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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
Grace Health providers Dr. Kevin Steely and Sue Vrobel, FNP-BC were recognized at the Michigan Primary Care Association 2019 Annual Conference on Tuesday, August 6. Dr. Steely received the Advocate of the Year award for his advocacy work for dental therapists and Sue Vrobel received the Distinguished Service Award for all her work in Quality Improvement at Grace Health for the past 20+ years. Congratulations Dr. Steely and Sue!
Grace Health recently earned a Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Silver Award presented by Michigan Breastfeeding Network, which recognizes employers that support breastfeeding employees upon their return to work. With this recognition, Grace Health joins a growing number of businesses working together with their local breastfeeding coalitions to make Michigan breastfeeding-friendly for families in the communities in which they live, work, and play. “Grace Health very pleased to be recognized as a Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace for supporting our employees who choose to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. We understand the benefits babies receive from breast milk as well at the benefits breastfeeding moms receive. Therefore, we provide a private space for employees to use where they may easily and comfortably pump while at work,” said Dr. Peter Chang, Grace Health President/CEO. Mothers are the fastest growing segment in the U.S. labor force and investing in breastfeeding employee support programs makes good business sense. Employers who support breastfeeding employees enjoy a 3-to-1 return on investment through greater employee retention, increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, and fewer sick days. Businesses with workplace breastfeeding support also attract valued employees who report increased job satisfaction, morale, and company loyalty. As a Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace, Grace Health recognizes breastfeeding as the optimal method for feeding infants and children and is in compliance with the federal breastfeeding accommodation law. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least two years of age, the American Academy of Family Physicians for at least 12 months, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life with continuation of breastfeeding for up to 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and child. Breastfeeding provides valuable disease protection against gastrointestinal illness, pneumonia, and upper respiratory infections especially during the first year of life with continued benefits well into childhood. In addition, breastfeeding reduces a mother’s risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as lowering the lifetime risk of osteoporosis and type II diabetes. The Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards are a component of the MIBFN “MI Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Project,” a worksite lactation support initiative funded by the Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Section at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on this program and how to apply to be a Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace visit: http://mibreastfeeding.org/workplace-awards. About Michigan Breastfeeding Network The mission of the Michigan Breastfeeding Network (MIBFN) is to lead the statewide collaborative actions for advocacy, education, and coalition building in order to create a supportive breastfeeding culture. To learn more, visit www.mibreastfeeding.org.