Healthcare News

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 Prepares for Coronavirus

By | Health Care News

Updated March 30, 2020:

  • Grace Health has begun providing telemedicine visits to  our patients in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A provider is able to speak with you using your smart phone or computer. If the provider is unable to obtain as much physical exam information as is needed to diagnose your problem, they will refer you to be seen by one of our on-site providers at Grace Health.  Need instructions on how to join your zoom (telehealth) visit?  Click here for more information.
  • We are screening everyone prior to entering the building for COVID-19. If you have any symptom of respiratory illness (cold, influenza, or COVID-19), a nurse will evaluate the severity of your symptoms. If you have mild symptoms, we will provide you with education about caring for yourself at home. If you have more severe symptoms, a provider will evaluate you using telemedicine and determine if you can safely care for yourself at home, or if you need to be seen by one of our on-site providers or in the emergency department.
  • Bronson’s Family Medicine practice is providing drive-up COVID-19 testing to those people who meet state-approved criteria. Persons seeking testing may call a Bronson Care Advisor at (269) 341-7788. The Care Advisor will determine over the phone if the person meets the current screening criteria for testing. If they do, the Care Advisor will schedule an appointment for them to go for specimen collection.
  • Our hours of operation will be from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.
  • Grace Health Pharmacy is also open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.  Please arrive before 5:00 pm to pick up your prescription.
  • The Albion Dental office is closed until COVID-19 is no longer the threat it is today.  We have been calling patients to cancel appointments scheduled for the next few weeks.
  • The Battle Creek Dental office will be closed; however, a dentist will be available for urgent problems only (examples–severe tooth pain, emergency tooth removals, possible abscesses). This will be in effect until further notice, based on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We have cancelled medical and dental walk-in hours.  Please call for a same-day telemedicine appointment: 269-965-8866.
  • Adults being seen on-site at Grace Health should not bring any visitor unless they need help walking or are developmentally delayed. One parent may accompany a child/children, however children who are not being seen for a visit should not enter the building. We request that extra visitors wait in their vehicle. This is for the safety of our patients and staff as many people will be infected without having any symptoms now that COVID is in our community. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Our goal is to minimize the number of trips you make to the pharmacy; some prescriptions may be filled earlier than usual.  If you are a Grace Health patient and need medications refilled, we may be able to send a refill without seeing you for an office visit until COVID-19 is over.
    • Please allow 72 hours for the medication to be refilled.
    • You can use our patient portal to request a refill several days before you run out of your medication as it may take longer to refill medications.
    • If you use Grace Health Pharmacy to fill your prescriptions, you can refill your medications directly by calling 269-441-6774 (no need to call the medication refill number).
    • If you are a Grace Health patient and are not currently using the Grace Health Pharmacy, and are having problems getting your medications filled, you may leave a message for a nurse on our medication refill number at 269-441-6819.
    • Call Grace Health Pharmacy at 269-441-6774 to confirm prescriptions are ready before traveling to Grace Health.
    • When you come to Grace Health to pick up your prescription, we will deliver it to your vehicle.

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and a national emergency by President Trump. Grace Health is working hard to keep our patients, staff, and community safe from COVID-19. We are working with state and local health experts to ensure that we are following the most current recommendations for screening, testing, and treatment of patients who may have symptoms of COVID-19 or been exposed to someone with the disease.

We encourage all our patients to Call Us First before going to the emergency department, unless you are having a life-threatening emergency. Our nurses and providers can help decide if you can be safely treated at home, or if you should be seen in our office or the emergency room.

Symptoms of COVID-19 usually include:

  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever

If you are sick, you should STAY HOME. Don’t go to work, the grocery store, or any place where you might spread your illness to others.  Stock up on essential supplies like food and medicines before you become ill, so you don’t have to leave home. You can obtain more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/caring-for-yourself-at-home.html.

People with certain conditions are at high risk for severe problems if they become ill with COVID-19. These conditions include:

  • Age 65 years or older
  • Chronic lung diseases (COPD, emphysema, etc.)
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco use
  • Conditions that weaken the immune system (cancer, diabetes, HIV, etc.)

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you have any of these high risk conditions, contact your primary care provider’s office to find out if you should be tested or seen in an emergency room.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately.  Emergency warning signs include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

* This list is not all inclusive.  Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Because this is a rapidly changing pandemic, we may need to adjust our response as the situation changes. Check our website frequently for updates: www.gracehealthmi.org .

For more information about COVID-19, see links below: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

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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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Physician Assistant

By | Uncategorized

Grace Health is seeking a knowledgeable Physician Assistant to join our growing team! This individual will provide primary and/or urgent health care to patients of all ages throughout their lifespan, following standards and practices. Graduate of an accredited Physician Assistant program and eligible for or currently certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Two years of experience preferred. Current Michigan license as a PA or PA-C, current DEA and BCLS certification required.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to recruiting@gracehealthmi.org or fax to (269) 441-1265.

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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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Grace Health Staff Receive CCMA

By | Health Care News

Grace Health staff, Bradly Kirkbride, Kalyn Gable, Sha’Kyra Prather, Amanda Nichols, Jordan Norman, Britteny Morris, Katrina Christiansen, and Sierra Spooner successfully completed Grace Health’s Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program and received certification as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).

Grace Health’s Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program is provided through a partnership with Career Step and Michigan Works.  Career Step, an online provider of career-focused education and professional training, provides online training for Grace Health employees who would like to become medical assistants. Michigan Works provides services and support to Michigan’s workforce development system.  Grace Health provides the tools for people to become successful and Michigan Works and the YOU (Youth Opportunities Unlimited) Program will try to help them get a paying job.

It takes Grace Health staff 6 – 7 months to complete the program and be eligible to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) national certification exam. The Grace Health Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program offers class time as well as hands-on training and clinical experience all designed to equip employees to function as medical assistants. During training, staff are being paid an hourly wage and receive benefits – making it the only medical assistant training program in our area in which people are paid while they learn.  The next program will begin in October 2019.

Grace Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center and has been serving Calhoun County since 1986, providing care to 1 in 4 County residents.  Just over 133,000 services were provided in 2018 for almost 32,000 patients, averaging about 500 new patients each month.  Approximately 70% of patients seen at Grace Health either have Medicaid or are uninsured.  Grace Health employs just over 340 staff.

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Grace Health Receives Michigan Primary Care Association Data Hygiene & Validation Award

By | Health Care News

Grace Health was awarded the Michigan Primary Care Association Data Hygiene & Validation award at the Michigan Primary Care Association 2019 Annual Conference on Tuesday, August 6. Not only was TOC and Risk validating done, but Grace Health also ran the Questionable Values Report 5,219 times since January 2019. T’Auna Crawford was recognized since she ran 2,016 of these reports herself. Thank you T’Auna!

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