#1 in Michigan for 8 Consecutive Quarters – Congratulations to Care Managers!

Gary Buchanic and Erin Lefevre
Specially trained nurses for the outpatient setting, care managers Gary Buchanic and Erin Lefevre work at the Mercy Health Physician Partners Downtown Office in Grand Rapids. Buchanic and Lefevre are just two of the many care managers who are recognized by the state of Michigan for their quality outcomes with patients.

In March 2017, Mercy Health Physician Partners (MHPP) in Grand Rapids proudly ranked number one in the state for the excellent patient care provided by its care managers for the eighth consecutive quarter. The care managers received the top Michigan Primary Care Transformation (MiPCT) ranking out of 36 health care institutions.

As specially trained nurses in the outpatient setting, care managers help patients improve their health and coordinate care with specialists, hospitals, emergency rooms and community resources. Care managers serve as the patient’s advocate to provide information and education to patients and their families, and they use data to measure performance.

 

In order to achieve this distinctive honor, MHPP’s care managers had to:

  • Exceed qualitative targets,
  • Deliver service to a high volume of patients,
  • Demonstrate competence in individualized tasks,
  • Create and maintain highly functional relationships with providers,
  • Understand standard work and be able to execute it,
  • Establish strong relationships with patients and
  • Be committed to Mercy Health’s mission and values.

“Attaining this performance once would be commendable. Maintaining it over eight quarters (two full years) sets a new standard of success and commitment,” said David Blair, MD, president and CMO of MHPP – Grand Rapids. “Our providers greatly appreciate the marvelous support our care managers provide to them and their patients.”

One provider who vouches for the effectiveness of care managers is Rhonda Mejeur, MD, a family medicine physician at the Mercy Health Physician Partners Downtown Office. “The care managers incentivize my patients to make real, tangible improvements, like quitting smoking and lowering their A1C levels,” said Mejeur. “We are very fortunate to have them in our practice.”

MiPCT is a relatively new program – within the last five years – aimed at making care more affordable for Medicare and Medicaid patients and expanding the capabilities of patient-centered medical homes throughout the state.

“The concept of embedding a new discipline into primary care offices five years ago was a new process, met with some skepticism and resistance initially,” explained Sue Viviano, ‎MHPP director of medical management. “Over time, as the care managers became part of the office-based care teams and engaged patients in the management of their chronic disease, assisted with transitions from hospital to ambulatory settings, and coordinated community resources to bridge gaps and overall coordinated care, care managers became a valued component of office teams.”

One of the first care managers within the MiPCT program is Gary Buchanich, who has worked at the MHPP Downtown Office after transferring from the inpatient hospital setting.

“I was attracted to this role because of the ability to make long-term, life-altering changes in people’s lives,” Buchanic said.

In September 2015 Buchanic was joined by care manager colleague Erin Lefevre , who enjoys working as a care manager because she “can find a patient’s motivating factors. After evaluating their needs and desires, I can work with patients on improving their health based on these factors.”

Overall trends throughout all MiPCT payors indicate decreased re-admission rates, an increased positive patient experience and improved preventive and chronic quality indicator performance, according to Viviano.

“I am proud to be working with an exemplary group of care managers who has contributed to these MiPCT outcomes and support our patients and care teams on a continued basis,” Viviano said.

Congratulations to MHPP’s care manager team for their top ranking and for providing excellent care to their patients!

 

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Delivers Some of the Best HIV Care in Michigan

Mercy Health Saint Mary's President Bill Manns with several members of the ID McAuley Program Team
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s President Bill Manns with several members of the ID McAuley Program team members

When treating patients with HIV, one of the many goals is to get patients on medications they tolerate to achieve complete control of the infection, or what is called viral suppression. 

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Infectious Disease McAuley Program  recently surpassed the mark of having more than 90 percent of their nearly 1,000 patients achieve a suppressed virus — one of the highest HIV viral suppression rates for a clinic in the state of Michigan.

“Our interdisciplinary team of providers, RNs, MAs, case managers and front office staff helped us to reach this level, and we’re very proud of our hard work and success,” said C. Ryan Tomlin, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, clinical HIV pharmacist for Mercy Health Physician Partners Infectious Disease. The clinic’s partnership with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s new specialty pharmacy, Mercy Health Pharmacy Solutions, has also helped patients with their adherence to medications, leading to this notable success.

The ID McAuley Program has received national attention from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Members of the McAuley care team have been invited to give a presentation at a national HRSA meeting in October about the techniques they have used to achieve this success. Of 450 clinics nationwide, the McCauley Program was selected as one of just four HIV clinics to be honored in this way.

The photos are images of team members at a celebratory lunch on Thursday, May 25.

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Providers

Minerva A. Galang MD – Medical Director

David Baumgartner MD

Nnaemeka Egwuatu MD

Andrew Jameson MD

Lucy Ledesma DNP

 

Clinical Pharmacist

Ryan Tomlin

 

Nurses

Elaine Diveronica

Anthony Gichemi

Elizabeth Moncada

Yaji Perez-Sotelo

Brian VanHouten

 

Medical Assistants

Amy Kik

Kallie Moon

Amanda Rolston

 

Case Managers

Tonya Davis

Charlie Johnson

Jennifer Langholz

Ivette Melendez

Brad Parks

Ben Raap

 

BOC

Madeline Rammal

 

Clinic Manager

Sarah Sheldon

 

 

Mercy Health Healthcare Equipment Helps Student Finish School Year

Mercy Health Muskegon received a call from Muskegon Public Schools asking if we had a wheelchair that an elementary student could use for the rest of the school year. This girl had an accident followed by surgery on her leg, but her insurance would not cover the cost of a wheelchair. Without it, she would be homebound.  

 The staff at Mercy Health Healthcare Equipment immediately jumped in to help this young lady. Special thanks to Mike Smith, Chris Strait and Jennifer Knapp for making this gift possible. Mike even took extra time make sure the chair was “tuned up” before we delivered it.

“Acts of kindness like this occur every day without being recognized, and that is what makes Mercy Health special,” said Jon Romkema, rehab manager.

 

High School Volunteer Experience Leads to Health Care Career Plans

FullSizeRenderWhen she was in high school, Alessandra (Ali) Lebano, was certain that she wanted to wanted a career in health care as a physician assistant (PA). She had volunteered at the gift shop at the Hackley Campus, but for her first summer following college at Indiana University, she wanted an environment where she could actually interact with patients.

After hearing about a volunteer opportunity at Johnson Family Cancer Center (JFCC), 19-year-old Ali “…jumped at it. To be able to interact with patients, or family members of patients, and to help them through a difficult time, and to provide them with resources really ‘called’ to me.”

As a volunteer at JFCC, Ali helps patients find information pertaining to their specific cancers at the Patient & Family Resource Center at JFCC. She also listens to their stories. One particular memory stands out among the two years she has volunteered with cancer patients during summers and holidays.

“Some of the patients have lived such outstanding lives. There was a patient in his 30s who came in one afternoon, and I ended up talking to him for almost a half hour, just listening to everything he’d done in his life prior to being diagnosed, and then what he’s done to try and beat his disease. It was absolutely amazing. And when he left, he said, ‘Thank you so much for listening; it meant so much.'” A year later, Ali continues to treasure that interaction.

From PA to Radiation Therapist

For Ali, cancer is a scary but intriguing topic. When she first began at JFCC, she wanted to get closer to people in the health care field. “I thought maybe by doing this, I could eventually get into shadowing with a PA in the hospital,” she explained. However, when she volunteered, Ali found articles related to cancer and radiation in the volunteer binder. On her down time at the JFCC Patient & Family Resource Center, she would read all she could to learn about different forms of cancer and radiation therapy.

Ali explains how her professional goals evolved: “I’d also talk to the radiation therapists, radiologists and nurses who would sometimes walk in to grab something for a patient. It opened my eyes to something different that I began to absolutely love, and I started thinking, Why not do this?

Luckily Ali’s college major, human biology, complements her new health care career goal. At age 21, Ali has just completed her junior year. “As of now, I plan on applying to a radiation therapy program and pursuing a career as a radiation therapist, and then eventually becoming a dosimetrist*. I’ve had the opportunity to shadow the radiation therapists whenever I’m home, and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the career. It’s the perfect field for me.”

To learn more about the Johnson Family Cancer Center Patient & Family Resource Center, click here.

*Medical dosimetrists ensure that radiation treatment promotes the most lethal radiation dose with the fewest side effects to the patient’s healthy organs.

 

Racial Equity Key Component to Building Talent Bridges

Mayor Bliss
Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss

“If we want to change (regarding racial equity), look in the mirror,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, on May 10, 2017, at the third annual Building Talent Bridges event. “Then you look inside your organization, then look at your community.”

Mayor Bliss was one of several community and national leaders who presented during the third installment of Building Talent Bridges, hosted by Mercy Health. The event seeks to create conversations that foster relationships with key community players to bridge the gap between education and skills needed to build a regional workforce, in the hopes of building a brighter future for all those who live in West Michigan.

Panelists and speakers for the event included:

  • Martin Scaglione, from the Hope Street Group;
  • Brittany Lenertz, from West Michigan Works!;
  • Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss;
  • Kristen Brown, MD, Mercy Health and
  • Bill Pink, PhD, President of Grand Rapids Community College.

panelistsThe panelists and the interactive audience focused on topics such as

  • racial equity,
  • generational poverty and
  • student as well as family outreach regarding health care careers.

“My father passed away in 1995,” said Pink. “If he were to be sitting here today, he would be astounded that we are still talking about racial equity. He would ask, ‘You haven’t figured that out yet?'”

These conversations are only the beginning, and will set the stage for much work in the coming months and years.

From the dialogue during the initial Building Talent Bridges event in 2015, Mercy Health collaborated with several organizations to create the nation’s first Medical Assistant (MA) Apprenticeship Program, specially designed for people who have had a desire to become a medical assistant, but never had the resources or opportunity. The program graduated its first cohort December 2016, with the second cohort well underway.

Group shot, Bill Guest, Bill Pink, Shana Welch , Rosalynn Bliss, and others
Bill Guest, Bill Pink, PhD, Shana Welch, the Hon. Rosalynn Bliss with other presenters and audience members.

State’s First Emergency Neurological Life Support Course

What Advanced Cardiac Life Support is to the heart, ENLS is to the brain and spinal cord.

 Mercy Health Saint Mary’s hosted the state’s first live Emergency Neurological Life Support (ENLS) course on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

ENLS certification is a comprehensive, evidence-based program designed to help health care professionals improve patient care and outcomes during the first hours of a neurologic emergency. This class was designed for physicians, residents, APPs, nurses, pharmacists and paramedics. About 70 people participated.

“The purpose of the ENLS is to improve patient care, outcomes, and communication for those with acute neurological emergencies, when every second counts,” said Brandon Francis, MD, MPH, neuro-critical care provider at Mercy Health, and primary trainer for the ENLS course.

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Feedback from the event was overall positive:

  • This has been one of the most enjoyable CME experiences of my career.
  • Great course; I learned a lot. Excited to apply new knowledge! Thank you for supporting this course.
  • Fantastic course. Would love for this to be mandatory for all resident physicians.
  • Excellent resource. Would attend again and recommend without hesitation.

ENLS demonstrates a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach and provides a consistent set of protocols, practical checklists, decision points, and suggested communication. ENLS has been recommended by the Joint Commission as an important part of acute neurologic care and as continuing medical education (The Joint Commission. Standards FAQ Details. Web. 18 Apr. 2016). The ENLS certification is valid for two years.

Thanks to funding provided by the Saint Mary’s Foundation, Mercy Health chose to host a live educational course led by content experts to enable the facilitators to converse and answer questions in real-time with colleagues and community partners.

“ENLS is vital for not only those who treat emergent neurological issues, but also for the health of our patients throughout our community,” said Francis. “We are very pleased that this training has been so widely received by our clinicians and community partners.”

Due to the large amount of interest, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s plans to offer this ENLS course to the greater health care community in fall 2017.

 

Above & Beyond Award Luncheon Honors Eleven Mercy Health Muskegon Colleagues

Pictured above from left to right: Bob Corinti, Michelle Kooistra, Erin Hicks, Jeannie Rutherford, Jilliane Davis, Kate Eilers, Ronnie Davidson, Jamie Pickelsimer and Greg Loomis Not Pictured: Cody Kryfka, Don Hall and Paula Flores
Pictured above from left to right: Bob Corinti, Michelle Kooistra, Erin Hicks, Jeannie Rutherford, Jilliane Davis, Kate Eilers, Ronnie Davidson, Jamie Pickelsimer and Greg Loomis
Not Pictured: Cody Kryfka, Don Hall and Paula Flores

Eleven Mercy Health Muskegon colleagues — who  were nominated by their peers for exemplary service to patients and guests — were honored at the Above & Beyond luncheon in the Hackley Youngberg Auditorium on Friday, May 15. Several departments were represented, including security, receiving, nursing, case management, rehab, plant operations and laboratory.

President Greg Loomis acknowledged colleagues for their many acts of compassion, such as: organizing a Thanksgiving dinner for a patient and their extended family over the holiday weekend in the hospital; accompanying a grieving patient to a funeral visitation (because the patient was not well enough to attend alone); scraping a guest’s car windshields off in the winter…and shoveling pathways into our entrances; and recommending that a patient visit the ER due to fainting spells,  which ended up saving the patient’s life. These are just a few of the tremendous acts of transformational care that were shared during the program.

Mercy Health is committed to exceeding the expectations of those we serve. The Care of Colleagues Team will begin reviewing new nominations for the next Above & Beyond luncheon to take place later this year.

Jeannie Rutherford, Case Management

Nominated by Carol Frybarger

Standards Demonstrated: Respect, Responsiveness

On November 18, 2016, a veteran in the Mercy ER needed to be hospitalized in a VA facility. Jeannie tried to work with the VA system in Michigan through conventional methods. After the patient was in our ER for 2-1/2 days, Jeannie called Congressman Huizenga’s office who made some calls on our patient’s behalf. A bed became available and the patient was provided transportation to Ann Arbor to receive care at the VA hospital.

Jeannie advocated for a patient, using non-conventional methods, including calling Congressman Huizinga’s office to ensure this patient could transfer to an appropriate facility to receive the care he needed.

Jilliane Davis, 4 East

Nominated by Michelle Hester

Standards Demonstrated: Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

(Others who helped: Mandy Johnson, Linda Ward, Tina Ingersoll, Laurie Kohlbeck, Marlene Rogers, and Cary Gonzales)

A patient was in the hospital during Thanksgiving. He was a gentleman with a terminal diagnosis and this was undoubtedly to be his last Thanksgiving with family and friends. The patient was in a semi-private room and his family wanted to know if they could bring Thanksgiving dinner to him. Jilliane, and the other mentioned staff, provided the patient and 21 family and friends with a private room, table and enough seating for 21 people. Cary, the clinical leader on duty, procured a table and the rest of the staff found enough chairs and arranged the room to be comfortable for the patient and his visitors. The patient was so touched by this gesture, that he came back on December 1 and presented the staff with a lovely thank you card and holiday flowers for the unit.

Jamie Pickelsimer, Receiving

Nominated by Angela

Standards Demonstrated: Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

Jamie went out of her way to help track a package that was sent to a patient that was being discharged. She called multiple departments and kept the patient updated along the way. She continued her search until the package was found.

Ronnie Davidson, Security

Nominated by Jennifer Rak

Standards Demonstrated: Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

I originally heard about Ronnie from a patient, who goes in weekly to Mercy Campus on Sherman. The patient mentioned that almost every time she goes there, there is a security guard who is in good cheer, helpful and always has a smile on her face. She is easy to talk to and always willing to help. This patient, has a walker, and Ronnie has walked with her to the registration desk many times.

While talking to other employees, they knew about Ronnie from the second I mentioned her name. They stated that she is outgoing and friendly and always looking out for patients. They agree that Ronnie always has a positive attitude no matter what situation she is in. She offers help to the patients, their families and employees. Ronnie makes sure patients get to the right department, especially amidst the current construction.

What makes Ronnie “above and beyond” material isn’t just that she is friendly and kind, but that she actively seeks out each patient when they enter and asks how she can be of assistance to them. She brings contagious joy in her daily tasks, such as parking cars for patients or directing patients on where to go. She doesn’t simply do her job well, she does it with love. The people who are lucky enough to be around her, feel the love and effort that she puts into everything she does.

Bob Corinti, Security

Nominated by Debby Jaquith

Standards Demonstrated:  Appearance, Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

Bob is always friendly, personable and responsive with such positive energy while patrolling the back parking lots. Recently, he was noted to be brushing off patient’s cars and shoveling a path for them to the professional building on a particularly blustery day! I’m guessing that that is not in his job description, but another example of Bob going “above and beyond.”

Michelle Kooistra, Rehab

Nominated by Lisa Rose

Standards Demonstrated: Respect, Responsiveness, Courtesy

We had a patient on the rehab unit whose mother passed away on the day of her admission. The insurance company approved payment for Pro-Med to transport the patient to and from the visitation but the patient wasn’t safe to attend on her own. Michelle gave up her Sunday to accompany the patient to the visitation.

Cody Kryfka, Mercy ICU

Nominated by Amy Kelly

Standards Demonstrated: Respect, Responsiveness, Courtesy

Cody had a patient who came to the ICU after surgery. The patient’s belongings did not arrive with the patient. They had been left behind in the room where the patient had been in prior to surgery. The patient had called the florist to send flowers to his wife during the time he would be in surgery. Those flowers were also missing. Cody set out to find the belongings and the flowers. The belongings were found, but not the flowers — the patient’s wife had never seen the flowers that should have been delivered. Cody, himself, went and purchased a rose in a bud vase with a card that said “To my loving wife” and brought it to the couple. He “found” the flowers. The patient later contacted the florist and discovered that the florist had completely forgotten about the order and it was never delivered. The patient was so touched by Cody’s thoughtfulness and kindness.

Don Hall, Plant Operations

Nominated by Dan Russell

Standards Demonstrated: Appearance, Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

During one of our shut downs, our pneumatic tube system failed. We called in our experts to access the situation and were told we would need new hardware, software, etc. It would have cost us $19,800. Don didn’t take that recommendation at face value and took it upon himself to explore the problem. Don found the solution and fixed the problem costing us ZERO DOLLARS!

 Paula Flores, Mercy Laboratory

Nominated by Chris Halberda

Standards Demonstrated: Attitude, Responsiveness, Courtesy

Recently, Paula was collecting blood from a patient, who told Paula that she is a person who “doesn’t give up her blood easily.” During the venipuncture, the patient fainted. Paula immediately stopped the venipuncture to assist the patient. The patient became alert but had two more episodes of fainting. Paula kept her cool during all of this. The patient’s husband mentioned that the patient recently had an episode like this at home. When the patient became alert after the third episode, Paula recommended that she be evaluated in the ER. The patient had urinated on herself and didn’t want to comply because she was embarrassed. Paula got a patient gown from one of our patient change rooms and helped her clean up. The patient’s husband agreed that his wife needed to be evaluated. Between the husband and Paula’s insistence, the patient relented and agreed to go to the ER. Paula asked her husband to pull up their vehicle as she pushed the patient in a wheelchair to the front door to the pavilion. A week later, the patient called the pavilion to thank Paula for “saving her life.” The ER admitted the patient for a pacemaker placement that day.

Above & Beyond Award Luncheon Honors Eleven Mercy Health Muskegon Colleagues

Pictured above from left to right: Bob Corinti, Michelle Kooistra, Erin Hicks, Jeannie Rutherford, Jilliane Davis, Kate Eilers, Ronnie Davidson, Jamie Pickelsimer and Greg Loomis Not Pictured: Cody Kryfka, Don Hall and Paula Flores
Pictured above from left to right: Bob Corinti, Michelle Kooistra, Erin Hicks, Jeannie Rutherford, Jilliane Davis, Kate Eilers, Ronnie Davidson, Jamie Pickelsimer and Greg Loomis
Not Pictured: Cody Kryfka, Don Hall and Paula Flores

Eleven Mercy Health Muskegon colleagues — who  were nominated by their peers for exemplary service to patients and guests — were honored at the Above & Beyond luncheon in the Hackley Youngberg Auditorium on Friday, May 15. Several departments were represented, including security, receiving, nursing, case management, rehab, plant operations and laboratory.

President Greg Loomis acknowledged colleagues for their many acts of compassion, such as: organizing a Thanksgiving dinner for a patient and their extended family over the holiday weekend in the hospital; accompanying a grieving patient to a funeral visitation (because the patient was not well enough to attend alone); scraping a guest’s car windshields off in the winter…and shoveling pathways into our entrances; and recommending that a patient visit the ER due to fainting spells,  which ended up saving the patient’s life. These are just a few of the tremendous acts of transformational care that were shared during the program.

Mercy Health is committed to exceeding the expectations of those we serve. The Care of Colleagues Team will begin reviewing new nominations for the next Above & Beyond luncheon to take place later this year.

Jeannie Rutherford, Case Management

Nominated by Carol Frybarger

Standards Demonstrated: Respect, Responsiveness

On November 18, 2016, a veteran in the Mercy ER needed to be hospitalized in a VA facility. Jeannie tried to work with the VA system in Michigan through conventional methods. After the patient was in our ER for 2-1/2 days, Jeannie called Congressman Huizenga’s office who made some calls on our patient’s behalf. A bed became available and the patient was provided transportation to Ann Arbor to receive care at the VA hospital.

Jeannie advocated for a patient, using non-conventional methods, including calling Congressman Huizinga’s office to ensure this patient could transfer to an appropriate facility to receive the care he needed.

Jilliane Davis, 4 East

Nominated by Michelle Hester

Standards Demonstrated: Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

(Others who helped: Mandy Johnson, Linda Ward, Tina Ingersoll, Laurie Kohlbeck, Marlene Rogers, and Cary Gonzales)

A patient was in the hospital during Thanksgiving. He was a gentleman with a terminal diagnosis and this was undoubtedly to be his last Thanksgiving with family and friends. The patient was in a semi-private room and his family wanted to know if they could bring Thanksgiving dinner to him. Jilliane, and the other mentioned staff, provided the patient and 21 family and friends with a private room, table and enough seating for 21 people. Cary, the clinical leader on duty, procured a table and the rest of the staff found enough chairs and arranged the room to be comfortable for the patient and his visitors. The patient was so touched by this gesture, that he came back on December 1 and presented the staff with a lovely thank you card and holiday flowers for the unit.

Jamie Pickelsimer, Receiving

Nominated by Angela

Standards Demonstrated: Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

Jamie went out of her way to help track a package that was sent to a patient that was being discharged. She called multiple departments and kept the patient updated along the way. She continued her search until the package was found.

Ronnie Davidson, Security

Nominated by Jennifer Rak

Standards Demonstrated: Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

I originally heard about Ronnie from a patient, who goes in weekly to Mercy Campus on Sherman. The patient mentioned that almost every time she goes there, there is a security guard who is in good cheer, helpful and always has a smile on her face. She is easy to talk to and always willing to help. This patient, has a walker, and Ronnie has walked with her to the registration desk many times.

While talking to other employees, they knew about Ronnie from the second I mentioned her name. They stated that she is outgoing and friendly and always looking out for patients. They agree that Ronnie always has a positive attitude no matter what situation she is in. She offers help to the patients, their families and employees. Ronnie makes sure patients get to the right department, especially amidst the current construction.

What makes Ronnie “above and beyond” material isn’t just that she is friendly and kind, but that she actively seeks out each patient when they enter and asks how she can be of assistance to them. She brings contagious joy in her daily tasks, such as parking cars for patients or directing patients on where to go. She doesn’t simply do her job well, she does it with love. The people who are lucky enough to be around her, feel the love and effort that she puts into everything she does.

Bob Corinti, Security

Nominated by Debby Jaquith

Standards Demonstrated:  Appearance, Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

Bob is always friendly, personable and responsive with such positive energy while patrolling the back parking lots. Recently, he was noted to be brushing off patient’s cars and shoveling a path for them to the professional building on a particularly blustery day! I’m guessing that that is not in his job description, but another example of Bob going “above and beyond.”

Michelle Kooistra, Rehab

Nominated by Lisa Rose

Standards Demonstrated: Respect, Responsiveness, Courtesy

We had a patient on the rehab unit whose mother passed away on the day of her admission. The insurance company approved payment for Pro-Med to transport the patient to and from the visitation but the patient wasn’t safe to attend on her own. Michelle gave up her Sunday to accompany the patient to the visitation.

Cody Kryfka, Mercy ICU

Nominated by Amy Kelly

Standards Demonstrated: Respect, Responsiveness, Courtesy

Cody had a patient who came to the ICU after surgery. The patient’s belongings did not arrive with the patient. They had been left behind in the room where the patient had been in prior to surgery. The patient had called the florist to send flowers to his wife during the time he would be in surgery. Those flowers were also missing. Cody set out to find the belongings and the flowers. The belongings were found, but not the flowers — the patient’s wife had never seen the flowers that should have been delivered. Cody, himself, went and purchased a rose in a bud vase with a card that said “To my loving wife” and brought it to the couple. He “found” the flowers. The patient later contacted the florist and discovered that the florist had completely forgotten about the order and it was never delivered. The patient was so touched by Cody’s thoughtfulness and kindness.

Don Hall, Plant Operations

Nominated by Dan Russell

Standards Demonstrated: Appearance, Attitude, Respect, Responsiveness, Communication, Courtesy

During one of our shut downs, our pneumatic tube system failed. We called in our experts to access the situation and were told we would need new hardware, software, etc. It would have cost us $19,800. Don didn’t take that recommendation at face value and took it upon himself to explore the problem. Don found the solution and fixed the problem costing us ZERO DOLLARS!

 Paula Flores, Mercy Laboratory

Nominated by Chris Halberda

Standards Demonstrated: Attitude, Responsiveness, Courtesy

Recently, Paula was collecting blood from a patient, who told Paula that she is a person who “doesn’t give up her blood easily.” During the venipuncture, the patient fainted. Paula immediately stopped the venipuncture to assist the patient. The patient became alert but had two more episodes of fainting. Paula kept her cool during all of this. The patient’s husband mentioned that the patient recently had an episode like this at home. When the patient became alert after the third episode, Paula recommended that she be evaluated in the ER. The patient had urinated on herself and didn’t want to comply because she was embarrassed. Paula got a patient gown from one of our patient change rooms and helped her clean up. The patient’s husband agreed that his wife needed to be evaluated. Between the husband and Paula’s insistence, the patient relented and agreed to go to the ER. Paula asked her husband to pull up their vehicle as she pushed the patient in a wheelchair to the front door to the pavilion. A week later, the patient called the pavilion to thank Paula for “saving her life.” The ER admitted the patient for a pacemaker placement that day.

Muskegon Stroke Survivors and Mercy Health Colleagues Celebrate Support Group’s One Year Anniversary

Front row Diane Madej, Issa Cook Middle : Donna Pusis, Pam Six, Ming Chu, Betty German, Bernie Berntson Last : Lisa Schanhals, Sally Mack, Sarah Williams, Herb Graupner
Front row Diane Madej, Issa Cook
Middle : Donna Pusis, Pam Six, Ming Chu, Betty German, Bernie Berntson
Last : Lisa Schanhals, Sally Mack, Sarah Williams, Herb Graupner

A year ago, these stroke patients couldn’t have imagined the positive impact a support group would mean for their healing and long-term well-being. Thanks to Becky Toney, Neuro Science Nurse Navigator — whose vision for a support group became a reality a year ago — Mercy Health stroke patients along the lakeshore have a lot to celebrate. Toney describes her time with patients at the support group as “one of the best parts of my job.”

The monthly Stroke Support Group on the Mercy Health Muskegon Mercy Campus offers a way for stroke patients to support one another, learn more about their condition and see their medical care providers outside of the hospital, Mercy Health/Mary Free Bed Acute Rehab Unit and office visits. Family members are welcome, and at the one-year anniversary celebrated on May 9, many caregivers attended the celebration as well.

Amid colorful balloons, delicious food, beverages and cake, this lively group feasted on what they have come to enjoy the most: each other’s company. Here is what several support group members had to say about their experiences:

Issa Cook: “I look forward to this support group because I have made friends here. I made friends with the therapists and the nurses that took care of me at the hospital. Getting reunited with them once a month really feels good for me.”

Pam Six: “I want to thank all of the girls and Becky for all the support they have given us…and the doctors that have come. I didn’t understand what I went through until I came to the support group.”

Sally Mack: “It is amazing…a year ago I didn’t know my name or how to get dressed. I get better all the time. I think probably the most important thing I’ve learned is my ‘new normal.’ I don’t have to go back to being exactly who I was with my ‘old normal.'”

Donna Puisir: “There are people here that I know, and I didn’t realize that stroke was so common. I’m not alone. I always associated stroke with older people.”

Diane Madej: “The stroke support group is a major part of my new lifeline. My life changed six months ago, and this has been a wonderful community…and a chance to see some of the therapists who are absolutely amazing. They gave me my life back.”

Bernie Bernston: “Cathy [his wife] has had more to deal with than I have. I just pretty much hung out and my brain started healing, but she still doing all the work. So I think caregivers deserve a round of applause.”

To learn more about Mercy Health’s free stroke support group, please call 231.672.6501.

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Mercy Health Muskegon Participates in the National Safety Stand-Down with Christman Co. and MIOSHA

MIOSHA photoOn Monday, May 8, 2017, Mercy Health Muskegon, The Christman Company and MIOSHA partnered to observe the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

According to MIOSHA, falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers in the state and the nation. Between 2010 and 2014, 41 percent of the fatalities in Michigan’s construction industry consisted of falls. Mercy Health Muskegon was pleased to be a partner for this importance awareness event.

A luncheon was held on the site of the new Mercy Health Muskegon medical center, where guests (contract laborers, construction colleagues, Christman staff, and Mercy Health leadership) gathered to hear remarks regarding the importance of safety on the job. Lon Morrison, senior director of facilities for Mercy Health, spoke about the “culture of safety” at Mercy Health and how important it is to the ongoing construction of the new medical center project.