ERMC Board welcomes new director

Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has appointed Jodi Backofen as its newest member. Backofen is the Eaton Rapids Branch Supervisor at Consumers Professional Credit Union (CPCU). She has worked for CPCU for 14 years and has 26 years of experience in the industry.

Backofen gives back to the community by being part of the Eaton Rapids Lions Club. She has been a member for 26 years. She has also served on the ERMC Foundation Board since 2013 and will take on the role of Chairperson of the Foundation in January.

“My hope and goal while I’m on the Board of Directors is to be sure that every person in Eaton Rapids and the surrounding area knows what a quality hospital we have in our community. From the Family Practice to the Emergency Department to the Specialty Clinics and Surgery Department, we couldn’t ask for better quality care,” remarked Backofen. She replaces Thomas Kelly, DO on the Board due to term limits.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish to express our deep appreciation for the years Dr. Kelly has served not only as board member, but as an emergency and family care physician for the hospital and public,” stated Leonard Peters, Chairman of the ERMC Board of Directors. “He never hesitates when his skills are needed. We are thankful that he is still part of the hospital.”

Article posted on November 20, 2018. - Article Permalink

ERMC receives national recognition for Performance Leadership in Patient Perspectives

Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) announced it has been recognized by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in Patient Perspectives, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation. It is the second time ERMC has received the honor, with the first taking place in 2016.

“I’m so proud of the efforts our staff and physicians have made to achieve this recognition again,” stated Tim Johnson, ERMC President and CEO. “We made a commitment to improve the experience we provide to each and every patient, and our staff has remained dedicated to that promise. Our excellent team and the support of our community made this honor possible.”

The Performance Leadership Awards are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging data from public data sources, the INDEX aggregates data from 50 rural-relevant metrics across eight pillars to derive a single overall percentile rating for all Critical Access Hospitals and Rural & Community Hospitals. The Performance Leadership Awards spotlight top performance in the areas of Quality, Outcomes and Patient Perspectives.


The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities.

Article posted on November 14, 2018. - Article Permalink

Eaton Rapids Passes Ordinance to Address Teen Use of E-Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or e-cigs), are increasing in popularity. To address this issue, the City of Eaton Rapids has officially passed ordinance No. 407 which addresses vape/e-cigarette use, effective immediately. Included in the ordinance is the law that e-cigarettes, as defined in the ordinance, are not to be purchased, possessed or used by minors, or those under the age of 18. This also includes use of e-cigarettes by minors in any school building, on property owned, occupied or otherwise used by any school within the city. The ordinance also makes it illegal for any person who owns, manages, operates or otherwise controls a public place to allow a minor to use an E-cigarette on such premises. Finally, and in accordance with national laws passed in 2016, it is unlawful to sell e-cigarettes to minors. Failure to abide by these new laws will result in a civil infraction. Individuals interested in reading this ordinance can get a copy by visiting Eaton Rapids City Hall at 200 S Main St, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827 or calling (517) 663-8118.

E-cigarettes are often referred to as vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, and e-pipes. These products use an “e-liquid” that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients. The liquid is heated to create an aerosol that the user inhales. Devices may be manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble pens or USB flash drives.

Nicotine use under the age of 25 can affect brain development. According to the Surgeon General, until about age 25, the brain is still growing. Learning strengthens connections in the brain. Young people learn and form these connections more rapidly than adults as their brains continue to grow. Addiction involves the learning process, so adolescents can become addicted to nicotine and other substances more easily than adults. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine.

E-cigarette use has been increasing among youth at an alarming rate. According to the FDA, more than 2 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2017. Locally, the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPHY) from 2017-2018 showed that 10.5% of middle schoolers and 23.3% of high schoolers in Eaton County and 12.5% of Barry County middle schoolers and 30.3% of Barry County high schoolers used an electronic vapor product during the last 30 days.

Ordinance No. 407 aims to prevent youth addiction to nicotine. For additional information about e-cigarettes and teen use, visit and

Article posted on November 13, 2018. - Article Permalink

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