Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Kidney Transplant Center Marks Record-breaking Year

“It is just amazing people will come forward and be willing to donate,” said Dr. Mark Boelkins, Mercy Health Kidney Transplant Center Medical Director.

The Mercy Health Kidney Transplant Center in Grand Rapids performed 103 kidney transplants as of October 6, 2016, marking a record-breaking year for the surgeons and their teams. Mercy Health Kidney Transplant Center typically performs 80 to 90 kidney transplants each year. However, none are possible without generous donors, many of whom were celebrated recently at an event held at Cathedral Square on October 18.

More than 100 people, including dozens of donor and recipient families, as well as colleagues from Mercy Health, heard their extraordinary life-giving stories.

“We don’t often get the chance to celebrate this entire group of truly incredible people,” said Andrea Beck-Lundskow, LMSW, living donor advocate and donor social worker, Mercy Health. “The Mercy Health transplant and Gift of Life teams were thrilled to honor the gifts and journeys of these individuals during the Kidney Donor Celebration. Their stories need to be told.”


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Record-breaking Ten Nominations Earn Liz Tibbe the DAISY Award for October 2016

Congratulations to Liz Tibbe, nurse on 3 Lacks, who is the October 2016 recipient of the DAISY Award!

Tibbe received ten nominations, both from fellow 3 Lacks staff and from patients and their families, all commending Tibbe on her extraordinary compassion and care.


Liz with Kylie Shaumberg, one of the 10 nominators.

One patient’s daughter noted in her nomination of Tibbe: “My father was feeling down and depressed, being stuck in the hospital for many days. He missed the sunshine, the feel of the sun on his face. Liz heard this, and without even getting him out of his bed, she wheeled him up to 5 Lacks, into the open garden. My dad was able to ‘sunbathe,’ as he called it, and he was in such a better mood. I can’t believe how incredibly caring Liz was to make this happen for him.”

Liz signing her banner!

During the surprise ceremony for Tibbe, her colleagues hugged her, and Tibbe exclaimed it was a team effort. “Everyone on the unit does this for their patients! I couldn’t do this without such a great team!”

To denote how special it is to receive ten nominations, Liz Murphy, CNO, gifted Tibbe a special badge pin that depicts multiple daisies to designate her as a multiple nominee.

Congratulations to Tibbe and her team for their extraordinary care for patients!

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Receives Certification from Prestigious AACVPR

programcertlogoMercy Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program is designed to help people who have experienced various cardiac conditions and treatments, including heart attack, bypass and valve surgery, angioplasty, stable angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, cardiovascular disease and heart failure.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation program within Mercy Health Saint Mary’s submitted documentation detailing policies and procedures, care standards, education offerings and staff core competencies. This process began in February 2016 and culminated October 17, 2016, in receiving notice of final approval for program certification.

Within this program, patients learn about reducing their risk factors through education experiences as well as daily monitored exercise. The goal is to develop a safe and effective exercise routine for these people, encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation or AACVPR is an industry leader in establishing standards for patient care as well as individualized patient education models. Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs can obtain program certification through this organization.

Program certification signifies high attention to standards of care and positive outcomes for the participants of the program.




Congratulations to Trinity Health’s Innovation Challenge Winner in West Michigan: The Health Project of Mercy Health Muskegon!

trinityCongratulations to Trinity Health’s Five Innovation Challenge Winners

Trinity Health is pleased to announce the five winners of its first Innovation Challenge.

Earlier this year, Trinity Health launched its inaugural Innovation Challenge, intended to help identify, fund and implement ideas aimed at reducing readmission rates and improving care for patients who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The applicants for this award were submitted by Trinity Health ministries, the system office and organizations external to Trinity Health that were willing to work with a Trinity Health ACO or bundled payment program to implement, test and replicate a solution.

“Our five Innovation Challenge winners offered the most creative and bold ideas to provide better health, better care and lower costs for our dual eligible patients,” said Scott Nordlund, executive vice president, Growth, Strategy and Innovation, Trinity Health. “We believe these innovative solutions have tremendous opportunity to transform our Ministry and our industry to become even more people-centered.”

Congratulations to the following winners whose innovations were chosen from 67 internal and external applicants from around the country:


  • “Employing Older Adults as Companions with a New Technology to Reduce Hospital Admissions” (AgeWell Global in partnership with Holy Cross, Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • “Applied Artificial Intelligence to Stop Dual Eligible Patient Readmissions” (Jvion, in partnership with St. Joseph, Syracuse, NY)
  • Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders” (Mercy Health – Mercy Campus, Muskegon, MI; Judith Kell)
  • “Whatever it Takes: A 24/7 Triage and PRN Treatment Service” (Trinity Health At Home; Dr. Steven Stein)
  • “Hospital at Home” (Trinity Health At Home; Erin Denholm)


Trinity Health is funding each of the winning innovations with as much as $350,000. The funding was awarded to applicants that proposed an entirely new model of care or an “adapted” model that has been previously implemented. Adapted solutions built upon a successful model previously tested while piloting an approach that is a new and /or unique service for dual eligible patients at Trinity Health.

“The grants we award to each of the winners will be used to fund their innovative, breakthrough ideas and associated project plans,” said Anna Marie Butrie, vice president, Innovation Program and Services for Trinity Health. “These innovations were designed specifically to help us better serve some of the most vulnerable patients in our communities in a compassionate and transformative way.”

In the U.S., nearly 11 million people are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. These “dual eligible” patients represent a group comprised of low-income seniors and younger people with disabilities whose care is frequently very complicated and challenging.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, some of the key characteristics that distinguish dual eligible patients from typical Medicare beneficiaries include:

Very low incomes (55 percent have annual incomes below $10,000, compared to six percent of other Medicare beneficiaries)

  • Substantial health needs (half are in fair or poor health, more than twice the Medicare rate)
  • More likely to have mental health needs
  • More likely to live in nursing homes

Dual eligible patients also have higher 30-day and 90-day readmission rates. During a recent three-month period, dual eligible patients cared for by Trinity Health’s Accountable Care Organizations experienced readmission rates about 106 percent higher than that of non-dual eligible patients.

You can learn more about the first Challenge on the Trinity Health Innovation Challenge website.


Mercy Health to Open Neurology Clinic This Week

Mercy Health is pleased to announce that it will open a neurology clinic this week at 1310 Wisconsin Ave., in the Dunewood Medical Center, next to North Ottawa Community Health System (NOCHS) in Grand Haven. The clinic will support the growing number of lakeshore residents in need of neurological disease care, specifically for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke.


The new clinic will provide diagnosis and comprehensive treatment so that patients can see a clinician close to home. It will be staffed with three rotating general neurologists from the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center in Grand Rapids: Drs. Christopher Goshgarian, David Ehrhardt and Emily Johnson. Comprehensive examinations and expert opinions will be provided from our board-certified neurologists. Thorough testing services include memory tests, brain scans and other neurodiagnostic testing. Patients needing additional treatment may be referred to Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center.


“Efficient patient triage and navigation can truly reduce unnecessary emergency department revisits and hospital admissions,” said Dr. Philip B. Gorelick, medical director, Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences. The opportunity of having specialty physician access and a direct relationship between the specialist and the primary care physicians is also designed to eliminate unnecessary or duplicative testing and increase the quality of patient care.


The announcement about Hauenstein comes just a few months after NOCHS and Mercy Health entered into an affiliation agreement designed to strengthen health care and patient services along the lakeshore, including expanding access to primary care, cardiology and neuroscience specialists. The agreement has allowed each entity to share population health management information and needs assessments, recruit physicians and work together to improve gaps in care and services.

Kudos to the Fourth Cohort of RN Residents at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

group-shot-crCelebrating the completion their year-long residency, the registered nurses of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Fourth Cohort finally got to present their evidence-based practice projects to their colleagues. On Friday, October 21, 2016, 15 nurses displayed six poster presentations with topics ranging from diversional activity carts for behavioral health patients in the ER to alarm fatigue.

Nursing Leadership, other colleagues and members of the Eighth Cohort came to see the presentations and congratulate the Fourth Cohort on their work. “This is good practice for presenting at nursing conferences!” shared Theresa McGuire, MSN RN-BC, Magnet Program Coordinator and UHC AACN RN Residency Program Coordinator at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

Congratulations to all our Fourth Cohort Residents.

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Colleague Mammo Party Promotes Women’s Breast Health


The Colleague Mammo Party was a success thanks to Carole Gentry, manager of clinical services at Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Center, and her team. “Many women who work at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s say, ‘Oh, I should get my mammogram, but I don’t have the time.’ This event was planned for colleagues who otherwise might delay getting a mammogram,” said Gentry. This event was scheduled with the working woman in mind.

Lisa Kinsey Callaway agrees. She took time from her busy day to get her mammogram and enjoy a relaxing chair massage. “The Colleague Mammo Party gave me the opportunity to practice what I preach.”

Seventeen colleagues signed up for the event that featured refreshments, giveaways, chair massages and life-saving mammograms.

Patricia Merrow gets relief from a tight muscle during her chair massage, courtesy of Wege Institute for Mind, Body & Spirit
Patricia Merrow gets relief from a tight muscle during her chair massage, courtesy of Wege Institute for Mind, Body & Spirit
Melody Walden relaxes during her chair massage
Melody Walden relaxes during her chair massage
Dr. Lisa Kinsey Callaway enjoys a chair massage after her mammogram
Dr. Lisa Kinsey Callaway enjoys a chair massage after her mammogram
A fun give-away that includes lotion and organic lip butter
A fun give-away that includes lotion and organic lip butter




Congratulations to Fall 2016 Colleague Award Winners

Every three months, colleagues nominate dozens of their peers for the prestigious Colleagues Award, honoring those who embody the mission, vision and values of Mercy Health. A panel of clinical and non-clinical colleagues selects only a few winners.

Join President Bill Manns on Tuesday, October 25, at 3 p.m. on 5 Lacks for a ceremony that will honor the following Colleague Award Winners:

  • Lisa Dumkow, Clinical Pharmacist, Pharmacy
  • James Hudson, MD, Heartside
  • Nicole Liversedge, RN IV, Southwest Emergency Department
  • Jary Lizardo, RN Case Manager, Clinica Santa Maria
  • Janice Roobol, Patient Care Assistant, Surgical Preparation

Below are excerpts from the nomination forms of each of the Colleagues Award recipients:

Lisa Dumkow, Clinical Pharmacist, Pharmacy

dumkow-lisa-crA very knowledgeable, thorough and patient teacher, Lisa has been the pharmacy resident mentor, while still personally guiding numerous pharmacy residents and students each year. Lisa also takes time to help the Infectious Disease service provide education to medical residents, Pine Rest staff and other outpatient providers.

Her extensive infectious disease training — which she has applied to her pharmacist position and in creating the antibiotic stewardship program here at the organization — has made her a key member on many organizational committees and Trinity Health initiatives. Many colleagues view her as the “go-to reference” for infectious disease information and recommendations.

Lisa has had a key role in establishing collaborative practice agreements with the Emergency Department and outpatient centers to ensure that patients are on the correct antibiotics after discharge. The new and important policies that she has presented to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee have been shown to conserve drug supply, decrease hospital resistance patterns and improve patient outcomes. While she has been able to save the organization financially, her time, compassion and positivity are priceless.

James Hudson, Heartside

hudson-james_md-crJames has a mission: creating a chronic pain program that is dedicated to serving the underserved, vulnerable and homeless populations in Grand Rapids.

The population that James and Heartside serve is very vulnerable, and often they will not seek help because they feel that if they do they will be dismissed.

When patients see James, though, they always leave feeling more confident and comfortable getting care. James genuinely believes and practices the motto, “quality over quantity.” There is no cookie-cutter treatment plan in his practice — he knows each patient has different needs, and he works to meet all of them. He spends a lot of time getting to know each patient, and when he comes up with a care plan, he seeks input from them to see if any adjustments need to be made to better serve them.

His patients tell his colleagues: “I finally feel like someone understands me.”



Nicole Liversedge, RN IV, Southwest Emergency Department

liversedge-nicole-crKind, compassionate and caring, Nicole lives the Mercy Health Guiding Behaviors every day. She goes out of her way every single shift to make sure that her patients are well cared for, medically and spiritually. Nicole makes every patient feel special.

She has built very positive and strong collaborative relationships throughout the organization. As the chair of the Unit-Based Council, Nicole represents the Southwest Emergency Department at councils and has been responsible for implementing change processes and decisions, all while also doing the department supply ordering.

Her colleagues call Nicole their cheerleader. She is definitely a “how can we” person. When the Unit-Based Council recommended the implementation of white boards, Nicole thought of a way to help her colleagues remember to use them. She created a name jar for staff to submit names of anyone they saw using the board. Names are pulled from the jar, and the winners get small treats. With Nicole’s help, remembering to use the white boards has become much easier.

Jary Lizardo, RN Case Manager, Clinica Santa Maria

lizardo-jary-crFueled by true passion, Jary works hard as both a case worker and educator. His patients love him, and he provides a service that they can’t receive anywhere else. He coordinates care among providers in the hospital, clinic and outside specialties, and has recently taken on the immunizations program at Clinica Santa Maria, which is a huge undertaking. He always maintains a positive attitude and works hard to get the best for his patients.

Jary not only helps patients in the office but also meets with them at the hospital, goes to their homes, or travels wherever they may need assistance. He has secured shoes for people with diabetes who would otherwise not have them. Coordinating care in both English and Spanish, Jary makes sure that patients have access to the resources they need. When the situation calls for it, he connects with patients after hours or on the weekends to check that they are okay. He is an amazing example of passion and dedication to Mercy Health’s core values.



Janice Roobol, Patient Care Assistant, Surgical Preparation

roobol-janice-crWhen the Surgical Preparation Department moved to a new location, Janice stepped up to the plate to make sure that the needs of the nursing staff and patients were met with the supplies they needed to do their jobs.

Over the two-year course of the project, she helped evaluate the rooms, equipment and supplies, working with construction teams to make sure that everything functioned properly. She ordered supplies and coordinated stocking for the new unit. If the nurses had any questions or requests, she was right there to act as go-between with Dispatch.

Janice put in many hours over and above her normal day throughout the moving process. She still did patient care and assisted the nurses without complaining about the extra workload. On the day of the move, Janice came in early to help with patient care at 5:30 a.m. and then organized the actual moving of equipment from the old unit to the new one. She stayed until almost 11 p.m., refusing to go home until everything was done.

Her supervisor and three nominators all agree that Janice’s exemplary work single-handedly smoothed a difficult transition for both nurses and patients.



ANCC Magnet Conference Presentations Interrupted by Hurricane Matthew

Rachel Catinella (left) and Katie Mann (right) presented on “A Wake-up Call for Nurses: Mitigating Sleep-related Risks in the Workplace” at the ANCC Magnet Conference in Orlando, Florida, until the event was called off early due to Hurricane Matthew.

Selected from among more than 2,000 poster entries, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s study, “A Wake-up Call for Nurses: Mitigating Sleep-related Risk in the Workplace,” was one of only 150 studies presented at this year’s American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Conference held in Orlando, Florida, originally scheduled from October 5-7, 2016.

Representing the group who performed the study were Katie Mann, Neurosciences Program Manager, and Rachel Catinella, Neurosciences Clinical Nurse Specialist. The research project focused on a comprehensive approach to improve patient safety and reduce nursing fatigue through an evidence-based sleep hygiene intervention.

“With close to 10,000 nurses attending the conference, it was a great opportunity to share our learnings, and in turn, learn from others about what new advances nurses are involved with throughout the country,” said Mann.

However; the conference became even more exciting than planned when Hurricane Matthew was forecast to hit Orlando, and evacuation orders were placed for the area. Conference organizers canceled the rest of the meeting at 12:30 p.m. on October 6, and Mann and Catinella searched for hours for a flight home in the middle of the storm. Fortunately, they and the other Mercy Health colleagues attending the conference were able to make it home safely.

Mercy Health applauds our nursing colleagues for being selected to present their study at the ANCC Magnet Conference, and for staying calm in the face of a hurricane.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s nurses paused from the ANCC Magnet Conference from October 5-6, 2016, to pose for a photo. Nearly 10,000 nurses attended this year’s conference before it was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew.

To learn more about their research into nursing fatigue, email Leanna Krukowski at or attend the presentation at the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Research & Evidence Based Practice Symposium on November 21, 2016.

Honoring Our Colleagues on World Mental Health Day

Representing about half of the Psychiatric Resource Team, ten of its members were able to attend the World Mental Health Day celebration in their honor on Monday, October 10, on 5 Lacks. Members of Senior and Nursing Leadership were also in attendance.


Mercy Health celebrated World Mental Health Day, a day to focus on education, advocacy and awareness for mental health, on Monday, October 10, 2016 by honoring its Psychiatric Resource Team. Nursing Leadership hosted a gathering on 5 Lacks, inviting hospital leaders and others to commemorate the important work of colleagues who work with patients who face mental health issues.

Originally created in January 2015 to serve patients within the acute care units in the hospital, the Psychiatric Resource Team at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has quickly expanded its practice.

Today, the Psychiatric Resource Team serves throughout the different departments, including the Emergency Department and inpatient units. Members of the team attend morning huddles with social workers to determine where there could be potential issues, and follow up by rounding on the identified patients and staff.

Through this ongoing and daily support, frontline colleagues feel more confident in de-escalation techniques and other evidence-based interventions, and as a result, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has seen remarkable reductions in restraints and in the number of patient companions used.

The color lime green signifies mental health awareness. Attendees were invited to don lime green ribbons and eat themed lime food, all in an effort to raise awareness about mental health.

“Working with our staff to be confident and calmer has made our staff and patients safer, as our colleagues are better able to handle situations that arise around all areas of the hospital,” said Kevin Hengeveld, MSN, CNL, RN-BC, who works in the Psychiatric Medical Unit (PMU).

During the ceremony, Carrie Mull, manager of the PMU, accepted the Team Award for Outstanding Recognition on behalf of the Psychiatric Medical Unit.

Thanks to the members of the Psychiatric Resource Team who works diligently to care for our vulnerable populations of patients:

  • Susie Burchardt, BSN, RN-BC
  • Blair Celano, BSN, RN-BC
  • Paul Dieleman, BSN, RN-BC
  • Steve Guigelaar, BSN, RN-BC
  • Deb Kooienga, RN-BC
  • Shaena Lemmen, BSN, RN-BC
  • Adam McKee, BSN, RN-BC
  • Rachel Merryman, RN-BC
  • Matt Mogck, BSN, RN-BC
  • Jennifer Rewa, RN
  • Merribeth Richard, RN-BC
  • Casie Sultana, BSN, RN-BC
  • Tom Vanderschaaf, BSN
  • Jordan VanSchepen, BSN, RN-BC
  • Karel VanSetters, RN-BC
  • Beth Wiersma, BSN

Revered as a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy, World Mental Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in many countries.