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Underage drinking and health resource app among grant winners

Underage drinking and health resource app among grant winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.---  More than $1 million in state funding will go to health care providers looking to improve service and patient outcomes.

The Michigan Department of Community Health announced the winners of the Health Innovation Grant this week.  MDCH will fund 42 projects statewide including:

Company steps up to help feed hungry children

Company steps up to help feed hungry children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Byron Center company in charge of shipping auto parts to major suppliers is using its expertise to feed thousands of hungry children.

Martin Transportation Systems teamed up with Kids’ Food Basket this holiday season to deliver sack dinners to five area schools for children who often go home hungry.  MTS employees also got hands-on experience in preparing meals for the more than 5,000 area children Kids’ Food Basket feeds each day.  MTS also challenged its employees to donate food and money to Kids’ Food Basket for a company match.  Collectively, the company raised $2,630 which will create more than 2,500 sack suppers.

Both companies plan to continue working together in the future. 

Mercy Health Muskegon names new president

Mercy Health Muskegon names new president

MUSKEGON, Mich.—  Mercy Health Muskegon has a new president.

Greg Loomis will take on the role permanently, effective Jan. 1, 2014.  Loomis has served as Mercy Health Muskegon’s interim president since November 2012.

“I am delighted that Greg has accepted the position,” said Mike Gluhanich, Chair of Mercy Health Muskegon Board of Trustees. “Greg has shown he is an outstanding leader. He is a trusted and experienced health care executive who has the knowledge and skill to ensure Mercy Health Muskegon, which is nationally and regionally recognized for high quality care, will continue to be a first-class organization. His thoughtful and decisive leadership is what this position will demand and we are fortunate to have him.”

Higher cigarette taxes can bring complications, but also new opportunities

Higher cigarette taxes can bring complications, but also new opportunities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products is often considered a way to reduce smoking and improve public health, but according to a new study in part from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, evidence of effectiveness is sparse.

As stated in the abstract, "the association between cigarette taxes and either smoking participation or smoking intensity is negative, small, and not usually statistically significant," and that large tax increases would be needed -- as much as 100 percent -- to reduce smoking by a mere 5 percent.

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   The new Ambulance Consortium in Kent County is growing.

Grand Rapids, Grandville, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming and Rockford have already voted to form the consortium.  Plainfield Township is also considering joining.

The Ambulance Consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

Kent County communities have been working on the partnership since 2010.  

Billy Bear Hug Foundation donates bears to grieving children

Billy Bear Hug Foundation donates bears to grieving children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –    A nonprofit organization is making sure every child involved in Gilda’s Club’s support groups has something to hug.

Thursday, the Billy Bear Hug Foundation donated 150 teddy bears to every child who takes part in Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids’ grief and cancer support groups.

 “This generous donation from Billy Bear Hug Foundation will bring a smile to the face of hundreds of children,” said Wendy Wigger, president of GCGR. “Something as simple as a teddy bear can make all the difference to a child. Here at Gilda’s Club, we work to bring the children the best care possible and as an organization run entirely on donations, we are excited to receive this gift. We look forward to a great relationship and partnership with the Billy Bear Hug Foundation for years to come.”

Rockford-based Sable Homes donates $500 to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

Rockford-based Sable Homes donates $500 to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – On Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, Sable Homes marketing manager and new home consultant, Karin Kay, paid a visit to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids to deliver a $500 donation to the cancer and grief support organization.

The donation came in response to Sable Homes’ Facebook campaign, which pledged to donate $1 for every new "like" Sable Homes received during the month of November. On Dec. 3, #GivingTuesday, Sable announced $500 would be donated to Gilda’s Club. Daryl Vogel, vice president of development at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, accepted the check at the Gilda’s Club’s Grand Rapids clubhouse and took Kay on a tour of the facility.

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