New Moms & Moms-to-Be: A Quit Smoking and Vaping Class Just For You!
By Sally Wagoner, RN, TTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Tobacco Treatment Specialist
A new, free class especially for moms, new moms and moms-to-be will begin on Wednesday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, and will be held every Wednesday until March 28. This 4 week, fast track class will help moms quit tobacco and nicotine not only for their own health, but especially for the health of their children. Free smoothies, a free month pass to Tamarac, and free child watch at the Tamarac Tree House will be available for all who attend.
Smoking cigarettes and vaping e-cigs puts many poisons into the bloodstream of the mother, which then goes to the growing unborn child. Nicotine and other toxins can cause decreased blood flow and therefore decreased oxygen and nutrition to the baby. Smoking cigarettes and even just inhaling second hand smokes by moms can cause babies to be born too small, too early, with underdeveloped lungs and brains. It can even increase the risk of SUIDS – Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome. Children born of moms who smoke, or who grow up around second hand smoke, have more respiratory problems like asthma, and more ear infections growing up.
Pregnant and new moms quit smoking and vaping successfully every day. The best steps to quitting for good are: know the facts, make a decision to quit, and then get help and support from a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. This new class is offered by a nurse who is trained to help moms find the right tools and create the right plan to quit for good.
Individual coaching is available for those who cannot attend this class.
For information and to register for the class or individual coaching, contact Sally Wagoner, RN, TTS.
Call 231.924.7589 Text: 231.519.9471 Email: email@example.com
Gerber Memorial nutrition class helps families eat healthy together and minimize mealtime chaos
FREMONT – Mealtimes with toddlers can be a messy challenge.
With the right strategies, however, parents and caregivers can make sure their little loved ones get nutritious food into their growing bodies,said Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial registered dietitian Jennifer Osantowski on Wednesday at the third and final Early Childhood Nutrition class at Tamarac.
“Trust your child to eat enough,” Osantowski said. “Don’t force a child to eat more food or something they do not want. This encourages them to listen to their internal cues. If a child rejects a food, don’t give up after one try. Introduce it again at another time.”
Some steps to make lunch or dinner less stressful and more nutritious for parent and child include:
Osantowski also said that parents should continue to expose their child to new foods and foods cooked in new ways because it can take 15 or more tries for a child to accept a food.
Kendra Hornbrook of Hesperia attended the class with husband Jake Hornbrook and their nearly-2-year-old child, Opal. The reason: Opal began to be pickier about her food, Kendra Hornbrook said, as Opal’s dad fed her quinoa and chicken soup, which Opal enthusiastically tried.
Picky eating is a challenge – and a natural stage of development, Osantowski told the 10 participants in the class, which addressed nutrition for children ages 1 to 2 years old. Children are practicing their newfound independence, and they may only eat one or two foods for days, even weeks, she said.
“This is OK,” Osantowski said. “Just keep providing nutritious meals, be an example for your children because they learn from what they see at the table, and provide food from all food groups. What’s important to remember is that parents provide structure and support, and children learn to choose what and how much to eat based on what the parents provide.”
Osantowski also discussed safety steps that can prevent choking, such as always being present during mealtimes and cutting food into half-inch pieces. She also reminded parents and caregivers to provide foods with key nutrients young children need to grow, including iron, vitamin D and fat.
She advised parents to provide full-fat foods for children and allow toddlers to grow up to get the bodies that are right for them.
“One child’s body type is going to be different from another child’s body type,” Osantowski said. “We should be mindful of that.”
At the end of the 90-minute class, participants enjoyed a healthy and nutritious lunch of chicken and quinoa soup and a spinach, strawberry and almond salad, both of which they also brought home with them to enjoy.
The Early Childhood Nutrition classes return in May. The first class, for pregnant moms and newborns to 6-month-olds, is May 1; the second for infants 6 months to a year old is May 8; and the third, for toddlers 1 to 2 years old, is May 15. The May classes all start at 6 p.m. and will be held at Tamarac.
Registration is required because of limited space, and child watch is available on site. People with transportation questions or who want to register can call 231.924.3073.
Gerber Memorial heart health event shines light on free monthly vascular screenings
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial performs free vascular screenings each month on the second Wednesday. The next free screening is April 11.
To qualify for a free screening, participants must have at least two of the following risk factors:
“If you have two or more of these risk conditions, you can benefit from our no-cost, pain-free vascular screening,” said Brandee Chase, RN. “Gerber Memorial is pleased we can offer this service to our neighbors and help improve our community’s health.”
The comprehensive tests include ankle-brachial index test, which is a blood pressure screening in the ankle and arm used to identify peripheral arterial disease that is linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Other tests are a carotid artery screening, which is an ultrasound of the carotid arteries on each side of the neck to test blood flow and plaque buildup, which can increase the risk of stroke, and an ultrasound of the abdomen to test for bulging or widening of the aorta, which is a major blood vessel.
To schedule a free screening, call 877.495.2626, option 4. The screenings are held at the Gerber Memorial hospital building in the radiology department.
Newaygo County learns about heart health at Gerber Memorial’s ‘Your Heart Matters’
FREMONT- Three billion, three-hundred million.
That’s how many times the human heart beats in the course of an average lifetime for a person with a normally functioning heart. Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s Christopher Hudson, MD, shared trivia and critical tips and information about how people can take charge of their heart health during “Your Heart Matters,” a free annual event held at Tamarac on Saturday in conjunction with Heart Health Awareness Month. Hudson emphasized, among things, the importance of preventative measures
“Unfortunately, one of the more common presentations for heart disease is a heart attack or sudden cardiac deaths, so we don’t get warning signs and some of us die from those things – so that’s why prevention is so important,” Hudson said to more than 70 people who attended the event. When listing risk factors for heart disease, Hudson cited two joint culprits as Public Enemy Number One: tobacco and obesity.
“If we can work on combating those things – tobacco and obesity – that’s a good start,” Hudson said.
Other major risk factors for heart disease: High-blood pressure, stress, cholesterol, diabetes and sleep apnea, which lowers blood oxygen during sleep.
Hudson recommended smokers and tobacco users talk to their provider about ways to quit, or consult free Quit Tobacco programs available at Tamarac. To tackle obesity, Hudson encouraged people to be more mindful of their diets and be physically active.
Hudson, who lived in Kenya for a year about 12 miles from the capital Nairobi, said lifestyle can impact obesity, heart disease and other related illnesses: “I lived in this area right in the middle of these tea fields, and Kenyans did not deal with heart disease and they did not deal with cancer because their diets were so good and they were walking everywhere. You barely saw someone who was overweight.”
Weight loss can also help reduce high blood pressure, and cholesterol can be managed with a range of strategies, from a more balanced diet to medication in consultation with patients’ providers to the power of prayer, which Hudson said can also help combat stress.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body,” Hudson said, quoting a proverb. “The heart is an incredible organ. We have a lot to be thankful for.”
Hudson’s advice for people hoping to improve their heart health and may face barriers along the way: “Start with one problem. Don’t try and tackle a whole lot. I think sometimes we can get overwhelmed if we try and do too many things. Quit smoking. Lose some weight. Pick one, and the statistics show that if you have a resolution, if you choose to make a change, you’re 10 times more likely to be successful than somebody who doesn’t make a resolution.”
Other presenters at “Your Heart Matters” included Emilie Klop, Gerber Memorial registered dietitian, and respiratory therapist Roxanne Mirkle, who addressed heart healthy nutrition and exercises.
Hudson said that together, with preventative measures, the right diet and exercise, people can take proactive measures to reduce artery-clogging plaque buildup, which can start to occur even among teens and young people.
The event featured free screenings that included:
To schedule free heart screenings at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial: 877.495.2626, option 4.
To learn more about quitting tobacco: 231.924.7589
For information about diet and weight: 231.924.3073
“Need money for College? You may qualify for FREE money”
Melissa Miller, Student Advancement Consultant for NCRESA wants local students to be aware of the March 1st priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application, known as FAFSA.
“The FAFSA proves to be a critical form to providing greater access to post-secondary education since it is required for various financial aid opportunities including state, federal, and local opportunities,”
Find out if you qualify for FREE financial aid by filling out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing the FAFSA is the first step to becoming eligible for nearly any type of financial aid for college (federal, state, college-sponsored financial aid including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs as well as the Newaygo County Area Promise Zone scholarship). Plus, it is FREE to apply! The FAFSA is a federal form that collects student and parent demographic and tax information that is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is used to determine financial aid eligibility. If you are graduating from high school and plan to pursue post-secondary education or if you're already in college and plan to attend next year, you need to submit a FAFSA each year you plan to attend college in order to be considered for financial aid. To receive the most assistance for college, your application should be turned in by Michigan’s priority deadline March 1. To fill out the FAFSA, please visit http://fafsa.gov.
If you have questions about how to complete your FAFSA, connect with your local College Adviser, located in every Newaygo County High School, or contact WE CAN! Newaygo County, the local career and college access network at 231-924-8857.
Sally Wagoner R.N., TTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Tobacco Treatment Specialist returns to provide some tips for snuffing out an unhealthy practice.
(The headline's ours- Ed.)
Kick the Can for the Great American Spit Out 2018.
By Sally Wagoner, RN, TTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, Tobacco Treatment Specialist
Want to quit the spit? Be through with chew? Thursday, February 22 is National Great American Spit Out 2018, which encourages people to stop using smokeless tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco (dip or chew) is highly addictive and can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, stomach, and pancreas. It can also cause painful gum disease, cavities and tooth loss.
Each can of chew has about the same amount of nicotine as four packs of cigarettes. So if you dip a half can each day, you are getting the same nicotine as a two pack a day smoker.
Dipping is not safer than smoking tobacco. The cancer causing poisons in the tobacco are still getting into your body, but more by swallowing the toxins than breathing them in. The addiction rate of dip and chew is as much as smoking, and may occur even quicker because the amount of nicotine per use is greater, and is absorbed more efficiently through saliva.
Rural youth and adults have higher rates of using chew than in other areas. Youth are often given their first dip by adults who chew – even by sports coaches! Professional baseball has banned tobacco from their stadiums (nearly half in 2017), and new Major League Baseball players are banned from using chew, dip or snuff through new contracts.
You can quit the can! Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and District Health Department #10 have free programs to help you quit for good. For more information please contact the following:
Sally Wagoner, RN, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial – Call: 231.924.7589. Text: 231.519.9471
Karen Ripke, TTS, District 10 Health Department – Call: 231.305.8659. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When someone has lost a loved one and is going through a grieving process, there is a void felt and there are unresolved issues. If this is you and you are looking for help, the GriefShare Ministry will be starting again in March. This is our 7th year in the area of Fremont.
GriefShare, a nondenominational program, centers on a 13 week video series titled "Your Journey from Mourning to Joy" and provides a Christ-centered perspective on grieving. The DVD seminar features nationally respected grief experts and real-life stories of people, followed by a small group discussion about what was seen on the DVD.
Some feedback comments out of past groups include:
"It showed me that we all grieve in different ways and it's OK to be angry, to cry, and to show emotion."
"The videos are excellent. I keep trying to encourage anyone I know who has
experienced loss to attend."
"GriefShare has helped me get support and understanding from others who have
The next GriefShare session will be held on consecutive Thursdays beginning March 1 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. at First Christian Reformed Church, 721 Hillcrest, Fremont, MI.
To register or for information, call the church at 231-924-2460 OR go online at www.GriefShare.org
The Dogs of Newaygo County
By Mark Mathis
If you ever want a devoted fan for life, rescue a dog. In addition to a devoted fan, the Gasper Family has an shaggy mop of exuberance and love, also known as Abe.
The paths of our area’s rescued dogs are stunningly diverse. Take a look at Abe you can immediately tell he was designed as one of those great poodle mix dogs. The combos are only limited by some breeder’s imagination, or two neighbor dogs using their own creativity.
Abe was promised as a small lapdog. Abe’s initial run in life was with an elderly lady in East Grand Rapids. She thought she was signing up for a cute little lap dog that didn’t shed and could ride around in a purse.
Abe, through no fault of his own, grew at rates approaching “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
He wasn’t much fun to walk. Standing on his hind legs Abe was as tall as his owner. He outgrew his purse, his lap, and finally right out of a home.
Through good fortune and good networking the Gasper family heard about Abe. Deciding it was time to get the kids a dog they took the leap into dog ownership and provided a forever home before Abe ever reached a shelter.
Unfortunately, about 3.3 million dogs enter shelters in the United States each year. It’s down significantly, but about 700,000 never leave with another owner and are euthanized.
Abe found new life, and a new home, with the Gasper Family. He’s playful, loving, funny, and everyone’s friend. Abe loves Newaygo County, and all the places and people therein.
You can often find Abe getting his paws wet at Emerald Lake. He also enjoys caking his fur full of snow in wintery romps around one of the many wooded areas in Newaygo County. We should all live so joyfully!
If you have a dog you’d like featured in “The Dogs of Newaygo County” drop a line to Mark Mathis at email@example.com. We’ll meet up to get to know the story of your dog, take some photos, and share a treat.
New moms get cooking, nutrition tips at Gerber Memorial’s first class on early childhood nutrition
FREMONT – Moms with newborn infants or who are about to give birth have a golden opportunity to fill their bundles of joy with energy-packed nutrition that can boost brain and body growth.
That was the takeaway Wednesday at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s first Early Childhood Nutrition class, a special three-class nutrition program designed to help parents and caregivers provide good nutrition to infants and toddlers from newborn to 2 years old.
“New moms who are breastfeeding can help ensure their child gets the nutrition they need to thrive, by eating right and knowing more about the food and beverages they consume,” said Gerber Memorial registered dietitian Jennifer Osantowski. “That’s what our early childhood nutrition program is intended to do, which is share information with moms and caregivers in our community and empowering them to make good choices so their child can get a strong start in life from a food and nutrition standpoint. We invite families and caregivers of young children to attend our free classes, get some tips and learn ways to prepare some delicious, nutritious meals that’s good for the whole family.”
The nine attendees – including three newborns – at Wednesday’s session for pregnant moms and newborns to 6-month-olds learned about key nutrients to consume during pregnancy, such as folic acid in dark leafy greens, Omega 3 in fish oil supplements and protein in beef and eggs. Osantowski also highlighted items to avoid, from tobacco and alcohol to fish with high mercury content, such as mackerel, swordfish and tuna steaks.
After getting tips and information about recipes and ingredients, the group shared a nutritious lunch of spinach salad and a hearty chicken, tomato and quinoa soup.
The next session, Feb. 14, is for infants 6 months to 12 months. The final class Feb. 21 is for 1- to 2-year-olds. All classes are 10 a.m. to noon. Registration is required because of limited space, and child watch is available on site. People with transportation questions or who want to register can call 231.924.3073. The three-class program will also be held in May.
As in the first class, participants will learn about nutrition for nursing moms, important nutrients for children depending on their ages, transitioning to solid food, food safety and other tips and strategies for early childhood nutrition.
Lunch is provided during the classes and participants receive a prepared meal to bring home to share with their families. Participants will also receive a gift, and those who attend all three classes by age group will receive a grand prize.
Newaygo County residents of all ages, backgrounds invited to Gerber Memorial’s annual free heart event
FREMONT– Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is inviting residents of all ages and backgrounds throughout the Newaygo County community to get free screenings and information about heart health as part of the free “Your Heart Matters” annual celebration Saturday, Feb. 17.
Coinciding with heart health month in February, Gerber Memorial’s “Your Heart Matters” event features free screenings that will take place at Tamarac from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The diverse check-ups include:
The free event will also feature door prizes, fitness activities and healthy foods.
This year’s special speakers and topics include presentations on maintaining overall heart health by Christopher Hudson, MD; heart healthy nutrition by registered dietitian Emilie Klop; and registered respiratory therapist Roxanne Mirkle.
“Good nutrition is something that people can adopt into their lifestyles proactively. We’re excited to share some tips at Your Heart Matters that can help folks eat more nutritious food more often, which can improve a person’s chances against developing chronic disease or cardiovascular complications,” Klop said. “Your Heart Matters is a great free community event that we’re excited to host because it’s one way we can help build a healthier community here in Newaygo County.”
A free nutritious breakfast will be served at 9 a.m. and presentations will begin at 9:15 a.m.
This is a free event, but space is limited. Call 231.924.0528 to save a spot.