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WMU honored for being a top-performing green college

When it comes to saving energy and cutting greenhouse gases, Western Michigan University is one of the country's six top-performing colleges says the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

WMU took the top spot for being a large institution with the most carbon emissions saved to date.

The organization that manages the nation's Billion Dollar Green Challenge praised WMU for having the best performance in the Sustainable Endowment Institute's Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS).

The latest national recognition required the tracking and careful input of data on projects that date back some 20 years, says WMU Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Pete Strazdas. WMU used the GRITS software tool to measure its savings, which is available free to North American educational institutions, thanks to Strazdas' work.

WMU is home to the nation's oldest green revolving fund and it was previously recognized by the Sustainable Endowments Institute for that accomplishment. Such funds are tools that allow institutions to put money into sustainability projects and then invest the savings from those projects into new energy projects. WMU's semi-revolving fund was established in 1980 and has financed more than 100 campus projects with an average annual return on investment of 47 percent.

The honor in 2015 from the Sustainable Endowments Institute is an acknowledgement that "this is one university that is on the sustainability path for the long haul," says Harold Glasser, WMU executive director for campus sustainability and professor of environmental studies. "That's especially significant in an environment in which some see long-term commitment to sustainability as one of the shortcomings for many campus communities."

Source: Western Michigan University

Bronson Internal Medicine adds two physicians

Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists has welcomed Steven Shelden, D.O. and Manish Sharma, M.D., to its team. Both will be working as hospitalists at Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Battle Creek.

Sharma completed his internal medicine residency at the Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. He is board certified in internal medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

Shelden completed his internal medicine residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is board certified in internal medicine and received his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing.

Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists–Kalamazoo is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists–Battle Creek is located at 300 North Ave. in Battle Creek.

Source: Bronson

AVB hires new commercial project engineer

Jenae Kuipers has been hired by AVB as a commercial project engineer. She will coordinate all necessary documents and communications for commercial projects for the company.

She has a background in construction and project management and since joining AVB she has demonstrated her skills in the communication process for project coordination.

Kuipers earned her Master's Degree of Business Administration and her Bachelor's Degree of Arts at Michigan State University.

AVB has been building in Southwest Michigan since 1981. AVB’s commercial division focuses on construction management in the healthcare, education, office, industrial, municipal, and retail markets.  

AVB’s custom residential building division specializes in single-family homes, condominiums and neighborhoods.  AVB’s development group focuses on property development for commercial, residential, and mixed uses.

Source: AVB


Borgess Health adds two health care providers

Two new health care providers--Trisha Farrell and Jeffery Oney--have joined Borgess Health.

Trisha Farrell, MS, CNM, WHNP, RNC, is a nurse practitioner and is now working in the Medical Specialties Building office at Borgess Medical Center. Trisha has 25 years of experience and most recently was a school nurse at Antioch District 34, Hillcrest Elementary School, in Antioch, Ill.

She is a former Nurse Corps Officer in the United States Navy and has held women’s health nurse practitioner, RN, nurse midwife and department head positions in the Navy. She is a 2013 recipient of the Inspiration Award in Women’s Health from the Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Organization, and a recipient of the 2010 Preceptor of the Year from the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Farrell earned a Master of Science degree from the University of California at San Francisco and her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the former Nazareth College in Kalamazoo.

Jeffery Oney, MSM, MS, PA-C, AT, has joined the staff of Borgess Orthopedics, part of the Borgess Bone & Joint Institute.

He previously has held clinical rotations at Borgess Women’s Health in Plainwell, Borgess Heart Center for Excellence, Borgess ProMed Family Practice, and Borgess Palliative Care. He also held clinical rotations in pediatrics, psychiatry, orthopedics, general surgery and family practice with health care providers in southwest Michigan and in Denver, Colo.

Oney was a graduate assistant athletic trainer from August 2008 to August 2010 at Western Michigan University. He is a former head athletic trainer at Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor. He has provided athletic training for other high schools in Michigan and Indiana. Jeffery’s athletic training experience includes providing medical coverage in 2008 and 2009 for the United States Tennis Association Junior National Championship Tournament, which takes place annually in Kalamazoo. He also served as an athletic training summer intern in 2007 with the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Mass.

Oney earned a Master of Science in Medicine-Physician Assistant Program, as well as a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Medicine-Athletic Training, from Western Michigan University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training, Magna Cum Laude, from WMU.

Source: Borgess

Bronson hires a handful of health care providers

Five new health care providers have joined Bronson, serving in many different areas. Kimberly Hybels, Steven Khalil, Steven Ross, Gayle Waldenmaier, and Travis Walker are all now part of the Bronson team.

Nurse Pactitioner Kimberly Hybels, now works with Bronson Rapid Response Team. Hybels received her Master of Science in Nursing from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor. She has a special interest in adult gerontology. Bronson Rapid Response Team is located at 601 John St. Suite 510 in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Trauma Surgery Services adds Steven Khalil, M.D. Khalil to its team of specially-trained critical care surgeons and southwest Michigan’s only Level I Trauma Center. He completed his surgical trauma and critical care fellowship at Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, N.Y. and his general surgery residency at Staten Island University College of Medicine in Staten Island, N.Y. Khalil is board eligible in surgical critical care and received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio State University College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio. Bronson Trauma Surgery Services is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Neuroscience Center – Kalamazoo welcomes Steven Ross, certified pediatric nurse practitioner, to its team. Ross earned his Master of Science in Pediatric Nursing from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He has two years of experience as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Southside Pediatrics PC. Bronson Neuroscience Center – Kalamazoo is located at 601 John St., Suite M-124, in Kalamazoo.

Nurse practitioner Gayle Waldenmaier,  joins Bronson Advanced Illness Management.  Waldenmaier will be working with the Advanced Illness Management team at Bronson Methodist Hospital. This team provides specialized medical care for people with a serious illness in both the hospital and home setting. Waldenmaier earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Rush University in Chicago. Waldermaier has six years of experience as a nurse practitioner and was most recently employed with Reid Hospital in Richmond, Ind. The Bronson Advanced Illness Management team at Bronson Methodist Hospital is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Pediatric Referral Service adds Travis Walker, M.D., to its team. Walker will be working on the newborn hospitalist team. He has a special interest in newborns. Walker completed his pediatric residency at Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies (MSU/KCMS) in Kalamazoo. He is board certified in pediatrics and received his medical degree from Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland.  Bronson Pediatric Referral Service is located at 601 John St. in Kalamazoo.

Source: Bronson

Borgess ProMed Family Practice welcomes certified physician assistant

Megan O'Brien, MS, PA-C, has joined Borgess ProMed Family Practice at the Woodbridge Hills location, 7901 Angling Road, Portage, and at 8450 North 32nd St., Richland.

She is a certified physician assistant who comes to to ProMed Family Practice from Sinai-Grace Hospital at Detroit Medical Center. She previously was a certified nursing assistant at Masonic Pathways Senior Living Services in Alma and a former pharmacy assistant at Select Specialty Hospital in Saginaw.

She earned a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Wayne State University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Fitness in Preventative and Rehabilitative Programs from Central Michigan University.

She is board certified in Fundamentals of Critical Care Support, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Source: Borgess

Cornerstone Alliance chooses next Chief Executive Officer

Cornerstone Alliance, the economic development organization for the southwest corner of the state, has a new chief executive officer.

Robert Cleveland, formerly of Hartford City, Ind., has been selected after a national search.

"Rob is a leader focused on results, and we look forward to having him continue to work to attract investments, create jobs and expand our existing businesses," says John Janick, Chairman of the Cornerstone Alliance Board of Directors.

Cleveland previously worked as executive director for Blackford County Economic Development in Hartford City, in public relations for an Indianapolis-based motorsports team, and in economic development and community affairs for the utility company Indiana Michigan Power.

He earned his B.A. in Sport Administration from Ball State University and is a certified economic development professional (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council.

Cleveland steps into his new role Oct. 31. He will lead economic development efforts in attracting businesses, job creation, retaining existing businesses and fundraising.

"Cornerstone Alliance has a long history of excellence in improving the lives of Berrien County’s residents and employers," Cleveland says. "I believe Berrien County is one of the finest places to live and work in the country.  My family and I are looking forward to integrating ourselves into the community.  And, I can’t wait to join the Cornerstone Alliance staff as we continue to work to bring new opportunities to Michigan’s Great Southwest."

Source: Cornerstone Alliance

The Kelsey Block in downtown Three Rivers to undergo renovation

Bruce Monroe, owner of the Kelsey Block at 39-43 N. Main Street in downtown Three Rivers, will receive design assistance services through the Michigan Main Street Center.

Michigan Main Street Design Specialist Debra Johnson met with Monroe for an on-site consultation and prepared a written report that included paint samples, historic photos, a maintenance schedule and further resources to assist in making improvements to the building.

"While we had a good overview of what our building required in terms of repair, refreshing and otherwise updating in concert with historical rehab guidelines and preferred practices, the Michigan Main Street Center provided insight and direction in very specific detail to guide our restoration process," Monroe says. He adds that he has had experience working on historic buildings in the past, but "the availability of expertise beyond our own experiences was helpful and appreciated.”

The Kelsey Block was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The building was built in 1854 and is described as a three-story, nine-bay wide, Victorian Italianate block.

Monroe applied for the Design Services this past summer. His application was unanimously approved by the Three Rivers DDA/Main Street Design Committee. It received highest marks on significance, implementation, visibility, appropriateness, and simplicity.

Monroe will be able to apply for funding through the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the National Park Service.

Monroe says they will use the remainder of the year to finalize renovation plans, and hope to begin work on the building in the spring of 2016. Preliminary plans include re-pointing and masonry work, painting, awning treatments, and interior remodeling.

Monroe is the third and final recipient of the design assistance for the 2015 fiscal year.

Source: Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Writer on social issues, politics, culture to speak Nov. 3

Many people and organizations in Kalamazoo County have been working on racial disparities for decades, says Community Foundation President and CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway. A Nov. 3 appearance by Ta-Nehisi Coates is intended to add momentum to the conversations and work that is ongoing.

“Mr. Coates delivers a powerful historical perspective of the impact that systemic racial discrimination has had on our country,” says Pickett-Erway.

He is the author of the current best-seller "Between the World and Me," a finalist for the National Book Award. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. In 2014 he authored the cover story for The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” and the October 2015 issue of the magazine features his cover story, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.”

He is also Journalist-in-Residence at the School of Journalism at City University of New York. His 2008 memoir, "The Beautiful Struggle," described his childhood in Baltimore, and his recently released "Between the World and Me" takes the form of a letter to his 15-year-old son about growing up as a black man in America. 

According to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which named him a 2015 recipient of one of its "genius' grant says Coates “is emerging as a leading interpreter of American concerns to a new generation of media-savvy audiences and having a profound impact on the discussion of race and racism in this country.” (See a video of him here.)

"It is the Community Foundation’s hope that, upon hearing his message, people will reflect, and join in these important conversations," says Pickett-Erway. "We cannot be the community we believe we are until discrimination no longer exists and every person has the opportunity to reach full potential."

Sponsored by PNC Bank, his talk also is a part of WMU University Center for the Humanities’ 2015-2016 speaker series, "Reimagining Communities."

Coates will appear at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 at Miller Auditorium on Western Michigan University’s campus. The event is free and open to the public; however, registrations are required at or by calling 269-381-4416. Parking also will be free at the Miller Auditorium ramp.

Source: Kalamazoo Community Foundation

Seven new health care providers join Bronson team

Bronson has recently added these new health care providers:

Beverly Russell, PA-C, RN, EMT-P, has joined the team at Bronson Center for Colon & Rectal Diseases. She has 12 years of experience and was most recently employed with Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists – Battle Creek. Russell earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from University of Nebraska School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb. Russell will see patients at Bronson Center for Colon & Rectal Diseases located at 3770 Capital Ave. SW, Suite A, in Battle Creek, and at 212 Winston Drive in Marshall.  

Bronson Family Medicine – The Groves has added Geffrey Hammond, MD, to its team. His practice, Gull Crossing Family Medicine, joined Bronson in September. He has special interests in preventive medicine, behavioral medicine and weight management. He is board certified in family medicine and received his medical degree from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Hammond completed his family medicine internship through the Southwest Michigan Area Health Education Center, which included both Bronson Methodist Hospital and Borgess Hospital. Bronson Family Medicine – The Groves is located at 6938 Elm Valley Drive, Suite 101, in Kalamazoo.  

Misty Miller, PA-C, has joined Bronson Family Practice Oshtemo. She has special interests in pediatric and adolescent health, as well as women’s health. Miller earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Prior to joining Bronson Family Practice Oshtemo, Miller worked at Bronson Pediatric Referral Services in Kalamazoo. Bronson Family Practice Oshtemo is located at 5629 Stadium Dr., Suite D, in Kalamazoo.

Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists welcomes Christine Dugan, DO, and Janet Hur, MD, to its team.

Hur will be working as a hospitalist at Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Battle Creek. She is board certified in internal medicine and received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.  She completed her internal medicine residency at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists – Kalamazoo  is located at 601 John St. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists – Battle Creek is located at 300 North Ave.

Dugan will be working as a hospitalist at both Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Battle Creek. She is board eligible in internal medicine and received her medical degree from Michigan State University in East Lansing. She completed her internal medicine residency at Western Michigan University School of Medicine in Kalamazoo. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists – Kalamazoo is located at 601 John St. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists – Battle Creek is located at 300 North Ave. Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists – Paw Paw is located at 408 Hazen St.

Stacy Majoras, DO, and Jedediah L. Jensen, DO, have joined the team at Bronson HealthCare Midwest Sports Medicine.

Majoras completed her primary care sports medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and is board certified in family medicine, with a certificate of added qualifications in sports medicine. She is also a certified athletic trainer. Majoras completed her family practice internship and residency at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Ind. and her medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Calif.

Jensen completed his primary care sports medicine fellowship at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo and is board eligible in internal medicine and pediatrics, with a certificate of added qualifications in sports medicine. He completed his internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, and his medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines, Iowa. Bronson HealthCare Midwest Sports Medicine is located at 315 Turwill Lane in Kalamazoo.

Source: Bronson HealthCare

Borgess Lee Medical Group adds family practitioner

Victor Hugo Benavides, MD, has joined Borgess Lee Medical Group (BLMG) as a family practitioner at the BLMG clinic in the Don Lyons Health Center, located across the street from Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac.

Dr. Benavides has experience as a medical clerk and family medicine and completed internal medicine residencies for health networks and at medical centers in Michigan and Illinois, as well as in Puerto Rico, Peru and Mexico. He received his education in general medicine from the Universidad de Montemorelos in Mexico. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Peruvian Medical Academy, and the Peruvian Internal Medicine Academy.

Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital offers quality care including leading-edge diagnostic and imaging services, responsive 24/7 emergency care, and outstanding cardiac diagnosis and care to Dowagiac and surrounding areas.

Cindy Gaines, MSN, RN, vice president and chief operating officer, Borgess Medical Group says, “Dr. Benavides "helps ensure our promise to serve regional families as partners in health for their life’s journey.”

Source: Michael Smith, Borgess

WMU readies Heritage Hall for grand re-opening

What once was East Hall has been renovated in a 16-month project and renamed Heritage Hall. The building will reopen to the public in a grand opening event at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. It  will be the home of the WMU Alumni Center.
The project was designed with two major themes. "The first was restoring the grandeur and legacy of Heritage Hall as the birthplace and touchstone of the University. In essence, we wanted to restore and enhance the original postcard view of 'the Acropolis of Kalamazoo' on Prospect Hill," says Bjorn Green, senior principal with Tower Pinkster.  "The second was a vision to transform the building from the least efficient building on campus to the most efficient building on campus, and pursue a LEED Platinum rating for the project."

The transformation of the now 53,000-square-foot facility from its old presence to the new could not be more dramatic, say those most closely involved in the effort. And it was not easy.

Matthew Brecker, project manager for the Christman Co., the construction firm that has been overseeing the transformation calls it the most difficult project he has worked on.

There was little in the way of original documentation for today's architects and construction firms to work with. The building was built  in 1905, just two years after the University was established, during a period of few building standards and code requirements. It was not square and did not meet even the most minimal of modern load-bearing requirements, Brecker says.

So it was quite a challenge to transform the interior into a building with such new features as conference rooms, a cafe and a ballroom that can accommodate 180 people.

Turning the campus' least-efficient building to the status of most efficient also was an enormous task. The building had no insulation, no central cooling and utilized campus steam for heating. A series of chimneys throughout the building functioned only to permit fresh air to circulate in the building. A significant part of the renovation included asbestos and lead abatement.

During the restoration of Heritage Hall, materials were salvaged from East Campus buildings and restored to be used during construction. Some of these items include marble from the North Hall Library stacks, which is used in countertops throughout the building; the fireplace from North Hall, which is installed in the 1903 Room; stage flooring from the East Hall gymnasium, used in the display case flooring; and much more. Other items are being reused in other campus building and remodeling efforts.

Source: Cheryl Roland, Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo College breaks ground on new fitness center

Kalamazoo College has broken ground on a 30,000-square-foot fitness and wellness center.

In a Sept. 24 ceremony at the building site the college celebrated the beginning of the construction of the center that is expected to cost $9 million. The building is fully funded from the recently completed Campaign for Kalamazoo College that raised $129 million, a record for the school.

The center, will be "a common space in which the entire campus community--faculty, staff, students, and retirees--can develop healthy lifestyles through participation in fitness and wellness programs," says K College President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran.

The college asked for financial support for the fitness and wellness center based on the consideration that nearly half the student body is involved in intercollegiate or intramural sports; there are many student organizations that focus on the body and movement such as Frelon, Cirque du K, the Badminton club, K-Cheer, and a wide variety of physical education courses including various forms of dance,martial arts, fencing, and circus arts.

Previously, the campus fitness facilities consisted of a 2,500-square-foot weight room for students; and a 600-square-foot converted squash court housing exercise equipment for faculty and staff.

The 30,000-square-foot, two-story center will have:

• a weight room and cardio fitness area of sufficient capacity to meet the needs of all students and employees;

• five multi-purpose rooms, as flexible in function as the liberal arts to which they are dedicated;

• two racquetball courts;

• expanded lockers for both the Hornet tennis teams and for general use; and

• an office and health assessment room for the campus wellness director.

The building also has many sustainability features.

"Our building is designed and will be constructed to the high standards of energy efficiency and resource conservation explicit in a LEED silver rating," says Wilson-Oyelaran. “And our efforts in this area will be audited by two students who have been hired and trained in LEED certification."

She adds that  the center reflects the college’s liberal arts mission. "We focus on the whole student; we focus on the balance of mind, spirit and body."

Source: Kalamazoo College

Donation means Pierce Cedar Creek Institute grows by 150 acres

Alice Jones and her late husband Kensinger have long been nature- lovers and conservationists. Now they have donated about 150 acres of their property to Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

Alice Jones will have a lifetime lease on a portion of the property, which includes her home.

In their earlier years, Kensinger and Alice Jones lived across the globe from Singapore to Sydney to Chicago and, in search of an escape from city life, bought their property in Barry County in 1969. This unique global perspective gave the pair a true appreciation for the natural beauty and ecological diversity of southwest Michigan and instilled an ardent desire to protect it.

The 150-acre property is adjacent to Pierce Cedar Creek Institute and the diverse habitats found on the property will  provide many opportunities to further the Institute’s mission of promoting environmental education, research, preservation, and appreciation and will expand the Institute’s 661 aces to approximately 815 contiguous acres.

The Institute has a number of plans for the property, such as research opportunities on this relatively untouched parcel. Access to the two lakes will increase existing wetland research while new research plots in the grassland and forest habitats will act as control plots to determine the most effective methods for dealing with various invasive plants.

Along with these research opportunities, the Institute’s trail systems will also be expanded.

Jones's home was built over the next few years following their purchase in 1969, and they made the move from Australia in 1972, where Kensinger worked as an advertising executive. In 1995, the Joneses discovered the means to protect their land and placed it under a conservation easement with the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. As the first to do so in Barry County, they blazed a trail of environmental responsibility in the area.

A conservation easement ensures that a property is preserved in its predominantly natural state. It prohibits commercial or industrial use, as well as placement of any additional structures such as buildings, roads, or parking lots, except those specifically agreed upon in the document.

“We want to teach people to view the world as belonging to everyone,” says Alice Jones.

Kensinger Jones passed away in March 2015 and is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, son in law, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. In July 2015, Alice deeded the entirety of the property to the Institute, achieving one of the couple’s longtime goals, while retaining a life lease on the northern half of the property for her and her children.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

Editors Note: Pictures are not of the donated property.


Perrigo Co. hires senior scientist

Juliane Bauer has been hired as a senior scientist in formulation research and development by Perrigo Co. in Allegan.

Bauer will focus on efforts to develop, test and scale-up formulations for commercial production.

She has 30 years experience in formulation and has worked at brand pharmaceutical companies for 27 years. She also spent three years with a contract manufacturing company.

Bauer earned her bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Oakland University. She also has received various industry awards throughout her careers.

Bauer is from Detroit and currently lives in Kalamazoo.   

Source: Perrigo, Co.
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