Health Dept Reports possible public exposure at VFW/AMVETS
From our friends at DHD#10:
September 29, 2020 – District Health Department #10 was notified that an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 was present and potentially contagious at the Newaygo VFW Post 4249/AMVETS Post 4250 fish fry on Friday, September 25, from 5:00 to 8:30 PM.
If you attended the fish fry at the VFW/AMVETS located at 45 W. Gene Ferguson Lane in Newaygo on the day and time listed above, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the possible exposure date. Anyone that is self-monitoring as a result should keep away from family, close contacts, and roommates as much as possible. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and recent loss of taste or smell. Anyone experiencing one or more of these symptoms should immediately quarantine themselves and contact a medical provider.
While DHD#10 will release information about public exposure sites when it is determined through investigation that it’s not possible to identify all close contacts, everyone needs to remember that approximately 40% of COVID-19 cases appear to be asymptomatic. Asymptomatic cases are especially difficult because they are not sick and therefore not staying home. Additionally, contagious individuals can spread virus prior to experiencing symptoms.
“As we continue to experience community spread of COVID-19, it should be understood that anyone choosing to go out in public, whether to a bar, restaurant, golf course, retail store, family gathering, funeral, or any other public place, could potentially be exposed to COVID-19 at any time, thus you should always be monitoring for symptoms,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10.
For more information about COVID-19, go to: www.dhd10.org/coronavirus, www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, or www.cdc.com/coronavirus
Marriage factoid: The median age at first marriage in the United States has continued to rise in recent years from 27.1 and 25.3 years in 2003 for males and females, respectively, to 29.8 and 27.8 years in 2018.
So what might it mean that the average person is waiting longer to get married? Are they delaying nuptials because of, careers, fears surrounding commitment and/or loss of independence?
Or perhaps it is merely a lack of suitable prospects?
Or maybe folks stay engaged longer.
Because once you fall in love with that person you want beside you going forward there may be a long engagement for any number of reasons but for all practical purposes the connection has been made and the die is cast so to speak.
Because as Billy Crystal says to Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Here are couples who recently decided to start the rest of their lives.
Meghan Lauritzen, Allendale and James Zeldenrust, Fremont
Felicia Chapman, Sand Lake and Nicholas Rowland, Sand Lake
Walter Dean III, Grant and Stefanie Hunt, Grant
Donna Creekmore Fennville and Patrick Gallagher, White Cloud
New provider joins Gerber Memorial Cancer Center for care close to home
FREMONT, Mich., Sept. 23, 2020 – The Cancer Center at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is pleased to announce a new provider has joined the center, Judy Tsai, MD. With the addition of Dr. Tsai (pronounced “tie”), the Cancer Centre is welcoming Newaygo County patients to receive care and treatment locally.
“Our Cancer Center team is excited to have Dr. Judy Tsai join us and provide care close to home for patients and their families here in Newaygo County and nearby communities,” said Brandi Miller, Gerber Memorial cancer center manager. “Being able to provide cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic means people in Newaygo County don’t have to drive far, and they’ll be receiving care in a smaller setting where we can better manage social distancing. In addition to Dr. Tsai, Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center team includes registered nurses, a nurse practitioner, a registered dietitian, a financial counselor and many other professionals. Our goal is to provide personalized care to every patient, and we’re proud to provide such a wide range of specialized care for our neighbors.”
Dr. Tsai received her medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. She received a hematology and oncology fellowship from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and completed her internal medicine residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 2012.
Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center is implementing numerous measures to maximize cleanliness in an effort to reduce infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the measures are more frequent cleaning, temperature checks at the entrance to the clinic, requirements for all staff and visitors to wear masks and social distancing.
Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center is located at 230 W. Oak Street, in the lower level, with entry on Pine Street. Services Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center offers include:
Site to be updated Mondays at 3pm
In accordance with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ outbreak definition, schools that have been found by their local health department to have two (2) or more COVID-19 cases who may have shared exposure at the school grounds and are not from the same household (with the exception of dorms and off-campus housing) are included.
If your child’s school is listed, your local health department and school are investigating and will contact you directly if you or your child was possibly exposed to coronavirus at school. Please note that students or staff who were exposed to COVID-19 outside of the school grounds AND are not thought to have spread the disease in the school grounds (due to quarantine, self-isolation, etc.) are not included in the data.
Many factors, including the lack of ability to conduct effective contact tracing in certain settings, may result in underreporting of outbreaks. This information does not provide a complete picture of school outbreaks in Michigan and the absence of identified outbreaks in a school in no way provides evidence that, in fact, that school is not experiencing an outbreak.
Is marriage easy?
Probably ‘no’ is the most straightforward answer. But, as Tom Hanks said about baseball in League Of Their Own “If it was easy everyone would do it.”
But wait, nearly everyone does it right?
Well, not quite.
The marriage rate has actually dropped a fair amount in the past couple of decades but still over 2,000,000 weddings went forward last year meaning over 4 million folks took the plunge.
So despite the challenges of sharing your life with another person for many the benefits seemingly outweigh any perceived difficulties.
Must be where love comes into play.
Here are three couples who recently signed on for nuptials.
Rosella DeWitte, Fremont and Alger Brown, Fremont
Ronnie Osbon, Grant and Katie Cale, Grant
Jason Garlacz, Fremont and Krista Herron Fremont
“A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”-Dave Meurer
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Invites Community, Providers to Free Online Cancer Symposium
FREMONT, Mich., Sept. 16, 2020 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is inviting cancer survivors, families and health care providers to a free virtual discussion about advances in cancer care and innovations at the Spectrum Health Cancer Center 2020 Oncology Symposium.
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, this year’s event will take place virtually from noon until 2 p.m. daily, Monday, Sept. 21, to Friday, Sept. 25. The symposium is open to all medical and health care professionals, patients and caregivers who want to hear from cancer experts and learn about updates and available resources at Spectrum Health Cancer Center. Registration for the free symposium is available at www.spectrumhealth.org/oncologysymposium.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is excited to be part of an event that can improve health, inspire hope and save lives for the communities we serve throughout West Michigan, including here in Newaygo County,” said Gerber Memorial Cancer Center Manager Brandi Miller. “Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center here in Fremont is part of Spectrum Health’s extensive network of cancer care that helps patients get treatment close to home. By sharing the 2020 Oncology Symposium with our community, we hope to showcase how patients can find options for personalized care, made simple, that are available in Newaygo County and in West Michigan.”
Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center is located at 230 W. Oak Street, in the lower level, with entry on Pine Street. Services Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center offers include:
For information about Gerber Memorial’s Cancer Center and additional services, call 231.924.1305.
Spectrum Health’s free virtual cancer symposium will take place through Microsoft Teams. This will be an interactive event and attendees will both learn from experts and be able to ask questions. There will be different presentations each day of the week. Topics will cover cancer survivorship, financial toxicity, side effects of treatment, rehabilitation, radiation complications, cardio-oncology, lifestyle and more. The complete schedule can be found here.
Continuing medical education credits are available for health care providers.
Drive-thru process comes to Spectrum Gerber
FREMONT, Mich., Sept. 15, 2020 – Patients visiting Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial for an outpatient COVID-19 swab test will now get their specimens collected in a barn located behind the hospital. The site, just off Weaver Avenue, is open daily 9 a.m. to noon.
The change allows for better social distancing and increases the capacity to conduct more tests as schools, sports and the busy fall season begins.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is committed to making sure the people we serve and our team members remain as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, while meeting the needs of our community,” said Gerber Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Nick Strait. “By collecting specimens outside the hospital, we hope to make the process easier for our community and encourage more people to get tested in a convenient way.”
Patients must have an order from a provider to receive a test. Appointments are encouraged. There are several easy ways to access COVID-19 testing:
If you require an interpreter or special assistance, call the COVID-19 hotline at 833.559.0659. Also use this option if you are a pre-procedure or surgery patient. If you qualify for a COVID-19 test, an appointment will be made for you.
For tests for children, also visit www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19test for more information on how and when to have your child tested.
Spectrum Health emergency departments are for patients seeking emergency services only and are not able to provide testing for patients without serious COVID-19 symptoms.
People experiencing life-threatening symptoms or conditions should call 9-1-1.
Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam and White Pine Trail are highlighted during next week’s Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance and DNR challenge
White Cloud, MI: Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and Michigan DNR are highlighting the state’s thousands of miles of trails, challenging community members to get out on their local trails, including Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam and White Pine Trail.
Michigan Trails Week begins on Sunday, September 20, and runs through the following Sunday. A key feature of the week will be the Michigan Trails Week Challenge. Michiganders can register for the challenge at https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Lansing/MichiganTrailsWeekChallenge and log their miles on Michigan trails. Registration is free, and badges are earned by hiking, biking, paddling, and more. Badges earn participants the chance to win prizes as well. Challenge organizers have selected six trails to feature during the challenge, and participants have the opportunity to make charitable donations to support the trails, including the Dragon Trail and White Pine Trail, during registration. Both trails are currently fundraising to complete construction on each respective project. Visitors can find the donation link on the sign-up page by selecting “Give to Trails” and then selecting the trail they want to donate to from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page.
“We are excited about the possibility of raising matching funds to be used toward the paving of the remaining 29 miles of our scenic West Michigan ‘rail-to-trail’ from Big Rapids to Sand Lake,” said Paul Griffith, Vice Chair of the Northern Chapter of the Friends of the White Pine Trail.
“The Dragon Trail is thrilled to be a featured trail in Michigan Trails Week,” said Jodi Albaitis, fundraiser for Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam. “We should have a little over 13 miles of the total 47-mile trail done by the end of 2020, and our riders and hikers are looking forward to more being added next year.”
White Pine Trail and Dragon Trail are close neighbors north of Grand Rapids. The White Pine Trail begins in Grand Rapids and runs 92 miles to Cadillac, nearly touching the 47-mile Dragon Trail, which surrounds Hardy Dam Reservoir in Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Each trail fundraising goal is $6 million and $3.7, respectively.
To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon Trail or the White Pine Trail, or make a gift, visit thedragon.us or make a gift while registering for the Michigan Trails Week Challenge at
ABOUT MICHIGAN’S DRAGON AT HARDY DAM
Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam is a 47-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail system located between Hardy and Rogers Dams in West Michigan. The Dragon is managed by Newaygo County Parks, Mecosta County Parks Commission, and the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. Construction for the trail began in 2019. Learn more at www.thedragon.us.
ABOUT WHITE PINE TRAIL
The 92-mile White Pine Trail runs from northern Grand Rapids (Comstock Park) north to Cadillac, and is a scenic Rail-to-Trail project. It runs through rolling farmland and 15 rural communities, crosses 22 rivers and streams, and contains several bridges—one of which is 300 feet long. Learn more at whitepinetrail.com.
Wellness Center, pool reopen Monday with extensive safeguards to minimize COVID-19 spread
FREMONT, Mich., Sept. 14, 2020 – Tamarac reopens its Wellness Center and pool to members on Monday, Sept. 14, with extensive safety measures that apply to everyone and are designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread. The safety measures are detailed in a comprehensive guide available on www.tamaracwellness.com. Tamarac can also mail the guide to members upon request.
Tamarac’s new safety measures require everyone inside the facility to wear a mask at all times, including while exercising and engaging in physical activities, with the exception of activities in the pool.
Tamarac will limit how many people can be inside the Wellness Center at any one time to 25 percent of capacity. This safety measure can better help people observe 6-feet social distancing.
Anyone entering the facility must undergo a screening at entrances, including a temperature check, and all staff must undergo a screening before reporting for work.
Closed since March 16, Tamarac will reopen its fitness floor, free weights area, pool, track and locker rooms. Group classes and personal training will also resume. The Café will be open with limited hours. Child Watch will remain closed until further notice. Tamarac’s next phase of reopening will include additional areas and will be announced at a later date.
Most obvious to anyone returning to Tamarac is its new layout, with equipment spaced out and activity areas rearranged to allow 6-feet social distancing.
Months in the making, Tamarac’s list of safety measures also include the following:
“On behalf of the entire Tamarac family, we are excited to welcome our members and our community back to Tamarac,” said Tamarac Manager Amanda Irwin. “Every step that we have done to reopen is with our associates’ and members’ health and safety in mind. We want to make sure that our members and visitors to Tamarac have the best experience when they walk back through our doors and remain confident in our enhanced safety and cleanliness measures.”
In addition to a wellness center, Tamarac is a medical wellness facility certified by the Medical Fitness Association, which is an international organization that has certified only two other facilities in Michigan and 50 in the entire nation.
Tamarac’s new safety measures are based on scientific evidence, guidance from public health experts and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order signed on Sept. 3.
ER Docs open medication assisted treatment clinic in Fremont
COVID-19 isn’t the only public health emergency occurring in the United States at this time. The opioid epidemic continues to run rampant, devastating the lives of thousands of people across the nation and has only continued to worsen during the pandemic.
In the state of Michigan, emergency medical services saw opioid overdoses increase by 33 percent from April to May of this year and they continue to remain elevated.
And this isn’t just an urban or downstate problem.
It’s a problem here in Newaygo County.
Who are those suffering from addiction?
“They are our sisters, neighbors, health care professionals, cousins, factory workers, teachers....anyone, “ said Dr. Josh VanderLugt, one of three emergency room physicians who have opened LTS Clinics, a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) clinic at the NC Mental Health satellite office located in the Fremont Rec Center. He is joined by Dr. Daniel J. Ceglowski and Dr. Carrie Clark and this trio of physicians hope to make an impact on the ongoing opioid issue our county faces.
Medication assisted treatment is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to help those suffering from opioid addiction.
“MAT is a feasible way to manage the addiction and opens the door for sustained recovery,” stated VanderLugt. “We don’t want to see one more person lose their job, their family and their life and we want to be part of their success in finding recovery.”
In October of 2015 Newaygo County Mental Health began providing the treatment option under the guidance of Dr. Bruce Baker, an addictionologist specializing in MAT. It was expanded to include Arbor Circle the following year.
“This is a critical component of treating Opioid addictions,” said NCMH Executive Director Carol Mills. “We developed MAT in Newaygo County to begin to solve the Opioid crisis here in our community.”
Unfortunately those with private insurance are not eligible for MAT at NCMH leaving a critical gap in the access of these vital services. And that’s where LTS Clinics enters the picture.
According to Dr. Ceglowski, access has been one of the primary issues.
“This is an unmet need in Newaygo County and it’s not realistic to have people driving to Grand Rapids or elsewhere to access services they should be able to obtain in their own community.
“There are a lot of people dying who don’t need to be dying. Bringing MAT here, making it accessible will save lives in this community.”
The new clinic will allow Newaygo County residents who have private insurance and may not qualify for MAT services at Newaygo CMH or Arbor Circle, to get these services without having to travel to a metropolitan area. It also gives people more choices and options for physicians. Having a p available in the evening is vital for those who work full time and LTS hours for now are Fridays from 4-7pm.
LTS Clinics clients are required to:
To make an appointment or for more information you can call 231.689.7601.
And the name of the clinic? LTS?
“Less Than Seven,” said Dr. VanderLugt. “It generally takes a person with opioid use disorder seven attempts at recovery before they’re successful.”
“Our goal is to bring that number down.”