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2.8.18 – SPOKES Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Roger Morgenstern

Meeting Review

  • Health care is certainly a hot topic for the Club! Extra tables were rolled in to accommodate 30 additional attendees for our Feb. 8 presentation by Tina Freese Decker, executive vice president and COO for Spectrum Health. The $6 billion not-for-profit health system has 26,000 employees, including 3,400 physicians.
  • Tina has been part of Spectrum Health since 2002 and has seen many changes in our health industry, but more changes are needed to give patients a better experience.
  • She said the keys to improvements need to be focused on accessibility and affordability.
  • Taking care of the “whole person” is important to the health care system of tomorrow. There needs to be more emphasis on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which will mean people will live longer, more productive lives. It also will hopefully mean less operations and other more costly, invasive procedures. “I’m pleased there’s more value in healthy outcomes and nut just operations and other procedures.”
  • She used the example of her grandparents on where the health system has failed and succeeded. Her grandmother, a smoker who was on oxygen, died 25 years ago and “never owned a pair of tennis shoes.” Her grandfather, on the other hand, is active and healthy at age 96. “We need to have a health system that gets people to 90-plus years of age,” she said.
  • With increasing advances in technology, Spectrum Health’s Med Now program is designed to provide 24/7 care digitally. In the future, Tina said, they expect 50 percent of their patient interactions will be digital and in the home.
  • Healthy lifestyles are the key for everyone and we still have a long way to go. Today, only 5 percent of the population practices all four “healthy behaviors:” A healthy diet, not smoking, adequate physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption.
  • There are non-medical factors that go into a better lifestyle that health systems like Spectrum also support, including access to healthy foods and adequate housing.

News and Notes

  • The Club has scheduled several “Rotary Days of Service” and volunteers are needed, James Eliassen told the club. Upcoming activities include assisting at Feeding America West Michigan on Friday, Feb. 16. Help is needed between 9 a.m. and 12 noon at the facility, 864 West River Center Dr., Comstock Park, to repackage bulk containers of food to more manageable, family-size portions. Then on Saturday, Feb. 24, also from 9 a.m. to noon, we need volunteers to team up with STRIVE students and mentors. Please e-mail James or Christine Lindeman if you can help.
  • Joshua Conran was pleased to announce that the Club will be sponsoring a Rotary Youth Exchange student during the next school year! The Gaylord Club had more “outbound” students than they could sponsor so we are sponsoring Madeline (Maddie) Melancon to northeast Italy. We were pleased that Maddie was able to join us last week.
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