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Health Care News

Grace Health’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application Approved by FCC

By | Health Care News

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau approved Grace Health’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application today, July 1.  Grace Health will use the awarded funds of $574,594 for telecommunications equipment, patient portal, laptop computers, a telehealth platform and network upgrades to increase access to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which is authorized by the CARES Act, has approved 514 funding applications in 46 states plus Washington D.C. for a total of $189.27 million in funding.

Grace Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center and has been providing health care to Calhoun County residents since 1989.  In 2019, more than 134,500 visits were scheduled for just over 31,000 patients.  Grace Health is pleased to receive funding from FCC to make improvements to telehealth / telecommunications which will help to increase access to needed care in the community especially during the pandemic.

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MDHHS Announces New Partnership With Community Health Centers

By | Health Care News

Community health centers will operate new drive-thru testing locations, provide care to residents referred from COVID-19 hotline

 Battle Creek, Mich. — Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun announced a new partnership with community health centers designed to expand testing capabilities, refer patients to care, and relieve overburdened hospitals.

Grace Health will work alongside the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to stand up and operate a new drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 at Grace Health, 181 West Emmett Street, Battle Creek, MI.  The site will be open to all local residents starting April 10, 2020, from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Interested individuals should call (269) 441-3463 and talk with a nurse to receive further direction.

In addition to supporting widespread testing efforts, Michiganders who call the state’s COVID-19 hotline and need a referral to a provider will be directed to their local community health center. Community health centers provide care to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. They can stabilize people with chronic conditions, helping to keep them out of the emergency department, and they can treat those who may need medical attention but don’t meet the criteria for hospitalization.

“This pandemic poses extraordinary challenges to our health centers, but they’re challenges we’re prepared to meet,” said Dennis Litos, interim chief executive officer of the Michigan Primary Care Association, which represents community health centers in Michigan. “We’re incredibly proud of the care community health centers are providing during this crisis, and we will continue to serve on the frontlines of COVID-19 relief efforts.”

To learn more about how community health centers in Michigan are responding to COVID-19, visit https://bit.ly/CHCResponse.

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Grace Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center and has been serving residents in Calhoun County since 1986.  Our services include:  Family Practice, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, Optometry/Vision Care, Physical Therapy, Podiatry and Pharmacy.  To learn more about Grace Health or to ask questions, visit our website at www.gracehealthmi.org or call us at 269-965-8866.

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Caring for Someone with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19

By | Health Care News

If you are living with or caring for someone who is ill with confirmed or possible COVID-19, there are steps you can take to help the sick person and prevent spread of the disease.

  • Caregivers should monitor their health and call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (for example fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath).
  • Make sure you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider. If the patient has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that the patient possibly has, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
  • Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.  If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets. For more information, see COVID-19 and Animals.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The patient should wear a facemask when around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), the caregiver should wear a mask when they are in the same room as the patient.
  • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine.
    • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse.
    • When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the patient. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly (see below “Wash laundry thoroughly”).
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    • Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
    • In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.

Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

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Grace Health Receives Book Donation

By | Health Care News

During the months of November and December 2019, Barnes & Noble had a book drive to collect books for Grace Health’s Reach Out and Read / Early Literacy Program.  Through Barnes & Nobles’ efforts and the generosity of several community members, Grace Health received a total of 1,725 new books!  The donation not only included books for the Reach Out and Read Program, but it also included several chapter books for Grace Health’s Little Libraries located in the waiting areas.

Through Grace Health’s Reach Out and Read / Early Literacy Program new, age-appropriate books are given to children 6 months – 5 years of age by the provider during the well-child visit.  The provider explains to the parent/guardian the importance of reading to/with a child – linking health care to literacy.  Research done by the National Reach Out and Read shows that children who are read to more often have improved language skills and listening skills.  They also experience strong emotional connections with their loved ones and gain a love of reading.  (www.reachoutandread.org)

Grace Health’s Reach Out and Read, Early Literacy Program started in 2004 to help patients with more than just medical concerns.  Through the continued generosity of community members and organizations like Barnes & Noble, Grace Health has provided more than 54,400 books to children since the start of the program.

Grace Health thanks Barnes & Noble and all the community members who participated in the book drive.  This gift of books is appreciated by Grace Health’s staff and patients.  Thank you for partnering with Grace Health to provide books for the younger members in our community.  Together we can make a difference!

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Grace Health Welcomes Daniel Buehler, PA-C

By | Health Care News

Grace Health welcomes Daniel Buehler, PA-C to its Family Practice team.  Daniel has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biomedical Science and a minor in Chemistry.  He also has a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Western Michigan University.

Daniel likes being a Physician Assistant since it gives him the opportunity to serve, teach, be a team member, and continually learn.  He also likes developing relationships with patients as a provider while having the resources of his collaborating physician and other Advance Practice Provider colleagues. Daniel stated, “No matter what you do in the field of medicine there is always something more to learn.  It is a never-ending quest for knowledge to better serve and care for your patients; there is not room for complacency which I love.”

He also has a passion for the outdoors and environmental educations.  When is he not working, Daniel may be hunting, fishing or playing a sport, such as, basketball or golf.

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Grace Health Welcomes Danielle Smith

By | Health Care News

Grace Health welcomes Danielle Smith, LPC, CAADC, NCC to its Behavioral Health team.  Danielle was born and raised in Detroit, MI. She moved to Kalamazoo to obtain her master’s degree at Western Michigan University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has over 4 years of experience in the counseling field. Danielle is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor.  Danielle on a communal level serves on the Physical and Mental Health Committee.

Danielle has a desire to help others and be a listening ear to those who may feel they have no one.  She likes to help others improve their life in a manner that makes them happy.  Danielle enjoys a balanced life.  Although she likes to work, she also likes to have fun.  Danielle stated, “Laughter heals the soul, so I laugh a lot.”

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Grace Health Welcomes Dr. Liu, Vice President/CMO

By | Health Care News

Grace Health welcomes Sheng Liu, MD as the new Vice President/ Chief Medical Officer.  Not only is she serving as the Vice President/CMO, but she is also seeing Family Practice patients.  Prior to coming to Battle Creek, Dr. Liu practiced as a family medicine provider in Cleveland, Ohio for almost 22 years.  She practiced the full spectrum of family medicine including obstetrics and outpatient/inpatient medicine.  She has also served in various leadership roles for 11 years including Associate Residency Director, Residency Program Director, Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for a Federally Qualified Health Center.  She is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

She received her medical degree through Capital Medical University in China and received her Family Medicine Residency Training with Case Western Reserve University.  She is Board Certified through the American Board of Family Medicine.  Dr. Liu is an Assistant Professor with Case Western University Medical School. She served as a Board member of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) and is seeking to join the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians in the near future.

Dr. Liu chose to become a family medicine provider since it allows her to see patients of all ages and treat multiple diseases.  Her greatest passion is helping people improve their health and their lives.  By being a Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Liu believes she can make a contribution to providers and clinical staffs’ engagement and job satisfaction which ultimately leads to a better patient experience and outcome.

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Grace Health’s Reach Out and Read Program Receives Gift from Women of Impact

By | Health Care News

Nancy Durkee from Women of Impact presented Sariem Am, DNP, CPNP-PC/AC of Grace Health checks from Women of Impact for Grace Health’s Reach Out and Read / Early Literacy Program.  Through this program new, age-appropriate books are given to children 6 months – 5 years of age by the provider during their well-child visit.  The provider explains to the parent/guardian the importance of reading to/with a child – linking health care to literacy.

Grace Health’s Reach Out and Read, Early Literacy Program started in 2004.  Through the continued generosity of organizations like Women of Impact, Grace Health has provided more than 54,400 books to children since the start of the program.

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