Team Trinity Embarks on 2022 Wish-A-Mile Bike Ride Across Michigan

Rob Casalou (left) and members of Team Trinity meet up on the eve of the 2022 Wish a Mile bike tour through Michigan.

At dawn this morning, 23 colleagues and friends of Trinity Health hit the road for the 35th annual Wish-a-Mile bicycle tour through Michigan. Our cyclists are pedaling 300 miles from Traverse City to the Eaton proving grounds over three days to support wishes granted to seriously ill children.

Organized by the Make a Wish Foundation of Michigan, Team Trinity has raised more than $108,091 for this ride so far, the second highest of all teams riding in this year’s edition of the Wish a Mile.

Team Trinity For Make A Wish Michigan

Team Trinity is led by Trinity Health Michigan President and CEO Rob Casalou, who is blogging his experiences on the ride. We are proud to share his entries with you daily:

(Thursday, July 28, 2022)

The last time that we all gathered for the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) Bike tour was three years ago this weekend.  Team Trinity has been a fixture in this challenging and amazing 3 day, 300 mile tour that raises funds for Make-A-Wish Michigan.  In fact, this is Team Trinity’s 10th year in WAM and I am so grateful for our team members and all the riders who raise funds and put their bikes and their butts on the road!  

The last three years has seen change, challenge, sadness, relief, anxiety and disagreement.  But one thing that WAM does is bring people together from all walks of life for the sole purpose of granting wishes.  And it a purpose that binds us together as we get on the road tomorrow.  For me personally, the last three years has also brought change and I am happy to share this WAM with my significant other, Ashley Sandborn.  As an active cyclist and Ironman triathlete, she is made for this tour.  And I have not been shy in telling her I will gladly draft off her for all 300 miles…lol

This year, we have 23 riders on Team Trinity including myself. They come from all over our health system and also include a few close friends. The 2022 Team Trinity riders are –

Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD
Robert Bunnell
Jamie Callison
Zach Carter
Tom Chouinard
Kris Colone
Dylan England
Kathleen England
Matt Griffin, MD
Jeff Hamilton
Patrick Hoban
Christian Hoban
Greg Hodder
Gregg Kopp
Michelle Gordon-LaForest
Brandon Lorenz
Dean Mengel
Russ Olmsted
Rob Pavlik
Dan Pheps
Ashley Sandborn
Jack Sylvestre

The team showed up at the Eaton Proving Grounds in Marshall, Michigan this morning for check-in. It’s a 300-mile journey to the Proving Grounds in Brooklyn on Sunday so we come here, drop our cars, put our bikes on trucks provided by Meijer, and load onto buses for the drive to Traverse City.  It was so great to see everyone and the energy was palpable.   While some of us wish we were better trained for this WAM, there was nowhere else any of us wanted to be.

The bus ride up north is usually uneventful but this year had a slight twist. We had a very nice bus driver who was unfortunately directionally challenged. We ended up taking wrong exits and ending up in taking the scenic tour through Michigan. But we did make it safely to the Traverse City East Middle School where we would leave our bikes for the night and is our starting point for tomorrow morning. As we debarked from our buses, we went through the routine of gathering our bikes and setting them up for the night and morning, grabbing our bags and heading to shuttle buses that would take riders to nearby hotels. Several riders, including members of Team Trinity, choose to stay at the school either on air mattresses in the gym or in a tent they can pitch on school grounds.

By the time we arrived and settled in, it was already 7 p.m. so the rest of the evening was spent having a quick dinner and getting organized for the morning. The alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. in our room (even earlier with some riders) so going to bed early is a must. And that is where I am heading now at 9:00. I will conclude by saying thank you to all from our Trinity Health family that supported our ride through donations. We could not have done this without you. Tomorrow’s weather forecast is awesome with low temps and even a little tailwind.  Please pray for the safety of all the riders who will be on the road tomorrow as we head to Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Goodnight.

Rob

Child Heatstroke: Keeping Your Kids Safe from Heat Injuries in Cars (Infographic)

Our little ones mean a lot to us and it’s tough to imagine forgetting them anywhere – but it happens. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of child related hot car incidents happen because someone forgets a child in a car. Keep your children safe by:

  • Never leaving your child in a car, no matter what the weather is.
  • Teaching your children that cars are not play areas.
  • Placing a child’s item on the front seat and a personal item in the back seat.

When traveling with a child or infant, practice looking inside your car before locking it. Remember: Park. Look. Lock.

Find a Provider Near You.

We offer more ways to care for you, your family and our community. Whether you need routine care or treatment for an injury or chronic condition, our providers are here for you.

Crispy Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets

Crispy Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets

Author: Kim Friendly, Simply Plant Based Kitchen
This crispy and delicious recipe will make these tofu nuggets a regular part of your meal rotation.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 75 kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained & pressed for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten & soy free
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Instructions
 

  • After you've drained & pressed your tofu, place on a cutting board & slice into 1" cubes.
  • Mix low sodium soy sauce & vegetable broth together in a small bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, add all the dry ingredients & mix together (garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, black pepper, salt, & cornstarch).
  • Place cubes in a medium sized bowl & toss with the soy sauce mixture (or you can put in a ziplock bag to marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge for more flavor).
  • Coat the tofu with the dry spices and toss well. It's ok if you have broken pieces – they'll end up super crispy & tasty!
  • Place cubes in the basket of your air fryer (no need to spray with oil) in a single layer and leave a little space around each piece. (you may have to do separate batches depending on the size of your air fryer)
  • Set your air fryer to 400°. Cook for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to flip them/shake basket and repeat 2-3 more times until desired crispness. 10-15 minutes total.
  • Remove tofu & allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy as a snack, salad topper, or main dish! Serve plain or with sauce of choice. Great to dip in BBQ sauce!

Notes

Baking Instructions (if you don’t have an Air Fryer):
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Spread cubes out in one layer on the baking sheet, with space between each piece.  Bake for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or until desired crispness.
Keyword air fryer, oil-free, plant-based, tofu, vegan

Reference: Crispy Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets (Vegan & Oil Free) recipe by Kim Friendly, Simply Plant-Based Kitchen

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Air Fryers: Are they for you?

These days, air fryers are all the rage. Air fryers are constantly popping up on social media, and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. But are they truly healthy? Sophia Speroff, MPH, RD, Community Dietitian, Chelsea Hospital has the answer.

Air Frying vs. Traditional Frying

Using an air fryer is healthier than traditional frying. Air fryers use hot-air technology to cook food. Newer ovens that have a convection setting use a similar process: Fans blow hot air around the food. Air fryers produce a crispy exterior to the food, with little or no oil, making this frying method healthier than traditional frying.

If you use a deep fryer or pan to fry foods, you are bathing those foods in hot oil. Deep-fried foods are more flavorful, but they have more calories.

A Brief Word about Fats

Some fats are essential to give your body energy and support cell function. They help keep your body warm and produce important hormones. Fats also provide nutrients and protect your organs.

There are two major categories of fats: saturated (unhealthy) and unsaturated (healthy). Dieticians recommend getting 10 percent or less of your daily calories from saturated fats.

Why is frying unhealthy?

Fats are more energy-dense than carbohydrates and proteins. If you consume a lot of fat calories, you can gain weight and potentially become overweight — which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Foods that people deep fry absorb the saturated fats that are used when frying, making frying problematic for a person trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In the process of heating oil to a very high temperature when frying and grilling, carcinogens can result, which are then consumed with the fried foods. Do not eat any foods that blacken while frying or grilling. Chemicals that are thought to be probable human carcinogens are produced when food is blackened.

Features to Look for in an Air Fryer

If you still love and crave fried foods, there are ways to make it a little better for you – both for your health and your wallet. Consider how often you will use this countertop appliance, which is not limited to frying foods. For example, you can make hard-boiled eggs, bake salmon and other meats, prepare desserts, and reheat leftovers.

  • Consider the price of an air fryer before purchase. Prices can vary significantly.
  • If you have an instant pot, there is an accessory you can buy that air fries, so you wouldn’t have to purchase another kitchen appliance.
  • Review sites of air fryers say that consumers should consider the wattage needed.
  • If an air fryer has pre-settings and you plan to use the air fryer frequently, you may prefer a model with more settings.
  • Dishwasher-safe baskets are great for easy clean up.

Alternatives to Frying

There are several healthier alternatives to frying your foods.

  1. Sautéing: Preparing foods this way is significantly healthier than deep fat frying. Sautéing uses a very small amount of oil.
  2. Steaming and Boiling: Heating liquids to cook foods does not require the use of oils. From a nutrient standpoint, it better to steam than to boil.
  3. Roasting and Baking: Both methods of cooking are a great alternative, especially if you add seasonings to the foods you are making. If you are roasting a fatty food, such as beef, be sure to provide a way to catch the drippings so the food isn’t sitting in its own fat.
  4. Broiling: This method browns and crisps food at a high temperature for a short period of time. It is often used for a finishing or beginning touch, while the food is cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Be aware that you can char food if you over broil, which then produces carcinogens.

Your takeaway? Using an air fryer is a healthier way to produce fried foods, but overall, it is healthier not to fry any foods.

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We offer more ways to care for you, your family and our community. Whether you need routine care or treatment for an injury or chronic condition, our providers are here for you.

5 Safety Tips for Summer Camping

The great state of Michigan is full of natural wonders to explore. Whether you are backpacking along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, car camping and dune climbing at Warren Dunes State Park, or enjoying an overnight canoe trip on the Au Sable River, here are some tips to ensure your adventures are safe and enjoyable for the whole family:

Tip 1: Know the area you are visiting and have a plan.

Before you go, take some time to learn about the area including the weather, terrain, and risks. A simple web search will help you with this. Park Rangers are also an amazing resource to tap into.

Carefully plan your adventure and notify a trusted friend of where you are going, when you expect to return, and when the friend should consider you “overdue” and make a report.

TIP 2: Protect yourself from the elements, injury & insects.

Pack shelter & clothing that are suitable for the expected weather conditions; this includes a tent/hammock with a rain fly, temperature appropriate sleeping bag, rain jacket, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, etc. You should also pack sun block (minimum SPF 30) and insect repellant (20-30% DEET) to deter mosquitoes and ticks.

Always carry a first aid kit & a safety whistle with you. First aid kits geared toward outdoor adventures can be found at most recreation stores and are often scalable to the activity and duration. Plan to exercise and build strength and endurance before your trip to decrease injuries.

TIP 3: Give wildlife their space.

Michigan is home to bears, moose, porcupines, cougars, coyotes, and wolves. When viewing wildlife, stay back at least 25 yards for most animals and at least 100 yards for bear and wolves. If you are in bear country, carry bear spray & be a noisy hiker by talking or singing with your hiking buddy.

Making noise lets animals know you are nearby so they can move along. If you accidentally find yourself too close to an animal, know how to handle the encounter correctly. Resources for how to handle wildlife encounters can be found on the NPS.gov website.

TIP 4: Keep your food and water safe.

Always carry drinking water with you, even on short hikes. Water from lakes, rivers, or creeks must be purified before you drink it. There are many ways to purify water including boiling, tablets, squeeze filters, gravity filters, and UV light treatment. Store and prepare food AWAY from your sleeping area.

Keep your campsite clean and keep any food or scented personal care items out of your tent. When car camping, store food in your vehicle. When camping in the backcountry, hang your food approximately 15 feet high and 100 yards from your sleeping area.

TIP 5: Fire Safety

Keep fires contained in a well-established fire ring, keep a bucket of water nearby, and NEVER attempt to start a fire with gasoline. Fully extinguish your fire before going to sleep or leaving your campsite for the day. Discuss fire safety with children and set firm boundaries about running & horseplay near campfires.

Finally, whenever you are outdoors and enjoying nature, be sure to follow the 7 Leave No Trace Principles and leave nature better than you found it.

Find a Provider Near You.

We offer more ways to care for you, your family and our community. Whether you need routine care or treatment for an injury or chronic condition, our providers are here for you.

Heat Illness: What It Is and How to Respond

In Michigan, we associate sunshine and warmer temperatures with more access to healthy outdoor activities and fewer illnesses from viruses and bacteria.

However, summer can bring extreme weather conditions, including unusually hot temperatures for long stretches. That is why it is important to be on guard for heat illnesses. The CDC reported that heat-related deaths are one of the deadliest weather-related health outcomes in the United States.

Common heat illnesses — heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat rash, heat cramps, and sunburn — can affect anyone, at any age, regardless of race or ethnicity, and you don’t need to live in the Southwest to be affected by them.

Children up to age 4, adults older than 65, and people who are overweight or have an existing medical condition — such as heart disease or diabetes — are at greater risk for a heat-related illness. During hot weather, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat when participating in strenuous physical activities or sports.

Use Common Sense

The best way to avoid heat illnesses is to use common sense.

  • Limit your sun exposure and avoid the hours of most intense heat in midday.
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • When in the sun, be sure to wear a hat or have access to an umbrella or other shade.
  • If beginning a vigorous activity or sport, pace yourself and take time to build up to more activity.
  • Never leave a child or pet unattended in a car, especially in a hot car.
  • Dress infants and children in cool, lose clothing, and shade their heads and faces from the sun.

Two of the most serious heat illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion (mild to moderate heat illness)

Learn to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Core temperature may be normal or high; the person’s skin may be cool to the touch
  • Rapid, strong or weak pulse
  • Fatigue
  • Profuse sweating
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

If you notice someone with these symptoms, take the following course of action:

  • Remove the person from the hot environment to a cool environment.
  • Hydrate with water.
  • Elevate the legs.
  • Remove excess clothing.

It may take hours to recover, so do not leave the person unattended.

Heat Stroke (severe heat illness)

Heat stroke can cause permanent brain damage and even death. It is a medical emergency. If you notice someone with these symptoms, call 911 immediately:

  • Skin feels hot and dry (not sweaty)
  • Temperature is greater than 104 degrees
  • Rapid, strong or weak pulse
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness

Seek immediate medical attention:

  • Call 911.
  • Actively cool the person by using cool mist/fanning, cool-water bath or shower, and cool, wet towels or ice packs (on groin, neck, and armpits).
  • Move into air conditioning, if possible.
  • Remove excess clothing.
  • Maintain the airway for breathing.

A physician will advise the person on follow-up care and recovery.

With some advanced planning, you and your family can enjoy fun in the sun safely. And keep one more thing in mind: It is becoming more common for people without air conditioning — and people who are older, homebound, or isolated — to succumb to heat waves. Checking on such neighbors during the warm summer days could save lives. And if you are ever unsure, call 911.

Find a Provider Near You.

We offer more ways to care for you, your family and our community. Whether you need routine care or treatment for an injury or chronic condition, our providers are here for you.

Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Continues to Provide Excellent Care for Stroke Patients

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times.

Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is committed to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Data from the Michigan Hospital Stroke Program (MiSP) demonstrates the excellent care that we provide for our stroke patients.  Our thrombectomy program continues to work diligently to provide the high- quality care for our stroke patients.

View the most recent performance report for Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland below.

Regular Screenings Can Help Catch Skin Cancer Early

Did you know that according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the main cause of skin cancer is being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun?

Warm summer weather often means taking part in more outdoor activities. While it’s important to be more active, when it comes to being out in the sun, be sure to take care of your skin.

As a component of summer safety, Trinity Health would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of regular skin screenings.

Your primary care physician (PCP) or other health care professional might advise that you perform routine skin self-exams to check for the development of any unusual changes.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the best time to do this is after a shower or bath. Check your skin in a room with plenty of light and use a full-length mirror and a hand-held mirror to learn where your birthmarks, moles, and other marks are as well as their usual look and feel.

If you find anything that looks unusual, such as a sore that won’t heal, a new mole that is different from others or a change in the way one of your moles looks, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.

Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in family medicine, internal medicine or general practice.

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

Trinity Health is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you live a healthy life.

Ready to find a doctor?

Our high-quality primary care doctors are ready to care for you. Schedule an appointment with one today.

Urinary Tract Infections: What Women Need to Know

In practice since 2019, Trinity Health IHA Medical Group Obstetrics and Gynecologist, Sara Muszynski, MD, is no stranger to the annoying condition of having a urinary tract infection (UTI). She is happy to share her expertise with the many women who have — and will — get them in their lifetimes. This is what she wants all women to know:

Why Us?

Up to 60 percent of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, and for some women, it will be multiple times. Unfortunately, women are more prone to UTIs as a function of the female anatomy.

Female gastrointestinal tracts and vaginas are colonized with bacteria — some of which are pathogenic, or capable of causing disease. Because of the short distance from the rectum to the vagina to the urethra, the pathogenic bacteria have easier access to the urethra in women. The bacteria can enter the urethra and travel to the bladder, causing symptoms.

Other causes of UTIs include kidney reflux or bladder reflux, where the kidneys or bladder don’t fully empty. The use of catheters is also a way for UTIs to develop.

Symptoms

Classic symptoms of a UTI include burning when urinating, a sensation of needing to urinate frequently, urgency, or lower abdominal pain. The color of the urine may also be an indicator of a UTI, such as urine that appears a darker amber color or cloudy, but not always.

Prevention and Treatment

Many women first experience a UTI once they become sexually active. Sexual intercourse tends to move around the bacteria in the area of the vagina, rectum, and urethra.

  • A personal hygiene reminder: It is always good practice to wipe from “front to back” when using the restroom.
  • Urinating following sex may decrease the bacteria that gain access to the urethra.
  • Another way to prevent a UTI is to urinate when you need to. Don’t “hold it.”
  • Cranberry supplements are often promoted as a source of prevention. Yet clinical studies have not been able to verify what dosing and frequency of cranberry supplements are needed to determine if this is truly effective.
  • Frequent hydration is also crucial. Drinking pure water is best for flushing fluids.
  • My colleagues and I recommend that women wear cotton underwear. Other materials may lead to excess moisture (an environment in which bacteria thrive).

The treatment for UTIs is a short course of antibiotics.

I tell patients that over-the-counter treatments for UTIs are like a “bladder Tylenol.” They don’t remove the bacteria, but they help with the symptoms of pain and urgency to urinate. The only treatment is truly antibiotics. To target the antibiotic, we need to get a urine sample.

When Symptoms Don’t Necessarily Indicate a UTI

Women should also be aware that the symptom of urgency to urinate does not always indicate a UTI. Caffeine in general, diet sodas, and alcohol are bladder irritants that can cause urgency, but not necessarily a UTI.

Taking any antibiotic for a UTI, upper respiratory infection, or sinusitis can promote a yeast infection in the vagina because it changes the bacteria in the vagina. Most women can differentiate between a yeast infection and a UTI, but sometimes there can be confusion. These points will help you to differentiate:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Sensation of burning even when not urinating

Finally, the decrease in estrogen in women going through menopause may lead to a woman having vaginal and urethral burning, which is not related to a UTI.

Parting Thoughts

If you are in your reproductive years, it is easier for physicians to order a lab for a urine sample and to tell from your symptoms if you should begin treatment immediately. You may not need to schedule an appointment; it can be handled on the patient portal.

If you are having recurring UTIs or if you are taking antibiotics and symptoms are not improving, this warrants further evaluation and I would advise coming in for an office visit.

Dr. Muszynski sees patients at Trinity Health IHA Medical Group, Obstetrics & Gynecology – West Arbor. To make an appointment with her, call 734-995-2259 or schedule an appointment online.

From Couch to 5K for Seniors

Spring is here, and good weather is a time to think about recommitting to fitness, especially at community events.

Now would be a good time to start training to participate in a community walk, which is a great way for people to get moving, whether they are new to walking for exercise or trying to get back on the exercise bandwagon.

Getting on the exercise bandwagon, and then staying on it, can be a constant work in progress. That is why when patients mention their difficulties with exercise, we can say with assurance that “The struggle is real!”

There is good news, though. Research shows that for older adults, exercise is better than no exercise. Even one minute of exercise can help improve mobility and physical function. The bottom line is this: It is never too late to start exercising, and you can begin with small steps!

Using a “Couch to 5K” program or another beginner walking program is helpful in providing guidance and takes the guesswork out of “how to go about it.” Try this Walk/Run Plan tailored for beginners to get started.

Tips Before Starting an Exercise Regimen

  • After finding a program to get you started, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the safety of the program before you begin.
  • Spend time looking for footwear with proper cushioning, comfort, and stability. The fit should be a thumb’s-width of space between the end of your longest toe and the end of your shoe. Your heel shouldn’t slip when you walk or jog, and your foot shouldn’t be spilling over the edges of the shoe. If your shoes are not comfortable when you first try them on, they won’t be comfortable when walking or jogging.
  • If you need to use an assistive device for balance or safety, such as a cane or walker, use it! Your safety is most important, and those devices will help you keep your independence.
  • Slow down the program if you find it is too much for you. It is okay to spend 12 weeks completing a 6-week program.
  • Make a public commit to complete the program. Making yourself accountable to someone, whether on social media or to a fitness buddy, can make it easier to keep going, even when you don’t want to.
  • Consider listening to music, nature sounds, a podcast or audiobook to accompany you while you train.
  • Don’t forget to stretch after warming up and definitely after finishing your workout.

And finally, feel proud of yourself for every minute that you exercise because you are one step closer to better health.

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