Paid holiday reinforces commitment to diversity and inclusion
FREMONT, Mich., Jan. 11, 2021 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will be honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the week of January 18 by sponsoring blood drives, distributing food baskets and encouraging employees to volunteer in a variety of ways that will work toward greater racial equality.
For the first time this year, Spectrum Health also designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday for employees. This change brings greater awareness to the racial justice efforts of the civil rights leader and reinforces Spectrum Health’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, both internally and in the community.
While hospital operations will continue uninterrupted, Gerber Memorial’s family medicine, OB/GYN and Walk-In clinics; lab; outpatient rehab in Newaygo and Fremont; radiology; X-ray; surgery; visiting specialty clinic; occupational health in Fremont; and medical records will be closed on Monday, Jan. 18.
Since 2013, Spectrum Health across West Michigan has organized volunteer opportunities as a way for team members to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day and recognize Dr. King’s call for justice and equality. Last year, more than 600 employees gave of their time and talents, working at food banks, health care clinics, soup kitchens and other organizations.
Instead of in-person volunteering this year, Spectrum Health is encouraging employees and others to spend time learning about the American civil rights movement, reading a book about diversity to a child or working remotely to assist a non-profit organization.
First Responders Recognized for Lifesaving Efforts
NEWAYGO, Mich., 1-06-2021 – At the end of 2020, the Newaygo Fire District (NFD) recognized the lifesaving efforts of its’ firefighters and medical first responders during two emergency calls, which resulted in saving two lives.
The first call took place July 18th when NFD personnel responded to a reported drowning on the Muskegon River. Personnel arrived on scene and assisted Life EMS, Newaygo County Sheriff's Department, and DNR to provide lifesaving care on the scene as well as during transport to the hospital. Bystanders with CPR training are credited with starting lifesaving efforts.
On September 21, 2020, the second call took place when NFD was dispatched to a CPR in progress following a motor vehicle accident in the City of Newaygo. Personnel arrived at the scene and worked with Life EMS, Newaygo Police Department, and Michigan State Police to provide lifesaving care on the scene and during transport to the hospital.
Due to the efforts of emergency crews on both scenes, these patients have made a full recovery.
"I am very proud of the quick and professional response from our members," stated Chief Travis Kroll. "Effective CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes, can double or triple a person's chance of survival. This further proves our responders' training and continuing education is vital in producing positive outcomes for our patients."
NFD firefighters and medical first responders awarded for their efforts were Martin Badge, Matthew Baker, Trever Haring, Matthew Hikade, Q'Sun Ma, Jason Newfer, David Otteren, Tamara Schumacker, Jason Fowler, Travis Kroll, Andrew Kulikowski, Ashley Long, Jeremy Newfer and Teresa VanDyke.
Everly, Wyatt top baby names at Gerber Memorial in 2020
FREMONT, Mich., Dec. 31, 2020 – Last January 28 hours and 12 minutes into the new year SHGM’s first baby entered the world and greeted parents Cassie Moore and Mark Golliver as well as the staff on duty that night.
His name? Gabriel.
Since then more than 300 babies have been born at the Fremont hospital and while the name Gabriel cracked the top ten of boys names it was outnumbered by 7 others including the top choice of 2020, Wyatt
On the girls side of things the No. 1 name was Everly.
Rounding out the Top 10 names at Gerber Memorial for baby boys this past year:
10. Tied: Andrew, Braxton, Dakota, Eli, Everett, Ezekiel, Giovanni, Henry, Ian, Jack, Jameson, Jaxson, Leland, Logan, Luke, Maxwell, Micah, Noah, Owen, Paxton, Ryder, Ryker, Ryland, Sebastian, and William
Rounding out the Top 10 baby girl names for 2020:
10. Tied: Aaliyah, Avery, Charlotte, Emma, Ivy, Kylee, Lilly, Mary, Natalee, Paisley, Raelynn, Scarlet, and Willow
20 years ago? In 2000?
Well the top names in Michigan that year were Emily, Hannah, Madison, Alexis and Olivia on the girl side and for the boys it was Jacob, Joshua, Michael, Nicholas and Andrew.
This year only Olivia and Andrew made the cut.
Newaygo County Career-Tech Center: The Value of Career and College Readiness
It is no secret that there is a skills gap in our workforce. Employers are concerned about the ability of graduates to think critically, communicate well, and perform basic tasks. High school graduates with no further education will be unprepared for the expectations that they face in today’s highly technical entry-level jobs. At the same time, employers find themselves unable to fill open positions. That is where the Newaygo County Career-Tech Center (NCCTC) training programs fill the gap and train our high school graduates for high-skill, high-wage careers.
The simple fact is that education matters, and a high school diploma is rarely enough to ensure access to 21st century jobs. Our high school graduates need to be prepared for the additional training and education it will take to succeed. NCCTC provides academic and career technical skills to prepare students for life after high school with the readiness for employment, higher education, or a combination of both. NCCTC’s ultimate goal is to empower students to become productive employees, citizens, and leaders within our community.
To meet these needs, NCCTC has a clear employability expectation framework to teach and reinforce the skills that employers want in a new employee. To help our learners, we have supports in place to assist students in the many challenges they may face. Through these supports, our hope is students will learn how to meet deadlines, have reliable attendance, and earn industry-recognized credentials. NCCTC students are held to the high standards our workforce needs to be a viable part of our county. The NCCTC training center goes beyond a “voc” school, as they prepare students for skills that keep them viable in their chosen career field.
DHD#10 Begins Administering COVID-19 Vaccine
On Monday, December 21, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) began receiving the allotted shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine designated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and quickly initiated vaccination efforts for Phase 1A of the priority group.
“We were pleased to receive the vaccine a couple days earlier than anticipated and we activated our plans right away to get the vaccine out to the priority groups,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10.
As of Tuesday and Wednesday, December 22-23, DHD#10 vaccinated 80 frontline staff members, 128 residents and staff at Manistee County Medical Care, and 8 EMS workers in Manistee. Vaccination efforts will continue with EMS workers and Medical First Responders throughout our ten-county jurisdiction on Monday, December 28.
DHD#10’s COVID-19 vaccine planning committee is working diligently to coordinate vaccination clinics for the priority groups and will contact employers and organizations in Phase 1A directly to notify them of the time and place to receive the vaccine. At this time, there is no sign up or waiting list. DHD#10 will continue to keep the public informed as plans evolve.
For COVID-related questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our COVID hotline at 231-305-8675. Also visit our website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine where you may find answers to your questions.
Fremont Middle and Grant High Schools receive Green School Awards
Two of Newaygo County schools have received certification from “Michigan Green Schools” this past school year. Both plan to pursue the award again this year in spite of the current challenges being faced by teachers and students due to school closures and virtual classes.
Michigan Green Schools is a non-profit 501(c)3 agency dedicated to assisting all Michigan schools to achieve environmental goals. These include protecting the air, land, water and animals of our state along with world outreach through good ecological practices and the teaching of educational stewardship.
Grant High School was awarded the “Green School Environmental Stewardship” designation by participating in a total of 10 activities from four categories. Some of their activities included: paper recycling in the classrooms; hallway, classroom, and parking lot lights upgraded to LED bulbs; environmental protection by inserting a catch basin at a local lake near the school to prevent water run-off erosion; starting a Science Club that focuses on environmentally friendly practices at the school; and observing Earth Day with outdoor garbage collection and other activities.
Jacklyn Rodriguez is an 11th grade student and a member of the Science Club. When asked why she participates in the Green School activities, she answered, “A friend told me about pollution and the environment, so I became interested that way. Last year we asked the teachers if they had recycling bins in their rooms. If they didn’t then we provided bins for them.”
Science teachers Megan Cruzan, Nazar Kluchkovsky and Andy Starr support the activities, providing guidance yet letting the students take the lead on ideas and projects. “We sponsor a Science Club,” stated Mr. Kluchkovsky, “and let the students decide what projects they want to do. Michigan Green Schools was one option. Last year was the first year we pursued it.”
“We have done other projects in the past,” added Mr. Starr, “such as rain gardens behind the tennis courts, where run-off created erosion into the lake. We worked with Sarah Pregitzer from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.”
Future projects will depend on how schools continue to be impacted by the Corona Virus pandemic. But these teachers and students have big plans for the future. “We want to get reusable cafeteria trays and silverware instead of the disposable ones we have,” said Jacklyn hopefully.
Fremont Middle School was awarded the “Emerald School Environmental Stewardship'' designation by participating in 15 projects. Some of their activities were: school wide paper and cardboard recycling; kitchen metal and plastic recycling; hallways equipped with motion-sensor lights to save energy; bird feeders in the courtyard to provide an observation platform that allows students to participate in the Cornell Lab Ornithology Program; field trips (pre-pandemic) to the Amazon Rain Forest and to Beaver Island, MI, Central Michigan University’s Biological Station; raising salmon eggs from the MI DNR to smolt phase and then releasing them into the White River; among others.
Teachers Rachel Jaunese and Tim Grabill provide the passion and leadership for student participation in many of the projects, with support from Wes Zerlaut, Principal. The projects listed above, and others not mentioned here, require extra time, energy and dedication from the teachers that go above and beyond their regular classroom requirements.
“We do this because we have a passion for our environment, and so do many of our students,” stated Ms. Jaunese. “They just need some guidance, and projects that they can relate to in our local landscape.”
Bringing environmental stewardship close to home is one goal of Michigan Green Schools. Thus Ms. Jaunese and Mr. Grabill’s students honor Earth Day in conjunction with Packer Pride Day, where students participate in community yard work, city beautification, recycling and cleaning projects.
But Michigan Green Schools also has a broader, global focus with regards to good ecological practices. This is mirrored in the Middle School’s 8th grade science “Climate Change Unit”, which follows the new Michigan Science Curriculum (Mi-Star). In this unit each student completes seven lessons. At the end the students take what they have learned from each lesson and create a presentation, in a format appropriate to address a city council. Students must utilize what they have learned using claim, evidence and reasoning to support their findings.
“Students have to be prepared to be the future leaders in caring for our environment,” affirms Sally Wagoner, Newaygo County Coordinator for the Michigan Green Schools Program. “The Michigan Green Schools Program is a great way to inspire both students and teachers in working together for both local and global stewardship.”
Although the CoronaVirus pandemic has taken students and teachers out of their classrooms this year at various times, both Fremont Middle and Grant High School still plan to pursue certification for 2020-21. Some qualifying projects are already in place at their schools, such as recycling and energy saving lighting. Other projects can be done by students at home or virtually with their classmates. These may include students performing a home energy audit; composting food waste at home as part of a teaching unit; establishing an eco-reading program; joining and participating in one of several teacher approved, youth oriented environmental education websites; and many others.
Teachers, school administrators and students can learn more about Michigan Green Schools and how to pursue certification by visiting: www.michigangreenschools.us/. Contact Sally Wagoner, Newaygo County Michigan Green Schools Coordinator for more information: email@example.com.
Newaygo County Environmental Coalition (NCEC), formerly 3R Education, is the local supporting organization for Michigan Green Schools. A 501c3 non-profit, NCEC’s mission is to “promote the environmental health and sustainability of Newaygo County through information, education and advocacy”. NCEC plans an official announcement and public unveiling of its new website and programs in the near future.
By BreatheWell Nicotine Reduction Coalition
You don’t have to quit smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco on January 1st. But you can make a great start by getting the information, nicotine replacement or medication, and the support that you need!
Here are some choices, all provided by trained Tobacco Treatment Specialists (TTS):
Nicotine is addictive, so it is not easy to quit. A Tobacco Treatment Specialist can help find the best ways for you. They will help you chose the best nicotine replacement or medication for you to reduce urges, and give you tools to help break your nicotine routines.
Take your first step today! Call or email the Tobacco Treatment Specialist resources above. Get your breath back, get your life back. Be nicotine free in 2021!
(BreatheWell is the nicotine reduction taskforce of the Headway Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Newaygo County).
Hesperia holiday helpers brighten Christmas for many
Through their love for community, two Hesperia alums raised money to feed 100 families in their hometown for the 2nd year.
In 2019, Lacy Stoneburner was volunteering at True North, and she noticed how many people in her hometown were dependent on food pantries. She immediately called her best friend Kristen Worcester and owner of Ed’s Orchard Market, Scott Rumsey to see what they could do.
Through the power of social media, they challenged their networks to come together and raise money to provide holiday meals for the Hesperia community. They fed 100 families for Thanksgiving in 2019.
This year, the need was bigger for Christmas, so Lacy & Kristen went to work again. Thanks to donations from across the USA, $2,500 was raised in just a few days. Bundles of eggs, pie, turkey, potatoes, veggies, stuffing & more were distributed December 19th to 100 Hesperia families. “Lots of people ask who puts this together.” Lacy said, “We always say two moms and a very generous hometown grocery store”
Health Dept encourages using COVID alert app
December 17, 2020 – It has been a month since the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched the new MI COVID Alert app and they announced today that there have already been nearly 500,000 downloads. The success of this app depends on all Michiganders utilizing it, and District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is encouraging everyone in our ten-county jurisdiction to download and utilize the app to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
MI COVID Alert is a free, easy to use, anonymous mobile app that provides fast alerts to let you know whether you may have been exposed to COVID-19. It works like this:
No personally identifiable information is collected and shared with other users.
MI COVID Alert CAN:
“We are excited to have this technology at our fingertips to assist with potential exposure notification,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “While it does not replace contact tracing or following all necessary prevention strategies, it is an additional tool to notify individuals quickly if they have been exposed to COVID-19.”
The more people who use the app, the more effective it will be in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It is still important to remember:
If you receive an alert that you may have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, get tested and consider quarantining. There are easy testing options, including no-cost testing.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears in early childhood and can impact a person's social skills, communication skills, relationships and self regulation. It is a spectrum condition and affects people differently and to varying degrees. Research shows that early intervention can lead to positive outcomes later in life.
Did you know?
* Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability.
* The prevalence of autism in the U.S. is 1-54 births. (CDC 2020)
*It has increased by 119% from 2010 to 2011.
*Boys are 4.5 times more likely to have autism.
Newaygo County statistics
*14.6% of special education students in Newaygo County have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).The state average is 10.7%
*Newaygo County Community Mental Health serves 73 persons ages 0-adult.
What services and supports are available in Newaygo County?
*Newaygo County public schools and NCRESA (Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency) provide educational supports.
*Newaygo County CMH provides diagnostic testing and Applied Behavioral Analysis services for children up to the age of 21. They also provide case management, therapy, psychiatric services, Community Living Supports, Respite and other mental health services to both children and adults with autism.
* The Newaygo County Autism Community is a nonprofit organization made up of family members and professionals who promote awareness and raise funds with a yearly walk, provide educational workshops, sponsor autism friendly events such as a monthly family swim time at Tamarac and offer grant opportunities for individuals and families living with autism. Donations are always appreciated and may be sent to: P.O. Box 26 Fremont, MI 49421
Newaygo County Autism Community Facebook page
Autism Speaks: autismspeaks.org
Autism Society of America: autism-society.org