Spectrum Health offering Diabetes Prevention Program

Free programs help high risk individuals delay or prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Darlene Green and Layla
Darlene Green and Layla

Big Rapids and Reed City, Mich., Feb 13, 2018 – Spectrum Health is offering a free program to help community members diagnosed with prediabetes or those who may be at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

One in three adults in the U.S.—which accounts for more than 84 million people—have prediabetes. In the last 20 years, the diagnosis rate of diabetes has tripled to include more than 30 million Americans. Diabetes presents a risk for serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. However, with lifestyle changes the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes can often be delayed or even prevented.

The Spectrum Health Diabetes Education team will facilitate two Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) sessions for the community to help make those lifestyle changes. The first program will be held at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital starting in March, with the second at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital in May. Groups meet for a year — weekly for the first 16 sessions, then monthly for 6 to 8 months to maintain the skills they have learned.

Travis Stenger, health coach at Spectrum Health, will be facilitating the DPP for 2019.

“It is important to have a program like this as a resource to individuals in our community with a risk of diabetes,” Stenger said. “It will help them learn how to prevent or delay that diagnosis and support each other in making those lifestyle changes.”

Darlene Green, a former program participant, echoes the usefulness of this program. She lost approximately forty pounds as a result of the program.

“I would recommend this program to anyone,” Green said. “Before I started it, I was eating for taste and not for health. I saw a road ahead of me of gain, gain, gain, but now I feel good about myself.”

The Big Rapids Hospital program will begin March 19, and the Reed City Hospital program will begin May 8. For more information or to register for the program, call 231.832.6636.


Artworks Upcoming Events

artworksFebruary 15-12:00 p.m.: Brown Bag Series: The Art of the Good Life.-Techniques for Happiness from Ancient Philosophy to Contemporary Psychotherapy

We generally admire people who live in a relative state of calm despite chaos around them, who have the resilience to bounce back from the inevitable disappointments of life, or who seem content with their status while those around them frantically chase after the next new success. How do such people create these beautiful lives? Philosophy offers us guidance in seeing clarity in creating such a life. In this presentation/workshop, we will survey some of the specific techniques and skills ancient philosophers and contemporary psychotherapists have used in creating the art of the good life.

February 20-12:00 p.m. at Blue Lake Tavern and February 21-5:30 p.m. at Blue Cow Cafe: Third Coast Conversations

Join in for a conversation about the cultural, social, historical and environmental factors that connect Michigan’s people to water. Area residents are invited to share their stories and memories related to water.

February 22-12:00 p.m.: Brown Bag Series: Artists’ Palettes-Color Theory and Creative Choices

Lynette Voight will be discussing the principles of color theory and color mixing as well as application in the art of transparent and opaque painting. She will also present palettes of a few artists and identify how the colors are mixed in their paintings.

March 3-1:00 p.m.: Riley Mackenzie Paint Your Pet Fundraiser

Come join Artworks in this fun, paint your pet fundraiser to support the Riley MacKenzie Fund. The Riley MacKenzie Fund, founded in 2009, for charitable purposes, is an assistance program for stray and abandoned animals throughout the state of Michigan. This fund provides food, vetting, temporary boarding, or spay/neuter to the animals. They rely solely on volunteers and donations to keep this program running. Register for this event HERE!


AAUW Seeks Donations for Book Sale

2000px-American_Association_of_University_Women_logo.svgThe American Association of University Women will host its annual USED BOOK SALE Friday, April 5 9 am – 5 pm Saturday, April 6 9 am – 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church, located at 304 Elm Street in Big Rapids. Proceeds from the sale fund scholarships for area women.

To help make this event a success, donations of gently used books, CDs, and DVDs are requested. No textbooks and encyclopedias, please.

AAUW donation bins are located at:

  • Big Rapids Community Library
  • Artworks,
  • Immanuel Lutheran Church
  • St. Mary’s Catholic School

To arrange for pickup of donated materials, call 231-796-2460.

To learn more about the local chapter of AAUW, click here.

Crafting for a Cause

Renee and blankets 010 (1)Submitted by Angels of Action
Have you ever woken up cold during the night? Imagine not having an extra blanket to throw on. Many children in our area have just one blanket. Children lose more body heat than adults at night so when you are feeling cold, children are even colder. Angels of Action wants to help spread the warmth by providing no-sew blankets to children in the area. Come to Antlers Fireside Grill on Wednesday, February 27 from 6:30pm-8:30pm to make blankets. Tickets for the event costs $25 which covers the cost of materials. You can also pay to have someone else make a blanket. You can purchase your tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/crafting-for-a-cause-help-spread-the-warmth-tickets-54936128439.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this event. Email Joni@angelofaction.org

Fight Cancer and Register for the 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races

After raising a record-breaking $14,000 in 2018, Spectrum Health  invites runners and walkers to support local cancer care once again by participating in the 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races.

Team Brooks1
Team Brooks, supporting Shelly Brooks, at the 2018 Wheatlake Festival of Races.

This family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, May 18, and will include a half marathon, 10K, 5K run, 5K walk and kids dash. All proceeds will benefit wellness services for patients at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center, which provides free resources and services for those on a cancer journey.

“Cancer touches so many, and this event provides an opportunity to get active while making a great impact in the lives of local cancer patients,” said Danielle Wells, race director. “Many individuals last year ran in honor of someone they love, so this year we’re providing an opportunity to have the names of your loved ones displayed on a commemorative stake placed along the race route.”

New this year, participants can purchase a commemorative stake in memory or in support of loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. Stakes are available by visiting www.spectrumhealth.org/wheatlake-races and can be taken home after the race.

The Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center serves 12 Northern Michigan counties as a comprehensive regional treatment facility. Featured within the center is a Wellness Center that includes a library, boutique and an integrative therapy room where free services are provided to assist patients like Shelly Brooks, of Canadian Lakes, through a cancer journey.

“From the minute I stepped in the doors, everyone was so kind and helpful. The Wellness Center was wonderful!” Brooks said. “I received free massages and acupuncture, and was able to rent out several helpful cookbooks from the resource library.”

As a recipient of the wellness services that the race helps provide, Brooks participated in last year’s 5K walk, and plans to do so again this year.

The race will feature a half marathon starting at the Reed City Depot, a 10K starting at Paris Park, a 5K run and 5K Wellness Walk both starting at the Big Rapids Bandshell. Children under 10 can participate in a kids dash for no charge. All routes will finish at the Bandshell behind Big Rapids Middle School. Those who register before April 21 will receive a reduced registration fee and are guaranteed a 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races shirt.

To encourage early detection, free skin cancer screenings will be provided at the Bandshell from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event.

For information or to register, visit spectrumhealth.org/wheatlake-races or call Danielle Wells, race coordinator, at 231.592.4208.

Ferris to host Electric DriveAutomotive Technician Training

2018electricdriveclasseventbritebannerlqMarch 11-14
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, MI


Course Description:
Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician Training
Get “hands-on” experience from extensive shop activities
Electric drive vehicles, including Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PhEVs), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), and Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs) are appearing on America’s highways in ever increasing numbers. As a consequence, the need for qualified technicians to service and maintain these vehicles is growing rapidly. This four-day hands-on course is designed for the professional technician or automotive student and will teach you safety, service procedures, computer diagnostics, vehicle systems, battery technologies, and the nature of electricity as an automotive fuel source.
Why Electric Drive Training?
The Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician course offers training for automotive technicians to gain a better understanding of advanced electric drive vehicles. The course will cover the fundamentals, system design, diagnostic considerations, and special service topics of HEVs, BEVs, PHEVs, FCEVs, and EREVs.

The course also explains appropriate safety measures in maintaining advanced electric drive vehicles and describes electric propulsion systems including the construction, operation, control strategies, service tools, scan tool data, and basic diagnostic fundamentals. Course objectives include coverage of required fundamentals, system design and operation, diagnostics, service and repair of HEVs, BEVs, PHEVs, and FCEVs. Adhering to appropriate and necessary safety measures for each type of vehicle will be emphasized. The electric propulsion systems that will be described include construction, operation, control strategies, service tools, scan tool data, and basic diagnostic fundamentals. Auxiliary systems required by these alternative power trains, such as (but not limited to) electric power steering and electric air conditioning compressors, will be explained. The course has a heavy incorporation and concentration on hands-on shop time and lab activities.

The number of electric drive vehicles is growing every year. Mandates such as the Federal Energy Policy Act require most large fleets to include alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in ever-growing numbers. In addition, many consumers have chosen to buy and drive electric drive passenger vehicles for both economic and environmental reasons.

All of this means that the demand for AFV technicians is increasing dramatically. The AFV technician needs to know everything that is currently applicable to servicing automobiles, along with new electric vehicle technology. This course meets the needs of the technician, the employer, the fleet operator, and the training institution.
Course Objectives
Taught by certified NAFTC instructors, this four-day course contains an equal mix of classroom lecture and shop activities, exercises, diagnostics and repair, including major component removal and refit, battery removal and reinstallation, along with hands-on motor-generator (MG) dissassembly and diagnostics. After the course, the technician will be able to:

List personnel and shop safety procedures on high voltage and electric drive vehicles
Describe the different electric drive vehicle configurations
Explain the procedures for start-up, operation, and shut-down of electric drive vehicles
List the tools necessary for effective and safe electric drive vehicle diagnostic and repair, including OEM computer scan tools
Describe the various battery technologies and charging schemas for electric drive vehicles
Demonstrate the ability to remove and reinstall major hybrid vehicle components
List the major electric vehicle components and explain their operation
Describe the operation and components in a hydrogen fuel cell
Explain the common maintenance procedures necessary for electric drive vehicles
Demonstrate a working knowledge and diagnostic capabilities in relation to electric drive transaxles and transmissions
Describe electric motors and their relationship with regenerative braking

This course is available to NAFTC member schools as a train-the-trainer upon advance request.
Course Materials Provided to the Participant:

Participant Manual – including review questions and learning activities*
Program certificate

Course Materials Provided to NAFTC Members participating in Train-the-Trainer session:

Instructor Manual – including course agenda and planning notes
Participant Manual – including review questions and learning activities
Lesson plans
Case studies
Extensive shop activities
Training aids (PowerPoint presentation, Flash animations, etc.)
Exam question pool (pre- and post-test)
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specific information
Lesson plans
Workshop curricula
Practical exercises
List of suggested hands-on training aids for shop tasks

Classes are offered through the National Alternative Fuels Training Laboratory in Morgantown, WV. Customized classes can be brought to your doorstep and are designed to meet your particular needs. Please contact micheal.smyth@mail.wvu.edu for details, class pricing, and for NAFTC membership information.
*Each module of the Participant’s Manual contains text, illustrations, explanatory figures and tables, module review questions, and a list of key terms and abbreviations.

Evaluate Your Business Plan

By: Jessica Kay Vogel, Local Marketing Consultant. 


Offering FREE Small Business Needs Assessments!

Theodore Levitt, a Professor at Harvard, states that the purpose of all business is to “find and keep customers.” Furthermore, the only way you can achieve this objective is to create a competitive advantage. Thus, the focus of your marketing plan should be making a strategy that ensures your products and services meet customer needs/wants in 2019 and then effectively communicate those benefits.  

We have all heard the saying,“Do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” – a quote originated by Albert Einstein. Are you finding yourself starting 2019 in the same manner as 2018? If so, I hope you do not anticipate growth. The plan that made sense for your small business a year or five years ago, isn’t going to work today. No matter if you are a small business just starting out or a seasoned veteran, you must evaluate your marketing plan.

“Failure to plan, is planning to fail,” – said someone on Google.  So preparation is key. A marketing plan will be easier to manage when you break your plan down into multiple, smaller, marketing campaigns. These campaigns are time sensitive and designed to achieve a particular objective outlined in your marketing plan. A common marketing campaign objective formula is: What will be achieved + how long will the marketing campaign run? Here are a few example of How to Run a Successful Campaign!

Every how-to book on the market has a different take on the essential elements of a marketing plan and claims to know all the answers.  The truth is, when determining which marketing communication methods and tools to use and how best to combine them is a challenge for everyone. There is no secrete sauce.

In efforts to aid your planning process. I recommend using a campaign approach and encourage small business owners to create a living document that you reference often. Things change, people leave, markets evolve, customers come and go and your marketing plan must adapt with these many factors!

It is always better to have a well-planned strategy to promote your brand, product or services, right? Marketing campaigns do that for you. Whether you offer a product or a service, choose to promote your brand online or offline—marketing campaigns help by guiding you through the process with manageable steps.