Go Orange Day for Kids’ Food Basket 2017

Mercy Health is a big supporter of Kids’ Food Basket, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing childhood hunger and helping youth learn and live well.

Twenty-five Mercy Health colleagues volunteered their time on #KFBGoOrange Day on Friday, March 24. They decorated paper lunch bags and packed each “supper snack pack” with healthy, non-perishable foods for West Michigan kids to enjoy over spring break. Our colleagues formed an assembly line at The Urban Platter and packed each snack bag with a fruit cup, granola bar, box of raisins and 100 percent fruit juice.

In just one and a half hours, our colleagues filled 2,000 supper packs in support of Kids’ Food Basket – more than double from last year!

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One in 5 children in Michigan is affected by hunger, according to Kids’ Food Basket. Closer to home — in Muskegon, Kent and Ottawa counties — over 43,000 children are affected. Kids’ Food Basket’s Sack Supper program serves nearly 7,500 kids a day in greater Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland.

“We feel that no kid should go hungry, so we want to make sure that all kids have at least one healthy meal or snack to take home ” said Bryan Nader, Mercy Health sous chef and retail and catering supervisor for nutrition and wellness.

During #KFBGoOrange Day, many of our colleagues dressed in orange – the color of hunger awareness – and posed with orange slice cutouts in our photo booth as a way to show support.

A huge thank you to all who volunteered in support of this wonderful cause and help our friends at Kids’ Food Basket!



National Safety Week Recap – March 12-18, 2017

At Mercy Health, safety is at the forefront of everything we do. Many thanks to the hundreds of colleagues who took part in National Safety Week, celebrated from March 12-March 18!

In 2017, colleagues were invited to participate in myriad ways, including:

  • Taking the ‘Pledge’ for patient safety on the blackboard at The Urban Platter;
  • Completing a window cling that stated “In my work area, I support safety by….”;
  • Sharing with their leaders how they are a ‘Patient Safety Champion’ by giving specific examples from within the work performed daily;
  • Enjoying a special treat with fellow colleagues to celebrate all the accomplishments of the past year while looking ahead at future goals.

Thanks to all Mercy Health colleagues for demonstrating their commitment to keeping patients and colleagues safe.

Check out some of the great photos featuring our colleagues!

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Third Annual Visit by Nursing Leaders From Japan to Learn About CNL Role

CNLs and visitors
The visiting group from Japan and Mercy Health CNLs pose at the end of their experience in the Main Lobby.

Thanks to our strong clinical nurse leader (CNL) presence and visionary nursing leadership, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s hosted a dozen graduate students and doctoral students from Kyoto University, Japan, joined by colleagues from Saint Anthony College of Nursing, a member of OSF Health Care in Rockford, Illinois, on March 15, 2017. After a morning of job shadowing Mercy Health Saint Mary’s CNLs for an idea of what the roles involve at our hospital, the 12 Japanese providers convened in the Board Room to share their experiences.

This marks the third time that OSF and Mercy Health have worked with nursing colleagues from Japan as they explore integrating the CNL role into Japanese health care.

“We learned a lot about the health care culture of Japan, and the nurses from Japan were surprised to see how embedded CNLs are, and how they lead inter-professional teams throughout the hospital and outpatient settings,” said Liz Murphy, Chief Nursing Officer, Vice President.

CNLs in boardroom, Mary Harnish and Sarah Simon
The visitors from Japan share insight into their nursing and health care culture, and report their key learnings from their morning with Mercy Health Clinical Nurse Leaders.

Thanks to our special guests for a wonderful sharing experience!

Kristin Mast and Nurse from Japan
Kristin Mast, RN, CNL, and the nurse from Kyoto University who jobshadowed her, Ai Chikada.

Click here for past stories about this international experience, 2016 and 2015.


Muskegon DAISY Award Recipient February 2017 – Joann Norman Metcalf

Joann Norman Metcalf February 2017
Joann Norman Metcalf, RN, BSN

Congratulations to the February 2017 DAISY Award recipient in Muskegon, Joann Norman Metcalf, RN, BSN! Joann, who works at the 3rd Floor at the Mercy Campus, was nominated by her co-worker, Kathy Bedau, RN.

Below is an excerpt of the nomination for Joann:

“Joann is one of the most dedicated and caring nurses I know.

“She always goes above and beyond caring for her patients.  One example of her dedication occurred in mid-January when she discharged an elderly man to a nursing home.  Joann called the nursing home several times before and after her patient was discharged, but no one was available to take her report.

“Joann also faxed over the discharge instructions leaving her name and phone number.  She felt very uneasy about not being able to speak with anyone about this patient before the end of her shift.  Joann had the following day off from work but that didn’t stop her.

“She phoned the nursing home to make sure that all of the patients instructions were understood and to answer any questions they may have had about the patient.  Every work day she gives excellent care, in addition to always helping and encourages her coworkers.  The 3rd Floor is lucky to have a knowledgeable, hardworking nurse like Joann. “

Joann was honored with a surprise celebration on her unit in front of her leaders and peers.

To nominate a well-deserving nurse, please complete the nomination form located on the Mercy Health Muskegon Intranet.



Transplant Team Awarded “Triple Crown” for Saving a Patient’s Life – Twice

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From left to right: award recipients Mark Boelkins, MD, Kathy VandenBosch, RN, Cindy Henney, RN, Karyn Honig, social worker, shown with CNO Liz Murphy.

The Kidney Transplant Department is nestled in a corner of the third floor of Wege Building South, and shares a waiting room with Cardiac Rehab. This location may not be well-known to many staff in the organization, but it is well-known to patients who have received the gift of life in the form of a kidney transplant.

Charlie had suffered from kidney disease for many years, and she finally received a life-saving kidney transplant on October 11, 2016, a day that will be celebrated for many years to come.

Following her post-operative treatment plan, Charlie returned to the Transplant Department for her first follow-up appointment on October 20, 2016.

One of the most compelling nursing roles is to educate patients about caring for their new kidney transplant, which often entails explaining many detailed instructions. As Kathy VandenBosch, RN, was sharing her knowledge with Charlie, she noticed her patient’s eyes rolling back. VandenBosch immediately recognized this as a serious complication.

With swift action, VandenBosch assessed Charlie and found her to be unresponsive and pulseless. VandenBosch calmly yelled for help. Mark Boelkins, MD, who was nearby, immediately responded and began performing CPR. Cindy Henney, RN, heard the call and responded by getting the closest crash cart, located across the hall in Cardiac Rehab. With it came two Cardiac Rehab colleagues, who applied the AED. The team expertly activated the emergency response system, alerting a code blue to the entire organization. This team of clinicians assisted until the Rapid Responders arrived and took over the resuscitation.

The Rapid Responder team was able to regain a pulse.  Charlie was intubated and quickly transported to the Emergency Department. While all of this was happening, Charlie’s son was in the room attending this appointment with her. Instead of letting him stand there in shock, Karyn Honing, MSW, held him in her arms and supported him on the way to the Emergency Department with his mom.

Fortunately, this type of scenario does not typically occur in the Transplant  Department. However, the quick actions of this team — which are ingrained from years of astute clinical experience — saved Charlie’s life.

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The Double DAISY Award recipients, Kathy VandenBosch and Cindy Henney proudly display their “Healer’s Touch” sculptures.

Later, it was discovered that Charlie had an occlusion. She received a stent and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where she received excellent nursing care from the nursing staff of Hauenstein 2.

The Transplant Center’s team demonstrates the skill and compassionate care for our patients, their families and our staff for their consideration to receive the following March Awards, all during Kidney Month.  We thank them for the excellent care they provide to those entrusted to us!

Cindy Henney, RN  – aisy Award

Kathy VandenBosch, RN  – Daisy Award

Karyn Honig, MSW – Friends of Nursing Award

Mark Boelkins, MD – Physician Appreciation Award

Successful First Student Heart Screening for 2017!

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Mercy Health Heart and Vascular held its first student heart screening for the year at the Youngberg Auditorium on Mercy Health Hackley Campus. Free and open to students in grades 9-12, the event successfully screened 111 students.

Especially exciting was the large presence of local school children, from some of the following schools:

  • Mona Shores
  • Fruitport
  • Grand Haven
  • West Michigan Christian
  • Oakridge
  • Spring Lake

kids helping kids photoHeart screenings are a simple, quick method to identifying pre-existing heart conditions that could increase a student’s risk of complications during physical activity and/or athletic competition.  Since 2012, Mercy Health has screened a total of 3,747 high school students and diagnosed several at-risk students with a serious heart condition, while also identifying over 50% of students with borderline or high blood pressure.

Heart screenings are completed in approximately 15 minutes and consist of a heart history questionnaire, blood pressure check, 12-Lead EKG, physician exam and, if necessary, an echocardiogram.

A special thanks to the numerous Mercy Health colleagues who take the time to volunteer for this event and continue to make it a success.

The next Student Heart Screening is set for Wednesday, April 26.

To register your student for an upcoming heart screening or for more information, please visit www.MercyHealth.com/StudentHeart.


The Ride 2017 Raises $23,000 for Cardiovascular Services at Mercy Health Muskegon

lineup of bikers The Ride 2017 marked the thirteenth year of our fast-paced, exhilarating indoor bicycle race. At this year’s event, 53 teams participated with 424 riders, and 50 colleagues and community members volunteered.

Combined, participants peddled 5,040 miles and raised $23,000 to benefit the Heart Center’s patients, the high school student heart screening program, and cardiovascular services for the new medical center. Since 2005, this event has raised over $500,000 to benefit heart and vascular services for our patients, our community and our colleagues.

Special thanks go to our logistics team – Tom Anderson, Rick Hyatt, Eric Moe and Blair Moreau, and especially Plant Operations Jim Goodburn, Jerry Booth, and Dave VanHall.

The Ride would not be possible without our sponsors and event partners:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
L3 Combat Propulsion Systems
Mary Free Bed Orthotics & Prosthetics
United Way – Ride United,
Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce
Seyferth PR
Access Health
107MUS and Move Media,
Breakaway Bicycles,
The Bicycle Rack,
Republic Services,
Kohley’s Superior Water & Propane and
ProFab and Bauer Sheet Metal.

Thank you to all of our colleagues who rode or volunteered in The Ride 2017.

Race results can be found online at MercyHealthTheRide.com
Photos are on the Mercy Health Office of Philanthropy Facebook page.

teammate encouraging

Save the Date! See you at the Ride 2018 on March 10, 2018!


Inpatient Unit at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Recognized with Silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence

b logo-edit yr 09-10 1fThe American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) granted a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence on 8 Main, an inpatient unit, at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, in March 2017.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“A silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence reflects the high priority we place on teamwork and collaboration to provide excellent patient care,” said Jill McNamara, MSN, RN, PCCN, Manager of Clinical Services, 8 Main, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by 8 Main at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s signifies continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care.

“I am honored to serve with such a dedicated group of clinical staff, who are engaged, empowered, and strive for excellence every day!” said Liz Murphy, BSN, MSBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

8 Main at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s earned its silver award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

Recipients who earned a bronze-level award show success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria for optimal outcomes; gold-level awardees demonstrate excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes.

The staff of 8 Main also receives much internal accolades for their excellent patient care. One such example is the DAISY Award, a monthly honor selected by the Work Environment Council. By the end of March 2017, the staff of 8 Main will have received a total of ten DAISY Award recipients within its department.

About the Beacon Award for Excellence: Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. or Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon.

Mercy Health Honored as 2017 Pillar Award Winner for Evidence-based Hiring Process

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Shana Welch, Bill Manns and John Schwartz after receiving the Pillar Award from the Women’s Resource Center.

The Women’s Resource Center named Mercy Health as one of three recipients of the 2017 Pillar Award for its redesigned evidence-based hiring process that centers on objective tests for specific skills and standardized interview questions to assess specific competencies.

The redesign has resulted in an increase of 11 percent minority hires and reduced time to fill open positions from 37 days to 31 days. First-year turnover rates have dropped from 25.3 percent to 18.7 percent. Using our Evidence Based Selection process, last year Mercy Health hired 38% diverse candidates in a region that is only 21% non-white. A significant number of those individuals are women. We have a highly qualified diverse workforce that delivers excellent care to our patients.

The Pillar Award is given to West Michigan employers who implement best practices that empower women at work. These innovative policies and practices encourage the recruitment, retention and advancement of working women within an inclusive culture.

Mercy Health has been working to bridge these gaps for more than six years, developing an evidence-based approach to recruiting qualified candidates for hard-to-fill roles in health care, said John Schwartz, Regional Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Mercy Health.

“Our hiring process is allowing us to bridge the gap between an available labor force here in West Michigan and increasing vacancies in critically needed health care jobs. We are honored by the recognition from the Women’s Resource,” Schwartz said.

Shana Welch, regional director of Talent Acquisition, accepted the award on the behalf of Mercy Health on March 9, 2017. During her acceptance remarks, Welch thanked the organizational leadership, in particular Bill Manns and John Schwartz, for supporting the diversity initiatives.

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Group shot of Mercy Health Human Resources With Leadership after the Pillar Awards luncheon, hosted by the Women’s Resource Center

The redesigned hiring process was featured as a best practice (pages 35-37 in the report) in the recently released report, Paving Health Career Pathways to the Middle Class, authored by the Health Career Pathways Task Force. The Task Force is part of a larger Pathways initiative by the White House’s National Economic Council, Hope Street Group and The Advisory Board Company, to boost pathways to middle class jobs. Mercy Health West Michigan joined Charlotte, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sacramento, Calif.; and the Bronx, Westchester, Hudson Valley and New York City, in N.Y. as HCP founding communities in the initiative. Read The Advisory Board Report here>>



Congratulations to Cohort 6 of Nurse Residents!

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Cohort Six of Nurse Residents Proudly Gather to Display their poster presentations and celebrate their accomplishments.

Celebrating the completion their year-long residency, the registered nurses of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Sixth Cohort were able to present their evidence-based practice projects to their colleagues. On Monday, March 13, 2017, 18 nurses displayed seven poster presentations.

Nursing Leadership and other colleagues came to see the presentations and congratulate the cohort on their work.

Congratulations to all our Sixth Cohort Residents:

8 Main:

Abbie Van Schepen

Jillian Schmidlin


Ann Cudney

Jasmine Weekley

7 Main:

Mallory Baltruczak

Jenna Buchman

Ben Kraft

Lucy Yurko

3 Lacks:

Sara Levi

Katie Moon

Ben Van Dyke

Hauenstein 2:

Emily Siskosky

Amanda Van

Emergency Department:

Gina Schrader

Sarah Griswold

Shannon VandenBerg (Southwest Emergency Department)

4 Lacks:

Lauren Lummis

Nick Van Oosten