Quick Pumpkin Rice


– 1 can pumpkin puree

– 2 cups of brown rice

– 2.5 cups of vegetable broth

– 2.5 cups of water

– 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

– 1 onion, chopped

– 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

– Fresh herbs, topping


 Dice garlic and let sit on your cutting board for a least ten minutes.

 Dice the yellow onion and add with the garlic to a sauce pan with the garlic and oil. Sautee for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

 Add the rice, vegetable broth, water, and pumpkin. Stir until combined.

 Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes.

 Top with fresh herbs like sage or rosemary.

Pumpkin can be substituted for any hard squash which is readily available this time of year such as butternut, acorn, or blue hubbard. You can add cooked squash in place of pumpkin puree to this recipe, deep orange squash like pumpkin is high in fiber and beta-carotene.

Dr. Anissa Mattison, OB/GYN, Shares Why She Trusts St. Joe’s Oakland for Her Patients’ Care

By Anissa Mattison, DO, OB/GYN at Mercy Women’s Center

I am an OB/GYN at St. Joe’s Oakland. It means everything to me that I am able to provide my patients with every advantage possible. St. Joe’s Oakland is one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the U.S. – ranked in the U.S. News and World Report Most Wired. It has world-class birthing and NICU facilities; the newest mammography technologies; cancer research and therapies; and state-of-the-art surgical equipment surrounded by a healing environment and staff who care.

Every day I choose to send my patients to St. Joe’s because this facility is simply the best option for my patients at every turn, delivering world-class comprehensive care in their own backyard.

Bedside Voting Services Offered for Patients Hospitalized Near Election Day

The hospital is not likely a place patients want to be, especially during an important election. At Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health, we want to do everything possible to make our patients’ stays healing and calm.

For registered voters who unexpectedly find themselves in the hospital near Election Day, there may still be an opportunity to cast a vote, even if they have not applied for an absentee ballot. There is a provision in Michigan law for an EMERGENCY absentee ballot, allowing them the opportunity to make an absentee ballot request if they cannot attend the polls due to:

  • Personal injury or illness
  • A family death or illness that requires you to leave your community for the entire time the polls are open on Election Day (such as a hospitalization)

The emergency must have occurred after 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the election (10/30).

To request an emergency absentee ballot, patients will need to have someone they trust deliver their absentee ballot application to their City or Township clerk’s office before 4 p.m. on Election Day. Completed ballots must be returned to the clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

To learn more, visit the Michigan Secretary of State site here.

October is National Physical Therapy Month

In recognition of National Physical Therapy Month, which is celebrated in October, Daniel Wolocko PT, SCS, CSCS, director of Mercy Elite Sports Performance, a member of St. Mary Mercy Livonia, recently answered some commonly asked questions about his profession and the service he and his colleagues provide the community.

1. What is physical therapy and who benefits from it?

Physical Therapy is division of allied health care that uses movement to improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

2. What does a physical therapist do and what is their training?

Physical therapists examine both patients and clients to develop a plan of care with treatment to improve ability to move, reduce or manage pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists are doctoral-level college graduates from an accredited college or university physical therapy graduate school program.

Daniel Wolocko PT, SCS, CSCS, director of Mercy Elite Sports Performance

3. What happens in a therapy session and how long does it last?

Most therapy sessions last from 30 to 60 minutes. Each session offers individualized attention from a physical therapist and assistive staff to assess present status, educate, support, and provide some form of treatment involving hands-on care, exercise, and movement activity.

4. How is Physical Therapy different than going to the gym or working out at home?

Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals. Physical therapists offer the highest level of specialized personal care for injuries, disabilities, or other health conditions that need treatment. The majority of physical therapy services are reimbursable through health care insurance.

5. What’s the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy (OT)?

Physical therapy primarily works to correct physical impairments through actions designed to improve overall bodily movement and mobility while reducing pain.

Occupational therapy works to overcome impairments by applying specific strategies and tasks to improve a patient’s ability to complete personal everyday functions.

6. In recognition of National Physical Therapy Month, is there any particular message you would like people to receive?

Having a trusted physical therapist to consult with for regular check-ups on your “movement hygiene” throughout the year, can provide a great boost to improve your overall health/wellness and injury reduction. Here at St. Mary Mercy Livonia, and across the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System region, the communities we serve are blessed to have access to these life improving services.

Be a Team: Breast Cancer Survivor Leads Pandemic Response for St. Joe’s and Mercy Health

As the top physician executive of Trinity Health Michigan, Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Rosalie Tocco-Bradley leads St. Joe’s and Mercy Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a breast cancer survivor, she remains focused on safely managing her health through routine follow-up exams, staying active, and self-care.  

The following article from Gift of Health has been updated to include Dr. Tocco-Bradley’s progress during the pandemic year 2020.

In this photo from 2018, St. Joe’s care team gathers around their patient, Dr. Rosalie Tocco-Bradley (center). From L-R: Paul Izenberg, MD; Samuel Hirsch, MD, Lynn Joynt, MD; Julie Soriano, MD; Walter Sahijdak, MD; Michael Dorsey, MD, Beth Kimball, MD; Kathleen Beekman, MD, and Jennifer Kulick, MD,

When Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD, Chief Clinical Officer of Trinity Health Michigan thinks about cancer care, she thinks about the team – St. Joe’s experts from multiple fields of medicine and surgery who are there to diagnose, treat and care for our patients.

When she thinks about cancer, she thinks about her mom and even more so her sister, Maria.  “Losing my baby sister to breast cancer left a hole in my heart.  When I think about my personal relationships and all the families we see impacted by cancer, I know I have to do everything in my power to help St. Joe’s and our physicians make care better.” 

Hearing Dr. Tocco-Bradley talk about her sister and the medical team and programs she leads, you understand why she’s described as inspiring, resilient, caring and dynamic.  Her strengths are rooted in experience.  Dr. Tocco-Bradley has not only seen cancer through the eyes of a doctor, administrator, donor, sister, and daughter, you can add patient to that list – she’s fighting the disease herself…for a second time.

“Ro” with her sisters Vinnie, Maria and Toni, taken six months before Maria passed away from cancer.

Even knowing the increased risk factor of family history, Dr. Tocco-Bradley was surprised when she first found a lump in 2007.  “I always had screening mammograms, but I could feel something different,” Dr. Tocco-Bradley said.  “I went in for more testing, and the minute my radiologist walked in to speak with me after my mammogram, I knew.”

Dr. Tocco-Bradley relied on the team at St. Joe’s to treat her breast cancer.  “Most people don’t know how many clinical specialties are actually involved in caring for a cancer patient.  It takes a village.  They saved my life.”

She underwent aggressive therapies – a mastectomy on the right side and chemotherapy, including Adriamycin, known as the red devil, which caused severe nausea and fatigue.  “I’m a hearty girl,” Dr. Tocco-Bradley said. “But I was as sick as a dog.”  With fighting spirit, she continued working throughout treatment and reconstructive surgery. 

In less than a year, Dr. Tocco-Bradley was back to full health and full action.  At home as a wife, mom, host family for USA Hockey players, and biker in the Make-a-Wish/Wish-a-Mile, and, professionally, treating patients, in the OR and pain clinic through Anesthesia Associates of Ann Arbor, going to business school, reviewing grants for Susan G. Komen, mentoring young women interested in medicine, and going on medical mission trips through ReSurge to underdeveloped countries. 

Then, in 2017, Dr. Tocco-Bradley found another lump.  The breast cancer was back.  Without hesitation, she turned to the team at St. Joe’s again who have given her a good prognosis.  “You know, my care has been extraordinary,” she said.  “My doctors, nurses and staff have been available, answered my questions, and collaborated between the various specialties.  I trust the St. Joe’s team with my life.” 

In gratitude for the care she received and would receive and as a leader who is dedicated to continued improvements, Dr. Tocco-Bradley and her husband, Dr. Brian Bradley, were lead donors to the “Life is Remarkable” campaign with a gift of $25,000. 

Donors’ generosity was an investment in St. Joe’s cancer program and team, and the renewal of our Robert H. and Judy Dow Alexander Cancer Center, which reopened in 2018.

“Every family will be touched by cancer and if you don’t know it already, you will know how great it is to not just have a facility, but also a great team to care for you.”

2020 Update:

As the health system’s top physician executive, Dr. Tocco-Bradley leads Mercy Health and St. Joe’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a breast cancer survivor, she remains focused on safely managing her health through routine follow-up exams, staying active, and self-care.  

How are you doing?  What treatments did you receive?

Following my 2nd mastectomy and 30 rounds of radiation, my energy level was low for some months, but now I’m back to my usual fast pace.   During recovery in 2018, I needed to reduce my Make a Wish fund raising ride from 300 miles to 50 miles but was delighted to manage 300 miles in 2019 – although I seem to be slowing down – LOL.   I view every day as a gift.   In terms of ongoing care, I continue to receive an infusion of Zometa twice a year to diminish my risk of metastatic bone disease and see my oncologist and breast surgeon annually.     

How have you approached continuing recovery and well-being throughout the pandemic?
I never take any day for granted.   I know that being able to live a healthy life is a gift, but also takes personal commitment post-breast cancer and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  I am acutely aware that the pandemic has created many hardships for people both emotionally and physically.   I attempt to model healthy and safe behaviors for my family, friends and colleagues at work.   And I am blessed to continue serving in a clinical leadership role through our COVID-19 response team

As women pay attention to breast health, how safe are mammograms at St. Joe’s right now?
Seeking a mammogram at St. Joe’s is completely safe and essential for women’s health.  I was absolutely adamant that we re-establish our access to mammograms at St. Joe’s as quickly as possible following our first surge of COVID-19.   We are now in a great position to provide safe care with our screening protocols, masking and PPE adherence and cleaning protocols.  Mammograms save lives and reduce unnecessary advanced breast cancer disease in women.   Please don’t stay away.  We are here for you.

To learn more about remarkable care and how you can make a difference, visit:

St. Joe’s Giving Page

Mercy Health Giving Page

Harvest Vegetable and Farro Salad

Serves 6

1 cup serving



1 cup farro, uncooked

4 cups root vegetables, diced (beets, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, etc.)

1 can chickpeas, no salt added (NSA), drained, liquid reserved

1 apple, diced


2 tbsp reserved chickpea liquid

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp stone ground mustard

¼ cup fresh chives or green onion, chopped

¼- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F
  2. Place cut root vegetables on a silicon mat lined baking sheet. If not using a silicon mat, use parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. Bake root vegetables for 25 minutes. Let cool before combining with other ingredients.
  3. While vegetables roast, cook the farro. Combine 1 cup farro with 2 cups liquid (water or NSA vegetable broth) in a medium saucepan. Bring farro and liquid to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Combine cooked farro, roasted vegetables, chickpeas and apples in a bowl.
  5. To prepare dressing, whisk remaining ingredients together and pour harvest salad.   
  6. Enjoy!


  • Kuner’s brand of no salt added chickpeas are available at Meijer. Alternatively, if you cannot find no salt added chickpeas, look for low sodium beans where the mg of sodium are less than the calories per serving.
  • Using a silicon mat allows you to cook and bake without the need for oil. Find a silicon mat or “silpat” at Meijer, Walmart, Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.
  • Feel free to substitute the farro and chickpeas for any other whole grain or NSA bean. 

With Help from Family and St. Joe’s – COVID Plasma Patient Goes Home

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor patient Richard Beckerson was discharged home this week after a long, but successful healing journey.  Back in April, Mr. Beckerson became one of the first COVID-19 patients in Michigan to receive an experimental treatment using plasma from a person who had recovered from COVID-19 in an effort to treat the virus.

With his family’s support, Mr. Beckerson was enrolled into an innovative convalescent plasma program started by The Mayo Clinic with participation from St. Joe’s and hospitals throughout the country.

After four months in the hospital, Mr. Beckerson was met with a celebration from the staff while being discharged home.  Hospital colleagues applauded as he walked out of the hospital with the aid of a walker. Watch Mr. Beckerson’s triumphant discharge from the hospital.

Mr. Beckerson first arrived to the St. Joe’s Emergency Department on March 29 while experiencing respiratory distress.  During his hospitalization, St. Joe’s physicians, nurses, therapists and other support staff worked tirelessly on his behalf as he fought to survive and then rehabilitate himself.

If you have recovered from COVID and would like find out how to donate plasma to help others, click here.

Curried Quinoa Patties

By Alexandra Babcock, MPH, RDN

Enjoy these light, healthy and tasty recipes brought to you by the Lifestyle Medicine Team!

Makes 4 servings


1 cup quinoa, cooked

½ cup carrots, shredded

½ cup mushrooms, minced

2 Tbsp ground flax

6 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin


  1. Lay out cutting board, knife, cheese grater, sauce pan, small mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and mixing spoon. You will also need a greased cookie sheet. Preheat Oven to 350F. Wash all vegetables.
  2. Rinse ½ cup of quinoa under water until water runs clear. Add the quinoa, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the water is cooked off. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Stir with a fork and set aside to cool. 
  3. While quinoa cooks, peel your carrot. Grate carrot over the cheese grater and place ½ cup into a mixing bowl.
  4. Cut your mushrooms until they are in ½ cm sized, minced pieces. Add ½ cup to the mixing bowl.
  5. Place flax and water into a small bowl. Stir and set aside for 3 minutes until the flax meal gels into a flax egg. Then add the “egg” to the mixing bowl.
  6. Add remaining spices and cooked 1 cup of quinoa to the mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  7. Form 4 patties about a ½ cup each using your hands. Place on the cookie tray.
  8. Bake at 350F for 20-25min or until golden brown.
  9. Serve immediately or freeze in bags for up to 2 months.

Chef Notes:

  • Make more quinoa than the recipe calls for and store it in the fridge for use in meal preparation for up to 5 days. Cook quinoa using 1 part dried grain and 2 parts water.
  • Feel free to use more spices in this recipe. Garlic, turmeric, parsley, and ginger all go well with this dish!

Cooling Summer Bean Salad

By Alexandra Babcock, MPH, RDN

Enjoy these light, healthy and tasty recipes brought to you by the Lifestyle Medicine Team!

Makes 4 servings


1-16oz can Cannellini or Navy Beans

2 medium stalks celery

1 red bell pepper

½ fennel root

¼ cup fennel fronds


½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Pepper to taste


  1. Lay out cutting board, knife, can opener, strainer, large serving bowl, small mixing bowl or jar, and spoon Wash all vegetables.
  2. Open can of beans and rinse with water in the strainer until the water runs clear. Set aside.
  3. Trim ends of celery. Slice celery length wise and dice into ½ inch pieces. Remove center of bell pepper and dice into the same sized pieces.
  4. Remove end of frond of fennel root. Cut length-wise and save half. Lay cut side down and slice thin horizontally.
  5. Chop fronds coarsely.
  6. Add all ingredients to serving bowl and toss.
  7. Make dressing by adding dressing ingredients into small mixing bowl. Stir or shake to combine.
  8. Toss over salad and mix. Serve immediately or place into smaller containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days.