Annual Walk to promote awareness of ASD
The Newaygo County Autism Community (NCAC) will be hosting the 4th annual Walk for Autism on April 28, 2018 at the Fremont High School Football Field. Registration is free and starts at 9:00 a.m. The walk will start at 9:30. Pledges are welcome, but not required. The theme will again be Super Heroes, as we give tribute to the heroes of our community, including law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, EMT's, health care providers, teachers, veterans, and active duty service men and women.
The Walk for Autism is a culmination of autism awareness events throughout the month of April. Fremont’s Mayor Rynberg signed a proclamation declaring April as Autism Awareness Month for the city of Fremont, and the city council allowed blue ribbons to be tied to light posts throughout the city as part of the Light It Up Blue campaign. Numerous businesses throughout the county have joined the effort by "going blue". Look for blue lights, blue window decorations, blue clothing, blue hair and nails, all in support of autism awareness.
Throughout the month of April, schools across the county will show their support for autism awareness in numerous ways, including coloring contests, making posters, door decorating, and video making. NCAC also sponsors an Outstanding Teacher Award, given to a teacher who has helped promote understanding and acceptance of autism throughout the school community.
According to the CDC, 1 in 68 school-aged children in the U.S. have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is about 4.5 times more common among boys than among girls. Locally, there are approximately 150 children in Newaygo County receiving educational services as a student with ASD.
The ultimate goal of the Newaygo County Autism Community is to spread awareness, increase acceptance, and educate the community in the area of autism. Autism not only impacts the individual person identified, but their entire family, as well as extended families, including church, school, health care, and community activities.
NCAC is working with local law enforcement agencies, emergency medical personnel, and the Gerber Spectrum emergency department to develop and support programs and procedures that will improve the level of response to the needs of our community members with ASD in emergency situations.
This past summer NCAC introduced the Newaygo County Safe Swim Academy, a swim program for Newaygo County residents on the autism spectrum. People with autism are often drawn to water; consequently drowning is one of the leading causes of death of individuals with autism. With the prevalence of lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers in Newaygo County, teaching water survival skills is imperative.
As autism continues to impact more people in many different ways, the Newaygo County Autism Community is committed to providing continued awareness, support, and education to all members of our community. We strive to increase the level of compassion and understanding for all whose lives are impacted by autism.
For more information about the Walk for Autism on April 28 go to www.IwalkforAutsim.com.
For more information about the Newaygo County Autism Community find us on Facebook, or go to newaygocountyautismcommunity.org.
Volunteers needed for TTQ program
The Total Trek Quest program (TTQ) is coming to Newaygo County for the first time this spring. TTQ is a fun, high energy after school program designed exclusively for boys in 3rd-5th grade. TTQ incorporates strength and stretching exercises with training for a 5K. Boys in this program will develop positive peer relationships and feel a part of a team while working toward individual goals. Additional practice activities focus on developing a healthy lifestyle, social/relationship skills, how to make healthy choices, and resisting peer pressure. The TTQ program originated in Ottawa County in the fall of 2005 and expanded into Muskegon and Allegan Counties in 2016 and then Kent County last fall. Over 4800 boys have participated in this active, fun and rewarding program.
Teams practice 2 times a week for our 9 week season( plus one for spring break)right after school for 90 minutes. The season will start on March 27 and end with our final 5K on June 9. Volunteer coaches work with the boys to implement the curriculum and running plan. Right now, we are working to have teams at Velma Matson (Newaygo), Patricia St. Clair(Hesperia) and Daisy Brook(Fremont). We are looking for boys to participate and committed, caring adults to volunteer as coaches. Coaches can be women or men and you don’t need to be a runner, you only need to be willing to move. It’s a great way to have a lasting impact on some great kids- and it’s fun too. We provide all the training and supplies that are needed to facilitate this great program.
If you’d like more information on the program—and/or on becoming a TTQ coach, please contact Kayleigh Peffers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dry grass poses wildfire risk for outdoor burning
Home and property owners in much of the Lower Peninsula should avoid outdoor burning for the next few days because dry conditions could cause fire to spread.
Dead vegetation such as grasses, leaves and residual crops are dry and ignite easily, said Jeffrey Vasher, fire management specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Roscommon Incident Command Center.
“Everything right now is just so dry and dead from the winter,” he said. “It can burn quick and fast.”
The advisory applies to much of the state south of U.S. 10 to the state line, said Paul Rogers, fire officer supervisor in the DNR’s Plainwell office.
“There are going to be intermittent higher winds through the weekend,” Rogers said. “We’ve had several fires through the past days, and smaller structures have been lost.”
Rogers said it will be best to hold off burning until after rains arrive to soak the ground.
Those who plan to burn yard debris or other materials at any time should contact the DNR for a burn permit at michigan.gov/burnpermit or contact their city, village or township for local burning rules.
State law allows for the burning of leaves, grass, limbs, brush, stumps and evergreen needles. It also allows for burning some types of household paper materials that do not contain plastic, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals or hazardous materials. Those must be contained in a covered metal or masonry burning vessel with an opening no larger than ¾ of an inch.
We received this note from the fine folks of Hope 101 Ministry who are in the process of renovating their second home.
What a surprise!
Volunteers working on Hope 101 Ministry’s Mercer Home found several old newspapers wrapped around wall studs. The newspapers were dated October 1900. Rick Boss, one of several volunteers working on the home, said “The crew has no idea why the papers were wrapped around the studs, but found it interesting to see an ad for horse drawn carriages. The papers were so brittle we didn’t try to remove them. They are now safe behind new drywall.”
The home was once owned by the Mercer family of Newaygo. The family gifted the home to the Hope 101 Ministry, Inc., a Michigan non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in 2017. Once the renovations have been completed, the house will be home for a homeless family while they work toward specific goals to become self-sufficient. The mission of Hope 101 Ministry, Inc., with the help of God, is to provide safe and loving homes offering Christian support, friendship, and direction to empower participants to reach beyond their circumstances to a place of stability and self-sufficiency.
Want to help?
For more information please go to www.hope101ministry.com or call 231-349-6624.
From left: Holly Ames, RN; Tiffany Romine, CAN (on Maxi-Air device); Emily Rath, RN; and Danielle Warner, RN, demonstrate the new Maxi-Air device at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial on Thursday. The Maxi-Air is one of several new devices being implemented at Gerber Memorial to further strengthen and improve the hospital’s commitment to patient care.
Gerber Memorial steps up commitment to patient, employee safety with high-tech devices
FREMONT– On any given day in the recent past, Tiffany Romine, CNA, would have to grab two or three colleagues to help her move an adult patient from a stretcher to a hospital bed at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
All that is changing.
Thanks to a fleet of new devices that deploy high-tech ergonomic technology, every time Tiffany moves a patient from one place to another, she’s moving virtually zero pounds. For the patient on the stretcher, a device called the Maxi-Air inflates under the body and floats from one location to another, helping the patient get from stretcher to bed without any friction. And because the Maxi-Air can move with the gentle push of a finger, staff members like Tiffany significantly reduce their risk of injuries.
“For a small rural hospital like Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial to make this investment in tools and techniques that can significantly benefit our patients and staff shows how much importance we place on the health and safety of the people we serve and our employees,” said Tiffany. “I can do my job efficiently and safely, and I get to focus on my patients’ needs, their dignity and their comfort.”
The initiative is part of Gerber Memorial’s initiative featuring new equipment and new methods to further improve safety at Gerber Memorial, by helping employees move patients with minimal effort.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is excited to make this critical investment in the safety and comfort of our patients, while also recognizing the work our staff does every day,” said Gerber Memorial Chief Operating Officer Shelly Johnson. “Our program recognizes what our employees do every day, providing them with a safety solution that also meets the needs of our patients.”
According to the most recent data, Gerber Memorial employees lift the equivalent of about 3,500 pounds of patient every day, similar to the weight of a midsize car.
Nurses and nursing aides are among occupational groups most at risk of injury, particularly for musculoskeletal disorders, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Nearly 70 percent of all nursing injuries are due to back complications from lifting patients. In the past five years, 64 Gerber Memorial staff have been injured while handling patients, resulting in 876 lost work days, 638 restricted work days, over $153,000 in direct worker compensation costs and total costs estimating to up to $1.6 million, said Lauren Miedema, Gerber Memorial safety specialist.
“This program represents a big step forward for employee and patient safety at Spectrum Health,” Miedema said. “Gerber Memorial and our staff are thrilled that we can lead the way within Spectrum Health to keep patients and staff safe and healthy. More and more new patients and staff now expect safe patient handling programs, and this is one way we can demonstrate our commitment to quality care for patients and a safe work environment for our employees.”
In addition to the Maxi-Air, which facilitates lateral transfers of up to 1,200 pounds, Gerber Memorial is also now using devices that include:
The equipment is being used primarily in the ICU, medical surgery, emergency, OB/GYN, surgery, rehab, radiology and oncology departments.
Gerber Memorial gets new telehealth resource to connect new moms with infants, thanks to volunteers
FREMONT– Volunteers at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial are playing a big role in the young lives of tiny babies.
That’s because the work of the HAGS, also known as hospital auxiliary guild shop, is generating revenue that goes directly to support Gerber Memorial and its patients. Recently, the Gift and Coffee Shop next to the Sullivan Street Café on the hospital’s first floor raised enough money from the sale of gifts, jewelry, flowers, collectibles, coffee and snacks – $35,000, to be exact – to purchase a MedNow cart that could be used throughout the hospital, including at the labor and delivery unit, so new moms can still connect with their babies should the baby have to go to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
“We are so happy to donate whatever is necessary to the community and Gerber Memorial,” said volunteer Pat Hendrie. “We want something that will be readily available to the public and encompass more than just one area and the MedNow cart does just that. We are excited to be a part of this advancement and offering to our patients and community.”
Hendrie said she and the volunteers, who received a demonstration of the new device, are amazed by the MedNow cart.
“The last item we were able to purchase was the portable X-ray machine,” Hendrie said. “The HAGS wanted to have the same effect on our purchase this year and we are so thrilled and happy to provide this to our community.”