Old medications? Drop-off event across Newaygo County on Oct. 26
FREMONT – Got old, expired and unused prescription medications lying around?
The public is invited to dispose of unwanted medications at locations throughout Newaygo County on Oct. 26. The sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The locations are:
Organized by the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network, the drop-off event includes partnerships with Headway Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department.
“These drop-off sites are a good way for people to safely dispose of medications that can’t be used anymore, and we encourage everyone in our community to visit our five locations,” said Rachel Uganski of the Headway Coalition. “Our drop-off events are also a good time to educate people about the potential and the dangers of misusing medications.”
Jena Zeerip, supervisor of community programs at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and chair of the prescription drug action team at Headway, said: “By safely and responsibly getting rid of unused medications, we can better remove drugs from our homes that are at risk of getting in the hands of children and individuals who could potentially misuse them.”
While Michigan saw a 25-percent decline in the number of opioid prescriptions between 2013-2017, the most recent year for available data, the number of deaths more than doubled in that time span to 2,033 in 2017, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Gerber Memorial to host free expo Wednesday on reducing dangerous falls that put seniors at risk
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is hosting an informational expo to highlight ways people can prevent falls that often lead to injuries and even death as part of No Falls Day 2019. Gerber Memorial’s free expo will be held Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the main lobby of the hospital 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The free event will feature information from Gerber Memorial’s pharmacy team about medications that can contribute to falls, as well as free blood pressure screenings. Physical therapists and visiting nurses will be on hand to provide additional information and resources. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls affect one in four Americans 65 and older, and older Americans die from falls every 19 minutes, making falls the leading cause of fatal injury – more than 27,000 deaths a year – and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Falls also cost families more than $34 billion a year, the CDC reports.
Michigan Primary Care Association Awards Family Health Care Employee
BALDWIN- Passion for improving the health of rural communities is a commitment by all those who work for Family Health Care (FHC). Recently, the Michigan Primary Care Association awarded the 2019 Distinguished Service Award to Ian Farquhar, Analytics Optimization Analyst, at Family Health Care.
As an integral part of Family Health Care’s quality department, Ian keeps the organization focused on patient health improvement programs while providing necessary reporting through registry systems. He pays close attention to indicators that improve health outcome.
“Ian has a passion for helping the organization succeed in its mission to serve the community,” said Kathy Sather, President and CEO. “While his work is not in direct patient contact, what he does for the organization directly benefits and makes an impact on the services we can offer to our patients.”
Ian was recently promoted to Analytics Optimization Analyst. He began his journey contributing to FHC’s sustainability four years ago as a Health Administration Intern while attending Grand Valley State University. Ian continues to uncover information that helps move FHC forward in its mission of providing quality, integrated and comprehensive health care services that are accessible to all.
Being a self-starter, Ian recognized early on the challenges in optimal health care outcomes and how to develop programs to enhance health. He works closely with clinical staff and the quality director to ensure FHC can fund programs that impact lives of its patients.
Local events can help families prepare for, talk about healthcare wishes
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is shining a spotlight on the importance of educating people about expressing their healthcare wishes through preemptive planning by offering what are known as advanced care planning sessions. The sessions are free to the public and will be held at multiple locations throughout Newaygo County, starting Oct. 1.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial looks forward to providing this free service as part of our effort to empower our community with as much healthcare information as possible, and that includes raising awareness about how important it is to clearly identify the wishes of people and their advocates, who will ensure those wishes are respected,” said Stephanie Kooistra, community health program specialist who will be leading the advanced care planning sessions. “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.”
The sessions, which all start at 10:30 a.m., are scheduled at:
The sessions will help people identify their wishes in anticipation of moments when they can’t communicate their healthcare wishes themselves. The sessions will also help people better discuss the scope of care and treatment that should be honored and executed by that person’s advocate, who could be anyone from a spouse to a relative to a friend – anyone who the client believes is most likely to uphold their wishes.
“Whoever that person is, you have to be able to trust and know they’ll follow your wishes,” Kooistra said. said. “If it’s a close relative, it may be hard because they may not want to withhold treatment. They may want the person to stay around longer but that could affect the patient’s quality of life.”
Kooistra said some people can identify their wishes and find a resolution in one conversation. Others may take more. She said advance directives are important, even when a person has a will.
New Gerber Memorial diabetes support group begins on Oct. 2
FREMONT – People living with diabetes, their caregivers and family members will soon have a place to share stories of hope and inspiration, and share tips and best practices, at a free diabetes support group that begins Oct. 2. The support group will be held the first Wednesday of every month at Tamarac.
All sessions will be at Tamarac, 1401 West Main, Fremont, and led by Geri Merkey, RN. The group meets from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“Our support group is all about letting people living with diabetes know that they aren’t alone,” Merkey said. “People with diabetes who learn more about the illness and combine it with group support do better than those who don’t manage the disease. The goal of our support group is to motivate and inspire people, by sharing helpful tips, lessons, information and hope. By being part of a group, we can draw strength from others who’ve been in the same shoes and walked a similar journey. I highly encourage everyone who’s faced diabetes to join our group and share stories of hope.”
Nearly one in 10 American adults and children have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, with a quarter of all Americans 65 and older suffering from the disease. People with diabetes are expected to have medical financial burdens 2.5 times greater than people without diabetes. Newaygo County’s current and most recent previous community health needs assessments identified diabetes as the region’s number one health concern. The ADA identifies diabetes as the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death.
Gerber Memorial’s diabetes support group is free and open to the public. For more information: 231.924.3073
(Not to be confused with Foo Fighters because that’s a rock band)
N3- There’s nothing like autumn. It’s the time of year to capture all the things the season brings. Time to go to a local football game, take in some fall colors, do a little apple picking, visit a corn maze, get a flu shot…
Yep. Get a flu shot.
We are on the cusp, I fear, of that time of year when the flu bug begins its attempt to meander its way through our community.
So here is a bit of info sent to us by those ever-vigilant folks at our Health Department.
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is helping communities prepare for the upcoming flu season by offering flu vaccines to children, adults, and seniors. Flu season is unpredictable - even healthy people can become seriously ill. The best way to protect you and your family against influenza is to get an annual flu vaccine and the time to do so is now.
The following are walk-in flu clinics – no appointment necessary:
Location: Croton American Legion
Address: 6812 S. Croton Dr., Newaygo MI 49337
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Location: Grant Township Hall
Address: 1617 E. 120th, Grant MI 49327
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Location: First Congregational Church
Address: 714 Hillcrest Ave, Fremont MI
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 AM
You can also schedule an appointment for a flu shot at DHD#10.
Location: District Health Department#10
Address: 1049 E Newell St., White Cloud MI 49349
Time: 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.
The cost for the seasonal flu vaccination without insurance is $37. High dose and preservative-free flu shots are available for $42.
Many health insurance plans now cover the cost of flu vaccines. If not, DHD#10 may be able to help through Vaccines for Children (VFC) or other programs. DHD#10 will bill Medicare or Medicare Health Plans (only for flu, pneumococcal, and PCV13 vaccinations), Medicaid, Medicaid Health Plans, Priority Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Care Network (excludes Mercy Partnered Plans), Cigna, McLaren Commercial, ASR, TRICARE and United Health Care with an insurance card present at the time of appointment. It is important to be aware of your insurance benefit rules.
For more information, call DHD#10 at 231-689-7300 or visit www.dhd10.org/locate-flu-clinic.
Make plans. We need you healthy and no one wants you down and out during the holidays.
The time to prepare, as the DHD#10 peeps put so eloquently, is NOW!- N3
Dr. Erho joins obstetrics, gynecologic clinic in Fremont
FREMONT– Jehanna Erho, MD, is the newest physician to join Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s obstetrics and gynecologic clinic, located on the second floor of the hospital in Fremont. Dr. Erho is accepting new patients.
Dr. Erho is proficient in laparoscopic surgery and management of complicated pregnancies.
“I’m really excited to serve patients and families in a smaller community, which allows a physician to get to know their patients and build a strong patient-physician relationship,” Dr. Erho said. “As an OB physician, I strive to build trust with patients because I’m taking care of two patients: the mother and their child. That child is the family’s future, so providing quality, personalized care is something I look forward to doing.”
Dr. Erho is also looking forward to focus on other underserved areas in obstetrics and gynecology.
“As an OB physician, I’m interested in providing care beyond the baby and the blankets and treating the whole woman along all age spectrums is a critical part of my job,” Dr. Erho said. “That means being able to serve patients from their teens and providing the education and information that can help them make choices that are right for them, to women going through menopause. The more information and care I can provide women, the more they can have a voice in their own healthcare and be their own advocate for what’s best for them.”
Dr. Erho is also trained in performing cutting-edge robot surgery, the da Vinci Si, which enables minimally invasive procedures that helps patients recover faster.
Dr. Erho completed her residency at the University of Toledo and received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California in 2015. She has volunteered on medical and NGO projects in Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
For further information, referrals or appointments, please call 231.924.1212.
Spectrum Health mobile mammogram coming to Hesperia on Sept. 6
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will bring a mobile mammogram unit to Hesperia on Friday, Sept. 6, to encourage women to get screened for breast cancer.
A service of Spectrum Health Betty Ford Breast Care Services, the mobile unit will be parked at Family Dollar, 9585 E Sunset Blvd, Hesperia, MI 49421.
Because the mobile unit can take a limited number of patients, women are asked to make an appointment to reserve a spot. Appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Breast cancer will affect one in eight women during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. When detected early, breast cancer can be treated and cured. The American Cancer Society recommends women 40 years and older have a mammogram once a year.
Dr. Rexroat joins family medicine clinic in Fremont
FREMONT – Joseph Rexroat, MD, is the newest family physician to join Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and is now accepting new patients.
A board-certified family physician, Dr. Rexroat’ office is at the Gerber Memorial Family Medicine practice located at the Professional Office Building at 230 W Oak St. in Fremont. With Dr. Rexroat, Gerber Memorial now has 10 family medicine providers.
A native of Lake Leelanau in northwest Michigan, Dr. Rexroat said he looks forward to practicing medicine and serving families in a small, rural community not unlike the one he grew up in.
“I’m personally excited to be back living in a country setting,” said Dr. Rexroat, who completed his residency in Grand Rapids. “Just being in Newaygo County, you experience less traffic, less stress, plus it’s a great place to raise our three children.”
The additional benefit: His wife is a native of Fremont, and they’ll now be closer to family.
Professionally, Dr. Rexroat is grateful he can contribute to improving rural communities like Newaygo County.
“Small underserved communities like ours have a large need for doctors and providers who specialize in family medicine, and I’m excited that I can do my part to help fill that need,” Dr. Rexroat said. “In my search for a job, this place and the physicians and providers I met here felt like home to me. Being a doctor in a rural area, there’s a different feel to that role and a different sense of responsibility. Everything and everyone feels closer and more of a tightly knit community, so we want to make sure we provide truly exceptional experiences, and that’s what I love about coming to Newaygo County.”
While Dr. Rexroat has many areas of interest in the family medicine field, he’s especially interested in the areas of weight-loss and tobacco cessation, two areas identified as significant areas of health concern in Newaygo County.
Dr. Rexroat is a graduate of the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University and received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Central Michigan University.
For more information about Gerber Memorial Family Medicine, call: 231.924.4200.
By Marianne Boerigter
Photo by Faune Benson Schuitema
It was Volunteer Appreciation night at the Dogwood Center on Thursday, August 15. Dogwood volunteers provide countless hours of service that help make the Dogwood Center the strong cultural resources that it is. Over the past year, over 35 community members from all of our communities in Newaygo County helped with fundraising, ticket sales, technical needs, ushers and greeters, and all the components necessary for providing such a wonderful venue.
Dogwood volunteers were treated to complimentary tickets to the ragtime pianist Bob Milne concert as a special thank you for their help over the past year. That evening, Dogwood Board of Directors stepped into the volunteer roles of box office personnel, ushers and greeters.
The Don Heaven Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to the volunteer whose service, dedication, and commitment embodies the Dogwood Center’s spirit. This award is dedicated to Don Heaven. Since the inception of the Dogwood Center, Don has worked tirelessly to make it not only a reality but also an excellent asset to Newaygo County. Over the past years, the Don Heaven Volunteer of the Year Award has been awarded to: Georgia Paxton, Irene Baker, Henrietta Van Meekeren, Marcia Eib, Julie Vanderboegh, Sandy Saliers, Shirley Hooker, Tom Shoecraft, Maxine McBride, Sandy Cruzan, Nevonda Lankhorst, and Dwight Austin. The 2019 Don Heaven Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Rob Johnston.
The Dogwood Center appreciate all of the time and extra effort Rob puts in to make the Dogwood experience special for everyone who walks in the door. He has been volunteering at the Dogwood for almost 7 years and works at any volunteer position that needs to be filled. Rob is a lover of the arts and that is why he volunteers at the Dogwood Center.
Rob has been retired from his position as Caretaker of Camp Echo since 2012, after 33 years on the job. At camp he was a mentor to many, hero to all, and is stilled called upon for advice and helpful hints by those who work at and enjoy camp. He is an amazing handyman and can fix anything. He has many hobbies including guitar, whittling, stained glass, mosaic, gardening, bee-keeping and underwater photography.
The Dogwood Center staff and Board of Directors appreciate and thank all of the wonderful Dogwood volunteers for all that they do! For information on how you can volunteer at the Dogwood Center, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.