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With all we've been though a lot of people have set aside the "routine" health care stuff that we all need.  It's understandable to most that when an emergency with so many unknowns like a pandemic comes along, well, no one wants to go where sick people are.  Fear is humans oldest and strongest emotion and to have had some "fear" over the last couple of years...well, it's what we're wired for.  Time has passed, understanding is better, the virus has gone from an out of control and unknown mess to a more manageable place now and the time to take care of the stuff we all need...well, we gotta get back on track.


Mercy Health is reminding people all over that it's safe, and necessary to get back to basics.  Routine things like mammograms', colonoscopies, management of blood pressure and cholesterol for starters.  Kids?  They are encouraged to get caught up on immunizations, annual wellness checks for 3+ and of course the new arrivals are in for some more frequent visits with the monthly visits every 6 months then back it off a little as they grow.  Factor this in too.  One of the terms we all got overly familiar with is "comorbidity" over the last couple of years.  A lot of the wellness checks, screenings and tests are what this preventative and annual care is all about.  Some who lost the COVID battle may have never even known they had conditions that could lead to a more serious illness if something came along.  Truly heartbreaking over simple things that could be addressed if detected early and treated.

On to physical safety.  Mercy Health is making sure all employees are checked daily.  They have abundant PPE for staff and anyone coming in to a building is required to mask up still.  Mercy Health facilities are clean to begin with but they are following strict adherence to the CDC guidelines for cleansing high touch areas and if any industry would really rather avoid another surge, it's got to be the medical field.  Speaking personally, I have even been back for a couple of procedures and it's perfectly fine. 

John Foss is a Physicians Assistant and the Vice President of Operations at Mercy Health Lakeshore Campus.  When we arranged today's meeting, he said "I'd be happy to come down to Muskegon..." I cut him off right there.  I wanted to take a ride up to Shelby not only to see the facility there, but to save an old friend a drive in a busy day.  You see, John took amazing care of me personally when I had a problem years ago with my pancreas after a surgery on my gall bladder.  He's a great guy and we got to catch up quick and talk about all of us getting back to routine health care at Mercy Health.  Take a listen.   


Great guy, compassionate caregiver, outstanding leader and clearly, one of the reasons why Mercy Health's commitment to the Lakeshore, from Holland to Ludington is what makes us so very fortunate to have them here on our side.  What we've all endured, the medical profession has endured 10 fold.  If you remember the early days of the pandemic, they were all hero's.  They still are.  They just want to get back into the regular swing of things, with the occasional emergency as opposed to the 24/7 of it.  Let's all do our part in return for the incredible efforts made over the last couple of years to help make their job a little more routine but getting back to our "routine" visits in person on even a virtual visit in some cases if it's workable with Mercy Health.

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