Health News Across The Region


New Health Care Training Program Launches

Integrity Home Health Care in Traverse City has opened Integrity Health Training School. Starting this month, it is offering a Nurse Aide Training Program that prepares students to become certified nurse aides.

Executive Director Greg Hall said the training will likely be offered every four to five weeks. He said the school was formed specifically to meet the growing demand for quality health care services and health-related education in the region.

“There continues to be a substantial shortage of highly qualified caregivers in the greater Grand Traverse region, and we felt compelled to do something about it,” said Hall.“ The training school will allow us to give our own caregivers, and the community at large, the necessary training and education to meet the increased demands we are seeing in the health care industry. Additionally, it will allow us to do our part to improve employee retention and wages in an industry that traditionally suffers in these areas.”

Because home health care companies are not regulated in Michigan (no background checks, etc.), the local business pursued state approval for a program to elevate the standard of care locally.

The class runs approximately three weeks and the $599 tuition includes all books and both classroom and clinical training. Upon completion, students are qualified to take the Michigan State Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) exam.

There are other nurse aide training programs in the region, including the Northern Michigan Health Training School and offerings at Northwestern Michigan College. Hall said some of those programs are more expensive and generally don’t address home care needs.

The Integrity program will include nearly 20 hours of home care training in addition to the traditional curriculum covered in similar programs. More program information available by calling 946-3000 or emailing


Health Clinic Named ‘Community Hero’

The Traverse Health Clinic was recently recognized as a Community Health Hero by

Munson Healthcare for its efforts to promote health and wellness, manage and prevent chronic disease, and to support community health improvement by focusing on the unmet needs and root causes of poor health in the community.

The award honors the clinic’s nearly 40 years of providing quality health care and its success in becoming federally designated as a Community Health Center.

Clinic CEO Arlene Brennan said the clinic’s scope addresses the health care needs of the whole person from primary and preventive care that involve routine checkups, vaccinations or screening tests, to mental health counseling, low- or no-cost medications and access to dental care.

The clinic achieved a high rating following its first federal site visit from the Health Resources and Services Administration, with high quality outcomes in areas such as cervical cancer screening, depression screening for all patients, management of patients with chronic pain, and blood insulin, vision, and depression screening for diabetics.

It also recently was able to add an internist to its staff thanks to a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Traverse Health Clinic accepts all insurances as well those patients without insurance.



Munson Healthcare Completes Hospital Purchases

Munson Healthcare has officially assumed ownership of the former Mercy hospitals in Cadillac and Grayling.

Munson Healthcare and Trinity Health entered into purchase negotiations last May; the deal was finalized in late January. The hospitals have been affiliated with Munson Healthcare for more than 15 years. They are now named Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital and Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital

The purchase also includes the former Mercy Manor in Grayling, now Munson Healthcare Crawford Continuing Care Center, and Mercy Home Care and Hospice Northern Michigan, now part of Munson Home Health. In all, the agreement brings some 1,500 former Mercy staff members under the umbrella of Munson Healthcare owned facilities.

Munson Healthcare now consists of: four owned hospitals, the two in Cadillac and Grayling, Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, and Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort; one managed hospital, Kalkaska Memorial Health Center in Kalkaska; and three affiliated hospitals, Charlevoix Area Hospital in Charlevoix, Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord, and West Shore Medical Center in Manistee.

The system also owns Munson Home Health, Munson Mobile Imaging, North Flight EMS, Munson Dialysis Services, and has joint ownership of Great Lakes Mobile PET, Northern Michigan Supply Alliance and the Northwest Michigan Surgery Center.