“Getting us closer to living the lives we want”
Charged with the daunting task of delivering much needed vaccinations to the citizens of our fair county, District Health Department #10 put out a call for volunteers to help with the massive project.
N3 appreciates the work being done by those who have rolled up their sleeves to help others roll up their sleeves.
We asked Jane Drake from DHD#10 about the value of the volunteers.
“Our staff can’t say enough about our amazing volunteers. They have not only been great to work with, they also help lift everyone’s spirits. This has been such a long haul. It’s been a real boost to the staff to have people coming in from the community who want to get involved and are so eager to pitch in to help beat back this disease.
“Since the start of the year, DHD#10 had over 400 COVID-19 vaccination clinics, and given out more than 83,000 vaccines. There’s no way our small staff could have done all this and still be standing without the help of the volunteers.
“In Newaygo County alone, over 11,000 vaccines have already been given out and we’ve had some of the largest clinics in the district with up to 700 patients scheduled. It just wouldn’t have been possible without these wonderful folk who selflessly donate their time to help all of us get on top of this pandemic.”
Ms. Drake put us in contact with one of their valiant volunteers to pose a few questions on how they came to join the DHD#10 crew and why they decided to lend a hand.
Dianne Taylor-Chandler has lived in White Cloud since 2010. Originally from Canada, she moved progressively southward working in various positions for American Airlines/Sabre (AA’s computer division) for 33 years. She and her husband, Charles Chandler, retired here from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to spend more time fishing for steelhead and salmon in West Michigan’s outstanding rivers. She has volunteered locally with Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, North Country National Scenic Trail, and Reeling & Healing, an organization that provides fly fishing wellness retreats in Michigan for women 18 and over battling and surviving cancer.
What do you do when not volunteering?
Play pickleball, hike, travel domestically and internationally (pre-Covid), and less fly fishing since taking up Pickleball.
What brought you to this particular project?
As a volunteer on the Newaygo County Emergency Service – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), we are periodically asked to support our local District Health Department (DHD#10) initiatives, such as the pop-up Covid testing events and vaccination clinics. Since being fully vaccinated by mid-February, I was delighted for the opportunity to volunteer at these clinics and have worked 2 full days a week, accruing over 100 hours.
What has surprised you the most?
How demonstrably excited (even to the point of happy tears) that many people are to finally be able to get vaccinated and decrease the risk of getting severely sick with Covid or passing it on to others, especially high-risk friends or family members, and some things they will be able to do once fully vaccinated.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Keeping up with handing out and helping people complete the registration paperwork when occasionally a surge of people show up at the same time. However, I have found (and many people have commented) that the Newaygo County DHD#10 clinics are very well organized, efficient and staffed by caring administration and nurses/doctors.
What has been the most satisfying?
Helping make the upfront process in order to receive the vaccination as simple and efficient as possible and helping the nurses monitor folks that are extremely anxious about getting shots or have had severe allergic reactions previously to a variety of things. The nursing staff is always on high alert to address any symptoms that might rarely occur.
Have you been immunized? How would you respond to those who are still undecided about the Vax?
My husband and I were both anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get the vaccination and gain as much immunity to the Covid-19 virus as possible. We had strictly followed the CDC recommendations for staying safe and basically stayed home to limit external interactions, masked as called for, and sanitized most material goods entering our home (not how any of us are used to or want to continue living our lives). Fortunately we did not contract the virus but continue to recognize how stealthy it can be and how easily one can be exposed and get mild to life-threateningly sick, often with residual effects.
As soon as the vaccine was available for the 65+ general population, we jumped on the DHD#10 website to book an appointment in White Cloud and received our first dose on January 11, the second dose on February 1. Our reactions to each dose were minimal – a sore arm for a couple of days and mild fatigue. Most of us have had preventive vaccinations for other things, some of which were more bothersome, and yet we get them anyway because we know they help us avoid undesirable diseases or conditions.
I’ll admit to some apprehension given these are new vaccines developed to fight a virus like no other seen in most of our lifetimes but I just have to talk to someone who had the virus and may have residual effects or see a picture of someone in the hospital fighting for their life, and that hesitation disappears. I don’t want to get that sick or risk passing it on to anyone else.
I believe these vaccinations are our best line of defense to build immunity against this devious virus and once fully vaccinated, some of the restrictions loosen such as being able to reunite with other fully vaccinated friends and family, dining out in compliant restaurants, etc.
I volunteer at the Health Department clinics to help make those who come to be vaccinated have their experience go as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and I always thank those folks for stepping up and getting the vaccine. Please consider getting vaccinated and help us all get closer to living the lives we want.
Thank you for your time Ms. Taylor-Chandler.
And thank you for all you do.
I recall an interesting dialogue from a few years back involving several people. It was one of those somewhat meaningful talks that are way too rare but always insightful.
The topic somehow floated over to the subject of love and someone said “Love is a choice. You can choose who you fall in love with because it’s your emotion and making that choice allows you to express the love inside of you to another person who fits well with your value system, your interests and your goals.
A differing opinion chimed in...
“Are you kidding? Love doesn’t come sauntering in, giving you the option of who will be the target of said affection. Love arrives on an express train, often not only when you least expect it but when it’s not in any way, shape or form convenient. It grabs you by the ass and takes you down roads you never saw on a map. It’s unpredictable and about as controllable as a tired 3 year old who has just knocked down a combination of birthday cake and Mountain Dew. It has no rules, it knows no boundaries and it takes no prisoners.
“Love is a choice? Well, certainly not in my world.”
Like I said, a stimulating conversation to be sure.
Here are the latest marriage license applicants in our fair county.
John Dougherty, Wyoming and Tammy Edwards, Newaygo
William A Crooks, Rockford and Shannon Harkrader, Rockford
Jeremy Shears, Grant and Roxanne Stay, Cedar Springs
Gregory Moon, Newaygo and Brittany Van Broock, Newaygo
Ann Rotarius, White Cloud and Rodney Stubbs, White Cloud
Part of the Girl Scout Law states:
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do
The young women who make up Newaygo Girl Scout Troop 4581 continue to breathe life into the words that make up those guiding principles. A few weeks ago the troop showed their appreciation to our ambulance drivers with some treats (including those famous GS cookies) and we have noted their litany of good deedism delivered throughout the community from the Road Commission to the Fire Department, and many, many others along the way.
So when we heard of their latest endeavor we were pleased, but not surprised.
This time around they went to work planting a beautiful red maple tree on the grounds of the Compassion House in Fremont.
Compassion House, one of N3’s favorite local charities, provides exceptional end of life care for county residents in a setting filled with love and kindness.
And so as part of their participation in Global Youth Service Day the troop took shovels in hand and prepared to dig into the task awaiting them.
The red maple they planted with love will provide years of beauty on the grounds of this wonderfully worthy establishment
Well done Ladies.
This project was made possible by grants from Michigan Community Service Commission and Fremont Area Community Foundation.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” -Nelson Henderson
The 38th Annual NC RESA Student & Community Awards will be held on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7:00p.m.
You can help honor the participants by joining the event via livestream.
The video link will be available at www.ncresa.org on the day of the event.
Gerber Memorial to help families prepare for health care wishes with free service at Multispecialty Clinic
FREMONT. Mich., April 12, 2021 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will be providing a free service for patients and their families designed to help them prepare for health care wishes. Starting Tuesday, April 13, a community health specialist will be at Gerber Memorial Multispecialty Clinic-Fremont to help families develop an advanced care plan.
With advanced care planning, individuals are better prepared to tell loved ones and health care providers what they want for their future health care needs. Advance care planning is important for people of all ages because anything can happen to anyone at any time like an accident or a stroke. Having a plan in place can help ensure that health care wishes can be known and honored in any situation.
The free advanced care planning sessions will be held on Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The sessions are open for drop-ins and appointments. To make an appointment, call: 231.924.1521. Providers can also make referrals for patients to the advanced care planning sessions.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is pleased to provide this free service as part of our effort to empower our community with as much healthcare information as possible,” said Stephanie Kooistra, community health program specialist who will be leading the advanced care planning sessions. “Our goal is to raise awareness about the importance of identifying the wishes of people and their advocates, so those wishes are respected. Everyone should be thinking about the kind of life they want to live, especially as they age, and we can’t always plan for the unexpected. What doesn’t always happen are communications and conversation between a person and their advocate about decisions affecting their future medical care. Through our free advance care planning program, Gerber Memorial is encouraging people to have those conversations as a key step toward more peace of mind.”
From our friends at The Newaygo County Autism Community
Fact: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
Autism Acceptance: “Please don’t ignore us or look the other way when we approach you. Doing that to us will note make us or our disability go away. We didn’t have a choice about our disability, but you definitely have a choice in how you accept us.” Annie Forts
Fact: ASD is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S. There are 3.5 million individuals on the autism spectrum. 1 in 54 children will be diagnosed with ASD, boys being 4 times more likely to be affected.
Autism Acceptance: “Autism is part of my child. It’s not everything he is. My child is so much more than a diagnosis.” S.L. Coelho
Fact: The learning and cognitive abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to significantly impacted.
Autism Acceptance: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. Each one of them is so wonderfully different.”Autism Parenting Magazine
Fact: Oftentimes there are no differences in how people with ASD look that would set them apart from others, but they may communicate, interact, behave, learn and experience the world in ways that are different from most.
Autism Acceptance: “Different, not less.” Temple Grandin
The Newaygo County Autism Community is nonprofit organization supporting families impacted by autism. Prior to the pandemic, the NCAC held an annual walk to promote awareness and raise funds, planned educational support group meetings and sponsored a monthly swim time at Tamarac for individuals with ASD and their families.
The organization also awards grant monies to Newaygo County residents living with ASD. In the last round, 6 grants were awarded. The next grant round will be in July and all grants are made possible by donations from generous individuals and businesses throughout Newaygo County. Donations are always welcome. For more information, access the Newaygo County Autism Community Facebook page or send inquiries to NCAC P.O. Box 56 Fremont, Michigan 49412.