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Health & Wellness
Changes are coming to healthinsurance come October. Individ-ual health insurance is now re-quired by the federal government.With these upcoming changes,many people have begun to won-der if the Affordable Care Act(ACA) will change their currenthealth insurance policies andhow they can access the newhealth insurances exchanges.Lyn Jenks, CEO of CharlevoixArea Hospital, will be presentingon the expected changes resultingfrom the launch of the ACA. Ms.Jenks will be addressing keyquestions regarding the individ-ual and business mandates,health insurance exchanges andthe expected penalties for not hav-ing health insurance coverage.“We are hopeful that these pre-sentations will help folks under-stand what the ACA means tothem and how they can access theinsurance exchange to evaluateand select insurance productsthat fit their personal and familyneeds.”Ms. Jenks will be speaking atthe following locations, dates andtimes.August 22, at the Boyne CityPublic Library at 5:30pmAugust 29 at the CharlevoixPublic Library at 5:30pmSeptember 10 at the East JordanEMS Station at 5:30pmSeptember 17 at the CharlevoixPublic Library at 5:30pmThese sessions are free andopen to the public. The length of these presentations will be anhour. Ms. Jenks will concludeeach session with a question andanswer session.Charlevoix Area Hospital is lo-cated at 14700 Lake Shore Drive.For more information about theHospital please visit cah.org.
The Aﬀordable Care Act…Not as Scary as it Sounds
Breastfeeding is known to have apositive effect on the health of theinfant. But what about the physicaland emotional needs of the mom?This month is BreastfeedingAwareness Month, and the impor-tance of peer support amongmoms is being emphasized, accord-ing to Karen Kowalski, an RN withthe Health Department of North-west Michigan. Research showsthat mothers who receive peercounseling from other moms, whoare trained to provide assistance toexpectant and breastfeeding fami-lies, can breastfeed longer andwith greater success. Kowalskisaid this outcome is paramount tothe health and wellbeing of boththe mother and the infant.Barb, a mom from OtsegoCounty who tried peer counseling,agreed. “I had two very differentbreastfeeding experiences witheach of my two children,” she re-called. “Both times, my peer coun-selor was very knowledgeable andsupportive. She helped me with dif-ferent techniques and positions,and gave me confidence that Icould find a way that would workbest for my baby and me. She wasright.”In addition to encouragement,peer counselors are able to answerquestions and share experiencesduring a time when moms needsupport the most.“Even when mothers are able toget off to a good start, all too oftenthere’s a sharp decline in breast-feeding rates and practices in theweeks and months after delivery,”explained Deb O’Neill, Breastfeed-ing Peer Counselor. “This is thetime when a mother-to-mother sup-port system is essential.”Kowalski added that breastfeed-ing moms also need support fromtheir families, friends and commu-nities. “We all need to praise andsupport young families who arebreastfeeding,” she said.Peer support is offered to expec-tant and breastfeeding families ateach of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan’s local officesin Bellaire, Charlevoix, Gaylord,Harbor Springs/Petoskey andMancelona. The Health Depart-ment also offers the WIC program,newborn home visits and phoneconsultations with nurses. Momscan call (800) 432-4121 for more in-formation or to schedule an ap-pointment.
Breastfeeding AwarenessMonth emphasizesmom-to-mom suppor
The Michigan Department of Human Services is pleased toannounce the launch today of Protect MiFamily, the new TitleIV-E waiver project approved forthe state by the federal govern-ment. The five-year pilot pro-gram begins operating today inthree counties: Macomb, Kala-mazoo and Muskegon.Michigan needs to invest ex-isting federal resources in themost effective and innovativeway possible. Protect MiFamilyis designed to do just that bystrengthening families and im-proving the lives of vulnerablechildren, with the aim of keep-ing families together.The children involved in thisproject will be from birth to 5years old and determined byChildren’s Protective Servicesto be at high or intensive riskfor future maltreatment. Fami-lies served also must live in oneof the three pilot counties,where private agenciesLutheran Social Services of Michigan and Catholic Chari-ties of West Michigan will part-ner with DHS in the newprogram. All three counties cho-sen have a higher than typicalrate of children in that youngestage group being removed fromtheir homes and placed into fos-ter care.The federal government over-sees Title IV-E funding to thestates. That money generallygets spent on the placementcosts involved with moving chil-dren into foster care. Now,Michigan is one of just a hand-ful of states to be granted a TitleIV-E waiver for 2013 and beyond.There will be no additional fed-eral dollars involved, but ratherthe repurposing of a portion of existing child welfare dollars tothe project.“There’s been a real disconnectbetween what we want for chil-dren and families and what wecan afford,” said Maura Corri-gan, DHS director. “Reallocat-ing funding from the federalgovernment into early interven-tion to prevent abuse and neg-lect is a smart investment.Keeping families together andchildren safe will be our pri-mary goal with Protect MiFam-ily.”One hundred families in eachof the pilot counties (300 totalper year) will be identified andoffered a broad array of serv-ices in the program, with eachengagement expected to last aminimum of 15 months.Protect MiFamily under DHSwill work with its partners toprovide:Safer Children—Children canbe made safer in their ownhomes by better adapting tostrategies under Protect MiFam-ily, avoiding maltreatment andthe chance of secondary traumaoften associated with fostercare. The extended treatmentplan will allow for monitoringboth immediate and long-termsafety issues.Strong Families—Helping at-risk families address the rootcauses of maltreatment andneglect, assisting them in rais-ing happier, healthy children.Strengths will be identified, aswill barriers like substanceabuse, domestic violence and de-pression.Supportive Communities— Many families under stress haveno support system in place. Pro-tect MiFamily will work to nur-ture and grow that support baseamong family, friends, neigh-bors and the community.Innovation—Working to redi-rect resources right here inMichigan, at the front end whena family can still be saved andpreserved intact, with evidence-based intervention. Protect Mi-Family will invite new avenuesof collaboration between DHS,its private partners, faith-basedand other community organiza-tions.“This new program is an im-portant step and part of thelarger reform of child welfare,”said Stacie Bladen, Director of Protect MiFamily for DHS. “If successful, this project will setthe stage for effective preven-tion and preservation servicesalong with child protection inthe years to come.”DHS has also partnered withnoted research consultant Wes-tat and the University of Michi-gan to provide critical analysisof Protect MiFamily, for a rigor-ous ongoing evaluation duringits run and a full report after theplanned conclusion date.
Michigan DHS Launches Protect Mi Family
Project Aims to Keep More Children, Families Together
Protect Yourself and Your Pets
On Monday, the Centers forDisease Control and Preven-tion released an estimate of the number of people diag-nosed with Lyme disease eachyear and their new estimate is10 times higher than previ-ously reported.While the CDC’s newestnumbers estimate the numberof Americans diagnosed withLyme disease each year is ap-proximately 300,000 people, vet-erinarians from MichiganVeterinary Specialists, a Blue-Pearl Veterinary Partners hos-pital, want to remind peoplethat their pets are susceptibleto Lyme disease as well.Lyme disease is an infec-tious disease caused by bacte-ria that is carried andtransmitted by ticks.Lyme disease can cause fa-tigue, fever, joint pain, kidneydamage, lethargy, loss of ap-petite, neurologic disordersand trouble walking. Lyme dis-ease is treatable, but as withmost problems, the sooner it iscaught, the better. If left un-treated, it is potentially fatal.Here are some things MVSand BluePearl doctors recom-mend to ensure your pet is pro-tected:• Talk with your veterinar-ian about vaccinating your petagainst Lyme disease.• Talk with your veterinar-ian about the best way to pre-vent fleas and ticks from latch-ing on to your pet.• They may suggest an oralmedication where your pet issimply given a pill once amonth or they may encouragespot-on medications, med-icated shampoos, powders, tickdips or tick collars.• Try to keep your pets in-doors as much as possible andhave your yard and hometreated.• Inspect your pet for ticks if they have been outside nearwooded areas.• If a tick is found, taketweezers and remove the tickas close to the body of the petas possible, trying to get thehead of the tick out.• Keep an eye on your petand look out for any changesin behavior.• If your pet is not actingright, take him or her to yourveterinarian as soon as possi-ble.According to data providedby the CDC, Lyme disease isfound throughout the conti-nental U.S. but is found moreheavily in the Midwest andeastern U.S.According to the CDC, 96%of Lyme disease cases in theU.S. were reported from Con-necticut, Delaware, Maine,Maryland, Massachusetts,Minnesota, New Hampshire,New Jersey, New York, Penn-sylvania, Vermont, Virginiaand Wisconsin.
Lyme Disease Numbers 10 Times Higher than Previously Reported says CDC