Dawn Murphy Joins FHC
Family Health Care Welcomes Director of Behavioral Health
Baldwin-Family Health Care (FHC) is pleased to announce Dawn Murphy, LMSW, CAADC, has accepted the position of Behavioral Health Director for the organization.
Dawn completed her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Michigan in Flint, MI, and her Master’s in Social Work from Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, MI. She will be completing the Doctorate in Behavioral Health through Arizona State University next fall and specializing in Integrated Primary Care and Behavioral Health. Also, Dawn has education in School Social Work in addressing Children with Special Needs from the University of Michigan.
Bringing a wealth of experience to FHC, Dawn was most recently a Clinical Social Worker for Veteran Affairs specializing in counseling those with trauma-based stress. She was also the Program Director for a residential substance abuse treatment center for women, Services Program Manager for child welfare case managers and a Hospice Social Worker.
“I expect my education in Integrated Primary and Behavior Health will produce outcomes in meeting the mission and vision for the behavioral and whole health of our patients," said Dawn. “I am excited for the opportunity to expand my skills, knowledge and goals with an organization that is driven by excellence in integrated health care.”
FHC continually focuses on meeting the needs of its communities by growing and expanding services to provide rural residents and visitors to the area with quality, affordable access to behavioral health, medical, dental, vision, pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services close to where they live, work and play.
“Dawn has a wide variety of experience and her educational background has prepared her to help us meet our goals and vision of integration and growth for behavioral health,” said Kathy Sather, CEO/President of Family Health Care. “I look forward to offering wonderful new services we will soon discover with Dawn as our Director.”
FHC offers behavioral health services at its offices in Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant and White Cloud. It also provides students access to counselors in Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant, Pine River and White Cloud schools. For more information on behavioral health services at FHC visit familyhealthcare.org.
Giving Children A Strong Start
Gerber Memorial to host special nutrition program for infants, pregnant moms in February
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial today announced a special series of nutrition classes designed to help parents and caregivers provide good nutrition to infants and toddlers from newborn to 2 years old. Broken up by age group, the three sessions are scheduled for Feb. 7, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21 at Tamarac, and will feature a Gerber Memorial registered dietitian sharing tips, meal preparation strategies and other information based on a curriculum specifically designed for early childhood nutrition. All classes are from 10am to noon and are free of charge.
The first class on Feb. 7 is geared toward pregnant moms and newborns through 6-month-olds. The second class on Feb. 14 is geared toward infants 6 to 12 months old. The final class Feb. 21 is for 1- to 2-year-olds. Registration is required because of limited space, and free child watch is available on site. People with transportation questions or who want to register can call 231.924.3073. The age-specific classes will also be held in May.
“The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are probably the most important for healthy development and our early childhood nutrition classes are designed to help give children a strong start, with the right food at the right time,” said Jena Zeerip, Gerber Memorial’s community health program lead. “Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is excited we can bring these classes to our community so new moms, moms-to-be, caregivers and parents have information about the best nutrition for moms and babies. At the end of the day, we hope we can empower parents and caregivers to play an active role in helping Newaygo County kids be as healthy as possible from Day One.”
During the classes, participants will learn about nutrition during pregnancy, nutrition for nursing moms, important nutrients for babies, breastfeeding and bottle feeding, transitioning to solid food, food safety and other tips and strategies for early childhood nutrition.
Lunch will be provided and participants will receive a prepared meal to bring home to share with their families. Participants will receive a gift, and those who attend all three classes by age group will receive a grand prize.
Trying To Avoid The Flu?
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
Adolescent Centers Get An 'A'
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.