Tri-County Health Departments and Hospitals Partner to Improve Local Health

Local health organizations, including the Barry-Eaton District Health Department, are gearing up for Healthy! Capital Counties 2018, a community-wide assessment of health compiled to encourage collaborative, data-driven decision-making and policies.

The assessment is conducted every three years, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Over the course of the next ten months, the assessment will evaluate data that directly measures aspects of health, such as that pulled from vital records or health surveys, and data that describes how people feel about their health and what they need to be healthy, such as that gathered during community focus groups. Together, this information will create a complete picture of the current state of community health in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.

"Partnering with all of the health departments and hospital systems in the tri-county area allows us to pool our resources," said Colette Scrimger, Health Officer of the Barry-Eaton District Health Department. "By working together as a community, we can more effectively have a positive impact on the health of our residents and sustain programs and services that will help our communities thrive."

Healthy! Capital Counties partners include: Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Ingham County Health Department, Mid-Michigan District Health Department, Eaton Rapids Medical Center, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, McLaren-Greater Lansing, and Sparrow Health System. The 2018 assessment will be the third report produced by the Healthy! Capital Counties consortium.

The 2018 project will kick off with a stakeholder meeting on November 30, 2017 at 9 a.m. at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. The public is welcome to attend. For more information about Healthy! Capital Counties or to register to attend the upcoming meeting, visit

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on November 20, 2017. - Article Permalink

Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy This Holiday Season!

With the holidays approaching, many people look forward to holiday parties and dinners. Unfortunately, these gatherings can also have uninvited guests--germs that can cause food poisoning!

Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. How should you wash your hands? Follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather the soap in your hands by rubbing them together, making sure to rub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (how long it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice).
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Also, many people will prepare food for and bring food to meals and celebrations. It is important to protect yourself and your family from food poisoning. Follow these four easy steps to keep food safe:

Cook: Cook to the right temperature

  • Use a food thermometer to make sure your food is heated high enough to kill bacteria. Cook poultry, stuffed meats, and casseroles to 165°F; hamburgers and bratwursts to 155°F; and pork, fish, and raw shelled eggs to 145°F.
  • Keep food hot after cooking (at 135°F or above).
  • Reheat cooked foods to 165°F or higher.

Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Wash surfaces and utensils after each use.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables, but not meat, poultry, or eggs.

Chill: Refrigerate promptly

  • Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.
  • Never thaw or marinate foods on the counter.
  • Know when to throw foods out (visit

Separate: Don't cross-contaminate

  • Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Separate meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your grocery bags and in the refrigerator.

Signs of food poisoning can include upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. These can be mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ that is making you sick. If you think you may have food poisoning, call your health care provider. If at all possible, do not prepare food for others within 24 hours of being sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea. If you suspect food poisoning from eating at a food service establishment or a large gathering, please contact the Barry-Eaton District Health Department at (269) 945-9516 in Barry County or (517) 543-2430 in Eaton County.

For more information on handwashing, please visit For food safety information, visit

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on November 16, 2017. - Article Permalink

Holiday Survival Challenge 2017-2018

Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) and Healthworks are pleased to announce the annual Holiday Survival Challenge (HSC) for 2017-2018. This challenge has occurred annually since 2010. The FREE challenge is dedicated to helping the community "survive" the holidays without a weight gain. It is open to current Healthworks members and their families and ERMC Staff members.

The holidays, that time from just before Thanksgiving to the week after New Year's Day, are traditionally a challenge for those who struggle with weight gain. Successful participants, those who either maintain their weight or gain no more than one pound, will be rewarded with a month's free membership at Healthworks (current members who are successful in the challenge will have their memberships extended by a month.) All that is necessary is to weigh-in with a Healthworks staff person, for your starting weight between November 13 and 22, 2017 at Healthworks. The week of January 8-14, 2018 is the final weigh-in, with a Healthworks staff member.

The community has been very successful in the past at HSC; there has always been a total weight loss! We want this year to be bigger and better, with more participants and more successful participants.

For more information, contact Healthworks at 517.663.9530 or stop in at Healthworks on the second floor of ERMC. We look forward to helping you when holiday eating weighs you down!

Article posted on November 13th 2017. - Article Permalink

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