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”

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.

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!

Changes to Outlook Email Distribution Group Management Coming Aug.18

Outlook email distribution groups are moving to Microsoft 365 on Aug. 18 and will be re-named to include “-0365.” All messages sent to the previous email address will automatically forward to the new address with the “-0365” extension.

After that date, follow these steps when you want to be added as a member to an email distribution group in Outlook:

  1. In Outlook, type the distribution group email address in the “to” field of a new message
  2. Right click on the email address to view details
  3. Click on “Members”
  4. The colleague who owns that group will be displayed under “Owner.” (If there is no owner displayed, submit a ServiceNow request and note that there is no group owner. TIS will add you)
  5. Email the owner of the group and request to be added as a member
  6. The owner will add you as a member or explain why the request is denied

The change will occur on Aug. 18 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. There could be a 15 – 30 min. interruption of service for messages sent to the old email address (the one that excludes -0365) during this time and the sender will receive an undeliverable message. No other interruption of service is expected.

For distribution group owners
After Aug. 18, add and delete members from the groups you own in Outlook following this job aid.

Pete Kowalak, SJMO Security Officer, Honored with BeRemarkable Award

OAKLAND – Our Security team does more than keep colleagues and patients safe; they also contribute to patient care and improve the patient experience. Pete Kowalak, a Security Officer at SJMO, demonstrated this by helping calm an upset patient through a friendly conversation. This allowed the care team to focus on higher-acuity patients. For his kindness and compassion, Pete was honored with the BeRemarkable Award.

Pete was nominated by a colleague, who shared how Pete had helped the Emergency Department team at a stressful time. She wrote, “This evening was a particularly difficult shift in the Emergency Department… One of our nurses was overwhelmed with her assignment, and most of her time was being occupied by one patient with dementia what would almost continuously attempt to elope. Pete was assigned to the ED at the time, and he moved to that patient so that he could still watch the psychiatric patients. He was so kind to her, and he was distracting her from her desire to leave by staying with her and conversing about her family and her holidays.”

The colleague continued, “We were waiting for her husband to arrive so that the husband would stay with her and calm her enough to keep her in the ED. Pete ended up staying with her until her husband came, which allowed for the nurse to care for her other patients (one of which was critical and really needed her time) and the patient to be happy and comfortable in his care.”

Congratulations, Pete! Your compassion and thoughtfulness not only helped calm the nerves of a patient in distress, but allowed the care team to tend to other patients in need.

Woodward Ave. to Close for Event, Aug. 13 – 15; Alternative Route for SJMO Colleagues


OAKLAND – Woodward Avenue will be closed from Rapid Street to South Boulevard from 9 p.m. on Friday, August 13 through 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 15. South Boulevard will also be closed from Franklin Road to the railroad tracks on the east side of Woodward. This closure is taking place for a drag racing event at the M1 Concourse.

SJMO colleagues and Medical Staff should be prepared to take an alternative route during this time. Please allow for extra time if this will affect your commute.

Suggested Route: From the west – Head east on M 59, turn right on Woodward Ave. Turn left on Orchard Lake/Auburn Ave, then turn right on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Turn right on Woodward Ave. and left at the first turnaround to head south on Woodward. The hospital will be on your right.

St. Joe’s Oakland Pharmacy Offers New Curbside Meds-To-Go Service

OAKLAND – Patients in the Emergency Department at St. Joe’s Oakland now have access to a convenient new prescription service. The St. Joe’s Pharmacy is proud to offer curbside Meds-To-Go, which allows patients to pick up their prescriptions curbside at the hospital, preventing another stop on the way home. The curbside Meds-to-Go service for ER patients is offered in addition to our bedside Meds-to-Go program, which is intended for inpatients nearing discharge.

How it works:

  • Patients should ask their ER physician to send prescriptions electronically to the on-site pharmacy.
  • Our pharmacy will fulfill the prescriptions and deliver it to patients curbside at the hospital main entrance valet area off Woodward Ave.
  • Our pharmacy will work with physicians if the patient’s insurance requires a prior authorization.
  • Credit cards or cash is accepted.
  • Curbside delivery for the ER is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

To learn more, please call the Pharmacy at (248) 858-3059.

ServiceNow Login Update Effective August 17 

Beginning Aug. 17, 2021, Trinity Health ServiceNow, our application for technical support, will verify your identity at login using Microsoft Azure, the cloud-based, single-sign on program we use for several other applications (Outlook, Teams, etc.). Trinity Information Services will transition the ServiceNow sign-in process from the “purple page” to the Microsoft solution (Azure) used to access Microsoft 365 applications. 

What you need to do  

  • Beginning Aug. 17, log into ServiceNow using your Microsoft cloud username (your Trinity Health email address or the same username you use to log into Microsoft 365) and your standard Trinity Health network password.   


More Information  

  • This update is part of Trinity Health’s ongoing migration of applications to Microsoft Azure, a secure program frequently updated to keep your information secure, to authenticate users’ identities.   
  • An added benefit will be less frequent logins to other Trinity Health applications, as a “cookie/token” will be established. This will mean that once you’ve logged into one application using Microsoft Azure, you will be automatically authenticated into all other applications while the single sign-on tokens remain active.   

St. Joe’s Hypertension Clinical Research Study is Looking for Patients

OAKLAND – St. Joe’s Oakland has launched a clinical research study that evaluates the potential benefits of an investigational device-based intervention (Symplicity Spyral™) for high blood pressure. This investigational procedure targets the nerves around the kidney arteries and is being investigated for its potential to improve the control of blood pressure.

Patients may be eligible for this study if they:

  • Are between 20 and 80 years old
  • Have controlled or moderately controlled blood pressure and take up to three anti-hypertensive drugs
  • Are willing to complete required testing and follow up visits through 36 months

Interested patients should call the St. Joe’s clinical research hotline at 248-858-6962 to find out if they are eligible to participate in the study.

For more details about the device used in this clinical investigation, call Susan Oblak, RN, BSN Research Coordinator at 248-858-6962.