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Metro Health to Offer Free Screenings for Peripheral Artery Disease

Metro Health Hospital will offer free screenings for peripheral artery disease, or PAD, on Saturday, October 1.

The screenings, which involve taking a person’s blood pressure in the arms and ankles, are painless and take about 30 minutes. They are available from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Metro Health Hospital; space is limited and registration is required. Call 616.242.4880 or visit metrohealth.net/pad to register.

PAD screenings can help high-risk patients learn about the disease early enough so they can make lifestyle changes to help their circulatory system. The goal is to detect issues early enough in patients to reduce the risk of amputation.

Anyone experiencing leg cramping or pain with walking or leg pain at rest should get screened. Slow-healing wounds or sores on legs or feet also call for a screening. Those at-risk include those over 50 with diabetes, those who are obese or those who have a family history of heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, other circulatory problems and a family history of PAD also put patients at advanced risk. Those who are African-American and Native-American also are at a higher risk.

About Metro Health
An award-winning leader in community healthcare, Metro Health serves more than 250,000 patients annually from across West Michigan – and beyond. In addition to its 208-bed hospital, which provides a comprehensive suite of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, Metro Health has a growing number of neighborhood outpatient centers and offices throughout West Michigan, as well as a community clinic for the underserved and student health clinics at Grand Valley State University and Aquinas College. With more than 500 physicians on staff, Metro Health provides a growing number of specialty health services, including cancer treatment, heart and vascular, neurology, pulmonology and others. Many are members of the Metro Health Medical Group. The hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness through the work of the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, Live Healthy community outreach classes and educational programs and more. Visit us at www.metrohealth.net, follow us on Twitter @MetroHealthGr and like us on Facebook/MetroHealth.

Metro Health Hospital Foundation Grant Allows Wyoming to Expand Emergency Response, Training

The City of Wyoming has expanded its emergency response level and training for firefighters – thanks to a generous grant from the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.

The Foundation awarded Wyoming a $10,000 grant that will allow all of the City’s 27 full-time firefighters to be trained as emergency medical technicians, or EMTs. The training significantly increases the scope of what Wyoming firefighters – who are typically first on the scene after a 9-1-1 call – can do to treat medical emergencies.

The grant also allowed the City of Wyoming Fire Department to upgrade to EMT status. Prior, the Department was licensed as medical first responder, or MFR, which limits the treatment firefighters can provide while waiting for the ambulance. EMT certification allows Wyoming firefighters to provide aspirin (important to administer quickly to a chest pain patient), EpiPen®
(lifesaving to those with severe allergies), blood glucose monitoring (critical for those with diabetes) and other vital treatments.

The Metro Health Hospital Foundation has also indicated its commitment to provide additional financial support for future years to maintain the EMT program and instructor development.

More than two-thirds of all full-time Wyoming firefighters currently are certified as EMTs, which requires approximately 150 hours of training. The Metro Health Hospital Foundation grant will provide funding to train the remainder of the team, as well as necessary equipment for the new certification, allowing the entire department to operate at the EMT level.

“Without this Metro Health Hospital Foundation grant, I don’t know that we would have been able to offer this,” said Brad Dornbos, a firefighter and EMS coordinator for Wyoming. “When you look at our call volume, about 75 percent are calls for chest pains, difficulty breathing, allergic reactions or other medical emergencies.

“Operating at the EMT level allows our department to provide a better level of patient care, which translates into better service to our residents. The more things we can do before that patient is transported to the hospital the easier it will be for the Emergency Department physicians. It’s a win for everyone – and we are so grateful to Metro Health for providing this funding.”

In addition to providing the extensive training needed for EMT certification, the grant will also fund the purchase of six EMT bags, which will contain medications and equipment, including:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, devices to be used for patients with
    congestive heart failure, or CHF, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD
  • Albuterol for those with asthma
  • King tubes, which provide an advanced form of breathing assistance

“Metro Health is a community hospital. Our mission – and that extends to the Foundation – is to take care of the community,” explained Metro Health Hospital Foundation Board Chair Mike Damstra. “In this case, that means helping to equip our firefighters to improve patient outcomes.”

For more information, call the City of Wyoming at 616.530.7284 or 616.530.7226 or visit www.wyomingmi.gov. Follow the City on Twitter @WyomingCityHall and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CityofWyoming.

About Metro Health Hospital Foundation

The Metro Health Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the West Michigan community through philanthropy. The Foundation’s support of Metro Health Hospital allows individuals, organizations and businesses to contribute funds that prevent catastrophic illnesses, provide life-saving education and screenings, improve overall patient care and fund a wide variety of programs and services. For more information, visit https://metrohealth.net/about-metro-health/metro-health-hospital-foundation.

Metro Health, University of Michigan Moving Forward with Affiliation: Definitive agreement approved for Metro Health to join University of Michigan Health System

The board of directors of Metro Health Corporation and the Regents of the University of Michigan have each approved a definitive affiliation agreement setting the stage for Metro Health to join the U-M Health System.

This deal is expected to be completed by year end, pending final regulatory approvals and completion of the closing process.

Upon closing, Metro Health and U-M Health System will create a clinical care network that builds upon the strengths of the world-class U-M academic medical center and a very successful community-based health system. Together the two organizations will focus on bringing increased health care innovation to west Michigan and beyond.

According to Michael Faas, chief executive officer of Metro Health, by coming together the organizations will be able to collaborate on new and improved clinical care models across the system, enhancing patient access to physicians and other care providers at both organizations. “We are very excited about the opportunities we will have, together, to advance the boundaries of clinical practice and medical science through research discoveries and disseminating knowledge.”

The affiliation will enable Metro Health to further expand its primary care and specialty services, as well as enhance its use of complex medical technology.

According to Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of medical affairs, dean of the U-M Medical School and CEO of the U-M Health System, “We too are excited about this relationship that should continually improve the care we can – together – provide residents of the state of Michigan. Metro Health will be essential to helping us move groundbreaking research and discovery from bench to bedside,” he added.

Physicians, executives and community members from west Michigan will continue to serve on Metro Health boards and committees, working closely in the future with University of Michigan leaders as they plot a future strategic course together.

About Metro Health: An award-winning leader in community healthcare, Metro Health serves more than 250,000 patients annually from across West Michigan – and beyond. In addition to its 208-bed hospital, which provides a comprehensive suite of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, Metro Health has a growing number of neighborhood outpatient centers and offices throughout West Michigan, as well as a community clinic for the underserved and a student health clinic on the campus of Grand Valley State University. With more than 500 physicians on staff, Metro Health provides a growing number of specialty health services, including cancer treatment, heart and vascular, neurology, pulmonology and others. The hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness through the work of the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, Live Healthy community outreach classes and educational programs and more.

Visit us at www.metrohealth.net, follow us on Twitter @MetroHealthGr and like us on Facebook/MetroHealth.

About University of Michigan Health System: Our vision at the University of Michigan Health System is to create the future of health care through discovery. We are an academic medical center that is a national leader in health care, health care reform, biomedical innovation and education. We pursue excellence every day in our three hospitals, 40 outpatient locations and home care operations that handle more than 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.

Find out more at www.uofmhealth.org.

Metro Health Welcomes Leaders to Four Key Positions

Metro Health Hospital has appointed Tom Heetderks as vice president of human resources, Thomas Mulder as vice president of practice administration for the Metro Health Medical Group, Penny DeVries as director of marketing and Laura Smith as director of its cancer center.

Tom Heetderks-July-2016-2x3Heetderks brings more than 20 years of human resources leadership to his new role, which includes implementing strategic human resource initiatives and leading the day-to-day operations of the human resources team. He will lead the organization’s focus on employee relations, recruitment and retention, management and staff development, HR technology and innovation, and compensation and benefit programs.

Before joining Metro, Heetderks served as the vice president of human resources at ResCare in Louisville, Ky. Earlier, he was vice president, strategic accounts with Kenexa/IBM, where he was the lead human capital consultant on strategic HR/talent initiatives with several Fortune 100 companies. Also, Heetderks was a human resources executive with PepsiCo/Yum! Brands for 15 years.

Heetderks holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College. He has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations and the Journal of Labor Research, in addition to co-authoring a book on compensation structures.

Thomas Mulder. Aug 2016Mulder is also a healthcare veteran bringing more than 15 years of experience to his role. As vice president and practice administrator of the Metro Health Medical Group, Mulder is responsible for maintaining relationships with physicians, the hospital and ancillary providers. He is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Metro Health Medical Group, including quality improvement activities.

Most recently, Mulder served as the director of operations for the Emory Clinic in Atlanta, Ga. There he was the regional administrator and focused on business development, practice evaluation and acquisition, physician recruitment and organizational alignment with physicians, ancillary services, acute care and community stakeholders. Also, Mulder has held leadership positions with St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare and Humboldt Medical Specialists in Calif. and Centura Health in Denver, Colo.

He holds a Master of Business Administration in health administration from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and Spanish from Calvin College in Grand Rapids.

“We are very pleased to welcome both Tom Heetderks and Thomas Mulder home to their West Michigan roots,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “Their expertise and experience will be a great asset as we work to position Metro Health for an exciting and successful future.”

DeVries joins Metro Health as director of marketing after having owned and operated her own marketing agency and consulting firm for more than 20 years. With a client list that included a variety of Fortune 500 clients, DeVries is known for bringing both creative and business thinking to problem solving and strategy development.

In the marketing director role, DeVries will be responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring ongoing strategic marketing plans for key service lines and organizational initiatives. She will also be responsible for web site development and physician marketing.

DeVries studied marketing, merchandising, film and video at Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University. She is a native of Wyoming, Mich. and resides in West Olive with her daughter.

Smith will serve as the new director at the Cancer Center at Metro Health Village. In this role, she will manage the clinical and financial operations of the cancer center. She will also serve as a liaison between physicians, staff and Board of Managers of the West Michigan Radiation Oncology, LLC, a joint venture between Metro Health and University of Michigan Health System Division of Radiation Oncology.

Smith brings nearly 10 years of healthcare operations leadership and consulting experience with her. Most recently she managed two outpatient cancer centers that saw more than 100,000 patients per year at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Ill.

Smith holds a Master of Technology from Eastern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science from Ferris State University. She is originally from southern Michigan and resides in Grand Rapids.

“I am excited to welcome these dynamic professionals to the Metro Health team and to our community,” said Faas. “This is an exciting time to be part of Metro Health, and I am sure they will help lead us forward.”

Metro Health to Hold First Ever Sustainability Day at its Weekly Farm Market

Metro Health will again promote green thinking in the community by holding its first ever Sustainability Day at the Metro Health Farm Market.

The event will take place on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 in Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW and will coincide with regular Farm Market hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As a national- and local-award-winning leader in sustainable health care, Metro Health encourages the community to adopt green principles at home. Sustainability Day will address a wide range of themes, including:

  • Shop Local. Buy Local. – Buying from local farms results in less transportation of produce and allows shoppers to speak directly with growers
  • Healthy Foods – Local farms showcase healthy foods that are in season
  • Water Conservation – West Michigan Environmental Action Council, or WMEAC, will provide instruction on how to build and use rain barrels
  • Refurbishing – Renewing old furniture through rehabbing it saves money from purchasing new and keeps old pieces out of landfills
  • Waste Streams – Visitors can learn what and how to recycle properly
  • Gardening – Visitors can learn about Metro Health’s Teaching Garden and how it benefits both the hospital and kids participating in the Spartan Stores YMCA Day Camps

The event also will offer the opportunity for community members to bring materials to a confidential shredding drop off that will ensure important documents with private information are disposed of in a safe, confidential and environmentally-friendly way.

“As one of the nation’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designed, or LEED, certified hospitals, Metro was one of the first healthcare organizations to link green thinking and health,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “We believe that by taking care of the environment we are helping lay the ground work for a healthy and sustainable community. And, keeping our community well will reduce the need for sick care.”

Metro Health first hosted a farmers market in 2006 when the hospital was still located in the city of Grand Rapids. The market began as a biweekly initiative to encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles. Since then, it has grown into a community-wide event that attracts hundreds of visitors each week. It is now in its 11th year.

Metro Health Offers Health and Wellness Day and Metro Way 5k/10k Family Fun Runs

Once again, Metro Health is offering a Health and Wellness Day at its Farm Market and evening 5k/10k Family Fun Runs to encourage healthy lifestyles.

The events will take place on Thursday, July 28, in Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW. Health and Wellness Day will coincide with regular Farm Market hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Race activities will begin with kids’ races at 6 p.m. and adult 5k/10k races at 6:30 p.m.

Health and Wellness Day will combine free blood pressure and body mass index screenings, experts who can provide information on stroke awareness, diabetes education and smoking cessation, as well as mammograms which will be free to women who pre-qualify. To schedule a mammogram appointment or discuss financial assistance, call 616-252-4461 and mention the Metro Health Farm Market.

The Chef Cook Off is an annual event featuring celebrity chefs and judges. Chefs are challenged to prepare a dish or meal that showcases produce from the farm market. They will begin cooking at 11 a.m. with judging at noon and a winner announced and samples for attendees at 12:30 p.m.

This year’s celebrity chefs include:

  • Chef Oliver Hale, also known as Chef O, a local and national award-winning healthy-lifestyle chef
  • Chef Zach Zost, executive chef of the Metro Health Café located inside Metro Health Hospital

This year’s celebrity judges include:

  • Valerie Lego, WZZM 13 health reporter
  • Mayor Jack Poll of the City of Wyoming
  • Tino Mendez, a Metro Health employee
  • And one other surprise judge

The 5k/10k races, family fun walk/runs and kids’ races will take place in the evening. Community members are invited to participate in this annual event either to challenge themselves for their best time, race for an award or simply walk or run the course for fun. Kids’ races before the adult events encourage them to participate in healthy activities.

Shelley Irwin, WGVU Morning Show host, will return as the race celebrity emcee.

Free kids races are for children ages 3-14. All kids get an award for finishing. Awards for the 5k and 10k races will include Overall Male/Female and 3 Deep Male/Female by Age Group. Adult race registration is $30/person until race day and is $35/person on race day. Groups of four or more can register together for only $20/person. To register for the kids or adult races and more details, go to www.metrohealth.net/5k.

Metro Way 5K 2016 Runners

Metro Health first hosted a farmers market in 2006 when the hospital was still located in the city of Grand Rapids. The market began as a biweekly initiative to encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles. Since then, it has grown into a community-wide event that attracts hundreds of visitors each week.

Metro Health Again Earns Food Safety Award from Kent County Health Department

Metro Health Hospital has again earned a Food Safety Award from the Kent County Health Department.

Now in their fourth year, the annual awards recognize establishments with “an exceptional degree of expertise in safe food handling practices and sanitation.” The cafeteria and coffee shop at Metro Health were both recognized for the outstanding safe food handling practices.

In order to qualify for an award, establishments must:

  • Have a certified food safety manager
  • Have passed both inspections during the year of review
  • Not violate the Michigan Smoke-Free Law
  • Not have had any complaints confirmed by inspections

Metro Health has received a window cling and certificate so that patrons can readily identify its facilities as safe food handling award winners.

James Straayer Recognized as Best of Metro

Congratulations!
James Straayer
Best of Metro Winner

James StraayerJames, or Jimmy as he is known to his fellow Metro team members, has worked at Metro Health for nine years – since the day of the hospital move. He began his Metro career as a resource employee in Materials Management and is now a Materials Management Supervisor.

Jimmy’s nomination form describes someone who always provides the Best Employee Experience: “He ensures we have what we need, when we need it,” explains the nomination. “Jimmy is a role model and a leader…he advocates for the safety of all staff, and in particular the staff in the Materials Management department.”

Jimmy is also known for how he provides the Best Patient Experience. “Jimmy understands his role and how it impacts patient safety, the patient experience and staff and physician satisfaction,” explains his nomination form. “He ensures that we have what we need to care for patients, has a ‘can do’ attitude and is always willing to problem solve issues and find solutions for the best interest of patients.”

Jimmy is well aware of the importance of providing the best experiences: “I think having the ability to positively affect the lives of not only patients, but also coworkers and visitors, is something that can be taken for granted,” he explains. “But it means so much to those for whom we provide care. I take pride in being a part of an organization that, in my opinion, truly attains these goals.”

When asked about his favorite Metro Memory, Jimmy thought about his coworkers: “The privilege of having this job and working with such friendly, encouraging and supportive people on a daily basis is something I will never forget.”

When asked what being named Best of Metro meant to him, Jimmy humbly responded that he was flattered and grateful, but never expected any special recognition for what he considered to be just doing his job. “However, it’s a huge honor to be associated with any positive impact, however small, on the departments – and ultimately the patients – our department serves,” he explained. His thoughts then turned to the Materials Management team: “This award should really be shared with my coworkers in Materials Management, for the hard work and dedication they provide our end users throughout the hospital.”

Congratulations, Jimmy!
YOU are the BEST of Metro!

For Second Year Metro Health Receives Full Recognition from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program

Metro Health once again has achieved full recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, for its Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program, or DPRP.

This recognition signifies Metro Health successfully implemented and fulfilled all requirements to effectively deliver a proven diabetes prevention lifestyle intervention program to individuals who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“Diabetes remains one of the biggest health concerns in our community,” said Susi Wals, diabetes program manager. “It is the leading cause of amputations, blindness and kidney disease in adults, and it places people at increased risk for heart attack, heart disease and stroke.

“There’s good news. Lifestyle changes can prevent or substantially delay the onset of diabetes for many people. Small steps such as losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight and getting 150 minutes or more per week of moderate to vigorous activity can make a huge difference in your health.”

Launched in 2013, the DPRP program at Metro Health has had 123 participants, including 44 in the first year, 42 in the second year and 37 in the current year. Each session consisted of 16 weekly group education sessions and private weigh-ins followed by six monthly group meetings led by a CDC-trained lifestyle coach.

Participant eligibility was determined based on factors that included positive blood test results showing pre-diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes or positive results from the CDC Pre-diabetes Screening Test and a body mass index, or BMI, equal to or more than 24.

Recognition was based on the success of the second year’s participants in key areas, including:

  • Average of 14.3 sessions attended per participant during the first six months and 3.6 sessions during the second six months. The minimum requirement for average number of sessions attended in the first six months of the program is nine and in the second six months is three.
  • Body weight documented at 100 percent of sessions during the first six months. Body weight must be recorded at 80 percent or more of all sessions attended to meet the requirement.
  • Physical activity minutes recorded at 74 percent during the first six months. Physical activity must be recorded at 60 percent or more of all sessions attended to meet the requirement.
  • Average weight loss of 6.1 percent at six months and 5.5 percent at 12 months. Average loss of 5 percent of starting body weight must be achieved at both six and 12 months to meet the requirement.

Metro Health’s diabetes prevention program is now listed on the CDC’s registry of recognized programs. Metro Health will continue to submit evaluation data every 12 months to maintain recognition.

The Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program will continue at Metro Health. No referral is needed to join, but interested community members need to apply and provide documentation of pre-diabetes from a physician. New sessions are starting this fall.

Anyone interested in this program should email diabetesprevention@metrogr.org or call 616.252.8339 and press option 1 to leave a message. Be sure to include your name and contact information so a lifestyle coach can contact you.

Metro Health also offers other free pre-diabetes and diabetes seminars. Information is available at www.metrohealth.net.

Metro Health and University of Michigan Health System Plan Affiliation: Letter of Intent Signed

Metro Health Corporation of Wyoming, Michigan and University of Michigan announced today their intent for Metro Health to join the U-M Health System.

Under a letter of intent signed by both organizations, the expected affiliation will bring Metro Health’s hospital and its network of doctors, nurses and other providers together with UMHS, expanding this academic medical center’s care in western Michigan.

This affiliation will give residents in the western part of the state increased access to cutting-edge health care, medical research and innovation.

With the signing of the letter of intent, the parties begin a due diligence period in which they review each other’s business operations and negotiate the terms of a final affiliation agreement.

According to Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of medical affairs and dean of the U-M Medical School, this affiliation is good for both organizations and for residents in the western part of Michigan.

“The U-M Health System is a top-ranked academic medical center with a world-class medical school, extraordinary hospitals and clinics, and groundbreaking research facilities focused on moving cutting edge discovery to patients’ bedsides in order to improve lives,” Runge notes. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Metro Health’s expert physicians and health care professionals in stepped up ways.”

Michael Faas, president of Metro Health, added that joining with the UM clinical enterprise will bring additional options for complex care to Metro Health patients and to the greater Grand Rapids community.

“It is no secret that U-M has some of the best providers in the state and country,” he notes. “By joining the ‘leaders and best’ we can build on our existing expertise and provide our patients and community with enhanced access to specialized health care services, scientific discovery and advanced technology.”