Family Health Care employees awarded for pioneering school-based health centers
BALDWIN– Starting healthy habits at a young age can help reduce future health issues as children move into adulthood. Family Health Care’s (FHC) Child and Adolescent Health Centers play an important role in helping our area youth start life out on the right foot. On November 8, Kathy Sather, President & CEO, and Carol Burba, CAHC Health Educator and Program Supervisor, were presented the Trailblazer Award from The Child and Adolescent Health Center Program, a division of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, along with the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan.
The award is given to leaders that help lay the foundation for school-based health centers. Over the last three decades, school-based health centers have expanded from one center in 1981 to now over 120 centers throughout Michigan. They have diversified to include primary care, dental care and behavioral health services to a variety of ages.
“Working with the professionals that devote their time and talents for our children is the most inspiring and motivating aspect of the school-based concept,” said Sather. “Our children are our greatest commodity; they should never be left out of receiving quality, integrated and comprehensive health care.”
School-Based Health Centers, like the ones FHC has in Baldwin, Grant and White Cloud schools, ensures all school-aged children have access to professionals who can help make a difference in each child’s life, not only as a medical professional but as a role model and mentor. FHC’s Child & Adolescent Health Centers see over 1,500 patients per year providing primary medical care, dental, behavioral health, vision and Medicaid enrollment.
“Seeing the youth grow into healthy adults and knowing how to navigate the health care system is one of the things that motivates me about school-based health care,” says Burba. “It’s not only what I give, but also what I receive in return; the joy and satisfaction of making a positive difference in a life, one child at a time.”
Each of FHC’s Child & Adolescent Health Centers is open year-round and will see any child age 5-21, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay. To learn more or contact a location near you, visit familyhealthcare.org/service/CAHC.
Fremont– What happens when you mix a unique portrait of a Chihuahua, a second grader with a huge heart, and a Kent City veteran? You get a heartwarming story that left few with dry eyes.
River Botten, a second grader at Fremont Christian School, loves Chihuahuas, mainly because her aunt, Natacha Valmont, currently has three, two of which she adopted through Bellwether Harbor. The pair attended a reception at the NCCA Artsplace where paintings of dogs and cats that were adopted through Bellwether Harbor were displayed, and also featured on their annual calendar. River loved the portrait of Coco, a cute Chihuahua mix, and asked her aunt to purchase it.
When River found out that a veteran adopted Coco, she asked her aunt to contact Bellwether to see if she could give the portrait to the vet and thank him for his service. River made a thank you card that said: “I bought this picture of Coco and I thought you would like it. Also, I want to thank you for fighting bad guys for our country, so we can have freedom.”
The exchanged happened on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, just a week after Veterans Day.
Irv Byxbe, and his wife, Marci, arrived at Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter in Fremont with Coco, and flowers for River. He explained how much the picture meant to him and why Coco is a big piece of their family.
“When I first met Coco at Bellwether, I picked him up, he cuddled with me, and I knew he was the one,” Irv said as he petted Coco. “Coco keeps me calm. I have a disease from being a veteran. Whenever I come home, he gets excited to see me and rolls around and is cute to watch. I find comfort when Coco is in my lap, Coco keeps me calm,” Irv said.
He further explained that he wouldn’t have a dog if it weren’t for the K9 Camo Companions, a nonprofit based in Sparta, whose goal is to give back to Veterans who served in the United States military by matching them with a companion dog that is rescued and trained under the Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) standards. K9 Camo Companions paid for Coco’s adoption fee for Coco and pays for all of Coco’s needs.
“I wanted to give this (picture) to you because you served our country and gave us freedom,” River told Irv. “It was an honor to serve you, and my country,” Irv replied.
Bellwether Harbor Shelter and Training Facility is a 501(c)3 organization whose 16-year mission is to help animals and people make a connection through education, training, and adoption.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Wendy Sinicki at 231-924-9230 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TrueNorth’s Coats for Kids (& Adults) Provides More Than 550 Coats to Community
NEWAYGO COUNTY – There were more than 550 children, men and women who found coats to stay warm at TrueNorth Community Services’ Coats for Kids (& Adults) Distribution on Saturday.
People were nearly non-stop in getting winter apparel through Coats for Kids (& Adults) at the TrueNorth Service Center in Fremont.
The Coats for Kids (& Adults) program is focused on making sure “everyone in Newaygo County can keep warm this winter,” said Mike Voyt, Volunteer & Special Projects Coordinator for TrueNorth.
The participants included people like Rebekkah Kortman and Brandon Perales.
Kortman, of Newaygo, brought her 12-year-old daughter and three sons, ages 10, 8 and 6, to Coats for Kids (& Adults). Her family just moved back in August to Michigan from Mexico.
“I found something for everyone. Well, except for me. That’s just how it always goes,” she said. “It was a big blessing for me to find I could do this, and see I could get winter stuff here.”
Her youngest son, Zander, was especially excited. He had an ear-to-ear grin bundled up in his new coat and scarf.
Perales, of White Cloud, had his four sons, ages 14, 13, 11 and 2, with him.
With growing boys, “it can get expensive,” he said. “It’s good to be here. ... This helps us out.”
There were people waiting nearly 11⁄2 hours before the event’s start. The temperature was 19 degrees with a 5 degree wind chill at nearby Fremont Municipal Airport, according to the National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids office.
There were about 50 more people getting coats from Coats for Kids (& Adults) Distribution Saturday than on the day of the event in 2017, Voyt said. Last year, nearly 840 people eventually got coats through the program.
About two dozen volunteers were at the three-hour distribution Saturday, Voyt said. There were also a few dozen more volunteers helping with set up and the month-long Coats for Kids (& Adults) Collection.
The coats distributed came from 40 collection locations across Newaygo County in Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Newaygo, and White Cloud; and from donations through Burlington’s Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coats Drive. Some were also purchased through monetary contributions from Fremont Area Community Foundation, The Gerber Foundation and individuals, families and groups from greater Newaygo County.
While camp is considered by most to be a fun time with many outdoor activities, the camp experience also provides a wealth of opportunities for children to grow – socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Peter Scales from The Search Institute lists problem-solving, making social adjustments, responsibility, and improving self-esteem as some of the benefits of a camp experience. This past summer The Gerber Foundation supported camp scholarships at 9 local camps for youth from Lake, Newaygo, Oceana, and Muskegon Counties.
Camp scholarships included grant support to Camp Newaygo, Camp Pendalouan, Rose Lake Youth Camp and Camp Henry for general summer and day camp activities as well as some specific targeted camps. A grant to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp fosters an appreciation for the Arts among attending youth. Grants to Harbor Hospice (Camp Courage) and Hospice of Michigan (Camp Good Grief) provided opportunities for children dealing with a loss to participate in activities to bolster their ability to cope with that loss.
A grant to Samaritas provided scholarships for youth in foster care to experience a safe and encouraging camp environment while allowing them time to ‘just be a kid’. This camp also works to bring together siblings who may be in different foster homes so that they can spend quality time together.
While all camps include sports and crafts in their schedule, the campers also benefit from team building, science, math, confidence building, and leadership skills. The Gerber Foundation is proud to partner with all of these camps to improve the lives of children in our community.
The Gerber Foundation’s next deadline for youth related programs in West Michigan is March 15, 2019. Grant applications may be completed online at https://gerberfoundation.smartsimple.com. This application is currently open.
Family Health Care receives Tess Canja Award for providing innovative services
BALDWIN– Finding ways to ensure elderly patients are safe at home is a goal of Family Health Care (FHC). One way FHC accomplishes this goal is through the organizations bathing program, which not only helps older adults remain safe by helping prevent slips and falls, but also relieves the strain on caregivers.
On October 10, during the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan Annual Conference, Family Health Care was presented with the Tess Canja Innovation Award from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. This award is given to social service agencies that work to improve health-related situations for older adults. Winners are selected by a committee of state-wide volunteers who consider the creativity, cost-effectiveness, replicability and quantified positive impact demonstrated.
“This was a bit of a surprise since the Tess Canja Award is very competitive,” said Renee Kopach, outreach services manager at Family Health Care. “Our goal is to ensure someone’s mom or dad, grandma or grandpa is provided the care they need so their family can spend time making memories.”
In 2015, in response to an identified need among its respite clients, FHC implemented the bathing service. This service is available to seniors who are not eligible for skilled home care and would otherwise have to pay privately for the service or go without. A major safety concern for the senior population is getting in and out of the shower, a task that is often difficult or uncomfortable for family caregivers to assist with. FHC respite aides assist with bathing and personal care which increases bathroom safety, improves hygiene, and decreases risk of skin break down and infection rates while providing essential support for family caregivers
Family Health Care’s In-Home Respite Care program is comprised of men and women who have a passion for ensuring elderly community members receive the compassionate care they deserve while providing the caregiver time to rest and recharge. These experienced respite aides provide weekly visits during the day, on the weekends and sometimes overnight. They help with meal assistance, reading, visiting and companionship, and provide time to socialize with another adult.
To learn more about respite services and how Family Health Care is working to give our elderly in the community the best life possible, visit familyhealthcare.org.
Gerber Federal Credit Union Awards $60,000 Community Dividend to Newaygo County Projects
FREMONT- Gerber Federal Credit Union awarded three grants as part of a one-time Community Dividend: 1) A $25,000 matching grant to the ‘Building a Healthy Future’ capital campaign to produce a new Health and Leadership Lodge at Camp Newaygo 2) a $25,000 matching grant to the ‘Leave a Legacy’ capital campaign for improvements to the accessibility of the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts 3) a $10,000 grant to the City of Fremont in cooperation with the Fremont Community Recreation Authority and the Newaygo County Pickleball Club for the construction of an outdoor pavilion in the new Darling Walkway development.
“Gerber Federal Credit Union is pleased to support the communities we serve,” said John P. Buckley, Jr., Gerber Federal Credit Union President/CEO. “We encourage the community to donate to these important projects. Gerber FCU will match the community’s generosity up to $25,000 for each of the Camp Newaygo and Dogwood projects.”
The Camp Newaygo project to build the Health & Leadership Lodge caps the three-phase, two-year Building a Healthy Future Campaign for Health, Leadership, & the Arts. The Health & Leadership Lodge is a two-story, 6,085-square-foot facility that replaces the 85-year-old nurses’ cabin on the 104-acre camp’s grounds. The lodge is to provide space for community use and health initiatives along with care for campers with health concerns and clinical experiences for nursing students. The lodge includes additional staff and intern housing for an enhanced year-round program, along with recovery rooms, a nurses’ treatment station, two meeting rooms and outdoor adventure staging area and gathering space. For more information on Camp Newaygo visit www.campnewaygo.org.
The Dogwood Center for Performing Arts project includes improvements that will increase accessibility to the facility with a canopy covered drop-off point, push-button handicap entrance doors, additional handicap parking, and increased designated walkways and crosswalks. For more information on the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts visit www.dogwoodcenter.com.
The City of Fremont Darling Walkway downtown beautification project includes replacing two blocks of Darling Avenue and one block of Sheridan Street as part of a Streetscape project to install a walkable parkway with decorative sidewalk, art nodes, landscaping, benches, lighting, and a new parking lot. The Project also includes the installation of a new Outdoor Pickleball Court system and pavilion on the Rec Center’s parking lot at the southwest corner of Darling and Maple. For more information on the City of Fremont visit www.cityoffremont.net.
Gerber Federal Credit Union was founded here, and we’re focused on growing here. We have two branches located in Fremont and one in Newaygo. Stop in or visit www.gerberfcu.com to learn why Newaygo County trusts Gerber FCU as their financial partner.
(Left to Right) City of Fremont Manager Todd Blake, Fremont Area Recreation Authority Center Director Tom Elmer, Fremont Area Recreation Authority Chair Bryan Kolk, Newaygo County Pickleball Club Member Chris Christoffersen, Gerber Federal Credit Union President/CEO John Buckley, Newaygo County Pickleball Club Member Lance Anderson, Newaygo County Pickleball Club President Dean Morehouse and various Newaygo County Pickleball Club Members.
Cooper Kukal competing at DII level
Earlier this season we featured a group of gridders from Grant who had made the substantial jump to competing on the collegiate level.
Former Fremont Packer Cooper Kukal will be winding up his second season with the Wayne State Warriors when they visit Lubbers Stadium at Grand Valley State this Saturday beginning at 1pm.
Kukal was on the varsity team at Fremont for three years playing center, guard and even a little bit of quarterback on offense while anchoring in at end on defense. He also spent time on the mound and at first base for the baseball team and hit the hardwoods for 2 years for Coach Pete Zerfas,
Redshirted as a freshman Cooper has been seeing some playing time on special teams as well as some spot work on the senior laden o-line of the Warriors.
WSU is located in Detroit giving Kukal many networking opportunities as he pursues a post collegiate career in sports management.
Volunteers honored for being Bellwether Stars
Fremont– More than 30 people were recognized for giving of their time and talents at Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter and Training Center on Friday evening (Nov. 2). A total of 2,200 hours were contributed by volunteers in the last 12 months.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the help of the volunteers,” Carmen Froehle, volunteer coordinator said. “We have some amazing volunteers who are here every week and others who help us with our events like the Holiday Open House or Run Forrest Run.”
Phyllis White of Hesperia volunteered 332 hours in the last year and “speaks cat,” Froehle said while recognizing and thanking her for all her help. White can be found playing with cats or giving them love.
Ann Faber of Montague is another cat lover who recently adopted a special needs cat. She has volunteered 180 hours in the last year. Darlene Beadle of Newaygo contributed 168 hours and works with both dogs and cats. She can be found in the lobby snuggling cats one at a time or walking the dogs.
Most volunteers agree that they get more in return than they give.
“The animals are amazing especially when they get adopted out, it makes a piece of my heart feel whole. I really like it,” said Andrea McGraw of Fremont.
“I come here because there are so many wonderful animals. All they need is somebody to learn to trust and show them love and they give love back,” said Mark Carpenter of Grant.
Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and attend an orientation prior to starting. The next orientation is scheduled for Nov. 20. Volunteer applications are available at Bellwether or online at http://www.bellwetherharbor.org/volunteers/volunteer-application/
Baldwin- Family Health Care will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 15, 2018.
NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. National Rural Health Day is an annual day of recognition which occurs on the third Thursday of November and was awarded the 2018 "Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year" by the National Rural Health Association.
Over 60 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” said NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”
In central-west Michigan, Family Health Care provides comprehensive primary health care services through its medical, dental, vision and pharmacy programs; and additional programs such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, free health insurance enrollment, In-Home Respite Care, and a variety of primary care services in schools. Family Health Care is focused on making health care accessible to everyone in order achieve its vision of 0% health disparities in the communities the organization serves.
“Our employees are dedicated to meeting the needs of every patient that comes through our doors and through outreach into the community,” says Kathy Sather, President & CEO of Family Health Care. “I am truly proud to be part of this dedicated team of individuals working toward the common goal of improving the health of our rural communities.”
State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities. Family Health Care is a proud member of the Michigan Rural Health Association.
Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found at PowerofRural.org. To learn more about NOSORH, visit nosorh.org; to learn more about Family Health Care visit familyhealthcare.org.
By Sally Wagoner, RN, CTTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial
Thursday, November 15 is not just the beginning of deer hunting season here in Newaygo County. It is also the National “Great American Smoke Out” – a day that inspires people to quit tobacco and nicotine use.
On November 15 you can quit for the day so you can be comfortable in the deer blind without having to light up, vape, or chew. Or you can quit for good so you can focus on smoking your venison and not your lungs!
All you need is the right combination of nicotine replacement products, such as a nicotine patch plus nicotine gum or lozenge. You can buy these over the counter, but many times your health insurance with help pay for them. The nicotine patch gives you a slow dose of nicotine throughout the day which can help lessen your desire to smoke or chew. The gum or lozenge gives you a “quick dose” of nicotine for those pesky urges. Together they can take the place of smoking, chewing or vaping.
There are medications that can help a person quit too. Both are by prescription only which you will need to get from your medical provider. You need to start these medications 1 to 2 weeks before your last day of using tobacco or nicotine so it helps to plan ahead. With one of these medications you can also use the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge to get the most support to deal with urges and withdrawals.
There is also an inhaler that allows you to draw nicotine into your mouth like a cigarette. But this inhaler does not have over 4,000 chemicals and poisons that a burning cigarette has. The inhaler is not an e-cigarette because it does not have a battery and it does not heat up, so it will never blow up in your face. The inhaler can be used with the nicotine patch so you get enough nicotine throughout the day to decrease tobacco urges. This device is by prescription only so you will need to talk with your medical provider. Many insurances pay for the nicotine inhaler as well. Combined with using the nicotine patch, many people have been able to quit for good using this method.
Drop in to get tips and tools on how to quit at the following locations from November 9 – 19:
Hesperia: Hesperia Sport Shop, 65 Alpha Drive; Spectrum Health Family Medicine, 78 N. Division Street.
White Cloud: Family Health Care, 1035 E. Wilcox Avenue.
Fremont: Spectrum Health Family Medicine Clinics at 204 W. Main Street and 230 W. Oak Street.
Newaygo: Parsley’s Sport Shop, 70 State Road; Spectrum Health Family Medicine, 211 Pine Lake Drive.
Grant: Family Health Care, 11 N. Maple Street; Spectrum Health Family Medicine Clinic, 230 S. Maple Street.
If you have tried to quit in the past, or if you did quit and started back up, it is never too late to try again. If your spouse hunts and smokes, chews or vapes you can pick up information at the above businesses for your loved one.
Free tobacco and nicotine quit classes and coaching, as well as a weekly nicotine quit support groups, are available from Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial. For more information contact Sally Wagoner, RN, CTTS, 231.924.7589, or email: email@example.com.