]If the premiums you pay to cover yourself and your family under your employer’s health insurance are more than 9.5% of your family income, you may qualify for special financial assistance from the Tencon Health Plan.
The Tencon Health Plan is a non-profit corporation funded by area hospitals and county government. It is dedicated to helping uninsured people get coverage. It ended its old program of assistance when the Affordable Care Act and the Healthy Michigan Plan went into effect, but it still has funds to use to fill gaps in coverage.
The Tencon Health Plan has dedicated some of its money to a special fund to help people in the service area caught in the Family Glitch. This glitch affects those that have affordable employer coverage but realize it becomes too expensive when family members are added to the policy. Although the fund will not pay for deductibles and co-pays, it may provide assistance paying a portion of employer-sponsored insurance premiums.
If you think this program could help you, please contact Sarah at 231-368-1057 for more information.
Families Against Narcotics of Newaygo County
Over 60 folks attended the last FAN (Families Against Narcotics) meeting, the monthly gathering of citizens concerned enough about the ongoing opioid epidemic to want to arm themselves with the most important element in this burgeoning crisis.
This “National News’ story has a lengthy reach, one that extends well into Newaygo County and touching the lives of far too many members of our community in far too many ways.
This is a problem that has not just zipped past the resources available to help but continues to outdistance those resources as time goes by. For family members who bear the brunt of the burden the frustration involved in attempting to access help can be disheartening.
With the support of our local law enforcement entities, the courts, local treatment providers and those who are well acquainted with recovery these meetings have been providing information to be sure, but beyond becoming more aware those who attend come away with something more.
FAN will be meeting this Wednesday, May 30th 7pm at the NCRESA Multi-media room, 4747 W 48th St. in Fremont. This months meeting will feature a family forum as a panel of local experts responds to questions from the audience.
By Mark Mathis
Smoking is a personal choice that everyone is free to decide for himself or herself. Those that smoke are aware of the risks, and make the decision to smoke freely. But what about smoking around your dog? Does it have an impact? We’ll look at the applicable research, tell you what the experts have to say, and explain some things that you may want to consider.
The research about the impact of cigarette smoke to humans is overwhelmingly clear. The body of research concerning pets is not nearly as large. John Reif with the Colorado State University Veterinarian hospital conducted two studies about the impact of second hand smoke on dogs.
The dogs exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes were significantly more likely to develop some types of cancers, and long nosed breeds like German Shepherds had even more problems than other breeds.
Additional research by CSU showed that the effects of secondhand smoke were long lasting. Measurable levels of carcinogens could be found in dog’s hair and urine for months after exposure.
Reif concluded, “People who choose to smoke should do so away from pets, outdoors.”
I was unable to find any specific research that discussed the effect of secondhand smoke on a dog’s olfactory ability. There is research that shows that human’s olfactory ability is reduced by smoking. It can be reasonably concluded that if human’s ability to smell is reduced by exposure to smoking that second hand smoke exposure would have an impact on our canine friends. This may matter to you if your dog’s nose is important for hunting or searching.
The experts that we polled were all of the opinion that smoking around a working dog most likely would have a negative impact. Most take steps to minimize the amount of smoke that their own dogs are around.
International Police Work Dog Master Trainer Richard McQueary said it would appear that, “smoking has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, only magnified.” That sentiment is echoed by nearly every other working dog expert I’ve spoken with.
What should you do?
If you enjoy smoking this article certainly isn’t an attempt to get you to quit. However, you should attempt to minimize the impact it has on your dog. Your dog can potentially get exposed to a lot of smoke in your home, or while riding around with you in the car. If you must smoke in the car, keep your windows open to provide lots of fresh air for your dog. Better yet smoke outside, while your dog smells the changing landscape. If every time you burn a cigarette your dog spends some time outside, smoking just may make your dog even better!
Sui Generis Home Furniture Seeks to Honor Veterans This Memorial Day
Newaygo- Local home furniture store, Sui Generis Home Furniture, has partnered with the Memorial Day Flower Foundation to hand out 250 free long-stemmed roses to honor veterans across Newaygo County this Memorial Day weekend. Anyone who would like to give one to a veteran or place on a headstone can pick up their free rose on Saturday, May 26th or Sunday, May 27th.
Memorial Day Weekend is marked as the unofficial kick-off to summer in Newaygo County, but more importantly, a time for the local community to honor those that have served in the United States Armed Forces and have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. This year, Sui Generis Home Furniture, a locally-owned furniture store in Downtown Newaygo, will give out 250 free long-stemmed roses to anyone who would like to give one to a veteran or place on a headstone this Memorial Day Weekend. The flowers can be picked up at their store location at 1 State Rd in Downtown Newaygo, on either Saturday, May 26th from 10AM to 6PM or Sunday, May 27th from 11AM to 3PM.
Local owners, Theresa + Jake Cooper, are asking for help to make sure that every one of the 250 roses finds a home on Memorial Day. The retailer also donated 150 roses to the Memorial Day Flower Foundation to place on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2017, the Foundation placed over 120,000 roses at Arlington National Cemetery. It is the goal of the Foundation to honor every one of the soldiers (over 400,0000) interred at ANC with a rose on Memorial Day. The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation is a non-profit organization partnering with civic groups, florists, and retailers all over the United States to put long-stemmed roses on the graves of veterans for Memorial Day. They have been carrying out this goal since 2011 in Arlington National Cemetery and in hundreds of communities all across the country.
Plan hopes to promote pollinators
The Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) welcomes public comments through May 31 on a draft conservation plan that provides a blueprint for reversing the decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population.
The draft plan, called the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy, builds on existing efforts of state, federal, and local agencies and private organizations and individuals. It covers a 16-state region stretching from Texas to the Upper Midwest that encompasses the primary production and migratory habitat areas for eastern monarchs (see map). Other eastern monarch states are also collaborating with the plan.
The draft plan identifies conservation goals and strategies for improving habitats in various sectors or categories of land use such as natural areas, agricultural lands, urban lands, and rights of way. State wildlife agencies and partners will be working to add milkweed plants where lacking and to ensure diverse, nectar-plant-rich landscapes with blooming species during seasons when monarchs are present.
“In addition to their beauty, pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and other species provide important pollination services critical to our food supplies and economies,” said Terry Steinwand, MAFWA President. “This is the first phase of a long-term strategy that will require increased commitment of people and resources to support enhanced monarch and pollinator conservation and monitoring efforts by many partners over the next 20 years.”
Eastern monarchs, those found east of the Rocky Mountains, have declined by more than 80 percent over the past 20 years primarily due to habitat loss, including reduced milkweed required for reproduction and fewer nectar plants. In 2014 the monarch was petitioned for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, and a decision on whether listing is warranted is expected in 2019.
Monarchs produce multiple generations each year and undertake a lengthy fall migration from the U.S. and southern Canada to the forested mountains of central Mexico where they overwinter. The goal of the strategy is to coordinate state and partner efforts to restore and enhance habitat to support an average overwintering population in Mexico occupying about 15 acres (6 hectares), consistent with international goals.
The plan primarily focuses on voluntary and incentive-based habitat restoration and enhancement efforts, but also includes priority education and outreach, research, and monitoring needs related to monarch conservation.
For more information, a copy of the draft strategy, and how to submit comments, please visit the MAFWA website at Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy.
LANSING– The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging Michigan residents to protect themselves from ticks as the warm weather approaches. Tick-borne diseases, particularly Lyme disease, are expanding across the state.
Although ticks can spread multiple illnesses, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in Michigan. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by the blacklegged/deer tick.
The blacklegged tick is well-established in Michigan’s western Upper and Lower Peninsulas. However, it is expanding into new areas across the Lower Peninsula. In 2017, there were more than 300 human cases of Lyme disease reported, and approximately two out of three cases reported exposure in Michigan. Lyme disease infected ticks have currently been identified in 34 of Michigan’s 83 counties. Information about Lyme disease risk by county is available atMichigan.gov/lyme.
“With the expansion of blacklegged ticks into new areas in Michigan, the best way to protect against Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “If you find a tick attached to your body, promptly remove it. Monitor your health, and if you experience fever, rash, muscle or joint aches or other symptoms, consult with your medical provider.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week that diseases spread by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas tripled in the U.S. from 2004 to 2016. The report also concludes that Lyme disease is an increasing concern for Michigan. To read the full report, visit the CDC website.
People can protect themselves against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases by following these tips:
Avoid tick-infested areas.
For more information about Lyme disease, visit Cdc.gov/lyme or Michigan.gov/lyme.
On Medical Fitness Week, Gerber Memorial kicks off Momentum medical fitness program
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and Tamarac are unveiling Momentum, a medical fitness program, during Medical Fitness Week on May 7-May 13. Momentum partners an individual’s health provider with fitness experts to help establish a sustainable pathway toward improving their overall health and wellness. Tamarac is the first wellness center in West Michigan nationally recognized for quality and safety through the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) certification.
“Significant, effective changes in lifestyle that result in improved health are very difficult for patients to implement,” said Michael DeWeerd, Gerber Memorial physician and medical director at Tamarac. “A medical fitness program removes some of the barriers and provides me with a safe and realistic option for many patients.”
DeWeerd said Momentum can benefit patients with a range of illness, including those with chronic diseases, diabetes, obesity, COPD, chronic pain, coronary artery disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression. The program is open to anyone who wants to incorporate the health benefits of exercise into overall wellness.
Tamarac certified fitness specialist Matt Purtee said Momentum can help improve the health of the community.
“Having a medical fitness program will help more people in our community get and stay active, safely and effectively, under the supervision of a qualified fitness specialist,” Purtee said.
With Momentum, a patient is referred to the team at Tamarac, either through a healthcare provider or through a self-referral. Certified fitness specialists like Purtee would set up an initial assessment and collect some preliminary fitness data. The specialist would go over the benefits of both cardiovascular and resistance training and then prescribe a personalized exercise program. The patient would then be scheduled for two supervised workouts a week. After eight weeks, the patient would be retested to collect data on their progress and improvements, and that information would be sent to the patient’s healthcare provider.
DeWeerd defined success for a patient enrolled in Momentum as steady results with improved strength, flexibility, weight loss, improved blood pressure, which then provide encouragement for long term success. Purtee added that success is when a participant in the program makes fitness part of their lifestyle.
“Our community has high rates of diseases associated with physical inactivity,” Purtee said. “The Momentum program will allow our providers to have a direct line to certified and qualified fitness specialists who will be able to safely and effectively guide patients into a personalized exercise program. Exercise has the potential to prolong and enrich people’s lives.”
The eight-week Momentum medical fitness program costs $125 per person and financial assistance is available. For more information about the program, call 231.924.2193.
FHC honored for Q.I.
BALDWIN – Family Health Care (FHC) is pleased to announce it is one of 10 health centers in the State of Michigan named a Quality Improvement Leader for fiscal year 2017. This designation is made by the Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA).
Health Center Quality Leaders are among the top 30% of all HRSA-supported health centers that achieved the best overall clinical outcomes, demonstrating high-quality across their clinical operations. Characteristics of a Quality Improvement leader include quality of care with positive, long-term health outcomes focused specifically on low birthweight, controlled hypertension, and controlled diabetes.
“This national recognition would not be possible without the dedication and compassion our staff shows by living our organization’s mission,” said Kathy Sather, President/CEO of Family Health Care. “We strive on a daily basis to ensure every patient receives the best possible care with a focus on their overall health and well-being.”
The Bureau of Primary Health Care Digest stated, “As part of HRSA’s commitment to recognize health centers as quality leaders, we recently delivered Health Center Quality certificates to the 47 National Quality Leaders and 393 Health Center Quality Leaders. This effort follows the August 2017 Quality Improvement Awards of nearly $105 million to 1,333 health centers to recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide, as well as those health centers that have made significant quality improvement gains.”
By Jan Tuman
The Relay For Life has always been one of the signature events White Cloud’s Voice of Reason has participated in as a group activity. With its absence form the schedule in our county this year the group decided to alter plans a bit and launched their first “Day of Service” on Saturday, April 21st.
It was a day of much work and many laughs.
Beginning at 8:00am, the group raked and hauled leaves at and around the city offices.
At 10:30, it was trash pick-up time along M-37, from the river to the city office, then at noon, we were served lunch at the White Cloud Methodist Church by their ladies group.
Well fed and re-energized the VOR did a little work in the Methodist Church Food Pantry, moving furniture out to the garage and tearing down a ceiling while discarding all of the old drywall and the subsequent mess created outside.
From there the group tackled the proliferation of leaves that tend to gather in large numbers at the White Cloud Cemetery. Reports indicate that while millions of leaves were relocated their brethren remain in force.
At 6:30 it was time for a little dinner at the high school cafeteria followed by games,videos and general merrymaking that occurs after a day long successful group effort..
The first “Day of Service” was deemed a success with members are already talking about “DOS II”.
Participants to be found in the various photos are: Ella Bowman, Emily Feldpausch, Madeleine Seabrook, Olivia Bowman, Hannah Brown, Allie Schulz, Madison Smith, Naomi Thompson, Jemi Perrin, Haley Foster, Cassie Watson, Chloe Stevens, Trent Jones, Hallie Schulz, Elexis Plotts, Isabelle Cruzan and Jan Tuman