Chief Operating Officer named at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals

Beth Langenberg

Beth Langenburg, RN, BSN, MBA, a long-time employee of Big Rapids Hospital, has been promoted to chief operating officer at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals, effective Feb. 3.

In her new role, Langenburg will have local oversight of a wide range of hospital operations including rehabilitation services, lab, radiology, nutrition services, facilities, environmental services, supply chain, risk, accreditation, emergency preparedness, medical staff office, occupational health, and volunteer services.

“I’m excited and honored to be named COO, working at a facility that I love, serving a community where I’ve lived for many years,” Langenburg said. “I became a nurse because of my desire to care for people. Now as a health care executive, I still get to do that but in a different capacity. I couldn’t be more thrilled for this new opportunity.”

Langenburg has worked for Spectrum Health for 30 years. She first joined Big Rapids Hospital, then called Mecosta County General Hospital, as a staff RN in the critical care unit. She has held multiple management roles since then and has been instrumental in developing key programs for the hospital such as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, as well as a farmer’s market outreach, which received the Ludwig Award in 2018 by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

“Beth is a very caring individual who is deeply ingrained in our communities. She has proven leadership skills and the choice for selecting her as our COO was very clear,” said Andrea Leslie, northeast regional market leader and president, Spectrum Health United, Kelsey, Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals. “I am very excited to have her in this role and I know she will do well.”

Beth earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Ferris State University and completed a Masters of Business Administration, also from Ferris State University, in 2018 with a cohort of Spectrum Health leaders.

2019 Daddy Daughter Dance

Daddydaughterlogo.pngAttention all dads, grandpas, and uncles! This is the event you’ve all been waiting for!

Grab your favorite lady and get ready for a night you’ll both remember forever. Enjoy a night of dancing, refreshments, photos, and crafts! Create memories that will last a lifetime for you and the most important girl in your life!

All ages welcome. For more information or questions please call the Recreation Department at (231) 592-4038. Friday, Feb 15 7:00—9:00PM Big Rapids Middle School $7 per person pre-registered OR $10 per person at the door. The first 75 girls receive a FREE carnation, compliments of the City of Big Rapids’ Recreation Department!

Be sure to take advantage of some of the great specials in the area available for attendees. Blue Cow Café: 2 for $20 (Must RSVP by calling 231-796-0100) 2 house salads, 2 petite champagne chicken dinners & 2 chocolate mousse desserts for $20.  Nawal’s Mediterranean Grill: 2 for $25 (Must RSVP by calling 231-598-9303. Only available at downtown location) Braised stuffed chicken breast with butter cream sauce, garlic roasted mashed potatoes, steamed green beans & gourmet filled cupcake. Patterson’s Flowers: Free carnation boutonniere with corsage purchase (Min. $15 purchase) Each order will be entered into a drawing to win a free bouquet!  Forget Me Not Floral & Design: Wrist corsage and matching boutonniere for $16. Each order will be entered into a drawing to win a free bouquet!  Photo Boutique America: Package details on registration sheet.

Registration Sheet available here!

Big Rapids emergency department earns level four trauma designation from State of Michigan

The Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Emergency Department recently received Level Four trauma designation from the State of Michigan, which means the department is capable of providing advanced trauma life support to patients.

January 29, 2019 – BIG RAPIDS, MICH: Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital has officially been designated a Level Four Trauma Center by the state of Michigan. The designation means the emergency department is capable of providing advanced trauma life support (ATLS) prior to transfer of patients to a higher-level trauma center. Under the Level Four designation, Big Rapids Hospital can provide evaluation, stabilization and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients.

Trauma from injury accounts for nearly half of deaths for people ages 1 to 44 in the U.S. In response, the state of Michigan enacted a trauma system to reduce incidences and improve health outcomes for injuries. The emergency team at Big Rapids Hospital has worked the past two years on putting processes and training in place to meet the state’s requirements for its trauma program.

“Achieving this designation says a lot about the preparedness and expertise of our emergency team. Every day, no matter what the hour, the team works in sync to find and treat injuries quickly and efficiently,” said Walt Hartline, nurse manager and trauma coordinator, Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital. “To ensure quality and compassionate care, the emergency department also created a trauma program operation committee that continuously looks for improvements.”

The Big Rapids Hospital trauma program also fostered a stronger partnership with EMS and other agencies to improve first responder practices with regular educational opportunties. Community education also was included to highlight fall prevention and tourniquet application to control bleeding.

Big Rapids and Reed City hospital’s chief nursing officer, Caroline Ring, DNP, said the Level Four designation benefits Mecosta County and surrounding areas.

“Because we’re committed to successfully achieving the Level Four trauma designation, our emergency department is able to provide efficient and evidence based trauma care for the families we serve,” Ring said. “We take a coordinated approach to evaluate, stabilize and quickly decide next steps for our patients. Ultimately, the Level Four trauma designation is ensuring the very best care for trauma patients starting at the scene of injury all the way through the emergency department.”

State of Michigan authorities evaluated Big Rapids Hospital in categories ranging from emergency medicine and trauma systems to disaster planning, radiology, and outreach and education.

Prior to the designation, Big Rapids Hospital’s emergency department was a provisional Level Four trauma center. State of Michigan officials plan to conduct a site review at Reed City Hospital in 2019, also for a Level 4 Trauma Center designation.

Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,200 medical staff experts, 3,200 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 220 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $459 million in community benefit in the last fiscal year. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Find your own Personal Board of Directors!

The Ferris Women’s Advocacy Forum and The Mecosta County Area Chamber of untitled design (3)Commerce are pleased to offer another valuable professional development opportunity by presenting “Be the CEO of Your Career: Your Personal Board of Directors,”  Tuesday, Feb 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the University Center, Room 202A.

A Personal Board of Directors (PBOD) is a diverse group of people you can consult whenever you need advice. These people act as a sounding board and have a variety of experiences that may be of assistance to you when weighing the pros and cons of a decision. They provide their true opinion or advice. People on your PBOD may change depending on your circumstances and only those people with the experience you need to draw from are consulted at your time of need.

This session will introduce participants to the concept of a PBOD, help them identify people for their PBOD, and provide skills training in initiating conversations with potential PBOD contacts.

Learning Objectives:

Explain what a PBOD is.
Explain the importance of a PBOD.
Define the purpose of your PBOD.
Identify people for your PBOD.
Initiate conversations with potential PBOD contacts.

Lunch will follow on the Big Rapids campus.
This session will also be streamed to the Applied Technology Center, room 168 – first floor, at Grand Rapids Community College, for those who would like to participate from FSU-Grand Rapids and Kendall College of Art & Design.
Ferris participants can register on the Staff Center Events site (Google Chrome works best):

Email if you have trouble registering or you are not a Ferris employee.

Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend this event should call 231-591-2112 at least 72 hours in advance.

Presented by:
Ann Breitenwischer, FLITE Research & Instruction Services
Deedee Stakley, Office of Transfer & Secondary School Partnerships
Jody Gardei, Staff Center for Training & Development
Leah Melichar, Office of Transfer & Secondary School Partnerships
Sela Constan-Wahl, FLITE Collections & Access Services

February: A letter from our Director

Jennifer Heinzman, Executive Director

“Everything that makes our daily living easier, more productive, more enjoyable, or more pleasurable, was created because of a problem and because someone, somewhere, sought to solve that problem.”

Whether personal or professional, in life or in business, we all have problems. The key to preserving your sanity, maintaining your focus, and staying efficient, is to properly handle problems as they present themselves. When possible, analyze your problems by breaking them down as far as conceivable, and getting to the root. Once you have identified the core, it is easier to identify possible solutions. I often start with my desired result in mind and work backward… what will it take to make XYZ happen? Once the possible solutions are compartmentalized in my mind, and my task list is formulated, taking action seems much less daunting.

In business, a company’s success depends on having leaders who are strong problem-solvers. The problem-solving process is a never-ending cycle of analyzing, planning, checking, and acting, while also monitoring the situation and the outcomes. Managers adjust their plans, as needed so that the team can continue to move towards the solution that will lead them to better results.

Managers who can systematically think through the facts, diagnose the situation, and find an accurate and workable solution will help the business thrive and prosper. Effective problem-solvers can guide teams toward the achievement of goals by eliminating frustration, confusion, and misunderstandings before they become unmanageable. They build cooperation and collaboration between individuals, eliminate the need for rework, and foster continuous improvement.

Often, when an employee experiences a problem, they expect their supervisor to solve it. When faced with such issues, supervisors generally react in one of two ways, by taking control of the situation and commanding a solution, or by abdicating responsibility and turning it back to the employee to resolve, hoping it will serve as a growth opportunity.

I want to suggest a third option based on the role of the supervisor as an educator, a coach, and a facilitator of learning opportunities. In this role the supervisor’s response would be to use the problem as an opportunity to nurture or coach the employee and arrive at a solution through a mutual learning process. The supervisor may not have the knowledge or experience needed for the specific situation, but together through a structured conversation, the supervisor and the employee can create the solution. And, in the process, both the employee and the supervisor are co-learners.

To approach supervising from this perspective requires a different world view of power and how to utilize that power for human growth and development. This approach also requires new and different skills for the supervisor; the skills of facilitation and coaching. No longer does the supervisor suffer the pressure to “fix-it” for the employee. Instead the role of supervisor as a problem solver is now seen as a co-learner; a facilitator of learning opportunities. This method gives ownership to the employees and increases moral by allowing everyone a vital role in the decision-making process.

Next time you are faced with a large problem, ask yourself if it is something that you could brainstorm with your team to come up with the most effective solution while building comradery, strengthening relationships in your workplace, and boosting morale. As always, if there is anything, we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask!

Women of Moxie Leadership Event

Women of the Mecosta County area can gain some business and leadership insights as

the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the Women of Moxie Leadership Event, Thursday, Feb. 14th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tullymore Golf Resort.

Women are encouraged to join other local professionals for lunch, networking, speakers, and more at this leadership event.

Tamara Davis, of the Southwest Michigan Small Business Development Center, and Cindy Brown, vice president of Talent Initiatives for The Right Place, will serve as co-keynote speakers and will discuss how attendees can take advantage of leadership opportunities for women and how to grow in their professional roles here in Mecosta County.

Tamara Davis, Regional Director, SBDC Southwest Michigan

As regional director of the Southwest Michigan SBDC, Davis assists start-up and second-stage business ventures in developing feasibility studies, business plan development, accessing capital, strategic planning for exporting, accessing state and federal programs, strategic planning, and general business consultation.

cindy-brown_1-v1 (1)
Cindy Brown, VP Talent Initiatives, The Right Place

Brown worked jointly as Executive Director for Hello West Michigan and Vice President of Talent Initiatives for The Right Place for many years before stepping into her role for The Right Place full time. Under Cindy’s leadership, Hello West Michigan’s membership, programming, and regional awareness grew exponentially, helping establish West Michigan as a destination for top talent.

There will also be door prizes and giveaways, and professional photography, taken by Michele Wise of Wise Photography.

RSVP is required. Tickets are $30 per person and are available at Registration deadline is January 31, 2019. For more information, contact Megan at

Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast

On Thursday, Jan 24, the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual

Jennifer Heinzman and retiring board members (clockwise starting top left): Roger Schneidt, formerly of the City of Big Rapids, Karen Mckenzie of Lakeland Title, Yo Bellingar of Morton Township, and Gary Lambrix of Lambrix Serve-All.

Meeting and Awards Breakfast at Tullymore Golf Resort in Canadian Lakes. Over 100 chamber members, their employees, friends, and family members were in attendance as representatives from the chamber presented several local professionals with awards for their efforts.

Mark and Abby Young of The Winery at Young’s Farms were honored with the Entrepreneurs of the Year Award and Big Rapids Family Eye Care was named Small Business of the Year. Michelle Moen of Edward Jones was this year’s Volunteer of the Year, and Chelsey Bark of Lakeland Title was named Young Professional of the Year. This year’s honorees also received a special recognition from Michigan Senator Rick Outman’s office, presented by Judy Emmons.
Also honored were retiring board members Gary Lambrix, Yo Bellingar, Roger Schneidt, and Karen Mackenzie.
Paul Bullock, Mecosta County Administrator, presented a ‘State of the County’ report, and Big Rapids Mayor Tom Hogenson shared a ‘State of the City.’ Outgoing chamber president Barb Seabolt reflected on her term before presenting the gavel to 2019 president Randy Ostrander. Ostrander outlined his plans for the coming year, including continuing the business visits that Seabolt and Executive Director Jennifer Heinzman began in the last year.
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Jennifer Heinzman and Judy Emmons, of Senator Rick Outman’s office with Award winners(clockwise from top left): Abby and Mark Young of The Winery at Young Farms, Emily Coles of Big Rapids Family Eye Care, Michelle Moen of Edward Jones-Michelle Moen, and Chelsey Bark of Lakeland Title of Mecosta County.

Third Coast Conversations

Join Artworks, in partnership with the Michigan Humanities Council, for a conversationthird coast conversations about the cultural, social, historical, and environmental factors that connect Michigan’s people to water during “Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues About Water in Michigan.” Three dates are available for the community to connect with other area residents to share their stories and memories related to water. These conversations are open to the public, will include light refreshments, and will take place on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 29, 6:00 p.m.- The Overview. Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids
  • Wednesday, February 6, 12:00 p.m. – The Conversation. Blue Lake Tavern, 9965 11 Mile Road, Mecosta
  • February 21, 5:30 p.m.-The Conversation. Blue Cow Café, 119 N. Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids.

For more information, visit

Schedule of Events for AMVETS Post 1941-American Legion Post 98



AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Breakfast. All you can eat for $6! 9 – 11:30 a.m.


$2.00 each Pull Tab Bingo @ 6:00 pm

2nd Chance @ 7:00 pm Every other Monday


5:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Remembering Everyone Deployed

Wear something red (must be visible!)

$.50 off bottled beer, wine and liquor ONLY


Mon-Fri 1:00 p.m. to close (Last call as early as 8:30)

Sat & Sun 12:00 p.m. to close (pending 5-member rule)


Tuesdays–$ 1.00 well drinks from 4:00-6:00 pm



Smoked chops, mixed vegetables, garlic redskin potatoes, garlic toast– $10


Open Juke Box (Details to be announced)


Irish Feast and many drink specials 5:30 p.m. to close

RestoreIt! Contest Returns

copy of thinkIt’s time for Mecosta County Habitat for Humanity’s Annual RESTORE IT! contest and auction.

The purpose of the contest is to showcase innovative projects made from used items, inspiring others to reuse, recycle and re-purpose.

All items will be on display and available for silent auction bids from February 24th to March 9th at our Habitat ReStore. The highest written-in bid at the end of the month obtains the item. All auction proceeds go to help support the housing programs offered through Mecosta County Habitat for Humanity.

Registration due by February 13, 2019. Entries must be delivered to the ReStore by February 20th, 2019. Please submit a ‘before’ photo with your entry. You can bring a hard copy in or email one to If you need assistance with delivery of item, please call the store 629-8700. Registration forms are available here: restortit2019 flyer.

Learn more about Mecosta County Habitat for Humanity at