Join Me on a Journey to Better Health

By Rob CasalouRob Casalou
Regional President and CEO, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

The start of 2015 marks my first days on the job as regional president and CEO of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. From my family to yours, I hope the New Year brings you much joy, good health and personal growth. As I begin this journey, my mind is filled with goals and resolutions!

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those who may not know me, and share my vision for a healthier and more vibrant community.

Having worked with SJMHS colleagues and physicians across southeast Michigan over the past six years, I can honestly say the industry’s brightest and most dedicated people work here. Our hospitals are exceptional at treating complex medical conditions, ranking among the best in the country for clinical outcomes and patient safety. We also want to be the best in the country at reducing risk and improving health. Therein lies a great opportunity for us to change lives for the better.

As health care professionals, we know the statistics – obesity and diabetes rates on the rise, life expectancy lowering*. The best way to improve the health of our communities is from the inside out. I have a vision for a healthy and active workforce.

To further our message, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is embarking on a “Journey to Better Health.” Please think about the goals you can make to improve your own health and become more involved in the communities we serve. With your support and engagement, this journey is going to be remarkable for us all.  I invite you to visit www.stjoeshealth.org/joinme to learn more.

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We have a strong foundation with which to accelerate our efforts. Across SJMHS, there are farmers’ markets, 5Ks, bike rides, classes, wellness events, sports teams, walking groups, Weight Watchers at Work, HMR weight management programs and more. Our hospitals have been tobacco-free longer than any other hospital in the state.

We are leading the way in the communities we serve. Our partnership with Eastern Market in Detroit puts nutritional education and farm-grown produce on the tables of those who need it most. We’ve partnered with the Detroit Red Wings to identify healthier menu options for fans. We’re helping people improve their health through weight loss programs, smoking cessation, wellness events and health screenings. We help athletes rehabilitate from injuries and encourage families to get moving together.

I am honored to have this opportunity to work with all of you. We have much to do to build on our collective strengths of connected hospitals, outpatient centers, physician offices and programs for the poor and underserved. By our example, we will be a transforming healing presence in the lives of those we serve.

It starts with our own health. Take the journey in 2015. Join me.

In good health,

A special wish

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By Rob Casalou
Team Joe’s Captain and President/CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor & Livingston

Although each day of the WAM is unique and special, Day 2 is both the longest riding day and the longest day in total from start to finish. We start the day with riding and we end it with the annual WAM awards event called the WAMMIES that we hold in the Dewitt High School auditorium.

By the end of the day, we were all physically and emotionally drained but left each of us with a feeling of being part of something bigger than any one person or team. It was a day that grounds us in why we are out here riding – for the kids. And although the last thing we want to think about is getting back on the bike for another 93 miles tomorrow, today’s experience will make that riding that much easier.

For most of the team, riding started at 6:30am. Rosalie, Alex and Ralph left at 6am because they needed to finish as early as possible because they have to leave WAM to go to a family wedding on Saturday night. Personally, I can’t imagine doing that but that just tells you how dedicated Rosalie and her family are because many would have just canceled out on WAM. We will miss them tomorrow for sure but know they will be in our thoughts.

As we cut through the Michigan countryside taking in the beauty of our state (along with several whiffs of road kill), we rolled through towns we had not heard of before but realized how lucky we are to live in Michigan. We learned more about wheat and corn from Bill Holmes than we needed to know but it did help the time pass by…. 🙂

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Given today was 109 miles, we needed to pick up our pace and we lucked out in joining a group of riders and formed a large group (like a peleton if you are into the Tour de France) and we moved at a quick pace for the first three hours.

In fact, we arrived at our lunch stop at 9:30am. I’m not sure how you call that lunch but we were hungry so we ignored the time. I joked with my teammates that our WAM experience is good preparation for when we are in our 90s. When you think about it, on WAM we get up at 4:30am, we eat lunch at 10am and go to bed by 9pm. Sound familiar? 🙂

As we started our ride today, we were staring at a beautiful double rainbow with a large storm cell sending lightning bolts in the background. After admiring the rainbows, the cell moved in and we rode in a downpour for at least 2-3 miles. But, after the rain stopped, the wind helped dry us off and we had nothing but perfect weather the entire day. In fact, it got humid and hot and fluids were going fast. When we finished around 2:30pm, we realized that we did 109 miles in the same time it took us to do the 99 miles the day before – that would be because today was long but fewer hills (thank you God).

After we finished, it was time to get changed and back to the high school for dinner and the WAMMIES. This is a sprited awards show that always spotlights our wish kids. Tonight was no exception and we were treated with two wish kids acting as hosts of the show, 30 wish kids on stage with the stories of their Disney wishes. Then, at the end of the show, the Make-A-Wish staff arranged for a young man, Quinton, to received his Disney wish at the awards show. How cool.

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Here is a cute shot of Quinton peeking out the window.

Team Joe’s was one of the top fundraising teams on the WAM. This year we beat our $50,000 team goal and now stand over $53,000 . Many of these dollars are from our St. Joe’s family and, for this, please accept a heartfelt thanks.

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So, tomorrow is our last day. Our route is 93 miles and we intend to get out early so we can finish at the MIS Speedway by 2pm. We hear weather is coming into MIS so we wanted to beat the rain if possible. We will be on the road at 6:30am. Now to sleep….zzzzzzzz

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Jodi snapped this one as our day ended reciting “Red sky at night, sailors delight.” Let’s hope that holds true for our last day.

On the road again

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Russ Olmsted, Rob Casalou, David Steinberg and Lee Benjamin at breakfast to begin Day 2.  David is hoping that (dietitian) Lisa McDowell does not see what is on his plate this morning! it would not pass the heart smart test. no worry, it will be burned off within the first couple hours.  It is early and wheels will be on the road by 6:30am.  Weather  forecast looks better!

Team Joe’s all smiles after stage 1

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Many members to Team Joe’s met up at a late break stop. We may be weary but it was a photo op.

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Lee Benjamin and Jodi Talbott getting ready to take off and show all of us how tough the ED crew is!

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Bill Holmes and Rosalie Tocco-Bradley figure if the cycling thing doesn’t work out, then dancing may be the next best option!

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As the day winds down, the smiles are still there. From left, Sheila Marcus, Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, Alex Bradley, Rob Casalou, Jodi Talbott, Nick Graham, Tom Mihalski.

The Benefits of Sleep for a Struggling Child

Hyperactivity and sleepDoes your child struggle to focus in school, show aggressive behavior or hyperactivity?  These issues may simply be linked to a lack of sleep, a very common ailment in children.  

Sleep is necessary for a child’s optimal functioning.  A lack of sleep affects every aspect of a child’s development and can cause medical, psychiatric, behavioral and developmental problems.

Symptoms of a sleep-deprived child include lack of focus or concentration, aggressive behaviors, hyperactivity or reduced school performance. Learn more about Pediatric Sleep Services.

Proper sleep is crucial for development and learning, but children who snore may have sleep apnea or a tonsil issue blocking their airway.  It’s important to remember that children who lack sleep don’t necessarily act sleepy.  Unlike adults, kids don’t get tired during the day, they become hyperactive and can be misdiagnosed with ADHD and put on medications they don’t need. 

Led by our board-certified pediatric sleep specialist, Dr. Katherine DeRue, we will evaluate your child for a number of sleep concerns, such as snoring, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or daytime sleepiness. Based on your child’s symptoms, they may need a sleep study. SleepingChild3

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s Sleep Disorder Center provides a full range of services for children:

Ages 3 years and up:

  • Evaluation of suspected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or other sleep disordered breathing
  • Non-surgical treatment of known OSA or other sleep disordered breathing
  • Evaluation and treatment for daytime sleepiness and Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Circadian Rhythm disorders

Ages 6 months and up:

  • Behavioral sleep problems

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Sleep Specialist, visit www.stjoeshealth.org/sleep or call 734-712-2276

Learn more about Dr. DeRue in this Pediatric Sleep Commercial.