White Cloud students step up
Voice of Reason recently sponsored a food drive for Benny's House in WC, March 14th through March 25th.
Competition was fierce between Pride-Time classes. Mrs. Atwood's class, with 644 items, was the winner in the High School; Ms. Scott's class was the winner in the Junior High. Food donations equaled almost 1500 items along with generous gift card donations from Houseman's & Jim Tuman. Many will benefit from the generosity in our community.
White Cloud Pride at its best!!
Spectrum Health Expanding Specialty Care Along the Lakeshore
New location will provide services from a variety of specialists in the areas of cardiovascular medicine, neurology and pulmonology
Spectrum Health has opened the newly renovated North Muskegon Specialty Care building at 1845 Holton Rd. to provide care from a variety of medical specialists.
The North Muskegon Specialty Care facility gives patients access to quality care from providers they know and trust. Services include cardiovascular medicine, referrals for cardiothoracic surgery, structural heart and valve center, vascular and vein care, pulmonology and neurology.
Designed to provide patients with expert, coordinated care, this newly renovated facility allows patients in the Muskegon area to avoid traveling from location to location for additional health services.
“Each patient who is referred to our team receives expert opinions from clinicians who have subspecialized extensively in their field,” said Spectrum Health cardiologist Michael Dickinson, MD. “Our state-of-the-art facilities allow us to provide lifesaving care for patients with even the most complex conditions. The goal is that 80% of care will take place locally with patients only needing to travel for major interventions.”
The medical specialties currently offered in the Spectrum Health Integrated Care Campus (ICC) at 2009 Holton Rd. in North Muskegon will move into the specialty building, making the ICC primary care focused.
Cardiovascular medicine will provide clinical and interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, advanced heart failure care along with cardiac imaging and monitors including echocardiograms, stress echocardiograms, treadmill stress and patch monitors. Nuclear cardiology services will be offered in autumn 2022.
The structural heart and valve center will provide services including TAVR, TMVR and MitraClips and will serve congenital conditions.
Vascular care will include services for abdominal aortic aneurysm, arteriovenous fistula creation and management, carotid artery disease, embolism/thrombus, mesenteric artery disease, peripheral artery disease, renal arterial disease, thoracoabdominal aneurysm, vascular ultrasound imaging and free vascular screenings.
Vein care services will include services for varicose and spider veins, venous disease management, vein ultrasound imaging and free venous screenings.
Spectrum Health pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine will bring expertise in advanced lung disease, including interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and pre-transplant evaluation. Pulmonary function testing will be offered on-site with specialized imaging and laboratory services close at hand.
Spectrum Health neurology’s relocation from the Spectrum Health ICC will continue to offer neurological evaluations and care for a variety of neurological conditions and continue to provide electromyograms (EMGs). Rebecca Bond, DO, who has been providing neurological care for the Muskegon area for more than two years, will be joined by Anne Gembrowski, NP, on the neurology team this summer.
For more information and to schedule an appointment, please call: 855.7.MYHEART.
Find out more online at: https://www.spectrumhealth.org/muskegon
Compassion, inspiring words earn Watson a DAISY Award for exceptional nursing at Gerber Memorial
FREMONT, Mich., March 14, 2022 – For Charlie Watson, RN, caring for people is in his bones – and retirement didn’t diminish his passion for serving the Newaygo County community.
So, at 56, he went back to school at Montcalm Community College and in early 2021, was certified as a registered nurse. A few months into his new job at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, Watson’s compassion, empathy and inspiration earned him a DAISY Award recognizing exceptional nursing care.
The patient wrote that they had been “physically and emotionally drained for quite a while” and “just kept suffering through them.”
“Nurse Charlie helped me with my strength and stamina, which was dying inside,” the patient wrote in nominating Watson. “His pep talks put some lifelong goals back into me. I have always been a strong go-getter, always on top of my game. I don’t know when I lost this, but I did. He revived me with his truths.”
The patient said Watson constantly reminded the patient of how much life they had in them. “God wants us up and strong and healthy to be that go-getter,” the patient said. Watson’s “words have been life-changing.”
While Watson’s path to nursing came later in life, he said his new career is, in many ways, an extension of his pre-retirement one, when he spent more than three decades as a firefighter and EMT. Retirement, he said, was something he wasn’t quite ready for.
“I love the idea of caring for people back to health,” Watson said. “As a firefighter or an EMT, I care for people on the spot, then I hand them off to the nurse and in nearly all cases, I’m not there for the rest of that person’s journey. Now I’m the nurse, I’m the one firefighters and EMTs hand their patients to, and just being able to help people get healthy and across the finish line is a blessing that I hadn’t foreseen at the age of 56. I try to share as much compassion and empathy with my patients, and I also try to help them see how much their families love them and how much inner strength each of them has.”
Watson credits his wife – and colleague – for inspiring him to go back to school after he officially retired. His wife, Ladonna Watson, RN, is herself a DAISY Award recipient, recognized in July 2018. Both Charlie and Ladonna Watson work in Gerber Memorial’s med/surg department.
As a DAISY Award honoree, Charlie Watson received a certificate commending him 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.” DAISY Award honorees also receive 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.
As a DAISY Award recipient, Watson nominated nursing tech Alyssa Carlson for the BEE Award, which recognizes any staff member who supports patient care. In his nomination, Watson said: “Alyssa is an excellent team player. She is helpful and caring. She makes staff feel very comfortable. If they don’t know how to do something, she shows them how and does so with grace. She is supportive to the nurses and is always willing to jump in and help.”
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.
For more information about The DAISY Award and the Foundation’s other recognition of nurses, faculty and students, visit www.DAISYfoundation.org.
Nomination forms can also be found at any Spectrum Health facility or submitted online at: https://www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/GerberDAISY.
For two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our communities and dominated public health efforts to mitigate risk and keep residents safe and informed. As COVID-19 cases and deaths continually decrease, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) announces, effective immediately, they are transitioning away from providing daily and weekly data and toward utilizing the already robust reporting tools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
As of March 10, 2022, the CDC announced that more than 98% of the U.S. population is in a location with low or medium COVID-19 Community Level, a welcome and encouraging statement. The CDC is now providing a new way for communities and individuals to decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data through their COVID-19 County Check tool. This simple tool allows individuals to enter their state and county to determine whether their COVID-19 Community Level is Low (green), Medium (yellow), or High (red). Guidance is provided based on each level for individuals to consider following. An interactive map is also displayed of the United States that allows you to see the U.S. as a whole or to click into areas of interest to delve deeper.
Likewise, MDHHS recently announced a new three-phase COVID-19 cycle for Michigan as cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease, including:
Currently, Michigan is in the post-surge recovery phase due to decreases in cases in hospitalizations and increased access to vaccines, testing and treatment for COVID-19. Based on current conditions, MDHHS announced the withdrawal of the Public Health Advisory on masking in indoor public settings, including school settings and released updated Masking Guidance. MDHHS also announced updates to the COVID-19 Isolation & Quarantine Guidance for Michigan, including school settings.
MDHHS also maintains a data dashboard of state and county-level data on COVID-19 cases, trends, demographics, and testing, as well as vaccine data and other relevant information by topic.
“We understand that our transition away from reporting local COVID-19 data may be frustrating to some but given the fact that the state and CDC are already providing pertinent data to help individuals make informed decisions, we can now look to them to guide us,” stated Kevin Hughes, DHD#10 Health Officer. “All local COVID-19 resources and prevention measures will now transfer into our normal public health workflow and our staff will get back to the standard practices we have always provided.”
DHD#10’s website will no longer display the COVID-19 data dashboard or local COVID-19 data and will instead link to the CDC’s and MDHHS’s communication tools that are updated weekly. DHD#10 will continue to pass along important guidance and information as the situation evolves and if there is a surge in cases.
DHD#10 will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, KN95 masks, and host COVID-19 testing throughout the 10-county jurisdiction as long as the demand for testing exists.
KN95 masks are currently available in all 10 DHD#10 offices. Masks are given out 3 per person on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. To find your nearest DHD#10 office, visit www.dhd10.org/clinic-locations/.
For those wanting to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine, booster dose and/or flu shot, please visit www.dhd10.org/schedule or call 888-217-3904.
For those interested in hosting a COVID-19 vaccine or testing clinic at their location, please complete this registration form: https://bit.ly/3j52rSj.
For those needing a COVID-19 test, DHD#10 is hosting testing clinics at various locations throughout their jurisdiction. Find a testing site near you at www.dhd10.org/covid19-testing-clinics. You do not need to be a resident to get tested at any of these clinics. COVID-19 testing also takes place at most pharmacies, urgent cares, and your primary health care provider’s office. You can also find testing in neighboring counties on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) site: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_104699_104714-554722--,00.html.
DHD#10 does not supply COVID-19 at-home tests; however, test kits are available at most pharmacies. Be sure to call your pharmacy ahead of time, as demand is high. You can also get at-home tests through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) here: https://www.covidtests.gov/.
If you have a positive COVID-19 at-home test kit, please report it here: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6715540/Home-Test-Report.
Employers are critical to our understanding of outbreaks. If you are an employer and would like to report a positive test result from your organization, please do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newaygo County Area Promise Zone receives generous donation from Gerber Life Insurance
The Newaygo County Area Promise Zone has received a generous $25,000 donation from Gerber Life Insurance. This donation will be used to directly support student tuition and launch student futures.
The Newaygo County Area Promise Zone provides high school graduates with a tuition-free path to an associate degree from Muskegon Community College or an approved apprenticeship. The Promise Zone believes that every student, regardless of financial means, should have the opportunity to earn post-secondary credentials.
By helping to remove the financial barrier that so many students face, the Promise Zone is helping to remove a cultural stigma that college is too expensive. With the Promise Scholarship, many students are starting to believe that higher education is within their reach and taking the steps to plan for their future.
“We are very grateful to have Gerber Life Insurance join us in supporting our Promise Scholars,” said Holly Moon, Fundraising Co-Chair. “Their gift will impact our students and ultimately the greater community by increasing the level of education and training for students as well as provide a more highly trained workforce for our employers.”
Since beginning in 2017, the Promise Zone has awarded over $1.9 million in tuition payments
in support of over 260 Newaygo County students who have enrolled in pursuing their post-secondary credentials.
For more information about the Newaygo County Area Promise Zone visit www.promise.zone, email email@example.com or call 231-924-8888.
From our friends at District Health Department #10 (DHD#10)
As of 3-11-22, Crawford, Oceana, and Mason counties remain in the high transmission level category; Lake and Mecosta are in the substantial transmission level category; Manistee, Wexford, Newaygo, and Kalkaska are in the moderate transmission level category; and Missaukee is in the low transmission level category.
There have been 153 confirmed Omicron variants: 2 in Crawford, 2 in Kalkaska, 5 in Lake, 9 in Manistee, 12 in Mason, 29 in Mecosta, 9 in Missaukee, 24 in Newaygo, 29 in Oceana, and 32 in Wexford. As of today, there is 1 COVID-19 inpatient in Munson Cadillac, 4 in Munson Grayling, 0 in Munson Manistee, 5 at Spectrum Health Big Rapids, 0 at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, and 4 at Spectrum Health Ludington. Attached is the graphic from the Spectrum System websites highlighting vaccination status of hospitalized patients both as of 3/1/22.
For Tamarac fitness specialist, basics are the building blocks for lasting wellness – and joy
FREMONT, Mich., March 3, 2022 – For Tamarac’s newest fitness specialist coordinator, simple basics of movement can be a foundation for long-term health, fitness and well-being.
“What I love doing as a fitness specialist at Tamarac is helping people move the right way so they can minimize stress and injury, while strengthening basic muscles that can help set them up for wellness and fitness through all stages of life and as they age,” Jana Connors said. “I help our members dig beyond surface goals and find out what’s really behind their desire to lose weight, have more energy and sleep better. Usually, that means connecting with what people truly enjoy in life, whether that’s something as simple as being able to garden, travel or spend more quality time with grandkids. For most people, being able to do the things they love is what motivates. That could be building strength and endurance so a parent can walk their daughter down the aisle at her wedding. That could be wanting to climb the stairs in the football stadium so grandparents can enjoy their grandson's senior night for high school football. This is what drives me to work my best and what I hope drives my clients to push to their potential.”
Connors’ fitness focus revolves around three areas:
Connors said she typically begins with functional fitness because basic movements can serve a range of specific purposes. She said many people experience some dysfunction in the way they move their bodies. This includes standing at a tilt, walking with an uneven gait, or failing to fully squat. Connors’s exercises focusing on functional movements aim to help individuals address those dysfunctions so they can perform daily activities with more ease.
Connors’ interest in cardiopulmonary rehabilitations goes back to her previous work as a central monitor technician at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids. Before Blodgett, Connors was a Ball State University graduate assistant, working in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and adult physical fitness.
“One of my goals at Tamarac is to help raise awareness about how fitness is really about caring for the whole person and helping each individual achieve their goals their way,” Connors said. “When I help a person with their cardiac and pulmonary rehab, I’m also giving someone who may have received a heart illness diagnosis learn and use tools that can minimize damage and increase recovery. When I work with someone who has a chronic condition, we work together to look beyond medications, which can be important, and explore ways that exercise and diet can help their journey toward wellness.”
Connors chose a career in fitness and wellness because she wanted to work in health care. In addition to her interest in clinical procedures and medical technology, Connors is in awe of what the human body can do. As a fitness specialist, Connors said she can be a part of an individual’s daily journey of healing.
“I want to be able to reach those who may have felt defeated in the past and are ready to really take charge and use fitness and wellness as a tool to learn more about themselves and how to take care of their bodies,” Connors said. “I love getting to see people every day and they are always the bright spot in my day, no matter what is going on in my life. I love being able to work with so many different people and to be challenged every day to be better, to design better programming, to find better ways to help someone improve their life.”
A Comstock Park resident who lives with her new husband and their cat, Connors said she cherishes the community that has built itself around Tamarac, from her fellow colleagues to the members and families who visit in pursuit of their health and wellness goals. Everyone, she said, is driven to encourage and support each other.
“Every small win is a huge victory here, and it is easy to cheer each other on,” Connors said. “I see members teaching other members how to use equipment correctly, I hear conversations about truly checking on people who maybe had a hard time lately. I've had people tell me they really do think of me when they drive home and hope for my safety. Every person belongs here and everyone who exercises here, works here or has therapy here makes it known that we are a community. It's a beautiful gem of a facility to be found in small town Michigan.”
Spectrum Health’s free virtual seminar shares tips to start, sustain journeys toward better health
Fremont, Mich., Feb. 24, 2022 – Spectrum Health is offering a free virtual seminar that can help individuals get started on their health journey, for individuals at any age and fitness level. The seminar on Thursday, March 10, is designed to provide information so people how to start on the road to health and wellness – and stay there. The event is from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and open to anyone.
The seminar features Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Registered Dietitian Emilie Klop and Spectrum Health North Muskegon Physical Therapist Darren Guffey. Some topics they will focus on include:
Anyone can join on the virtual platform from a smartphone or laptop. To register, call 231.924.3073 or go online at www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/HMHB.