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      5900 Byron Center Avenue
      Wyoming, MI 49519

      (616) 252-7123

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

Metro Health Hospital 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 is the leading cause of amputations, blindness and kidney disease in adults,” said Susi Wals, diabetes program manager. “People with diabetes are also at increased risk for heart attack, heart disease and stroke.

“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.”

The DPRP program at Metro Health was implemented over the past two years, with 44 participants in the first yearlong session and 42 participants in the second. Each session consisted of 16 weekly group education sessions and private weigh-ins followed by eight 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 first year’s participants in key areas, including:

  • Average of 16.2 sessions attended per participant during the first six months and 3.5 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 71 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 6.8 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.

For more details or to apply, contact the Metro Health Diabetes Education Department by calling 616.252.8339 or emailing

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

Metro Health to Host Health and Wellness Day, Metro Way 5K and Family Fun Run

Runners, walkers and health-conscious individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in Metro Health Hospital’s Health and Wellness Day and the Metro Way 5K and Family Fun Run on Thursday, July 30.

Now in its fifth year, Health and Wellness Day events will take place on Main Street in Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Ave. in Wyoming. From 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the Farm Market, attendees can take their pick from a variety of free events and activities including:

  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Body composition screenings
  • Stroke risk assessments
  • Heart health education
  • Kids activities and more
  • Blood donation at the Michigan Blood Bus from noon to 2 p.m.

Additionally, the Metro Health Mammobus will be on site to offer mammogram services. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 616.252.4461. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

Local chefs will again be challenged in the annual Chef Cook-Off contest that includes audience taste-testing. From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., four local celebrity chefs will each create a delicious and healthy dish featuring fresh produce from the Metro Health Farm Market. Metro Health’s Fresh Start Cooking Chef Amy Sherman will host the cook-off.

Celebrity chefs include:

  • Ryan Reynolds, Metro Health executive chef
  • Terri Rees, personal chef
  • Ryan McClure, Derby Station chef
  • Chester Hardy and Nik Hancotte, San Chez Bistro chefs

Valerie Lego, WZZM 13 Healthy You reporter, Sam Bolt, mayor pro-tem of Wyoming, and Emil Hannesson, Metro Health Farm Market manager, will judge this year’s competition.
The Metro Way 5K begins at 6:30 p.m. Packet pick-up will be available from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. before the race at Metro Health Village. Walkers and runners can register online through July 29 or in person on the day of the race. The fee is $30 for adults. Groups of four or more are eligible for a 20 percent discount.

The Metro Way 5K will also feature free kids races beginning at 6 p.m. Kids races include a 50-yard dash for ages 3-5, a 100-yard dash for ages 6-9 and a quarter-mile run for ages 10-14.

Complete details about the event, including online registration for runners and volunteers, tips for new runners and more can be found at

Metro Health Expands Heart & Vascular Practice in Greenville

In response to increased demand from patients, Metro Health is expanding its award-winning Heart & Vascular practice in Greenville.

Metro Heart & Vascular is located at 1915 W. Washington St. in Greenville. The practice is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and will soon be expanding service hours. The development has more than doubled the size of the practice, which expanded from 2,300 square feet to 6,000 square feet. The expansion has also more than doubled the number of exam rooms, growing from three to eight.

The practice offers consultative visits, nuclear cardiology, vascular ultrasound, echocardiography, stress testing and other services, as well as provides clinics for hypertension, Coumadin and device checks.

“Metro Heart & Vascular is growing rapidly in Greenville,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “Expanding the practice and our range of service will allow our physicians to continue to meet the needs of our patients.”

Metro Heart & Vascular opened in 2009. The practice currently includes eight cardiologists and is adding two additional cardiologists this month. The practice provides services at its main office inside Metro Health Hospital as well as in satellite offices in downtown Grand Rapids, Greenville, Sheridan, Holland and Allegan.

The Greenville office is staffed by Dr. Paul Kovack, Dr. John Key and Paul Albright, P.A., as well as nurses and office staff.

The team sees general cardiology patients as well as those struggling with vascular disease such as peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries block the blood flow to arms and legs, causing numbness, leg pain and tissue damage and can lead to amputation.

Metro Health Hospital has developed a nationally recognized specialty in the treatment of PAD and amputation prevention. Led by Dr. Jihad Mustapha, Metro Heart & Vascular physicians utilize leading-edge technology to clear blockages and restore circulation in even the most challenging of cases. The practice regularly attracts patients from around Michigan, across the U.S. and around the world.


Metro Health Receives Primary Stroke Certification Reaccreditation

Metro Health Hospital has again been awarded primary stroke certification by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, or HFAP.

Primary stroke care certification indicates Metro Health has demonstrated its capacity to stabilize and treat acute stroke patients, provide acute care, administer clot-busting drugs and perform other acute therapies safely and efficiently. The certification was awarded based on achievement of extensive performance benchmarks and standards including:

  • A program director with extensive experience in acute stroke care
  • Stroke code team arrival at bedside within 15 minutes
  • Lab testing and advanced imaging capabilities available 24/7
  • Access to neurologists 24/7
  • Neurosurgical expertise available or able to transfer patients within two hours
  • A designated stroke unit
  • Staff education requirements

“We are very pleased to receive HFAP primary stroke certification,” said Metro Health President and CEO Mike Faas. “We continuously strive to provide the best patient experience. We appreciate HFAP’s recognition of the noteworthy stroke care we provide to our patients, along with our commitment to the wellbeing of our community.”

HFAP has been certifying stroke centers since 2006. HFAP stroke certification differs from other certification programs in that it provides a three-year certification award with a mid-cycle review at 18 months. In addition, for reimbursement eligibility, hospitals must submit quarterly clinical performance measures to the HFAP office and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

About HFAP

The Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program is a nationally recognized not-for-profit accreditation organization with deeming authority from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This authority allows HFAP to provide accreditation to all hospitals, ambulatory care/surgical facilities, mental health facilities, physical rehabilitation facilities, clinical laboratories and critical access hospitals. HFAP’s surveying process and standards benefit from oversight by a wide range of medical professionals, including both allopathic and osteopathic disciplines. The HFAP mission is to advance high quality patient care and safety through objective application of recognized standards. HFAP has been certifying stroke centers since 2006 and currently offers the most options for facilities seeking stroke care certification.

Metro Health Again Named One of Nation’s Most Wired Hospitals

For the sixth year, Metro Health Hospital has been named one of the nation’s top hospitals in the annual HealthCare’s Most Wired™ survey.

Metro Health is one of only three hospitals in West Michigan to make the top ranks of the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Executives, or CHIME. The survey examines how hospitals are leveraging information technology to improve performance in the areas of:

  • Infrastructure
  • Business and administrative management
  • Quality and safety
  • Clinical integration

This year’s survey focused on health data security and patient engagement, which remain top priorities for Metro Health and other leading hospitals.

“We commend and congratulate this year’s Most Wired hospitals and their chief information officers for improving care delivery and outcomes in our nation’s hospitals through their creative and revolutionary uses of technology,” said CHIME CEO and President Russell P. Branzell. “These Most Wired organizations represent excellence in IT leadership on the front lines of health care transformation.”

Among the key findings this year:

  • Ninety-six percent of Most Wired organizations use intrusion detection systems compared to 85 percent of all respondents. Privacy audit systems and security incident event management are also widely used.
  • Seventy-nine percent of Most Wired organizations conduct incident response exercises or tabletop tests annually – a high-level estimate of the current potential for success of a cybersecurity incident response plan – compared to 37 percent of all responding hospitals.

As health care providers begin to transition away from volume-based care to more integrated, value-based care delivery, hospitals are utilizing IT to better facilitate information exchange across the care settings. This includes greater alignment between hospitals and physicians. According to the survey, the physician portal is a key factor in strengthening physician-hospital alignment:

  • In 84 percent of Most Wired organizations, physicians can view and exchange other facilities’ results in the portal compared with 63 percent of hospitals surveyed.
  • Seventy-six percent use the portal and electronic health record to exchange results with other EHRs and health information exchanges compared to 56 percent of those surveyed.
  • Eighty-one percent can communicate with patients via email or alerts in contrast to 63 percent of all respondents.

“We are pleased to once again be recognized among the nation’s Most Wired hospitals,” said William Lewkowski, Metro Health’s chief information officer. “We are committed to providing the best experience for our patients and clinical teams, and the effective use of technology is key to that experience.

“Metro Health has always been a leader in the early adoption of technology. We were the first hospital in West Michigan to utilize a fully integrated electronic medical record, and we have consistently led the way when it comes to integrating technology at the bedside and in our physician offices.”

The results of this year’s survey will be published in an upcoming edition of Health & Hospital Network.

Metro Health Hospital Child Life Program Offers Cancer Center Family Day Camp

Metro Health Hospital’s Child Life Program will offer a series of day camp activities for children and families affected by cancer.

Family Camp is a free program that gives families who have a loved one with cancer an emotionally safe and supportive environment to bond, make memories, explore feelings and learn more about cancer and its effects. Family Camp will be held on Wednesdays from July 8 through July 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Cancer Center at Metro Health Village, 5950 Metro Way.

Entire families, from newborns to great grandparents, are invited to participate. Activities will include a bounce house, an inflatable slip and slide, the Critter Barn traveling zoo, tie-dyeing T-shirts, activities with a music therapist, arts, crafts and many more. Children may participate without an adult, however families are encouraged to attend and participate together.

“Whether a child is experiencing cancer or has a relative who is experiencing it, it can be difficult to figure out,” said Bethany Folsom, child life specialist. “Each week at Family Camp, we’ll discuss a different cancer topic in terms kids can understand. Kids, families and Metro child life specialists will talk about what cancer is, treatments and side effects and how life is different after a cancer diagnosis.”

Child Life Specialists Bethany Folsom and Angie Moe will lead the camp, supported by students and volunteers. Family Camp is created and hosted by the Metro Health Child Life program and funded by the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.

Registration is required, but there is no need to commit to all four sessions; families can choose to participate in any or all of the sessions. To register, complete a registration form available at submit by mail or in person to The Cancer Center at Metro Health Village, 5950 Metro Way, Wyoming, Mich. 49519, by fax to 616.252.8194 or by email to

Metro Health Farmers Market to offer popular Kids Day

Event-KidsDayThe Metro Health Farmers Market is going to the kids – for a day. In its 10th year, the popular open-air market will host its annual Kids Day on Thursday, June 18.

The free event will take place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW in Wyoming. Children up to age 12 are invited to participate in a pedal-driven tractor pull – back by popular demand – a scavenger hunt, face painting and a chance to shop at the market, among other activities.

“This gives kids an opportunity to get involved in the market and to have fun,” said Emil Hannesson, Metro Health’s director of population health who oversees the market. “It’s important for kids to have an awareness of healthy foods and healthy living as well as farming and sustainability.”

The first 200 children will receive a FREE gift. (Must be present to receive gift)

“This has become such popular event,” Hannesson said. “We have things that appeal to the kid in all of us.”

The Metro Health Farmers Market is free and open to the community. It is held every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 8 in Metro Health Village. A diverse array of vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, flowers and plants and other locally grown and produced foods as well as handcrafted artisan items.

Metro Health Hospital Awarded for Excellence in Patient Safety and Patient Experience

Metro Health Hospital has received two PEAK Excellence Awards for excellence in both clinical quality and patient experience.

PEAK Excellence Awards are presented by VHA, Inc., a national network of nonprofit health care organizations working to improve performance and efficiency in clinical, financial and operational management. The awards recognize members who have achieved and sustained excellence in clinical performance, the patient experience and supply chain performance.

Both PEAK Awards for Performance Excellence are given for sustained performance excellence on the clinical process Value Based Purchasing indicators identified and measured by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Service, or CMS, as evidence of patient care quality.

While the awards were given by the VHA Central region, VHA gives the awards for exceeding national standards.

VHA Central Superior Performance Initiative uses nationally recognized measurement definitions for reporting data. VHA Central serves hospital and health systems across Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.

“Through the VHA PEAK Award we are honoring the performance excellence and knowledge demonstrated by hospital leaders and their clinical teams in the areas of clinical outcomes and patient experience in 2014,” said Anna Fox, senior vice president and executive officer of VHA Central.

VHA is a national network of 5,000 hospital systems and affiliates and 118,000 non-acute facilities that work together to achieve new levels of clinical performance and operational efficiency.

Metro Health Hospital Recognized for Excellence in IT

Metro Health Hospital has been recognized as a winner of IDG’s CIO magazine CIO 100 Awards.

The CIO 100 Awards are presented to organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology, or IT. Applicants were reviewed in-depth by a team of external judges for evidence of leading edge IT practices and measurable results. CIO editors then reviewed the judges’ recommendations and selected the final award recipients. This is Metro Health’s first time on the list.

Metro was presented the award in recognition of a reliable, high performing and very secure virtual desktop solution envisioned by Metro Health Chief Information Officer Bill Lewkowski. Metro’s virtual desktop implementation allows users to log in with their own security credentials to quickly and reliably access applications and patient data. No patient information is kept on individual computers or hard drives. All information is stored at two remote active data centers, enabling physicians to provide fast, secure care and support to patients 24 hours a day from any location.

“Our physicians and staff depend on our technological infrastructure in order to remain up to date on the industry and individual patients,” said Mike Faas, Metro Health president and CEO. “Providing this type of state-of-the-art solution maximizes patient care and benefits employees as well.

“We are pleased to be recognized among this year’s CIO 100 Award recipients.  The award is another acknowledgement of how Metro has become a healthcare destination for the region and the nation.”


Kathy Jo Butgereit Selected as Best of Metro

Kathy Jo Butgereit
Best of Metro Winner

Kathy Jo has worked at Metro Health for nearly seven years. Since joining Metro Health Wayland in 2008 she has worked as Dr. Linda Bessert’s Certified Medical Assistant. Before coming to Metro, Kathy Jo ran a licensed family daycare out of her home.

Kathy Jo’s Best of Metro nominations glow when describing how she provides the Best Employee Experience. “Kathy Jo is a joy to work with,” exclaims one nomination. “She is very supportive and willing to help out wherever needed.” Another nomination describes how she makes quilts for staff on medical leave and ill family members. “We have had several illnesses and hard times with employees at our office,” explains the nomination. “Kathy Jo is always organizing fundraisers to help people with financial troubles…she is a one of a kind person with a huge heart.”

Comments like these make it easy to see how Kathy Jo’s favorite Metro Memory involved helping a coworker. The coworker and her son were at the hospital getting treatment for the son. During that time, the employee’s lease on her home had ended and she was supposed to be moving into a new house. “While she was at the hospital, our Wayland staff cleaned, painted, moved and set up her new house – all without her knowing,” Kathy Jo explained. “It was such an incredible moment when I told her about it. It was one of the best moments of how our Metro family comes together.”

Kathy Jo’s nominations speak just as highly about how she provides the Best Patient Experience: “Kathy Jo works consistently to provide the Best Patient Experience possible,” explains a nomination. “She goes above and beyond to make sure that all of her patients get the best care and make sure it is completed in a timely manner. She also works well with the team, helping other providers’ patients while working with her own patients to ensure everyone has the best possible experience at our office.”

Kathy Jo offered some simple, but poignant words on what providing the Best Experiences means to her: “I feel everyone wants to be treated well…and I want our patients to feel good and be treated respectfully every time they are here. People just want to see a smile, and I pride myself in smiling and changing someone’s day.”

When asked what being named Best of Metro meant to her, Kathy Jo said she was very grateful to be recognized. “To know that my Metro family thinks enough of me to nominate me was emotional, and makes me want to be even better.”

Congratulations, Kathy Jo!
YOU are the BEST of Metro!