Gerber Memorial lab moves back to hospital from temporary home at Tamarac.
Public invited to use outpatient services for non-COVID-19 tests.
FREMONT, Mich., April 30, 2020 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is moving its outpatient lab back to the hospital at 212 S. Sullivan St in Fremont starting on Monday, May 4. The lab had been temporarily located at Tamarac. Members of the community are invited to use Gerber Memorial’s outpatient lab services for non-COVID-19-related tests. Walk-in services are available, and no appointment is required.
Outpatient lab services at Gerber Memorial hospital are available Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The lab is closed Saturday and Sunday. For further information, call 231-924-1363.
The outpatient lab in Newaygo is located at the Gerber-Memorial Family Medicine-Newaygo building, located at 211 W. Pine Lake Dr. Hours for the Newaygo outpatient lab are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To increase safety and limit exposure to COVID-19, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial has implemented several measures:
COVID-19 SCREENING: Spectrum Health’s phone and virtual screening options are available to help those who have symptoms and may be concerned they have the virus. The purpose is to prevent the spread of illness by enabling people to seek the information they need from their homes, while making it easy and convenient for them. Spectrum Health advises people to take the following steps from their home:
A screening is not a test. It is the first step in possibly being tested as testing requires an appointment and physician order. Anyone with life-threatening and serious medical emergencies should call 9-1-1 immediately.
The health center locations of Family Health Care (FHC) are currently open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to serve its communities' health care needs either by walk-in or appointments. The organization is pleased to announce telehealth services are now available from the comfort of your home.
In addition to in-office services, telehealth is currently available for behavioral health, urgent and ongoing medical needs for convenient access to FHC right from your home. Dental services for urgent needs are also available through telehealth. If you have a dental emergency, you can call any FHC dental office. An assessment will be conducted over the phone with directions on the best course of action for you.
FHC pharmacies continue to offer convenient curbside pickup for everyone. For community members 60 and older, on the MedSync program, delivery is now available within a 10-mile radius from the organization's pharmacies in Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant and White Cloud.
During this pandemic, FHC is providing care through a "Fast Track Clinic," which is committed to people experiencing respiratory illness and COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 testing is available at all of FHC health centers (following guidelines posted on the FHC website). The community is asked to call in advance for an appointment.
"We remain committed to our communities by providing urgent, walk-in medical services, and a fast track clinic for those concerned about respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms," said Kathy Sather, President and CEO of Family Health Care. "Those who need to be tested will be tested right in our centers. We encourage you to call us if you are symptomatic to receive the most up to date information and direction on the best means to serve you. The best way to continue good health, of course, is to follow the recommendations from the CDC for social distancing practices, hand washing and the wearing of face masks in public places. We are also serving the needs of first responders and essential workforce for their testing needs."
To better serve you, the following services are available at Family Health Care’s clinics:
HEALTH CARE APPOINTMENTS
Urgent care is available by appointment and walk-in. We are currently accepting new patients.
Telehealth services are now available for non-life threatening medical concerns, behavioral health appointments and soon, urgent dental needs. For more information, contact the Family Health Care office nearest you.
Curbside pickup service for patients needing medications is available at all locations. For community members 60 and older, on our MedSync program, we now offer delivery within a 10-mile radius from our pharmacies in Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant and White Cloud. Please call your local FHC pharmacy if you need refills or have a prescription to pick up. Hours of operation for pharmacies are:
Offices are now open for dental emergencies by appointment. Contact the dental office nearest you:
Open for in-office consultations and telehealth visits at all main clinics and Child and Adolescent Health Care Centers (Grant, White Cloud and Baldwin Middle School locations).
Prescription contacts and eye glasses that were ordered will be available for curbside pickup by appointment only.
Mammography (White Cloud and Baldwin) are taking appointments for mid-May. Appointments for Ultrasound and X-Ray are available now. Call for more information.
CHILD & ADOLESCENT HEALTH CENTERS (CAHC)
The centers located in Baldwin Elementary School, Grant Middle School and White Cloud High School are open to all patients up to 21 years of age.
For the most up-to-date information on Family Health Care and COVID-19, please visit familyhealthcare.org/coivd19.
Collection Activities on Delinquent Loans Halted Until Sept. 30, 2020
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Department of Treasury today announced Michiganders who have student loans guaranteed by the state will be provided assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collection activities on delinquent Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) student loans, made by a financial institution and serviced by the Michigan Guaranty Agency, will be halted until Sept. 30, 2020.
“College students should not have to worry about defaulting on their monthly loan payments during the continuing, unprecedented public health crisis,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “This program will help alleviate a tremendous amount of stress from students with financial hardships as they determine the next steps in completing their education and competing for jobs in the 21st century workforce.”
The state Treasury Department has stopped all wage garnishments and offsets to pay outstanding FFELP student loans serviced by the Michigan Guaranty Agency. Borrowers who are currently in repayment agreements will not be penalized if a payment is missed through Sept. 30, 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is both a public health emergency and an economic emergency,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “If you are encountering financial hardship and cannot pay your state-backed student loans, please contact us so we can walk through your options for assistance.”
Individuals who have FFELP loans serviced by the Michigan Guaranty Agency and are encountering repayment issues are encouraged to call 1-800-642-5626. Service representatives can discuss payment options with borrowers.
Some FFELP loans were made by private lenders, and guaranty agencies insured these funds. Since 2010, no new FFELP loans have been issued by the federal government.
To learn more about state student finance programs, go to www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid. More information about the Michigan Guaranty Agency is available at www.michigan.gov/mgaloan.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
Gerber Foundation Awards over $351,000 in Scholarships to Local students
This Spring, The Gerber Foundation presented scholarship awards to the following students in Newaygo County. We wish all out high school graduates our best.
Daniel Gerber Sr., Medallion Scholarships (worth $10,600)
Fremont HS: Lauren Boerger, Kelsey Somers, Paige Vandenberg, Jaxx Miller
Grant HS: Kassidy Doornbos, Andrew Decker, Elvira Cruz, Kirstyn Throop
Hesperia HS: Weston Valdes, Jessica Holy, Ashley Poole, Elizabeth Shedd
Newaygo HS: Samantha Toth, Noah Painter, Madison Berwald, Carson Bush
White Cloud HS: Kylie Juergensen, Reginald Richmond, Olivia Bowman, Alexander Clark
The Gerber Foundation Merit Scholarships (worth $2,600)
Fremont HS: Lexie Luchies, Jonathon McPherson, Shawn Murphy, Annika Tuls, Lillian Truax, Jacob Visser
Grant HS: Lesly Blanco-Escobedo, Emma Robeck, Lesha Nester, Jolie Archbold, Alainna Dietz, Chance Stebelton
Hesperia HS: Kelsee Blount, Jack Dipple, Stephanie Munts, Rosie Ramos
Holton HS: Alissa Armstrong, Jillian Underwood, Alexa Zimmerman
Newaygo HS: Savannah Hill, Cheyenne Wheeler, Fayth Melven, Taylor Ciatto, Emily Oldham
Ravenna HS: Grant Parker, Aubrey Woodwyk, Zoe Spoelman
Shelby HS: Jacqueline Gaytan, Luis Garcia, Kenya Hernandez, John Wade
Walkerville HS: Haley Adams
White Cloud HS: Jemi Perrin, Rachel Elder, Layna Yeiter, Jacob Foster
Congratulations to these scholarship recipients and all the graduates of 2020!
Celebrating an adoption with your friends, family, and the community, is something even COVID-19 could not stop this family from accomplishing.
On Saturday April 18, Newaygo County residents, Joe and Stephanie McFarland were thrown a drive-by adoption parade as an alternative to having an adoption finalization court hearing. Typically an event like this would be held in the courtroom in front of the Judge. Due to the recent outbreak, waiting for a hearing could be months out so instead, friends and family of the couple gathered, all while practicing appropriate social distancing, to celebrate the welcoming of their three, now official, daughters.
It was an event filled with an overwhelming sense of emotion and togetherness. Many were seen crying “happy tears,” as the eldest daughter said with a very wide smile. Others were seen streaming confetti as they drove past and cars were decorated with many congratulations and welcomes.
And of course we had lots and lots of honking!
The urge to give the family hugs and practice social distancing was a difficult task to manage with so many happy emotions, but the event went on with the next best, what the family refers to as “marshmallow hugs.”
The event brought people from many of the agencies throughout the community to Resonate church who graciously and generously offered their parking lot for the ceremony and parade. The area proved to be large enough to fit the well over 50 cars in attendance.
Many law enforcement agencies and members from local county offices were also in attendance, including a surprise appearance by the Honorable Judge Melissa Dykman.
Judge D: “It was such a privilege to be part of the drive-by adoption event. This family has waited a long time to finalize this adoption, when the Covid-19 situation hit it was clear that an in-person ceremony to finalize the adoption would not be immediately available.
“That being so, the family asked the court to finalize the adoption without a hearing. I did that on April 14, 2020, as allowed under the Statute. It was the DHHS worker that expressed a desire to give the family something special to celebrate the adoption. As a result, the drive by adoption celebration was organized by devoted DHHS workers and specifically Nicole Klomp.
“I was so honored to be invited. As I said then and say often, overseeing adoptions is the best part of my job, to be part of the creation of these forever families is so special. During this difficult time it was great to be part of something so positive. The smile on those little faces that day will stay with me forever.”
All came together to show support and gain closure for a much anticipated and long awaited adoption.
In a time with so many uncertainties and confusion, the parade appeared to be exactly what was needed to bring joy and excitement to many.
These are tough times indeed with the COVID virus cutting a swath through our daily lives, shuttering business, taking away jobs, limiting access to resources and putting a strain on the places that serve the community during these daunting days.
Food pantries have been inundated with those in need as witnessed by the lines at TrueNorth and other food sources in our area and schools have stepped up to help assure their students have the food they need.
In White Cloud Benny’s Place an emergency food pantry has been feeding people throughout the community for well over 20 years after being started by the United Methodist Church as a way to help those in need. The pantry had it’s beginnings in the former parsonage and later moved to the basement of the old church building before landing in its current home at 1139 Newell. The house had been purchased by the church and the caretaker/sexton of the church (Benny) resided there until his death, hence the name Benny’s House.
Doris Steele Sirk started running the pantry around 2004 and 8 years later Helen Reid took over. Since last fall Shaunna Baker and Pat Fetterley have co-led the operation.
Once a month people can get a hold of some much needed provisions at Benny’s House. While primarily serving their area there are no specific boundaries so all are welcome.
As Ms. Baker said “If they get here we can feed them”
All that’s required is a photo i.d.
With COVID-19 requiring protective measures Benny’s is offering curbside service not unlike the drive ins of old. You pull up to the curb, call in to register and your food will be bagged and brought to your car.
Benny’s (1139 Newell, White Cloud) is open Monday- Thursday from 10am-noon and Thursday nights from 5-7pm
The Gerber Foundation recently awarded scholarships to twenty students from the Newaygo County Career and Technical Center (NCCTC)! Congratulations to these well-deserving students.
Brady Longcore & Landon Nelson (Construction Trades)
Randi Jo Osborn & Shylah Bastion (Child Development/Education)
Madison Risley (Cosmetology)
Cassidy Shuler & Thomas Feldpausch (Graphic Communications)
Alyssa Watkins & Alex Ceja (Culinary Arts)
Alicia Fisk (Health Sciences)
Colin Scholtens & Sean VanDenBerg (Auto Technology)
Kolby Dickinson (Welding Technology)
Dakota Homfeld & Allison Truskowski (Information Technology)
Maximiliano deleon-Macias & Xavier DeLing (Engineering)
Hannah Steenstra (Business Applied Technology)
Aaliyah Boyce & Aeliana Polinski (Agriscience).
The Career-Tech scholarship program began five years ago to help students in these programs obtain advanced education beyond high school or to complete advanced certifications or licensure. The aim of the program was to help pay for some of the extra expenses that these students encounter in their training programs that typical scholarship programs do not support.
The scholarships will help pay for up to half of the cost of tools, equipment, uniforms, materials, and licensure or certification exams that students need to complete their technical or trade post-secondary education. The funds will help fill a gap in funding for the unique needs these students have to gain certification or licensure to improve upon their job prospects. “We often speak metaphorically about giving students the tools they will need to make a good living and provide for their families. With these scholarships, The Gerber Foundation is doing that in a literal sense.”, said Kara Eagle from the office of Corporate and Foundation relations at The Ferris Foundation.
Because the scholarships are based on individual costs for each program, scholarship amounts vary. Recipients this year are expected to receive between $150 and $2,660 each.
The Gerber Foundation is honored to be able to provide these scholarships to students from the Newaygo County Career-Tech Center programs.
Grant Senior All Night Fundraiser offers the chance of a lifetime
The Grant High School Class of 2020 is still holding out hope for a Senior All Night Party to celebrate all of their accomplishments and have some much deserved fun! If you would like to help make this happen now is your chance! Purchase a raffle ticket for a once in a lifetime experience of going to the top of the Mackinac Bridge! Yes, the Mighty Mac! The top of the tower is 552 ft up with incredible views! The winner of the raffle will receive a certificate that is good for two people and, due to the current pandemic, it does not expire!! If you win this would be an amazing gift for your favorite adventurous loved one and/or something to check off that bucket list of yours.
This opportunity is astounding! The Mackinac Bridge Authority holds a drawing once per year each August, and randomly chooses 25 non-profit organizations to receive a tower tour certificate to be raffled or auctioned for charitable purposes. Only 25!! And Grant HIgh School Class of 2020 Senior All Night Party Fundraiser got one. Incredible!! Purchase a ticket to help give these kids a chance to celebrate the end of their highschool years and you might just have a chance to do something awesome too!
The date of the All Night Party is on hold at the moment and in the event that it must be cancelled the seniors will still benefit from all funds raised.
From now until April 29th the raffle tickets are on sale!
One ticket price is $25 and must be purchased prior to the scheduled raffle on April 29th at 1:30pm when one ticket will be drawn on Facebook Live.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting Jennifer Koopman at 616-581-9782 or by mailing a check to:
859 E Old Pine Trail
Newaygo MI 49337
Masks will be collected for care facilities, home health workers, community partners
Grand Rapids, Mich., April 22, 2020 – Thanks to the generous and ongoing donations of handmade face masks from people throughout West Michigan, Spectrum Health will begin distributing the masks to those in the community who most need them.
The decision comes in the wake of a CDC recommendation that everyone wear a reusable mask when leaving their home as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Because people in the community have been so generous with their time and talents, we have collected more than 6,000 masks,” said Kurt Knoth, vice president of supply chain, Spectrum Health. “We encourage those who are able, to please continue making and donating masks. This will help us to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 by providing the reusable masks to the people within our communities in greatest need.”
A video with instructions on how to sew the preferred design is available here.
The drop-off location in Newaygo County is at Goodwill of Fremont at 1422 W Main St, Fremont. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Long-term care facilities, home health workers and non-profit organizations aligned with Spectrum Health are among the groups initially identified to receive masks, based on supply and demand.
Spectrum Health will collect the homemade masks at the Fremont Goodwill and other designated drop-off sites across West Michigan. Spectrum Health expresses its thanks to those who have stepped up to create them. Organizations interested in receiving a supply of masks should email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expands Testing Criteria to Include Any Worker Still Reporting in Person
LANSING, MICH. As part of efforts to continue expanding COVID-19 testing and contact tracing of potentially exposed Michiganders, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) again expanded its testing criteria to include all essential workers still reporting to work in person, whether they have symptoms or not, and launched a large-scale effort with more than 2,000 volunteers to expand contact tracing capacity.
“Contact tracing is an essential public health tool and will help determine and limit the spread of COVID-19 in our state,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “This effort is also giving Michiganders an important way to contribute to crisis response and we appreciate their willingness to step up for their communities, pitching in selflessly for work that will help us all.”
Contact tracing is a proven public health strategy that involves identifying those affected by COVID-19 and interviewing friends, families and others near that person about their contacts and symptoms. MDHHS is contracting with Great Lakes Community Engagement, a firm that specializes in outreach campaigns to engage citizens, and Every Action VAN, a voter/individual contact platform used by non-profits, to provide software to help organize remote phone banking and track information and contacts.
More than 2,200 volunteers have completed MDHHS’ contact tracing training and are ready to begin aiding local health departments. This workforce will increase the speed and thoroughness of contact tracing statewide. These volunteers are in addition to more than 130 MDHHS staff who have been assisting local health departments with case investigation over the past couple weeks and have reached more than 12,000 COVID-positive individuals.
Dedicating additional resources to contact tracing is needed as testing criteria and testing locations are rapidly expanding. Last week, MDHHS announced the expansion of testing to all Michiganders experiencing symptoms. Starting April 21, testing eligibility criteria is being expanded again to include all essential workers still reporting to work in person with potential COVID-19 exposure, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic. This will help identify asymptomatic cases who may still be spreading the virus as they report to work.
“This means that anyone with symptoms can get a test as well as any individual regularly interacting with others outside their household, as long as the testing location has the supplies,” Khaldun said. “MDHHS is also working with local health departments to expand testing in group living facilities with potential exposure.”
To sign up to volunteer for public health efforts, visit Michigan.gov/fightcovid19. To locate a testing site near you, visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.