Newaygo Girl Scout Troop 4581 met with members of Newaygo Fire Department and Newaygo Police Department on Monday, January 20 to show our appreciation for their service to our community by giving each department a case of honey roasted peanuts.
By Katie Clark
On this snowy morning, first-grade students wander into the classroom after hanging up their coats, snow pants, and backpacks. Their classroom Foster Grandma is there to greet them gathering up hugs and morning stories. She reminds them to order their lunch and get ready for the day to start. The classroom teacher is thankful for this extra set of arms and ears as she gets ready to start class.
Tori Nader, of White Cloud, is one such volunteer. She’s volunteered in Stephanie Cruzan’s 1st-grade classroom at White Cloud Elementary every day, all day since last March.
“Having a foster grandparent in my classroom has helped my students in many ways., states Cruzan. “‘Grandma Tori’ has established rapport and a special, unique bond with each of my students this year. They are always eager to find out who gets to sit with her at her table in the morning to do Morning Practice. She just automatically goes into grandma-mode when she helps tie shoes, zip coats, fix books, or gives hugs. I’ve had volunteers through the Foster Grandparents program for about three consecutive years, then several years without. This program allows students and senior volunteers to establish relationships and support education. It is much appreciated, and I hope that it continues for many years.”
Every year, our Governor sends out a proclamation recognizing the vital Foster Grandparents program. This year, Wednesday, January 22 was Foster Grandparents Volunteer Recognition Day within Michigan’s Mentoring Recognition Month of January. Through Catholic Charities Senior Corps Foster Grandparent Program, twenty seniors volunteer in the six different Newaygo County Public classrooms, working with students each day to give them additional support. Chelsea Clark, NC Senior Corps Coordinator, explains, “Our Foster Grandparents serve 225 students a year and give a combined average of 46,000 hours of service. Each day, they make a positive difference in the lives of children and teachers. In addition, our seniors find a deep sense of purpose and report the benefits of staying active and having meaningful connections with the children and staff at their schools.”
Grandma Tori is busy the moment she arrives at 7:30 am until she leaves at 3:15 pm. “My day starts with waiting at the front door to greet a student and guide him to the classroom as he is very social. I help him with getting into the classroom quickly. I then work with three students at my table to do morning ‘seat work’. Not that they need help, but because it’s special to sit with Gr’ma. I also work with students by helping to sound out words, ask questions before a test, listen to them read, and sometimes repair torn classroom library books.”
She helps students stay on task and encourages students to continually try when they get discouraged. During the times students are out of the classroom, she helps Cruzan set-up the learning stations that the students will be working on after their gym or music class. Once the students return, Grandma Tori works with one small group at a time with extra math or reading practice. Now and then, she helps them complete an art project-glue, glitter, grins, and all. She takes great care to help students rework or finish learning practices to make sure that they are fully understanding.
When Grandma Tori started with the Foster Grandparent Program last March, she helped to further the building-wide program called Character Cards by creating an end of the year auction. As students demonstrate positive behaviors (respect, on-task, work-completion, kindness, etc) during the day, she or Cruzan will give them a Character Card. Nader then went out and purchased toys for an end-of-the-year Character Card Auction which was a big hit with the students. “The kids loved it as I made sure that everyone got something, and now that they know to expect the auction, the behavior patterns have improved.”
Clark gives an initial orientation training to every new volunteer to the Foster Grandparent Program and then plans and gives her volunteers six continuing half-day trainings in the spring and fall each year. They are trained on meaningful topics such as relationship building, working with youth of different backgrounds and struggles, and even self-care. Clark visits the classrooms on a monthly basis to make sure all is going well and help to solve any needs or issues. “Most of our Foster Grandparents are women at this time, but we have a Foster Grandpa starting this week. We are always in need of more volunteers,” Clark states.
New Volunteers Wanted
Qualifications for being a Foster Grandparent are the ability to give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future. If you’re 55 or older and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes. If you would like to find out more information about the Newaygo County Foster Parent Program, contact Chelsea Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Season starts March 16th
Total Trek Quest (TTQ) is a running-based substance abuse prevention program for boys in 3rd-5th grade. Teams train for a 5k and through games and activities learn about goal setting and achieving, peer refusal skills, how to create pro-social habits, and the truth about substances such as tobacco and alcohol through.
TTQ started in Ottawa County in 2005 and has served over 6,000 boys since. Over the years, TTQ grew into four more counties: Muskegon, Allegan, Kent, and Newaygo. Teams meet at their local elementary schools twice a week for 90 minutes after school. The program runs for 9 weeks in the Fall and Spring. Each team consists of at least 5 boys and 2 trained and CPR/First Aid-certified coaches.
TTQ is looking for 3rd-5th grade boys and coaches of any running experience and gender for the Spring 2020 season. The cost of the program is $45 per participant; we offer scholarships with no questions asked. Participating schools in Newaygo County are: Daisy Brook, Newaygo, Hesperia, Grant, and White Cloud Elementary schools, pending enough coaches and participants.
Our final 5k event will be the Challenge Inspire Achieve (CIA) 5k Race in Newaygo on May 16th! This race will be open to the public to support Arbor Circle and TTQ. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are available. Stay tuned for more details.
If you are interested in registering a 3rd-5th grade boy or would like to support this program, please contact Hanna Visser at email@example.com or 616-481-6813. You can support the program as a coach (no running experience needed!), by donating in-kind gifts such as healthy snacks, volunteering at or sponsoring our CIA 5k in May, or donating financially to provide scholarships.
Hope 101 Ministry, Inc., gives a heartfelt THANK YOU to the individuals and businesses who supported the ministry with their donations during our recent Festival of the Wreaths. They are a true blessing to our mission: “with the help of God, to provide a home-based program which offers Christian support, friendship and direction to empower participants to reach beyond their circumstances to a place of stability and self-sufficiency”. Those generous people and businesses are Barb Davis, Sue Ellen McCreary, Tom Briggs, Karen Nottelmann, Margaret Feravich, Newaygo Floral, Shari Meyer, Deb Hoag, Ronald Leyder, D.D.S. Family Dentistry, Hometown Pharmacy, Nancy Noble-Park, Mary Jane Flowers, Jim Maatman, Judy Bowen, Newaygo Family Dental, Robin VanWyk, Kathy Painter, Jim Rynberg, Wendy Cronk, Joyce Pierce, Sportsman s Bar and Restaurant, Nancy Passage, Market 41, Pattie Mrotek, Lynne Dyer, Tracy Marshall, Sharon Cronk, Brenda Liner, M & J Hardware, 37 North, Log Carpenter, New Ewe, Sui Generis, Dottie Pratt, Jen Espinosa, Newaygo Family Dental, Fusion Hair Solon, RE/MAX River Valley, Lori Harmon, Lois Moon, Marsha Laninga, Gene’s Supermarket Croton, Connie Johnson, Rachel Sherman, Norma Scheidel and Kat Snapper. Because of their generosity we were able to raise over $900 to help the homeless of Newaygo County. For more information go to Hope101ministry.com or call 231- 245-8877.
Gerber Memorial’s new nurse midwife excited to empower women to take charge of their healthcare
Fremont– Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s newest member of the OB/GYN clinic is excited to help women take charge of their healthcare.
“One of the things I really focus on as a certified nurse midwife is empowering women as they go through their healthcare experiences,” said Katie Van Heck, CNM. “As a nurse midwife, I firmly believe in providing women with information and options so they can be active decision makers and ensure the health care they receive is personalized to their individual needs. Personalizing care is very important because every person has specific needs and goals, and developing personal relationships with patients can help improve outcomes and satisfaction.”
As a certified nurse midwife, Van Heck will provide the full scope of midwifery care to patients in both the office and hospital setting. She is also a lactation educator and counselor.
“Working in a smaller hospital is definitely something I’m excited about because Gerber Memorial’s OB/GYN clinic is providing quality care and up-to-date resources that many rural communities across the country often lack,” said Van Heck, who began in December 2019 and is accepting new patients. “Working in a smaller community allows providers to better connect with patients and the families we serve. Everyone knows everybody else and our interactions are more personal, which allows us to provide care on another level.”
Van Heck has experience providing primary care for women along with prenatal and gynecological care; high-risk pregnancy co-management; family planning advice; and education regarding general nutrition and exercise. Van Heck is an advocate for safe, supported, physiologic birth as well as empowering women through education and informed consent. She takes pride in, and has been successful at, minimizing interventions for low-risk women.
Van Heck has worked in West Michigan as a nurse midwife for four years. She received her Master of Science in Midwifery from the Midwifery Institute of Philadelphia University.
For further information, referrals or appointments, call 231.924.1212.
Gerber Memorial shares tips as flu starts to appear in West Michigan
Safeguards in place to contain spread and protect patients, staff
FREMONT (Jan. 9, 2020) – With flu spreading in West Michigan, 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.
Additionally, people are asked to avoid going to the hospital if they are ill and all visitors are expected to be healthy, with Gerber Memorial facilities taking steps to protect patients, visitors and staff. These include asking visitors about possible symptoms and making facemasks available. Staff are also wearing masks in certain situations to contain the disease. (See warning signs for all ages, below.)
“By taking some simple steps, families can better prepare for the flu and minimize its impact as it starts showing up in hospitals and clinics across West Michigan,” said Teresa Fountain, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial infection preventionist. “Bracing for the flu requires people to take multiple precautions. Even though flu shots are not a 100-percent guaranteed defense against the illness, people should still get vaccinated. And the best defense is really prevention, and that means handwashing, covering coughs and being proactive in staying safe and healthy.”
Gerber Memorial joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts in recommending the following steps to avoid the flu:
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.
Fountain said patients can treat the flu at home with over-the-counter fever and pain reducers, cough medicine and 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.
Spectrum Health’s telehealth virtual service, Spectrum Health Now, is also available as an app on smartphones.
Michigan is among the hardest hit states for respiratory illnesses this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory illnesses, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly.
A healthy visitor is someone who does not have the following symptoms:
WARNING SIGNS OF THE FLU
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
WHERE TO GET HELP: SPECTRUM HEALTH LOCATIONS IN NEWAYGO COUNTY
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Multispecialty Clinic – Fremont: 230 W Oak St,Fremont, MI 49412-1575. Phone: 231.924.4200
M-F 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-noon
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Pediatrics and Walk-In Clinic – Fremont: 204 W Main St,Fremont, MI 49412. Phone: 231.924.1800 M-F 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
(Walk-in Clinic, no appointments needed) M-F 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sat. 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Family Medicine – Newaygo: 211 W Pine Lake Dr.,Newaygo, MI 49337. Phone: 231.652.1631 M, W, F 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tu 6:45 a.m.-7 p.m.; Th 6:45 a.m.-5 p.m.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Convenient Care Walk-In Clinic – Newaygo: 211 W Pine Lake Dr., Newaygo, MI 49337. Phone: 231.652.1631(No appointment needed) M-F 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Spectrum Health Family Medicine – Grant: 230 S Maple St, Grant, MI 49327. Phone: 231.834.5995M-Th 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; F 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Spectrum Health Family Medicine – Hesperia: 78 N Division Ave, Hesperia, MI 49421. Phone: 231.854.6415 M, W, F 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tu 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Th 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Virtual telemedicine, through smartphone
Spectrum Health Now, download the smartphone app.
Newaygo County Partners Taking Underage Vaping Seriously
Our teens are using vaping products in record numbers and Newaygo County
schools are taking underage vaping very seriously. High use and recent changes in Michigan law make educating students a high priority. Recently, Hesperia Community Schools partnered with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, Newaygo County Juvenile Probation and Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial to educate students on the dangers of vaping. Students ranging from 6th to 12th grades were provided information on what would happen if they are caught vaping or in possession of vape products; as well as, learning the harmful effects of the use of these products.
“Teens are clearly attracted to the technology and flavorings seen in vaping devices; however, it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health, the development of the teen brain, and the potential for addiction,” said Sheriff Bob Mendham. Several schools will share the same information to their students during the school year. Sheriff Mendham added, “It is very important, with the changes in the law and the harmful effects of vaping, that we provide students with this information. Partnering with school districts has been very successful.”
If you have any questions regarding vaping or would like information regarding vaping, please contact Deputy Justin Visser, Newaygo County School Resource Officer, at 231-924-8846.