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: https://TheHartford.com/MyBenefits (for colleagues to manage their Leave Of Absence online)


Primary contact method – email: LOA_NSA2@trinity-health.org (email specific to LOA questions)

HR4U Colleague Portal: https://hr4u.trinity-health.org 

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 Trinity-Health.org/LYWL. 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 Trinity-Health.org/LYWL 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!

SJMAA DAISY Winners Change Lives Through Kindness, Skill

Dan Tjarks, BSN, RN

11 East Progressive Care Medical Oncology Unit

January 2020 DAISY Award

Dan Tjarks, BSN, RN on 11 East Oncology, is the caliber of nurse anyone would hope to have care for a loved one. His calm, skilled and compassionate approach to the nursing profession helped ease the transition of a patient, while also ensuring the family was supported. Even though Dan had other patients, he made certain that a terminally ill patient received exceptional care by checking in hourly and staying in contact with the Attending and Palliative Care physicians to help ensure the patient was as comfortable as possible. All the while, Dan provided simple, clear but caring updates to the family so they knew what to expect and help prepare themselves for when the patient passed. The family expressed their sincere gratitude for Dan’s understanding and gentle care: “Dan Tjarks is the role model that all health care professionals should endeavor to emulate. From the bottom of our hearts we thank Dan for his knowledge, compassion and dedication to providing our dear sister the best care possible.” 

Remarkable nursing brings comfort and light to patients and their families when they need it most.  We are proud to honor Dan with this DAISY Award for being that caring light.

Amanda Coutts, BSN, RN

Unit – SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit)

July 2020 SJMAA DAISY Winner

Amanda Coutts, RN, BSN has been a member of the St. Joe’s Ann Arbor team since 2015, starting on 2 North PCU and then transferred to SICU in 2020. While working in the fast-paced SICU environment, Amanda continued her education to be a Nurse Practitioner.  This focused drive to improve is balanced with a deeply compassionate and level-headed way of caring for patients and supporting the entire team. 

Amanda was nominated for her DAISY award by a provider who first noticed her quick-thinking, ice-cool way of caring for a difficult, often abusive patient with dementia. In spite of having unpleasant comments yelled at her and the patient lashing out, Amanda not only remained calm and professional, but showed the patient remarkable compassion. The physician also observed Amanda leverage her extensive knowledge and incisive observations to effectively communicate potential issues to the care team, helping to address concerns before they developed into more serious problems. The general surgery physician who nominated Amanda also praised her for taking the time to teach the doctor a few technical skills that helped improve care, but the most vital lessons where around the human side of care: “The most valuable skill I learned from Amanda was about patient care, especially elderly patients… Amanda has the unique ability to diffuse tense situations, calm patients down, which helps prevent falls and other injuries.”

Thank-you Amanda for your commitment to improve the care and safety of our patients, colleagues and providers. Your dedication, heart and ability define the ideals of the DAISY Award.

Suzanne Farris, RN

Unit: Labor and Delivery

October 2020 DAISY Award

Suzanne Farris, RN is more than a dedicated, compassionate nurse.  She cares for her patients and their families with the utmost skill and care, using her more than two decades of experience to provide a positive experience that can last a lifetime. 

Sue has worked as a nurse at St. Joseph Mercy, Ann Arbor for over 22 years.  Patients and families alike often comment on the great care that they received from Sue.

A patient stated: “Sue forever has left an impact on my life and is one of the main reasons I had such a great experience at St. Joe’s.  She was more than my nurse during her shift, she was a friend and family to us.”  That thankful patient explained that Sue was caring for her leading up to the birth of a child, and once the delivery began, Sue stayed well beyond her shift coaching and encouraging the patient, ensuring she was completely comfortable. Because of COVID, the patient was not able to have full family support with her. Sue stepped up when needed and demonstrated the highest ideals of the nursing profession.

Sue’s kindness and compassion are amazing, and she truly deserves to be recognized by the DAISY Award for going above and beyond to provide great care for patients. St. Joe’s is extremely blessed to have her as part of our team. 

Caitlin Spencer, RN

Unit: MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit)

November 2020 DAISY Award

Caitlin began working on 6N PCU as a new graduate nurse and quickly established an excellent reputation as someone willing to take on new challenges.  Her positive outlook and “can do” attitude had an immediate, positive impact on the team. During the COVID surge, Caitlin rapidly trained to work in the MICU – to meet the increased demand for support. Caitlin is always willing to do what she’s asked to do and more, she also stays laser-focused on the needs of her patients.  Caitlin is particularly gifted in connecting with her patients and their families and pours her heart into her work. The family who nominated Caitlin recounted how this talented nurse made every effort to provide their ailing mother with excellent, respectful care as she passed: “Caitlin gave my mother her last moments of dignity, that everyone deserves. I believe she does this for every patient. She didn’t do us any favors or provide us any special treatment, but it was her genuine way of working.  Caitlin’s understanding of human fragility and her humility makes her the best medical professional I have ever witnessed.”

She is not only a joy to work with and an asset to the team, Caitlin is that rare person who can provide personal, highly engaged care to all her patients, regardless of the situation. This balance of heart and skill make Caitlin a worthy DAISY Award winner. Congratulations and thank you.

Anna Brown, RN

Unit – 1 East Inpatient Behavioral Health

December 2020 SJMAA DAISY Winner

Legendary for her upbeat demeanor, kindness and gentle strength, Anna Brown, RN, is playfully referred to as 1 East’s own “Disney Princess.” However, this term of endearment also reflects the team’s immense respect for the intelligent, soft-spoken, yet determined approach to caring for people that won her praise from colleagues and patients over her eight-year career with the 1 East Behavioral Health Unit.  Patients feel blessed to have Anna involved in their care: “I will always remember her smile, kindness and gentle spirit,” said one such patient.  “Anna approached me in the most graceful and humble way during the hardest, most embarrassing and scariest time … I don’t state this lightly, but I credit Anna for saving my life…”   Anna is the definition of a compassionate, kind and caring nurse.

In addition to being a highly skilled RN, Anna’s deep faith is exemplified in her healing approach to patient care and her ever-lasting positive attitude, especially when unexpected events occur.  Being a good steward of people and resources comes naturally to Anna.

She is the recipient of several DAISY nominations – evidence that she is loved and appreciated by her colleagues.  Her approach to patient care and staff relationships is based on compassion and reverence for all she serves.

COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation Support at St. Joe’s Oakland

OAKLAND – Human Resources will be available in the St. Joe’s Oakland Cafeteria on the dates below to provide colleagues support with uploading their COVID-19 vaccine documentation.

If you would like assistance, please have your Trinity Health username and password available and bring your COVID-19 vaccination record.

Monday, 8/30/21Tuesday, 8/31/21
11:00a – 2:00p6:30a – 8:30a
6:30p – 8:30p11:00a – 2:00p  
Thursday, 9/2/21Tuesday, 9/7/21
6:30a – 8:30a6:30a – 8:30a
6:30p – 8:30p6:30p – 8:30p  
Wednesday, 9/8/21Friday, 9/10/21
11:00a – 2:00p6:30a – 8:30a
6:30p – 8:30p11:00a – 2:00p  
Tuesday, 9/14/21Wednesday, 9/15/21
6:30a – 8:30a11:00a – 2:00p
6:30p – 8:30p6:30p – 8:30p  
Friday, 9/17/21Monday, 9/20/21
6:30a – 8:30a11:00a – 2:00p
11:00a – 2:00p6:30p – 8:30p  
Tuesday, 9/21/21 
6:30a – 8:30a 
11:00a – 2:00p 

Kevin Barron Receives DAISY Award for Comforting Patient at End of Life

LIVONIA – While patients are always deserving of compassion, those reaching the end of life may require a special level of care. Kevin Barron, an RN in the ICU, was able to provide this for a patient recently. The family wrote the hospital to share their thoughts on Kevin’s kindness. His empathy made a true difference for a patient reaching the end of life, and earned him this month’s DAISY Award.

Kevin was nominated for the DAISY Award by a patient’s family member, who wrote, “Kevin was exceptionally kind and respectful in his interactions with my brother.  He took a genuine personal interest in [the patient] and in us.  He was patient and calm and honest in his explanations.  He truly gave [my brother] hope and compassion and he felt his caring.  He gave [my brother] the last good day of his life.”

Congratulations, Kevin, and thank you for being there when a patient needed you most.

Walk-in Sessions Start This Week to Help SJMAA, SJML Colleagues Submit COVID Vaccination Documentation

For colleagues who still need to submit COVID vaccination documentation, but need a little help or access to HR4U,  the Human Resources department will offer live support during several walk-in help sessions starting August 25 in Ann Arbor and beginning August 26 in Livingston.  

SJMAA Dates, times and locations are below

(Please note the 6:30 – 8:30 sessions are designated either AM or PM)

Wednesday, August 2511am – 1pmAcross from Events Center
Thursday, August 266:30am – 8:30am
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Cafeteria Cafeteria
Friday, August 276:30pm – 8:30pmCafeteria
Monday, August 306:30pm – 8:30pmCafeteria
Tuesday, August 312:30pm – 4:30pmCafeteria
Wednesday, September 111am – 1pmAcross from Events Center
Thursday, September 26:30am – 8:30amCafeteria
Tuesday, September 72:30pm – 4:30pmCafeteria
Wednesday, September 86:30am – 8:30am
11am – 1pm
Cafeteria Across from Events Center
Thursday, September 96:30pm – 8:30pmCafeteria
Tuesday, September 146:30pm – 8:30pmCafeteria
Thursday, September 166:30am – 8:30am
11am – 1pm
Cafeteria Across from Events Center
Friday, September 172:30pm – 4:30pmCafeteria
Monday, September 2011am – 1pm
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Across from Events Center Cafeteria
Tuesday, September 2111am – 1pm
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Across from Events Center Cafeteria

SJML Dates, times and locations

Thursday, August 2611:30am – noon
4pm – 5pm
Cafeteria HR Swing Office
Thursday, September 212:30pm – 1pm
4pm – 5pm
Cafeteria HR Swing Office
Thursday, September 9Noon – 1pm
4pm – 5pm
Cafeteria HR Swing Office
Thursday, September 1611:30 – noon
4pm – 5pm
Cafeteria HR Swing Office

Colleagues must have their network credentials (User ID and password) to log in.  To save time, please scan your vaccine documentation/CDC Card to your e-mail before coming to the clinic.  If you haven’t done that or you need help to do so, please take a photo of the documentation with your smart phone and be able to log into your personal or work email.  We can assist from there. Thank you for continuing to take remarkable care of our patients and supporting each other.

Additional Helpful Information

Ensure your CDC vaccination card or other documentation proof contains your first and last name, dosage dates, manufacturer and location/provider. ​​​​If this information is missing, your submission will be rejected.  

If you have already submitted your documentation, to check your status: 

1.     Look for the email from HR4U indicating that your submission case is closed in HR4U. It looks like this:  

2.     Log into the HR4U colleague portal

3.     Click on “My Requests” to view information on open or pending cases or “Closed” to view the approved or denied status of closed cases. 

MDHHS Launches Vaccination Record Website for Public

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently launched a new website – the Michigan Immunization Portal – that allows any individual 18 and older who has been immunized in the state of Michigan to check and obtain a copy of their vaccination record online. Once an individual provides the necessary information, their immunization record will be pulled from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) and provided to them. This function may be especially useful for providers who are contacted by individuals who may have misplaced their COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Tips for Faster Processing of your Vaccine Documentation  

  • On the COVID-19 vaccination form in the HR4U colleague portal, the Lot # is a required field but if unknown or unavailable, simply enter N.A. This field may not be left blank.  
  • Ensure your CDC vaccination card or other documentation proof contains your first and last name, dosage dates, manufacturer and location/provider. ​​​​If this information is missing, your submission will be rejected.