Probility Now Offering Comprehensive Pediatric Therapy

ANN ARBOR – Probility Physical Therapy now offers comprehensive pediatric services, including PT, OT and speech.

Led by Dan Santioni, PT, Katherine McKimmy, OT, and Erin Saotome, MA, CCC-SLP, Probility’s pediatric program is geared toward children 0 to 12 years old, and offers a full array of services that address developmental delays or disabilities, neurological disability, sensory integration disability, fine motor impairment, speech and feeding concerns, torticollis to toe-walking and post-surgical rehabilitation needs.

Services are provided at the Clark Road location Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.*:

PT , OT and SLP
Probility Pediatric Therapy
3145 W. Clark Road
Ypsilanti, MI  48197
Phone:  734-712-0566
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*SLP services can be arranged at the Howell Probility office for patients who do not need the entire pediatric team approach.

Be a Blessing for Others

(Pictured left to right) Connie Schuby and Amanda Saracino (Greenbrook Recovery Center behavioral health therapists), Evan Koorhan, and Suzie Antonow (manager of Outpatient Behavioral Services)

Evan Koorhan completed the intensive outpatient program at Greenbrook Recovery Center and now volunteers to help others fighting addiction.

Between managing a local eatery and volunteering with substance abuse programs several times a week, Evan Koorhan lives a busy life. He recently bought a house with his girlfriend and values fellowship with his friends – two gifts he says wouldn’t have been imaginable a few years ago, when he was stuck in the cycle of addiction.

For years Evan used drugs and alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety.

“The only joy I was deriving out of life was using drugs and alcohol and partying with my friends,” he said.

While he was able to hold a job as head coach of a varsity water polo team, and even graduate in 2014 from Eastern Michigan University, Evan kept reverting back to alcohol and marijuana, despite how hard he tried to stop. He even dabbled in therapy, to little avail.

“It was the same thing over and over again, and I couldn’t break the cycle. I would try,” he said.

Evan’s wake-up call came on Father’s Day 2015. A police officer visited the house after Evan, in a drunken state, had left the scene of a car accident. After receiving an alcohol assessment in the jail intake room, Evan was recommended to enroll in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) as part of his probation.

After calling around to a few places, Evan stumbled upon the Greenbrook Recovery Center at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, which offers comprehensive services to adults and their families experiencing alcohol and other drug-related problems.

Evan said he noticed right away that the team approach of Greenbrook’s intensive outpatient program – having one-on-one access to a therapist, but also to physicians who could explain the science behind addiction and to other people fighting addiction – created a strong foundation for true recovery to begin.

“I felt like I had a multi-pronged attack on my disease, and it also opened my eyes to the fact that I was anxious and depressed,” Evan said, crediting social workers Fred Prezioso and Connie Schuby for guiding him every step of the way. The encouragement and structured support in an outpatient setting helped Evan transition back into everyday life.

After completing 12 sessions over four weeks at Greenbrook, Evan attended weekly meetings for 10 months as part of his early recovery after-care group. During that time, he learned an important principle about addiction recovery.

“I have to share what my experience and what my strength and hope has for other people in order to keep what I’ve been given,” he said.

So when Evan was asked to volunteer as a co-facilitator for Greenbrook’s 12-step recovery program, he seized the opportunity to teach others what he learned on his journey back to health.

Today, more than two years later, Evan is hesitant to call himself “cured” of addiction, choosing instead to credit his success to his willingness to listen to the professionals at Greenbrook Recovery Center and those who lived this journey before him.

“Some would call it grace,” Evan said, adding, “one of the biggest things that I’ve done in order to carry the message and help other people is to stick around at Greenbrook and volunteer there,” Evan said.

Evan admits recovery isn’t a journey he can choose for someone else. But he hopes that by continuing to share his story, he will encourage others to realize there is help for addiction, and finding the right program and network can help guide them back to their best selves.

“That’s a huge blessing in my life today. I am who I say I am.”

To learn more about Greenbrook Recovery Center, visit www.stjoesannarbor.org/outpatientchemicaldependencyprogram.

Want to Keep Your Heart and Brain Young? Do This

Making this key lifestyle tweak keeps you mobile as you age—but that’s not where the benefits end.

by Kristen Sturt

This article was originally published in Sharecare.

Here’s a startling fact: About 3 in 4 American adults don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even more sobering: Many adults don’t get any activity at all, aside from what they need to make it through the day. And as we age, more and more of us stop moving. Almost 23 percent of adults between age 18 and 44 are sedentary. For those 65 and older, it’s around 32 percent.

While you likely know that long-term inactivity weakens your bones and muscles, you may not realize that it can damage your heart and brain, too. This, in turn, raises your odds of dementia and heart disease, among other conditions, and can lead to early death.

But research suggests that getting exercise can help keep these organs healthy and delay or prevent their decline. And if you regularly work up a sweat over a number of years? All the better.

“You really need to think about ways to keep moving,” says Kevin Bohnsack, MD, a family medicine physician at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Everything that increases your overall activity can ward off that sedentary lifestyle,” he adds—along with the cardiac and cognitive problems that can come with it.

How exercise benefits the heart
As you progress through middle age, your heart gradually begins to weaken. Its walls get thicker and less flexible, and your arteries become stiffer. This raises your risk for high blood pressure (hypertension) and other heart problems, including heart attack and heart failure. And if you’re sedentary, that risk goes up even more.

When you exercise, your heart beats faster, increasing blood flow and supplying your body with necessary oxygen. The more you work out, the stronger your heart gets and the more elastic your blood vessels become. This helps you maintain a lower blood pressure and decreases your chances of developing many cardiovascular problems.

It’s aerobic exercise—also called cardio—that really does the trick. Research suggests that consistent, long-term moderate or vigorous cardio training may be most helpful, though any physical activity promotes good heart health. “It can be anything from running to biking to rowing,” says Dr. Bohnsack. “Anything that builds up that heart rate.”

Getting in shape benefits your heart in other ways, too, by helping neutralize risk factors linked to heart disease. Exercise is associated with:

  • A reduction in inflammation
  • An increase in HDL (“good” cholesterol) and decrease in LDL (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and staving off obesity

And though more studies are needed, research increasingly shows that exercise can boost your heart health no matter your age. For example, for one small study published in March 2018 in the journal Circulation, 28 middle-aged men completed two years of high-intensity exercise training. Compared to a control group, scientists found the exercise reduced their cardiac stiffness and increased their bodies’ capacity for oxygen use—both of which may slash the risk for heart failure.

For another study published in the August 2018 issue of Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers gave heartrate and movement sensors to 1,600 British volunteers between the ages of 60 and 64. After five days, they found that more active people had fewer indicators of heart disease in their blood. Not too shabby, boomers.

How exercise benefits the brain
What’s good for your heart is generally good for your mind—and research shows breaking a sweat on a regular basis can boost brain health in several ways.

First, exercise is tied to improved cognition, which includes better memory, attention and executive function—things like controlling emotions and completing tasks. It can enhance the speed with which you process and react to information, too, along with your capacity to draw from your past knowledge and experiences.

Getting physical is also linked to slower age-related cognitive decline, where we gradually lose our thinking, focus and memory skills. “In other words,” says Bohnsack, “if you like where you are, it’s a good idea to continue to exercise because that may at least help you retain your current cognitive function.”

And though the jury is still out on whether it improves symptoms, exercise may help prevent or delay dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. For example, one 2017 review in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences found that activity was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s down the line. The link was strongest for people who purposely exercised in their spare time, rather than those who had physically active jobs. This suggests mental benefits may depend on your chosen activity, in addition to the time you put into it.

How does exercise do all this? Scientists aren’t completely sure. It’s thought that working out improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, helping it function better. Some research indicates it prevents shrinkage of the hippocampus—the part of the brain crucial for learning and remembering things. Experts also believe it stimulates chemical activity in the brain that could contribute to better cognition.

Finally, exercise may help lower your chances of developing other conditions connected to dementia, including cardiovascular disease.

When can you start?
No matter our age, pretty much all of us can gain from exercise. “There is evidence to suggest that doing more vigorous exercise earlier in life is more beneficial,” says Bohnsack, “but it’s never too late to start because everyone benefits from doing some sort of movement or physical activity.”

In addition to its rewards for the heart and brain, working out:

  • Boosts your mood and energy
  • Helps prevent injuries
  • Lowers your risk of other diseases associated with aging, like arthritis
  • Helps you remain independent

Government exercise guidelines recommend that adults shoot for 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity weekly. Ideally, it should be spread across several days. Cardio activities like walking, biking, swimming, bowling, gardening and dancing are good options for older adults.

Your regimen should also incorporate some strength training, along with balance and flexibility moves. (Think yoga or tai chi.) They can help keep you mobile and reduce injuries—especially from falls, which are often catastrophic for older people’s health.

Ease into your routine
Of course, older adults should always speak with a healthcare professional (HCP) before beginning any new regimen, especially if you have a chronic condition, like heart disease. Your HCP can help you decide on a safe, effective routine attuned to your fitness level.

And remember: Even if it’s just a short walk, any exertion is better than none. “Taking steps during the day to do physical activities or movement can be just as beneficial as if you joined a gym,” says Bohnsack. To start, he suggests simple moves like doing squats at work or parking farther away from your office so you can log a few extra steps.

It may help to use an app like Sharecare (available for iOS and Android) to help you track your daily activity.

Whatever you do, Bohnsack says, you must decide if planting yourself on the sofa is worth your long-term brain and heart health: “As I emphasize to patients, ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss.’”

Celebrate Heart Month with St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Mark your calendar for the following events, and join us in celebrating Heart Month!

  • Friday, February 1: Go Red for Women
    Wear red to promote heart health! Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Join us in the South Lobby at noon for our annual heart-shaped photo.
  • Thursday, February 7: Ladies’ Night Out
    St. Mary Mercy Livonia’s South Auditorium, 5 pm
    Vendor displays and screenings followed by a panel discussion featuring physicians and community participation. See the flyer here.
  • Friday, February 15 and 22: Jeans Day
    St. Mary Mercy colleagues can wear jeans or different color scrubs for a $5 donation to the American Heart Association. Donations collected in the Marian Women’s Center.

We also invite you to take a photo with the Red Dress cutout in South Lobby and upload your photo to St. Mary Mercy Livonia’s Facebook (facebook.com/stmarymercy).

Finally, enjoy a heart-healthy menu item at St. Mary Mercy Livonia each Thursday in February!

  • February 7: Personalized smoothies with a wide selection of fresh fruits and flavored yogurts
  • February 14: Cranberry oat cookie
  • February 21: Tropical chicken salad, with mandarin oranges, pineapple, chicken, mixed greens, pine nuts, and raspberry vinaigrette
  • February 28: Tossed-to-order pasta, with a variety of sauces to choose from

Stomach Bug or Food Poisoning? Here’s How to Tell

by Taylor Lupo

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

Plagued with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea? There could be several conditions causing your discomfort, such as a bug you caught from your coworker or ingested at your favorite seafood joint. Illnesses like food poisoning and gastroenteritis (often erroneously labeled “stomach flu”) typically cause little more than temporary pain and discomfort. But being able to identify the cause of your sickness can be helpful, should your condition turn serious.

Hugh Bonner, MD, a family practitioner with Saint Francis Healthcare in Wilmington, Delaware and family practitioner Timothy O’Neill, MD with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Pontiac, Michigan have both treated their share of patients with gastrointestinal distress. Here’s what they want you to know about identifying—and treating—stomach bugs. 

Livingston County Women’s Health Goes Red – Feb. 27, 2019

Save the date for the Livingston County Women’s Heath Goes Red event. Join us for a newsworthy talk with heath reporter Lila Lazarus as she discusses heart, breast, gynecological and nutritional health with St. Joe’s medical experts.

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Crystal Gardens
5768 E. Grand River, Howell

Register by Feb. 20 at brightoncoc.org. For more information, contact the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce at 810-227-5086.

St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Named a “Baby Friendly” Hospital

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, has been designated a Baby-Friendly hospital by Baby-Friendly USA.  The designation recognizes St. Joe’s for having developed the highest breastfeeding support standards for mothers and newborns in the maternity setting.

Continue reading “St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Named a “Baby Friendly” Hospital”

Santa Returns to St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Cancer Center

William Coleman, a former cancer patient beloved by his many caregivers, surprised patients, staff and physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor on Dec. 19.

ANN ARBOR – When William Coleman first donned his velveteen Santa Claus costume last year, he had no idea he was starting a new tradition.

Coleman, who was diagnosed two years ago with colon, bladder and prostate cancer, completed his treatments in December 2016, and visited his infusion clinic nurses last year, cancer-free.

The visit was so popular, Coleman decided to come back, this time to the newly renovated Cancer Center, to spread good cheer to patients and to thank his doctors, nurses and other caregivers. He handed out candy canes, shared words of encouragement, and posed for photos.

Santa made the rounds through the infusion clinic, IHA offices and radiation oncology, before making his final stop visiting his colorectal surgeon, Amanda McClure, MD, and nurse practitioner, Diana Rego. 

Time is Moving Too Fast

by Lila Lazarus

Stop it. It can’t possibly be the end of the year. How did the months fly by? Where did the time go? 2019?! That sounds like some futuristic date in an Orwell novel. Yes, we’ve all heard the older you get, the faster time flies. But this was warp speed.

I remember people saying that if you do the same thing day in and day out, your days will just blend together and move faster. But that’s not my situation. No two days are alike and yet they’ve vanished. Twelve months passed in an instant! I think it slipped by because I wasn’t being a very good witness. I didn’t observe as closely as I could have.

In yoga, we’re told to stay in the moment. Be present.  You’ll be more aware, more focused and less apt to let time drift by unnoticed. I don’t do this on a regular basis,  but I’m determined to savor every last moment of 2018.  Here’s how: Continue reading “Time is Moving Too Fast”

10 Healthy Ways to Handle Excess Stress

by Taylor Lupo

businesswoman freelancer tired, asleep working at computer at ChristmasThis article was originally published on Sharecare.

We all experience stress from time to time. In fact, about 8 in 10 adults feel frequent or occasional stress in their daily lives, according to a 2017 Gallup survey. Common sources of anxiety include money, school, work, relationships or major changes like marriages, divorces and deaths.

“Stress can absolutely be normal,” says Samuel Wedes, MD, a psychiatrist and Medical Director of Inpatient Behavioral Health at St. Mary Mercy Livonia in Livonia, Michigan. “For a lot of people, it can be a motivator to help them work harder or succeed further with their goals,” he adds. In some situations, your body’s stress response can even be life-saving.

Other times, however, it can wreak mental and physical havoc, causing head and body aches, fatigue, restlessness, irritability and even depression. In some cases, stress has been linked to an increased likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, according to Dr. Wedes.

Don’t let your worries go unchecked. Get a handle on stress with these science-backed and expert-approved tricks. Continue reading “10 Healthy Ways to Handle Excess Stress”