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  • “Wendy Schaaf Earns CHC Employee of the Month for January”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Earning the Employee of the Month award at CHC is a great accomplishment. The award exemplifies a positive work ethic and great customer service. For the month of January, CHC recognized a perfect candidate for the award, naming Wendy Schaaf as the January 2012 CHC Employee of the Month.

    Wendy was hired January 11, 2010 as an Office Assistant at the CHC Cancer Center. Currently she still holds that position and does patient registration, billing, scheduling, and insurance verification. According to her nominator, “It is not one single thing that Wendy has done, but rather everything that she does. She is such a positive happy person, exactly the type of person theCancerCenterneeds. She comes to work with a smile, says good morning to everyone, and the patients love her. Her role at theCancerCenteris perfect; she greets each patient with a smile and signs them in. Wendy is a role model for the CHC Value Statements; she respects every individual, she is committed to excellence, and she maintains integrity in all that she does. She is an awesome person on our team.”

    Wendy graduated from Linden High School and attended Ivy Tech College in Ft. Wayne Indiana earning an associates degree in insurance coding. During her time in school, she worked part time atParkviewHospitalinColumbia City,Indiana. Originally fromFenton,Michigan, Wendy and her 14 year old son Dakota now live in Coldwater. She enjoys golfing, fishing, biking, and cooking. Wendy and her son love to travel all overMichiganandIndianadiscovering new places and enjoying time with their family.

    The CHC Cancer Center is committed to serving the patients, families, and residents of Branch County and the surrounding areas through multiple programs. With the mission of caring for patients with cancer and blood disorders, the CHCCancerCenteris challenged on a daily basis to keep abreast of the latest treatments and research to provide proper treatment methods. The on-site ability to provide individualized care to patients and their families is successfully impacting the lives of patients through local access to care, continuing quality and process improvement efforts, and the multidisciplinary team approach of CHC’s physicians, pharmacists, nurses, home health programs, spiritual care, support groups, and clinical support services.

    The CHC Cancer Center staff includes registered nurses who have received advanced training and/or are certified in oncology nursing and bring several years of specialized cancer nursing to the center. They, as well as the physicians and other staff members, have continuously expanded their knowledge and skills to be experts in the field of cancer care. Other staff members include a registered full-time pharmacist, a pharmacy technician, secretary, and tumor registrar. Financial personnel and other CHC staff members are called upon as needed to serve the center’s patients.

    The Community Health Center of Branch County is a non-profit acute care hospital providing access to safe, comprehensive, high quality healthcare services and accredited by The Joint Commission. For more information about CHC, please call the CHC Marketing Department at 517-279-5282 or visit the CHC website at www.chcbc.com or health website at myhealth.chcbc.com. Join us on Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

  • Realtors Raise Money For Scholarships

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Branch County Association of REALTORS® held their monthly membership meeting on March 28 at the Coldwater Elks. The group held a "White Elephant" auction to raise money for their newly established BCAR Memorial Scholarship fund. The group hoped to raise $500 and award one scholarship this year. The auction raised $1,000 so the group will be awarding two scholarships to students in Branch County.

    Members of the BCAR include Realtors, lenders, title companies, home inspectors and appraisers.

  • Sew What

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    With the only quilting machine of its type in the state of Michigan, a Bronson sewing shop has opened its doors.  "Sew What?" and owner Sherrie Reese offers general sewing, alterations and instruction from the new location on North Matteson Street, just north of US 12.  A ribbon cutting and open house were held last week.

    An Ansley 26 long arm quilting machine allows Reese to quilt a complete blanket, with the ability to take fabric 12 feet long and 136 inches wide.
    "Sew What" is open by appointment. Contact Reese at (517)227-1331.  
  • Report Card Ranks MI Business Climate 15th

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Small Business Foundation of Michigan's eighth annual Entrepreneurship Score Card ranked Michigan 15th in the nation in 2011, up 30 slots from its 2010 ranking of 45th.
    Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan said this is a strong indicator of healthier conditions for future small business and entrepreneurial activity.

    The scorecard also found that Michigan's five-year business survival rate, lagging since 2003, is now at the U.S. average

  • CHC Welcomes Behavioral Health Director

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Joni Marquis was recently hired as the new Behavioral Health Services director at the Community Health Center of Branch County (CHC).  Joni will manage the inpatient unit and the outpatient clinic for Behavioral Health, as well as overseeing contracts, admissions, budget development, and staff, and networking with other hospital directors.

    Joni is a registered nurse and has a masters degree in health care administration.  She has over 20 years of experience in the health care field in various positions including management of a behavioral health intake and utilization review department.  Joni has experience in case management and psychiatric ER triage.  She has worked in the clinical research field overseeing clinical trials in a variety of therapeutic areas and was a former board member of Association of Clinical Research Professionals inIndiana.

    Joni grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but spent summers at a lake in Steuben County and loves “lake country” and this area.  She enjoys attending plays and music venues, boating, swimming, and participating in water sports.  Joni likes nature and hiking along with reading and traveling.  She is active in her church and enjoys volunteering.  Joni also has a beautiful yellowLabradordog named Bailey who is her buddy and loves to swim in the lake.

    When asked why she wanted to further her career at CHC, Joni stated, “I want to impact the quality of care and service delivery for individuals with a mental illness in and around the community.”  CHC welcomes Joni to the team.

    CHC’s Inpatient Behavioral Healthcare

    CHC's experienced multidisciplinary staff is committed to the behavioral health of our community. CHC believes that treatment begins by recognizing that each person is unique, capable of communicating his or her needs, and able to successfully participate in his or her own treatment. CHC staff works as a team to help those experiencing a wide range of difficulties. Some seek help for recent problems coping with depression or anxiety; others have trouble with confusion or memory problems; some are battling addiction to alcohol or other substances; and others have chronic mental illnesses that affect their mood or thought processes.

    The CHC team is led by Medical Director Kanwar Rana, M.D. Other team members include a psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurses, art therapist, and psychiatric technicians.

    Sometimes a short stay in the hospital is necessary; CHC provides inpatient psychiatric services. The goal of hospitalization is to help the patient return to his or her home as quickly as possible while assuring the person's safety. CHC works with families, outpatient providers, local community mental health service providers, and doctors to insure coordination of care and a smooth transition to and from community-based services. For questions about inpatient admissions, call 517-279-5347.  Staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions.

    The Community Health Center of Branch County is a non-profit acute care hospital providing access to safe, comprehensive, high quality healthcare services and accredited by The Joint Commission.  For more information about CHC, please contact Mashaun Schabloski, Marketing Specialist, at 517-279-5282 or visit the CHC website at www.chcbc.com or myhealth.chcbc.com.  Join us on Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

  • Meijer Offers Health Screenings

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Meijer Pharmacy located at 620 East Chicago Road in Coldwater, is pleased to host a Cholesterol, Diabetes and Liver Function Screening Clinic on April 10th, 2012.       The clinic is offered from 8:30 am until 12:00 pm (noon). Appointments are required. A full Lipid Panel is offered for $ 30.00, this includes Total Cholesterol (LDL & HDL), Triglycerides and TC/HDL Ratio. 12 hours of fasting is required prior to this test for accuracy. Liver Function Testing is available for $25.00, Diabetes Screening Test (Fasting Blood Glucose) is available for $4.00 and a Hemoglobin A1C Tests are available for $30.00. All results are available within 15 minutes and are lab accurate. Appointments include educational materials and individual consultation with Disease State Management Pharmacist to assist with improving the patients health. For more information or to schedule an appointment please call (517) 279-3310.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Chief Operating Officer, Ellen Bisson recently announced her retirement effective September 6, 2012.  “We are grateful for Ellen’s outstanding 38-year career of service and stewardship to Cameron Memorial Community Hospital,” said Cameron President and CEO, Greg Burns.  “Her contributions to the success and growth of Cameron Hospital have been exceptional.  Her work, both as a caregiver and as an executive leader, has touched the lives of thousands of patients and families in the communities served by Cameron Hospital.” 

    Bisson has dedicated her entire professional working life—38 years—in service to Cameron Hospital.  She began her career at Cameron in the summer 1973 as a student nurse in the Emergency Room.  She graduated from Barry College (Florida), in 1974 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, started at Cameron as a graduate nurse in June, and passed her nursing boards the following month. 

    Bisson quickly advanced to leadership positions with Cameron, becoming a Nursing Supervisor in 1976, Director of Nursing in 1978, Assistant Administrator in 1984, and Vice President in 1988.  She was Interim Chief Executive Officer 2008-2009, and has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2009.  In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Bisson provides executive leadership for the following areas:  Cameron Woods, Facilities Services, Food Services, Home Care and Hospice, Nursing Services, Laboratory, Pharmacy & Materials Management, Radiology, Regional Cancer Care Center, Rehabilitation Services, and Surgery Services.  She also serves as HIPAA officer for Cameron Hospital.

    Bisson received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1990.  She also pursued professional advancement, achieving distinction as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) in 2004.

    In addition to her healthcare work, Bisson has been active in community and civic affairs.  A sampling of her service includes:  board member and board president with the Northeast Indiana American Lung Association; board member and board vice chair with the Well Child Clinic of Steuben County; board member and board chairperson with the Angola Area Chamber of Commerce, including chair of the 4th of July Committee for 14 years; and board member, vice board chair and board chairperson for the Steuben County Community Foundation.  For more information call 260.665.2141 ext. 2337.


  • New Board Members Welcomed to the Community Foundation

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Branch County Community Foundation is proud to welcome two new Board members to their existing 14 member Board of Directors.  New Board members include Roberta (Bobbi) Gagnon and Curt Proctor.  Gagnon is the director at Kellogg Community College Grahl Center in Coldwater.  She began her career at the college in 2001 teaching and in October 2010 was named the director of theGrahlCenter. She joined the Board this January and when asked what she looks forward to the most about being on the Board she said, “The Community Foundation does an amazing amount of philanthropic work in our community.  I look forward to being a voice in this process and in collaborating with organizations and individuals benefiting from the grants awarded by the Foundation.”  Her hobbies lie in spending time outdoors trail-riding on dirt bikes, skiing, and camping. Gagnon is also a member of Altrusa, the Great Start Collaborative Board, and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.  She is married to her husband, Stan of 20 years and has 2 grown step-children, a new son-in-law, and 2 children attending Coldwater Community Schools.

    Proctor is part-owner of Accounting & Tax Professionals, PC in Coldwater.  In 2007 he retired from Lincoln National Corporation inFort Wayneas a corporate officer and tax manager.  He and his wife, Ruth, have owned the business for 5 years.  Proctor also joined the Board in January 2012 he said, “I hope to learn about and add value to the Branch County Community Foundation, while continuing to serve Branch County, its people and organizations, to the best of my ability.”  In his spare time he enjoys volunteering, life-time learning, and outdoor activities.  He is also a Board member for Family Promise of Branch County (formerly Branch Interfaith Hospitality Network) and an active member of the First Congregational Church-Union City.  He and his wife, Ruth and live inUnion City, have three married children and four grandchildren.

  • Altrusa Scholarship Applications Available

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Altrusa International of Branch County has applications available for its annual scholarship award. Open to non-traditional, community-minded women the award is intended to help recipients get a fresh start, make a career change, or advance in their field. 

    The scholarship program began as a way to recognize high school students for their community service achievements but evolved as the club recognized a need for the adult woman returning to school. Past recipients have included women who delayed college while raising their families or women returning to the work force after a layoff, divorce or family hardship.

    While need and career/educational goals play a part in the selection, community service remains an important criteria for the scholarship. Applications are available at the Branch District libraries, the local college admissions offices and on line at www.AltrusaBranchCounty.com. 

    Up to $2000 in scholarships will be awarded for 2012.  Applicants must live inBranchCountyand currently be accepted to or enrolled at a college, university or trade school. Scholarship deadline is March 30, 2012. Altrusa International of Branch County is an international network of executives and professionals in diversified careers who are dedicated to promoting community service in South Central Michigan


  • Branch Insurance Agency Welcomes Jeff Paarlberg

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Branch Insurance Agency would like to welcome Jeff Paarlberg to their staff. Jeff has lived in Coldwater for more than 30 years and is a member of the Coldwater Elks Lodge and the First Presbyterian Church of Coldwater. Jeff and his wife Nicole currently reside in Coldwater and have two daughters Laynee and Avery.

    Jeff can sell all types of insurance and is a licensed property & casualty and life & health agent. Branch Insurance is located at 24 North Monroe Street in Downtown Coldwater

  • New Food Service Truck Comes to Coldwater Schools

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    With the help of Chartwells, the food service department at Coldwater Community Schools has been run efficiently over the past few years and has created the opportunity for the district to purchase a new food delivery truck out of the food service fund balance.  The district now has two food service trucks toting students’ meals around town, delivering to all of the schools in the district in a day.

    “After being decaled it looks very professional and is great advertising for the school district,” said Tamara Santora, Food Services Director.  When spring and summer months come around the trucks will prove extremely valuable with built in refrigeration that will keep milk and other perishables fresh and at the safest temperatures possible.  The trucks will be used not only during the school year, but also for the summer feeding program, as Chartwells feeds children in the Parks Program when the temperature could be 90+ degree days without any shade.

  • Ponderosa Employee Of The Month

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Congratulations to the March employee of the month at the Ponderosa restaurant on East Chicago Street in Coldwater. The honor goes to Kris Lange.

    The management at Ponderosa says Kris is being recognized because he has an outstanding job performance record, is a team player and takes pride in the cleanliness of his area. Kris Lange, the March employee of the month at the Coldwater Ponderosa.