Summer (Fruit) Snacks

Thirst-quenching and healthy snacks perfect for hot days

School is wrapping up for the year and families are heading outside to enjoy the summer. All that time out in the sun means sweating, which may put you at risk for dehydration, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as skin sensitivities. Eating fresh, in-season fruit is a great way to combat the effects of summer heat. Try one – or several – of these picks next time you head out(side).  

  • Watermelon: It’s a summer picnic staple and at 90% water means it’s great for hydrating. Watermelon is also high in cramp fighting potassium, the antioxidant lycopene and immune-booster gluathione.
  • Grapes: At 90% water, grapes are the perfect summer snack. They are also a great source of vitamin K and manganese. Plus, with a bit of fiber, they keep you feeling full.
  • Blackberries: This powerhouse of a fruit contains a lot of polyphenols, chemicals that can help cut inflammation that leads to heart disease. They also help your lower intestine break down sugar which could lower your odds of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Bananas: Before you go bananas working out, be sure you have a banana on hand. They can help your body recover from tough workouts, and some cyclists said having a banana before they ride helped them go faster and recover faster than those that only had water.
  • Pistachios: Rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, this small, but mighty snack is also high in antioxidants and may help with inflammation. Plus, about 20 of them is only around 80 calories and less than a gram of saturated fat. You may even burn a couple calories cracking them open!
  • Lemons: Not just a pretty garnish, lemons and limes are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids. Try one in your next glass of water.
  • Kiwis: This little fruit is mean, green, germ-fighting machine! Rich in vitamins C, E and K, high in fiber and contains lutein which may protect eyes from some diseases. Like the banana, the kiwi also has some potassium, a must have for heart, muscles, nerves and more.
  • Strawberries: This summer staple if full of vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants and folic acid.
  • Blueberries: When it comes to antioxidants, this is a blue-ribbon berry. They give the digestive system a boost, with up to 14% of your daily fiber intake and contain vitamin c you need to promote healing and give your immune system a boost.
  • Peaches:  You’ll feel peachy after you have one. A single peach can give you 10% or more of the vitamin C you need each day. A great way to boost your immune system and help your body’s ability to heal.
  • Pineapple: This fruit tray favorite is full of vitamin C, has some fiber to help your digestive track, bromelain, an enzyme that may ease inflammation, and manganese for muscle tone and bone health. Plus, one cup contains only 82 calories!
  • Avocados: Another great source of potassium. Avocados are full of heart-healthy fats and fiber, vitamins
  • Cherries: Delicious as they are healthy, grab a bag of cherries and you’ll get the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidant quercetin. Not to mention, help kill cancer cells, control blood sugar and help prevent heart disease.
  • Cantaloupe: Sliced, cubed or blended into a smoothie, the cantaloupe is rich in potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Chilled, it’s the perfect summer afternoon treat.

Tick, Tick, Boom

Cicadas have been getting all the buzz this season with their big emergence after 17 years, but another insect is experiencing an uptick in its population. With the warm, wet weather early this spring, we are seeing a boom in the tick population here in Michigan.

Where do ticks live?

When visiting grassy, bushy or wooded areas, you can expect to find ticks. You may also find them in your backyard if you live close to areas like this or in places where there are animals. Activities like walking outside with your dog, gardening and hunting can expose you and your family to ticks.

How do I avoid ticks?

  • When possible avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass or leaf litter
  • Walk in the center of trails and don’t veer off paths into the woods
  • Treat clothing or exposed skin with insect repellents when venturing into areas where ticks may be present. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of registered insect repellents to help you find the product that best suits your needs: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you Always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
  • Animals may also bring ticks into your home. Be sure to use tick repellant on your dogs and cats too. There are many tick treatments available including collars, oral medications and topical medications.

What should I do when I come inside?

If you’ve been outside walking or working in an area that may have ticks, there are a few things you can do when you come in to help avoid a tick bite.

Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and daypacks.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist
Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

What is the best tick repellant?

The CDC recommends using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents external icon containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Remember always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.

What are the risks of a tick bite?

The most common disease spread by ticks is Lyme Disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms often include “fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.”

While there are many other tick-borne illnesses, many of them are not common in the state of Michigan. If you plan to travel visit https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/tickbornediseases/overview.html to know what to look for if you experience a tick bite in other parts of the country.

What should you do if you find a tick attached to your skin?

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic—the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers work very well.

How to remove a tick:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, place it on a plain background and take a photo of it. It helps to have a photo of the actual tick that bit you to show your healthcare provider, in the event you develop symptoms of a tick-borne illness.
  4. Thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  5. Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.

Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

What should you do if you develop symptoms of a tick-borne illness?

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, make an appointment with your primary care or pediatric healthcare provider. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick. If you were able to take a photo of the tick that bit you, be sure to share that with your provider as well.

Print this handout from the CDC to keep in your car or on your refrigerator for a quick tick refresher.

Kids + Sports

Why playing organized sports is good for kids

by Melissa Ayoub Heinen, DO, MPH

After a year of COVID-19 restrictions, school closures and sports cancellations, we’re finally seeing steps back to “normalcy” amidst the chaos.  For young athletes, it’s time to get back on the soccer field, tennis court, football field or baseball diamond.   It’s a time to get active, connect with friends and enjoy some friendly (or fierce) competition.

If everyone obeys the state-mandated rules, our youth can safely compete again.

Getting involved in a youth sport allows kids to learn physical and social skills in a team-based environment.   With a plethora of choices available, it can be hard to choose the right sport for them. Parents should follow the child’s lead and interests when enrolling them in a new activity. The emphasis should be on the enjoyment of the sport, not on winning. You may find it takes your child a few tries to find a good fit, but with some research and a good sideline cheer section, you’ll find one that best fits their interests and the family schedule and budget.

Health Benefits of Sports for Kids

Reduced risk of obesity.  For many kids screentime has replaced physical activity. Getting involved in an organized sport with a schedule, a coach and a team create accountability and motivation to show up and be physically active. Pediatricians are finding that children who are physically active outside of school are more likely to maintain a normal, healthy weight.

Physical development. Participation in a sport will help your child with coordination, motor skills and muscle development. Kids also learn new skills or how they can use their bodies in different ways depending on the sport.

Social skills. Communicating using text has become the norm for most young people. Being part of a team means learning to communicate verbally and non-verbally with other people. Learning to work with others and support people on a team are skills that will provide lifelong benefits.

Confidence. Children develop self-confidence when they find success in something they enjoy doing. Sports provide many options for a child to find their niche and excel as an individual and as team.

Sportsmanship. Learning to be fair, how to handle defeat with grace and respect for coaches, referees, teammates and opponents are valuable lessons for people of all ages.

Have fun! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “When children have fun playing sports, they are more likely to remain involved in athletic programs and stay physically active throughout childhood, realizing lifelong health benefits for the developing body, brain and self-worth.” It’s important for coaches and parents to remain positive, encourage the team to try hard and create positive team dynamics.

Friendship. Participation in any extra curricular activities can result in forming life-long friendships. Encourage your child to talk to their teammates. To help your child begin to forge relationships, encourage them to play catch before practice starts, meet on off-days to work on skills, or get together to play at each other’s houses.


If your child is in middle school or older or is in a cheerleading or football program, and they plan to play an organized sport, they will need a sports physical this year. IHA Pediatrics performs Sports Physicals 6 days a week.  You do not have to be an IHA patient to schedule. Visit ihacares.com/pedsappts and select an “office visit” appointment at a time that works for you and your family.

We are also offering extra availability on the following Saturdays. Call your IHA Pediatric Practice to schedule:

• Saturday, June 12, 2021 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

• Saturday, July 17, 2021 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Active Kids!

Age-based physical activities for children

Kids need physical activity to grow up strong and healthy! All children should be physically active every day, and kids over 6 years old should be moving enough get their heart rate up at least one hour a day. Read on for guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how often your child should be active based on their age.

Infants:
Activity: Tummy time while awake.
Frequency: 30+ minutes throughout the day.

Toddlers:
Activity: Neighborhood walks or free play outside.
Frequency: 3+ hours throughout day.

Preschoolers:
Activity: Tumbling, throwing and catching.
Frequency: 3+ hours a day including 1 hour of moderate to vigorous activity.

Elementary Students:
Activity: Free play and organized sports focused on fun.
Frequency: 60+ minutes of activity most days. Muscle/bone strengthening activities 3 days a week.

Middle Schoolers:
Activity: Activities that encourage socialization. Avoid specializing in one sport.
Frequency: 60+ minutes of activity most days. Muscle/bone strengthening 3 days a week.

Teenagers:
Activity: Activities that encourage socialization and competition when appropriate.
Frequency: 60+ minutes of activity most days. Muscle/bone strengthening 3 days a week.


It’s time for sports physicals

IHA Pediatrics performs Sports Physicals 6 days a week. You do not have to be an IHA patient to schedule. Visit ihacares.com/pedsappts and select an office appointment at a time that works for you and your family.

We are also offering extra availability on the following Saturdays. Call your IHA Pediatric Practice to schedule: ihacares.com/pediatrics

• Saturday, May 22 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

• Saturday, June 12 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

• Saturday, July 17 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Kids and the COVID-19 Vaccine

What parents want to know

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be used to vaccinate children ages 12-15. While this is encouraging news and yet another step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that parents may have questions about the vaccine. IHA supports the scientific data behind this most recent vaccine and fully supports vaccination as the best way to end the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, with more than 261.5 million doses administered in the United States. Vaccinating this age group will help kids get back to their normal lives including school, sports and more, while keeping high-risk family members and others safe. Read on for answers to the most frequently asked questions around children and the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatric provider.

How safe is the mRNA vaccine? The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.*

• The mRNA vaccine technology is not new for COVID19. We were able to get to this point quickly because this vaccine has actually been in development for years

• It was first developed during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Scientists were able to adjust the vaccine they had been creating back then

• In early 2000s we were not successful since mRNA breaks down VERY quickly and it needed to be transported by something. Finding that something has been a challenge until now. Scientists tried fat bubbles for COVID19, and it worked! • mRNA is more than just DNA’s lesser-known cousin, RNA plays a role in turning on information for your body’s proteins. This remarkable molecule can carry the instructions (messenger RNA or mRNA)

• Scientists believe an mRNA vaccine could be safer for us compared to traditional vaccines because they are NOT made up of the actual pathogen. This means that, unlike traditional vaccines, they do not contain weakened, dead, or noninfectious parts of a virus. They contain only the instruction manuals to tell cells how to fight COVID19. You cannot get COVID19 from the vaccine since it’s just instructions on how to fight it.

• The other cool thing about mRNA vaccines is that they quickly degraded in the body. After it does its job boosting your immunity against COVID19, it is gone. It cannot insert itself into human DNA.

• Even though everyone can react differently, the boosting immunity part is why many feel common side effects of fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, tried or achy for a day or two. These are all normal signs that tell you your immune system is working to build up the fight against COVID19, even in kids.

• Only time can tell us, but since the mRNA technology degrades itself after sending its message and mounting an immune response, it gives scientist confidence that there will not be long term side effects. From the many years of vaccine experience, we do know it’s rare to see concerning side effects happen after six weeks in any vaccine.

*Source: PHG Foundation

My Child had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine? Yes.

• The vaccine strengthens your immune response

• The vaccine protects better against variants than natural immunity

• The natural immunity is not as effective as the vaccine and it goes down after a few months

• Checking antibody titers is not very helpful since we don’t know enough. We cannot say for sure even if you have antibodies that you are fully immune, which variants are included or who long the immunity will last.

Does COVID-19 really affect kids? Yes.

• Children account for 22.4% of COVID cases

• Children make, on average, 13.8% (or 3.78 million total cases) of all COVID19 cases in the U.S. But this is changing. According the American Academy of Pediatrics, last week children accounted for 22.4% of cases (71,649 out of 319,601 COVID diagnoses). Just one year ago, pediatric cases made up 3% of U.S. cases.

• Some studies have reported 25% of children suffered persistent symptoms after COVID and many can have prolonged symptoms of fatigue with increased physical activity.

*Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Should I be concerned about the COVID-19 vaccine and infertility? No.

• There has not been any data to support concerns regarding infertility.

• In early December 2 scientists in Europe were part of freedom movement that raised concerns that the one of the COVID virus proteins could interfere with the placenta. However, there was no research or evidence to back up this claim. We now know that COVID virus protein does not cause infertility. If fact, due to the pandemic, the rate of pregnancy has increased along with the number of COVID cases! If a disease doesn’t have the potential to cause concern, neither does the vaccine.

Click here to learn more from Paul Offit, MD, Director of Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, on why this claim is false.


Vaccine scheduling for adolescents is coming soon!

Stay updated with the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and scheduling a vaccine for your child or yourself.

Sun Safety: Protection is key for fun in the sun

Fifteen minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control, that’s all it takes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin. When you’re on beach or pool time, 15 minutes goes by quickly. It feels great to soak up those rays, but they are harming your skin and are putting you at risk for long-term skin damage and worse, skin cancer. Before you head out into the sun for the day, take some time and precautions to keep yourself and your family safe all summer long, and you’ll be golden for some fun in the sun!

USE SUNSCREEN

It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB, an SPF of at least 30, and water resistant. When applying sunscreen, more is more. You want to be sure to get a thick layer of sunscreen on your skin in order for the SPF to do its job. For an average size person, remember the teaspoon rule, and adjust for all ages and body types:1 teaspoon to the face/neck/scalp1 teaspoon for each arm1 teaspoon to the chest and abdomen1 teaspoon to the back2 teaspoons for each leg

Sunblock lotions are the preferred choice, but if you are using a spray sunscreen, apply outside by holding the bottle close to the skin and spray on each area for approximately 6 seconds, or until the sunscreen is visible on the skin (typically, when it looks white). Then, rub it in. Don’t apply spray sunscreen directly to the face. Instead, spray generously into your hand and apply to your face as you would a lotion. Don’t forget to apply a lip balm with an SPF of 30, too!

Sunscreen will wear off throughout the day. Be sure to reapply every two hours and following exposure to water or sweat.

If you’re avoiding sunscreen because you don’t like how it feels on your skin or you had an allergic reaction, try another type or brand. There are a variety of choices by a variety of brands, so if you aren’t happy with one, try another until you find one that works with your skin. You may want to make an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist to discuss your individual needs. After all, the best sunscreen is the one you will wear!

AVOID EXPOSURE BETWEEN 10 AM AND 4 PM

Have you heard of the shadow rule? If your shadow is shorten than you are in real life, the sun’s rays are strong. During this time, you should avoid exposure or follow precautions to protect yourself and your family. For our region in the Midwest, the sun is most intense from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so you’ll want to be the most vigilante in protecting your skin during this time.

USE SUNGLASSES

Your eyes will absorb those harmful rays much like your skin does. Look for sunglasses that block and absorb UVA and UVB light. The lenses should fit close to the skin and be large enough to cover your eyes and the surrounding areas. The bigger the better! Polarized lenses will help eliminate glare, which is great for driving or days in the water or snow.

DRINK MORE WATER

When you’re sweating, you are losing water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather to keep dehydration at bay. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Also, look for signs of heat exhaustion such as; feeling overheated, tired or weak. Nausea, headaches and dizziness are also indications that it’s time to get out of the sun, cool down and drink some water. Heat stroke is a more serious condition. If you or someone in your family stops sweating, has red and/or hot skin, a high temperature, confusion or is suddenly uncoordinated, seek medical attention right away.

GO LONG!: WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

Long-sleeved shirts and long pants provide an extra layer of protection while spending time out in the sun. Look for clothing made with tightly woven fabrics. Those linen pants aren’t going to protect you from the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen underneath. When playing the water, look for bathing suits that feature a sun shirt, especially for little ones.

HATS OFF ON!: WEAR A BROAD RIMMED HAT

Wearing a hat with a full brim is a great way to protect the scalp, ears, face and neck from exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Tightly woven fabric is the key to a good hat, straw hats are cute, but don’t provide the protection you need. When purchasing sun hats for the family, be sure to pick the correct sizes for each person. Kids will pull off a hat that slips down over their eyes.Seek the shade & avoid direct sunlight

Trees or shelters block the sun’s UV rays and provide ultimate protection. Seek out these spaces when spending time outdoors to help protect yourself and your family from painful sunburns and help reduce the risk of skin cancer. When you can’t find shade, make it! Invest in a beach umbrella or tent to shield your family from the sunlight.

BE CAUTIOUS OF REFLECTIONS

Your exposure to the sun’s rays increases when the sun shines onto and reflects off of bright surfaces, like water, sand or house paint, for example. When spending time near a reflective surface, ensure everyone is sporting sunglasses and sunscreen or protective clothing are being used consistently.

TANNING

Don’t. Tan skin is damaged skin and the impact can last or even shorten a lifetime. Tanning should not be part of a beauty regiment at any point in a person’s life.

PROTECTION 365 DAYS

Skin cancer prevention is not seasonal. Sure, we wear less clothing and spend more time outside in the sun’s rays during the summer months, but protection from those rays is just as important during the winter months. UV rays reflect off snow just as they do off of sand, water and concrete. Apply sunscreen to the face and any other exposed skin, wear sunglasses and lip balm every day. When it comes to sun safety, there’s a lot of information to soak in. Download this handy checklist and keep it in your beach bag to help ensure you and your family are covered for summer skin protection.

For questions concerning dangers to your skin from the sun, consult with your dermatologist.

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and IHA Livonia Medical Center opens on Schoolcraft College campus

LIVONIA, Mich. (May 4, 2021) – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and IHA’s new Livonia Medical Center located on the campus of Schoolcraft College is now open. This newly constructed 124,000-square-foot health care facility is located adjacent to I-275 off Seven Mile Road on the newly renamed St. Joe’s Parkway campus service drive.

At this new, state-of-the-art location, St. Joe’s and IHA are bringing together leading health care providers and services to offer a continuum of care under one roof to Livonia and the surrounding communities.

“The Livonia Medical Center, positioned right in the middle of our southeast Michigan region, will bring IHA physicians closer to this community, providing seamless care across our physician offices, outpatient facilities and hospitals,” said Rob Casalou, president and CEO, Trinity Health Michigan. “We have been working to bring health care out into the community where people live, work and play, and this medical center located on the Schoolcraft College campus is a great example of that successful effort.”

The new center opened on Monday, April 19, with St. Joe’s Medical Group (SJMG) Sports Medicine as the first practice to move in, followed by IHA Livonia Primary Care on April 26.

The IHA Urgent Care, previously located within the Jeffress Center on campus, relocated to the new building on April 23. The urgent care is open 7 days a week, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including holidays. 

Additional practices and services will open over the next few weeks:

  • IHA Orthopaedics – May 3
  • IHA Podiatry – May 3
  • Probility Physical Therapy – May 3
  • SJMG Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery – May 10
  • IHA Obstetrics & Gynecology – May 17
  • IHA Nurse Midwives – May 17
  • Women’s Specialty Imaging – Digital Mammography, Breast Ultrasound,

3D Tomography and Bone Density Scans – May 24

  • Diagnostic Imaging -MRI, CT, Ultrasound and X-ray – May 24
  • IHA Livonia Pediatrics – June 1
  • Michigan Brain & Spine Institute – June 7
  • IHA Urology – June 7
  • IHA Vascular & Endovascular Surgery – June 7
  • Lab Services  – June 24
  • Joe’s Java Coffee Shop – Mid-July
  • Retail Pharmacy – August 2
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center – August 16

“This expansive center includes primary, specialty, and urgent care; as well as ancillary and advanced imaging services including MRI, ultrasound, and mammography,” said Jason Harris, vice president of Planning and Development for IHA. “Coming together with St. Joe’s as part of one health care family, we are dedicated to providing greater access to care with lower cost and higher value for patients in the communities we serve.”

An ambulatory surgery center is currently under construction to provide outpatient procedures, such as orthopedic and general surgeries, with the ability for overnight stays if necessary. In addition, a full-service retail pharmacy will support the surgical suite, urgent care, and physician offices as well as the entire local community. Onsite amenities, including a coffee shop, will create a comfortable waiting area for patients and their families.

For more information or to reach someone to schedule an appointment, please visit LivoniaMedicalCenter.org.

Schoolcraft College currently has majors and programs in nursing, pharmacy, health information technology, and medical assisting among the many choices. The college plans to launch an advanced imaging program for radiation technology students to coincide with the opening of the new medical facility.

“We’re very pleased to see the Livonia Medical Center come online and extend a hearty welcome to our campus,” said Dr. Glenn Cerny, president of Schoolcraft College. “Having the many specialty practices located in a convenient and familiar location is a tremendous asset for our community. We’re also excited that our new Health Sciences Center is just across the street, creating a great opportunity for many of our students in our health care-related programs to literally go from classroom to a vital, in-demand job and fulfilling career.”

Additionally, as part of the ongoing collaboration between Schoolcraft College and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, the St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center on campus opened earlier this year. The 74,000-square-foot multi-purpose space includes eight volleyball courts, a running track, soccer training space and fitness and rehabilitation space. Mercy Elite provides physical therapy, strength and conditioning and fitness training for all interested schools, clubs, teams or individuals. A state-of-the art fitness laboratory, classroom space and faculty offices for Schoolcraft College’s Associate Degree program in Movement Science also share the space.  


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About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving seven counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, and Lenawee. It includes 548-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 497-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea and 66-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell.  Combined, the five hospitals are licensed for 1,548 beds, have five outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 15,300 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.   SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $2 billion and returns about $115 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.


SJMHS is a member of Trinity Health, a leading Catholic health care system based in Livonia, Mich. Trinity Health operates in 22 states, employs about 133,000 colleagues, has annual operating revenues of $17.6 billion and assets of about $24.7 billion. Additionally, the organization returns almost $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit www.stjoeshealth.org.

About IHA

Established in 1994, IHA is one of the largest multi-specialty medical groups in Michigan delivering more than one million patient visits each year, practicing based on the guiding principle: our family caring for yours. Lead by physicians, IHA is committed to providing the best care with the best outcomes for every patient and an exceptional work experience for every provider and employee. Recognized as Metro Detroit’s Top Physician Group by Consumer Reports magazine, IHA offers patients from infancy through senior years, access to convenient, quality health care with extended office hours and urgent care services, online patient diagnosis, treatment and appointment access tools. IHA is based in Ann Arbor and employs more than 3,000 staff, including more than 700 providers consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, care managers and midwives in more than 100 practice locations across Southeast Michigan. IHA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and a member of Trinity Health. For more information about IHA, visit www.ihacares.com.

Contacts:

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Laura Blodgett

734-712-4536

Laura.Blodgett@stjoeshealth.org

IHA

Amy Middleton

734-327-0877

Amy_Middleton@ihacares.com

The COVID-19 Vaccines

Get your questions answered here.

The COVID-19 vaccines are our best shot for ending the pandemic. But as expected with anything new, you may have some questions before you schedule your vaccine. We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions we’re hearing about the COVID-19 vaccines in our vaccine clinics. Get the facts and then get your shot!

How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Patients over the age of 18 can schedule their COVID-19 vaccine online here:

Patients age 16 to 17 can only schedule at specific clinic locations, please ensure the clinic says *16-17 before proceeding to schedule online. If you schedule at a clinic that does not have the capability to vaccinate a 16 or 17-year-old, your vaccine appointment will be canceled and there is no guarantee we will be able to accommodate you at a different location.

Can I choose which COVID-19 vaccine I get?

No, IHA & St. Joe’s Medical Group have received a supply of each of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines, however the daily supply at each vaccine clinic changes, so we are not able to determine ahead of time which will be available and which you will receive. Our staff will help you schedule your second dose of the vaccine when you receive your first. 

Will I be charged when I receive the COVID-19 vaccine at IHA?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying condition?

Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.

What happens if I have an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?

After you receive your COVID-19 vaccine, you will sit in a waiting area for monitoring with IHA providers present, for 15 minutes. If at any point you aren’t feeling well, communicate with an IHA provider and they will get you the care you need immediately. If you experience a severe allergic reaction after leaving a vaccine site, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

Should I get the vaccine if I had COVID-19?

Yes. You should get the COVID-19 vaccine whether or not you’ve previously tested positive for COVID-19. The vaccine will produce a stronger immune system response than a natural infection.

I am currently sick with COVID-19, can I get vaccinated?

No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.

Who should NOT get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of the vaccine or had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine.

What are the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4- hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate trihydrate, and sucrose.


Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and how you can get vaccinated at an IHA vaccine clinic.

Diagnosing COVID-19

What you need to know about testing for COIVD-19.

What is the difference between a PCR test and a Rapid Antigen test for COVID-19?

IHA currently offers two types of diagnostic tests for COVID-19:

  1. Antigen test (frequently referred to as a rapid test). This test detects protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus. Turnaround time for results is usually very quick and, in some cases, results can be reported in 15 minutes.
  2. PCR test. PCR testing is considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19  (SARS-CoV-2) detection. This test actually detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even when the patient is asymptomatic. Turnaround time is longer than the antigen test, results take approximately 2-5 days to return. Some rapid testing could have a quicker turnaround time. Result turnaround times will fluctuate based on the community testing demand but can take up to 5 days and sometimes even longer.

How do I know which test I should get?

Discuss your personal situation with a healthcare provider to receive the best guidance on the most appropriate test. A rapid antigen test can be used when a patient is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.  Positive results from an antigen test are highly accurate, and while false positives can occur, they are rare. If your antigen test is negative, your healthcare provider may recommend that you have a confirmatory PCR test.

Should I wait until I have symptoms to get a COVID-19 test?

We recommend waiting 5-7 days post exposure to COVID-19 before getting tested unless you develop symptoms of COVID-19.  If a PCR test is negative and the patient remains asymptomatic, we recommend quarantining for 14 days from time of exposure.

What is a COVID-19 antibody test?

Antibody, or serology, tests look for antibodies in your blood to determine if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies can usually be detected in a person’s blood 2 – 3 weeks after symptoms begin. An Antibody test cannot be used to diagnose an active infection and is not recommended for patients currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

What tests are available for antibody tests?

COVID-19 antibody testing is done through a blood draw. A laboratory test order is required to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies and the test can be completed with other bloodwork if appropriate. Talk with your provider if you think a COVID-19 antibody test is appropriate for you.

If I got the COVID-19 vaccine, will my antibody test come back positive?

Maybe. The vaccine is intended to induce an immune response, so the antibody test (serology test) may be positive in someone who has been vaccinated.


Learn more about the COVID-19 testing and how you can get tested if you need to.

The COVID-19 vaccines are our best shot for ending the pandemic. Schedule your vaccine at an IHA Vaccine Clinic near you.

Returning to Normal*

*For kids it’s anything but normal.

By Patrick Gaulier, LMSW & Leah Diebel, LLMSW

Last year, Michigan parents and students were faced with a very difficult adjustment from in-person education to attending school virtually. As many schools push for more time in the classroom, parents and students are again making an adjustment, this time back to in-person learning. After a year of virtual classes where students didn’t have to leave their bedroom or home, walking into a school with hundreds of other children or teens can feel like a daunting task. As a parent, dropping your (nervous) child off after months of having them home is equally daunting. Even kids and parents that normally don’t experience social anxiety (or anxiety period) may feel nervous because they are out of practice. It’s normal to feel that way and there are ways to help the return to school go more smoothly for parents and children.

Prepare for school to be different from what they remember.

The school children left last spring is not the same place they will be returning to. Everyone will be wearing masks, friends will have distance between them, there may even be plexiglass shields, and lunchtime and recess will be a very different experience. Uncertainty around what school will look like upon their return will be a source of anxiety for children and teens, so the more information they have (at their level) the better. Talk to your kids about the new rules in place and how they feel about them. Try to get answers to their questions prior to their first day back in the classroom.

Let them worry.

Collectively, we say we are returning to “normal”, but really, we’re not. Kids are returning to school, but it won’t be what they remember as normal. The most normal thing about this whole process is worrying. Everyone has worries and parents can help children to see worrying is a normal part of life. Parents can help children manage worry and anxiety by asking open-ended questions like “what happened at school today?” or “what did you do at recess today?” or “did you see anything interesting on social media today?” Children may not be ready to share their feelings or answers to their questions, but they know you are ready to listen when they are. The most important takeaway is to not minimize or discount your children’s anxiety.

Create opportunities for conversations.

As you prepare as a family for the return to in-person learning, be sure to give your children an opportunity to voice their concerns and excitement as well. Plan to sit down for device-free dinners where conversations can happen. Spend a few extra minutes tucking them in at night and ask them how they are feeling about upcoming changes. For teens a chat while driving is an opportunity to talk without forced eye contact. Schedule an outing with children either individually or as a family, depending on how your child best communicates, where they have dedicated time where they can feel heard.

Brush up on social skills.

For some kids, it’s been a while since they had face to face interactions with other students, teachers and staff at their school. For younger kids, try role playing some basic greetings and conversations they can have with someone they haven’t seen is a while. Talk about some different conversations starters and questions they can ask. They should also think about a couple things they would want to share with friends. Going into school prepared can help kids manage the anxiety that comes with the change from virtual interactions to facet-to-face.

Create a new routine and stick to it.

Since so much about the school day will be different, the daily routine should evolve, not disappear. Structure and routine will provide stability in times of uncertainty. Kids should wake up early enough to complete their morning routine and parents should model structure by also waking up and preparing for the day. It won’t be acceptable to walk around in pajamas at school, so it shouldn’t happen at home as children get ready to make the change from home learning to classroom learning. If children are returning to virtual classes, they can still go through their morning routine even if their commute is to a desk at home.

Know when they/you need more help.

If you think your child is struggling or may need more help than you are able to provide, the IHA Pediatric Behavioral Health Care team is here for you and your children. They will work in collaboration with your child’s IHA pediatrician to improve your child or adolescent’s overall health as well as helping the family understand the child’s development. IHA Pediatric Behavioral Health Specialists are available for video appointments through any IHA Pediatric practice.