2021 Heart Month Calendar

Celebrate with us by attending any of the following heart month activities!

Heart Smart Cooking: Live WebEx Demo, Wednesday, Feb. 3, Noon – 1 p.m.: Join us for a fun and interactive virtual class with our St. Joe’s Registered Dietitians! This webinar will include heart healthy nutritional tips, cooking tricks, and a Q&A session. No registration required. On the day of the event, click here to access the webinar. This session will be recorded for educational purposes.

Recipes: G-Bombs Savory Oatmeal and Curried Lentil Soup

Share the Love! Wednesday, Feb 10, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Main Lobby: Looking for a way to bring a smile to the face of that dedicated colleague who always goes above and beyond? Join the Colleague Support Team in the Ann Arbor Main Lobby to create a Valentine and express your gratitude like only a homemade card and a piece of dark chocolate can! This special event is in partnership with the Cardiovascular Service Line to celebrate Heart Month.

Get Ready for the 2021 Washtenaw County Heart Walk!, Wednesday, Feb. 10: Help support the American Heart Association by signing up for the 2021 Heart Walk! St. Joe’s Ann Arbor has been a top Heart Walk supporter over the years, raising funds for groundbreaking research, critical patient education and community projects. Register your team and yourself today! Donate or raise $25 to receive the St. Joe’s team shirt.

Wholehearted Fitness: Live Online Demo, Wednesday, Feb. 17, Noon – 1 p.m.: Join us for this live webinar with MOVE Wellness that will cover all facets of heart healthy movement, including breathing techniques, mindfulness, and whole-body exercises. All fitness levels welcome! Registration is required for this session. Go to the Move Wellness to register today!

Thrive Juicery: Healthy Eating Tutorial, Wednesday, Feb. 24, Noon – 1 p.m. Stop by the Ann Arbor Main Lobby on February 24 for a healthy eating tutorial from members of the St. Joe’s Lifestyle Medicine team and Thrive Juicery! Join us to learn about their fresh cold-pressed juices and how you can have a tastier snack time.

American Heart Association Day, Wednesday, Feb. 24: For this year’s AHA day, we’re going digital! Get a refresher on how to perform Hands Only CPR and check out their Healthy Living Resources that can help you get moving, warm up to cold weather work-outs, and remind you to Add Color to diet. Be sure to sign up for the 2021 Heart Walk and join the St. Joe’s team!

For event questions, contact: Lacey Sapkiewicz, Cardiovascular Services, 734-712-2163, Lacey.sapkiewicz@stjoeshealth.org

Don’t Forget to Breathe

By Jennifer Buehrer, LMSW

Don’t forget to breathe…a phrase commonly used in the practice of meditation, yoga and, of course, childbirth. Outside of those circles this phrase can sound cliché, and much too simple to take seriously. But the truth is, it works.

Right now – take a minute or two to stop what you’re doing and take 2-3 deep, slow breaths. Once you’ve done that, pause another minute to notice how your body feels. Do you feel it? When I take the time to do this, I can feel my pulse slow down, and even feel the endorphins flow from my brain down through the rest of my body. There’s a reason that when we’re stressed, we tend to sigh. It’s our brain telling us to breathe.

Breathing is something most of us take for granted every day. I mean, how could we function if we were always paying attention to such a constant, essential function of our bodies? But watching what so many of our patients are going through during this pandemic gives me reason to pause and consider it a bit more often. How an invisible, microscopic organism can rob us of our most basic life-giving function is a mystery to me. But each breath I take is another reminder of how fleeting this most basic function can be.

Last week I wrote about slowing down and being intentional about how we resume our lives after this pandemic. It struck a chord with a lot of you, and I am grateful for that. Now let’s talk about extending that intention to the idea that life itself is not something to be taken for granted. The delicate nature of our breath is a metaphor for the delicate nature of life… and awareness of that can bring everything into perspective.

We’re all working our tails off to get our community through this crisis. Coming out of this alive is a big win, for all of us. Stop, take a breath or two, and recognize that. Maybe even pat yourself on the back (if that’s hard for you to do, then yoga might help). While we’re at it, let’s take a moment each day to thank each other for the part each of us plays in helping our community survive this. Every breath is a reminder of our success.

Jennifer Buehrer, LMSW, is a palliative care social worker at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.


Empathy Overload: Managing the Emotional Impact of Covid-19 on Caregivers

By Jennifer Hill Buehrer LMSW

I am what is called an empath. This leads me to feel empathy so naturally that I mirror others’ emotions, and I even feel them in my body. This in itself isn’t abnormal or unhealthy, but if I don’t practice letting go of those emotions, I will carry them with me and they will make me sick. This is what I’m calling empathy overload, and it’s certainly something I don’t need right now.

I imagine a lot of you feel the same, at least to some degree. Watching our colleagues carry the burden of caring for the victims of this pandemic day after day makes my heart hurt. This kind of empathy is what led me to be a social worker, but it’s also something I have to learn to manage. I often compare this pandemic to a war, and I feel like a medic – trying to care for those on the front lines, and often feeling like I’m not helping enough. Now more than ever it is critical for all of us to manage the emotional impact of this work: social workers, nurses, PCTs, respiratory therapists. All of us.

Thankfully there are resources being offered up from all directions because we are all fighting in this war together.

I recently started a program called “Yoga for Empaths” through a website called Daily OM. This is another online resource that offers programs for all kinds of needs, and that allows you to decide what you pay for a class if you sign up for one. Along with the class you have the option of receiving inspirational e-mails, articles on wellness, etc. My class offers not only yoga, but journaling exercises, and even recipes. Many are fitness related, but many go well beyond.

For those who prefer religious meditations, the Catholic Health Association has a number of short meditations on YouTube that are specific to health care workers. You can practice these non-denominational meditations almost anywhere, anytime in your day when you start to feel overloaded, whether with empathy, anxiety, or fear.

Trinity Health offers free tools and resources through Carebridge, our Employee Assistance Program, at no cost to support you and your loved ones (dependents, including college students, spouses and anyone living in your household). Carebridge has recently launched several new opportunities, including weekly online “stress check-ins” to assist health care workers. View the detailed list of resources and instructions for registration.

The point is not that yoga, and writing, and eating well are going to get me through this unscathed. The point is that I have to be intentional and active in managing the toll this pandemic is taking on me psychologically. And in turn I hope to be able to help others do the same.

Jennifer Buehrer , LMSW, is a palliative care social worker at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor

Health Tips While Working From Home


Working at a computer work station all day can take a toll on the body. Repetitive activities and lack of mobility can contribute to aches, pains, and eventual injuries.

Sitting at a desk while using the keyboard for hours on a day to day basis can result in poor circulation to joints and muscles. It can also create an imbalance in strength and flexibility of certain muscles, and muscle strain. These issues can be easily remedied by taking frequent short breaks, or “micro breaks,” throughout your day.

  • Get out of your chair several times a day and move around—even for 30 seconds
  • Roll your shoulders backwards
  • Turn your head side to side
  • Stretch out your forearms and your legs

Additionally, specific guidelines for your work station can help maximize your comfort and safety.

Your chair should have the following:

  • Wheels (5 for better mobility)
  • The ability to twist freely on its base
  • Adjustable height
  • Adjustable arm rests that will allow you to sit close to your desk
  • Lumbar support
  • Seat base that adjusts to a comfortable angle and allows you to sit up straight

The position of the keyboard is critical:

  • The keyboard should be at a height that allows you to have your forearms slightly below a horizontal line—or your elbows at slightly more than a 90-degree angle.
  • You should be able to slide your knees under the keyboard tray or desk.
  • Avoid reaching for the keyboard by extending your arms or raising your shoulders.
  • Try to avoid having the keyboard on top of your desk. That is too high for almost everyone—unless you can raise your seat. The elbow angle is the best test of keyboard position.

The position of your computer monitor is important:

  • The monitor should be directly in front of you.
  • The top of the monitor should be at your eye level, and at a distance where you can see it clearly without squinting, or leaning forward or backward.
  • If you need glasses for reading, you may need to have a special pair for use at your computer to avoid tipping your head backward to see through bifocals or other types of reading glasses.

With Restaurants Closed, Here are Home Recipes for You and Your Family

Are you in need of healthy and delicious recipes for you and your family while restaurants are not an option?  Registered Dietitian Amy Bragganini has three recipes that are simple to make, utilize just a few ingredients and are easy to freeze and store.

Frittata made of eggs, potato, bacon, paprika, parsley, green peas

Anything Goes Frittata

(You can use WHATEVER you have around your house!!! For every six eggs, use 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup cheese, and 2 cups total of vegetables and/or meat.)


6 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients

1/4 cup heavy cream/whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

4 slices thick-cut bacon (8 ounces), chopped (optional)

2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups baby spinach (2 ounces)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme leaves (use less if dried)

1 cup shredded cheese, such as Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar (optional)


  1. Heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs and cream together. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon. Place the bacon in a cold 10- to 12-inch nonstick ovensafe frying pan or cast iron skillet, then turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (If omitting the bacon, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet, then proceed with adding the potatoes).
  4. Saute the potatoes in bacon fat. Return the pan to medium-heat, add the potatoes and sprinkle with the pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Wilt the spinach with the garlic and thyme. Pile the spinach into the pan with the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.
  6. Add the cheese. Spread the vegetables into an even layer, flattening with a spatula. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
  8. Bake the frittata for 8 to 10 minutes. Bake until the eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. For a browned, crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.
  9. Cool and serve. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.


Dried Cranberry and Oat Energy Balls

Oat/Peanut Butter Bites


For 6 servings

½ cup rolled oats

⅓ cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon dark chocolate chip, optional

salt, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Use a spoon or tablespoon to evenly divide the mixture into 6 balls. Use your hands to form the ball.

Enjoy one now and save the rest for later by storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

baked enchiladas of rolled corn tortillas

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

(This recipe is so nice because you can use two frozen chicken breasts and have meals for days and days. And it freezes beautifully.)


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (can use dry cilantro as well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced and 1 avocado diced (these are optional)


1 .Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.

  1. Stir in chicken broth, quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, or until liquid is reduced.
  2. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
  3. Stir chicken into the slow cooker; top with cheeses. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with avocado and tomato, if desired.


Sun Dried Tomato, White Bean and Artichoke pasta salad

 Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 16 oz pasta fusilli pasta, or other short cut pasta
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 14 oz white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 6 oz sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts for garnish, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl
  2. Add the basil pesto to the pasta and stir until the pasta is well coated. Gently stir in the white beans, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh basil and pine nuts, if using. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Farm Grown Peppers on the Menu at Market Cafe

Peppers from The Farm @ St. Joe’s will be featured in the Market Café throughout the month of August. Read on to learn how peppers get their spiciness, and other facts about this favorite vegetable to make bland dishes more appealing.

  • Domesticated in Mexico, peppers have been used to make bland dishes more appealing for thousands of years.
  • Peppers are a hot weather crop, and they are only produced in Michigan over the summer, ready for harvest between July and October and into November by extending the season.
  • There are hundreds of varieties of peppers, and they are generally classified as either sweet or spicy.
  • Peppers are unique vegetables because they contain alkaloids called capsaicinoids that make hot peppers spicy. These compounds are mostly concentrated in the lightly colored “ribs” found inside peppers. Pepper seeds do not contain any of these compounds, but they can taste spicy because they come into contact with the pepper ribs.
  • The spiciness of peppers is typically measured on the Scoville Scale ranging from zero Scovilles (SHUs) to over 1,000,000! Sweet peppers such as bells, sweet bananas and pimentos typically rate at or below 100 SHU, hotter peppers like serranos are in the range of 5,000 to 15,000 SHUs, and some of the hottest peppers, such as the ghost pepper, can rate from 800,000 to over 1,000,000 SHUs. Due to the extreme spiciness of these peppers, they are mostly used in very small quantities.
  • Sweet peppers, mainly bell pepper varieties, make up the majority of pepper production in Michigan, and are suitable for eating raw and do not come with the risk of a burnt tongue.
  • Peppers grown for processing are often harvested mechanically. The machine commonly used to harvest them is made in Saginaw, Michigan.
  • Red peppers are simply ripened green peppers.

Growing Season/Storage Tips (1,2):

  • While you most often may see sweet bell peppers, Michigan farmers grow a wide variety of both sweet and hot peppers. Fresh Michigan peppers are available every year starting in July and going through October.
  • Nearly 1,500 farms produce peppers, covering 2,200 acres across Michigan. About 900 of these farms produce bell peppers.
  • Fresh peppers should be refrigerated, preferably in 80% to 90% relative humidity.
  • Choose firm, bright peppers with tight skin that are heavy for their size. Avoid dull, shriveled, or pitted peppers
  • Refrigerate bell peppers in a plastic bag for up to 5 days
  • Wash peppers just before use. To wash, use cold water and remove any dirt.
  • Once peppers are cut, they are very susceptible to spoilage
  • Wear gloves when handling hot peppers, such as chili peppers. Capsaicin, one of the chemicals that make peppers hot, can burn skin and is especially painful if it comes into contact with your eyes.


Nutrition Info (2):

  • All peppers are high in vitamins A and C. Richly colored peppers, especially the red, orange and purple varieties, are packed with these vitamins.
  • Peppers are a good source of lycopene and beta-carotene, which are phytochemicals often found in orange and red fruits and vegetables. These nutrients have high antioxidant properties, which help eliminate free radicals in the body that can damage tissues.
  • Red peppers have more vitamin C, lycopene, and carotene than green bell peppers.


  1.  https://www.cultivatemichigan.org
  2. https://stjoefarm.wordpress.com/veggie-pages/bell-peppers/
  3. https://puckerbuttpeppercompany.com/blogs/insights/the-measure-of-a-pepper-head-and-what-makes-a-scoville-sauce



Sign up now for Summer and Fall 2019 Farm Share Program

Want to eat more fresh fruits and veggies? Join the St. Joe’s Farm Share, and receive a weekly or bi-weekly box of seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farms. Print flyer

Spring |April 10 – June 26 – CLOSED
12 weeks of tender spring greens, early carrots, peas, beets etc. New this year, we are including oats, honey, beans, and other grains! FullHalf

Summer| July 3 – Sept. 18
Get the best of the hot weather crops: blueberries, peaches, tomatoes ,eggplant, zucchini, corn, and melons! FullHalf

Fall | Sept. 25 – Dec. 11
Stock your pantry with potatoes, squash, apples, beets, and carrots, while enjoying tender spinach, kale, and other leafy greens. FullHalf

Pick up at the Farm: 5557 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti
Wednesday afternoons to Sunday evenings

Individual Seasons

Whole Share: $276 | Pick up every week
Half Share: $156 | Pick up every other week

Or sign up for the individual seasons. Each season is 12 weeks and costs $276(full share) or $156 (half share)

Medical Residents can use stipend dollars to pay for the program. Use the registration links below:

Safety Month Wellness Wednesday – June 12

Trauma cupANN ARBOR – Spend a few minutes at the Safety Month Wellness Wednesday on June 12 with your St. Joe’s Ann Arbor colleagues.

Wellness Wednesday: Safety Month
Wednesday, June 12
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
St. Joe’s Ann Arbor – Event Center

Visit the event center to learn about safety initiatives at St. Joe’s and in the community. Talk with security about ALICE, learn about the National Stop the Bleed initiative, have a conversation with our Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services about staying safe on the road, and more!

The first 100 visitors will receive a St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Level 1 Trauma Center Stainless Steel Tumbler. Don’t fret if you missed the annual helmet sale. Bike helmets will be available for $10!

Join MOVE on Employee Health & Fitness Day

ANN ARBOR – Join St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Wellness Coordinator Abby McCleery and MOVE Wellness on Thursday, May 16 for Employee Health and Fitness Day.
Learn about the different wellness initiatives on campus, pick up a walking map, MOVE class schedule, and helpful handouts with exercises for building a better back, neck tension stretches, and stretches for sitters.
The first 25 people will also receive $5 vouchers to the Farmers Market and a reusable tote bag from The Farm at St. Joe’s. Sign up for the MOVE newsletter and enter a drawing for MOVE’s introductory package at their studio.

Employee Health and Fitness Day
St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Event Center
Thursday, May 16
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.