It's National Immunization Awareness Month! Is Your Family Up to Date on Vaccines?

You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases! Vaccines help protect us against diseases like measles, whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia. To help keep our community safe, The Barry Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure your family is up-to-date on recommended vaccines

Keeping children and adults up-to-date on their vaccines is important for their protection. Did you know that before children reach two years old, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends vaccines to prevent 14 infectious diseases? Each recommended vaccine dose is scheduled based on the age the body's immune system will respond the best and the need to protect infants and children at the earliest age possible. On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. The vaccines are tested to be sure they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.

Are Kids Falling Behind?

According to March 2019 data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), only 59% of Michigan children 19 through 35 months of age were up-to-date with the recommended vaccines. In Eaton County, 76% of children aged 3 months old were up-to-date on vaccines. At 7 months this number dropped to 61%, and at 24 months only 49% were up-to-date on vaccines. In Barry County, 85% of children aged 3 months old were up-to-date on vaccines. At 7 months 56% were up-to-date, and at 24 months this number dropped to 49%. For more information about when your child needs to be vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider, contact the health department, or visit

We All Need Vaccines

Immunizations are also important to the health of adults, especially pregnant women and older adults. The vaccines you need as an adult are determined by many factors including your age, lifestyle, health condition, and which vaccines you've received during your life. Use the Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool, located at , to determine what vaccines are recommended for you.

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department offers weekly vaccination clinics for residents. Clinics are held Tuesdays in Barry County and Wednesdays in Eaton County. All recommended child and adult vaccines are available at the health department. To make an appointment for you or your child to be vaccinated, call (269) 798-9516 in Barry County or (517) 543-2630 in Eaton County..

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on July 31st, 2019. - Article Permalink

Scholarship recipients observe surgeries at ERMC

Recent graduates Samuel Mateer of Harper Creek High School, and Halli Hood of Eaton Rapids High School recently had the opportunity to observe surgeries performed at Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC). Mateer and Hood were presented with the sixth-annual ERMC Foundation Scholarship Award earlier this year, and in addition to the $1,000 scholarship, the hospital invited the recipients to view surgical procedures.

“I shadowed with Larry Lutz, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and got to see several surgeries including a rotator cuff operation, hernia surgery, ACL surgery, and a hip replacement,” Mateer said. “I loved the experience; it opened my eyes to what the job really means and made me realize how much I truly want to be a CRNA.”

Hood observed two total joint replacement surgeries performed by Dr. Paul Kenyon at ERMC. She described it as “an amazing experience that many don’t get to see.” Adding that, “It was a privilege to meet the amazing staff at ERMC and observing these procedures was my favorite part of the scholarship. The real-world experience was even more valuable than the money itself!”

In the fall Hood will be attending Lansing Community College to become a registered nurse, and plans to continue her education at Michigan State University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Samuel Mateer will be attending Western Michigan University’s nursing program, the first step to becoming a CRNA.

The ERMC Foundation began offering the $1,000 scholarship in 2011 to high school seniors who plan to pursue a registered nursing degree. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide local students with assistance in entering the healthcare field. To learn more about the scholarship or the hospital visit

Article posted on July 1st, 2019. - Article Permalink

Lean training puts ERMC staff on the cutting edge of healthcare process improvement

On Thursday, June 20, a team of 14 Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) staff members graduated from an intensive six-month education and training course called Lean. Funded by a grant from the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) and led by Todd Sperl of Lean Fox Solutions, enrollment in the training was offered to all hospital staff and focused on developing intensive problem solving skills, as well as identifying and eliminating wasteful steps in workflow to improve overall hospital processes and patient outcomes.

Each of the four Lean teams was tasked with choosing a different need or issue within the hospital and finding intuitive, efficient ways to correct it. The teams then used the tools and skills they developed throughout the six-month course to create plans of action.

“Having the opportunity to participate in Lean training and certification has provided me with tools to eliminate unnecessary waste and improve processes while understanding and delivering value to our patients,” said Heather Schragg, Lean team member and ERMC’s Director of Patient Experience. “I’m fortunate to be part of an organization that allows employees to take part in meaningful initiatives such as this.”

Each group identified a different workflow issue within the hospital and worked to create a thoughtful solution. Projects included a surgical supply storage remodel, a reworking of the scanning and collection process of patients’ consent to treat forms, creating a standardized process for minor procedures within the hospital's specialty, lab, and medical-surgical departments, and streamlining the patient referral process to ensure patients have the best experience possible.

“The value of these four projects alone will make a huge impact on the facility,” said Todd Sperl. “Our main focus is on improving the patient experience; that’s the main result we’re after. All of the teams have done a wonderful job with that goal.”

All members of the Lean teams were awarded certificates of completion after presenting their final initiatives to the hospital’s CEO and President Tim Johnson, CFO Shari Glynn, and COO Kristine Allen. The projects will continue into the future and help Eaton Rapids Medical Center remain at the forefront of medical efficiency and patient care.

Article posted on June 25th, 2019. - Article Permalink

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