Northern Michigan health news briefs

Nutrition, Exercise, and Weight Loss
Stephen Ward, MD, physician with OMH Medical Group Internal Medicine, will lead a discussion on nutrition, exercise, and weight loss on Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 5–6 p.m. in the Professional Medical Building Conference Room at Otsego Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Ward will speak about the importance of nutrition and exercise and how they relate to weight loss.

Improper dieting, exercise myths, and eating fads are just a few of the topics that Dr. Ward will cover during his hour-long presentation.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Information on the Healthy Lifestyles program offered at OMH will also be available.

The next Healthy Lifestyles class starts on Thursday Jan. 19.

For more information, please call Community Health Education at (989) 731-7718.

For more information on Dr. Stephen Ward’s event, please call (989) 731-2343. The Professional Medical Building at Otsego Memorial Hospital is located at 829 North Center Ave. in Gaylord.

Telehealth Helps Charlevoix County Cardiac Patients
A grant from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation is providing Telehealth monitoring units to cardiac patients residing in Charlevoix County.

The monitoring equipment transmits data via a landline or cell phone from the patient to the VitalCare Telehealth Nursing Team, who remotely monitors vital signs and symptoms, checks in with patients, and alerts physicians of potential problems.

In 2016, 36 Charlevoix County residents with chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and hypertension were enrolled in the VitalCare Telehealth Program. Less than 3% of heart failure and COPD patients enrolled in the VitalCare Telehealth Program in 2016 were readmitted to the hospital following a cardiac episode.

In July 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ranked McLaren Northern Michigan among the top two hospitals in the country for the lowest 30-day readmission rate following heart failure—an accomplishment impacted by the success of the VitalCare Telehealth Program.

At this time, the Telehealth Program is not reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance.

The grant from the CCCF will help fund the monitoring unit’s monthly fees for Charlevoix County patients enrolled in the program. More info at (800) 248-6777 or

Introduction to Raw Foods Class
Join us for a fun, hands-on introduction to the benefits of a “high-raw” diet. Prepare and eat a variety of healthy, flavorful raw food dishes.

Learn about the benefits of eating foods in their natural, most useful form. Leave with recipes and resources to continue your path to a healthier you!

Classes are held at the Munson Charlevoix Wellness Workshop, 411 Bridge St. on Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March 3, April 28, May 19, all classes are held from 5-7 p.m. Take one or more classes. Cost is $35/person per class. Call to reserve your spot for one or more class, space is limited. (231) 437-3482.

OMH features robotic surgery
Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH) is thrilled to announce the latest in surgical technology has arrived at OMH. The da Vinci® Surgical System is state-of-the-art equipment for minimally invasive surgeries.

OMH is one of only two hospitals in Northern Michigan to offer this equipment and technology to patients.

“Our focus continues to be offering the latest in healthcare technology as close to home as possible for our patients. By offering the da Vinci Surgical System in Gaylord, patients can reduce travel time while receiving a higher level of surgical care,” said Jim Flickema, Vice President of Market Development at OMH.

In many cases, robotic surgical technology improves the patient experience by using smaller incisions which leads to quicker recovery times, reduced patient pain and discomfort, and shorter hospital stays.

The da Vinci® Surgical System features a 3-D high-definition vision system with tiny instruments that bend and rotate in sync with a surgeon’s movements, offering surgeons greater precision, enhanced vision, and greater control.

To begin with, robotics will primarily be used for OB/GYN, general surgery, and urology surgeries.

The equipment has arrived at OMH and it is anticipated that surgeries will begin in late Spring 2017.
More info at (989) 731-2100.