COVID-19 Vaccination Update (3/17/21)

This week, St. Joe’s has opened its eligibility to include those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs. We are preparing to support Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to open eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to all those 50 years and older next Monday, March 22, followed by all those 16 and older on April 5.

While we are hopeful that vaccine supply will improve next week and beyond with more Johnson & Johnson vaccine promised to arrive in the state, please keep in mind that those eligible may still experience delays in securing an appointment. We ask for your continued patience. Our strategy remains partnering with our local health departments to most efficiently deliver vaccine as well as route vaccine through IHA and St. Joe’s Medical Group to reach patients as quickly as possible.

Scheduling is currently by appointment only to protect the limited slots needed to vaccinate those identified groups, for both first and second doses.

Here is an update on the number of doses each of our sites received this week and that location’s outreach: 

Educate Yourself and Help Empower those Living with Chronic Kidney Disease

On March 11, World Kidney Day focuses our attention on kidney health and encourages meaningful conversations to promote awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and to express support for those living with this serious illness. 

CKD occurs when a person’s kidneys become damaged and cannot clean blood as efficiently as healthy kidneys.  This creates a domino effect within the body, resulting in more fluid in the body, and interruption of normal body functions which can lead to other serious health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

According to the CDC, 15% of U.S. adults — roughly 37 million people — are estimated to have Chronic Kidney Disease.  More alarmingly, nine in ten adults with CKD do not know they have it and one in two people with very low kidney function — who are not on dialysis — do not know they have it.

For these people, there is hope in recent medical advancements.  More flexible dialysis options are available and can provide people living with severe CKD with more freedom and an improved quality of life.

Patients who either choose not to have a kidney transplant or do not qualify for transplant have the options of doing home dialysis or traditional in-center hemodialysis. Home dialysis includes both peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis.

Peritoneal dialysis is a process that removes fluid from the body as well as cleanses the blood and it is done daily. It may be performed manually every few hours throughout the day or via an automated cycler during the nighttime. Since the dialysis is done every day this method is the closest to simulating ordinary kidney function.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update (3/9/21)

St. Joe’s is preparing to support Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to open eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to include those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs, and to all those 50 years and older on March 22.

As Michigan moves through the vaccine prioritization groups, we will continue to open vaccination appointments dependent on increased supplies. Vaccine is still limited at this time, and we continue to partner with local health departments to vaccine eligible and vulnerable populations as quickly as possible.

Scheduling is currently by appointment only to protect the very limited slots needed to vaccinate these identified groups, both first and second doses.

Stay up to date on the latest information by visiting our website.

Corned Beef and Cabbage


1 (4lb) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed

16 cups water

2 cups white or yellow onion, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup carrot, peeled and chopped

1 ½ tsp. pickling spice

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

Cooking spray

1 Tbsp. caraway seeds

2 ½ lbs. green cabbage, cored and cut into 1” strips

4lbs. small red potatoes, quartered

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

2 tsp. unsalted butter

2 tsp. lemon zest

2 tsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. ground black pepper

½ cup breadcrumbs

6oz. prepared horseradish

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard


Place brisket in a large stockpot; add water, onion, celery, carrot, pickling spice and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 3 hours. Remove brisket from the pot.

Place brisket on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Strain liquid through a colander into 2 large bowls; discard solids. Return liquid to the pot, add caraway seeds and cabbage; bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

While cabbage is cooking, place potatoes in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, return potatoes to the pan, stir in parsley, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper, toss to coat.

Preheat broiler

Combine breadcrumbs and horseradish, spread mustard on one side of the brisket. Press breadcrumb mixture onto mustard. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with cabbage and potatoes.

How to Avoid a Sleep Set Back When the Clocks Spring Forward

It happens every year – Daylight Saving Time begins, clocks spring forward and we lose an hour of sleep. The big switch this year is set for March 14. Despite losing an hour of sleep, it’s not all bad. Daylight Saving Time serves means longer days and summer weather on the horizon. Yet, Daylight Saving Time can have some serious long-term effects.

Daylight Saving Time and My Health

“It may not seem like much, but an hour makes a difference,” said Thomas Gravelyn, MD, a St. Joe’s and IHA Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine physician. “One hour of lost sleep can disrupt the circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock that cycles between alertness and tiredness.”

“When it’s dark, your body releases melatonin, a hormone that induces sleepiness. Exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin. Turning the clocks forward means less light in the morning and more light at night, which can make waking up and falling asleep at your regular times more difficult.”

Research has shown that the average person receives 40 minutes less sleep on the Monday after springing forward compared to other nights of the year. Losing one hour of sleep can affect productivity, concentration and physical and mental health. Recent studies have also found that Daylight Saving Time has long-term effects that can be associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Tips to Overcome Springing Forward

  1. Go to bed earlier. Ease into the time change by adjusting your bedtime by 15 minutes each night leading up to the time change. This can be helpful for children who are more likely to feel the effects of time change.
  2. Turn your clock forward on Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning. Allowing two days, rather than one to adjust, will help when Monday rolls around.
  3. Develop a consistent sleep routine. Go to sleep and wake up each morning at the same time. This helps develop a consistent sleep cycle, which improves your overall sleep and functioning while awake.
  4. Avoid napping if it isn’t part of your normal routine. Resist the urge to nap Sunday afternoon after waking earlier. Napping may interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night and delay your adjustment.
  5. Enjoy the longer evenings. Daylight Saving Time means longer sunlight in the evenings. Take a walk, go for a bike ride and sit outside. Natural lighting helps reset your body clock.
  6. Exercise: Physical activity is good for your health and helps you sleep better. Avoid working out close to your bedtime.
  7. Avoid eating or drinking close to bedtime. Don’t eat too close to bedtime so you can fall asleep easier and rest peacefully.
  8. Reduce screen time. Television, tablets and phones stimulate the brain and can make it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid handheld screens at least two hours before bed and television one hour before bedtime.

When It’s Not Just A Little Sleepiness

Poor sleep can seriously affect your health and well-being. If you’re struggling with a little more than adjusting to Daylight Saving Time, consider consulting your doctor about a sleep study. Find a St. Joe’s Sleep Center near you. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Update (3/2/21)

Our vaccine supply from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services remains steady this week, and we continue our strategy of providing vaccine to our local health departments and employed physician groups, where eligible community residents and patients can more readily access it.

We anticipate that the Emergency Use Authorization of the third approved vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson, will greatly increase vaccination efforts across the state beginning next week.

St. Joe’s now reserves doses of vaccine each week at many of its hospitals designated for eligible patients who reside in vulnerable zip codes. Hospital team members are conducting phone outreach to schedule appointments for these community members, many of whom may not have access to the internet and live in zip codes disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson Single Dose Vaccine Given Green Light

This week brings encouraging news: Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine has become the third COVID-19 vaccine given Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

What’s more, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose, which will help speed-up the vaccination process.  

Here are Four Things to Know About the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine:  

  1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved three COVID-19 vaccines for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). It is the first single-dose vaccine approved for EUA.  
  2. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine uses a harmless adenovirus to activate an immune response to the coronavirus spike protein. It shows mild side effects like other vaccines.  
  3. Clinical trials showed it is 72 percent effective against COVID-19 infection and 86 percent effective against severe illness and death in those who received the vaccine. No COVID-19 deaths were reported in those vaccinated during clinical trials.  
  4. It doesn’t matter which vaccine you receive. The most important thing is to get vaccinated when it is your turn. Vaccination is the most effective way to end the COVID-19 pandemic and protect yourself and those you come in contact with.  

It’s still important, however, to continue wearing a mask, washing your hands often, avoiding crowds and staying at least 6 feet away from others.  

Together we can end the pandemic! 

COVID-19 Vaccination Update (2/25/21)

Our vaccine supply from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services remains steady with vaccine still currently allocated at 60 percent to health departments and 40 percent to health systems across the state. We continue our strategy of providing vaccine allotment to our local health departments and employed physician groups, where eligible community residents and patients can more readily access it.

St. Joe’s has a special focus this week to vaccinate teachers, with 1,000 doses reserved for teachers in both Oakland and Washtenaw counties.

Please continue to be patient. It will take several months to vaccinate everyone who is eligible. All vaccines are by appointment only.

Here’s an update on the current status at each of our locations:

Feta Kale Salad with a Honey-Garlic Vinaigrette

Serves 4


  • 1 large bunch kale
  • ½ cup blueberries (or seasonal fruit of your choice)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ cup canola (or other vegetable) oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic


  1. Make the dressing: combine oil, vinegar, salt, honey and garlic. Shake, then allow to sit for at least 10 minutes to let flavors combine.
  2. Prepare the kale leaves: rinse, remove thick middle stems and chop into strips.
  3. Add blueberries or seasonal fruit to kale.
  4. Toss salad in dressing and enjoy!

Seasonal Eating During the Dark Days of a Michigan Winter

Did you know you can still eat local Michigan produce even on a 6-degree, snowy February day? It’s true–there are greens galore, root vegetables for days, and apples aplenty. Not to mention all the frozen or preserved foods that are available. How are we growing greens with a foot of snow on the ground? Growers use greenhouses or, more commonly, hoop houses. Less expensive than a green house, a hoop house is a passively heated structure where plants are grown in the soil and allow the growing season to be extended.  

Why make the effort to eat seasonal produce?

  1. It tastes better.  Fruits and veggies start to lose their nutrients (a.k.a. their flavor) as soon as they are harvested. Local food doesn’t have to travel as far and thus can get to your table faster. Spinach from our hoop house will last two to three weeks in the refrigerator. Can the same be true for boxed greens from the store? Also, sugar is nature’s antifreeze. As temperatures drop, cold-hardy vegetables increase their sugar content to prevent ice crystals from forming and damaging the plants.  
  2. It’s good for you. Those nutrients that are being lost post-harvest are what you need to stay healthy this winter. A University of California study showed that vegetables can lose 15-55% of vitamin C within a week. Kale, which grows well in the winter, is a powerhouse source of vitamin C, which can help fight off colds and reduce the duration of illness. 
  3. It’s good for your local farmers. Winter is a slow time for your local farmers and buying produce now can help farmers get through the lean times. Many Farmers Markets are held year-round; check out this directory from Taste the Local Difference to find a farm market near you.  
  4. It’s a fun way to expand your cooking skills. Have you ever cooked a rutabaga or celeriac? If not, now is your chance. Kale salad is a favorite winter go -to recipe. The trick is to massage the shredded kale with a little bit of olive oil, so it turns dark green and becomes easier to chew.

Curious to learn more about how to eat seasonally in the winter and even year-round? Check out this guide on what’s in season throughout the year in Michigan. Another great way to eat more local, seasonal food is to sign up for a subscription with a local farmer. Sometimes called a Community Supported Agriculture Program or a Farm Share, these programs connect consumers directly to farmers which makes it easy to get a box of the freshest produce each week.  

Did you know that several Trinity Michigan hospitals have farms on their grounds? St Joe’s Ann Arbor, St Joe’s Oakland, and Mercy Health Muskegon all have farms that work to grow not only vegetables, but also a healthy community.

The Farm at St Joe’s Ann Arbor is 11 years old and has many programs that connect people, farmers and health. Learn more about our program here.

2021 Farm Share Get a weekly or bi-weekly box of local produce! Learn more here. Need financial assistance? Check out our Fair Share option. 

Ypsi Area Online Market A virtual farmers market with pick-up options at the Farm or in downtown Ypsilanti. Start shopping here

Nutrition Buddies: Virtual after -school cooking classes this spring with our resident physicians for 12-14 year olds struggling with food insecurity. Families receive two-seasons of the Farm Share for participating. Contact: for more info or to sign-up. 

Looking for other options? Register today for the 2021 virtual CSA Fair and read this article by MSU Extension for Tips on Joining a CSA