ERMC employees honored as Employees of the Year

Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) employees Jill Whitaker and Jeffrey Ackerman, PharmD were honored with the Dr. Meinke & Dr. Sherman Care. Serve. Inspire. Award at the hospital holiday celebration on Saturday, January 5, 2019. Each year, two ERMC employees are recognized for providing exceptional service to fellow staff members, patients and the community. The award, also known as the Employees of the Year Award, was established to honor Dr. Albert Meinke and Dr. Eber Sherman, physicians who were instrumental in the founding of Eaton Rapids Medical Center.

Whitaker, the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer, was nominated by two of her colleagues. She is known for being a go-getter, taking on multiple projects with a positive attitude. She joined the hospital in 2015 and serves on multiple committees, including the Best Places to Work team and Employee Service Committee.

Her nomination states, “Jill is a significant piece of the puzzle here at ERMC. She takes pride in her work and there is nothing she can’t do. She sees what needs to be completed and does it. She is positive and thinks about the whole picture as to how it will affect patients, staff, etc. She adds her humor to all situations to lighten the mood and make tasks more enjoyable while remaining productive.”

Another nomination details, “Jill is absolutely AMAZING! She is selfless and always giving of herself! When the new expansion was finishing completion, Jill was one of the first individuals to help put together office furniture, equipment, etc. She is always willing to jump right in to lend a hand and help. She always has a smile on her face!”

Ackerman started working at ERMC in July 2014 during his residency program and started full-time as the Pharmacy Director in October 2015. When asked to describe him, coworkers say he is very “thoughtful, selfless and gives without hesitation.”

His nomination shares, “Jeff makes it a point to personally sit and speak with every inpatient about their medications. He truly cares about our patients and their safety, making sure to listen and answer their questions. He wants to make sure they understand their medications before they go home. Doctors, staff and patients love him. He has personally paid for patients’ prescriptions, running to the store if we don’t have what someone needs in-house. He does research on patients’ copays and works with them to make sure they get what they need. He embodies our culture, going the extra degree in everything he does. Employees like Jeff make ERMC special and set us apart from the rest.”

Article posted on January 17th, 2019. - Article Permalink

Tri-county health departments and hospitals release assessment and plan to improve local health

Local health organizations, including Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC), are pleased to announce the release of Healthy! Capital Counties 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment, an assessment and prioritization of community-wide health compiled to encourage collaborative, data-driven decision-making and policies in the tri-counties.

The report has two major components. The first is an assessment of the current state of community health in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties. The second is the identification of regional community health priorities. The priorities were identified by health and human service organizations and community members from across the region following the assessment. These priorities will guide many local community health efforts over the next three years.

The Healthy! Capital Counties health priorities for 2019-2021 are:

  1. Behavioral Health
  2. Health Care Access and Quality
  3. Obesity
  4. Financial Stability and Economic Mobility
  5. Chronic Disease

“We have found that completing this health assessment with Healthy! Capital Counties has been a very valuable process that has led to long-term collaboration with the project partners,” remarked Lindsay Peters, ERMC Director of Marketing. “It has also led to more strategic use of hospital time and resources. We can adapt our programs and services to meet the needs outlined in the priorities.”

Guided by the health priorities, community partners will work to improve local health outcomes over the next three years. Many organizations use Healthy! Capital Counties to guide their organization’s action plans and funding priorities.

Key findings in the 2018 assessment include:

  1. Compared to the state, the tri-county area is doing worse on measures of adult obesity, adult smoking, and adolescent mental health.
  2. There was a significant increase in adult obesity in the region. It rose from 23.9% to 33.6% over the past few years.
  3. Compared to the state, the tri-county area is doing better on measures of access to primary health care providers and preventable hospitalizations.
  4. All areas of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties have experienced an increase in the number of adults 18-64 years of age with health insurance coverage.

The community health assessment is conducted every three years. The report uses quantitative data, such as that pulled from vital records and other sources, and qualitative data, such as that gathered during focus groups and community surveys, to form a complete picture of community health that goes beyond health care. It includes social factors like affordable housing and education, and also more traditional health outcome measures, such as mortality and chronic disease rates.

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

To access the 2018 Healthy! Capital Counties report, visit

Article posted on January 8th, 2019. - Article Permalink

Residents Should Pick Up a Free Radon Test Kit during Radon Action Month

Radon can't be seen, smelled, or tasted, but high levels of radon gas may be in residents’ homes, increasing their risk of lung cancer. Fortunately, testing is easy and high radon levels can be lowered.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of radium. Radium, in turn, is a natural decay product of uranium. Both radium and uranium are found in almost any kind of soil and rock, often in very small amounts. Radon moves up through the soil and enters buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation, floor, or walls, including at floor/wall joints, sump openings, and other openings caused by plumbing, wiring, or ductwork.

Outdoors, radon is diluted by the atmosphere to safe levels. However, radon can concentrate in indoor air and reach unhealthy levels. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It is very important for residents to know their home’s radon level and to take action to lower it if it’s too high.

According to a Michigan survey, high levels of radon are expected in one out of eight Michigan homes. In some counties, as many as 45 percent of the homes have had radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended action level (4 pCi/L). The only way to know if a home has high radon levels is to test it.

Easy, do-it-yourself radon test kits are available for free to residents of Barry and Eaton counties during January, which is Radon Action Month. There is a limit of one kit per address. Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and supplies are limited. Residents can pick up a kit at one of the below locations. After using it at home, they should send it to the lab for testing!

Hastings: Health Department, 330 W. Woodlawn Ave. (269) 945-9516, select 3, then 5
Charlotte: Health Department, 1033 Healthcare Dr. (517) 541-2615
Lansing: Delta Township Hall, Assessing Department,
7710 W. Saginaw Hwy. (517) 323-8520
Bellevue: Riverside Café, 420 E. Capital Ave. (269) 763-9481
Delton: Delton District Library, 330 N. Grove St. (269) 623-8040

For more information about radon, residents can visit or call or visit the Barry-Eaton District Health Department in Hastings at 330 W. Woodlawn Ave. ([269] 945-9516, x 35) or in Charlotte at 1033 Health Care Dr. ([517] 541-2615).

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on December 26th, 2018. - Article Permalink

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