Working from Home During COVID-19

Working at a computer work station all day can take a toll on the body. Repetitive activities and lack of mobility can contribute to aches, pains and eventual injuries.

Sitting at a desk while using the keyboard for hours on a day to day basis can result in poor circulation to joints and muscles. It can also create an imbalance in strength and flexibility of certain muscles and muscle strain. These issues can be easily remedied by taking frequent short breaks, or “micro breaks,” throughout your day.

  • Get out of your chair several times a day and move around—even for 30 seconds
  • Roll your shoulders backwards
  • Turn your head side to side
  • Stretch out your forearms and your legs

Additionally, specific guidelines for your work station can help maximize your comfort and safety.

Your chair should have the following:

  • Wheels (5 for better mobility)
  • The ability to twist freely on its base
  • Adjustable height
  • Adjustable arm rests that will allow you to sit close to your desk
  • Lumbar support
  • Seat base that adjusts to a comfortable angle and allows you to sit up straight

The position of the keyboard is critical:

  • The keyboard should be at a height that allows you to have your forearms slightly below a horizontal line—or your elbows at slightly more than a 90-degree angle.
  • You should be able to slide your knees under the keyboard tray or desk.
  • Avoid reaching for the keyboard by extending your arms or raising your shoulders.
  • Try to avoid having the keyboard on top of your desk. That is too high for almost everyone—unless you can raise your seat. The elbow angle is the best test of keyboard position.

The position of your computer monitor is important:

  • The monitor should be directly in front of you.
  • The top of the monitor should be at your eye level, and at a distance where you can see it clearly without squinting, or leaning forward or backward.
  • If you need glasses for reading, you may need to have a special pair for use at your computer to avoid tipping your head backward to see through bifocals or other types of reading glasses.


Hospitals very grateful for the outpouring of help from community

(March 23, 2020) – Mercy Health, with hospitals in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, announced plans to accept much-needed hospital supplies from area businesses and the community to support Mercy Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Accepted supplies will include:

  • Masks & face shields
  • N-95 and CAPR masks
  • ISO (Isolation) gowns
  • Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) supplies
  • Disinfectant wipes (Lysol or Clorox)
  • Hand sanitizer

In addition, commercially prepared and packaged food items will be accepted.

At this time, health guidelines do not allow the use of hand-crafted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gowns, surgical masks and shields as they do not offer the same protection for nurses and other health care workers.

Donors are asked to contact Angela Paasche at  616-685-1426 (Grand Rapids donations) or Claudine Weber at or 231-672-3896 (Muskegon donations) to coordinate a donation of supplies.


About Mercy Health

Mercy Health is a regional, multi-campus, Catholic health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with four hospital campuses, more than 90 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and more than 9,000 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty medical group, employs more than 700 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health has annual operating revenues of about $1.4 billion and returns about $80 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs. Mercy Health, a member of Trinity Health, is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at

Statement from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health on Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order

CANTON and GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 23, 2020) — “We support the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order in an effort to continue to blunt the spread of COVID-19 and prevent hospitals across the state from becoming overwhelmed. We have some of the finest health care systems in the country here in Michigan, but we are in unprecedented territory and hospitals are feeling the strain.

We appreciate that the Governor has worked very closely with the health care community to gain real-time assessments of the activity across all of our health care facilities in order to develop guidance.  All of the health systems across the state are in regular daily communication with each other, along with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to manage this pandemic in a very coordinated effort.  St. Joe’s and Mercy Health, as part of national health system Trinity Health, are working diligently to keep patients safe and protected, and remain committed to providing excellent care to our community in the midst of this outbreak.”

–Rob Casalou, president and CEO, Trinity Health Michigan

The Governor’s order can be found here.

About Trinity Health Michigan 

Trinity Health Michigan is a leading health care provider and one of the state’s largest employers. With more than 24,000 full-time employees serving numerous counties, Trinity Health  Michigan is composed of eight hospitals, including the five hospitals of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System located in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Howell, Livonia and Pontiac, and the three-hospital Mercy Health, operating in Grand Rapids and Muskegon. The health system has 2,348 beds and 3,400 physicians. With operating revenues of $3.4 billion, Trinity Health Michigan returns $195 million back to their local communities each year. Together with numerous ambulatory care locations, three home health agencies, one hospice agency and 17 senior living communities owned and/or operated by Trinity Health, Trinity Health Michigan provides the full continuum of care for Michigan residents.

Nationally, Trinity Health is among the country’s largest Catholic health care systems. Based in Livonia, Michigan, with operations in 22 states, Trinity Health employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,500 physicians and clinicians. The system has annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion, assets of nearly $27 billion, and returns about $1.2 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. For more information, visit

Healthy and Simple Recipes that are Easy to Freeze and Store

Are you in need of healthy and delicious recipes for you and your family while restaurants are not an option? Mercy Health Registered Dietitian Amy Bragganini has three recipes that are simple to make, utilize just a few ingredients and are easy to freeze and store.

baked enchiladas of rolled corn tortillas

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This recipe is so nice because you can use two frozen chicken breasts and makes enough to have meals for days. It also freezes beautifully.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (can use dry cilantro as well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced and 1 avocado diced (these are optional)


  1. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. Stir in chicken broth, quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, or until liquid is reduced.
  3. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
  4. Stir chicken into the slow cooker; top with cheeses. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with avocado and tomato, if desired.


Frittata made of eggs, potato, bacon, paprika, parsley, green peas

Anything Goes Frittata

For this recipe, you can use whatever you have around your house. For every six eggs, use 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup cheese and 2 cups total of vegetables and/or meat.


  • 6 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream/whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon (8 ounces), chopped (optional)
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach (2 ounces)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme leaves (use less if dried)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar (optional)


  1. Heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs and cream together. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon. Place the bacon in a cold 10- to 12-inch nonstick oven-safe frying pan or cast-iron skillet, then turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (If omitting the bacon, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet, then proceed with adding the potatoes).
  4. Saute the potatoes in bacon fat. Return the pan to medium heat, add the potatoes and sprinkle with the pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Wilt the spinach with the garlic and thyme. Pile the spinach into the pan with the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.
  6. Add the cheese. Spread the vegetables into an even layer, flattening with a spatula. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
  8. Bake the frittata for 8 to 10 minutes. Bake until the eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. For a browned, crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.
  9. Cool and serve. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.


Dried Cranberry and Oat Energy Balls

Oat/Peanut Butter Bites

Ingredients (for 6 servings)

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chip, optional
  • salt, to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Use a spoon or tablespoon to evenly divide the mixture into 6 balls. Use your hands to form the ball.
  4. Enjoy one now and save the rest for later by storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health and Spectrum Health Announce New Visitor Restrictions

Following Executive Order 2020-6 from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Grand Rapids and Wyoming, Mich., March 15, 2020 –Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health and Spectrum Health have revised their visitor policies to align with a new executive order from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The additional restrictions are intended to prevent the spread of illness and protect patients, health care workers and our communities.

Starting Monday, March 16, restricted/no visitors will be allowed at any locations (hospitals, outpatient locations and long-term care facilities) for all local health care systems. For special circumstances, one approved visitor will be allowed in situations involving patients undergoing surgery and pediatric, maternity, end of life or critically ill patients.

More information about visitor restrictions at local hospitals can be found here:

Mercy Health:

Metro Health-Michigan Medicine Health:

Spectrum Health:

About Mercy Health

Mercy Health is a regional, multi-campus, Catholic health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with four hospital campuses, more than 90 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and more than 9,000 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty medical group, employs more than 700 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health has annual operating revenues of about $1.4 billion and returns about $80 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs. Mercy Health, a member of Trinity Health, is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at

About Metro Health – University of Michigan Health

As an affiliate of University of Michigan Health, Metro Health provides a world-class system of leading-edge healthcare services with its patient-centric, holistic approach. The 208-bed hospital anchors Metro Health Village in Wyoming, Michigan, serving more than 250,000 patients annually. More than 61,000 emergency patients are treated each year at the hospital, a Verified Level II Trauma Center. Primary and specialty care services are provided at 30 locations throughout West Michigan. More than 500 staff physicians provide state-of-the-art treatment for a full array of health needs, including for cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke and trauma. As a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center and accredited Chest Pain Center, Metro Health provides specialty services that include neurosciences, pulmonology, gastroenterology, cardiology, endocrinology, OB/GYN, bariatrics, orthopedics and wound care. In 2019, Metro Health was the only Grand Rapids area hospital included among the “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association of Business Resources. The hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness through the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, Live Healthy community outreach classes and educational programs. For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @MetroHealthGr and like the hospital on

About Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,500 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to

offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 155 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Mercy Health Enacts Visitor Restrictions in Response to COVID-19

Grand Rapids, Mich. (March 12, 2020) – Mercy Health has announced new hospital visitor restrictions, effective immediately, in our efforts to help limit the potential spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease).

The health and well-being of our patients, their families, and of the communities we serve is our top priority. In accordance with this, we are following the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 recommendations and are acting with an abundance of caution to ensure we do not elevate the risk of exposure to the virus for our colleagues, physicians, patients or community members.

In order to accommodate this guidance, effective immediately, Mercy Health is instituting the following visitor restrictions:

  • One visitor per patient at a time
  • No visitors under 14 years of age
  • Do not visit if you are sick

All visitors should:

  • Wash their hands with soap and water frequently, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Use a tissue to cover any coughs and sneezes
  • Assess their own health, and if at risk for illness or have any symptoms, stay home

For up-to-date information, visit

It’s a GEM®!

Have you seen the new electric shuttle on the Mercy Campus? It is the Volunteer Services’ Polaris GEM® scooting around the campus bringing patients and visitors up to the hospital and back to their vehicles.

“It arrived on Tuesday, February 25,” said Kathy Daly, manager of Volunteer Services, “and we put it into service right away. With the construction at the Mercy Campus, and the walk to the front door for patients and visitors from the parking lots, it is essential.”

With a top speed of 25 mph, the GEM® is a highly rated, six-passenger shuttle with heat, windshield wipers, visors, and all the bells and whistles.

We are honored to share that this $26,000 shuttle was fully funded through philanthropy and our annual Wish List program. Each year, the Volunteer Board selects equipment, technology and services to fund from the proceeds of the volunteer sales, the Gift Shoppes, and the Lobbyside Café. When the idea of the GEM® shuttle was proposed, it was among several items they were excited to fund this year.

The previous volunteer shuttle was an open, gas-operated golf cart known for frequent breakdowns and costly repairs. It is now out of service.

It is easy to spot the GEM® on the Mercy Campus. The Marketing Department created a colorful, eye-catching graphic wrap, making it bright and cheery. It is an effective moving billboard for recruiting more volunteers.

The volunteer shuttle drivers are raving about it. They no longer need to bundle up in the winter. It is a classy unit, one they are proud to drive. On the fourth day in service, the shuttle driver picked up nearly 100 people during a 4.5 hour shift, which is about as many as they would pick up in a full week.

Currently, there are five volunteer drivers who cover the Monday through Friday morning shifts. Eventually, Volunteer Services hopes to cover two shifts per day. If you know of someone who is interested in volunteering, please contact Volunteer Services at 231-728-4711.

“We are so proud to be able to support this unit, and give our guests, patients and their family members a better experience,” said Daly. “Without the support and dedication of our volunteers and our colleagues, this vehicle would not have been possible.”

Many other Wish List items were recently purchased for Mercy Health Muskegon. We thank our colleagues and community for your continued support of the Gift Shoppes, Volunteer Sales and the Lobby Side Café! This is Philanthropy at Work!

Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of Michigan and Spectrum Health Work Together to Prepare for COVID-19

Grand Rapids and Wyoming, Mich., March 9, 2020 – Officials from the Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of Michigan and Spectrum Health are in contact with each other, as well as state and federal agencies, to coordinate preparedness efforts for COVID-19 in West Michigan.

The three health systems have implemented healthy visitor restrictions, which encourage community members to stay home when they are sick and wait until they are healthy to visit.

All three area health systems, as well as the health department, are also encouraging community members and employees to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times.

Each organization stresses that staying home when you are sick and washing your hands often are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other communicable diseases. They also encourage everyone to cover their cough, clean frequently touched surfaces often with a sanitizing wipe or cleanser and avoid close contact with people who are sick. People should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and should stay home from work, school or social gatherings when they are sick.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may be mild or severe and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you are experiencing symptoms, officials recommend that you call your health care provider and advise them if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

International Women’s Day 2020 Reflection

International Women’s Day (IWD), Sunday, celebrates the strength, courage and challenges of women and dares us to promote ways to ensure the dignity of all women and support them to live life to the full.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25

The Good News: With God enveloping us in love and strength, we have absolutely no reason to fear for the future.

IWD is about equity in equality. The IWD website states, “An equal world is an enabled world. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

This effort is not for one group or one gender. Rather, it is the collective effort of all who are about human rights. They suggest these six areas of focus for this entire calendar year.

  • Champion women forging tech innovation
  • Applaud equality for women athletes
  • Forge inclusive workplaces so women thrive
  • Increase visibility for women creatives
  • Empower women through health education
  • Support women to earn on their own terms

Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

Submitted by Kelly Herron, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland


Prayer service from the Sisters of Mercy in recognition of International Women’s Day:

#IWD2020 #EachforEqual

“Revolution in Headache Medicine” Gives Meagan Her Life Back

Meagan Terwee has improved her “headache days” and has changed her life.

Living with chronic migraine for as long as she can remember, Meagan Terwee’s life has been changed dramatically through “revolutionary medicine,” thanks to her persistence and the Neurologist Emily Johnson, MD, at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.

As a child, Terwee would get off the school bus with a headache.

“I would ask myself, ‘okay, how can I deal with this?’” Terwee lived day by day, experiencing 20 to 25 “headache days” each month.

Terwee continued with this way of life until eight years ago, when she finally confessed to her obstetrician that she had been having migraines nearly every day.

“Every day? Why didn’t you say anything?” Terwee recalled how her doctor was incredulous.

“Part of my keeping it secret was a way that I was managing the pain and dealing with it,” said Terwee. If ever she opened up to anyone about the pain, nausea and other issues the migraines were causing her, she was often approached with “unhelpful advice.”

“Everyone was just trying to be helpful, but their asking, ‘have you been drinking any water?’ or ‘have you taken any Ibuprofen?’ was not helping me, it would just make me more frustrated,” said Terwee. “Being a woman, hormones could trigger a migraine. Weather would trigger a migraine. Bright, fluorescent lights would trigger a migraine.”

After several years of trial and error with different medications and techniques, Terwee was referred by her primary care physician, Andrea Landon, DO, to Johnson at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.

Yoga has been a passion of Meagan Terwee, who now feels well enough to do yoga.

“The pain was such a big problem, so we were trying different things, like Botox,” said Terwee, who at first found relief through the injections she received once every three months. Gradually, the Botox stopped working for her.

“Botox has a cumulative effect and cuts ‘headache days’ in half for about three-fourths of migraine patients after three rounds of treatments,” said Johnson, who was open to trying and learning what worked for Terwee.

A “revolution in headache medications” finally gave Terwee her life back.

“In May 2018, Aimovig received FDA approval, which was the first of a new class of medications called CGRP inhibitors,” said Johnson.

According to the American Migraine Association, “CGRP stands for calcitonin gene-related peptide, and it is a protein that is released around the brain. When CGRP is released, it causes intense inflammation in the coverings of the brain (the meninges), and for most migraine patients, causes the pain of a migraine attack.”

“Anyone who suffers from migraines should take another look at their medications,” said Johnson, “and they don’t have to live in pain, even if they don’t have as drastic of migraines as Meagan.”

A single mom of a 10-year-old daughter, Terwee has been given her life back with Aimovig and the guidance of Johnson. There are no interactions with other drugs, “and it’s a once-monthly injection, super easy to administer,” according to Terwee.

Other big changes for Terwee include her physical activity. Now she is able to run again and do yoga, both of which are passions of hers. She is registered to run a half marathon in April 2020, the Gazelle Girl, and is registered for the 25K during the Amway River Bank Run in May 2020.

Meagan is training for races throughout the entire spring and summer 2020.

Due to all the exercise and feeling better, Terwee has lost 90 pounds in just 14 months.

“Before, when I was having so many migraines, you don’t feel like working out because you are just managing the pain, and trying to get through day-to-day life.

“Now I have my life back.”

If you suffer from headaches and would like to see if you can be helped, please visit the Mercy Health Hauenstein Headache clinic website: