Dr. Peter Chang and Grace Health were recently recognized as a Patriot Employer by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense Program. ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between the Reserve Component Service member and their civilian employer. The intent of this program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military providing tools to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. National Guardsmen Airman First Class Allison Bartha nominated her employer, Grace Health, for the Patriot Award which reflects the efforts made by Grace Health to support citizen warriors including flexible work schedules, time off for deployments and granting leaves of absence during active military orders. Prior to taking a leave of absence from Grace Health in August of 2018, Allison worked closely with Grace Health to communicate her military orders and training requirements which was instrumental in a smooth transition back to the civilian workforce in April 2019. The Patriotic Award recognizes supervisors and managers nominated by the National Guardsman employee for support provided to the nominator. Recognizing supportive employers is vital to ESGR’s mission.
Grace Health, Battle Creek Public Schools, Lakeview School District and Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD) are pleased to announce that, effective January 1, 2019, services provided at the Student Health Centers and School Wellness Programs in Battle Creek Central High School, Lakeview Middle School, Springfield Middle School, Northwestern Middle School and W.K. Preparatory High School will be transitioned to Grace Health. These programs have been administered by the CCPHD for the past 24 years. Students seen in Student Health Centers or School Wellness Programs listed above will become Grace Health patients and will have access to the same resources as other Grace Health patients. The Student Health Centers located at Battle Creek Central High School, Lakeview Middle School, and Springfield Middle School provide quality healthcare in a friendly setting at a time that is convenient for students and their family. The clinic will be staffed with a nurse practitioner, social worker and support staff to meet the student’s physical and mental health needs. The Health Center’s nurse practitioner can be the student’s regular provider or support the student’s regular provider/pediatrician. Services available include: routine well-child exams with immunizations, school and sports physicals, preventative care, urgent care and behavioral/mental services. The Student Health Centers will be open year around. The School Wellness Program located at Northwestern Middle School and W.K. Preparatory High School will be open during the normal school year. It will be staffed with a nurse and social worker to help meet student’s physical and mental health needs. Services provided include: limited clinical nursing services, mental health services and health education. “Grace Health is a well-established and highly regarded provider throughout the community. The CCPHD welcomes the transfer of the above five schools and associated programs to Grace Health,” said Eric Pessell, CCPHD Health Officer. Dr. Peter Chang, Grace Health President/CEO said “Grace Health is looking forward to partnering with students and their families to improve their health and well-being. Healthy students are more successful in school.”
Tiffanie Clawson and Russel Davis of the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship provided Tara Hillman-Macleod of Grace Health with a Certificate of Registration of Apprenticeship Program. Grace Health is partnering with Career Step and Michigan Works to provide a Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program. Career Step, an online provider of career-focused education and professional training, will provide online training for Grace Health employees who would like to become medical assistants. “We are very pleased to bring our Medical Assistant program to Grace Health to provide quality training for their employees,” said Glade Tidwell, Career Step Vice President of Academic Partnerships. “This opportunity to train as a medical assistant will allow those who enroll to advance their career and move toward a more secure future.” Michigan Works provides services and support to Michigan’s workforce development system. Grace Health will provide 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. Grace Health’s and Michigan Work’s partnership will make our community stronger by providing training and employment for the community. “Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Michigan Works! Southwest is honored and excited to be working side-by-side with Grace Health on their new Medical Assistant program. We would like to thank Grace Health for including several of YOU participants in this program,” said Eric Stewart, Director of YOU. It will take 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. “This Medical Assistant program will give our employees the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience to prepare them to sit for the CCMA national certification exam,” said Dr. Peter Chang, Grace Health President/CEO. “It is exciting to increase employment opportunities and develop our workforce to provide quality care for our patients while giving them a career pathway in healthcare.” 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 128,000 services were provided in 2017 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. The Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program begins periodically. If you are interested in the program, contact Grace Health Human Resources at 966-2600.
Grace Health Board of Directors, Executive Management team and Pharmacy staff cut the ribbon to officially mark the grand opening of Grace Health Pharmacy. It is a full-service pharmacy located just inside Entrance B at Grace Health, 181 West Emmett Street, Battle Creek and is open to both patients and the community. Most insurance plans are accepted including Medicaid and Medicare. Grace Health Pharmacy is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm. Come meet the staff or call (269) 441-6774.
BATTLE CREEK, MI – In the coming months, Calhoun County will become a fresh training ground for new physicians following approval by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for a new Family Medicine Residency Program at Bronson Battle Creek. The Family Medicine Review and Recognition Committee of the ACGME issued the approval for the new program during its most recent meeting, April 26-27. Recruitment of the first class of resident physicians will begin later this year and training of the first class will follow in the summer of 2019. “This was a pivotal step in our work to enrich this community and improve the quality of life for our patients who call Battle Creek and Calhoun County home,” said Dr. Holli Neiman-Hart, program director for the new Family Medicine residency and an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed). The new training program is the result of several years of work and collaboration by WMed, Bronson Healthcare and Grace Health to form a new Family Medicine residency in Battle Creek. The medical school also has a Family Medicine residency in Kalamazoo, which boasts 24 physicians-in-training under the leadership of Dr. Glenn Dregansky. In Battle Creek, six new physicians will be accepted yearly into the three-year curriculum and once the residency is fully operational 18 Family Medicine residents will be practicing in the community at any given time. The new residents will receive training at Bronson Battle Creek and Grace Health, Battle Creek’s federally qualified family health center, will serve as the residency site for outpatient training. Dr. Peter Chang, President/CEO of Grace Health, said the new Family Medicine residents will be a welcomed addition to Battle Creek and he looks forward to watching their development as physicians and their work to be creators of positive change in the community. “Our relationship with the community and our patients is one built on trust,” Dr. Chang said. “Our work as leaders in addressing community health issues is vitally important and will be buoyed by the addition of these new physicians-in-training year after year.” The new residency training program at Bronson Battle Creek got off the ground in 2016 thanks to startup funding – three $1 million grants – from Bronson Healthcare Group, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital Community Partners and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In providing money for the new program, the donors cited the unique opportunity to strengthen healthcare services in Calhoun County and build a stronger local economy. Dr. Lisa Graves, chair of the medical school’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, said approval of the new residency program by the ACGME is an important milestone in expanding graduate medical education at WMed and the institution’s continued mission to train physicians who serve patients and the medical profession with compassion and dignity. “Growing a pipeline of competent physicians to meet the needs of not only Calhoun County and Southwest Michigan, but the state and the nation, is extremely important,” Dr. Graves said. “This new residency will play a vital role in doing that.” Dr. Neiman-Hart said the new residency program will provide residents with broad exposure to the many aspects of family medicine so they are well-prepared family doctors at the end of their training. A key focus for Dr. Neiman-Hart as the leader of the new Family Medicine residency will be the retention of residents once their training has concluded. Jim McKernan, Chief Operating Officer of Bronson Battle Creek, said he looks forward to welcoming the new residents to the Cereal City in the summer of 2019. He said the residency program will help Bronson Battle Creek to better recruit and retain physicians, bring new jobs and investment to the community and provide much-needed relief in the shortage of primary care doctors in Calhoun County. “This residency approval is another sign of the positive momentum we are seeing in Battle Creek,” McKernan said. “BC Vision has been focused on education, employment, and vitality. Our residency will connect in all three areas, bringing 18 physicians-in-training plus teaching staff to live, learn and work in our community. All three founding partners are committed to assuring that this is a win for Battle Creek and that the residents will be active participants in the life of our community.”
Grace Health (GH) is starting 2018 with a new model of care called Neighborhoods. What does this mean? Patients are choosing a GH Primary Care Provider (PCP) whom they will see for most or all of their visits. Each PCP works with a team of providers and support staff who know the patients and their medical history. Each team makes up a “Neighborhood” and patients are seen in their Grace Health Neighborhood whenever they need healthcare. Each patient’s Neighborhood will follow their health and suggest changes to improve their well-being. Each PCP and care team will regularly screen for health problems that could go unnoticed, preventing serious health concerns later. Regularly visiting your PCP helps you look out for your health and well-being. We want to build strong patient-provider relationships that lead to improved health!
Calhoun County is one of several counties in Michigan being affected by Hepatitis A, a serious liver infection. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and/or skin). The disease is spread through contact with infected persons, or use of illegal drugs. How can you prevent the spread of hepatitis A? If you are at risk, get vaccinated. Talk with your healthcare provider about vaccination. Also, practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food. Finally, make sure you avoid sharing food, beverages, or other items like toothbrushes with others. We can stop the spread of Hepatitis A in Michigan. Learn more: http://www.michigan.gov/hepatitisaoutbreak
Renee Underwood and Sarah Russell of Chemical Bank present Linda Wetherbee, CPNP and Diane Craig of Grace Health with a check for $3,500 to purchase books for 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 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 generosity of organizations like Chemical Bank, Grace Health has provided over 51,700 books to children since the start of the program. Chemical Bank stated, “We hope our donation will help children develop a greater appreciation for reading, while at the same time help to improve literacy among the younger population.”
Grace Health staff raised funds to help those who have been affected by the recent hurricanes. A group of staff members (Jennifer Colberg, Melanie Gardner, Lori Wesner, and Lynne Olmstead) came up with a plan for various events staff could participate in to raise money for hurricane relief. Throughout the entire month of October staff had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets at a chance to win 1 of 6 gift baskets. Staff paid to wear jeans on Jean Day, Friday, October 20. Not only did staff contribute financially to the cause, but they also put their baking skills to the test and made several homemade items for the Bake Sale on October 27. For every $1,000 raised, a raffle ticket was drawn giving a staff member 8-hours of PTO. All funds raised will be given to Samaritan Purse for Hurricane Relief 2017. Grace Health thanks the following community organizations for donating gift cards and/or items for the gift baskets: Finley’s, Fitness Loft, Keyes Auto Body, Minges Creek Salon & Spa, Taqueria San Francisco, Goodrich West Columbia 7 Theaters, Wirtz Family Popcorn, NCG Cinema, Barista Blues, Culvers, Fun 4 Us, Steak and Shake, Taco Bell, FYE, Sweetwaters’ Donuts, Continental Pastries & Deli, Biggby Coffee, and Lux. Through the kindness of these organizations and all of the efforts from Grace Health staff a total of $5,798.50 was raised. A big THANK YOU to all who helped!