Hilary Harris lost 140 pounds

Hilary Harris

Hilary lost 140 pounds

Hilary was a type two diabetic and suffering with rheumatoid arthritis pain when her primary care doctor suggested she make an appointment with MBI.

“The MBI team was nice, calming and answered all of my questions,” said, Hilary. She decided to move forward and had bariatric surgery in February 2020.

Now Hilary is down 140 pounds, no longer a diabetic and has a lot less arthritis pain. MBI support groups have been helpful in keeping Hilary on track throughout her journey. She has more confidence and is excited to participate in more activities, such as exercising.

Amanda Carr lost 100 pounds

Amanda Carr lost 100 pounds

When completing everyday tasks such as walking and going up the stairs started to leave Amanda short of breath, she knew she needed to make a change to her lifestyle.

Amanda saw a post for MBI on Facebook in the fall of 2019 and decided to call and schedule a consult. The MBI staff was honest and helpful in preparing her for the journey ahead. She had bariatric surgery in January 2020.

Now, she has more energy and is feeling great. “I’ve lost 100 pounds and I’m excited to be doing more activities with my children,” said Amanda. She looks forward to continuing her new active lifestyle.

Vegetable Paella

Paella is traditionally made with sausage, chicken and seafood. We’ve taken this recipe meatless, and swapped white rice, for brown rice, giving this recipe more fiber.

This recipe packs a nutritional punch, giving you the following daily values:

  • 200% Vitamin C
  • 70% Vitamin A
  • 72% Manganese
  • 8% Calcium

Serve With: Pears packed in Natural Juice


1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
¼ cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
4 cups button mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 cup dry medium grain brown rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, halved
2 tsp. paprika
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4oz. green beans
1 lemon wedged


  1. Simmer broth with bay leaf in a saucepan over low heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Sauté onion, bell pepper and olives in 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in rice and cook for another minute.
  3. Slowly add the wine, cook until the wine is nearly evaporated. Add broth, tomatoes, artichokes, and paprika. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the rice is tender about 40 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chickpeas, peas, and green beans, cook for 2-3 minutes to heat through. Garnish with lemon wedges. 

ä   Servings:                   4

Š    Time to Prepare       20 minutes

Š    Time to Cook:           60 minutes

Nutrition per Serving:

Calories 321; Fat 3.5 g (sat 0.5 g); Protein 13 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 127mg; Fiber 15 g; Carbohydrate 57 g

What You Should Know about Prediabetes

If your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, then you have a serious medical condition known as prediabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health data through 2018 indicates that 88 million American adults — approximately 1 in 3 — have prediabetes, so you are not alone. Left unchecked, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, which has serious implications for your health, and specifically your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.

Here is the good news: For most people, getting type 2 diabetes isn’t inevitable and neither is prediabetes.

Are their symptoms of prediabetes?

Since there are no symptoms of prediabetes, how can you tell if you have it?

Weight is one important factor. For most people, there is a direct correlation between weight and healthy or unhealthy blood sugars.

Fat is important too. There are different types of fat, and fat around the belly tends to be correlated with insulin resistance. Pay attention if you have weight gain in the abdomen, or your shape is “more like an apple than a pear.”

The results of your lipid panel at your annual checkup provide more clues. They can help to determine if you have begun to have insulin resistance, which is present in both prediabetes and diabetes.

Five 5 Factors of Insulin Resistance

If you get an annual physical, your primary care provider (PCP) will likely order a lipid panel blood test that measures different kinds of blood fats, including HDL (high-density lipoprotein, aka “good fat,”), LDL (low-density lipoprotein, aka “bad fat,”), total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Some of these lipids along with other factors can indicate that a person has insulin resistance.

If you have any three of the following insulin resistance markers, you may have Insulin Resistance Syndrome, which increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL (aka, “good cholesterol”)
  • Difficulty controlling blood pressure
  • Difficulty controlling blood sugars, based upon an abnormal fasting blood sugar or HgB A1c
  • Having a waist circumference of more than 35 inches in females or 40 inches in males

Can medications cause increased blood sugar levels?

Yes, certain medications can affect blood sugar levels. It is important to have a discussion with your PCP to check for these side effects and to consider your options.

How to Avoid Prediabetes

The good news is that prediabetes is reversible. Statin medications can help raise your HDL, but they are no substitute for following a healthy diet and exercising. The best way to avoid prediabetes is to practice the following:

  • Eat healthy foods in appropriate quantities.
  • Make exercise part of your daily routine.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get an annual checkup to keep an eye on your lipid profile.

The Bottom Line

Even if other family members have prediabetes, following these important steps will go a long way toward giving you a healthier life that doesn’t involve issues with controlling your blood sugar.  

Learn more about the St. Joe’s Diabetes Education program and Diabetes Prevention Program.

Livonia Medical Center Now Offering Outpatient Surgery

The St. Joe’sIHA Livonia Medical Center, which opened in May of this year on the campus of Schoolcraft College, was conceived, designed and constructed to deliver patient-centered care and convenience.  The facility was built around the belief that the needs and expectations of the patient are paramount.

The 124,000-square-foot health-care facility brings together multi-disciplinary specialists to offer local residents the full continuum of care, including primary care; obstetrics and gynecology; women’s specialty imaging; pediatrics; physical therapy; urology and more.  It also offers onsite lab services, diagnostic imaging, a retail pharmacy, and the Joe’s Java Coffee Shop.  For members of the Schoolcraft community and local residents, the Livonia Medical Center also offers a convenient urgent care center.

This month Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and IHA announced the opening of their newest addition, an ambulatory (or outpatient) surgical center that promises to bring high-quality, coordinated surgical care to patients.

“The new surgical center is extremely convenient and improves the patient experience by providing pre and post-operative services all in one location,” says IHA Associate Division Head of Orthopedics Mark Pinto, MD, MBA.  “From the initial primary care visit, to a specialist visit, to blood work and imaging, our patients have everything they need should they require surgery.”

The concept behind the new ambulatory surgical center is that the procedures offered do not require an overnight hospital stay.  Procedures available include hip and knee replacement, ACL reconstruction and repair, rotator-cuff repairs, tonsillectomies, hernia repairs, gallbladder removals, and more.

“Healthcare in general is moving away from the in-patient setting and more towards out-patient care because of the convenience and benefits it offers patients,” Dr. Pinto says.  “It’s the case with all surgeries that our patients will be observed following their procedure for a few hours before being safely discharged home.  We find that patients are much more comfortable and recover much faster in their own homes, with the support of their own families, rather than trying to sleep and recover in a hospital bed.”  

“Increasingly, we are doing more complex procedures on an outpatient basis, where our patients can safely return home in a shorter amount of time,” said Dave Spivey, president of St. Mary Mercy Livonia, a member hospital of Saint Joseph’s Health System.

The new ambulatory center includes four operating rooms with the potential to add a fifth if there is demand.

“There are times patients are told they need surgery and then have to wait months for an appointment, but that won’t be the case here,” says Dr. Pinto.  “We have the facilities and resources where we can do quite a bit of volume.”

There are also 18 pre and post-operative bays.  “This is a kind of dedicated home base for the patient,” Dr. Pinto says. “It’s where they will begin and end and it makes the whole experience much more relaxing and comfortable for everyone.”

Dr. Pinto says the ambulatory surgical center is part of the Livonia Medical Center’s overall goal to improve the patient experience.

“There was a lot of time and effort put into creating a convenient and comfortable patient experience,” he said.  “We send the patient home only when we are satisfied that they are doing well.  There is no loss in the quality of care.  Home is where patients really want to be and where we want them to be.”

We know how to beat this awful virus: Listen to the doctors

For the fourth time in the last eighteen months, Michigan is experiencing a rising wave of COVID-19, as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths surge in communities across the state. But this time is different: we have a free, widely available, highly effective and safe vaccine available.

And that’s why today, frontline medical professionals from 21 health systems all over Michigan jointly signed a letter calling on you, if you’re still unvaccinated, to please go get your COVID-19 vaccine today. The vaccines are free, widely available, highly effective and safe. Now is the time.

About 99% of the people who ultimately die from COVID-19 in this country are unvaccinated. This is a preventable tragedy.

Emerging variants are making this virus even worse and deadlier for children, and pediatric hospitalizations are rising across the country. But every variant of this virus that’s emerged remains susceptible to the free, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

Healthcare workers and you have the responsibility to do everything we can to stop this pandemic. We are pleading with you: please trust us as we guide you to do what’s best for you and our country and get vaccinated right away. To find a location to get vaccinated visit ​​vaccines.gov

The Road to Recovery Begins at St. Joe’s

Joseph Parker of Howell is on the move.  He’s often on the road for his businesses or involved with the community, but he always makes time for his family – especially his grandchildren. Joseph then started noticing pain in his right knee when performing everyday tasks. However, he pushed through to kept up his normally busy schedule.

Joseph knew something was wrong when he could no longer sit  on the floor to play with his grandchildren without pain. He also had to forego some of his favorite hobbies, such as riding his motorcycle because the pain was unbearable.

Joseph’s primary care doctor suggested he make an appointment with Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. G. Victor Gibson. “I’m not a big doctor guy,” said Joseph.  Taking this step was a turning point.  He knew he needed a doctor that would be down to earth and prepare him every step of the process.

Dr. Gibson determined Joseph’s right knee was bone-on-bone. Joseph and Dr. Gibson worked together as a team to create a plan. Initially, they tried cortisone shots, but the pain persisted. Joseph’s injured knee was also starting to affect his hip and ankle.

The next step in their plan was surgery. Dr. Gibson provided Joseph with information about the surgery to prepare for before and after. “Dr. Gibson was upbeat, friendly and willing to answer any questions my wife and I had,” said Joseph.

In October 2019, Dr. Gibson performed a partial knee replacement on Joseph at St. Joe’s Livingston. By surgery day, Joseph had no worries and felt prepared for surgery. “The staff and the education for my surgery were great,” said Joseph.

Joseph learned about the pain relief methods for his surgery. Upon discussions with his doctor and nurses, he was prescribed a lower dose of opioids and an ice machine at home. “The ice machine really worked,” said Joseph. His nurse helped him to set up the ice machine rental and it was delivered to his home and set up after surgery. The ice machine was so effective, Joseph was able to manage his pain and didn’t need to take the opioids prescribed.

A few months later, Joseph was walking without pain. He was even able to get back to playing and wrestling with his grandchildren.

Unfortunately, Joseph slipped and fell in December 2019 injuring his recovering knee. Dr. Gibson had to perform another surgery to fix the damage. Although a different circumstance, Joseph was still pleased with his quality of care.

“Surgery is just one piece of this journey,” said Joseph.  It is important to understand the recovery process and steps to take when you get home from the hospital.

Now, Joseph is walking with comfort again. He looks forward to getting stronger and being able to get his motorcycle back on the road.

“I should have done it sooner; go see your doctor if you feel pain – don’t wait too long,” said Joseph.

FDA Grants Full Approval of COVID-19 Vaccine

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The approval replaces the emergency use authorization (EUA) granted by the agency on December 11, 2020 for use of the vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older.

“The public is counting on safe and effective vaccines and we are thankful to the researchers and medical community that worked diligently to investigate, study, and inform the public throughout the vaccine trials,” said Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Trinity Health Michigan. Permanent approval means the vaccine passed numerous, required safety checks including study of all reported side effects and any adverse reactions. Several months of safety data showed the vaccine is safe and effective. This announcement should ease concerns from people who’ve been hesitant to receive the vaccine while still under emergency use authorization.” 

The U.S. has recorded over 37.7 million cases of COVID-19 and 628,000 deaths. More than 170.8 million Americans, or 51.5-percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

“We are pleased to see the FDA’s approval as we continue to fight against the recent COVID-19 variants, knowing that we still have more work to do,” said Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Trinity Health Michigan. We encourage all colleagues, patients, residents and people in the communities we serve to get vaccinated. Vaccination is an important step to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends those who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine should receive a booster shot eight months after their first round of vaccination starting the week of Sept. 20, but they do not recommend crossing over which type of vaccine you receive. Therefore, if you received a Moderna vaccine, you should not get a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine and vice versa. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA will provide additional information in the coming days.

The Pfizer vaccine continues to be available under EUA for individuals 12 through 15 years of age, and for a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. The FDA is also reviewing Moderna’s application for permanent approval of its vaccine. Johnson and Johnson earned EUA for its vaccine later than Pfizer and Moderna, and has not applied for permanent approval from the FDA.

COVID-19 Delta Variant Cases Increasing in Michigan

With the Delta variant causing COVID-19 cases to rise in the United States, health care professionals are continuing to urge Americans to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, more than 99-percent of all deaths from COVID-19 infections are in unvaccinated persons.

The vaccine does exactly what it should, which is minimize the symptoms, prevent you from getting hospitalized, prevent you from getting sick, and prevent you from dying. Initial data is showing that mRNA vaccines are still protective against the Delta variant, so getting your COVID-19 vaccine can help prevent infection and severe illness. The COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk for hospitalization and death by over 95-percent.

Think of a vaccine as a way for your immune system to practice for a virus. Vaccines give the body a preview of one or more key features of a virus before you get the actual virus. Due to the vaccine, the immune system develops a ‘memory’ of how to react and stop the virus once you are exposed to it. The immune system can quickly recognize the actual coronaviruses and interfere with its ability to multiply.

A variant is a strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There are currently 11 variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that the World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring. When a virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more opportunities a virus has to spread, the more it copies – and the more opportunities it has to undergo changes. Most viral mutations have little to no impact on the virus’s ability to cause infections and disease. However, depending on where the changes are located in the virus’s genetic material, they may affect a virus’s properties, such as transmission (for example, it may spread more or less easily) or severity (it may cause more or less severe disease).

The Delta variant is more transmissible and has one-thousand times more viral load than other variants, meaning it is more infectious and causes harsher sickness. The time between exposure and developing symptoms is also much quicker with the Delta variant.

While getting the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t guarantee immunity against the variant, it can lessen affects. Those fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine have 88-percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 and 95-percent protection against hospitalization and death. Initial reports show Moderna is equally as protective against the Delta variant. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine appears 66-percent protective against the Delta variant.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) now confirms that 90-percent of new cases in Michigan are the Delta variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reinstated mask mandates and is continuing to urge vaccinations even as some studies show vaccinated individuals can spread COVID-19.  

Health care professionals are already seeing numbers rise week by week, and that’s why hot spots in the south – where there are lower vaccination rates – are seeing more COVID-19 infections, hospital admittances, and death.

Braised Sweet Corn

Yield 4-6 servings


6 ears of corn, shucked

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 medium Fresno chilies

1 shallot minced

2oz. feta cheese crumbled

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves


  1. Using a knife, cut the corn kernels off of the cob and place into a medium bowl, set aside. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs to extract the milk from the cob, place into a small bowl and set aside. Cut the cobs into 2” pieces.
  2. In a 1 gallon saucepan, over high heat, combine the cob pieces with cold water to cover, season with the salt. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes. Strain and discard the cobs, reserve ½ cup of the stock and put the remaining aside for another use.
  3. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil, until hot but not smoking. Stir in the chilies and shallot add cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels, stock and corn milk, add half of the feta and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the lime juice, remove from the pan and garnish with the cilantro and remaining feta.