St. Joe’s Oakland Offering New Monthly Bereavement Support Group

OAKLAND – St. Joe’s Oakland is proud to announce that we are starting a new monthly bereavement support group, “Passages in Grief.” These sessions will be held virtually on the third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and will be hosted by Colleen Lambert, Certified Clinical Therapist. All are welcome to join.

To join the 11 a.m. meetings, please use the following:

To join the 6:30 p.m. meetings, please use the following:

The topics planned for each month are listed below.

  • October 20, 2021: “Opening to the Presence of Our Loss”
  • November 17, 2021: “Exploring Your Feelings of Loss”
  • December 15, 2021: “Embracing the Uniqueness of Your Grief”
  • January 19, 2022: “Nurturing Yourself”
  • February 16, 2022: “Understanding the Six Needs of Mourning”
  • March 16, 2022: “A New Normal”
  • April 20, 2022: “Seeking Reconciliation Not Resolution”
  • May 18, 2022: “Grief Stone Remembrance Activity”

Father Tim Dombrowski – Remembering a Life of Service, Kindness

The passing of Father Tim Dombrowski on September 22, 2021 leaves us saddened, yet our hearts are lightened by his profound legacy of kindness. Father Tim joined the St. Joe’s family in 1977 and officially retired in 2017, yet stayed involved with the institution and people he dearly loved. He contributed to our success in many ways, presiding regularly at Masses in our chapel and offering the Sacrament of the Sick to countless patients in every unit of the hospital.

Those who wish to celebrate Father Tim’s gifts of compassion can attend the memorial, details are below, or also leave a message of comfort for Father Tim’s family by calling 877-231-7900 or by signing the guest book at

Thank you, Father Tim for your life of service that made our world a brighter, gentler place.

Visitation & Funeral Service

The Catholic Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, September 27 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish, Ann Arbor.  Visitation will be prior to mass, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Memorial donations in Fr. Tim’s memory can be made to the Rehabilitation Project of Camp Ozanam and the CYO camps of the Archdiocese of Detroit, c/o Bishop Robert Fisher, 12 State St., Detroit, MI 48226. 

For Father Tim’s full obituary, read here.

SJMAA, SJML United Way Update

The United Way is fighting poverty by bringing people, resources, and organizations together to ensure everyone, regardless of their income, has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

If you have not already given, please help be part of the solution by donating to the 2021 United Way drive using these convenient virtual methods:

  • The New United Way Pledge QR Code.

Please note that directions are:

1.) The Usernameis yourEmployee ID Number.

2.) The Password isyour Last Name (not case sensitive.)

EVS Colleagues Teresa Hayes and Susan Romaya Recognized in Dual BeRemarkable Award Ceremony

OAKLAND – In a fitting kickoff to Environmental Services Week, two EVS colleagues were recognized on Monday in a dual BeRemarkable Award ceremony. Teresa Hayes was selected for March’s BeRemarkable Award, while Susan Romaya was chosen for July’s award. Both colleagues were honored for their kindness and compassion toward patients, and for serving as part of the larger care team.

Teresa was nominated after leaders at St. Joe’s Oakland received a letter from a patient family. In the letter, a patient’s sibling wrote to share how Teresa’s kind words inspired her: “Throughout her stay, [my sister] often communicated what a great job all your staff were doing during these extremely difficult times. However, there was one person whom she has mentioned multiple times over the last few months since she left the hospital. She told me that on the day before she was to be released, she mentioned to Teresa Hayes, the housekeeper, that she would be leaving. Teresa said, ‘I’ve been watching you and I just know you’re going to do great.’ Those kind words meant the world to [my sister]. She hadn’t realized that not only your medical staff, but all of your staff, including the housekeepers, had been watching over her, protecting her… being her advocate.” The letter also shared that Teresa’s words had become her sister’s mantra as she continued her recovery.

Susan was nominated by a fellow colleague, who shared how she goes above and beyond to make patients feel cared for and special. The colleague wrote, “Susan Romaya takes excellent care of her work areas, yet also of the people who work in those areas. She has filled a void for the residents who are here away from home with her motherly persona. The residents really appreciate her. She brightens up the residents’ lounge with excellent cleaning, decorating for them and encouraging them on their path.

In addition, Susan’s nominator discussed the parties she holds for residents, stating, “Susan also holds special events for the residents which she ‘caters’ for them food she prepares herself and pays for out of pocket. She sets up the tables with her own lace cloths, fancy serving trays, etc.” The colleague added that Susan makes work more enjoyable for the entire team, and is appreciated by the team’s leaders.

Congratulations to both Teresa and Susan, and thank you for demonstrating how all colleagues can be a vital part of the care team. The empathy and engagement you show with patients and residents makes a real difference in their experience, and we are grateful for you.

Celebrating one year of inpatient rehabilitation partnership at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital

One year ago, Michigan Medicine entered a collaboration with St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea (SJMC) Hospital that grew the reach of its physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) services. The expanded inpatient rehabilitation unit provided an incremental increase of eight beds between the University Hospital and SJMC locations.

“In the year that the Michigan Medicine-SJMC inpatient rehabilitation unit has been opened, Michigan Medicine has been able to provide comprehensive acute rehabilitation services to more patients than ever in our history,” said Edward A. Hurvitz, M.D., professor and chair of the Michigan Medicine Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “Our unit there provides a high-level patient experience with private rooms, beautiful space and a dedicated team of rehabilitation professionals working towards restoring function for patients with complex neurologic injury and other functional impairments.  It is a wonderful addition to our University Hospital program and great setting for our faculty to practice, teach and expand their research.”

Michigan Medicine physicians and neuropsychologists provide clinical care and oversight at the inpatient unit in Chelsea, where PM&R residents also take rotations. The most acute patients are still seen at University Hospital, but the SMJC location takes an array of cases, including patients with strokes, brain injuries and neurological disorders.

“St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea is focused on enhancing and expanding vital health care resources and services for our community,” said Nancy K. Graebner-Sundling, president and CEO of SJMC. “During its first year, the Michigan Medicine-St. Joe’s Chelsea Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Program has provided patients a healing environment to recover from a wide range of neurologic injuries by offering them rehabilitation services delivered by an exceptional team who embody the compassionate heart of our award-winning hospital. This unit has already become a key part of what makes us a trusted health care leader in Chelsea and the surrounding communities.” 

PM&R is one of several Michigan Medicine programs providing patient care at SJMC. You can learn more about such programs, including the inpatient heart failure service and hospitalist service.

Content is courtesy of Michigan Medicine

Yom Kippur 2021 Reflection

Begins at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 15 and ends at sundown on Thursday, Sept. 16
Paul Arnold, D.Min., BCC – Manager of Spiritual Care, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Livingston

Humility is a spiritual discipline not seen or taught much in our American culture. In times of crisis, it appears that many leaders are taught to deny responsibility and deflect the conversation to talk about other people’s faults. 

Each year, Jewish believers observe Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, ten days after Rosh Hashanah (or the Jewish New Year). For those in the Jewish faith, Yom Kippur means acknowledging your misdeeds during the past year, looking for opportunities to apologize or make things right, and asking for forgiveness and a fresh start. This deep, reflective, and challenging day is considered as the holiest day of the Jewish year.

There is a deep sense of realness or authenticity when people are willing to humble themselves, acknowledge their faults, and seek to atone for their actions with the people affected. Not many people are willing seek to follow this path of atonement and hope to just keep things buried in the past. Jesus taught on humility in a surprising way to His disciples in Matthews 18:1-4.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

On this day of Atonement, may we all see the greatness of humility, the power of forgiveness, and the hope of a restored relationship.

Terry Keilman Retired from SJMAA on September 10

The turn of the century brought with it the fear of a Y2K meltdown, the debut album by a fresh new band named Coldplay and it brought Terry Keilman to St. Joe’s.  Terry started her career with us as a Warehouse Clerk for the Trinity Continuing Care group.  As part of her duties, she would deliver items like wheel chairs, hospital beds, oxygen concentrators and more to the far reaches of the service area which included Cadillac/Grayling, Muskegon/Grand Rapids, Port Huron, Novi and Ann Arbor. Let’s just say that Terry covered a lot of ground.  After Trinity Health sold that line of business, Terry started her work within the Hospital, as a Surgical Instrument Tech for the Ortho Team. After three years of doing that work, she joined us in Supply Chain as a Specialist serving the Anesthesia Department and has been doing this ever since. 

On September 10, Terry is going to hang up her scrubs and enter into retirement.  She and her husband plan to travel as much as the possible, without being away from the grand kids for too long. I asked Terry what was the best part was about working at St. Joe’s and she said: “The people I have met and the friends I made, along with all the things I learned over the years working in health care, and being able to pass on my knowledge. Also, I’m happy that I made a difference in our patients’ care.” 

Terry has always brought a sense of pride and dedication to her work, insuring that her areas have what they require to best serve the needs of our patients.  She will obviously be missed by all those that have been fortunate enough to work with her.  God bless you and your family Terry. We hope your retirement is long, healthy and happy.

LOA and FMLA Administration Services Available to All Colleagues

As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our colleague experience, effective Sept. 14, 2021, The Hartford will begin providing leave of absence (LOA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) administration services to all St. Joseph Mercy colleagues including FMLA, ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act) and elective leaves of absence. The Hartford currently manages our short- and long-term disability programs, so this change means you will now have a single point of contact for all disability and leave requests.

What this means for you:

  • Continuous leaves with a start date before Sept. 14, 2021: Colleagues who are currently on an approved continuous leave of absence (LOA) prior to Sept. 14, 2021 will continue to be managed by the local Leave Administrator; however, after September 14, 2021,the colleague can reach out to the Hartford for any questions related to their leave.
  • Continuous leaves with a start date on or after Sept. 14, 2021: Colleagues should notify their immediate supervisor of their need for a leave of absence and initiate their request with The Hartford. The Hartford will determine eligibility and provide the colleague with Rights & Responsibilities, Eligibility Notice and Physician Certification form.
  • All intermittent leaves: For any intermittent claims reported Sept. 14 or later, Colleagues will open a new intermittent leave of absence and report any intermittent absences to their immediate supervisor/timekeeper and The Hartford. Please note all intermittent FMLA dates must be reported to The Hartford on the same or following business day in which the absence occurs, or the time will be denied for late reporting. Intermittent dates can be reported telephonically to The Hartford or online via The Hartford My Benefits site.
  • Return to Work Releases must be submitted to the Leave of Absence email (see below)
  • It is important to reach out to The Hartford timely as well as provide complete and accurate documentation. Untimely notifications and incomplete paperwork will be subject to review and may result in a denial.

THE HARTFORD CONTACT INFORMATION: (On or after Sept. 14, 2021)

Phone: 1-855-532-7880 (Monday – Friday, 9 am – 9 pm EST)

Policy: #398436

Mailing address: The Hartford, P.O. Box 14285, Lexington, KY  40512-4305

Website: (for colleagues to manage their Leave Of Absence online)


Primary contact method – email: (email specific to LOA questions)

HR4U Colleague Portal: 

Fax: 1-312-957-3752

Last chance: Finish activities by Sept. 30 to maintain lower per-pay medical coverage cost

Colleagues and spouses/eligible adults enrolled in a Trinity Health medical plan can maintain a lower per-pay cost for medical coverage by completing activities and earning points through our Live Your Whole Live platform. Be sure to complete enough activities to earn 5,000 points and reach Level 4 for quarter 3, which ends on Sept. 30, 2021. Live Your Whole Life is our colleague health and well-being initiative to inspire well-being in body, mind and spirit.

Join now or sign into your free Live Your Whole Life account at You’ll earn 2,500 points just for signing up. To see all the ways to participate and earn points, visit How to Earn under the Home tab on the website or Rewards on the mobile app. Customer Service is available to answer your questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, via live chat on or by calling 855-491-8781.

Both you and your covered spouse/eligible adult (if applicable) can each earn 2,500 points for recording your completed COVID-19 vaccination. Sign in to the Live Your Whole Life account and navigate to your My Care Checklist under the Health tab to enter the details of your COVID-19 vaccine.

The Live Your Whole life platform features an array of tools to help you to walk extra steps each day, select healthier menu choices, explore new methods to manage stress and achieve health goals.

Laura Kobylas’s Exceptional Efforts to Support Residents Earn Her the BeRemarkable Award

OAKLAND – Residency programs can be difficult and intensive, as new physicians undertake the necessary post-graduate education to transition into their careers. Fortunately for residents at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, they have Laura Kobylas in their corner. Laura, a GME Specialist, listened to resident concerns during a challenging time and worked with leaders to develop innovative solutions. Her extraordinary efforts to support resident physicians earned her the latest BeRemarkable Award.

Laura was nominated by a colleague, who shared how she has gone above and beyond to help residents succeed. Earlier this year, the GME department had two unexpected resignations. Laura stepped in to help fill the gaps caused by these departures, and began to proactively identify new ways to help students. Her colleague wrote, “Laura noticed that residents were struggling with a lack of mentoring and guidance subsequent to the loss of Program Director and Coordinator and reached out to Medical Education Leadership to schedule group and individual meetings to address resident concerns. Laura also began collecting and organizing important program documentation for multiple committee meetings… As a result of her interventions, we initiated multiple meetings, interviews, and new protocols to support these resident physicians.”

Thanks to Laura’s efforts and forward thinking, the residents were able to receive the support they needed during a challenging transition period. At the award ceremony, Laura was sure to note that many of her initiatives involved a team effort, and to thank her fellow colleagues for their hard work as well. Congratulations, Laura!