Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland patient Kylie Ossege had the unique opportunity to participate in a fan experience, courtesy of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and the Detroit Red Wings. Kylie enjoyed a night out recently at Little Caesars Arena (LCA) with friends and family, where she got to take in a game between her hometown team and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
During the night, Kylie received a Dylan Larkin jersey, gift card and a Red Wings goodie bag. She had her photo taken near the St. Joe’s Bench, located inside LCA, and rode the team Zamboni. She even appeared on the LCA jumbotron during the game.
Following what has been a very challenging year for her, the evening’s activities offered Kylie and her family a reprieve and a chance to create shared memories.
Since arriving to Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland on Nov. 30, with injuries sustained from the Oxford school shooting, Kylie has made a tremendous recovery. In the months following her admission to the hospital, Kylie was cared for by many hospital colleagues from across different units and different medical disciplines.
“We are forever grateful to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and their incredible staff for their amazing dedication and care for Kylie,” said her mother, Marita Ossege. “From our friends in the ICU to the rehab team, you all have touched our lives in a manner we will never forget.”
Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a verified trauma center by the American College of Surgeons, which means it can provide first responders, patients and the community with increased access to highly specialized care during emergency situations. The verification ensures that patients with severe injuries receive priority access to the full spectrum of resources, including in-house coverage for trauma surgery, anesthesia, critical care and radiology, as well as cardiology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, vascular and thoracic care.
Fabian Fregoli, MD, chief medical officer of Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, met with Kylie and her family several times during her stay in the hospital.
“Witnessing Kylie and her family’s courage has been an inspiration to me and our entire team” said Dr. Fregoli. “To recall where she was when she arrived through our doors and compare that to how well she is doing now, she’s had a truly remarkable recovery and I couldn’t be happier. She is thriving and we’re all rooting for her.”
DETROIT – Much of the focus in the battle against COVID-19 has been on hospitals, with news programs broadcasting images of ventilators and hospital buildings around the clock. However, other health care institutions are playing a role in this fight. Mercy Primary Care Center (MPCC), a Trinity Health safety net ministry, is located in eastern Detroit. MPCC provides care for the city’s poor and most vulnerable, and remains one of the only free clinics still open in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MPCC’s Services and Patient Population
MPCC first opened its doors in 2000, when Trinity Health and the Sisters of Mercy decided to convert a closed hospital into a ministry for vulnerable patients in Detroit. According to MPCC’s Director of Medical Services of the Detroit Market, Tawana Nettles-Robinson, the center provides health care services, labs, prescription assistance, educational and exercise classes, behavioral health services, care coordination, and transportation. In addition, MPCC sponsors the “Special Personal Assistants” program, which provides resources to individuals experiencing homelessness to help get them back on track.
For its first fifteen years, the center operated solely as a free clinic, providing qualifying patients with comprehensive care at no cost. After the Affordable Care Act was passed, MPCC also began accepting Medicaid plans and some commercial plans. However, 25 to 30 percent of patients are still uninsured, and MPCC treats them at no charge. To care for these patients, the center relies on a number of funding sources, including a grant from Trinity Health, Medicaid reimbursements, and outside donations.
MPCC’s Efforts Against COVID-19
Since the advent of COVID-19, operations at MPCC have changed significantly. The center offers COVID-19 screening and testing for patients, who are now coming in more ill than usual. MPCC’s patient population tends to have comorbidities, which raises their risk of COVID-19 complications. Many new patients have also enrolled with the center so that they can be screened.
To protect patients and colleagues, MPCC has changed its workflows by cordoning off certain areas and providing cloth masks to all patients, with surgical masks given to those with known symptoms. In addition, potential COVID-19 patients are asked to call the front desk to register, or to register in the exam room. MPCC is now also offering telehealth visits to help limit flow into the office.
MPCC faces many of the same challenges as our hospitals in the fight against COVID-19. According to Nettles-Robinson, the center is working hard to ensure there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits, but these can be hard to obtain. Like our hospital colleagues, the staff has also faced challenges, with some facing illness and all handling the realities of life in a pandemic. Despite these issues, the team continues to work hard to care for their patients.
MPCC’s work is vital to the community, especially now, when many other free clinics in the area have closed due to COVID-19. Nettles-Robinson shared, “The staff remains dedicated to serving individuals in under-resourced communities… [and] is doing everything we can to continue our health ministry. I believe we will come out of this stronger and more connected to the community as a whole. It’s only because of the commitment of Trinity to maintain its service to the poor that we can stay operational when other free clinics have temporarily closed their doors.”
Inspired by a love of his native land’s
culture, 1 East Nurse George Otieno, RN will be sharing folk tales and legends
during African Storytelling Time at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor from 3-5 p.m. in
the Auditorium on Saturday, August 10 and again on Aug. 24.
George organized the free community event as a fun way to bring colleagues and
families together. Through stories, mimes and dramas, attendees will learn why
the giraffe’s neck is so tall, and how the tiger got his stripes, among other
tales. Born and raised in Kenya, George moved to Michigan in 2000 and has been
with St. Joe’s for 15 years. He is a member of the Wakenya in Michigan
Assoication (WIMA) dedicated to promote African cultural awareness and educate
our children and communities.
By Dr. Erin Walton-Doyle, an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics physician with St. Joe’s Medical Group and St. Mary Mercy Livonia
Parents often tell me about a feeling or gut instinct they have about their child. Sometimes it’s a sense their child has an ear infection, other times it’s a premonition their child is in danger.
I tell parents to trust that intuition not only when it comes to a common cold but with concerns about developmental delays. Asking questions or sharing a concern about your child’s behavior is important in order to get a diagnosis and start treatment, if necessary, as soon as possible.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact with others. More than 200,000 cases of autism are diagnosed in the United States each year. While there is no cure, autism can be treated to help reduce symptoms and provide developmental support. The key is early diagnosis and intervention.
CANTON – Join us on Saturday, May 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. for our annual Healthy Kick-Off event at St. Joseph Mercy Canton Health Center.
This free, fun-filled afternoon will feature bike helmets and fittings, access to our Health Exploration Station, health screenings, a meet-and-greet with players from AFC Ann Arbor, a rock wall and teddy bear clinic.
Enjoy family fun including:
Bike Helmets and Fittings – Limited Supply
Skin Cancer Screenings
Arctic Edge Street Hockey
KONA Ice Truck
Meet players from AFC Ann Arbor
Semi Pro Soccer Team
Rock Climbing Wall
Teddy Bear Clinic
Health Exploration Station Celebrates 20 Years!
Explore Michigan’s first interactive education center with exhibits to engage all your senses – walk through a giant human body, listen to the rhythm of your own heart beat and test your skills as a surgeon in the brain operating game. A must-see for kids and kids at heart.
We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, visit our website.
CHELSEA — “Ashley” had been struggling with depression for a long time. Many people had suggested she seek help. Ashley had collected brochures, business cards and lots of phone numbers. She did not reach out to anyone.
One day, Ashley’s primary care physician referred her to Kathy Walz, LMSW, behavioral health services navigator at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. True to form, Ashley did not call. But three days later, Walz called Ashley. Ashley met with Walz to talk about her options; they talked about how counseling could help and what it would be like for her. Ashley went on to receive the mental health care she needed. Months later, Walz asked Ashley why she finally decided to get care. “Because you called me,” she replied.
A behavioral health navigator is a licensed behavioral health clinician who helps connect people with services that are specific to their needs. Unlike a brochure or someone on the other end of a phone line, a navigator offers a “warm hand-off” for care, specific to the person’s needs and circumstances. Often times the navigator can work with someone to move past the issues that are keeping them from getting the care they need. The navigator’s services are free.
“St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea created a behavioral health services navigator position because we knew people were having a hard time accessing mental health resources and understanding what services were available. We developed the navigator to be embedded in the community. The navigator’s role is to connect people to what they need, based on their specific circumstances. To my knowledge, this is a unique position – especially for people who are not our patients,” said Reiley Curran, manager of community health improvement at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.
The navigator collaborates with schools, primary care providers, and community-based organizations serving the poor. The position was created to support people who are struggling with mental health issues. This program is especially important for people who have a low income and live in rural areas. Currently, Walz has more than 50 referral sources she can choose from when selecting the appropriate route for someone, including psychiatrists, support groups, therapists, psychiatric RNs and more.
“In our rural area, there were no counselors available for people with low incomes. It is nice to have Kathy available, at our center, so we can make appointments for our clients to meet with her,” said Laura Seyfried, director of the Manchester Community Resource Center.
The Manchester Community Resource Center is one of many referring partner agencies who connect people with the navigator, Walz. People in need can be referred to Walz by a primary care physician, a community-based organization, a church, a school, a family member; anyone who recognizes a need. The service Walz is able to provide is warm, kind and personal; it is non-traditional. Walz accommodates the person in need by meeting them in a coffee shop, a park, a library, one of her multiple community-based offices – any place that is easily accessible and safe. Walz is mobile. She is able to use offices in Chelsea and Dexter, a private space in a Stockbridge school, a little spot above a resale shop in Grass Lake and a private area in Manchester.
Unlike traditional programs, Walz creates her services around the very specific needs she sees. “Each community can use me, as needed,” Walz said. “For example, we recognized that seniors were feeling isolated. So, we created a group just for them to get together. We also saw that families of people struggling with mental illness needed support too, so we partnered with the National Alliance on Mental illness of Washtenaw County to offer the Family to Family education series and a support group for family members. The most important thing is for me to listen to what the community needs, and then give that service to them.”
“Having a navigator has helped because it brought counseling to our community in a non-threatening way. It allowed our agency to serve as a bridge for our long-time clients to get introduced to counseling in a safe space. It has opened doors for people who felt there wasn’t any help for them in our community,” said Seyfried. Prior to having the navigator, Seyfried was only able to direct people back to their primary care physician for help.
On average, 80% of the people who met with the navigator went on to seek additional care. The model of the behavioral health services navigator is currently being shared with other hospitals within Saint Joseph Mercy Health System to consider adopting. “The success of the navigator is based on the collaboration of members in the clinical health community,” said Curran.
CHELSEA – St. Joe’s Chelsea and the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network will host a drug take back event in partnership with Chelsea Retirement Community, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research and the Chelsea Police Department:
Saturday, Oct. 27 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Chelsea Retirement Community 805 W. Middle St. Chelsea, MI 48118 Print Flyer
OAKLAND — St. Joseph Mercy Oakland offers a senior fitness class at 15 locations, three times a week. Every class is filled to capacity with a waiting list. Why is this senior fitness class so special?
“I love the class. I always leave the class laughing. If I’m not feeling well when I arrive, I’m always feeling better when I leave. I love the people, the instructor and the facility. It’s so open and bright,” said 80-year-old Charlene Simmons. Simmons has been attending the senior fitness class for 10 years.
“Our senior population, as they get into their golden years, often see a reduction in mobility and independence. The senior fit courses are an opportunity for participants to exercise with low-impact physical activity and movement. It also facilitates a cohesive interaction and camaraderie with people in their community and it ultimately reduces isolation,” said David Bowman, MPA, director of community health, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.
Unique to the senior population, ages 55 and older, bone mass can be reduced as individuals age. Using low-weights, careful movements, resistance bands and balls helps to reduce wear on ligaments. The class incorporates floor and chair exercises that build strength and flexibility, as well as improve balance and cardiovascular fitness.
“The class helps me tremendously with my lower back issues. There are certain exercises that I always look forward to doing. After the stretches, I don’t have back pain. The pain may return the next morning, but now I know how to safely stretch my back at home,“ said 67-year-old Beatrice Wright.
Many class participants have found themselves living more pain-free and healthier lives, since joining the class. “I had a quadruple heart bypass and I had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) inserted in 2005. My doctor said I must remain active. After cardio rehab and after I retired, this was the class for me. I recently saw my doctor and my heart has almost gone back to normal; in July they removed the ICD and didn’t replace it! I’m sure my ability to work my heart muscle is why I have improved so much,” said 63-year-old Sharon Finley.
The results from the senior fitness classes move beyond physical activity. As with many of St. Joe’s support classes, the camaraderie among participants is a direct result of the holistic approach to health. The classes address the mental health, physical and social aspects of each person’s well-being. “Physical activity and interactive programming addresses loneliness, depression and issues with mental health. Addressing mental health is a high-bar focus of our senior programming,” said Bowman.
Many participants agreed that if they were not in the class, they would not maintain a regular schedule exercising. Motivation can be difficult to achieve if you are on your own – but it’s not difficult if you have Beatrice Wright in your class. When Wright sees the need, she leads the class in a motivating chant she created.
“I love the class. The one thing I’ve learned in life, is not only do you need to remain physical, but in order to feel better, you have to laugh. If you don’t laugh, your aches and pains will take you over. I would recommend this class,” said Finley.
The classes are provided September through April on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Bowman hopes to address the waiting lists for the classes by collaborating with additional community organizations. He is also considering enhancing the classes by integrating senior yoga into the courses. “Coupling yoga into the senior fitness class will offer a dual utility. The cardio combined with stretching and meditation reinforces the holistic approach of health we want to offer our senior population,” said Bowman.
“At 80, you begin to look at life differently. I try to stay as fit as I can. I see people who are 80, and some of them are broken down. I’m trying to avoid that as long as possible, I know I won’t always be able to remain at my current level of fitness, but I’ll try as long as I can,” said Simmon.
About Senior Fit St. Joseph Mercy Oakland sponsors a free Senior Fit program at 15 locations throughout Oakland County, from September through May. Geared for adults age 55 and up, Senior Fit is aimed at improving stamina, lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis among senior adults through regular exercise. Please click here to view the flyer.
The consent form can be downloaded here. Please click here for Senior Fit orientation information.
ANN ARBOR – Come to The Farm at St. Joe’s for a learning and cooking adventure! We’ll explore fresh flavors, harvest delicious produce and create healthy snacks that are easy and fun to make. Each day includes hands-on activities as we discover why nutritious food is good for us, how food is grown and how we can develop our skills in the kitchen.
ANN ARBOR – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is seeking artwork from Michigan artists to decorate its soon-to-be renovated cancer center. The hospital’s art committee is opening a call for submission, asking local artists to consider donating a piece of original art to be displayed among a total of 200 to 300 pieces throughout the cancer center.
“Our vision is to include creative, uplifting artwork gifted by our local artists to support patients, friends, family and staff on their healing journey,” said Dave Raymond, regional director of planning and design at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. St. Joe’s Art Enrichment Committee is working with Pictures Plus, an Ann Arbor art and frame shop, to help curate and install the artwork.
St. Joe’s opened a call for submission after several artists inquired about donating art as a way of expressing their support for the cancer program. The hospital will also be purchasing art for the cancer center.