Beaver Island Rural Health Center

Announcements

BEAVER ISLAND RURAL HEALTH CENTER
COVID-19 TESTING, REPORTING & TREATING

The Beaver Island Community is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The current guidelines from the CDC indicate people should mask after known exposure, avoid crowd situations, and test after five days. Anyone with symptoms should isolate and test immediately. It is important to keep in mind that there is no “one-size fits all” guideline. Each person/case has many variables including risks for serious illness and/or hospitalization as well as options for treatment.

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center has At-Home test kits available, as well as Point-of-Care tests administered at the Center. We ask anyone utilizing a Home Test to report the results to the Health Center by calling 231-448-2275 so we can include this valuable information in our community numbers. This will let people know the extent to which the virus is present on the Island and help them make appropriate decisions regarding social gatherings, etc.

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If you are experiencing symptoms, and test positive, you may be eligible for one of the oral anti-viral treatments available at the Health Center if you are at risk for moderate to severe illness. Call 231-448-2275 for more info or to be evaluated by a provider.

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters is still the best way to prevent serious outcomes of COVID-19. Call the Health Center at 231-448-2275 to sign up for your booster as soon as you are eligible.

 

Be Prepared — Tick Season is Here!

  • Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
  • Wear light-colored protective clothing.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks and secure other clothing openings.
  • Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks. Carefully remove any ticks with tweezers (or a special tool) by pulling gently straight out, do not twist.
  • Early removal is key. A tick needs to remain attached for 36 hours before Lyme disease can be transmitted through its saliva, so remove any ticks as quickly as you can.
  • See a health care provider immediately if the tick has burrowed into skin or if the head, mouthparts, or other tick remains cannot be removed. You may be prescribed a single dose of an antibiotic to help prevent Lyme disease.

Scott Spencer Joins BIRHC Team…ASAP!
BIRHC Announces New Nurse Practitioner

Scott Spencer, of Traverse City, MI has been appointed as a Nurse Practitioner at the Beaver Island Rural Health Center effective March 4, 2022.

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center announces that Scott Spencer, a Family Nurse Practitioner, has joined the Center’s medical team.

Scott Spencer earned his dual Board Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Emergency Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University. In addition, he holds Paramedic and Registered Nurse credentials.

“I am very excited to have Scott Spencer join us at the clinic,” said Dr. John Martin, “He brings an incredible array of skills and training and will be a great asset to the Island and the clinic.”

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A native Northern Michigander, Scott enjoys, “all that this Up North paradise has to offer...including jogging, water sports, hiking, pickleball, skiing, snowmobiling, and relaxing” …especially with his ‘Bernedoodle’ buddy Glen, who is always up for a romp, no matter whether it’s snow, sand, mud, or water.

Ann Partridge, Managing Director of the Beaver Island Rural Health Center said, "We are extremely pleased to have attracted an individual of Scott's caliber to the Island. He has outstanding credentials, significant work experience as both a Registered Nurse and Paramedic and shows exceptional
promise. He is a great addition to our medical team."

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Beaver Island and excited to join this amazing community,” shared Scott.

Leslie Visser, a member of the search committee and the Center's Board of Directors, noted, "Scott brings the latest updates in education and experience to our Island healthcare.” She added, “We are excited to have his perspective to strengthen our services and operations.”

Scott Spencer earned his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University (Psychology) and received his Associates Degree in Nursing from Northeast Michigan College. He was previously
employed as a Registered Nurse with Munson Medical Center and as a Paramedic with North Flight Emergency Medical Services, and the Life Ambulance Company. In addition, Scott Spencer is a United States Soccer Federation Certified Referee and Michigan High School Athletic Association Referee.

In mid-Spring the Beaver Island Rural Health Center will provide an opportunity for the Community to ‘Meet and Greet’ Scott Spencer.

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center is a non-profit organization and an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Health Center Board Of Directors Appoints New Managing Director

The Board of Directors of the island’s Rural Health Center have approved the appointment of Ann Partridge as the Center’s new Managing Director. Partridge was selected after a national search and will begin her new appointment immediately.

Partridge is the third managing director of the Center. She is responsible for a budget of just under $1,000,000 and works with a mix of administrative, dental, and medical professionals. In addition to overseeing Center operations she is the spokesperson for the Center. The Island’s Rural Health Center provides primary care and preventive health services (medical and dental) for the residents of the island’s two townships.

“The Search Committee made an excellent recommendation,” said Frank D’Andraia, President of the Board of Directors. He added, “I’m delighted that Ann Patridge has accepted this critical leadership position as Managing Director of the Center. Her solid record in administration and service and her longstanding commitment to the Island make her an ideal choice to lead the Health Center.”

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Ann Patridge, whose hire comes on the heels of a six months-long search led by the late Kate Leese, the former Board Treasurer who died in a October plane crash along with her husband Adam Kendall. In addition to Leese, the other members of the search committee included the Center's Dr. John Martin, Board member Cody Randall, and former Board member Maura Turner. Partridge came to the Center after working for the Commission on Aging and the BIC center.

“It is such an honor to be appointed managing director,” said Partridge. “I look forward to continuing my association with the Center's incredibly talented team to deliver rigorous, professional, and trustworthy health care.”

Ann Partridge is a native Michigander and grew up in the Grand Rapids area. She has been an island resident for over 15 years and a property owner for 24 years. Ann Partridge resides in Peaine Township.

Board Of Directors Meeting Jan 13 Location Change

Because of a scheduling conflict the next meeting of the board on Thursday January 13, 2022 at 4:00pm had to be changed from the Peaine Township Hall to the Beaver Island Community Center Auditorium, 26215 Main St, Beaver Island, MI 49782

Board Of Directors Vacancies Announcement

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center invites applications and nominations to serve on its Board of Directors.

The nine member Board seeks to fill two at large positions. Board terms are three years and directors are not compensated. Generally, the BIRHC Board meets, at a minimum, four times annually. Directors are expected to attend most of the meetings either in person or via audio/video conferencing.

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center invites applications and nominations to serve on its Board of Directors.

The nine member Board seeks to fill two at large positions. Board terms are three years and directors are not compensated. Generally, the BIRHC Board meets, at a minimum, four times annually. Directors are expected to attend most of the meetings either in person or via audio/video conferencing.

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Candidates should be team players who will champion the cause of the Health Center and be willing to contribute their time and talents to Board activities. Year round and seasonal residents are encouraged to apply.

Board members are not required to have a medical background but preferably can contribute expertise, guidance, and dedication in areas that strengthen the island's Health Center's ability and capacity to pursue its mission.

The Board is responsible for overseeing the fulfillment of the organization's mission, strategic planning, financial oversight, fundraising and contributing to organizational growth through dedicated committee and team work.

To apply please send a letter which states your interest and provides the Selection Committee a little about yourself. Letters may be emailed to the attention of Ann Partridge: ann@biruralhealth.org (place "Board Application" in your "Subject" line) or mailed to Ms. Partridge c/o the Rural Health Center Board of Directors Selection Committee, PO Box 146, Beaver Island, MI 49782. Mailed application letters must be received by Tuesday February 8, 2022. Emailed applications must be received by midnight February 8, 2022

More information about the Health Center operations and services, as well as the Board of Directors may be found on the BIRHC webpages: biruralhealth.org

The Selection Committee will begin reviewing applications and scheduling interviews in February. Should you have any questions regarding the application process, please email ann@biruralhealth.org or phone: 231-448-2275

Dr. Edward E. Newcomb Retires

After nearly four decades of service to Beaver Island residents, Dr. Edward E. Newcomb retired as the Health Center’s Medical Director on December 31, 2021. Newcomb joined the Center’s medical team in 1985. During his tenure with the Center Dr. Newcomb practiced his specialty, family medicine.

During the past ten years Dr. Newcomb has been working closely with Dr. Daniel M. Mann to address the medical needs of Beaver Island residents. Doctors Mann and Newcomb are graduates of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. This January Dr. Mann stepped up to replace Dr. Newcomb as the Center’s Medical Director and will now visit the Health Center twice monthly.

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“Dr. Newcomb has been a big factor in the success of the Health Center,” said Ann Partridge, Acting Managing Director of the Center. “He’s a great physician. He has successfully treated a variety of patients, some of whom had significant chronic ailments. His patients often expressed their gratitude for having such a skilled physician conveniently available here on the island. And Center staff will also miss his humor," she added, "for medical duties aren’t always cheerful and Dr. Newcomb has the ability to use his wit to take the negative out of medical work and turn it into something that will make people smile. We are grateful for his 37 years of service to our community both as a practicing physician and as Director of Medical Services at the Health Center. We wish Ed Newcomb all the best."

Dr. Newcomb is affiliated with many hospitals including McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital and the Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital. He and his wife Pamela are residents of Charlevoix Township.

2021 Year-End Campaign

We are overwhelmed by the generosity of so many individuals and businesses who contributed to our 2021 Year-End Campaign. Your support demonstrates your belief in our organization and a commitment to the work of the island’s Health Center.

With most of our event-based fundraisers canceled this year due to COVID, support was most definitely needed more than ever before to help us continue to support the many services and programs the Center provide to residents. We are so thankful for all the donations received and would like to give special recognition these very generous individuals and businesses below who helped make this campaign a tremendous success!

Big Grins at the Island Health Center

Beaver Island’s Elks Lodge #2886, one of The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks newest lodges, has awarded the Beaver Island Rural Health Center a $3,000 grant. “We are beyond grateful,” said Ann Partridge, Acting Managing Director of the Health Center when she was advised of the award.” Partridge was one of several Center personnel and supporters involved in the Good Samaritan Dental Project.

The $3,000 grant moved the Center’s Good Samaritan Fund one step closer to activating its dental initiative. The Good Samaritan Fund will oversee the opportunity for all enrolled Community School students to have a free dental exam, x-ray and cleaning.

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East Side resident Nadra Johnson quickly made the project a reality by matching the Elks grant. The Johnson Family has a tradition of involvement in the Center's Good Samaritan Fund. Johnson, upon learning of the Elks award said, “Insuring island youth have access to proper dental care can be truly life-changing. Good dental care and habits can improve the overall health and self-esteem of an individual. This is such a meaningful project. I’m so happy for the Center and island youth. How could I not support such a worthwhile project?”

Lori Taylor-Blitz, a member of the Health Center Board of Directors and a member of local Elks Lodge #2886 noted the Elks mission is to invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of today’s veterans, and improve the quality of life. The Elks are always looking for appropriate ways to give back to the community. I know our membership is delighted to demonstrate our value to the community by participating in such a unique project.”

The free dental exam, x-rays and cleaning will be done on the island by the Dental Clinics North clinicians. DCN operates a clinic within the Island's Rural Health Center complex. Ann Partridge indicated the project is expected to commence in February of 2022.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has made more than 12 Billion in donations since they first started 153 years ago. The Elks annually donate millions in cash, gifts, and time to make communities better places to live.
Dental Clinics North is a partnership of local health departments located in Northern Michigan. Dental Clinics North has ten offices throughout northern Michigan.

Health Center Announces Passing Of Emeritus Director Joe Reed

Joseph Dues Reed Sr. a former advisor and Emeritus Director of the Health Center Board of Directors has passed away.

Frank D’Andraia, President of the Board, said, “It is with tremendous sadness that we share the passing of our colleague and friend Joe Reed. Joe gave generously of his time and resources during his tenure on the Board. He was an indefatigable member of the team that made the construction of a new Health Center possible. In addition, Joe Reed played a leading role in establishing an endowment that provides a reliable source of income in perpetuity for the Center. His kindness, wisdom and grace will be missed by all of us at the Health Center.”

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Mr. Reed passed away on Beaver Island November 21, 2021.

Dealing with Grief

David Behling recently provided crisis support for our Beaver Island First Responders, then graciously returned to the Island to assist our community at large in our healing process. If you or someone you know could benefit from information on the grieving process, view or download David’s helpful guidance on these intertwined topics below. #BeaverIslandStrong

Kate Leese

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center today announced with great sadness that Kate Leese, a valued member of the Health Center’s Board of Directors, passed away on the afternoon of November 13, 2021 in a plane crash that also claimed the life of her husband Adam Kendall.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Kate Leese and her husband Adam Kendal,” said Frank D’Andraia, President of the Health Center’s Board of Directors. “Kate served our board with great commitment. She was an inspiring leader and valued member of our organization and she will be greatly missed.”

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In addition to her Board membership, Kate Leese served on a number of Health Center standing and ad hoc committees. In October her peers elected her Treasurer.

Ms. Leese was a Managing Partner of Kinetics, an emergency preparedness and change management consulting firm. Prior to joining Kinetics Kate served as Public Safety Director for the City of Jackson (MI); was the Midwest Program Director for Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management firm, was the Emergency Manager for Consumers Energy of Michigan; worked as an Emergency Management Associate for Georgetown University's Department of Emergency Management & Operational Continuity during the H1N1 pandemic and at the US Department of Agriculture during the avian influenza outbreak. In 2009 the International Association of Emergency Managers selected her to be the recipient of the Association's Business and Industry Preparedness Award. She earned a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, a Master’s in Public Health and an MBA focused on Disaster Management. Kate was a native Michigander.

Kate Leese and her husband Adam Kendal moved to Beaver Island in 2020 and they were residents of Peaine Township.

For more info, call 231-448-2275

COVID-19 Vaccination Update:

On Friday, November 19, 2021, the Beaver Island Rural Health Center will have a Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination clinic for those 5 to 11 years of age. Parents interested in the vaccination for their child should call 231-448-2275 to make an appointment. The vaccine comes in ten-dose vials which must be used within the same day. Vaccinations are by appointment only; no walk-ins will be available. If there are more than ten appointments requested, we will schedule additional vaccinations on Tuesday, November 23rd.

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Pfizer BioNTech Youth and Adult Vaccines and Boosters are still available and require six-person scheduling blocks. Please call 231-448-2275 to check eligibility and for an appointment.

We do not anticipate receiving more Moderna vaccine, however the CDC and FDA have authorized the use of Pfizer Boosters for those who received the initial Moderna series.

Up-to-Date info on the virus and how to stop its spread
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The Directors of the Beaver Island Rural Health Center announce the appointment of Leslie R. Visser to its board of directors effective immediately.

Leslie R. Visser is an accomplished manager and practitioner with nearly 30 years of collective experience, consisting of 18 years with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services of Grand Rapids, Michigan and a decade working in various capacities in the behavioral health field. In addition, Dr. Visser is a Limited Licensed Psychologist and is a member of the adjunct faculty of Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids).

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Dr. Visser’s recent community engagement commitments have included serving as a mentor in the DA Blodgett-St. Johns (Grand Rapid) Sisters in Support Program, a member of the Shawnee Park Church (Grand Rapids) Justice Committee and as the Registration Coordinator, Toys for Tots of West Michigan.

Leslie Visser earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Communications; Master of Arts in Counselor Education & Counseling Psychology; and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership and Development. Dr. Visser and her family are frequent visitors to the island and own property here as well. The Visser’s are residents of Byron Center, Michigan.

Board of Directors Vacancy Announcement

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center invites applications and nominations to serve on its Board of Directors.

The nine member Board seeks to fill one at large positions. Board terms are three years and directors are not compensated. Generally, BIRHC Board meets four times annually. It can be more than four times a year, but four is usually the minimum. Directors are expected to attend most of the meetings either in person or via audio/video conferencing.

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Candidates should be team players who will champion the cause of the Health Center and be willing to contribute their time and talents to Board activities, including fundraising. Finance/budget experience is desirable but not required. Year round and seasonal residents are encouraged to apply.

Board members are not required to have a medical background but preferably can contribute expertise, guidance, and dedication in areas that strengthen the Health Center's ability and capacity to pursue its mission.

The Board is responsible for overseeing the fulfillment of the organization's mission, strategic planning, financial oversight, fundraising and contributing to organizational growth through dedicated committee and team work.

To apply.please send a letter which states your interest and provides the Selection Committee a little about yourself. Letters may be emailed to tammy@biruralhealth.org (place "Board Application" in your "Subject" line) or mailed to the BIRHC Selection Committee, PO Box 146, Beaver Island, MI 49782. Mailed application letters must be received by Monday June 7, 2021. Emailed applications must be received by midnight June 7, 2021

More information about the Health Center operations and services, as well as the Board of Directors may be found on the BIRHC webpages: biruralhealth.org

The Selection Committee will begin reviewing applications and scheduling interviews in early June Should you have any questions regarding the application process, please email tammy@biruralhealth.org or phone: 231-448-2275

Beaver Island Rural Health Center Hours

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center continues to operate Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm, with a provider on call 24/7. Anyone needing medical attention is asked to call the Health Center (231.448.2275) first, no walk-ins will be accepted. ALL patients will be evaluated over the phone by the provider with on-site visits scheduled for those with acute illnesses or urgent needs.

Annual Garden Tour Benefit Brings Another Day Of Fun!

Thanks to many organized helpers our covid- cancelled 2020 TOUR was revamped for August 10th,  with limited seating, and precautions taken. The cloudy day did not dampen our spirits and everyone cooperated with the changes we made from our usual tours. We visited 3 homes on Donegal Bay and one at Indian Point.

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Our first stop was the Bottle House, a 1970  house built by Ruth and Ray Denny, now owned by Chris and Sue Screven. The artistic touches that Ruth incorporated have been enhanced by the Screvens, including lovely roadside garden areas as well as a beach deck filled with flower and vegetable containers. Our tour guests were invited inside for a quick look at all the wonderful driftwood and shipwreck pieces. Thank you Sue and Chris for allowing us to enter your unique Beaver Island abode!

Second stop was the Freeman's Place, noted for their colorful history of exchange of ownership. One time the lot was lost in a card game, another time traded for a boat and a gun. Bill and Janice built the main house in 1996, adding decking and a garage/guest house over the years since. Their landscaping has slowly been completed over the last 5 years,  and Janice declared she would be happy to be included on the Garden Tour this summer. Thank you both for such a lovely tour of your special spot on the Bay!

We broke for lunch at the Port St. James Pavillion high on a dune overlooking the archipelago. This simple screened eating area was transformed into a festive beach party by Thea Mckiernan,  Emily Ruddell, and Joan Callen, and 3 guests of Thea's.  Yellow tablecloths with beach bucket centerpieces,  a completely "dolled-up" cupcake stand with lemonade, and iced tea, as well as whimsical yard art out in the open air area. So delightful, and a wonderful pop of color that brightened the day. Tasty sandwiches from Bodega Culinary, as well as a presentation by Ed Leuck, dune botanist , and music by Chris Screven,  all highlighted the lunch program. Also, throughout the day, unsuspecting guests were treated to a prize, given out by Jan Paul from her yearly collection that she gathers  for this Event. What a fun , well-loved idea;  thank you Jan!

The third stop was at the "Bird's Eye View ", the original Allen family cottage, now owned by Thea and Kito, her parrot. The cottage built by Henry Allen is the same footprint of others around the area, built from a kit from the mainland in 1966. The hearth built of stones that were collected by the Allen children is now outside in the back of the cottage. Thea has tried to plant flowers but her luck ran out early so she put in 600 dune grass plugs, and added whimsical spinners, art pieces and a few high quality faux pots of flora that don't need watering! Great job Thea. Your unique place reflects you. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Last, but not least, we drove the winding trail to Indian Point and discovered the lovely serene setting of The Callen House. In 2002 the lot was purchased by Dennis and Joan, and after 3 years of a builder's wait list,  they finally got their dream place built. The "jungle" was cleared of tree stumps, lake rocks brought in to define paths, grass planted and meticulously babied by Dennis, and perennials cared for by Joan. The green lush lawn gently flowing out to the shore beckons one to wander there and take in the view of the 3 islands beyond. A rocky theme continues within their home which they opened for us to see. A rock wall in the bathroom contains various sized stones from beaches here and also Arranmore Island. Joan has fond memories of doing this project with her mother. What a lovely piece of Paradise you two have created for generations to come. Thank you both for joining our Garden Tour Hosts this year.

This year Miranda Roen,  a professional photographer on Beaver Island,  offered to help capture photos of our Event. Please look at her website to view some of her work.  We hope to see the Tour photos soon. Www.RoenPhotography.com, thank you Miranda!

Thank you to our hosts, our guests, our neverending Wellness Garden team, Ed Leuck, and CMU for their vans and drivers. We hope to see you next year!

Submitted by Leonor Jacobson and Jan Paul, with the aid of Dana D'Andraia's Tour Guide pamphlet.

Great Lakes Energy (GLE) PEOPLE FUND Awards Grant to BIRHC

Last November, the Center’s fall fundraising appeal highlighted the need for hospice equipment and supplies. In Februarythe Board moved forward with a Great Lakes Energy People Fund application for additional support to cover the acquisition of this specialized and expensive equipment. In April the Board received word that GLE had awarded $5,500.00 for Center’s Hospice Equipment for the Beaver Island Rural Health Center project! The GLE funding, backed by direct donations already received from the fall appeal, enables the Center to purchase such items as an electric hospital bed, power lift chair, and alternating pressure mattress and related palliative care equipment.

Opioid Assistance and the Michigan Center for Rural Health Michigan State University:

In February the Michigan Center for Rural Health Michigan State University invited the Center to join the Northern MI Opioid Response Consortium (NMORC). Other area organizations who were solicited included: McLaren Northern MI Hospital, Munson Charlevoix Hospital, East Jordan Federally Qualified Health Center, Alcona Health Center – Harbor Springs, Second Chance Counseling, Bear River Health, Kamala’s House, Equip for Freedom, Community Recovery Alliance, Harbor Hall, Bay Area Substance Education Services (BASES), and Petoskey City Council became part of the constitorium. The Northern MI Opioid Response Consortium is an existing consortium, consisting of 32 members, providing services in eighteen rural northern MI counties.The NMORC assists in addressing prevention, treatment, and recovery of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. The Center’s commitment spans the entirety of the NMORC grant period (September 2021 – August 2024). As a consortium partner the Rural Health Center is able to participate in all aspects of the grant including, but not limited to: education and understanding of evidence-based treatments and prevention strategies.

25th Anniversary: The Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2021.

Established in 1991, the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) is one of only three non-profit State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) in the country. As Michigan’s SORH, MCRH plays a key role in rural health care by assisting in the creation and implementation of partnerships among organizations, health departments, hospitals, government and academia. Those collaborations and alliances go on to create new opportunities in the areas of network development, quality of care, emergency medical services, continuing education, and recruitment and retention of rural health care providers. MCRH has been an advocate for rural health centers like the Beaver Island Rural Health Center and MCRH has earned a reputation as the center for expertise for rural health in Michigan. The Beaver Island Rural Health Center has benefited from collaborating with MCRH and congratulates the Michigan Center for Rural Health on 25 year of service to rural Michigan.

For updated Beaver Island Coronavirus 19 information

Click on the “Coronavirus 19” Link on either township’s homepage peainetwp.org or stjamestwp.org
Get the latest Charlevoix County info at  http://www.nwhealth.org/covid19.html
State of Michigan info at https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
And National updates at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
“Protect yourself. Protect the Island.”

New Board Members Elected

On December 12, 2020 the Beaver Island Health Center elected five new members to its board of directors. The BIRHC Board of Directors consists of 9 members. The newly elected members are:

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Larry Birch has over 30 years of experience in leadership positions in general management and finance. Larry’s foundational experience was at Baxter Healthcare where he led several divisions on a senior finance role. More recently, Larry served as CEO of the Evolve Audiology Group, where he was responsible for developing a new brand strategy and more efficient business model. For nine years he served as CEO and President of DataTrak, a clinical trials management company, where he led a successful restructuring. He was President and CEO of NeoPharm, where he turned around the company and developed a new drug research strategy. He has also served as interim President and CEO of Aksys, where he emphasized increasing sales and decreasing costs. Larry has broad board experience and serves on the boards of School Health Corporation in Chicago and Molecula in Austin, Texas. For the past eight years he was a member of the YMCA of Metro Chicago Board of Managers and he currently serves on several Life Science and Technology boards. Larry has a history of mentoring individuals. In 2018 Larry joined the Business Leader Faculty of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (IL), where he teaches leadership, strategy, and entrepreneurial finance. Larry is a CPA and is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Larry Birch resides in Peaine Township and maintains a home in Illinois.


Lori Taylor Blitz is the Executive Director of the Beaver Island Historical Society. During her tenure the Society completed a major addition to one of the two museums it operates, more than doubling the exhibition space of the Print Shop Museum. In 2019 Lori was responsible for securing funds to repair, restore, and preserve one of the Society’s most prized holdings, the historic WPA-era mural “Hauling in the Net” by the noted Hungarian born artist Zoltan Sepeshy. She has been successful in raising funds to bring several traveling exhibits to the island, chief among which was the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways Exhibition in 2018. In addition to fundraising and grant writing experience, Lori has been responsible for strengthening the Society’s community-centered focus, ensuring the institution’s relevancy to its audiences and the Island.
Lori is a 2018 graduate of the Leadership Charlevoix County program, a past advocate for two domestic violence shelters, and a volunteer for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). Lori Taylor-Blitz is a resident of St. James Township and maintains a home in Escanaba, MI.


Kate Leese Kate Leese is a Managing Partner of Kinetics, an emergency preparedness and change management consulting firm. Prior to joining Kinetics Kate served as Public Safety Director for Consumers Energy; was the Midwest Program Director for Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management firm; was the Emergency Manager for Consumers Energy of Michigan; worked as an Emergency Management Associate for Georgetown University's Department of Emergency Management & Operational Continuity during the H1N1 pandemic and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the avian influenza outbreak. In 2009 the International Association of Emergency Managers selected her to be the recipient of the Association's Business and Industry Preparedness Award. She earned a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, a Master’s in Public Health and an MBA focused on Disaster Management. Kate is a native Michigander. Kate Leese moved to Beaver Island in 2020 and is a resident of Peaine Township.


Kellie Sopczynski has over 15 years of experience in the health and not for profit fields. She is currently Donor Services Manager for Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, with responsibility for overseeing blood centers located in the Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw areas. Her portfolio includes supervision of blood bank personnel, selecting and training new hires, and implementing safety standards and quality control practices. Her responsibilities involve ensuring that the blood bank services and laboratory operations adhere to all relevant medical regulations and that all personnel have the required licenses and qualifications. In addition, Ms Sopczynski is accountable for donor cultivation and retention. For the past several years she has been very involved with the annual Blood Drive here on Beaver Island. Kellie has received several performance honors since joining Versiti and they include a CEO Circle Award; recognition as a Staff Advisory Council Champion; and a Transformational Leadership Award. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and is currently working on her MBA. Kellie Sopczynski was raised on Beaver Island and resides in Bay City, MI.


Ed Troutman has extensive leadership and management experience, having served for more than 30 years in various executive leadership positions within the insurance industry. Prior to his retirement Ed was Senior Vice President of the Foremost Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Farmers Insurance. During his tenure with Foremost he was responsible for implementing innovative customer services and significant operational efficiencies. Ed and his wife Linda are members of the Health Center’s Legacy Tree and 1953 Societies. He has an extensive history of community engagement, including board service as Treasurer of both the Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association and Beaver Island Transportation Authority. as well as being a board member of The Preservation Association of Beaver Island (BIC Center). He served as Chair of the St. James Board of Review and the St. James Planning Commission. He was active in the Beaver Island Community School’s mentoring program. Ed Troutman is a resident of St. James Township and maintains a home in Indiana.

Peaine Township Selects Carla Martin to Serve on BIRHC Board

Carla Martin is the Clerk/Secretary of Peaine Township. She was the first elected to her position in 2016 and was reelected in 2020. Her responsibilities focus on statutorily assigned functions, most of which are administrative, such as maintaining custody of all Township records and meeting minutes, keeping township resolution and ordinance books, as well as the general ledger, and preparing financial statements. The Clerk is a voting member of the Township Board of Trustees.

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This is Carla’s first two year term as the appointed Peaine Township Representative on the Beaver Island Rural Health Center Board of Directors. In addition to her township duties Carla is serving her fourth year as a member of Beaver Island Airport Commission and is well into her second year as a member of the Beaver Island Transfer Station and Recycle Center Committee. Carla Martin is a native Michigander and is a resident of Peaine Township.

The vote to appoint Ms Martin to the Board was made by the Peaine Township Trustees at their December 8th meeting. The BIRHC Board has a total of nine directors, two of whom are appointed by the Township Boards of St. James and Peaine Township from among the members of their respective Township Boards. All other members of the Board of Directors are elected to the Board. Township board members serve 2 year terms elected directors serve three year terms.

How can you help during the coronavirus outbreak?

March 21, 2020
Here are some ways to help make sure vulnerable residents in our Island community are cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic,

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  • Aid local nonprofits
  • Support local restaurants and bars
  • Assist at risk seniors
  • Help “flatten the curve

The coronavirus pandemic is posing numerous public health challenges, here in Michigan the outbreak has prompted closures of schools and businesses and is straining state, regional and local resources. Here is a way to help in our community to make sure vulnerable residents are cared for during the pandemic

Aid a local nonprofit:  Many nonprofits have seen a surge in requests for assistance as the coronavirus sickens thousands of people and forces layoffs and school and restaurant closures. The Beaver Island Food Pantry is an Island nonprofit that would welcome donations.

  • Beaver Island Food Pantry.   The Beaver Island Food Pantry provides food items to individuals and families in need year-round.  Collection points for food donations include the vestibule of the Beaver Island Christian Church, the Beaver Island Community Center, Beaver Island Rural Health Center, Fresh Air Aviation, Holy Cross Church, and Island Airways. More information about the BI Food Pantry may be found here:  http://bichristianchurch.com/?page_id=395

Assist at risk seniors:  Older people are among the most vulnerable to complications from coronavirus. If you know someone who is elderly and at home (or living at Forest View), consider checking in and asking if you can help shop and deliver groceries or pick up medication on their behalf.

Support local restaurants, bars and pubs:  All Island food and drinking establishments have been ordered to reduce or close operations due to the outbreak. If you want to support our local eateries, bars, and pubs and those who staff them, consider ordering takeout or purchasing a gift card.

Help “flatten the curve:”  One of the most important things you can do to help is protect yourself and others. Prevent the spread of the illness by practicing the CDC’s recommended guidance: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public area or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Not Sure?  For additional ideas please see: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-how-to-help-donations-charities.html?searchResultPosition=4

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

March 19, 2020 What Michigan is Doing?
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On Tuesday, March 10, Michigan’s Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency as the state’s first positive cases of COVID-19 were identified. The emergency declaration enables the state to quickly deploy resources (equipment, supplies and/or personnel) to local jurisdictions to support their response efforts in combating the spread of COVID-19. The declaration places Michigan at a heightened state of preparedness for response. All Michiganders are encouraged to follow the recommendations from MDHHS https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus and the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html to protect themselves and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Get the latest coronavirus updates from:
cdc.gov https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
michigan.gov https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_98155---,00.html

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