Street Talk

Street Talk: Up North isn’t just for vacationers

100 ideas.

January 4, 2019
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Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is expanding its services in northern Michigan.

Mary Free Bed and the 442-bed Munson Medical Center in Traverse City signed a joint operating agreement, effective Jan. 1, to expand their partnership to provide rehab services in additional locations.

Mary Free Bed has been managing the inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services at Munson Medical Center since August 2015. The partners noted a “significant increase” in the number of patients and severity of their injuries since the partnership began.

Under the agreement, besides continuing to manage inpatient rehab at Munson Medical Center and outpatient services at Munson Community Health Center, Mary Free Bed will offer its services at four Munson Outpatient Services locations in the Traverse City area, which will change their names to Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center.

Three Traverse City-based physiatrists are employed by Mary Free Bed as part of the agreement: Drs. Kimberly Augenstein, Andrew Cole and Marshall Poole.

The organizations said the goals of the joint operating agreement are to enhance the rehab programs, study the feasibility of building a larger inpatient unit and add new outpatient specialty programs.

Grand Rapids-based Mary Free Bed offers more than 110 specialized medical and sports rehabilitation programs now at more than 30 locations.

“It’s the next evolutionary step in our relationship,” said Kent Riddle, CEO of Mary Free Bed. “It ushers in a new era of rehabilitation in Traverse City. We’re definitely excited about the future.”

Playing with fire

Hospice of Michigan received a grant of nearly $500,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to conduct research regarding worker burnout rates in the hospice and palliative care industry.

Hospice of Michigan will anonymously survey its nearly 500 employees to understand the predictors and prevalence of burnout.

After receiving initial input, up to 50 employees, including clinicians and administrators, will be interviewed to help identify why the burnout rate is so high, as well as discuss potential interventions.

The results from employee interviews, as well as additional research and consulting, could eventually be used throughout the state to retain and eventually grow this in-demand workforce.

In conjunction with national experts in the medical field from Hospice of Michigan, the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, Michigan State University, Duke University and Stanford University, a customized intervention program will be designed and introduced.

Hospice said this is a critical step, considering the science of burnout prevention in the hospice and palliative care field is in the early stages of development.

A pilot study will then be conducted across the company to test the benefits of intervention programs.

The project will be completed in four phases over two years.

A national survey of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine showed 62 percent of respondents met criteria for burnout. Hospice noted studies have shown burnout leads to a high turnover for workers in the hospice and palliative care fields, resulting in poorer quality of care, more medical errors and less empathy toward the elderly population.

In addition, caring for patients with serious and terminal illnesses puts the physical and mental health of hospice and palliative care workers at risk, which plays a factor in burnout, as well.

Based in Ann Arbor, Hospice of Michigan has four locations in West Michigan.

The extra mile(s)

Grand Rapids-based manufacturer Stiles Machinery recently rolled out a new program designed to help college graduates land a career in advanced manufacturing.

The new Emerging Leader Program, announced in November, gives one college graduate at a time a year of hands-on training and development nationally and internationally in partnership with the HOMAG Group, a producer of industrial manufacturing machinery.

“We are excited to embark upon this unique journey with the next generation of industry leaders and look forward to partnering with them to develop a fulfilling career path at Stiles,” said Elizabeth Williams, corporate human resources manager at Stiles.

The first trainee begins Jan. 7 at Stiles’ headquarters at 3965 44th St. SE in Grand Rapids with three months of professional training and job shadowing with industry experts, followed by three months of training at one of HOMAG’s global locations in Germany, Poland or China. The trainee will then spend three months back in the U.S. and an additional three months overseas, for a total of one year of real-life industry experience.

When the program comes to an end, the individual will have the opportunity to relocate throughout the U.S. and begin a full-time job with a focus on sales and customer relations for Stiles Machinery.

More information about the Stiles Emerging Leader Program is available at stilesmachinery.com/careers/elp.

Ready, set, Start

Start Garden’s wide-open contest for business startups, The 100, is back for a second year and, once again, everyone is invited.

The 100 removes barriers to entrepreneurship, based on the belief that anyone, from any neighborhood and regardless of resources, deserves a chance to take a shot at launching a business idea.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can submit their ideas in any language, via video, to 100.startgarden.com.

Videos will be accepted from Feb. 27 to May 30. The minimum age to participate is 14. Video submissions are not shared with the public. Participants can upload as many different ideas as they wish.

In June, 100 finalists will be chosen to receive $1,000 each. Finalists then have the summer to refine their ideas with community support in preparation for judging at the 2019 Demo Day competition Aug. 27. At Demo Day, a select group of 10 winners receive another $20,000 to help their business take off.

The 2018 Demo Day competition drew more than 1,200 visitors. The winning ideas included a wide range of products and services: food and drink, online platforms and services, and manufacturers.

Terry Rostic, one of the 10 winners of Demo Day 2018 to receive $20,000, has used those connections to pursue his dream of starting the state’s first African-American-owned brewery, Boston Square Brewing Company.

“The most valuable part of participating in the 100 was being able to meet someone in the industry and gain a mentor and advocate for what I was trying to do,” Rostic said. “I wouldn’t have made half the connections I have now if it wasn’t for Start Garden.”

GRBJ 2018 Newsmaker nominee Mario Rodriguez-Garcia and family business Soldadera Coffee was another one of the 10 winners of Demo Day 2018 and has since grown from an online-only outfit to appearing on Meijer store shelves and being the official coffee sponsor of the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction.

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