Tag Archives: Metro Health

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health hosts free day camp for cancer families

By Jennifer Hoff

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health


Metro Health – University of Michigan Health will host Family Day Camp, an annual event for families coping with cancer, from 3-5 p.m. every Thursday afternoon, July 13 through Aug. 3. Camp will be held at The Cancer Center at Metro Health Village, 5950 Byron Center Ave. SW.


A free four-week program, Family Day Camp provides education and emotional support for families that have a loved one battling cancer.


“Family Day Camp is a fun, supportive environment that gives participants a chance to learn about cancer and its effect on the family,” says Metro Health – University of Michigan Health President and CEO Michael Faas. “It helps families form stronger bonds with each other, while also connecting with other families that understand what they’re going through.”


Each two-hour session will be packed with fun for all ages. The entire family is invited, from newborns to great-grandparents. Children may participate without an adult, though families are encouraged to attend together.


“We’ve gathered the best family fun activities from around Grand Rapids and brought them all to the Cancer Center at Metro Health,” says Laura Smith, Cancer Center director. “We want families to be able to have some fun together while someone they love is battling a disease.”


Activities and educational topics will vary depending on the day. Families can participate in one or all of the four sessions:


  • July 13: Someone I Love is Sick (about cancer)
  • July 20: Battling the Bad Guys (about cancer treatment)
  • July 27: I’m Still Me (about changes in loved ones and routines)
  • August 3: Happy or Sad, the Good and the Bad (how to express emotions and support each other)


Participants are invited to meet at the big tent beside the cancer center. There’s no charge and no need to register in advance.


Family Day Camp is hosted by Metro Health Child Life Services, a department that specializes in helping children cope with illness, injury and hospitalization. The annual camp is funded through donations to the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.

Metro Health–U of M Health, Foundation Radiology Group expand medical imaging for region


By Jennifer Hoff, Metro Health Hospital


Metro Health–University of Michigan Health has signed physician‐led Foundation Radiology Group to provide all patient imaging services. The 208‐bed acute care teaching hospital serving Kent County and the surrounding Grand Rapids area will make the transition to Foundation Radiology for medical imaging services beginning July 1.


Foundation Radiology provides onsite imaging leaders supported by a team of radiologists with expertise across subspecialties and imaging modalities available at all hours.


“In order to continue to provide the high quality of care our patients expect and deserve, we are pleased to forge this relationship with Foundation Radiology Group,” said Mike Faas, Metro Health–University of Michigan Health president and CEO. “In our partnership, we are pleased to provide 24/7, 365-day interventional and neurointerventional coverage, as well as on‐site radiologists for our patients. As Metro continues to grow, we will be ready to support that growth.”


“Foundation Radiology and Metro Health share a common mission of putting patient well‐ being at the center of all we do,” said Foundation CEO Richard Vance, MD. “We’re looking forward to working closely with all the physicians, hospital staff and the communities that Metro Health serves.”


Foundation pioneered its “hybrid” radiology model in 2007 and has implemented it in dozens of health systems and integrated delivery networks.


“We call it an academy at your fingertips. Having boots‐on‐the‐ground radiologists offering onsite leadership along with on‐demand, subspecialist care available every minute of the day is radically different,” said Chief Medical Officer, James Backstrom, MD. “When you have 100% of critical findings delivered in under 20 minutes with more accurate diagnoses — you’re not only supporting the growth of hospital centers of excellence, you are saving lives.”


Its focus on value‐based care and improving quality has fueled the significant growth of Foundation as one of the nation’s largest radiology organizations. Vance reported this week the physician‐founded company has doubled revenue in the past three years.


Metro Health ‘gets with the guidelines,’ earns award

By Jennifer Hoff

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health


Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award.


“Metro Health-University of Michigan Health is committed to striving for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients,” said Metro Health – University of Michigan Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Peter Y. Hahn. “This recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work and commitment. We are proud to have achieved this status.”


Get With The Guidelines® sets specific quality measures to ensure hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. To receive these awards, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has provided patient care at or above most achievement indicators for the last 24 consecutive months.


One of these quality measures is to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. This award recognizes that Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has been treating patients with intravenous tPA within 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients.


“The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recognizes Metro Health – University of Michigan Health for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”


Get With The Guidelines® puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines® has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.


“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed,” Hahn said. “This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely.”


According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the no. 5 cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Get active by commuting via bike or The Rapid as part of Active Commute week

Active Commute Week returns June 12 – 15 to the Greater Grand Rapids area as many get ready to ride their bikes or take the bus to participate.


The goal of Active Commute Week is to raise awareness about the health, economic and environmental benefits of active travel. The week is a chance for individual participants and teams to earn points for using active transportation, including bicycling, walking, riding The Rapid, carpooling, running, longboarding or inline skating.


Participants fill out a form and are notified through The Rapids when their account is ready. Teams and individuals can track their active transportation online during the week for a chance to win prizes.


Several organizations have signed up to participate such as Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, which will be hosting one of the Bike to Work Day Pit Stops on Fray, June 16. Metro Health will be hosting at the Fred Meijer M-6 trail near Metro  Way off of Byron Center Avenue. This is an entrance to Metro Health. For a complete list of Bike to Work Day Pit Stops, click here.


Also Grand Valley State University has joined as a sponsor and will  host bike ride with President Thomas J. Haas on Monday, June 12. The ride will be from the center of the Allendale Campus to the Sustainable Agriculture Project on Luce Street.


Participants will meet at the Bill Seidman statue near Mary Idema Pew Library at 4 p.m. Helmets are required, and the Grand Valley Police Department will provide an escort. Refreshments will be served at the SAP and bicyclists can join a guided ride back to campus at 5:30 p.m.


Join the Active Commute Week Committee and the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition for The Handlebar Happy Hour Friday, June 16, at Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St. NW.  The event takes places from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. The winners of the Active Commute Week Challenge will be announced and prizes awarded. Awards and a raffle will take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. This event is open to everyone.


More information and a list of the week’s events are online at www.acwgr.org. Join social media during the week using #acwgr.

New hope for opioid addiction

By Metro Health-University of Michigan Health


In the past 20 years, opioid overdose has mushroomed from an anomaly into an epidemic.


During that span, opioid-related deaths in Kent County soared fourfold—from fewer than 20 a year to more than 80.


The strongest predictor of opioid overdose is clear: a previous history of overdose. That being the case, the ER will soon begin giving Narcan kits to overdose patients at no cost before discharge, becoming the first hospital in the region to do so. Narcan is the only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, which counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose.


Called O-180—O is the street name for opiates and 180 signifies reversal—the program is funded by a $40,000 grant from the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.


With Narcan nasal spray on hand, discharged patients who experience a subsequent overdose at home can be treated immediately before placing a call to 911. The Narcan kits will contain two doses of naloxone, along with information about community resources available to overdose patients and their families.


“Our goal is to reduce deaths in the community related to opioid overdoses, while also removing some of the stigma of opioid addiction,” says Crystal Gaylord, a quality and safety nurse specialist in the ER.

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health hosts Drug Take Back Day for area residents

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health hosts a Drug Take Back Day event Saturday, April 29.

University of Michigan Health, in partnership with the City of Wyoming Environmental Services and the Kent County Safe Meds Program, is hosting a Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


“Metro Health – University of Michigan Health is proud to provide this service to the community,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Floyd Wilson, Jr. “Returning unused or expired medicines is the responsible thing to do. Proper disposal of expired or unused drugs is a matter of public safety and public health.


“When drugs are thrown away or flushed, the chemicals in them can get into our water supply and soil. Additionally, it can be dangerous for individuals to use expired medicines or creams. By providing this service to the West Michigan community, we are all working together to keep our homes and families safe.”


All drugs are accepted at this event. They do not have to be in original containers. If they are in original containers, confidential bins will be used to dispose of those containers. The Wyoming Department of Public Safety participates in the event to ensure the safe disposal of the medicines.


Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Administration requires the presence of law enforcement at events like this. No questions will be asked of anyone bringing in any type of medication at this event. Furthermore, no paperwork is required and no signatures are collected.


“We hope area families will take advantage of this free service,” Wilson said. “We appreciate the support from our partner, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, who join us in ensuring the proper disposal of medicines.”


Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has hosted Drug Take Back Days since 2011. Since then, more than 3,712 pounds of drugs have been collected from the community. In April 2016, 384.35 pounds of drugs were collected along with 60 pounds of mercury. And, in October 2016, 366 pounds of drugs, along with one pound of mercury thermometers were collected.

Poverty simulation at Metro Health asks, “What could we do differently?”

Health professionals gather in “families” in preparation to experience a “month” in poverty. Photo by Ellie Walburg

By Ellie Walburg, Access of West Michigan


Reading a news article about someone living in poverty is one thing.


Actually experiencing it is another.


Metro Health Hospital Services recently hosted a poverty simulation workshop with Access of West Michigan. The goal of the poverty education program is to create awareness of the realities of poverty and bring inspiration for change in an experiential way.


Participants in the ‘Living on the Edge’ poverty simulation at Metro Health were assigned profiles detailing their name, age, family, income level and other related details. Each “family” then completed four weeks, made up of 15-minute increments, in providing groceries, paying bills, attending doctor’s appointments and other requirements as outlined on their profiles.


Afterwards, participants engaged in small group discussions to debrief and learn from one another’s insights.


Linda Bos is a registered nurse with Metro Health and attended the workshop. She, along with Heather Rayman, were given the roles of a 75- and 72-year-old couple struggling to make ends meet. Bos, playing the role of Anthony Xanthos, and Rayman playing his wife, Zelda, spent each “week” trying to keep up on their mortgage payments, provide $50 for food and make it to expensive doctor appointments.


At one point during the four weeks, they couldn’t buy groceries. Towards the end of the month, they were evicted from their home as they couldn’t provide proof of their mortgage payment.


Mobility was also a major issue for them.


‘We were struck that we were always concerned about traveling places,” Bos said. “We were never together — it split us up. We never did things together.”


Conversations about how they were doing or if they wanted to plan a vacation never arose during their time of balancing their meager budget and keep all their bills afloat “We sure didn’t talk about anything fun,” Bos added.


To accompany the small social assistance check they received for the month, Bos sought out other options.


“I also tried to get a job, but there was age discrimination,” she said. “There were forms to fill out that were difficult.”


Access of West Michigan Staffers share their own story of poverty during group discussions. Photo by Ellie Walburg

Not having an opportunity for additional income made balancing finances even more troublesome.


“There was no way out for us,” Bos said. “Neither one of us could get a job.”


Rayman was reminded, “Don’t forget we have to eat at some point in our life,” as she recalled the struggle of purchasing weekly groceries.


For both Bos and Rayman, living life as an elderly couple with little money was an eye-opening experience.


“Everything was tension-producing rather than pleasurable,” Bos noted.


That tension is something Bos knows first-hand. While currently employed and doing well, she has felt that same stress.


“There was a time when I didn’t have money to buy diapers, when we didn’t have money to pay the mortgage,” she said


Bos and Rayman agreed that this simulation could change the way they work with their patients and others they encounter.


“I think for me, I’ll be much more cognizant of transportation needs,” Bos said. “I’ll think, ‘What can I do to relieve some of those transportation issues.’”


Bos’s work as a nurse involves serving moms and newborns.


“I try to be very intentional with younger moms,” she said. “I’ll ask, ‘Do you need anything else for your child?’ ‘Do you have diapers?’ ‘Do you have formula?’”


She said she anticipates building upon that intention with those she sees.


“I think so often we don’t want to offend people,” she added. “But it’s really just about asking, ‘I want to help, what is it that you need?’” That intention, she said, can come through her following up with her clients through phone calls or other additional conversations.


Staffers Candice and Cindy are ready at their “health clinic” table to help participants. Photo by Ellie Walburg

Rayman added, “I feel like this makes me much more aware of things like transportation, medication, samples, getting them to a care manager or something like that — things I didn’t really think of before.”


As the simulation event drew to a close, attendees were reminded that while they stopped playing a role in a fictitious family, there are so many in the community who must continue with that difficult reality everyday. And now that the participants had experienced the frustration and stress of living in poverty, they, and all, are left with the question Bos wondered, “What might you do differently?”


To learn more about poverty education and the Living On The Edge poverty simulation workshops, please visit http://accessofwestmichigan.org/about-us/poverty-education/.

It may have been warm, but WinterFest was a success

Students participate in basketball at Wyoming Junior High School.

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma



The weather was unseasonably warm for Wyoming’s first WinterFest, making organizers a little nervous as to whether residents would visit the seven sites hosting activities.


Those worries were put to rest as by 9:30 a.m. the Wyoming Junior High School already was hopping with students and adults getting in some hoops in the gym, visiting booths in the halls, and snagging some breakfast and partaking in the cake walk game in the cafeteria. By 10:30 a.m., greeters estimated that they had gone through about half of its 300 bracelets that each of the seven locations received to help count participants.


Students participate at one of the WinterFest booths.

“We are celebrating the success of the first One Wyoming WinterFest,” said Rachel Verwys, one of the event organizers. “Through the seven locations, we believe we connected with about 1,400 people through Wyoming for a fun-filled event that connected residents to one another and to community resources.”


Put together by the One Wyoming Community Collaborative, which is made up of a collaboration of school, businesses, government, churches, nonprofits and residents to improve the quality of life in the community, the Wyoming WinterFest was considered the next step in working to bring residents, community leaders and business owners together to start the dialog of what they can do to improve their neighborhood, according to Jon Shaker, the marketing director for the salvation army Kroc center, one of the sponsors for the event.


“This is really nice for the community,” said Marilee Taken, from Beverly Reformed Church, located just down the street from Wyoming Junior High School. The church was handing out mugs, shirts, and popcorn. “It is such a wonderful idea to bring the community together for something fun and a great opportunity to meet your neighbors.”


Having grown up in the area of the Wyoming Junior High School, Elevation Church Pastor Chris Hall said he was thrilled at the opportunity to bring community members together to enjoy some fun activities – Hall’s church was providing the basketball games – and fellowship.


The vendor hall at the Wyoming Junior High School.

Even before the actual event, the planning process brought together more than 40 partners, businesses, nonprofits, churches, the city residents and schools, Verwys said. The idea was to have various locations opened within the city to bring the residents and organizations from that neighborhood together to start their own dialog on what they could improve their neighborhood, Shaner said. Along with the Wyoming Junior High School, The DOCK/The PIER, Vanguard Charter Academy, Calvary Church, Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center, Community Church (Godwin Heights), and Grace Bible College all participated in the Wyoming Winterfest, which was Feb. 18. Locations were open at various times with each location offering food and an arrange of activities.


Many had planned winter activities. Hall said at the Wyoming Junior High School, there had been plans to have snow sculpting, but it was changed to fun with bubbles. “We just go with the flow,” Hall said.


As to whether the warmer weather helped the event, Verwys said she was not certain, but it certainly did not impede residents from attending.


“Another goal we accomplished was the connectivity to local community resources like health care organizations such as Metro Health Hospital, the library, KSSN, and the Girl Scouts,” she said. “The service volunteers provided at each location was amazing, WinterFest provided an avenue for about 350 people to serve generating well over 1,000 hours of service.”


With the Wyoming WinterFest deemed a success, One Wyoming is back at work planning future community-wide collaborations. Verwys said up next is a community-wide Earth Day event set for April 22.

Metro Health celebrates affiliation with U-M, looks toward the future

Metro Health: University of Michigan Health President and CEO Michael Faas (second from the left) stands with some of the officials who attended the celebration on Jan. 5. They included Metro Health: University of Michigan Health Chief Administrative Officer Floyd Wilson Jr. (far left), University of Michigan Executive Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and President, Clinical Enterprise, David Spahlinger, M.D. (center) and Metro Health: University of Michigan Health Corporate Board Chair Doyle Hayes (far right). (Photo by Joanne Bailey-Boorsma)

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma



Metro Health’s announcement of its affiliation with the University of Michigan had even Lt. Governor Brian Calley saying “Go blue.”


“And those who really know me, know that is a hard thing for me to say,” said the Michigan State University graduate. Calley, along with state and local officials joined hospital staff and officers for a celebration Thursday, Jan. 5, of the new affiliation between Metro Health and U-M. The event took place at the hospital.


T-shirts were handed out with the new logo that includes the familiar maze-color M with Metro Health and the words University of Michigan Health underneath. Blue and gold balloons adorned the Professional Building as the Godwin Heights High School cheerleaders welcomed people in through the hospital doors and the Godwin Heights High School Band played the U-M fight song.


The purpose of the event was to provide staff and elected officials more detail about the new affiliation, which, according to a press release handed out at the event, is not a partnership. According to Metro Health: University of Michigan Health Corporate Board Chair Doyle Hayes, who spoke at the event, Metro Health employees would remain Metro Health employees and the decisions of what’s important to the community will remain with the physicians and members of West Michigan.


Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll congratulates Metro Health University of Michigan President and CEO Michael Faas. (Photo by Abigail Stricker.)

“This affiliation brings together a trusted community resource, this is your resource, and the specialty care of U-M national leadership which also brings medical research and innovation,” Doyle said. “This affliction will provide West Michigan with greater access to high quality health care.”


Metro Health: University of Michigan Health President and CEO Michael Faas said Metro Health already has begun recruiting and is starting to look at future plans that include expansion of the Metro Village Health, the first of its kind in the nation, and beyond into other buildings outside of the Wyoming campus. Hospital officials have indicated that future plans could be announced later this year.


Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll said it has been wonderful to watch Metro Health grow over the past 10 years since it moved to the city, with changes that no one really could have predicted.


“Well this is obviously very exciting for the City of Wyoming to see the merger occuring,” Poll said. “Two wonderful organizations that are very well established that are now teaming together to bring better health care to the City of Wyoming.”

Metro Health, U-M affiliation brings more choice to West Michigan

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma



When Metro Health moved to Wyoming about nine years ago, it was tasked with not being just a boutique hospital in a suburban community, but a catalysis to bring quality care to not only its immediate community of Wyoming but the West Michigan region. With Metro Health’s affiliation with the University of Michigan Health System, Metro Health President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Faas believes the hospital has achieved that.


Metro Health President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Faas

“We were faced with trying to clinically integrate and grow while at the same time maintain services and infrastructure that we have,” Faas said during a recent interview about the new affiliation between Metro Health and U-M. “There is having more importance to the community, more market share, more money and new buildings and as these issues kept circling we knew that we needed to get a lot bigger and more significant for some of these things to happen.”


To achieve this, according to Faas, Metro Health started exploring the possibility of a partnership with another institution. Metro Health officials first went to non-profit U-M as the hospital had formed a relationship with U-M providing radiation oncology. However, Metro Health ended up courting a few other possibilities including the for-profit Tennessee-based Community Health Systems. The deal with Community Health Systems did not happen and Metro Health officials began to look at other possibilities.


“We knew one day it could happen,” Faas said of Metro Health’s affiliation with U-M. “We had favored that one the most because we felt it was the best match. Good things came to fruition for all the right reasons.”


In fact the affiliation between U-M and Metro Health is not that unusual especially as hospital officials deal with the many challenges in health care from reform efforts to becoming more clinically integrated. Just recently, Grinnell Regional Medical Center in Toledo announced negotiations with UnityPoint Health Des Moines and University of Iowa Health Care. Several hospitals in the Upper Peninsula have similar partnerships.


While Wyoming City officials have not had any meetings with Metro Health or U-M on the affiliation, City Manager Curtis Holt said he sees it being a great thing for the community, especially since health care is one of the fastest growing industries.


“I have said ever since Metro Health came to Wyoming that it is a great addition to the City of Wyoming,” Holt said. “They do a great job. I think they are beneficial to our community and to our residents which is the most important thing.”


Holt said he is cautious over the dollar value that the new affiliation will bring to the city since it is a non-profit venture and collection from this type of development is limited. The city could benefit from the spin off ventures such as restaurants, stores, commercial businesses and other small industries that develop from the affiliation, he said, adding that he is looking forward to meeting with Metro Health officials in the coming weeks to discuss Metro Health/U-M’s plans for the future.


“I believe that [Metro Health] has been so focused on getting this affiliation in place, and now that it is, they can start to focus on how they are going to make a difference in the community,” Holt said.


Which is exactly correct according to Faas. Now that the affiliation is in place, plans will begin to move forward on various projects which will include the building up of the Metro Health Village. However, the biggest change area residents will see is that for the first time in awhile, there will be a real choice in health care services in West Michigan, Faas said.


“U-M has been providing health care to all the residents of Michigan for more than a century,” Faas said. “Now with this relationship with Metro Health, U-M health care is more accessible, more convenient, and less expensive then everyone driving to Ann Arbor.”

Metro Health announces affiliation with U-M Health Services

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma



With an eye toward providing more medical services and increasing health care options in West Michigan, Metro Health this week officially announced that the affiliation process with the University of Michigan Health System has been completed.


In June, Metro Health and UMHS signed a letter of intent for an affiliation. In September, both institutions approved the affiliation agreement with final regulatory approvals needed. More announcements about the affiliation and its impact are expected in the new year.


“We are a sister organization to them,” said Ellen Bristol, Metro Health director of internal communications and media relations. “Our governance will be by the University of Michigan regents, but we are still Metro Health. It means our employees are still Metro Health employees and U-M employees are still U-M employees.”


Physicians, executives and community members from West Michigan will continue serving on Metro Health boards and committees, working closely with University of Michigan leaders.


“The new affiliation will offer greater access to U-M services and physicians,” Bristol said. “There will be more choices offered and the hospital is able to deepen its services.”


The new logo for Metro Health which shows its affiliation with U-m Health Services.

U-M and Metro Health began working together in 2009 when U-M started providing radiation oncology at The Cancer Center at Metro Health Village. Clinical relations continued to develop in pediatric cardiology and pediatric endocrinology, all of which helped to pave the way for the affiliation, said Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for medical affairs, dean of the U-M Medical School and CEO of the U-M Health System.


“We are excited to further expand U-M services in West Michigan and to provide access to the highest quality care available to more Michigan residents,” Runge said. “Working together, we will improve the health of our patients and our communities.”


Metro Health President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Faas said the affiliation marks a new chapter in Metro Health’s history, “one that builds on the incredible legacy which began in 1942 when 23 osteopathic physicians opened Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital. I can think of no better way to honor our founders than to ensure Metro Health is able to to grow and continue serving patients of years to come.”

Metro Health Heart & Vascular Holland Office Moves

Dr. Rony Gorges
Dr. Rony Gorges

By Ellen Bristol, Metro Health Hospital


Effective today, Nov. 4, Metro Health’s Heart and Vascular Holland office will have a new home.


The new office location, just around the corner from the previous site, signals the success of the practice which opened in February 2014.


The new office is located at 904 S. Washington, Suite 120 in Holland and offer the practice room for future growth of services to meet patient needs.


Dr. Rony Gorges is the lead physician at the Heart and Vascular Holland practice.


Metro Heart & Vascular Holland offers cardiovascular appointments, as well as diagnostic testing for cardiovascular disease, including peripheral arterial disease, or PAD.  PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries block the blood flow to arms and legs, causing numbness, leg pain, tissue damage and leading to amputation.


The hospital has developed a nationally recognized specialty in the treatment of PAD and amputation prevention, last year treating scores of patients from around Michigan, across the country and throughout the world.  Led by Dr. Jihad Mustapha, Metro Heart & Vascular physicians utilize leading-edge technology to clear blockages and restore circulation in even the most challenging of cases.


Mike Faas
Mike Faas

“We are listening to our patients on the Lakeshore,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health.  “They want to receive health services near their home. Deciding where to locate services is a patient-driven decision designed to make it easy and convenient to experience care.


“Having Heart and Vascular practices outside the hospital has also been a satisfier for patients. As word spreads about the successes our physicians have had in treating cardiovascular conditions, we have seen increasing demand for our services. Whenever possible, we want patients to have choice in where they are seen.”


Metro Health & Vascular provides a coordinated approach to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, working with patients, coordinating care with their family physician and other specialists and educating family members.


Besides Holland, other satellite offices are located in Allegan, downtown Grand Rapids, Greenville and Sheridan.


For more information on Metro Heart & Vascular, visit http://metrohealth.net/medical-services/heart-vascular-services/.


Metro Health Village: Go the extra mile for better health

metro-health-a-great-place-to-walkWalking is as simple as it gets for a gentle, low-impact exercise that just about anyone can enjoy. In fact, walking can help prevent and improve many common health issues like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression, to name a few. All you need is a good, supportive pair of walking shoes and a safe place to walk, like Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Avenue in Wyoming.


Metro Health Village has a number of walking routes and even a bike trail — all perfect for an afternoon stroll with the kids or a quick, weeknight workout. Download a Walking/Bike Route map here.


Need a little push to get started? Check out the Couch to 5K Training Program. Even if you’re not looking to set any world records, this program will have you up and active in no time!


Motivation is key when starting a new physical activity. Here are some ideas to help you stay focused and interested every day:

  • Wear a pedometer. Increase your steps a little every day until you reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day.
  • Get a walking partner – a friend, spouse, child, even the dog!
  • Sign up for a race or charity walk like the Metro Way 5K & Family Fun Run or the American Heart Association Heart Walk. An upcoming event gives you a goal to reach.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park farther from the door when running errands.
  • Plan a walking meeting at work.

Walking Safety Tips

Above all, it’s important to stay safe, no matter where or when you walk.

  • Walk with a buddy whenever possible.
  • Carry your name, address and a friend or relative’s phone number in your shoe or pocket.
  • Wear a medical bracelet if you have diabetes, an allergy or other condition.
  • Carry a cell phone, and let someone know you’re walking routes.
  • Avoid deserted or unlit streets, especially after dark.
  • Do not use headsets that prevent you from hearing traffic.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.


Trick your kids into veggies!

trick-kidThe struggle is real: Getting your child to eat just a few bites of his vegetables can be like pulling teeth. Frustrated? Well, here are five ways you can trick your kid into eating vegetables:

  1. Blend them into a smoothie. Add some kale into a strawberry and banana smoothie. Your child will never know the difference.
  2. Sneak them into baked goods. There are many baked treats that you can sneak nutritious veggies in. Check out this recipe for green zucchini muffins!
  3. Take your kids grocery shopping with you. Allow them to pick out their own vegetables. It will get them more excited to try them.
  4. Serve food your child already likes. Try adding peas or other vegetables into macaroni and cheese. This is an easy way to ease your children into vegetables. And who doesn’t like vegetables covered in melted cheese?
  5. When in doubt, turn them into soup. You can make vegetables savory and delicious by adding them to a stew or soup.

If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy delicious and healthy vegetables, check out our Farm Market recipes. You can also subscribe to our mailing list for upcoming food and nutrition classes.

City of Wyoming, Metro Health & UCOM team up, provide healthy food

farmmarket-recipes-h-439x215There’s much more than just delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers to be gained by gardening — it can also improve your mental and physical well-being.


And although gardening season is just about over, it helps to know that there are three entities in the area that are actively involved in providing food to the community as well as patients and hospital staff.


Founded in 2014 and measuring approximately 1,380-sq.-ft. divided into 11 raised garden beds, the Community Garden is a partnership between United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM), Metro Heath Hospital and the City of Wyoming. Ten of the beds measure 4×8’ and one bed is raised up on legs, positioned near the front gate of the garden allowing mobility impaired gardeners access to fresh, healthy produce.


The Community Garden’s goal is to introduce fresh, organic produce into gardeners’ and their families’ diets. Over 150 lbs of tomatoes, radishes, lettuces, broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach, carrots and beets are donated to UCOM’s food pantry each year, with much more produced and shared between gardeners, friends and family.


In addition to fighting hunger in the Wyoming community, UCOM helps neighbors build healthy lifestyles beginning with the food they eat. The organization operates one of the largest pantries in the city, Client Choice Food Pantry, located at 1311 Chicago Dr. SW in Wyoming.


People living in the UCOM service area are able to access the pantry once a month and receive a three-day emergency supply of healthful and delicious food. Committed to personal empowerment, UCOM has encouraged people to select their own food for over seven years.


Starting October 1st, 2016, the food pantry is open to those in need on Mondays from 9 am-12 pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 am-3 pm, and Thursdays from 2-8 pm. Office hours are Monday through Thursday 9 am-5 pm.


Metro Health Garden works with its culinary team, master gardeners and community volunteers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables to be used in Metro Café’s patient and staff meals. The garden boasts an approximately 4,000-sq.-ft. area of rich, productive soil located east of the Hospital.


After being harvested, the produce is weighed and recorded. This information is used to track yields and productivity, as well as food costs saved by producing food on campus.


community-garden“Gardening helps relieve stress and improve mental health,” said Dr. Diana Dillman of Metro Health Jenison. “It is also a great way to get outside and get active. And of course the fresh fruits and vegetables are a healthy, tasty result of all that digging in the dirt.”


All-organic seeds and transplants are used to ensure that the produce is of peak flavor, nutritional value and integrity. A drip irrigation system allows efficient application of water, greatly reducing water waste.


Cooking classes, community presentations, and tours of the garden are open to the public and staff of Metro Health Hospital. Visit the Events Calendar or like us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.  If you are interested in volunteering time in the garden, please contact volunteer services.


The garden also offers educational opportunities for youth and community members. The teaching garden is located behind Metro Health Hospital, in Wyoming. To register for these classes, or any of the other free or low-cost Live Healthy programs, visit Metrohealth.net or call 616.252.7117.


The Metro Health Garden is managed by Metro Health’s Culinary Team and Master Gardeners.


Metro Health offers ideas for going green in your daily life

Courtesy of Metro Health

Incorporating green living practices into your daily life may be easier (and more fun) than you think. Here are just a few of Metro Health’s favorite ideas:

  • Go Vegetarian Once a Week (Meatless Mondays)
    One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rain forest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed. Find some meatless recipes featured by our Farm Markets and learn how to make your favorite recipes more heart healthy.
  • Rethink Bottled Water
    Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet and possibly your health. The EPA’s standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA’s standards for bottled water.
  • Make a Rain Barrel
    Do your part to conserve water by taking a Rain Barrel Workshop. Rain barrels are effective in storm water usage and water quality. They can even help lower your water bill during those long, hot summer months.
  • Buy Local
    Consider the amount of pollution created to get your food from the farm to your table. Whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers’ markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in. Click here to learn about the Metro Health Farm Markets.
  • Plant a Garden
    Planting a garden is a great way to enjoy fresh produce at home! We are proud to supply our Metro Café with fresh produce and herbs from the Metro Health Garden. We also partner with the United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) and the City of Wyoming to provide a Community Garden in a neighborhood where there is great need and limited access to healthy food. Watch for information about our gardens and tips on making your own garden come to life.
  • Community Clean-Up Day
    Metro Health Village is home to a number of walking and biking trails and Frog Hollow Park, making it a great escape for the whole family. So every spring, we host a day to spruce up Metro Health Village, making it ready for another season of family fun. Please join us – this may be the most fun you ever had picking up trash! (High school students can also earn Community Service Hours by participating.) Check Metro Health’s Live Healthy Calendar to learn more.

Metro Health offers free screenings for hunters before they head into the woods

generic-metro-healthAs West Michigan hunters head back to the woods, Metro Health Hospital will host a free Hunters Screening on Saturday, Oct. 22.


Metro Heart and Vascular and trauma services team members will be on hand for the session, which runs 7:30-11:30 a.m. in the main lobby of the hospital at 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW.  Various screens will be done to determine risk for heart attacks and other cardiac issues.


“Hunting is more than just sitting in a tree stand. It’s important to check up on your health before heading after that buck,” Dr. Matthew Sevensma of Metro Heart and Vascular said.  “Walking miles to your tree stand, climbing, tracking if necessary and then hauling back that perfect deer can really stress your body if you are unaccustomed to the exertion.


“While you don’t need to be in peak physical condition, you will want to be sure your body can handle the level of activity necessary to keep you safe while you are out in the field.”


In a study conducted by Michigan’s Beaumont Hospital which was published in 2007 in the American Journal of Cardiology, 25 middle-aged hunters, 17 of whom had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, were fitted with heart monitors.


white tail buckDuring deer season, all but three exceeded the maximum rate they had achieved on a treadmill test. Dragging downed game raised heart rates to the most dangerous levels, but several men experienced jumps into the red zone simply from spotting or shooting at a deer.


According to study co-author Dr. Barry Franklin, the strain hunting puts on the heart is attributed to three factors: hunting’s strenuous nature, the epinephrine (or “excitement”) response upon seeing game and environmental stresses, including cold weather and altitude.


Franklin also notes that many hunters in the study exhibited life-threatening heart-rhythm irregularities (aka cardiac arrhythmia) that had not been apparent on EKG readouts during laboratory treadmill tests. This was a disturbing finding. Heart arrhythmia is the trigger for cardiac arrest.


Sevensma advised:

  • Avoid hunting alone
  • Let a friend or relative know where you are hunting and when you expect to be back
  • Bring a cell phone in case of emergencies
  • Practice tree stand safety
  • Know the symptoms of a heart attack: shortness of breath, cold sweats and chest pressure or pain and/or pain that radiates to your shoulders, arm, jaw or back


Space is limited and registration is required. The screen will include a number of tests, including:

  • An EKG to determine cardiac risk
  • Cholesterol test
  • Body mass index
  • Blood pressure screen
  • Glucose test, which requires an eight-hour fast in advance


For more information or to register, call 616.252.5963 or visit https://metrohealth.net/event/hunter-screen/. Additional information on hunter safety is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Metro Health Receives State Approval to Perform Elective PCI

metro health building


Metro Health has received approval from the state of Michigan to perform Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, or PCI, services in its cardiac catheterization laboratories at Metro Health Hospital.


Metro announced today that it has received approval from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to perform this life-saving service, restoring blood flow through heart vessels by using catheters with balloons and stents, without on-site Open Heart Surgery (OHS) services. The decision clears the way for Metro Health to expand services for its patients throughout West Michigan.


For more than a decade, Metro Health physicians have been performing the procedure on the most critical patients, those suffering a heart attack when they enter the hospital. Now, Metro Health will be able to offer this service to its patients who enter the hospital with chest pain or other conditions prompting diagnostic procedures which lead to elective, or scheduled non-emergent, PCI.


Previously, Metro Health patients requiring elective PCI had to be transferred to facilities that also offered back-up OHS services. A change in state regulations, prompted by quality data showing that PCI programs without OHS services in other states and Europe have quality indicators as high as those programs with OHS services and acceptance of the practice by the American College of Cardiology, made it possible for MDHHS to approve the Certificate of Need, or CON,  request.


“Being able to offer elective PCI to our patients without transferring them to other institutions is a win for patient care and something patients have asked for,” said Paul Kovack, a cardiologist at Metro Heart and Vascular. “This decision will help us keep patients in their medical home and provides choice to patients. Additionally, it will cut down on unnecessary duplicate testing, costly ambulance transfers and delays in care, making care more timely and less costly.”


The MDHHS decision comes after a long effort to update Michigan PCI regulations to mirror those of other states and countries that have long allowed elective PCI without OHS backup.


“The CON process is valuable in holding down costs for Michigan residents, but it can be challenging to update regulations to reflect new medical research,” said Michael Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “It is a delicate balancing act to keep up with medical advances and hold down healthcare costs. We are pleased with this patient-driven decision and know that Metro Health patients will benefit from this update and our ability to provide the services they need, when they need them.”


PCI, also known as angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure that uses a thin flexible tube, or catheter, to access blood vessels in the heart which are narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, and reopen them. The procedure is performed by an interventional cardiologist who gains access to blood vessels in the heart through the femoral artery in the groin or the radial artery in the wrist. A small balloon is then inflated to push away the plaque, thus opening the blood vessel for blood flow, and a stent can be placed to keep the plaque pushed to the walls of the blood vessel, thus maintaining the blood vessel open for blood flow.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths each year.


The PCI procedure lasts from 30 minutes to several hours and provides patients with a number of benefits:

  • Increased blood flow through the blocked artery
  • Decreased chest pain
  • Increased ability to be physically active

Kentwood takes back… drugs as part of a national campaign

Kentwood Police Dept.On Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Kentwood Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Kentwood Police Department at 4742 Walma Ave SE, Kentwood. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharp objects, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.


For those in the Wyoming area, Metro Health Hospital also will be hosting a Take Back program Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at its lobby, 590 Byron Center Ave. SW. The hospital will be accepting mercury thermometers as well. For those who bring in a thermometer, you will receive a digital one while supplies last. For more information on the Metro Health Take Back, visit metrohealt.net.


Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—about 3,200 tons—of pills.


This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.


For more information on the about the disposal of prescription and over-the-counter drugs or about the Kentwood Take Back Day event, contact Vicki Highland at 616-656-6571.


Recyclekent.org offers a number of resources on recycling for a variety materials such as medical equipment and supplies such as needles.


Needles: The recyclekent.org website recently added a program called Safe Sharps, where residents can sign up at the Kent County Health Department. For more information, visit recyclekent.org/material/sharps/. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) also has a list places to take needles. Click here for the list.


Medical equipment: Recyclekent.org has a list of places that either recycle or dispose of the equipment or you can donate medical equipment to them. For a complete list, click here. One place that does take medical equipment is Spring Lake’s International Aid. For more about that organization, visit internationalaid.org.


Eye glasses: The Grand Rapids Lions Club has several locations where you can drop off old eyeglasses. For a complete list, click here.

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Spiced Apples

chicken spiced applesChicken and Spiced Apples


Makes: 6 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes




2 apples, preferably Braeburn, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/8 teaspoons herbes de Provence, (see Note), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest




1. Toss apple slices with lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
2. Mix 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or the bottom of a small saucepan to a 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the seasoning mixture.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a platter and keep warm. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter to the pan; heat over high heat. Cook the remaining chicken in the same manner.
4. Add broth, lemon zest, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon herbes and any accumulated juices from the chicken to the pan. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve with the sauteed apples.


Note: Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs commonly used in the south of France. You can find commercial mixtures in specialty stores, but it is easy to make your own. Mix 1 tablespoon each (or equal proportions) dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram and savory in a small jar. If desired, add a pinch of dried lavender and crushed aniseed.


Nutritional Information
Per serving: 185 calories; 7 g fat(2 g sat); 1 g fiber; 7 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 6 mcg folate; 68 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 119 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 29 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 341 mg sodium; 276 mg potassium

Metro Health hosts free screenings for peripheral artery disease Saturday

peripheral_arterial_diseaseCold feet. Cramping in the legs. Legs falling asleep. These are all signs of peripheral artery disease or PAD.


This Saturday, Oct. 1, Metro Health Hospital will be hosting free screenings for PAD. The screenings are painless, usually involving taking a person’s blood pressure in the arms and ankles, with the screenings taking about 30 minutes. Screenings are available from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Metro Health Hospital, 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW. Space is limited and registration is required. To register call, 616-242-4880 or visit metrohealth.net/pad.


“Peripheral artery disease is where there is blockage and plaque buildup in the arteries that supply blood to the legs,” said Dr. Fadi Saab,  who specializes in cardiovascular disease at Metro Health, during a recent interview. Saab said the same can happen in the arteries to the heart or brain with people having PAD being a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.


People who have PAD usually have other health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol, Saab said. Those at-risk include those over 50 with diabetes, those who are obese or those who have a family history of heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, other circulatory problems and a family history of PAD also put patients at advanced risk. Those who are African-American and Native-American also are at a higher risk.


The free PAD screenings can help high-risk patients learn about the disease early enough so they can make lifestyle changes to help their circulatory system. The goal is to detect issues early enough in patients to reduce the risk of amputation.


legs_of_womanAnyone experiencing leg cramping or pain with walking or leg pain at rest should get screened. Slow-healing wounds or sores on legs or feet also call for a screening.


Results will be provided to the participant to take back to their physician for further review. For more information, visit the Metro Health website.

Metro Health receives four 2016 Women’s Choice Awards

metro health buildingMetro Health Hospital has been recognized for its exceptional care and treatment of patients with four awards from The Women’s Choice Awards.


The recognition includes the following honors:

  • One of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience as judged by scores derived by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS, database on questions of patient’s willingness to recommend, doctor and nurse communications, staff help, pain management, cleanliness and explanation of medications.
  • One of America’s Best Hospitals for Emergency Care as judged by Emergency Department, or ED, performance measures reported by CMS for average time before outpatients with chest pain or possible heart attack receive an ECG, average time spent in the ED before being admitted, average time in the ED before being seen by a healthcare professional, percentage of patients who came to the ED with stroke symptoms who received brain scan results within 45 minutes of arrival and more.
  • One of America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics as judged by data reported in HCAHPS surveys and additional consideration for ranking above the national average for patient safety, low rates of early elective deliveries and more.
  • One of America’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics as judged by services offered, results from HCAHPS surveys for patient recommendations and post-operative recovery instructions and rates of surgical complications and infections.


Women’s Choice Awards are unique in that they focus on evidence-based measures of issues that matter most to women. Scores are generated using data hospitals participating with CMS report through their HCAHPS surveys.


“Women are the Chief Medical Officer for the household, making upwards of 90 percent of all healthcare decisions. Considering she bears the responsibility of making these incredibly important decisions, the Women’s Choice Award offers a trusted solution by identifying the hospitals that have proven superior patient experience. Finally, a source that shares her values and priorities is available,” said Delia Passi, CEO and founder of the Women’s Choice Award.


The list of award winners, including Metro Health Hospital, represents hospitals that create an extraordinary patient experience for women and their families by providing exceptional care.


“We are pleased to be rated among the nation’s top performing hospitals in these four important categories,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “We want to create an environment where every member of the family is welcome and can receive the highest quality care and experience. Knowing that family decision makers recognize our efforts helps us know we are meeting the needs of our community.”


For more information on the 2016 America’s Best Hospitals and the Women’s Choice Awards, please visit http://www.womenschoiceaward.com/awarded/healthcare/

Metro Health and U-M Health System take next step towards partnership

metro health buildingBack in June, Metro Health announced its plans to join with the University of Michigan Health System. Three months later, the partnership is now one step closer with a definitive affiliation approved by both the board of directors of Metro Health Corporation and the Regents of the University of Michigan.


“We are excited about this relationship that should continually improve the care we can – together – provide residents of the state of Michigan. Metro Health will be essential to helping us move groundbreaking research and discovery from bench to bedside,” said Marxchall Runge, M.D., Ph. D., executive vice president of medical affairs, dean of the U-M Medical School and CEO of the U-M Health System.


Metro Health and U-M Health System will create a clinical care network that builds upon the strengths of the world-class U-M academic medical center and a very successful community-based health system. Together the two organizations will be able to collaborate on new and improved clinical care models across the system, enhancing patient access to physicians and other care providers at both organizations.


The partnership will focus on bringing increased health care innovation to West Michigan and Beyond.


“We are very excited about the opportunities we will have, together, to advance the boundaries of clinical practice and medical science through research discoveries and disseminating knowledge,” added Michael Faas, chief executive officer of Metro Health.


Along with innovation, the affiliation will enable Metro Health to further expand its primary care and speciality services, as well as enhance its use of complex medial technology.


Metro Health and the University of Michigan have no current plans for a satellite medical campus like the partnership with Spectrum Health and Michigan State University.


The deal is expected to be completed by year end, pending final regulatory approvals and completion of the closing process.

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Garlic Shrimp with Cilantro Spaghetti Squash

shrimp spaghetti squashGarlic Shrimp with Cilantro Spaghetti Squash


Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes




1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or apple cider vinegar
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (16-20 per pound), tails left on if desired
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Lemon wedges for serving




1. Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400 °F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)


2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.


3. Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into a medium bowl. Add cilantro, butter, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir to combine. Serve the shrimp over the spaghetti squash with a lemon wedge on the side.


Nutritional Information


Serving size: 2/3 cup shrimp & 3/4 cup squash


Per serving: 266 calories; 14 g fat(5 g sat); 2 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 11 mcg folate; 198 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 627 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C; 112 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 450 mg sodium; 473 mg potassium

Metro Health welcomes leaders to four key positions

Tom Heetderks
Tom Heetderks

Metro Health Hospital has appointed Tom Heetderks as vice president of human resources, Thomas Mulder as vice president of practice administration for the Metro Health Medical Group, Penny DeVries as director of marketing and Laura Smith as director of its cancer center.


Heetderks brings more than 20 years of human resources leadership to his new role, which includes implementing strategic human resource initiatives and leading the day-to-day operations of the human resources team. He will lead the organization’s focus on employee relations, recruitment and retention, management and staff development, HR technology and innovation, and compensation and benefit programs.


Before joining Metro, Heetderks served as the vice president of human resources at ResCare in Louisville, Ky. Earlier, he was vice president, strategic accounts with Kenexa/IBM, where he was the lead human capital consultant on strategic HR/talent initiatives with several Fortune 100 companies. Also, Heetderks was a human resources executive with PepsiCo/Yum! Brands for 15 years.


Thomas Mulder
Thomas Mulder

Heetderks holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College. He has been published in the Journal of Applied PsychologyAdvances in Industrial and Labor Relations and the Journal of Labor Research, in addition to co-authoring a book on compensation structures.


Mulder is also a healthcare veteran bringing more than 15 years of experience to his role. As vice president and practice administrator of the Metro Health Medical Group, Mulder is responsible for maintaining relationships with physicians, the hospital and ancillary providers. He is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Metro Health Medical Group, including quality improvement activities.


Most recently, Mulder served as the director of operations for the Emory Clinic in Atlanta, Ga. There he was the regional administrator and focused on business development, practice evaluation and acquisition, physician recruitment and organizational alignment with physicians, ancillary services, acute care and community stakeholders. Also, Mulder has held leadership positions with St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare and Humboldt Medical Specialists in Calif. and Centura Health in Denver, Colo.


He holds a Master of Business Administration in health administration from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and Spanish from Calvin College in Grand Rapids.


“We are very pleased to welcome both Tom Heetderks and Thomas Mulder home to their West Michigan roots,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “Their expertise and experience will be a great asset as we work to position Metro Health for an exciting and successful future.”


DeVries joins Metro Health as director of marketing after having owned and operated her own marketing agency and consulting firm for more than 20 years. With a client list that included a variety of Fortune 500 clients, DeVries is known for bringing both creative and business thinking to problem solving and strategy development.


In the marketing director role, DeVries will be responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring ongoing strategic marketing plans for key service lines and organizational initiatives. She will also be responsible for website development and physician marketing.


DeVries studied marketing, merchandising, film and video at Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University. She is a native of Wyoming and resides in West Olive with her daughter.


Smith will serve as the new director at the Cancer Center at Metro Health Village. In this role, she will manage the clinical and financial operations of the cancer center. She will also serve as a liaison between physicians, staff and Board of Managers of the West Michigan Radiation Oncology, LLC, a joint venture between Metro Health and University of Michigan Health System Division of Radiation Oncology.


Smith brings nearly 10 years of healthcare operations leadership and consulting experience with her. Most recently she managed two outpatient cancer centers that saw more than 100,000 patients per year at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Ill.


Smith holds a Master of Technology from Eastern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science from Ferris State University. She is originally from southern Michigan and resides in Grand Rapids.


“I am excited to welcome these dynamic professionals to the Metro Health team and to our community,” said Faas. “This is an exciting time to be part of Metro Health, and I am sure they will help lead us forward.”

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Mixed Grill with Balsamic-Mustard Vegetables

Mixed GrillMixed Grill with Balsamic-Mustard Vegetables


Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes




1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces beef tenderloin or petite filet
2 ears corn, husked and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
2 portobello mushroom caps
2 medium bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 6 pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
1 eggplant, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium red onion, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
8 ounces Italian pork sausage




1. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade in a small bowl. Brush beef with 1 tablespoon of
the remaining marinade. Add corn, mushroom caps, peppers, zucchini, eggplant and onion to the large bowl and toss to combine. Let stand at room
temperature, stirring the vegetables once or twice, for 1 hour. Or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
2. Preheat grill to medium-high.
3. Grill the beef and sausage, turning once halfway through, until the beef is cooked to your liking, 12 to 14 minutes for medium, and the sausage registers an
internal temperature of 165 °F, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board.
4. Grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred, turning once or twice, 8 to 10 minutes total.
5. Slice the beef, sausage and mushroom caps. Arrange on a platter with the vegetables. Drizzle with the reserved marinade or serve it on the side.


Make Ahead Tip:
Marinate beef and vegetables in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.


Nutritional Information


Serving size: 3 oz. meat & 2 1/2 cups vegetables
Per serving: 488 calories; 32 g fat(7 g sat); 6 g fiber; 29 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein; 109 mcg folate; 50 mg cholesterol; 15 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2263 IU vitamin A; 101 mg vitamin C; 53 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 695 mg sodium; 1131 mg potassium

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Oven-Roasted Corn with Smoked Paprika Butter

Corn Paprika ButterOven-Roasted Corn with Smoked Paprika Butter


Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes




2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 ears corn, husked




1. Preheat oven to 425 °F.
2. Mash butter, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread a generous 1 teaspoon of the mixture on each ear of corn. Wrap
each ear in a piece of foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Roast the corn, turning once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.


Nutritional Information


146 calories; 7 g fat(4 g sat); 2 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 43 mcg folate; 15 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 581 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C; 7 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 162 mg sodium; 295 mg potassium

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

Bacon, Lettuce, Avacado, Tomato SandwichBacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches


Makes: 2 sandwiches
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


4 slices center-cut bacon, halved
1/2 ripe medium avocado
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon finely grated or minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
4 slices wheat bread
1 small tomato, cut into 4 slices
2 romaine leaves
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts




1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning once, until crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Meanwhile, mash avocado in a medium bowl. Stir in basil, mayonnaise, garlic, salt and pepper. Toast bread.
3. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the avocado mixture on 2 slices of toast. Top each with 4 pieces of bacon, 2 tomato slices, a lettuce leaf, 1/4 cup sprouts and the remaining toast.


Nutritional Information


Per serving (1 sandwich): 345 calories; 16 g fat(3 g sat); 10 g fiber; 37 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 60 mcg folate; 15 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1065 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 21 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 542 mg sodium; 452 mg potassium


Recipe from EatingWell.com

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Blueberry Maple Muffins

Blueberry Maple MuffinsBlueberry-Maple Muffins
Makes: 12 muffins
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour




1/3 cup whole flaxseeds
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar




1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. Grind flaxseeds in a spice mill (such as a clean coffee grinder) or dry blender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking
powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; whisk to blend. Whisk eggs and maple syrup in a medium bowl until smooth. Add buttermilk, oil, orange zest,
orange juice and vanilla; whisk until blended.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Scoop the batter into the
prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.
4. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.


Tips & Notes


No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.


Nutritional Information


Per muffin: 208 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 36 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber; 184 mg sodium; 149 mg potassium.

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Watermelon Fruit Pizza

Watermelon Fruit PizzaMakes: 8 servings
Serving Size: 2 slices
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes




1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large round slices watermelon (about 1 inch thick), cut from the center of the melon 2/3 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup halved blackberries
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves




1. Combine yogurt, honey and vanilla in a small bowl.
2. Spread 1/4 cup yogurt mixture over each slice of watermelon. Cut each slice into 8 wedges. Top with strawberries, blackberries and mint.


Nutritional Information


Per serving: 64 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 1 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 12 g total sugars; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 13 mg sodium; 237 mg potassium.

Wyoming police investigating crash on Byron Center Avenue

wyoming police dept signThe City of Wyoming Public Safety Department continues to investigate a crash that resulted in closing down northbound Byron Center Avenue for several hours yesterday evening.


Kent County Dispatchers stated that the crash of a pick-up truck into a PT Cruise was reported around 3 p.m. yesterday. Wyoming Public Safety stated that the the pick up truck drove onto Byron Center Avenue from Bayberry Drive and ran into a black PT Cruiser. The occupants of the PT Cruiser were transported to Metro Hospital with significant injuries, police said. They are currently listed in serious condition.


Police are investigating the possibility that the driver of the truck may have suffered a medical condition while driving and sustained non-life threatening injuries, police stated.


The crash did result in traffic on Byron Center Avenue being diverted for several hours yesterday starting at the M-6 eastbound exit ramp onto Byron Center Avenue. The traffic was detoured through the Metro Health Village.

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Barbecue Pulled Chicken

BBQ Pulled ChickenWith July 4th right around the corner, light up a new barbecue pulled chicken recipe to melt everyone’s taste buds.


Makes: 8 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 5-1/2 hours




1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced




1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.


2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.


3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.




Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.


For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.


Nutritional Information


364 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono); 93 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 30 g protein; 4 g fiber; 477 mg sodium; 547 mg potassium.

Farm Market Recipe of the Week: Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

bacon-wrapped-asparagusMakes 4 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minute


16 spears asparagus, (about 1 bunch), trimmed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 very thin slices prosciutto, (about 1 ounce), cut in half lengthwise


1. Preheat grill to medium.

2. Toss asparagus with oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Wrap 1 length of prosciutto around the middle of 4 asparagus spears. Repeat, making 4 bundles. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the asparagus bundles, turning once or twice, until the asparagus is tender and charred in spots, about 10 minutes.


To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 39 calories; 2 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 235 mg sodium; 134 mg potassium.

Remember the Metro Health Farmers Market is every Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW.

Metro Health to partner with U-M Health System


By: Mike DeWitt



Amongst all the medical facilities and providers in the greater Grand Rapids area, Metro Health Corporation can now be considered one of the ‘Leaders and Best’ after recently announcing their intent to join the University of Michigan Health System.


Both organizations signed a letter of intent to bring Metro Health’s hospital and network of doctors, nurses and other providers together with U-M (health system), expanding this academic medical center’s care in western Michigan.


“The U-M Health System is a top-ranked academic medical center with a world-class medical school, extraordinary hospitals and clinics, and groundbreaking research facilities focused on moving cutting edge discovery to patients’ bedsides in order to improve lives,” said Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of medical affairs and Dean of the U-M Medical School. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Metro Health’s expert physicians and health care professionals in stepped up ways.”


While Metro Health already partners with U-M for clinical services like radiation oncology, this affiliation agreement gives U-M its first hospital near Grand Rapids.


Michael Faas, President of Metro Health, added that joining with the U-M clinical enterprise will bring additional options for complex care to Metro Health patients and to the greater Grand Rapids community.


“It is no secret that U-M has some of the best providers in the state and country,” said Faas. “By joining the ‘leaders and best’ we can build on our existing expertise and provide our patients and community with enhanced access to specialized health care services, scientific discovery and advanced technology.”


The letter of intent signed by both organizations is not a sale and no layoffs are expected at either health system. Also not expected, a U-M satellite medical campus like Michigan State University has with Spectrum Health.


“There are currently no plans for a medical school to come as a result of the partnership,” said Metro Health spokeswoman Ellen Bristol.


The partnership with U-M comes a year after a proposed partnership with a for-profit Tennessee-based hospital chain dissolved. The Tennessee organization was to contribute between $100 to $125 million in capital to Metro Health.

Metro Health earns special recognition

metro health building

Mike DeWitt



Metro Health Hospital is home to some of the best maternity care and hip and knee replacements in the country. Recently, Metro Health received Blue Distinction Center status, a national designation program from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), for their exceptional treatment.


“The Blue Distinction Center designation lets our members know where they can go in Michigan to receive high-quality care that meets robust clinical standards,” said David Share, MD, MPH, and senior vice president at Blue Cross.


As a first time winner, Metro earned the award based on a number of measurements from BCBSM. BCBSM hands out the awards based on a combination of publicly available data and information it compiles from its subscribers’ medical claims. The examined data includes clinical measures, patient outcomes, and the cost of care. Patient satisfaction scores and patients’ willingness to recommend the hospital are also taken into account.


“Awards such as these from BCBSM are meaningful to the hospital for multiple reasons,” said PR Director Ellen Bristol in and email with WKTV News. “They confirm our teams are providing quality care to patients and they boost morale and a sense of pride among employees and physicians.”


Both award distinctions from BCBSM carried different criteria. The Spartan Stores Family Childbirth Center at Metro Health excelled in areas of early elective delivery and for maintaining programs that promote successful breastfeeding as well as requirements for cost efficiency.


Knee and hip replacements are the fastest growing medical treatments in the country, the BCBSM distinction recognizes Metro as a leader in safe and high-quality specialty hip and knee care.


“The recognition helps patients be confident in the organization and the people who are caring for them,” said Bristol. “Plus, they confirm to physicians that the hospital can provide their patients with the high quality care they want for their patients”


With an annual patient count of over 250,000 across West Michigan, a little recognition is just a reminder of the great work they do every day.