| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Pinterest RSS Feed

Health + Wellness : In the News

201 Health + Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All

Resource Day showcases over 40 agencies for housing, health, counseling and other services


Once a year the work that Leah McCall and others at Alliance for Housing of Oakland County do year-round gets laid out in an inspiring in-person kind of way. The 40+ agencies that are part of OaklandHomeless.org are normally connected by email, phone and meetings. But once a year they come to Resource Day. This year they were tucked away in every corner of the Genesis Church in Royal Oak, connected like the combs of a beehive and buzzing with collaborative energy. Common Ground, Easter Seals, HAVEN, HOPE and dozens others were part of the Nov. 16 event.

Read more.

OUWB Department of Emergency Medicine undergoes expansion

The new Emergency Center at Beaumont Hospital – Royal Oak is taking shape after more than a year under construction on the multi-year project promising improvements in capacity, patient privacy and service.

When complete, the 125,300-square-foot center will nearly double the size of the current 70,000-square-foot facility, which remains open during construction. The first phase is new construction, and is expected to be complete in spring 2017 with renovations made in phases thereafter until fall 2018. 

A $120.8 million renovation and expansion

Interior improvements include 133 adult private and semi-private rooms; a medical observation unit with more than 50 beds; and a dedicated pediatric emergency area with pediatric emergency medicine trained staff led by board-certified pediatric emergency medicine specialists. 

The updates in technology will include devices that can send results to medical staff fast and efficiently. Heart and trauma patients will be evaluated quickly with noninvasive heart monitoring and testing equipment. The easily accessible MRI machine will speed up the patient imaging process. 

“Our emergency room is the busiest in the entire state and our patient volume continues to grow,” said OUWB Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine Terry Kowalenko, M.D., who is the President and Chief Medical Officer of the Beaumont Medical Group; and Senior Vice President of Beaumont Health. “The new center will be meeting the needs of the community more than ever.”

The details will make a difference to patients, too, as the facility will have an expanded lobby, and an intake / prompt care area. The space is designed to be more senior-citizen friendly, and among the changes, it will include a special “Fitbit” (fitness tracker) room, and a patient and family center, where advisory counseling will be available. 

?With this expansion and renovation project, Beaumont Hospital – Royal Oak will continue to be the only accredited Level One Trauma Center in Oakland and Macomb counties, which means the center can handle the most severe trauma cases 24/7. The new helicopter-landing pad will have an elevator that leads directly to the trauma bays.

Clinicians dedicated to medical education 

While the Emergency Medicine department juggles the challenges of working among the construction, they also continue their research projects, community outreach, and mentoring of residents and OUWB medical students. 
  • Currently, more than 37 OUWB medical students are being mentored by 20 Emergency Medicine clinical faculty members on their Embark research projects. 
  • OUWB Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine Dr. Terry Kowalenko, was recently selected to be President-Elect of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). 
  • Emergency Medicine welcomes 14 residents a year. Currently, OUWB Charter Class alumna, Stephanie Goike, M.D., is a resident. 
  • OUWB Emergency Medicine clinical faculty member Robert Swor, M.D., Director of Research & EMS, along with 9 OUWB medical students, rolled out SaveMiHeart, a statewide initiative with a goal to double cardiac arrest survival in Michigan by 2020 by using bystander (hands only) CPR. 
  • Under the direction of OUWB Emergency Medicine clinical faculty member Amit Bahl, M.D., emergency ultrasound continues to evolve with the development of a comprehensive training curriculum for Beaumont Health residents.

New disc golf course built in Oxford

An 18-hole disc golf course at Oakwood Lake Township Park has opened, the second such course in the township of roughly 20,000 people. And like the first course, at Seymour Lake Township Park, the Oakwood course is free and open to all.

Unlike the Seymour course, which is characterized as long with wide open approaches to the holes, the new course at Oakwood is tighter, weaving through the forests and requiring a more strategic approach rather than just a strong arm.

Oakwood was designed by Miles Lawrence, co-founder of the Murder Mitten Disc Golf Club. The MMDGC was started as a fundraiser league in 2011 to help maintain the course at Seymour. The Oakwood course will also benefit from the MMDGC, which hosts tournaments and a Sunday doubles league to raise money.

"I always thought that being able to design a course would be an interesting thing to do," says Lawrence. "It had the potential, but could we do it?"

Lawrence had learned about the Michigan Disc Golf Organization donating disc golf baskets to various courses throughout the state and figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. Lawrence, who worked a seasonal job with the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department this past summer, approached his bosses about building a second disc golf course.

Oxford agreed, MDGO donated the equipment, and Lawrence and a handful of volunteers set out into the park, cutting down a few trees and clearing brush to carve out the 18-hole course.

"Oakwood was a park that not a lot of people knew about. It's really nice, just not a lot of people were out there. We thought that maybe this course would attract attention," says Lawrence. "There were 200 people out on opening weekend."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Beaumont first in Michigan to offer new breast cancer treatment


Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak is the first health system in the state to offer the Intrabeam intraoperative radiotherapy system, a new partial radiotherapy treatment option for breast cancer patients.

Read more.

OU INC client successfully spins off innovative Company and launches Into new market

The Oakland University Incubator (OU INC), a Smart Zone Business Accelerator, took occupational therapist, Nathan Barnett, under its wing and mentored him on how to transform his idea of creating an objective system for accurately testing an elderly person’s balance and devising treatment suggestions to minimize the risk of falls. Out of Barnett’s collaboration with OU INC, he will officially launch his revolutionary new “Safe Balance” concept this coming Friday into an emerging health care market for addressing the needs of the elderly in preventing debilitating or deadly falls.

OU INC gave Barnett the tools needed to realize his goal. The Incubator provided Barnett with access to resources and networks, as well as funding through the Business Accelerator Fund along with guidance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.While balance testing has been around a while, the subjective measures utilized lacked reliability, consistency and ability to accurately detect the presence of a heightened risk of debilitating or deadly falls. Barnett believes that without a proper metric to identify risk, fall related injuries will continue to skyrocket. 

Barnett created the Dynamic Arc: Functional Balance Testing System. The Dynamic Arc is a portable device with a software component that identifies the presence of a fall risk, quantifies the impairment severity and provides clarity to the physician and/or therapist to facilitate focused treatment.

Barnett’s company, Functional Innovation Enterprises soon became an attractive business investment. In the spring of 2016, Avantius Medical Equipment was formed as a joint venture between Barnett and entrepreneur Frederic Jouhet.

This is a new concept for a very old problem,” said Barnett. “ Safe Balance” is revolutionary because of the many ways it can prolong independence for the elderly and create peace of mind for them and their loved ones. An unexpected fall can have catastrophic consequences. Safe Balance plays a key role in preventing this from happening. I couldn’t have taken my idea to a market-ready position without the guidance and resources of OU INC.”
Surging growth and opportunity in the balance testing market, led Barnett and Jouhet to spin off the old company into a new one called Safe Balance.
Safe Balance currently serves all levels of senior communities from Independent Living, Senior Living and Nursing Home/Rehabilitation Centers. The advantages of Safe Balance are decreased liability exposure, and greater peace of mind to family/residents.  More information can be found at www.safe-balance.com.
About OU INC
OU INC is a Smartzone Business Incubator and Innovation Center, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and strategic industry partners. With a focus on the energy, medical device, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility through the International Business Innovation Association for international companies. For more information go to http://www.oakland.edu/ouinc.

OUCARES' collaboration with Oakland County Parks wins national award

The Oakland University Center for Autism’s Outreach Services (OUCARES) was recently honored with a 2016 Removing Barriers Special Award from the National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials. The recognition was for a program that allows OUCARES summer camp participants to engage in activities such as fishing, boating, rappelling and climbing at Independence Oaks Park in Clarkston. 
“The mission of OUCARES is to improve the quality of life of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” said Kristin Rohrbeck, director of OUCARES.  “When OUCARES’ summer campers are at the park, they show more positive emotion, engage more with their peers, and learn to follow directions in order to participate in all of the fun activities — all things that can improve their quality of life. OUCARES is proud to have this strong relationship with Oakland County Parks that helps us fulfill our mission.”
The program, which is in collaboration with Oakland County Parks (OCP), also involved providing training to OCP staff members and those at other parks throughout Michigan
During the training session, OCP supervisors learned to recognize common characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how to communicate effectively by breaking information down into simple steps, keeping verbal statements short and maintaining a low voice, among other strategies.
OUCARES Program Coordinator Stephanie Laubach was instrumental in developing the training.

“It has been an honor to work with not only the Oakland County Parks, but also with the Michigan Recreation & Parks Association to assist in developing inclusion & accessibility within their parks," Laubach said. "Educating park personnel about autism and successful strategies in working with a person on the spectrum will broaden the understanding and acceptance of Autism Spectrum Disorder."
Founded in 2004, OUCARES provides a vast array of programming for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities, including sports, social clubs, summer camps and employable skills training.
Learn more about OUCARES at oakland.edu/oucares.

Health division kicks off flu season

Oakland County Health Division launched their annual flu vaccination program on Oct. 4, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced. The flu vaccine guards against as many as four flu viruses which are most likely to occur this season.

“Our goal is to keep our residents healthy this flu season,” Patterson said. “We urge them to take the necessary precautions against the flu including getting vaccinated.”

Flu shots are available for $25 at both Health Division clinics in Pontiac and Southfield. Individuals 65 years and older qualify for a high-dose flu shot which costs $43. Flu shot clinic hours are Noon – 8p.m. Mondays and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. These are walk-in clinics. Prepayment and registration are not needed.

“Get a flu shot to protect yourself and loved ones,” said Kathy Forzley, Health Division manager/health officer. “The flu typically takes the lives of 36,000 Americans a year. Getting an annual flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu and protects the community around you.”

The Health Division will also hold four walk-in community outreach clinics on the following dates:
  • Oct. 12, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Walled Lake Community Ed, 615 N. Pontiac Trail, Walled Lake
  • Oct. 18, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Rochester OPC, 650 Letica Drive, Rochester
  • Oct. 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois, Troy
  • Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Costick Center, 28600 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
Community outreach clinics are walk-in only, pre-payment and registration are not necessary.

Payment options include cash, credit (Visa, MasterCard), Medicare, and/or Medicaid, and some insurance. Credit card fees apply. Please bring picture identification and all insurance cards to the clinic.

Health Division offices are located at the following addresses:
  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
For up-to-date information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, follow the Health Division on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC, or call the Health Division’s Flu Shot Hotline at 800-434-3358. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533.

Public input sought for Oakland County's Highland Recreation Area

Highland Recreation Area and Haven Hill are receiving attention from public officials, planners, and citizens interested in both the future and past of these protected pieces of Michigan wilderness.

Phase 2 of the General Management Plan for the Highland Recreation Area is being developed and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks & Recreation Division is asking the public for their input. The DNR wants to know what recreation opportunities people are looking for in the Highland Recreation Area. The plan will also assist the DNR in protecting and preserving the park's natural assets.

Highland Recreation Area is a 5,900-acre site located east of Highland Township. Year-round recreation activities include hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and horse riding trails. Fishing and boating occur on four different lakes while three recreation areas currently offer opportunities for picnics, horseshoes, volleyball, and swimming.

Visit the DNR website for more information on the public input sessions.

On Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, Oakland County is holding a Planners Gathering at the Edsel Ford Barn located at Haven Hill. A walking tour and presentation on the history and legacy of Michigan's state parks and recreation areas will be conducted, examining what took place to establish these public lands and what is necessary to preserve them for future generations.

Haven Hill, a 721-acre state-managed Natural Area, is a uniquely unspoiled tract of land located within the Highland Recreation Area. Haven Hill boasts each of southern Michigan's principal forest types, from tamarack to cedar, beech-maple to oak-hickory.

The land was once the private property of Edsel and Eleanor Ford, where they built an estate that still stands today. Following Edsel's death in 1943, the land was sold to the state of Michigan in 1946. Eventually management was transferred to the DNR. The land has been largely left undisturbed for nearly 75 years.

Registration for the event is located here.

Rochester Hill's Crittenton Hospital opens senior emergency department


Rochester Hills-based Crittenton Hospital Medical Center has created an emergency department that focuses specifically on the needs of seniors.

“Our goal is to enhance the care we provide to the growing senior population in our community,” says Glenn Garwood, director of emergency services at Crittenton. “We can better meet the needs of our older patients by offering this dedicated, senior-focused care environment.”

Read more.

Family-fun Quack Attack to raise money for pediatric cancer cure

Five thousand rubber ducks will race toward a cure for childhood cancer in the second annual Motor City Quack Attack Saturday, Sept. 10 at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights.

Hosted by Kids without Cancer and sponsored by Oakland County Parks, Motor City Quack Attack raises money by participants adopting rubber ducks. The cost per duck is $5. Ducks can be adopted at MotorCityQuackAttack.com or purchased on race day at the waterpark. The first three ducks to pass the finish line win a cash prize: First place, $1,000; second place, $500; and third place $250. The ducks will race around the 990-foot long River Ride.

Gates open at 11 a.m. with the duck launch at 2 p.m. The event will also include a photo booth and raffle.      
Proceeds from the duck race benefit will fund pediatric cancer research at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University and Karmanos Cancer Institute. 

Red Oaks Waterpark is located at 1455 East 13 Mile Road in Madison Heights.

Motor City Quack Attack is sponsored by Motor City Pawn Brokers; Community Choice Credit Union; Hungry Howies; JB Cutting Inc.; Pulse Detroit; Redwood Dental; A.D. Transport Express, Inc.; “Chester”; Meijer #222; Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union; Mobility Works; Nutrition Balance, St. Clair Shores; Freshi; G.E.B. Collision, Inc.; Kar’s Nuts; National Ladder & Scaffold; American Plastic Toys, Inc.; Comerica Bank; Ashley Ray & Terry Tsang; and HSH Photos.

For information on other Oakland County Parks upcoming events, visit OaklandCountyParks.comJoin the conversation on FacebookInstagram and Twitter@OCParksAndRec.

23 Michigan hospitals place on U.S. News and World Report top hospitals list for 2016


Twenty-three hospitals in Michigan won recognition as best hospitals in the nation — led again by Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan Hospitals, Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and DMC Harper University Hospital in Detroit — by U.S. News and World Report in its 27th Best Hospitals report.

The nation's No. 1 hospital was the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; No. 2 is the Cleveland Clinic; No. 3 is Massachusetts General Hospital; followed by Johns Hopkins Hospital and UCLA Medical Center.

Read more.

Veggie Pails delivers fresh veggies in Oakland County

Melissa Tabalno and Nicole Converse spent a lot of time in Alaska in recent years, working in the fishing industry.

The partners are back home in Metro Detroit now after getting their new business, Veggie Pails, off the ground. The Highland-based business delivers buckets (or pails) of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other locally produced foods to customers across Oakland County.

"This is a business to get us back on land," Tabalno says.

She and Converse turned Veggie Pails into their full-time jobs earlier this year. The company has now grown to the point where it is looking for its own commercial space to operate out of. Tabalno and Converse are specifically looking for a storefront/warehouse combo where they can build their core business and a retail presence.

In the meantime Veggie Pails is growing through word of mouth and on the strength of its pails full of nutritious food.

"Our pails are really pretty," Tabalno says, saying how the company is continuing to focus on the presentation of its product.

Source: Melissa Tabalno, co-owner of Veggie Pails
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Defunct Pontiac community center remade into Wessen Lawn Tennis Club

The city of Pontiac may be sporting the latest and greatest new training grounds for Wimbledon, with the recent opening of a new grass-court tennis, social, and swim club.


"The Wessen Lawn Tennis Club, a recently opened 24-court private outdoor grass-court center, is the creative reinvention of a closed community center and its grounds by Bill Massie, a local architect and the owner of the club...

Mayor Deidre Waterman of Pontiac is happy to see the dormant land in the heart of her 59,000-resident city come back to life. Pontiac, like Detroit, has been under state control because of financial problems. It emerged from a five-year run under an emergency manager in 2013.

“We’re working on recreating ourselves with a new spirit and vision, and this dovetails perfectly with the new Pontiac,” Waterman said. “We want to bring things that are unique and special to the city.”
Massie, who has invested $1.5 million in the club, has committed to keeping it connected to the community, pledging to hold junior lessons, donate equipment and host open swims next summer....

[Massie] is also developing the building into a bar and reception area, pro shop and offices, and, in the near future, a full-service restaurant for members and guests. The pool is being refinished and will open this summer. A few hardcourts and clay courts are in the plans.

Massie would like to bring an ATP-level tournament to Wessen and have junior and pro players train there for grass tournaments like Wimbledon."

More here.

The Autobike is less work, more play

Why not get your bike to do the work for you this summer?


"Remember when riding your bike was all about fun and adventure? Well, if you have forgotten, it's time you got to know  Autobike [in Troy]. Autobike, a Betaspring alum from Fall 2012, is now shipping an automatic shifting bicycle that delivers the simplest, smoothest, most comfortable riding experience ever to customers across the US...

Driven to bring back a riding experience that could delight a new generation of riders--and get riders who had abandoned their bikes back on two wheels--the team designed an automatically shifting bike with no on/off buttons, no shifting levers. Fast forward six months and the team has shipped to customers in MI, NH, TX, FL, TN, IN, NV, WA, and British Columbia so far and the pipeline is growing by the day."

More here.

FirstMerit Bank proudly presents the second annual Cruise In ShoesTM 5K run/walk

FirstMerit Bank announces it is sponsoring the second annual Cruise In Shoes 5K Fun Run/Walk, taking place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 17, 2013, the same day as the 19th annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

Nonprofit looks to open "art gym" in downtown Milford

Oakland County's forward thinkers are envisioning a gym where patrons can sweat over their sculptures instead of the treadmills.


"Several physical fitness gyms are located across Oakland County — but how about gyms, instead, that focus on exercising community members' minds and creativity?

A nonprofit organization in the Village of Milford is looking to raise money to open an "art gym," a center where Oakland County residents can pay a monthly fee for studio space and use of supplies."

More here.

Top Count Your Steps schools from Royal Oak, Novi and Berkley

Students from Shrine Catholic Grade School of Royal Oak took their "victory lap" around the Detroit Zoo as the 2013 winner of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's Count Your Steps initiative. They were joined by students from second-place Franklin Road Christian School of Novi and the Detroit Zoo mascots. Third-place Angell Elementary School of Berkley was unable to attend. The top schools were announced today in a special ceremony marking the 10th anniversary Count Your Steps finale celebration.

Unleash fitness at the Oakland Pet Adoption Center

Walking a dog this spring is a great way to improve physical fitness. That's why the Oakland Pet Adoption Center features a program called Fitness Unleashed, where working residents can come and take a dog for a walk or visit with a cat on their lunch hour. It is part of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's vision to improve the quality of life in Oakland County through more active and healthier lifestyles.

Hometown Hustle returns to benefit Rochester Community Schools Foundation

Registration for the 5K Hometown Hustle on May 11, the signature fundraising event for the Rochester Community Schools Foundation, is now open. The event drew in 850 runners in 2012 and raised $22,000 for the Rochester Community Schools Foundation. They hope to raise $25,000 this year. 

Hiller's adds new mobility carts to help customers with disabilities

Hiller's has purchased a cart for disabled customers for each of its seven Michigan stores. The cart was designed by Alabama mom Drew Ann Long, who got a manufacturer and is now instrumental in marketing it via www.carolinescart.com.  Hiller said he paid $850 per cart, about twice what a regular grocery cart costs.

Oakland County among Top 10 in state for health behaviors/health factors

Oakland County ranks third for health behaviors and sixth for health factors among Michigan's 83 counties, according to the County Health Rankings Report released Wednesday. The report is produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson credited the county’s Health Division and his administration’s quality of life initiatives for the impressive scores.

MichiganTrailMaps.com unveils new Manitou Island maps

North and South Manitou Island, wilderness jewels in Lake Michigan and part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, are now part of the Classic Trails of Michigan map series by MichiganTrailMaps.com.

The Palace of Auburn Hills is on the ball with vegetarian-friendly food

Many sports fans are eschewing typical burgers and brats and going for the tempeh. The Palace of Auburn Hills is delivering on this craving.


"First came Major League Baseball in 2002, followed by the NFL in 2008. Now, for the first time, thanks to the explosion in vegetarian options at sports venues across the continent, PETA has ranked the top 10 most vegetarian-friendly NBA arenas, and The Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons, has grabbed 10th place...To see all the delicious vegetarian offerings, please visit PETA's blog."

More here.

Lourdes Nursing Home named one of the best by U.S. News and World Report Magazine

Lourdes Nursing Home has been named one of the nation’s best care facilities by U.S. News & World Report, it was announced Tuesday by the national magazine.

Patterson asks students to make public health video

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is calling on Oakland County middle school, high school, and college students to create a short public service announcement video that highlights public health. The contest is designed to raise awareness about National Public Health Week.

Crittenton Hospital named presenting sponsor of the Stony Creek "Back to the Beach" 10k, 5k

Crittenton Hospital has been named the presenting sponsor of the annual Stony Creek “Back to the Beach” half marathon, 10K & 5K.  “Back to the Beach,” which takes place May 19 at Stony Creek Metro Park, is in its third year with an anticipated record field of participants.  “Crittenton realizes the importance of local events like “Back to the Beach” not only for their community impact, but for the promotion of healthy living that they encourage.  We’re proud to be a sponsor and look forward to helping grow this event over the years,” said Brian Birney, Director of Marketing and Communications at Crittenton. 

Detroit a leader in dogs as therapy movement

USA Today is calling out Metro Detroit as one of the leader dogs in using pets in the social services realm.


"Because of Henry -- a gentlemanly, chocolate-and-white Portuguese waterdog -- once-silent autistic students at Novi High School now have a voice.

A Doberman pinscher named Tuesday is credited with helping 11 former servicemen graduate last week from Redford District Court's first Veterans Court...

Michigan is among a growing number of states where dogs are moving into courts, schools, prisons and juvenile facilities on the heels of new research that shows the emotional and physical benefits of dog-person contact, particularly for people in pain or in trouble."

More here.

Final week to register for the 5th annual Oakland Edge Adult Hockey Tournament

Adult men and women hockey teams have one more week to register for the 2013 Oakland Edge Adult Hockey Tournament.

OU INC. client cureLauncher captures top elevator pitch honors

OU INC client company cureLauncher won first place in the Elevator Pitch Competition at the 13th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE).

Seven Oakland County "healthy" projects get Brooksie Way Minigrant funding for 2013

The Michigan Senior Olympics, a healthy eating program for children and wellness expo are among seven Oakland County programs that received nearly $8,000 in funding through The Brooksie Way Minigrant program.

Oakland County Health Division helps launch statewide obesity prevention efforts

Oakland County Health Division was recognized by the Michigan Department of Community Health as one of six "4x4 Health & Wellness" grant recipients to implement community-based obesity prevention strategies.The Health Division is partnering with the "Healthy Pontiac, We Can! Coalition" to support the launch of the state's "MI Healthier Tomorrow" public awareness campaign in Oakland County.

Beaumont's heart screening free for high school athletes; next one January 26

The leading cause of death in young athletes is sudden cardiac arrest. Beaumont Health System's "Healthy Heart Check" is a free heart screening for high school students that can save lives. 

Read more.

Snowshoe fun for the family

Bundle up for the Frosty Oaks Fest 5k/10k Snowshoe Race Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 at Orion Oaks County Park in Lake Orion.

The race is open to everyone -- even if it’s your first time on snowshoes! No snow? No problem! Wear trail shoes for an invigorating run or leisurely hike.

Registration and snowshoe rental opens at the Orion Oaks Dog Park at 8:30 a.m. Snowshoe rentals are available. The race begins at 10 a.m. and follows the Massasauga Loop trail. Enjoy a bonfire and s’mores after the race. Awards will be given to the top two men and women finishers in six age categories.

Entry fee is $20/person by Feb. 9; $25/person on race day. A valid annual vehicle permit or daily pass is required for park entry (available at the park). Regiser early! A commemorative pair of winter gloves included for first 100 registered.

Find details at DesinationOakland.com.

Celebrate winter!

Birmingham OKs Gran Fondo bike race

The Birmingham City Commission voted in favor of the proposed Gran Fondo bike race to run the entire stretch of Woodward Avenue and feature both a professional race and a recreational ride for enthusiasts. The 54-mile ride will take place on June 30, pending support from remaining communities. 

Family sledding hill is open at Waterford Oaks County Park

Families will find the 27-foot high and 325-foot long Family Sledding Hill at Waterford Oaks County Park an exhilarating way to enjoy winter.

Beaumont Children’s Hospital opens Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic

Beaumont Children’s Hospital has expanded its neuroscience services Jan. 7 with a Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic, offering treatment options and services for infants, children and teens with seizures and epilepsy. The clinic offers comprehensive evaluations and schedules tests, including MRIs, PET scans and EEGs, for those with mild to complex forms of epilepsy.

Residents urged to get flu shots after sudden increase in cases

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) urges residents to take preventative action and get vaccinated against seasonal flu in the wake of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that said there has been a rapid increase in flu cases in Michigan.

Gov. Rick Snyder proposes 599-mile trail to show off state

Governor Snyder has proposed a 599-mile trail starting in Detorit's Belle Isle and winding through the entire length of Michigan, connecting pre-existing trail systems through both peninsulas all the way to Wisconsin. 

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan launches advocacy, resource hub

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has launched the first phase of Mode Shift: Move Together, an online news, advocacy and resource hub dedicated to engage, grow and empower a community of healthy lifestyle advocates in SE Michigan and foster community connectedness through its team of journalists and local bloggers. The site is co-funded by the Knight Foundation’s Community Information Challenge.

Beaumont adds Lung Cancer Center

Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak is now home to the Cunnington Family Comprehensive Lung Cancer Center, a new facility specializing in multidisciplinary lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

"Fab Five" running team of county executives takes third place in Brooksie Way 5K Race

Robert Ficano and Mark Hackel, the Wayne County and Macomb County executives, and Conan Smith, chairman of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, finished third out of 26 teams competing in the 5k team challenge at The Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5k races in September. 

New market gives Pontiac residents access to healthy food

The Healthy Pontiac, We Can! coalition has partnered with the St. John United Methodist Church to bring a fresh produce market to Pontiac. The market, located at 620 University Drive, sells low-cost fruits and vegetables every Friday from 3-6 p.m.

Oakland County Senior Advisory Council hosted senior center workers seminar

Oakland County senior center workers, staff and volunteers learned about resources available to their clients and had the chance to interact with senior-related organizations at the Oakland County Senior Center Workers Seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the Waterford Oaks Activity Center.  They also learned the top five wishes from senior centers in the recent Senior Center Survey. The seminar was hosted by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's Oakland County Senior Advisory Council.

Kiehl's fans welcome venerable chain to Michigan

Respected skin care company Kiehl's Since 1851 has opened a new store inside the Somerset Collection, Troy. The upscale company is right at home at this upscale suburban mall. The New York-based beauty company has 52 stores nationwide; this is its first in Michigan. 

Flu shots available at Oakland County Health Division

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) is now offering flu shots for $16 at their Pontiac and Southfield offices. Flu clinic hours are noon – 8 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Residents can pre-register online at oakgov.com/health.

Five Oakland County healthy projects get Brooksie Way Minigrant funding

A senior citizens drum and dance program and a 5K run to support the Children's Tumor Foundation are among five Oakland County programs that received a total of more than $7,500 in funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.

Annual trail run showcases autumn colors at Independence Oaks County Park

Oakland County Parks and Recreation and Riverbend Striders host the annual Hidden Forest Trail Run at Independence Oaks County Park on Sunday, October 14.

Find local public health information on Facebook

Oakland County residents can now find the most current public health information on Facebook. Oakland County Health Division has launched its own Facebook page to make public health information more accessible and provide up-to-the-minute health news, events, emergency updates, prevention tips, and links to public health resources.

Residents are urged to protect themselves from West Nile Virus during upcoming outdoor events

The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) urges all residents to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites and West Nile Virus (WNV) during upcoming outdoor events including Arts, Beats & Eats, the Michigan Renaissance Festival and other art and music festivals scheduled during August and September.

Leapfrog Group gives hospital perfect scores

The Leapfrog Group recently honored Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township as one of four Detroit Medical Center hospitals to receive an "A" Hospital Safety Score on an A-F scale based on available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.

Milford Criterium draws national talent

The 2012 Milford Criterium races were the biggest and best yet with about 400 riders participating. This was the second year that the event has hosted the State Championships. 

Deadline extended to apply for Brooksie Way Minigrant

Groups promoting health and wellness activities in Oakland County have a little extra time to apply for a Brooksie Way Minigrant.

Beaumont one of U.S. News & World Report's “Best Hospitals" for 18th year in a row

Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak once again ranks among the best hospitals in the nation according the the 23rd annual report released by U.S. News & World Report. This marks the 18th consecutive year that Beaumont has ranked on this list thanks to "high performance" ratings in specialty areas such as cancer, cardiology and endocrinology. 

Calling all volunteers for the Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5K

If you want to participate in The Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5K races but you're not a walker or a runner, here is your chance.

July is National Park and Recreation Month

Oakland County Parks and Recreation encourages families to celebrate July is National Park and Recreation Month by participating in events at Oakland County Parks that promote active lifestyles.

Beaumont among nation's top 100 hospitals

Thomson Reuters selected Beaumont Hospital in Troy as one of the nation's premiere care facilities.


"Beaumont Hospital, Troy was recently named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters. The recognition is based on a hospital’s overall organizational performance. This marks the ninth time Beaumont has been recognized as a top hospital.

'The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals® study evaluates performance in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. The study has been conducted annually since 1993."

Read the rest here.

Nine Oakland County “healthy” projects get more than $10,000 in Brooksie Way minigrants

A program that surprises a child with cancer by bringing a horse to the family home for a day of fun activities is among nine ‘healthy” Oakland County projects that received a total of more than $10,000 in funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.

Oakland County Health Division hosts video contest for high school students

Oakland County Health Division is looking for creative Oakland County high school students to create a short Public Service Announcement video that highlights the Oakland County Health Division Food Safety Program, which ensures safe food and proper sanitation in Oakland County's 4,500 food service establishments.

Oakland County improves health rating for third year in a row

Oakland County remains one of the top 20 healthiest counties in Michigan, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings report released on April 5.  

Patterson calls residents and businesses to action for Cancer Prevention Study-3

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is challenging southeast Michigan residents and businesses to take part in the American Cancer Society’s groundbreaking Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) that has the potential to change the face of cancer for future generations. The study will enroll a diverse population of up to a half million people across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Eight Oakland County "healthy" projects awarded Brooksie Way minigrants

Eight Oakland County projects - including a therapeutic horseback riding program for special needs students and a health education program aimed at low literacy residents - received funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.

Cyclists map best area routes

A group of enthusiastic cyclists convened last month at the Royal Oak Public Library to discuss the safest bike routes in South Oakland County. About 50 participants discussed initial data collected in the hope of producing a small-scale regional map with the safest and most scenic bike routes.

Early Bird Registration Discount for Oakland Edge Adult Hockey Tournament Ends Soon

Adult men and women hockey teams that want to save $50 have until Jan. 31, to register for the 2012 Oakland Edge Adult Hockey Tournament.

OLHSA Walk for Warmth fundraisers will be held February 11 & 25

Walk for Warmth - OLHSA's biggest and best fundraiser for 22 years - is around the corner! Consider joining us today. Teams, individuals, and sponsors are welcome. You'll be helping your friends and neighbors stay safe and warm while enjoying a Saturday morning, family-friendly event! Distances are non-competitive and both Walks are indoors. Not bad, for February! Check us out on our website, here, or on Facebook, here. With your support we'll help even more families stay warm in 2012.

VNA Hospice needs volunteers

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Southeast Michigan is seeking volunteers to provide companionship to hospice patients, as well as in the office and to assist in writing patients' life stories. Required training is free and is offered Saturday, January 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Read more.

Breakfast of Champions - High Energy Health

Susan Bailey (LOXVII, Program Manager, Health and Wellness, DTE Energy) leads the "High Energy Health" session of Leadership Oakland's "Breakfast of Champions" series promoting strong leadership. This session is designed to help you manage your stress by managing your energy at work and home.

Read more.

New Martial Arts Studio

Pro Martial Arts now calls Lake Orion it's home and, thanks to the anti-bullying mandate from Lake Orion area schools, the studio offers more than just self defense training; there is also a focus on character building, behavior training, and physical fitness.

Ron Stencel, co-owner said that "physical fitness has always been important to me. While karate is definitely a great way to become physically active, we really want to emphasize the character education, the lifestyles and the non-karate part of the program. It's a great youth development program that uses martial arts as a tool for the skill set kids need growing up."

Read more.

Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant Gets Makeover

Colleen Smiley started Om Cafe in Ferndale in 1985, long before anyone read Michael Pollan's books. The menu included an array of homegrown fruits, vegetables and grains free of antibiotics, growth hormones and genetic modification. Though she was ready to retire a few years ago, she decided to keep it open on Fridays because she did not want to deprive her regulars.

But a few months ago, Om introduced new hours and new menu items thanks to her son, Thibodeau, who moved back to Michigan after leaving 12 years ago. He took over the business but gives the same attention to food, health and community that his mother did.


Thibodeau said his first mission was to find a great chef. He said he worked closely with the Culinary Institute of Arts in Novi and discovered Johnson. The chef had recently graduated but had experience as a restaurant owner and had earned recognition for his skill preparing Indian cuisine.

Read more.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon Volunteers in Kenya

Dr. Mehul Mehta traveled with 19 other doctors to Kenya to perform 98 major operations along with support staff as part of the "International Surgical Mission Support" team (ISMS) over eight days last February. That's more than 10 surgeries a day.

Mehta is a plastic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at Wayne State University who has been doing medical mission work since 1993. He has been to four to Third World countries; he and his wife also host fundraisers for their friends to help support the trips.

Read more.

Flu shots available for $11 through Oakland County Health Dept.

Oakland County residents can obtain their seasonal flu shots for just $11 at Oakland County Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield. Hours are 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Monday, 9 a.m. -  5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

"The Health Division’s goal is to keep people well," said Kathy Forzley, Oakland County Health Division manager and health officer. "Each winter, influenza typically takes the lives of 36,000 Americans. An annual flu vaccination helps to reduce a person’s chance of getting the flu."

The Health Division offices are located at the following addresses:

North Oakland Health Center
1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac

South Oakland Health Center
27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

Registration is preferred. To register for a flu shot, go to www.oakgov.com/health. Clients may select the location, date and time of appointment. Online registration also provides a consent form that must be taken to the clinic where the client is pre-enrolled. Online payment options include Visa, Mastercard, Medicare and/or Medicaid. If you are unable to register online, please call (248) 858-7350 or (248) 424-7120.  

Walk-in clients are welcome. Walk-in payment options include: Medicare, Medicaid and cash (no credit cards).

For more information, please visit www.oakgov.com/health or call the Health Division’s Flu Shot Hotline at (800) 434-3358. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions, please call (800) 848-5533.

Women's self-defense classes offered by Oakland County

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the Miss Michigan USA Organization and the Beverly Hills Club are presenting the 3rd annual Women’s Self Defense Program.
Join us for a FREE class during the month of October. The four hour class is being held at the Beverly Hills Club located at 31555 Southfield Rd. in Beverly Hills, MI.
Class dates:
Saturday, October 22: 1:30pm-5:30pm
Saturday, October 29: 1:30pm-5:30pm
To reserve a space call (248) 975-9700 x 5, or email ocso@oakgov.com. Indicate which Saturday you would like to register for, how many people and the names of the individuals you are wishing to register.  To download the program flyer, please click HERE.

OU celebrates record undergraduate enrollment

Oakland University has increased student enrollment this fall with a 1.7 percent increase, marking the 14th consecutive year of growth at the institution.

The university's population of 19,379 students, including those enrolled in the newly opened Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, "reaffirms that quality academic programs taught by world-class faculty have made Oakland University a first-choice among our student population," Oakland President Gary Russi said.

Part of Oakland's continued enrollment growth is also attributed to the 1,891 new transfer students who came to the university this fall and an undergraduate population of 15,838, the largest in OU's history.

Excerpt:  With its overall student population steadily rising, OU continues to expand its presence in Macomb County. The opening of the new Anton/Frankel Center this fall helped raise the total enrollment at the university's Macomb locations to 1,367 students, a 22 percent increase over 2010 figures. 

To learn more about the wide array of academic programs Oakland offers, visit oakland.edu.

Waterford native featured in Men's Health

Waterford native Shane Logan has been featured in Men's Health Urbanathlon 2011 as Chicago's Urbanathlete. Logan, who won the 2010 Chicago Urbanathlon, is gearing up to make sure he keeps the title for this year's event on Oct. 15.

The veteran marathoner, husband and father of two said that he runs about 90 miles a week to stay in shape for competition. In the Men's Health video, Logan says that he's "the guy they gotta catch."

Catch Logan's story here.

Brooksie Way minigrants near $67,000 in funding for seven Oakland County projects

A Southfield program that provides bikes for special needs children, an exercise program for seniors and a 5k walk to address the stigma of mental illness are among the latest recipients of Brooksie Way Minigrant funding.

Seven mini grants, which were given out Sept. 31 at the Royal Park Hotel during a sponsors reception for the Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5k, are taken from race proceeds to promote health and wellness projects and active lifestyles in Oakland County. More than $9,400 will be given to the recipients, bringing the total of minigrant awards to nearly $67,000.

"Proceeds from the Brooksie Way are going to a creative and positive fund," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "We are funding community programs that over time will elevate the health and wellness of Oakland County residents and improve their quality of life."

Support from HealthPlus of Michigan, the presenting sponsor for the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, helps make the minigrant program possible.

"As the presenting sponsor of The Brooksie Way, HealthPlus is pleased to help support the minigrant program," said Bruce R. Hill, HealthPlus president and CEO. "Our corporate vision is A Healthier Community and we’re proud to be involved in The Brooksie Way, which not only encourages healthy lifestyles, but helps support other groups as well."

The Brooksie Way is an annual half marathon and 5k race named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and the son of the county executive, who died after an accident in 2007.

Patterson created the Brooksie Way Minigrant program to use race proceeds to promote healthy, active lifestyles for Oakland County residents. Minigrants are awarded three times a year. Grant guidelines and applications are available on the Brooksie Way website. Grant applications are accepted and reviewed three times a year – April 1, Aug. 1 and Dec. 1.

Awards were made to the following organizations:

Dorothy & Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Care Program at JVS, Southfield
PEP -- "Preventative Exercise Project"
The Dorothy & Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Care Program at JVS will offer the Preventative Exercise Program, between Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 at its Southfield and West Bloomfield sites. The exercise program includes movement to music, tai chi and yoga to approximately 100 senior adults.

Community Network Services Fund, Farmington Hills
“Stomp Out Stigma 5k Walk” is a community walking event that promotes cardiovascular exercise and healthy living among Oakland County residents while simultaneously addressing the stigma of mental illness. The event is operated by Community Network Services Fund and the CNS Anti-Stigma Program. The event is held at Independence Oaks.

Oakland University Department of Campus Recreation, Rochester
“OU Walks! Across America” is a walking program designed for the students, faculty and staff of Oakland University is held through Dec. 1 by the university’s Department of Campus Recreation. Each participant records their steps and tracks their progress on a map of the United States posted in the Recreation Center. The challenge is for participants to walk the equivalent distance from Rochester to Los Angeles.

Dutton Farm Inc., Rochester
"Healthy Living"
Dutton Farm will use its Brooksie Way Minigrant to purchase indoor therapeutic exercise equipment for its participants to use during the winter months. This will expand its Healthy Living program’s year-round offerings.

Variety, The Children’s Charity (Detroit Tent 5), Southfield
"Bikes for Kids / Kids on the Move Program"
The grant will purchase and/or modify bicycles for use by local children with special needs.

Michigan AIDS Coalition, Ferndale
"Health & Fitness for Individuals Infected and Affected with HIV/AIDS"
The Michigan AIDS Coalition will present a six-week program that presents the facets of health and fitness for those infected and affected with the HIV/AIDS virus. Every Wednesday evening for six weeks, speakers will present various topics, including: nutrition, muscle therapy and Reiki.

Bridgewood Church, Clarkston
Bridgewood Church of Clarkston sponsors a "1 Day 5k / One Day to Feed the World event." The certified run includes a 1 mile family fun walk as an alternative for family participation. The event is part of a larger program, One Day to Feed the World weekend that benefits children in Pontiac.

Find out more at thebrooksieway.com.

Patterson hails three outstanding community leaders at annual Q2 awards

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson honored three individuals for making Oakland County a better place to live, work, play and raise a family at the 19th Annual Quality People, Quality County (Q2) breakfast at the Centerpoint Marriot in Pontiac on Sept. 14.

Receiving accolades this year were Marye Miller, executive director of the Older Persons' Commission (OPC) in Rochester; Forrest Milzow, philanthropist and owner of the Deer Lake Athletic Club in Clarkston; and Joseph Welch, president and CEO of ITC Holdings in Novi.

"All three honorees are enhancing the quality of life in Oakland County through their efforts to help others," Patterson said.  "They truly deserve this year's Q2 award."

Miller is improving the quality of life for Oakland County's senior population. She ensures older residents of all ages have access to programs and services that promote active and healthy lifestyles. OPC offers excellent adult day services; home delivered meals to seniors; a branch of the Rochester Public Library catering to the interests of older residents; senior advocacy services; and nutrition and transportation services. The OPC also offers a plethora of activities for active seniors who want to be involved in health and wellness, leisure travel, performing arts, and so much more.

Milzow's Q2 Award is as much about him as it is his late wife, Dr. Jacqueline Milzow, who passed away seven years ago this month. Jacqueline retired from Pontiac Schools after 30 years of caring for and educating Pontiac students with special needs. To honor his wife posthumously, Forrest established the Jacqui Milzow Memorial Scholarship Fund. It supports the Clarkston SCAMP Program, the Promise Zone of Pontiac, and Pontiac students who want to further their education in college. Milzow also opens the doors of the Deer Lake Athletic Club twice a year to children in the Abused and Neglected Unit at Children's Village. In addition, Milzow oversaw the construction of a mortgage-free home for the Shrauger family, who lost their home to financial difficulties caused by traveling back and forth to Texas to see their son who was wounded in Iraq.

When Patterson established his Emerging Sectors initiative in 2004, his vision was to have high-tech companies providing sustainable, high-paying jobs for decades to come. Welch, as president and CEO of ITC Holdings in Novi, is achieving that vision. Under Joe's leadership, ITC has been focused on investing in the high-voltage transmission system that provides best-in-class service to customers and transmission infrastructure improvements that increase reliability and lower energy costs. Joe, however, is more than a high tech job provider. He is a generous supporter of The Brooksie Way Half Marathon & 5k Race and the Dennis Toffolo Endowed Scholarship at Oakland Community College (OCC). Joe also dedicates countless hours as co-chair of the Oakland County Business Roundtable.

Past recipients of the Q2 Award since 1993 when Patterson first started the program include:  Late Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell, legendary Free Press sports writer Joe Falls, radio personality Dick Purtan, Flagstar Bank, and T&C Federal Credit Union to name just a few.

Keep up with more Oakland County news and information here.

OU-Beaumont med school welcomes inaugural students

Oakland University's William Beaumont School of Medicine welcomed its first class of 50 students, Aug. 8. Michigan's first new medical school in 47 years attracted more than 3,200 applicants for the school's first class. The unique program offers students four years of basic science combined with clinical training and focuses on participatory small-group learning.

Of the 50 students admitted, 70 percent are Michigan residents and 15 percent of the students have moved to Michigan to attend the new school. William Beaumont School of Medicine also plans to tackle the predicted shortage of physicians in Michigan while improving the quality of medical care.

"Our focus is on educating the type of physician that you would want to care for you and your family -- one who is a master of the science of health care delivery," said Robert Folberg, M.D. and founding dean of the school.

After the initial 50 students, the School of Medicine is planning for classes to grow by 25 students each year, with a plateau at 125 students. Both Oakland and Beaumont are planning to build medical school buildings on their campuses to prepare for the anticipated expansion.

For more information on the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, visit oakland.edu/medicine.

Hope Network launches Troy research program, acquires Pontiac-based New Passages

New Passages Behavioral Health and Rehabilitation Services, located in Pontiac, has partnered with statewide specialty health care service, Hope Network based in Grand Rapids. Merging the companies will allow for a new Troy-based facility, Hope Institute for Research.

The Institute, headed by New Passages CEO and founder Dennis Jacobs, Ph.D, will help Grand Rapids-based Hope Network continue to be one of Michigan's leading providers of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, developmental disability services and behavioral health treatments. Together, Hope Network and New Passages supply almost $40 million in services across Southeast Michigan and employ about 925 people in the region.

Hope Network CEO Phil Weaver said "As one seamless organization, Hope Network and New Passages will be able to provide innovative health care solutions that assure better outcomes for every individual and family we serve."

Find out more here.

Oakland County MSU Extension offers Food Safety Training

The Health and Nutrition Food and Safety team at Michigan State University Extension has created an online training video to educate state residents interested in opening a cottage food business

Focusing on the 2010 Cottage Food Law, the video provides training to ensure that safe food products are being sold to customers. Production, packaging and labeling of the product as well as safe storage and transporting are all covered within the video, available online through Vimeo.

The video or Webinar allows those interested in the food business to learn about the regulations and precautions that must be considered when selling cottage food products. After the video, viewers may take a quiz to measure retention of the material covered and then receive a certificate to display when the products are sold.

Watch the video here, or click here to learn more about the Oakland County MSU Extension.

Franklin, Birmingham make MI Apple Trail

Local artists have transformed gigantic fiberglass apples for display at 20 different farmers markets from Flint to Detroit for a new project, the Michigan Apple Trail.

Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and secured by Detroit's Eastern Market and the Michigan Apple Committee, each community participating in the project selected an artist to transform the apple into something unique. Franklin and Birmingham will both participate in the project set to begin the first market in August and end mid-September when all of the apples will be shipped to Detroit's Eastern Market for a display and eventual auction.

Regular farmers market attendees may visit the other participating markets to vote for their favorite apple. Additionally, the program has created a passport system allowing attendees to get a stamp at every market they visit and upon receiving the fifth stamp; patrons may enter in a drawing for a special prize. After the project is complete, an auction and announcement of the winning apple will take place at the Apple Gala, with proceeds donated to the communities' farmers markets.

Take a bite out of this story.

The 2011 Brooksie Way listed nationally as one of 11 "Picture Perfect" fall half marathons

The Brooksie Way Half Marathon and its scenic course is getting national exposure as one of the most desirable half marathons to enter this fall. Active.com, the world's largest directory of sports and recreational activities, selected the Brooksie Way along with 10 other half marathons in such international destinations as Vail, Colo.; Myrtle Beach, N.C. and Napa Valley, Calif., as a must to run.

"Looking for a beautiful setting for your next 13.1?" Active.com wrote. "From Kingston Beach to California wine country, here are 11 picture perfect courses you should run."

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson was gratified to know the race, which is named in memory of his son, Brooks Stuart Patterson, had received national attention in only its fourth year. More than 6.5 million people receive weekly and monthly newsletters from Active.com. The special feature on the top 11 races is currently featured on the Active.com homepage.

"Incredible," Patterson said Wednesday. "We're in some tall cotton when our race is being compared with races in Vail, the California wine country or the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If you want to run on one of the most scenic race courses in the country, you don't have to leave Oakland County. It's right here in your own backyard."

The fourth Brooksie Way Half Marathon is set for Oct. 2 in Rochester Hills. The race begins on the campus of Oakland University and winds through the streets of Rochester and Rochester Hills and parts of the Clinton River Trail and Paint Creek Trail before returning to the OU campus. This year, the course will start and finish for the first time on the Meadow Brook Music Festival grounds. New this year is an expanded post-race party. All half marathon entrants receive an apple red long-sleeve Brooks technical shirt and finishers receive a medal designed especially for the 2011 race. A complete list of registration prices and deadlines can be found at www.thebrooksieway.com.

Besides the half marathon, there is a 5k race and a One Mile Fun Run on the grounds of Oakland University. You may walk or run any of the events. A half marathon competitive walk is among the races. Greg Meyer and Lisa Rainsberger, the last American male and female winners of the Boston Marathon, are schedule to run the half marathon.

Other activities include:

* A Corporate Team Challenge featuring chief executive officers who have pledged $1,000 to run in either the half marathon or the 5k. There is also a team challenge for five-person teams who compete against other teams for special awards.
* A Middle-School Challenge, sponsored by AT&T, to encourage the participation of middle-school aged runners.
* A One-Mile Family Fun Run. The race is not timed but participants will receive a T-shirt.
* A post-race celebration that features a rock climbing wall and inflatable bounce houses. Food will also be available for purchase.

The Brooksie Way is presented by Oakland County and the Crim Fitness Foundation and is sponsored by HealthPlus. Proceeds from the race support programs that promote healthy active lifestyles through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program. The minigrant program has distributed more than $50,000 to various Oakland County charities.

Rochester College offers new nursing program this fall

This fall, Rochester College will offer a new bachelor's degree program for nurses. The Michigan Board of Nursing has approved the 126-credit-hour program that is set to begin this fall for 24 nurses. The college's close partnership with nearby Crittenton Hospital has been an important factor in the development of the nursing program. And with just two weeks of marketing the program, sources say they've already attracted 50 applicants.


 "It's just making this school bigger and better and healthier and stronger," said Jaime Sinutko, director of the Rochester College School of Nursing. "We've got faculty members who have been teaching for 15 years plus." Although the nursing school is just 13 months old, Sinutko said it has bloomed in that time, eventually leading to the full BSN offering.

"A lot of other nursing schools accepted students based purely on GPA," Sinutko said. "They'll get all the 3.9 GPAs, but just because they have good grades doesn't mean (everything). They may not be the best nurses. Most of the schools in the area are turning away hundreds of applicants each year."

Find out more here.

OU offers online course on vegan living

Veganism is often a misunderstood lifestyle choice. While some still view it as "new age," researchers are finding evidence that following a balanced vegan diet boasts many health benefits while also preventing major diseases including most cancers, heart disease and type II diabetes.

This fall, Oakland University School of Nursing will offer the new professional development course "A Lifestyle Change to Improve Health: The Vegan Diet." The seven-week, online course will start in September and offers a unique self-study module each week. The course is not just for nurses or Oakland students -- anyone interested in learning about this alternative diet and lifestyle is welcome to register. Participants will learn how a well-balanced vegan diet offers benefits beyond the prevention of chronic illnesses that are often the result of poor diet and lifestyle choices. Additional benefits include weight reduction, increased energy levels and better overall health.

Oakland University Instructor Marilyn Mouradjian, MSN, RN, is a practicing vegan who has long incorporated the benefits of the vegan diet in her nutrition courses. "Our culture relies heavily on pharmaceuticals that often have serious side effects, which can prompt additional medication used to reduce those side effects. The vegan diet scientifically addresses the prevention and reversal of many chronic health conditions," Mouradjian said. Those enrolled in the course will enjoy a tasty approach to a wide variety of foods and menus that can eliminate the need for reliance on drugs. Instruction is designed to broaden individuals' dietary repertoires rather than restrict them. Mouradjian said, "The vegan diet has the potential to extend an individual's health while making delicious choices in their food selections. There will be wonderful recipes for students, like a French silk tofu pie."

For more information about the course or registration, visit www.oakland.edu/pace or e-mail tomouradji@oakland.edu.

Clarkston nonprofit designs dream room for Detroit teen

A Space 2 Dream (AS2D), a Clarkston-based nonprofit that benefits local children and teens, has redesigned the bedroom shared by a 13-year-old girl and her younger sisters. The girls' room received a pop star-themed makeover after AS2D learned of Brianna's post-traumatic depression.

Tricia Delude, founder of AS2D, said that upon hearing Brianna's story, she knew the organization had found their next deserving recipient. In the past, the all-volunteer group has surprised other kids with specially decorated rooms ranging in themes from sports to jungle to haute couture.

AS2D accepts nominations through its website, www.aspace2dream.org. After a nominee is accepted, a meeting is scheduled with parents or guardians to help the group understand each unique story behind the child and bedroom in need of a loving surprise. The organization surveys the space to learn about the child's or teen's interests and aspirations before setting out to create the perfect space to dream, create, be inspired or just to feel special. To date, AS2D has revealed four surprise room makeovers to Michigan families and with each room,

Delude explains that "in addition to décor, we'll also provide essentials like beds and mattresses to ensure safety, comfort and a good night's sleep." AS2D accepts individual or corporate donations of time, money and used furniture to help fulfill its mission. The organization holds numerous fundraisers throughout the year, including an upcoming back-to-school children's fashion show and dessert event aptly titled, "Fashionably Sweet." Set to take place August 24th at 6:30pm in Clarkston, the show will feature some of its previous room recipients as models. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit www.aspace2dream.org.

Art teacher's "Wish" piece seeks community's words of hope

What is your wish? Bloomfield Twp. arist Heather Kelly wants to know.

She's hard at work on Wish, a 9' x 4' canvas combining digital photography, Adobe Photoshop software, metallic powder and acrylic paint,  a piece she will submit to Grand Rapids' Art Prize competition on Sept. 21.

Kelly is asking the community to submit their wishes to her, which she will distort and display on the three-panel piece over the image of a child. If she wins, Kelly plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Most of the text is so small that it will appear as if it were a simple line to anyone not looking closely.

Kelly, who teaches graphic design, metals and the fundamentals of art at Troy High School, is utilizing the latest technologies to collect wishes for her project. In addition to a submission form on her project's website, www.artprizewish.com, Kelly set up a Google Voice account where anyone can text (248) 838-WISH and the message will show up in Kelly's email.

Read more here.

Courage Awards recognize those leading the charge against elder abuse

The Oakland County SAVE (Serving Adults who are Vulnerable and/or Elderly) Task Force presented the inaugural Courage Awards to individuals and organizations that have taken action to further awareness of or prevent the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable adults. The awards were part of SAVE's Elder Abuse Awareness Event, which was held June 22 at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium in Pontiac.

This year's inaugural recipients were honored in two categories: The Courage to Speak Out and The Courage to Lead. The Courage to Speak Out awards were granted to Margaret Vogan, the individual honoree and Comerica Bank, the organization honoree. The Courage to Lead awards went to Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Derek Meinecke, the individual honoree and the Auburn Hills Senior Center, the organization honoree.

SAVE's Elder Abuse Awareness Event is in recognition of 2011 as the Year of Elder Abuse Awareness in Oakland County, declared by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in February. Featured speakers included Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick, chair of SAVE; Oakland County Corporation Counsel Judith Cunningham, representing Patterson; and Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, executive director of the Wayne State Institute of Gerontology.

The SAVE Task Force was founded in 2005 to bring together stakeholders across the spectrum of care services to create a coordinated response to abuse and exploitation of Oakland County's most vulnerable residents. Elder abuse -- like domestic violence and child abuse -- comes in many forms. Experts recognize it as a public health issue for which there are no socio-economic borders. Millions of Americans are abused, neglected or exploited each year, with an estimated 84% of cases going unreported.

In addition to much needed financial resources, the effort to end elder abuse is critically dependent on the commitment and partnership between government agencies and community organizations such as law enforcement, adult protective services, aging services providers and faith-based organizations. SAVE fosters these relationships. Dedicated individuals also can play a key role in advocating for the safety and well-being of seniors and vulnerable adults.

The Oakland County Executive Office partners with the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Prosecutor's Office Elder Abuse Section to prosecute abuse and neglect of our vulnerable citizens. Other partners include Oakland County Adult Protective Services and Aging Network Providers. If you suspect that someone is being abused or neglected, make an anonymous report to Adult Protective Services at 866-975-5010. If you are not sure, call and talk with a professional who can guide you.

For more information about SAVE, visit oakgov.com.

Oakland County Programs Win 10 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties

Ten Oakland County government programs were named 2011 Achievement Award winners by the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Winners were notified in a letter sent this month from NACo Executive Director Larry Naake. They will be recognized on July 17 during the NACo's 2011 Annual Conference in Multnomah County, Ore. In the 22 years Oakland County has submitted programs for consideration, it has received 183 awards. This year's winners represent 30 states and 94 counties.

"These NACo awards won by Oakland County government underscore our continued commitment of leadership through innovation," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "I congratulate all of the winners for their fine work."

The Department of Information Technology won awards for seven of its programs:

  • Advance Payment System for Local Municipalities: Designed to accept payment for any type of bill or fee collected by local governments
  • E-Health Mobile: Allows users to take geographic information systems into the field to collect and update data in real time to speed up permitting and inspections
  • Facilities Management Campus Energy Map: Provides awareness of the energy levels for county-owned facilities
  • Mobile Touch: Allows for touch screen navigation and browsing of the county's public web site
  • NetVolunteers: A technology-based community outreach program that allows trained volunteers to perform citizen-to-citizen customer service
  • Parks Network Expansion: Expands the county OakNet network to remote areas of Oakland County Parks
  • Services Registration: Information Technology and the Health Division have a web-based services registration portal to allow residents to sign up for a variety of health-related services.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office was recognized for its Jail Alliance with Support (JAWS) diversion program for inmates with mental illness.

The Health Division won for its program, Perinatal High Risk Case Finding, which established a partnership with three busy WIC (Women, Infants and Children) clinics to establish relationships between public health nurses and high risk clients to reduce poor birth outcomes.

Children's Village was recognized for its Life Experiences for Youth Placed in Residential Treatment Programs, a 10-week program in which village residents help nurture and train abandoned dogs from the Oakland County Animal Shelter for placement with new owners.

The Achievement Award Program recognizes counties for improving the management of and services provided by county government. Since the program's inception in 1970, it has honored hundreds of county government initiatives that have improved service delivery, achieved greater cost efficiency, improved customer service and helped to develop a better-trained work force.

Find out more at oakgov.com.

Oakland County Parks & Rec celebrates National Parks and Recreation Month

Oakland County Parks and Recreation celebrates "July is National Parks and Recreation Month"" by offering close-to-home events and promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

"It's important for families, especially now with escalating gas prices, to have recreation opportunities available nearby," Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. "We have a very unique natural environment in Oakland County. July is our annual opportunity to raise awareness about the benefit of public parks, such as time to spend with family, improved fitness and educational activities."

Oakland County Parks and Recreation's latest addition, Independence Oaks-North, features a 312-foot boardwalk for hiking connected to a 180-foot-long fishing dock. Independence Oaks-North adds to the 68 miles of trails in the parks. The universally-accessible Paradise Peninsula Playscape at Waterford Oaks County Park, open from sunrise to sunset during the summer, features an "Up North Woods" cabin, tree fort, sand dunes area, challenge course, and climbing areas.

For our furry friends and their owners, Oakland County Parks and Recreation opened its first doggy agility course at Red Oaks Dog Park in Madison Heights. The course includes a seven-foot climbing ramp for dogs, see-saw, tire jump, tunnels, jump bars and weave poles. On July 2 at 10 a.m., Orion Oaks Dog Park is celebrating Independence Day by hosting a best patriotic-dressed dog contest.

Red Oaks Waterpark offers after-hours fun at the Waterpark Family Fun Fest on July 8 from 6 -- 9 p.m. for just $5/person. During the event, all waterpark features are open, and guests can also enjoy the Inflatable Obstacle Course, carnival games, a climbing tower and free frozen dessert.

Golfers can take lessons throughout July. At Lyon Oaks Golf Course, ladies are invited to lessons Mondays from July 11 – Aug. 8, and adults over age 16 are invited to lessons Tuesdays from July 12 – Aug. 9.

Guests are invited to watch the fireworks display at Addison Oaks County Park on July 1 and Groveland Oaks County Park on July 2. Addison Oaks and Groveland Oaks campgrounds offer themed weekend recreation programs with crafts, activities and music. Both parks offer cabins, modern and group sites, trails, fishing, swimming and bike rentals.

For event registration, maps and more July events, visit DestinationOakland.com.

Southfield farm reaps harvest for the hungry

The Emanuel Community Garden in Southfield has already cultivated 2,300 lbs of fresh organic produce, but they don't plan on stopping there.

The community garden, which is made possible through a partnership between the Emanuel Lutheran Church and the Southfield Parks & Garden Club, donates all the fresh fruit and vegetables to Forgotten Harvest.

They're looking for volunteers -- so garden lovers, grab a pair of gloves and head down to one of Oakland County's most productive urban farms.


Sharon Hall, 63, a Southfield resident for nearly 20 years, usually spends about six hours a week at the farm. She's been working on the effort since day one.

"It's a really good thing," Hall said. "I really think that now especially there needs to be help given to people who are struggling financially -- there are people trying to keep a roof over their head. It's a struggle. All the produce goes to help hungry people. We go into the store and buy our fresh vegetables and all that, but there's a lot of people that don't have that option. They just don't get the same kind of nutrients that people who have more income can get."

Get a helping of this story here.

Family Fest offers after hours fun at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

Families and friends are invited to Waterford Oaks Waterpark Family Fest on June 24 and Red Oaks Waterpark Family Fest on July 8 from 6 to  9 p.m.

"Families can enjoy waterpark features after-hours, socialize, play games and have fun," Recreation Program Supervisor Rachel Boyd said. "This is a great, low-cost way to spend a summer evening outdoors."

All waterpark features are open until 9 p.m., including the Soak Station water playground; Spray and Play area for toddlers; River Ride and waterslide at Red Oaks Waterpark. The tropical-theme wave-action pool; children's interactive water playground and group raft ride are open at Waterford Oaks Waterpark. Special activities at both waterparks include Bouncer and Inflatable Obstacle Course, Retro Playground Games, scavenger hunts, Go! Fish in grass, carnival-type games, Go! Cache, The Climbing Tower, Puppet Mobile and free frozen dessert for everyone.

Tickets are $5/person in advance and available at the Waterparks Recreation Office or by calling 248-858-0916 or $7 at the door. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold for each waterpark. Waterford Oaks Waterpark is located at 1702 Scott Lake Road in Waterford. Red Oaks Waterpark is located at 1455 East 13 Mile Road in Madison Heights. For more information, visit DestinationOakland.com or find us on Facebook.

Brooksie Way Middle School Challenge Launches

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and AT&T Michigan today launched the Brooksie Way 5k Middle School Challenge, encouraging middle school students throughout the county to adopt a healthy lifestyle by participating in the Brooksie Way 5k race.

Patterson, flanked by executives from AT&T, told a room full of students from Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills that AT&T had made it possible for them to run or walk the Brooksie Way 5k race at no cost in exchange for their commitment to prepare themselves physically for the Oct. 2 race. All of the students who attended today's kickoff were given passes to an Oakland County Parks waterpark.

"With childhood obesity a national epidemic, programs like this can make a real difference," Patterson said. "I hope as many kids as possible take the challenge."

The challenge is open to all Oakland County middle school students on a first-come first-served basis, limited to the first 300 students who register. Students are given free race registration, training shirts and training support. It builds on Patterson's efforts to combat obesity that began in 2004 with the Count Your Steps Pedometer Walking Program for third and fourth graders.

The Challenge gives those in middle school the opportunity to train and experience an official 5k race. All registrants who finish the Brooksie Way 5k are eligible for prizes like bowling and waterpark passes. The 5k is run immediately before the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, a 13.1 mile race through Rochester, Rochester Hills and parts of the Paint Creek Trail and Clinton River Trail.

AT&T is sponsoring the challenge because of its ongoing commitment to the Michigan communities the company and its employees have served for more than a century.

"AT&T has called Michigan home for more than 130 years and we are proud to be a part of shaping our state's bright future," said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. "Without question, the health, well-being and education of our students are key parts of that future and why we are excited to join Brooks and Oakland County in this important and fun effort."

Patterson encouraged students of all fitness levels to get involved in the race.

"The program is not just for star athletes. We want to encourage everyone to join in and get healthier by moving more," Patterson said. "It is only in this way that we can reverse lower life expectancy among younger generations due to obesity.

You can register for the Challenge at CountYourSteps.org.

The Brooksie Way Half Marathon is Oakland County's premier road race and takes place this year on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Oakland University. There is also a One Mile Fun Run on the grounds of Oakland University. You may walk or run any of the events. Proceeds from the race support local programs that promote healthy, active lifestyles through Brooksie Way MiniGrants. More than $57,000 has been given to support local programs in little more than one year. More information on the races can be found at TheBrooksieWay.com.

Oakland County residents can help Joplin

On Tuesday, May 31, Main Street Oakland County Program Coordinator Bob Donohue and 51st District Court Judge Jodi Debbrecht, a native of Missouri, announced how residents of southeast Michigan can help the victims of the tornado that destroyed most of Joplin, Missouri.

With a little more than a week left, the response from southeast Michigan residents has been encouraging, but there is still work to be done to reach the goal of filling at least four semi-trailers. A caravan led by Donohue and Debbrecht will depart Oakland County on June 16 to deliver the donated supplies to Joplin, Missouri by June 17 to aid in its recovery efforts.

Here is a reminder of the supplies requested by Joplin, Missouri Mayor Mike Woolston:
    •    Portable power generators
    •    Heavy duty extension cords (all sizes)
    •    Construction lighting
    •    Electric fans (all sizes)
    •    Wheelbarrows
    •    Garden rakes and shovels
    •    New or used power tools (circular saws, drills, chop saws, miter saws, nail guns, etc.)
    •    Dust masks, work gloves and eye safety goggles
    •    Construction safety grade hard hats
    •    Contractor grade garbage bags
    •    Plastic storage containers (all sizes)
    •    Tarps and bungee cords
    •    Ropes (all sizes)
    •    Pet food
    •    And children's books

"This list of needs comes straight from Joplin's mayor, Mike Woolston," said Donohue. "We know Joplin -- a former Main Street community itself -- needs these supplies and will put them to good use in order to help its residents and businesses recover."  Please note that Woolston says they do not need water. They have more than ample supply of water that already has been donated.

The collection points are located in the following Main Street Oakland County communities:

•    Farmington City Hall, 23600 Liberty Street
•    Ferndale – Simply Self Storage, 181 West Marshall
•    Franklin Village Hall, 32325 Franklin Road
•    Highland Fire Station No. 1, 250 West Livingston Road
•    Holly DPW, 201 Elm Street
•    Lake Orion DDA, 51 North Broadway
•    Ortonville DPW, 159 Cedar
•    Oxford DDA, 22 West Burdick
•    Rochester DPW, 1141 North Wilcox
•    Walled Lake DPW, 718 North Pontiac Trail
•    Oakland County Government, 1 Public Works Drive, Building 95 West, Waterford

"We're benefiting from tremendous generosity from people all over the country," Woolston told Donohue. "But if people can give cash, that's the best way to help us right now." 

Monetary donations may be made to "Oakland County Helps Joplin" at the Oakland County Credit Union, 1375 North Oakland Boulevard, Waterford, Michigan 48327. Oakland County Credit Union President & CEO Allan McMorris made the first donation of $1,000 today on behalf of the credit union. All donations will go directly to help with the recovery of the Joplin tornado victims. Donations are not tax deductible.

For more information, go to OaklandCountyHelpsJoplin.com.  

Southfield physical therapy program gets some love from PBS

One Southfield fitness center's rehabilitation program for injured and disabled patients won them some acclaim from none other than PBS. Fitness Therapy Unlimited was featured in a 15-minute PBS documentary titled "A Wider World," which aired in metro Detroit area  on May 31.

FTU was founded by Greg Kirk of Macomb Township six years ago out of his desire to help patients beyond their physical therapy training following an accident. The athletic trainer works long-term with patients to help them with weight loss, whole-body conditioning and regaining mobility.


Kirk focuses on conditioning the whole body and improving the overall health and wellness of an individual. Many patients have gained 20-50 pounds of extra weight following serious injuries, Kirk said, and have developed chronic back pain because of the weight.

"A lot of what we do is preventative therapy as well — like preventing the onset of diabetes," he said. "We want to show people out there that not only does life go on after an accident, but you can be mobile. There are ways to burn calories in a wheelchair. There are ways to get the body moving."

Miss the PBS series? Check out FTU's video channel or click here to read the rest of the article.

Oakland County wins MSU Turfgrass award

Oakland County is the first county in Michigan to be designated as a Certified Environmental Steward 2011-2013 by the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program at Michigan State University. The award was announced at the 2011 OakGreen Summit at the Oakland Schools Building in Waterford.

"Oakland County is very proud to be the first county government to receive this environmental certification award," said Art Holdsworth, director of Facilities Management. "It took a lot of time and effort on the part of Grounds Division Chief Phil Goulding, but the value of having achieved this was well worth the effort."

Oakland County Grounds Division garnered this recognition because of the way it manages its use of non-toxic chemicals on the grounds at its government campus and its environmental stewardship in the way it cares for grass, trees and plants.

"Kudos to our Grounds Division team for achieving this level of excellence in caring for our government campus" said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "When residents visit their county government campus, they will see the beautiful results of the Grounds Division's hard work."

The Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program is intended to organize efforts of the turfgrass industry, state agencies, Michigan State University (MSU), and environmental advocacy groups to advance the environmental stewardship of the turfgrass industry and to recognize environmental achievements. The program was developed at MSU with support from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Department of Agriculture. Over the past seven years, the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program has provided the base funding to develop the program. For more information, go to www.mtesp.org/.

Six more projects receive Brooksie Way minigrant funding

Six more Oakland County projects received funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program, bring the total to more than $57,000 given to support health and wellness projects in the county in little more than one year.

The awards were handed out by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson during a kickoff for the 2011 Brooksie Way Half Marathon at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. News Talk Radio 760 WJR and the Paul W. Smith Show broadcast live from the event.

"The Brooksie Way races continue to fund worthwhile community projects that provide for healthy lifestyles," Patterson said. "My son Brooks would be proud to see his legacy promoting health and fitness activities for the 1.2 million residents of Oakland County."

The Brooksie Way is an annual half marathon and 5K race named in honor of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and son of the county executive, who died after an accident in 2007. The 2011 race, which is partnership between Oakland County and the Crim Fitness Foundation, is set for Oct. 2. The run/walk begins and ends at Oakland University.

Support from HealthPlus of Michigan helps make the minigrant program possible.

"HealthPlus is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Brooksie Way Half Marathon since the race began in 2008," said Bruce R. Hill, HealthPlus president and CEO. "We're especially pleased that our support helps fund minigrants to so many worthwhile health-related non-profits and wellness programs, which helps make Oakland County a healthier community. It's rewarding to see the Brooksie Way and HealthPlus grow in southeast Michigan."

Patterson created the Brooksie Way Minigrant program to use race proceeds to promote healthy, active lifestyles for Oakland County residents. Minigrants are awarded three times a year. The maximum award is $2,000. Grant guidelines and applications are available on the Brooksie Way website, www.thebrooksieway.com, and are reviewed three times a year – April 1, August 1 and December 1.

Awards were given to the following organizations:
  1. Polly Ann Trail Management Council, Leonard: The Polly Ann Trail connects Orion, Oxford, Addison Townships and the Villages of Oxford and Leonard. It is 14.2 miles long and utilizes the abandoned P.O. & N. railroad corridor. The grant will fund marketing of the 13th annual Rural Pearl of a Ride on the Polly Ann Trail which will take place on July 23.
  1. Swan for Life Cancer Foundation, Clarkston: Founded in 2009, the foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for persons affected by cancer. Swan for Life's service hope is to alleviate some of the anxiety associated with a cancer diagnosis by providing education and a support network. The grant will fund "Integrative Medicine – A Wellness Program" that incorporates acupuncture, yoga, clinical massage therapy and nutrition counseling.
  1. POH Regional Medical Center, Pontiac: The center is presenting its first Fit for Life 5K Fun Run & 1-Mile Walk on June 11. The walk/run will begin and end at Beaudette Park in Pontiac. Health and wellness screenings will be available for participants and a healthy celebration lunch. The Brooksie Way Minigrant will fund 25 scholarships for Pontiac middle and high school students to participate.
  1. Main Street Franklin, Franklin: Franklin is one of the newest Main Street Oakland County communities. It is presenting its first Main Street Franklin Historic Farmers Market, from July through October. The grant will fund children's activities that are focused on healthy outdoor fun and eating habits.
  1. The Neighborhood Gardening Club, Ferndale: The Gardening Club is an independent organization of partners that include MSU Extension Master Gardeners, MSU University Extension 4-H, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, The Charter Township of Royal Oak Parks and Recreation Department and other representatives. The grant will fund a community garden in Royal Oak Township in an abandoned park behind Grant School.
  1. Troy Community Coalition, Troy: For over 20 years, the Troy Community Coalition provides substance abuse prevention programs and activities for adults and local youth. The coalition, in partnership with the Troy Police Department, offers a summer camp for the children residing at the Rochester Villas apartment complex and students residing near Morse Elementary School in Troy. The award will fund bus transportation to swimming field trips and admission fees to the swimming locales.
Patterson said the race will begin and end at the Meadow Brook Music Festival, making it more convenient for racers. The Brooksie Way Fitness Expo, set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, has a new location. It will be held at the Oakland University Recreation Center. The 16-week training program that prepares novice runners for either the half marathon or the 5K begins in June in either Southfield or Rochester. More information and registration is available at www.thebrooksieway.com.

The Brooksie Way joins Count Your Steps (CYS), another successful health program founded by Patterson. Count Your Steps encourages elementary children and families to engage in more physical exercise through a pedometer walking challenge. CYS/Brooksie Way is organized to develop and implement one or more programs to educate school age children and their parents on the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and to foster and promote programs to encourage public health and fitness.

Patterson announces top three Count Your Steps winners

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, with Detroit Zoo mascots Junior Z and Zooper Hero at his side, announced the top three schools and school districts whose students walked the most steps during the month of March at the eighth annual Count Your Steps finale.

Shrine Catholic Grade School placed first this year; Franklin Road Christian in Novi was second; and St. Fabian in Farmington Hills finished third. West Bloomfield School District took first place among participating school districts. Second place went to Avondale Schools. Clawson Public Schools finished third.

Shrine third and fourth graders joined Patterson and his furry friends to take a nearly two mile "victory walk" around the Detroit Zoo.

"I may be walking with the first place students today, but all the kids who got out and got active this year are winners," said Patterson. "The number of obese children in the U.S. has doubled in the past decade. My Count Your Steps initiative is designed to do something about it here in Oakland County."

Shrine's students earned the first place prize for the fourth year in a row by walking an average of 201,910 steps per student, a total of 55,323,390 steps. Franklin Road Christian's students walked an average of 195,108 steps per student, a total of 19,901,059 steps. St. Fabian's students walked an average 179,115 per student, or 18,269,778 total steps.

The West Bloomfield School District averaged 1,656,758 steps per week; Avondale Schools walked an average of 1,517,396 steps per week; and Clawson Public Schools reported in with an average of 1,093,156 steps per week.

The Count Your Steps program ran the entire month of March this year with more than 17,000 students at 142 schools participating, logging 1,081,120,626 steps or 511,894 miles - nearly 20 times around the Earth. Students also ate 261,980 servings of fruits and vegetables. Since the program's inception, more than 156,000 Oakland County third and fourth grade students have logged more than 16 billion steps or 288 times around the Earth.

Alarmed by the growing national epidemic of childhood obesity, Patterson launched Count Your Steps in 2004 to encourage Oakland County kids to become active and make proper nutrition choices. For more information about Count Your Steps go to www.countyoursteps.org

2011 program sponsors are: Platinum: PNC Bank. Gold: AT & T, Brooksie Way, HealthPlus of Michigan, The Palace of Auburn Hills, The Detroit Zoo, Oakland County Parks, POH Medical Center, and Oakland County Health Division. Silver: Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland. Supporting: Medical Network One.

Splash into summer with half-off rates at Red Oaks Waterpark

Sticking around home for Memorial Day? The long weekend just got cooler. Consider a trip to Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights, which opens May 28. To make the family fun more affordable, Oakland County Parks and Recreation is offering half-off admission prices through Memorial Day weekend.

Admission includes all-day access to the triple-flume waterslide, the wave pool and the River Ride. Kids can enjoy the Soak Station, the children's water playground with 68 features, including water jets, slides, bubbler jets and a six-foot tipping bucket, or the Spray & Play, a water play area for toddlers.

Red Oaks Waterpark is located at 1455 East 13 Mile Road in Madison Heights. For more information, visit destinationoakland.com

Old-timey baseball returns to the Rochester Hills museum

Another season of old-fashioned baseball is underway at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. The Rochester Grangers Vintage Baseball Club will hold games on May 28, June 4, July 10 and August 28. They'll throw out the first pitch at 1:00 p.m. and fans are encouraged to bring their own chair.

Vintage baseball captures the essence of the game in the early 1800s, when players didn't use gloves are were required to play the game with exceptional gentlemanly behavior. The games are nine innings, but the pitchers throw slowpitch and various terminology harkens back to the early days of America's past time.

For more information on the Grangers, and to see a full schedule of matches, visit rochestergrangers.com. Find out more about the Rochester Hills Museum here.

OU Med school to open; helps builds county's future as biotech leader

With a new medical school, a partnership between Oakland University and Beaumont Hospitals, slated to open Aug. 6, The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak says Oakland County is poised to become one of the nation's leaders in biotech.

Innovative companies, vacant office space and the forthcoming training institution for new doctors will make Oakland County a leader in bioengineering, the paper predicts.

It also may provide added stimulus to the local economy.


Pete Auger, City Manager of Auburn Hills, said the school is an asset to the community. "We're still hoppin'. We're still growing. We're exploring a lot of new companies," Auger said.

Auburn Hills Mayor James McDonald, said, "It's going to be a boon for our city. Other things are in the planning stage, but it's here. This could lead to mom and pop establishments coming to Auburn Hills."

Read more here.

Crittenton, Doctors' Hospital create affiliate residency programs

Doctors' Hospital of Michigan in Pontiac and Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester have finalized a Graduate Medical Education affiliation agreement, combining their educational resources to promote and ensure the ongoing training of family medicine residents at each of their respective institutions.


DHM has an 18-position Family Medicine residency program while CHMC hosts a 24 position program. The teaching programs play a vital role in servicing the community's medical needs and providing the State with a flow of primary care doctors for the future.

"Our Family Medicine Residency program and support of Graduate Medical Education is just one more way Crittenton is committed to enhancing the health status of our community," said Lynn Orfgen.

Find out more here.

Summer camping season at Parks & Rec kicks off May 20

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 20 -- the opening of camping season at Oakland County Parks! Addison Oaks in Leonard and Groveland Oaks in Holly will both be open for reservations.

Both parks offer four to six-person cabins for those who want to "sleep in style." All cabins include a refrigerator, electricity, table and chairs, outdoor fire pit and cooking grill. Campsites include a nearby modern restroom and shower building. Trails, fishing, swimming, boating, baseball and volleyball fields, row and pedal boat rentals, bike rentals and a children's playground are available at both parks Addison Oaks features a 24-hole disc golf course, 7.5 miles of trails and a 3.6-mile equestrian trail. Groveland Oaks features a spiraling waterslide, an 18-hole mini golf course, a skate park area and one-mile paved Thread Creek Trail.

Advance reservations are available for cabins, group sites and pavilions, as well as 48 select individual campsites at each park. Campsite maps are available online. Phone reservations will be taken Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Addison Oaks and 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Groveland Oaks until the campgrounds open. After May 20, reservations can be made for both campgrounds Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations for cabins, pavilions and group areas for Groveland Oaks can only be made Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full payment plus $8 reservation fee must be made at the time of reservation.

Call (248) 858-1400 to reserve a campsite. Find out more about Oakland County Parks here.

Crittenton series continues to explore the healing arts

Throughout history, gardens have been used to aid in the healing process -- from the Japanese Zen Gardens to the Monastic Cloister Gardens. As spring unfolds, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center continues its three-part Healing Arts series with Healing through Places. How do nature and "green spaces" impact hospitals and patient care?

Answering those questions will be Corey Bordine and Heather Glenday of Bordine's, the largest family-owned production and retail nursery in Michigan. Healing Through Places will be held on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm in the Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Lobby. This program is free of charge and open to the community. Please call (248) 652-5345 or email FoundationEvents@crittenton.com for reservations.

The Crittenton Foundation is hosting the three-part Healing Arts Series in the midst of a community-wide fundraising effort, named the Cornerstone Campaign, to build a new five-story patient tower. The tower will add approximately 173,000 square feet of space and 90 private patient rooms. Initial plans also include a rooftop healing and remembrance garden. By utilizing rooftop areas, Crittenton will be able to maximize available space and enhance patient surroundings through additional green space. The hospital also plans to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification for new tower construction. By promoting the use of energy-efficient water, heating, cooling and air filtration systems, Crittenton aims to lessen its environmental impact.

More information can be found here.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation nominees win three statewide Community Service Awards

MRPA (Michigan Recreation and Park Association) has honored Oakland County Parks and Recreation nominees with three Community Service Awards.

The awards were given to organizations and individuals and who provide outstanding "above and beyond" service to the parks system.

North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy received an award for providing financial support in the acquisition of a186-acre parcel adjacent to Independence Oaks, now Independence Oaks North. The property is one of the most significant high quality green spaces in the county, featuring rare species, natural communities and headwater streams.

Sharon Greene
, a lifelong equestrian and resident of Highland Township, received an award for her work in developing trail connectivity throughout Oakland County including greenway and equestrian trail easements around new subdivisions and helping initiate the Highland Equestrian Conservancy. As a freelance writer for The Oakland Press, she has been a consistent advocate for the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission in general, and especially with the 2010 millage renewal efforts.

Dennis Rahn is one of three volunteers who dedicates his time to sweeping the Oakland County Parks and Recreation beaches. His Search and Recovery Team uses metal detectors and sand scoops to retrieve items from the land and water. The teams visit the beaches twice each month during the busy summer season and are on-call if any park visitors lose something valuable and need help with their search. Rahn established the Search and Recovery Team in 1999.

For parks events, maps and more, visit DestinationOakland.com.

CareTech Solutions invests $5 million into ops center

Troy IT powerhouse CareTech Solutions dedicated its new 30,000 sq. ft. Healthcare Infrastructure Operations Center, a state of the art technology hub for storing and monitoring of data systems and applications for the company's hospital clients across the nation.

CareTech currently processes over one billion transactions annually, managing over 650 terabytes of data for its clients. The $5 million investment triples the capacity CareTech needs to quadruple its business over the last three years. The company plans to add up to 200 new jobs in 2011.

The center features 30,000 sq. ft. of data storage and performance monitoring stations staffed by more than 50 healthcare IT professionals. It also has three SAS 70 data centers and a 96-fiber WAN backbone between data centers to increase speed.

CareTech currently provides information technology and Web products for more than 150 U.S. hospitals and health systems.

For more informaton, visit caretech.com

Kalsec selects McGraw Wentworth of Troy

It's been nothing but good news for McGraw Wentworth.

The Troy-based group benefit consulting and brokerage firm was recently selected by Kalamazoo's Kalsec, Inc. to manage the medical, life and disability coverage for the organization's 300 Michigan and Texas employees.

Kalsec, a family-owned company established in 1958, produces spice and herb extracts, natural flavors, colors, antioxidants and nutritional ingredients for a bevy of industries; from manufactured food to beverage, nutritional and pharmaceutical companies. Kalsec's products are marketed and sold in over 70 countries around the world.

McGraw Wentworth will handle benefit plan design, usage analysis and regulatory compliance for Kalsec, while also developing open enrollment materials for employees.

The award-winning firm was recently recognized as a "Top Workplace" by the Detroit Free Press, and is currently the state's largest group benefit consulting firm.

More heart clinics at Beaumont Royal Oak

A generous gift from the Ernst family will provide Beaumont Royal Oak Hospital with a new state-of-the-art cardiovascular center that makes affordable testing and student health a priority.

The Ernst Cardiovascular Center, endowed by Max and Debra Ernst of Orchard Lake with a $3 million gift in memory of Max's late wife, Ellen Ernst, is a 4,537 sq. ft center featuring multidisciplinary clinics for heart valve disease, atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.

Many of the center's services focus on testing, including "7 tests for $70" heart and vascular screening, and student heart training for $25. A portion of the Ernst's gift is earmarked to support free student heart screenings twice a year for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart condition that can cause sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes.

Read more here.

New event this fall from Crittenton Hospital focuses on breast cancer, healthy living

A new class offered this month by Crittenton Hospital Medical Center will help keep women aware of two important (and related)  topics -- personal nutrition and breast cancer.

On October 26, Crittenton Hospital serves up the latest news and information on the links between healthy eating and breast cancer. Held at the Whole Foods store in Rochester Hills, renowned local chef Michelle Bommarito will provide tips and information on nutrition. Crittenton physicians Dr. Elayne Arterbery and Dr. Pamela Johnson will also shed some light on breast cancer and healthy eating.

Cost for the event is $5, advanced registration is required. Participants will receive food and a chance to win a Whole Foods gift certificate.

Please register online at www.acteva.com/go/rochesterhills or call 248.371.1400

Xconomy reviews VC activity in Metro Detroit

The new news site in town takes on Metro Detroit's emerging venture capital scene and the streak of investments it has been on lately.


There are three reasons Michigan can feel good about a recent $8 million venture capital investment in Detroit-based medical imaging company Delphinus Medical Technologies.

  • It is an investment in a Michigan company;
  • The investment comes from an all-Michigan VC team;
  • It is an investment in Michigan-grown technology developed in one of the state's premier research institutions -- one that deals with real-life cancer cases every day.

Delphinus Medical's breast-cancer-detection technology, SoftVue, has been undergoing development at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit for the past 10 years. Unlike mammography, it does not use radiation or compression to image the breast to detect early stages of breast cancer.

Read the rest of the story here and more here and here.

Encompass Health Care aims to heal accident patients without a hospital trip

ER waits,  hospital stays, costly bills … there are plenty of reasons why severely-injured accident victims often avoid a return trip to the hospital.

A new health care facility in West Bloomfield hopes to treat patients who are victims of severe wounds.

Dr. Bruce Ruben, a wound care specialist, directs Encompass Health Care, a 5,5000 sq. foot facility designed to treat these patients, with a particular focus on paraplegics and quadriplegics. He and his team members will perform nutritional and circulatory assessments, prescribe antibiotics, and try to preserve traumatized tissue with the use of hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

Read more here.

Ciena Healthcare building its 34th Michigan nursing home in Waterford Twp.

Waterford Twp. is getting a new nursing home courtesy of Ciena Heathcare as they build their 34th here in Michigan.


Southfield-based Ciena Healthcare Management, Michigan's largest nursing home chain, has broken ground on a $6 million skilled nursing home in Waterford Twp.

The 120-bed facility, located on the northwest corner of Telegraph Road and Dixie Highway, will be called the Regency at Waterford.

When the 65,000-square-foot nursing home opens this fall, Regency will offer 40 private rooms and 40 semi-profit rooms for short-term rehabilitation and long-term care.

"Regency at Waterford will have a homelike environment for all residents and include the latest safety features plus an easy to navigate floor plan for both residents and staff," said Mohammad Qazi, Ciena's president, in a statement.

Read the entire article here.

Medical Main Street creates jobs

Oakland County's Medical Main Street made strides over its first year of existence by bringing in 250 life science jobs and nearly $10 million in new investment.


"We are thrilled at the progress we've made," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "Businesses relocate and expand in Oakland County because we have the skilled and educated work force, world-class universities, affordable real estate and attractive financial incentives to help companies thrive. Our business development representatives travel the world selling the benefits of locating in one of the premier business addresses in North America."

Patterson created Medical Main Street 18 months ago to capitalize on the county's burgeoning life science industry, which includes 93,000 health care and life science jobs and more than 4,300 life science and medical facilities. The county is projected to add 45,000 health care and life science jobs in the next 10 years, according to a study conducted by the Anderson Economic Group. There are nearly 4,900 active clinical trials throughout Oakland County and the state - more than California, Florida, Texas and New Jersey.

Read the entire article here.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine reaches development milestone

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has awarded preliminary accreditation to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

The LCME is the national accrediting authority for medical education programs in the U.S. and Canada. To obtain preliminary accreditation, Oakland University filed an application with the LCME in August 2009 and was visited by an LCME survey team in November 2009. At a February meeting in Chicago, the LCME voted to grant preliminary accreditation to the school based on its survey team's report.

"We are delighted that the LCME has recognized the quality and value of our team's efforts to create a dynamic learning environment to produce highly competent, patient-centered doctors with a commitment to lifelong learning," said Robert Folberg, M.D., founding dean of the medical school. "This important milestone keeps us on track to begin instruction in August 2011."

Along with providing new medical education opportunities for students, the school will help to create jobs and infuse the region's economy with millions of dollars. It will also enhance medical care throughout the region by ensuring a future supply of physicians, advancing medical research and attracting top-level medical leaders and students from around the country.

"This is a historic day for Oakland University and for southeastern Michigan as a whole," said Dr. Virinder Moudgil, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Oakland University. "This significantly expands our commitment to the role higher education will play in the region and the state, and it shows that we're ready and able to build an innovative, knowledge-based economy for the future."

"Beaumont has long been a national leader in providing post-graduate residency and fellowship training for physicians," said Ananias Diokno, M.D., chief medical officer at Beaumont Hospitals. "Our involvement in this new medical school will attract even more medical talent to us and to the region – benefitting our patients and the communities we serve."

As part of the OU-Beaumont partnership, students will receive instruction in basic sciences and research at the school of medicine on Oakland University's campus in Rochester, and take part in clinical training and applied research at Beaumont Hospitals.

Operation of the school will be supported with revenue from tuition, commercialization of intellectual property, partner contributions, research grants and philanthropy.

Baker College of Auburn Hills respiratory care program granted accreditation

The Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) have approved and granted initial accreditation status to the respiratory care associate degree program at Baker College of Auburn Hills. Initial accreditation is valid for five years.

"We appreciate the incredible amount of hard work and dedication that went into this effort," said Jeffrey M. Love, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. "Congratulations to the entire program staff and faculty, with special thanks to respiratory care department chair Kathy Miller. It was through her perseverance and adherence to continuous quality improvement that we successfully completed the accreditation process."

The respiratory care program at Baker College of Auburn Hills prepares graduates for a highly professional and dynamic career as competent respiratory care practitioners. Also known as respiratory care therapists, they work with other health care professionals to evaluate, treat and manage patients with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders.

Respiratory care practitioners may find employment in hospitals, home care companies, physician's offices, extended care facilities, outpatient centers, respiratory care equipment sales, or as educators in hospitals, colleges and universities. Therapists may choose to specialize in neonatology or pediatrics, sleep diagnostics, pulmonary function testing, rehabilitation, or critical and emergent care.

All of the 2008 and 2009 graduates from the Baker College of Auburn Hills respiratory care associate degree program are currently employed. In addition, 100 percent of the 2008 graduates have passed the credentialing examination issued by The National Board for Respiratory Care. To date, not all of the 2009 graduates have taken the exam.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a non-profit higher education institution, serving more than 43,000 students on 12 campuses and in four satellite locations. Baker grants certificates and associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and various technical fields, as well as a doctorate of business administration. As a career college, the Baker College system is pleased to report that 98 percent of its available graduates are employed. For more information about Baker College, please check out our Web site at www.baker.edu.

Oakland County recognized for retiree healthcare prefunding

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence has cited Oakland County government for its "multi-faceted approach" in addressing liability issues regarding post employment pension obligations for employees and retirees.

In its 13-page report entitled: "Prefunding Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) in State and Local Governments: Options and Early Evidence," the Center noted that Oakland County began prefunding its retiree healthcare liabilities in 1987, doing away with the "pay as you go" approach in favor of calculating accrued liabilities and funding the associated Annual Required Contribution (ARC). The county issued $557 million in taxable Trust Certificates in July 2007 at a rate of 6.23 percent over 20 years to fund its OPEB liability.

The report notes that despite experiencing investment losses due to a declining economy, the county nevertheless still managed to fully fund its $60.2 million ARC in 2008.

"We are extremely proud of the fact that Oakland County is the first county in America to fully fund employee and retiree healthcare through a Voluntary Employee Benefits program (VEBA)," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

The Center, in its report, also noted in addition to the OPEB bond funded VEBA the county established a new Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for employees hired after January 1, 2006. These newer employees, as pointed out in the report, are enrolled in a Healthcare Savings Plan where they become 60% vested after 15 years of service and fully vested after 25 years.

The creative and innovative use of Trust Certificates has enabled Oakland County to save taxpayers about $150 million over the next two decades.

To view the entire report online, go to: http://tinyurl.com/prefundingOPEB

Local Rankin Biomedical offers low cost solution for nation's physicians, researchers on lab needs

In today's tough economic times, doctors and researchers are looking for low-cost alternatives to equipping their offices and labs. Michigan-based Rankin Biomedical Corporation has been selling refurbished lab equipment for over 15 years to research labs, hospitals, universities, and physician offices around the country. His commitment to quality and the training he provides is what has kept his business strong. 

Rob Rankin, President of Rankin Biomedical Research confirms, "We know that for a lot of physicians to make money, they need to do more of the labs in their own office." Rankin continues, "It's a source of new revenue for a lot of physicians and we can set them up with just a fraction of the cost it would normally take if they bought new equipment."

Rankin Biomedical Corporation offers free consultation to prospective clients and with every purchase comes a warranty on the equipment and a service contract. Rankin also offers training on the newly-refurbished equipment to his clients.

Rankin is also looking for unused and surplus equipment at his client's sites. He wants to buy it. He considers his company a "natural recycler." He buys what his customers no longer need or have excess of (thus providing them income) and he refurbishes that same equipment for another client that needs it. "It's a natural process" Rankin continued.

About Rankin Biomedical:
Rankin Biomedical serves the scientific industry by refurbishing laboratory equipment and recycling it back into the market. Our customer base is comprised of hospitals, universities, clinical and physician office laboratories, and veterinary hospitals. To view a sample of the products we sell visit: www.rankinbiomed.com

Oakland University-Beaumont medical school files accreditation application

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine has filed an application for preliminary accreditation with the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the national accrediting body for medical schools.

The application for preliminary accreditation is the second step in a five-step LCME process that must be completed to achieve full accreditation status.

"We developed a comprehensive plan for the medical school to establish an innovative, student-centered learning environment; to nurture front-line medical research; and to promote competence, compassion, integrity and passion for lifelong learning among our students," said Robert Folberg, M.D., founding dean of the medical school.

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine will capitalize on the strength of OU's highly acclaimed human health and life sciences programs and research, as well as Beaumont Hospitals' nationally recognized resident and fellowship programs, medical specialty services and renowned medical research initiatives.

If the LCME reviews the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine application favorably, the LCME will conduct a site visit. Based on the survey team report, the LCME then votes on granting preliminary accreditation to the program.

If preliminary accreditation is granted, school officials may begin accepting student applications in the spring of 2010 and welcome the school's inaugural class in the fall of 2011.

Five Detroit-area health systems make top national quality list

Southeast Michigan lands five health systems on Reuter's top national quality list. One, of which, is Novi's Trinity Health.


Five of Southeast Michigan's health care systems made Thomson Reuters' list of best hospital systems based on quality and efficiency measures.

Two of the systems, Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and Trinity Health in Novi, made the top 10.

The other three systems are Dearborn-based Oakwood Healthcare Inc., Detroit Medical Center and McLaren Healthcare Corp. in Flint.

The Thomson Reuters' study, which was conducted exclusively for Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Crain's Detroit Business, evaluated 252 health systems with 1,720 hospitals.

Read the entire article here.

Baker College of Auburn Hills dental programs granted accreditation

The Commission on Dental Accreditation has granted accreditation to the dental assisting certificate and associate degree, and the dental hygiene associate degree programs at Baker College of Auburn Hills. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body that operates under the auspices of the American Dental Association and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Congratulations to Iris Lane, Sheree Duff, Kelly Roos and the entire dental program staff and faculty for this outstanding achievement," said Jeff Love, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. "It is through their hard work and dedication that we are able to achieve this accreditation."

The dental programs at Baker College of Auburn Hills were granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements," and the formal report of the Commission following their site visit listed no recommendations for program improvement. Accreditation is valid for seven years.

Baker's dental assisting programs are designed to prepare individuals to sit for two board exams: The dental assisting national board exam to earn the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential, and the state of Michigan board exam to earn the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) credential. Graduates of the Baker College of Auburn Hills dental assisting programs may work in a variety of dental practice settings, including solo and group practices, specialty practices, hospital dental clinics, dental schools, public health clinics and dental laboratories.

The dental hygiene associate degree program at Baker College of Auburn Hills prepares students to sit for four board exams: the national dental hygiene board examination, the northeast regional examination, the local anesthesia examination and the nitrous oxide sedation examination. These allow graduates from the program to practice the profession of dental hygiene. Baker's dental hygienist graduates may find employment as clinicians, educators, researchers, administrators, managers, consumer advocates, sales managers and consultants. They may work in a variety of health care settings, including private dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, correctional institutions or nursing homes.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a non-profit higher education institution, serving more than 38,000 students on 12 campuses and in four satellite locations. Baker grants certificates and associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and various technical fields, as well as a doctorate of business administration. As a career college, the Baker College system is proud to have achieved a graduate employment rate of 98 percent. For more information about Baker College, please check out our Web site at www.baker.edu.

Adult Well-Being Services, Wayne State to launch survey on seniors

Wayne State University and Adult Well-Being Services join forces on a two-year study looking into senior citizens living in SE Michigan.


Adult Well-Being Services and the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University plan to work together on a two-year study aimed at providing comprehensive data on senior citizens living in Southeast Michigan.

The Bloomfield Hills-based American House Foundation, the Detroit-based Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Troy-based Kresge Foundation are funding the study with grants totaling $275,000.

The project’s goal is to better customize service for the growing number of seniors in region and to identify the financial, employment and volunteer assets those age 65 and older bring to the region.

Read the entire article here.

Baker College of Auburn Hills practical nurse program granted full approval by board of nursing

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The practical nurse certificate program at Baker College of Auburn Hills has been granted full approval status by the Board of Nursing.

"This is a wonderful achievement for our campus and for the nursing department," said Jeff Love, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. "Congratulations to our Director of Nursing Chris Levandowski, and to the entire nursing faculty and staff who, through their hard work and perseverance, made this happen."

Initial approval was granted when the program was initiated in 2006. After the second class graduated in 2008, the practical nurse program became eligible to apply for full approval status. This process, which included an in-depth self-study and site visit, culminated in notification of full approval status, which is valid for eight years.

Graduates of the Baker College of Auburn Hills practical nurse program may apply for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), which is a standard exam developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Only graduates of approved schools are eligible to sit for the exam. After passing the exam, graduates become licensed to practice, or LPNs.

"As graduates from a fully approved program, our students are assured that the program complies with statutory and regulatory requirements as established by the state of Michigan," said Chris Levandowski. "Furthermore, these requirements safeguard the public, as they ensure that our nursing programs and nursing graduates meet set standards."

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a non-profit higher education institution, serving more than 38,000 students on 12 campuses and in four satellite locations. Baker grants certificates and associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and various technical fields, as well as a doctorate of business administration. As a career college, the Baker College system is proud to have achieved a graduate employment rate of 98 percent. For more information about Baker College, please check out our Web site at www.baker.edu.

5th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards ceremony

Nine Oakland County businesses are represented in the "Michigan Top 50 Companies To Watch" this year.

  • Anesthesia Staffing Consultants, Inc., Bingham Farms -- Anesthesia Services
  • Billhighway, Troy -- Financial Services
  • Coatings Specialist Group, LLC, Rochester Hills -- Environmental surface treatments
  • DP+Company, Farmington Hills -- Marketing and advertising agency
  • Emerald Steel Processing, LLC, Madison Heights -- Steel products
  • Eview 360 Corp., Farmington Hills -- Design Services
  • Macprofessionals, Inc., Novi -- Information technology services
  • Netarx Inc., Farmington Hills -- Computer systems design services
  • SmartFinds Internet Marketing, Birmingham -- Internet marketing agency

Find the entire awardee list here.

To sign up to receive Prosper in your e-mail box, click here. It's free.

Patterson and daughter to host free screening of lyme disease documentary 'under our skin'

Pontiac, MI, May 6, 2009 -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and his daughter, Mary Margaret Warner, will host a free screening of "Under Our Skin," a one hour and forty minute documentary on Lyme disease. The event will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at the Michigan State University Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road in Troy. Governor Jennifer Granholm has declared May Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Michigan.

Patterson's daughter, Mary Warner, became an advocate for the treatment and cure of Lyme disease after she contracted the debilitating illness in 1994 while still in high school. But as a result of proper medical treatment her condition improved dramatically and she is now considered free of Lyme disease.

The movie synopsis says "Under Our Skin" is a powerful and often terrifying look at not only the science and politics of Lyme disease, but also the personal stories of those whose lives have been affected and in some cases nearly destroyed.

"People who have Lyme disease, know someone with Lyme disease or just want to learn more about it really need to see this movie," said Warner. "What I hope people take away after watching the documentary is that they are not alone and they can get better."

Since Lyme disease was first discovered in the early 1970's in children living around the city of Lyme, Connecticut, it has remained a virtually mysterious ailment often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, MS or ALS. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 200,000 people may acquire Lyme disease each year, which is more than AIDS, West Nile Virus and Avian Flu combined.

The free screening of "Under Our Skin," the only such showing in Michigan, is made possible through funding from the Michigan Lyme Disease Association. A free reception will be held immediately following the documentary. For more information on the movie or Lyme disease in general, contact MLDA at 888-784-5963 or go to www.UnderOurSkin.com.

OU-Beaumont medical school announces new associate deans

Rochester, Mich. -- Robert Folberg, M.D., dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, today announced the appointments of six associate deans to work with him in establishing an institution of distinctive education and research opportunities.

"We're excited to have assembled a team of first-class teachers, researchers and administrators who will lead the medical school in work guided by innovation, quality and a commitment to community outreach," said Dr. Folberg. "By providing our students with an exemplary medical education, these outstanding professionals will help produce a class of physicians that provides the best medical care available in the communities they serve."

School officials see the confidence these medical professionals have placed in the powerful partnership between Oakland University and Beaumont Hospitals as glowing testimony to the fact that Michigan has and can attract the outstanding talent, diverse resources and driving initiative it will need to build a more prosperous future.

As the state looks to overcome the most daunting economic challenges it has faced in decades, the appointment of these highly accomplished deans reinforces the promise of a broad and beneficial impact the medical school will have on health care, higher education and overall quality of life in the region.

Beaumont Hospitals President and CEO Kenneth Matzick said, "We are very pleased with the progress of the medical school, as evidenced by the appointment of these outstanding associate deans. We remain strongly committed to the school's development, for the benefit of Michigan's residents and the state's economy."

The new associate deans announced by Dr. Folberg include:

•   Robert J. McAuley, Ph.D., as associate dean for educational information technology. He also will serve as clinical assistant professor of biomedical science. McAuley has an extensive and diverse work history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, serving as chief information officer, adjunct assistant professor, associate dean and assistant dean. He also taught in the Department of Psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

•   John Musich, M.D., as associate dean for graduate and continuing medical education. Dr. Musich serves as corporate director of medical education for Beaumont Hospitals. He also has served as Beaumont's associate medical director, chairman and residency program director for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and corporate chairman for Obstetric and Gynecologic Services. Dr. Musich has held assistant and associate professor positions at Mercy College of Detroit, University of Michigan Medical School, Wayne State University Medical School and the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

•   David L. Felten, M.D., Ph.D., as associate dean for research. Dr. Felten is vice president for research and medical director of the Beaumont Research Institute. He also has served as a clinical research professor of anatomy and cell biology. Prior to joining Beaumont, he was dean of the School of Graduate Medical Education at Seton Hall University, founding director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California Irvine College of Medicine, and professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience and director of the Markey Charitable Trust Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease and Aging at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

•   Michele D. Raible, M.D., Pharm.D., as associate dean of undergraduate medical education and a clinical assistant professor of pathology. Dr. Raible served as deputy head for pathology education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she oversaw both undergraduate and graduate education and faculty development. Her previous work includes serving as director of education for the Department of Pathology at Loyola University Medical Center.

•   Linda H. Gillum, Ph.D., as associate dean of academic affairs, faculty development and diversity, as well as an associate professor of biomedical sciences. Gillum built a 30-year career in health care education as a member of the dean's office at the University of Michigan Medical School, focusing on both student and faculty affairs. She also served as assistant provost for academic affairs at the University of Michigan.

•   Angela Nuzzarello, M.D., as associate dean of student affairs. Dr. Nuzzarello has served as associate dean for student programs and professional development at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She has taught in general medical, behavioral science and psychiatry curricula at the Feinberg School of Medicine and at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Her work has focused on the health and wellness of medical students and on treatment of anxiety disorders.

"Both Oakland University and Beaumont Hospitals have garnered regional and national recognition for maintaining the highest standards in their education and health care endeavors, and it's clear this wouldn't have been possible without a strong commitment to welcoming only the most skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated faculty and staff members," Folberg said. "The same commitment will guide our efforts at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, and we fully expect to maintain and build on the distinguished reputations of both of these respected institutions."

Beaumont Hospital nurtures patients, patents

Royal Oak-based Beaumont Hospital's new commercialization center helps to bring new medical devices to life.


Beaumont offers services from prototype development and real-world testing to regulatory approval preparation. Unlike similar efforts usually on a university level, the Beaumont Commercialization Center is a for-profit endeavor that offers access to a high-volume hospital system.

"The end goal is better products for Beaumont, as well as others," said John C. Shallman, director of strategic business development for the commercialization center. "We can bring to bear actual clinical, practical, economic decisions ... into the design process."

Read the full story here.

Eleven Oakland University nursing students receive 'gift of a lifetime' scholarships

Rochester, Mich. -- Eleven nursing students at Oakland University's School of Nursing have received the gift of a lifetime thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. During the fall 2008 and winter 2009 semesters, entry-level students in Oakland's School of Nursing Bachelor of Nursing Science Accelerated Second Degree program were eligible for 15 scholarships totaling $150,000 over three semesters. Those who have been awarded scholarships were selected based on financial need and merit.

Oakland's School of Nursing was among the first institutions in the nation and one of two in the state of Michigan to receive grant funding from the program, which was launched by the RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

"This program aims to safeguard the health of the nation by helping to ease the nurse and nurse faculty shortage," said RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. "This new initiative also will advance our strategic goal of promoting leadership in the health professions."

The students who received this generous financial assistance were Suzanne Curtis, Karyn Davis, Jennifer Lane, Kevin Magnotte, Jennifer Spiller, Theresa Carrier-Torrealba, Innocent Idusuyi, Katerina Karnas, Amanda Lee, Natalie Martin and Tiffany Ostrowski.

For Katerina Karnas, receiving this scholarship "meant everything." With two young children and a husband who is blind, the financial support has helped greatly. "I really want to be a nurse because I love caring for people and I want to move around and be busy with people," Karnas said. "I feel like I've accomplished something and I am willing to work very hard. I won't let anyone down."

Grateful recipient Karyn Davis had taken an education leave from her job as a patient care technician in order to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. "This gift means everything to me. My brother kept telling me to have faith and that things would work out. So when I got the news about the scholarship, he was the first person I called. I am looking forward to becoming a nurse in the emergency room or intensive care unit."

Barbara Penprase, director for the Accelerated Second Degree Program, thought that the timing for the grant was impeccable. "Michigan has been hit with such difficult economic times and unemployment. The dire need for professionals in the healthcare industry offers such a great opportunity to re-educate those looking for a rewarding and in-demand career in nursing."

Penprase was impressed with her students' dedication to the program, as well as with the number of them interested in pursuing a future master's degree, which is the required credential to teach.

By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master's degree levels, the new scholarship program will also help address the nation's nurse faculty shortage. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession at the baccalaureate level are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing.

The RWJF and AACN initiative aims to help alleviate the nations' nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs. According to RWJF, accelerated degree programs offer the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, many potential students are unable to enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them from receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students.

The New Careers in Nursing scholarships address this problem as well as the overall nursing shortage by enabling hundreds of students to launch their nursing careers through accelerated education. AACN serves as the National Program Office for this RWJ initiative and oversees the grant application.

For more information about the Accelerated Second Degree Program or the scholarship program, contact Barbara Penprase at (248) 370-4486 or via e-mail at penprase@oakland.edu.

201 Health + Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts