Community Connection Newsletter | August 2020 | News & Announcements
Leadership Changes for Samaritas Grand Rapids
Executive Director Beth Covault Now Overseeing Entire Campus
By Valarie Taffs Cook
Beth Covault
Executive Director Beth Covault's responsibilities are expanding to include oversight for the entire Samaritas Grand Rapids senior living campus. Under her leadership, Covault is responsible for Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services. In her expanded roles, she'll also manage the teams at the Terraces, Woods and the Lodge. She's excited to also welcome the new members of her team.

Mary Ziomkowski is our new Director of Nursing at the Lodge. Mary has many years of service in Long Term Care, and has served at the Director of Nursing at Pilgrim Manor and Covenant Living of the Great Lakes. Mary has her Doctorate in Nursing Practice, Masters of Education, and Bachelors of Science. Mary has a true passion for caring for others through teaching and learning. 
Ryan Hoekstra
We are also pleased to announce our new campus Chaplain, Ryan Hoekstra. Ryan has served as Director of Spiritual care and Chaplain previously for Baruch Senior Ministries. Ryan has a Masters of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern College. He is currently working on his Masters of Health Administration from Grand Valley State University. 

This month we also welcomed our new Nursing Home Administrator, Deborah Mallett. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Detroit Mercy and an Associates of Arts in Occupational Therapy. 
We want to extend a special thank you to Percell Smith who has been serving as our Interim Nursing Home Administrator and has done a wonderful job. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
The Lodge's Family Parade
We all had a ball!
In July, the Lodge residents got a special treat to breakup the quarantine monotony.

The Recreational Therapy Department hosted a Family Parade on Wed., July 8 to allow residents to interact with their loved ones while observing the proper social distance. Nearly 40 people participated in this unique event. Check out the photos below.
Upcoming August Academy Events
We are excited to announce our August Academy Classes! We are offering two and would love for you to sign up and join us via Zoom. Here is the link to sign up: We look forward to you joining us! “See” you soon!
"Let's Talk While We Can" - Food
Preservation Class
August 11 at 3 p.m. via Zoom
We are being joined by the Canning Diva, who will teach us so much about food preservation.

For many people, canning conjures memories of cozy kitchens filled with fresh flavors. Whether you’re picking up this time-honored tradition again, or just starting out, Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva®, is your guide. Join us virtually August 11th at 3 p.m. EST to learn the basics about water bath and pressure canning food in jars as well as other food preservation techniques like freezing and dehydrating so you may store food convenient to your lifestyle.
"Rolling With It" - Essential Oils Class
August 27 at 3 p.m. via Zoom
Marsha Veenstra, a representative for Young Living Essential Oils will explain why and how essential oils can support overall health and well being. You'll also get instructions on how to create and replicate the products as gifts for the people you care for. The supplies will be sent to the address you register with for the class, so be sure to include that information. Join the group in the comfort of your home, via Zoom video call.
Hospice of Michigan CE Class
September 10 at 3 p.m. via Zoom
Hospice of Michigan is presenting a continuing education credit for social workers, case managers and nurses in Pain Management. This presentation focuses on the necessity of identifying the nature of pain and responding quickly and appropriately to relieve it. A standard comprehensive treatment response will be presented, morphine myths and patches will be discussed. All are welcome to attend.
Call (616) 215-8527 or email to register.
Senior Living Communities Get iPads from Grand Rapids-area Donors
By Jessica Scalabrino 
When Samaritas put out the word for help during this unprecedented time of need, a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids and representatives of the John Laing Group responded. Through their support all Samaritas Senior Living communities received iPads to help residents overcome isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 60 iPads are helping residents better connect with the people they love. Residents are now video-calling their loved ones and staying in touch with children and grandchildren more often. Graduations, memorial services and church services don’t have to missed, even when they are across the county or country!
They are also a source of fun – the games and brain teaser apps onboard the iPads keep minds engaged and sharp. Staff are available to assist residents in using the devices. And being good stewards of our resources, when not “checked out” by residents, iPads can help Samaritas staff access continuing education course work and trainings.
If you’ve wondered how you can help make a difference like our friend from Faith Lutheran and the John Laing Group, please reach out to Jessica Scalabrino at (313) 308-8892 to learn how you can further support seniors and their families. 
See what else is going on at Samaritas this month!
Colon Cancer: Reduce Your Risk
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women. Tests can detect colon polyps before they become cancerous, and cancers in their early stages.
Who should be tested? The American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests for:

  • All adults 50 years of age and older
  • People with a personal history of colon polyps, chronic inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer

What are the tests? The ACS suggests the following tests:

  • Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT – preferred) or fecal occult blood test (FOBT)* - Yearly
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy** - Every five years
  • Colonoscopy – Every 10 years

Being tested is the best action you can take to prevent colon cancer. Call your health care provider and make an appointment today.
How can you reduce your risk?

  • Get tested.
  • Stay active. The ACS suggest at least 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week.
  • Keep a healthy body weight. Ask your provider what your weight should be.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Limit your intake of high-fat foods and alcohol.
  • Ask your provider if aspirin therapy might help.

If you have questions about reducing your risk for colon cancer, please contact your provider.

* For FOBT, use the take-home multiple sample method.
** Using either FIT or FOBT yearly, plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years is better (but not required) over either of these options alone.
How can Molina Healthcare support your healthcare needs?
Molina Healthcare offers more benefits for people with Medicaid and Medicare.

Molina Medicare Complete Care HMO SNP offers comprehensive healthcare services to people who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. People with both Medicaid and Medicare are eligible to join a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP). D-SNP offers a wide range of coverage including hospital (hospital stays, skilled nursing, hospice care, and some home health care), medical (doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services), and prescription drug coverage.

Questions? Go to or call (866) 403-8293 (TTY: 711) to learn more.
Molina Medicare Complete Care HMO SNP is a Health Plan with a Medicare Contract and a contract with the state Medicaid program. Enrollment in Molina Medicare Complete Care depends on contract renewal.

This information is available in other formats, such as Braille, large print, and audio. Product offered by Molina Healthcare of Michigan, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Samaritas offers retirement living for seniors with five communities throughout Michigan. Whether you want independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support or rehabilitation therapy, you’ll find a home that feels right.

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