Juneteenth Day Reflection

Sean Lansing, PhD – Director, Mission Integration, Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus

On June 19, 1865 Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced that all previously enslaved people were free. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation when Union troops finally made it that far south.

This day has been memorialized in celebration ever since and is now known as the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery. It is commonly known as Juneteenth Day.

For many communities all over the United States of America, Juneteenth Day is a time spent with families and the community reflecting on what freedom means. It is also a day of education about our history as a country and our relationship to slavery and racism. It is an opportunity to look back, so as we look forward, we walk toward a future of emancipation for all people from racism and all that divides us from being one human family.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has written a prayer service for racial healing in our land. The following prayer comes from that prayer service.

God of Heaven and Earth,

You created the one human family and endowed each person with great dignity. Aid us, we pray, in overcoming the sin of racism.

Grant us your grace in eliminating this blight from our hearts, our communities, our social and civil institutions. Fill our hearts with love for you and our neighbor so that we may work with you in healing our land from racial injustice.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Jennifer Hack Helps Patient on Road to Recovery, Receives DAISY Award

LIVONIA – For patients facing a substance use disorder, a health provider’s kindness and lack of judgment can make a world of difference. For one patient struggling with alcohol addiction, Jennifer Hack, an RN on 3 South, was that person. Her compassion earned her this month’s DAISY Award.

In the nomination form, the patient wrote, “I was admitted as an alcoholic.  Knowing that I brought this upon myself, I had not anticipated the level of attention, commitment, dedication, and kindness that an individual I had never met could show a person… Jen communicated with my family in clear detail, so that they could understand fully what was going on.  She stayed extra to communicate with the next shift to discuss my case, as I was sort of a medical mystery as to what was affecting my system besides the alcohol.  At one point Jen went above and beyond even bleaching the entire bathroom.  As I began to feel better Jen would check on me often, more so than she needed to.”

The patient then discussed how comfortable they felt confiding in Jen, and added, “I looked forward to every time she came into my room with her humor, passion for her job, support for her co-workers, and the attention to detail in everything she does… People like Jen are rare.”

Thank you, Jen, for going above and beyond to make this patient feel cared for and comfortable during a stressful time.

Theresa Castagna Honored for Inspiring Patients who Battle Addictions

LIVONIA – Theresa Castagna, an RN on St. Mary Mercy Livonia’s Chemical Dependency Unit (CDU), helps change the lives of our most vulnerable patient populations. She hosts group sessions to help those struggling with addictions, and based on the feedback from patients, her kindness, honesty, and respect are large factors in their success. With five nominations from patients, Theresa was honored with this month’s BeRemarkable Award.

One of the patients who nominated Theresa wrote, “She made me feel like I could be sober. She is caring, kind and extremely personable.  She made me feel special with a hug when I first came in and I was scared, she instantly calmed me.”

Another patient shared, “Theresa truly cares and has compassion for her patients.  Her sessions are invaluable and spot on!  There was one session in particular that had me laughing and crying.  I left it uplifted.  I’d love if she had sessions outside of those who are hospitalized.”

Each of the nominations praised Theresa for her thoughtful and inspiring approach to her work. Congratulations Theresa, and thank you for making a difference in so many lives.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for St. Joe’s & IHA Livonia Medical Center

LIVONIA – On a beautiful spring afternoon, St. Joe’s, IHA, and other community leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of the new St. Joe’s & IHA Livonia Medical Center at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Livonia Medical Center is a 124,000 square-foot facility situated on the campus of Schoolcraft College, adjacent to I-275. It houses a wide variety of medical service lines, including family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, general diagnostics, a lab, a women’s specialty imaging center, retail pharmacy, and more. An ambulatory surgery center will also open in August. Visit www.livoniamedicalcenter.com for a full list of services and opening dates.

Dave Spivey, President and CEO of St. Mary Mercy Livonia, spoke at the ceremony, expressing his excitement for the additional services and convenience offered to the community. Mike Slubowski, President and CEO of Trinity Health, was also in attendance.

The new facility was also blessed before the ribbon was cut by Livonia Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan. After the ceremony concluded, guests were invited inside to tour the space.

Read more for local press coverage on the new facility.

Dr. Paul Makela Honored for Performing 1,000 da Vinci Surgeries

LIVONIA – Paul Makela, MD was honored on Friday, May 7 for performing more than 1,000 surgeries with the da Vinci surgical system. Dr. Makela, a gynecologist with Westside OB/GYN & Urogynecology Livonia, specializes in minimally-invasive robotic surgeries, and has helped many women suffering from gynecological and urinary issues.

George Tuttle, a representative with da Vinci Systems, was onsite for the award presentation. He shared that Dr. Makela had performed surgery for one of his loved ones, which provided her with immense relief from her medical symptoms. He stated, “Dr. Makela changed her life for the better. He’s incredible, and I think the world of him.”

During the presentation, Dr. Makela was also surprised with a video from his sister, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. She said, “I know this is a milestone in the surgical world, but when I think about how many lives you have improved, your patients and their families, I couldn’t be more proud.”

Congratulations to Dr. Makela for reaching this milestone, and thank you for using your knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of others.

St. Joe’s & IHA Livonia Medical Center Opens Its Doors

LIVONIA – After approximately 18 months of construction, the new St. Joe’s & IHA Livonia Medical Center has now officially opened. This 124,000-square-foot health care facility is located adjacent to I-275 off Seven Mile Road on the newly renamed St. Joe’s Parkway campus service drive.

At this new, state-of-the-art location, St. Joe’s and IHA are bringing together leading health care providers and services to offer a continuum of care under one roof to Livonia and the surrounding communities.

“We have been working to bring health care out into the community where people live, work and play, and this medical center located on the Schoolcraft College campus is a great example of that successful effort,” said Rob Casalou, president and CEO, Trinity Health Michigan.

The new center opened on Monday, April 19, with St. Joe’s Medical Group (SJMG) Sports Medicine as the first practice to move in, followed by IHA Livonia Primary Care on April 26.

The IHA Urgent Care, previously located within the Jeffress Center on campus, relocated to the new building on April 23. The urgent care is open 7 days a week, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including holidays. 

Additional practices and services are opening over the next few weeks:

  • IHA Orthopaedics – May 3
  • IHA Podiatry – May 3
  • Probility Physical Therapy – May 3
  • SJMG Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery – May 10
  • IHA Obstetrics & Gynecology – May 17
  • IHA Nurse Midwives – May 17
  • Women’s Specialty ImagingDigital Mammography, Breast Ultrasound,
  • 3D Tomography and Bone Density Scans – May 24
  • Diagnostic Imaging -MRI, CT, Ultrasound and X-ray – May 24
  • IHA Livonia Pediatrics – June 1
  • Michigan Brain & Spine Institute – June 7
  • IHA Urology – June 7
  • IHA Vascular & Endovascular Surgery – June 7
  • Lab Services  – June 24
  • Joe’s Java Coffee Shop – Mid-July
  • Retail Pharmacy – August 2
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center – August 16

An ambulatory surgery center is currently under construction to provide outpatient procedures, such as orthopedic and general surgeries, with the ability for overnight stays if necessary. In addition, a full-service retail pharmacy will support the surgical suite, urgent care, and physician offices as well as the entire local community. Onsite amenities, including a coffee shop, will create a comfortable waiting area for patients and their families.

For more information or to reach someone to schedule an appointment, please visit LivoniaMedicalCenter.org.

St. Mary Mercy Livonia Introduces Colleague Resource Groups

LIVONIA – St. Mary Mercy Livonia strives to create an environment that fosters and promotes productivity, creativity and inclusivity for all its colleagues.  To help in these efforts, we have now created Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs), which offer a new opportunity to enhance our inclusive culture.  We hope this initiative will increase awareness and appreciation of cultural differences within our workplace and the community at large.

These CRGs will help us foster a welcoming environment through which colleagues feel supported and included.  They will help to promote individual and collective growth through various resources and networking opportunities, focusing on areas such as recruitment, retention and development opportunities. 

We eagerly invite you to consider joining the newly formed CRGs.  It is our hope that these CRGs will help us live our Core Values in a more intentional way and that St. Mary Mercy Livonia becomes more and more a place of inclusivity and openness so that everyone feels valued, welcomed and safe.  The following CRGs are available to all colleagues:

  • Addictions and Recovery CRG
  • Celebrating Cultural Diversity CRG
  • Grief Support CRG
  • Healthy Living CRG
  • P.R.I.S.M. (aka PRIDE in the Workplace) CRG
  • Spirituality & Wellness CRG
  • Veterans CRG

If you are interested in joining a CRG, please complete the SMML CRG MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION or scan the QR code below. If you have any questions, please email CRG@stjoeshealth.org.

Reflection for Earth Day, April 22

By Rev. Kathy Schell, Director of Mission Integration, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea

Earth Day, April 22, has always been a significant day for me, as my daughter’s birthday falls on that day.  My mother in law made a joke about the timing of her birth by calling me “Earth Mother!” I was so exhausted that hours ticked by before the allusion sunk into my foggy brain.

Just as my daughter was a blessed gift of new life 31 years ago, so is spring an annual gift bearing renewal of life. I confess to an increasing appreciation of that gift with every year that passes. We have only to glance outside at the flowers and trees blossoming in this season (yes, even in Michigan) to be filled with both awe and hope. This enduring hope, and the solace so often found in nature, is crucial in the “COVID times” in which we live.

In the past year, I have heard numerous people attest that stepping outside and walking, biking, gardening, or simply sitting with attention, has been essential for their emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Here at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, our behavioral health patients walk our beautiful hospital grounds with staff every day, weather permitting. This activity has been part of the therapy schedule for many years, with wise and good reason: nature promotes healing.

Pope Francis said in 2018, “Defense of the Earth has no other purpose than the defense of life.” He reminds us that we have only one planet on which we all live, and our stewardship of Earth ensures life for ourselves and generations to come.

“Gracious God, Creator of the world,
draw us into prayer and celebration this Earth day
as we remember the gifts of your earth and the stewardship you have entrusted to us.
Let us rejoice in the beautiful gift of creation,
the mystery and glory of nature and the earth that has been put into the care of our hands.
Grant us the wisdom and will to conserve your creation.”
(A prayer from the Catholic Health Association)

5th Annual Regional Resident Research Day Winners

The 5th annual Regional Resident Research Day was held on March 26, 2021. This event included scientific presentations by residents from St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, St. Mary Mercy Livonia, and Wayne State University Anesthesia. Presenters discussed clinical case reports, quality improvement studies/educational innovation studies, and original research.

Residents gave over 80 presentations at the event. The winner results by category are listed below, with a more detailed list of their studies here. Thank you to all the participants in the regional event, who all did an excellent job, and congratulations to all our winners! If you have any questions, please contact: Melody Dankha at melody.dankha@stjoeshealth.org.

Original Research Presentation Winners:

  • First Place Winner: Kathleen Stipek, DO – Emergency Medicine – St. Mary Mercy Livonia
  • Second Place Winner: Kaitlin Zaki-Matias, MD and Christopher Zarour, MD – Diagnostic Radiology – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
  • Third Place Winner: Shelby Booker, DO – OBGYN – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland

Quality Improvement Study Presentation Winners:

  • First Place Winner: Mehvish Khan, PharmD – Pharmacy – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
  • Second Place Winner: Nick Mills, MD and Rajbir Pannu, MD – Transitional Year – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
  • 1) Third Place Winner: Anna Shu, DO – General Surgery – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
  • 2) Third Place Winner: Cameron Strong, MD – Transitional Year/Internal Medicine – St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Case Report Presentation Winners:

  • First Place Winner: Amie Gerodimos, DO – Psychiatry Resident – St. Mary Mercy Livonia
  • Second Place Winner: Jacob Gates, MD – Family Medicine – St. Mary Mercy Livonia
  • Third Place Winner: Jasmeet Kaur, MD and Parveen Dhillon, MS4 – Internal Medicine – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland

Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) presentation Winner:

  • First Place Winner: Michael Zhao, MD – Transitional Year – St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Guidance for Those Who are Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. As more of us become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, CDC guidance advises fully vaccinated people can start to do some things they had stopped doing. People are considered fully vaccinated:  

Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine  

Here’s what you can start doing if you’re fully vaccinated:  

You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.

You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. (However, if you live in a group setting and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.)