for FHC's mission, coordinating the organization's strategic plan, maintaining and establishing relationships with other health care organizations, and ensuring FHC continues to provide quality and cost-efficient care.
"Family Health Care has a strong reputation, and that's a testament to how the employees care for patients and each other. I look forward to the opportunity to serve Family Health Care's communities during the challenging times that we are facing," stated Tatko.
Family Health Care Urges the Community to Vaccinate against the Flu
While we continue to deal with COVID-19 as Michigan approaches the winter months, it’s vital to remember influenza (flu) is right around the corner. While the flu virus can strike year-round, flu activity usually peaks from December to February.
“With the rising number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations, we want to do everything possible to lessen the strain on hospitals,” said Jocelyn Pouliot, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Family Health Care. “One simple step an individual can take is getting a flu shot, which can help protect against the flu and reduce the possibility of hospitalization during this critical time.”
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, and fatigue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone over six months old be vaccinated for the flu. Those considered high risk for flu complications include individuals with chronic illness, pregnant women, children under age two, and certain racial or ethnic minorities.
“Family Health Care is doing everything we can to make the flu vaccine accessible to everyone,” continued Dr. Pouliot. “We are holding flu clinics in November and December, along with taking walk-in patients at our pharmacies.”
The flu vaccine is available at all Family Health Care (FHC) locations and walk-ins are welcome at all FHC pharmacies. Medical patients of Family Health Care are encouraged to schedule a flu shot with their provider by calling or through the patient portal.
For more information, visit familyhealthcare.org/flufighter.
Gerber Memorial nurse recognized for staying with a new mom to welcome a new life
FREMONT, Mich., Oct. 22, 2020 – For Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial registered nurse Audrey Burmeister, helping a nervous new mom welcome her child into the world was an opportunity to live one of Spectrum Health’s core values: sharing compassion and personalizing the health care experience.
“As a nurse and caregiver, it's an honor to share in our community's personal life experiences – in my case, to support families and help positively shape their memories as their child is born,” Burmeister said. “I treat my patients as though they are my personal friend or family member. My patient and I had a bond that we were going to see this life changing event through, so I stayed to support her by her side as we all do as caregivers. I was humbled to receive the DAISY Award and be recognized is an honor. My ‘Gerber hospital family’ are all supportive friends who encourage our growth as caregivers.”
In Burmeister’s case, every step of the way meant clocking out after her shift had ended, and then returning to keep the new mom company until her baby was born later. For that extra effort, Burmeister was awarded the DAISY Award recognizing exceptional nursing care.
“I started laboring and was ready to deliver toward the end of her shift – I was so comfortable around her and I felt a real bond with Audrey that I was begging her not to leave my side the closer it got to her having to go home,” the patient wrote in nominating Burmeister. “She came back in and said she clocked out but would stay by me until the baby was born. It made me feel more at ease having a familiar face in there.”
The patient described Burmeister, who was the nurse on duty when she arrived, as detail-oriented and explained “everything to us because as first-time parents, we were in the dark about a lot of what was going to happen.”
Burmeister has worked at Gerber Memorial since 2011 and lives in Shelby.
As a DAISY Award honoree, Burmeister received a certificate commending her for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honoree also receives a beautiful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved from serpentine stone by artists of the Shona tribe in southern Africa.
Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Gerber Memorial to receive the award.
Part of a national program, the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
Nomination forms are available at nursing stations throughout the hospital and patients can submit those forms either by placing them in gray boxes near those forms or by handing them to a nurse or other hospital staff. Nominating forms will also be available at the hospital’s main lobby, as well as included in admission packets.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., 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.
For more information about The DAISY Award and the Foundation’s other recognition of nurses, faculty and students, visit www.DAISYfoundation.org.
Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians, and associates are encouraged to nominate a deserving nurse by filling out the nomination form at reception located at the main hospital entrance. Completed forms can be dropped off or emailed to email@example.com.
Gerber Memorial’s new nursing director aims to build on tradition of exceptional, compassionate care
FREMONT, Mich., Oct. 22, 2020 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s new director of nursing, Angie Frye, RN, MSN, CNRN began her new role with one big goal: connecting and building relationships with her nursing team and learn about the ways they provide compassionate care to the community.
“Nursing is one of the best professions out there,” Frye said. “Nursing allows you to show compassion to patients and families during some of the most difficult times in their lives. It is an honor to be able to have that connection with others and care for them during these times. As Gerber Memorial’s director of nursing, my desire is to partner with the nursing teams as well as the interdisciplinary teams to continue to ensure that we provide exceptional care to our patients and our community.”
Frye was most recently nurse manager at a 22-bed unit specializing in stroke and epilepsy at Spectrum Health Hospital Butterworth in Grand Rapids. A Grant resident, Frye received her master’s in nursing from Ferris State University and her bachelor’s in nursing from Grand Valley State University. Frye has been a nurse at Spectrum Health for 18 years.
Frye said she hopes to spend the early days and weeks getting to know the Gerber Memorial team. She hopes to learn about different areas for closer collaboration that can further strengthen patient care, empower staff and encourage innovation.
“Gerber Memorial and the team here have a great reputation for truly fulfilling the Spectrum Health mission of improving health, inspiring hope and saving lives,” Frye said. “Being with the team for just a couple of days, I can already clearly see that commitment to exceptional care come through.”
Frye’s interest in nursing began early in life after she sustained injuries in an accident with her mom, and both were sent to the emergency department.
“My mom wasn’t able to comfort me when we were in the ED due to her injuries, and it was at that time an ER nurse stayed by my side and held my hand as I lay there scared and nervous,” Frye said. “I remember thinking that I wanted to help people just like she helped me. From then on, I always had the mindset and want to be a nurse. The nursing career aligns with my desire to help others in times of need and to show compassion to those around us.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Frye said she hopes to help Gerber Memorial maintain safe and efficient ways to provide care to the community including use of technology to provide virtual care as able.
“We want to assure the families that we serve they will continue to be able to get the medical and preventative care they need,” Frye said. “Being a family-focused community, we want to do everything we can to ensure people can get care close to home.”
Frye and her husband, whom she met while they both worked at Butterworth Hospital, have two sons. The family enjoys camping, going to the beach, card games and watching college football.
By Lola Harmon Ramsey
N3 always welcome the writings of Ms. H-R and when we found this on her social media page we reminded her of how popular her poetic style is with our readers.
Thus pressured, she granted permission for us to share it with you.
Some seasons of parenting are better than others.
We just started the “organized” portion of athletics with our kids. There has been a lot of laundry to make sure they have all their jerseys and bottoms clean. I love it.
We have had some frustration and tears. Things haven’t always gone their way. But this week, at the end of our fall seasons, we are making plays and got our serves over the net. And boy, those little things were big things in our house this week.
Nobody from the Olympic committee or the Heisman group has called and wanted to scout us and hopefully they never do. But this week....we started to see growth, confidence, and resiliency from our young people that we haven’t seen before.
And that’s the season I want to be in for a long time
Mask requirements and visitor restrictions continue
Grand Rapids, Mich., Oct. 14, 2020 – With public health and safety as its top concern, Spectrum Health is reminding patients and visitors that guidelines to control COVID-19 remain in effect at its facilities. Based on scientific evidence and infection prevention best practices, wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and limiting visitors are effective precautions.
“We know what works and need to stay the course as we make our way through this pandemic,” said Spectrum Health West Michigan Chief Medical Officer Joshua Kooistra, DO. “We are more than six months into COVID-19 and we recognize that people are tired of doing certain things, like wearing masks, yet we know these behaviors are effective in controlling the spread of the disease. We are asking for the community’s support. Please follow our guidelines when you come to a Spectrum Health facility so we can keep patients, visitors and our team members safe.”
Visitor guidelines at Spectrum Health restrict the number of hospital visitors to a maximum of two. COVID-19 patients are limited to virtual visits with loved ones. Visitors to physician offices, lab, radiology and surgery centers for outpatient appointments may have one adult accompany them.
All visitors to any Spectrum Health facility will be required to wear a face mask, have their temperature checked and answer a series of health screening questions. Those with COVID-19 symptoms or a fever will be asked to visit at another time. More information is available here.
Patients seeking care in a Spectrum Health clinic or physician’s office also will be required to wear a mask during their visit and follow other safety protocols like social distancing in waiting rooms. More information is available here.
Additionally, Spectrum Health asks all community members to keep themselves and each other safe as they go about their day-to-day activities by continuing to practice the 3 Ws:
“If we stick with what’s working, we can continue to control the spread of COVID-19. This is particularly important as we move inside to schools, offices and other indoor venues during fall and winter. We ask the community to continue to be diligent and take these simple steps,” Kooistra said.
Please visit the Spectrum Health COVID-19 Resource Center to learn more about free screenings and other resources, including videos and fliers in seven different languages.