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Family creates Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation in honor of late OU graduate

Inspired by their daughter’s memory, the parents of an Oakland University graduate and psychology major who was killed last June in a car crash on I-75 have established the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation as a way to keep their daughter’s legacy alive while continuing to support the research she was passionate about at OU.

“Shelby was a kind, generous, passionate, strong and intelligent person,” said Marc Seyburn, Shelby’s father. “It was her passion for the Posttraumatic Growth lab at Oakland University that inspired us to create the foundation. Shelby had a vision for the PTG program, and we wanted to help support that vision because there are so many people that could be affected by this research.”

Posttraumatic Growth, or PTG, is defined as the positive psychological changes that can occur through the struggle with traumatic experiences, with the idea that human beings can be changed by their encounters with life challenges, sometimes in radically positive ways.

“The current direction of health psychology is to help people to be more resilient,” said Kanako Taku, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at OU and Shelby’s mentor. “But Shelby and I discussed that while that may be good, if we help people to continue struggling instead of bouncing back quickly, then there may be a deeper or broader sense of personal growth. Shelby thought maybe we don’t have to be resilient; maybe we can still be vulnerable and experience personal growth.”

According to Taku, Shelby joined the PTG lab in the fall of 2015 and specialized in the study of PTG in adolescents.

“She had always been interested in this particular age group and found that there are numerous areas with undiscovered information,” Taku said. “Generally, Shelby explored the different mental states and personalities of adolescence before and after they experience trauma, along with looking at the different levels of trauma and social support.”

Prior to her death, Shelby Seyburn worked in the PTG Lab for two years, and spent the last year as lab manager.

“Shelby was my mentor in the lab,” said Velinka Marton, a junior at OU. “Between school and family, she was spread in so many different directions, but she always made sure everyone else in the lab was doing OK. She was a very nurturing and loving person.”

As a member of Dr. Taku’s lab, Shelby was able to become a published author and speak at national conferences. She also helped establish the “Teen Parent Program” within the Department of Psychology. The program is designed to reach teen parents through a psychoeducation that encourages them to think about PTG and build social support.

“Pontiac has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Michigan, and Michigan has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the U.S.,” said Whitney Dominick, a third-year Ph.D. student at OU who worked with Seyburn in the PTG lab. “This is a major problem because teen parents are much more likely to drop out of high school early, not be able to find a stable job, and they’re also at risk for pre-term births, postpartum depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Shelby really wanted to focus on how we could help these teen parents.”

According to Dominick, the goal of the Teen Parent Program was to foster a sense of social support.

“Shelby wanted the teen parents to connect with each other and be able to have that social support with each other, the school staff and with us on the research team at Oakland University,” Dominick said. “She also wanted to educate them about posttraumatic growth, about how they could experience this, and how they could help other people, thereby extending that social support.”

Initially funded by a $1,500 Community Engagement Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences, Dominick said the Teen Parent Initiative will be able to continue thanks to the generous support of the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation.

“I think Shelby would love it,” she said. “Shelby was very passionate about her research, which really focused a lot of social support. This program (the Teen Parent Program) really helps with that aspect by helping people get involved, and I think she would appreciate knowing that it was going to continue.”

Currently, the program has only been implemented in one school in the Pontiac area, but with funding provided by the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation, Dr. Taku is hopeful it can be expanded to other areas.

“Shelby’s passion is still alive and this is a great way to continue her legacy,” Dr. Taku said.

In addition to funding PTG research at Oakland University and helping to expand the Teen Parent Program, the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation will also help fund undergraduate and graduate student travel to regional, national and international conferences via “travel grants.”

The grants are specifically targeted toward students in the Oakland University Psychology Department that are participating in a research lab and desire to attend a professional conference to present materials. All psychology students participating in a lab at Oakland are eligible to apply for the grant, which will vary in amount between $250 and $500. The grants can be used for travel, lodging, registration and meals.

“I think it’s very rare for something like this to happen,” said Lauren Harrison, a research assistant at OU who joined the PTG lab in the winter of 2016. “Typically, if a child passes away, the family mourns; but something massive like this, that has multiple purposes, doesn’t really emerge. I think it’s very admirable, and a perfect way to honor Shelby’s memory.”

For more information about the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation, or to make a donation, visit shelbystrong.life.

To learn more about OU’s Department of Psychology, visit oakland.edu/psychology.


Spring has sprung at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

The signs of spring are everywhere at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. Hike the trails to watch as birds happily prepare for warmer weather, learn tips for planning a vegetable garden and check out the spring produce making an appearance at the Oakland County Farmers Market.

 

Spring is also the time to start making your summer plans. Oakland County Parks and Recreation has a full slate of summer activities scheduled, including the popular Come Out and Play series, Sink or Sail Cardboard Regatta, Cosmic Connection Perseids Meteor Shower event, Feather Fest and Make a Splash series. New this year is Camp Oak Ventures, weekly adventure day camps for children ages 6-12 years old. Check out information about these events at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

Events planned in April include:

 

April 21

  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. April 21. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Planting Produce: A Vegetable Epic.” Learn simple tips ad tricks to get started on your vegetable garden. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Nature Fit: “Hearty” River Hike is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Bring the family out for a heart-healthy, naturalist-led hike rain or shine. Exercise your body and celebrate Earth Day weekend. Trail snacks and water will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Cost is $4/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Caring for Planet Earth is 1:30-3:30 p.m. April 21 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Continue the legacy of Earth Day by learning how you can help the environment in your backyard. Drop in for a compost demonstration and make “seed bombs” for pollinators. Take a hike to learn about stewardship activities at Friendship Woods. Dress for the weather. This free event is sponsored by Pure Oakland Water. Details: 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

 

April 28

  • Tiger Cub Scouts: Backyard Jungle is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. April 28 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

April 29

  • Nature Fit – Sprig Photography Hike is 2-3:30 p.m. April 29 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Grab your smartphone or DSLR and explore elements of photography including perspective and composition. Capture the color, beauty and texture provided by nature during a hike. A Facebook group will be created to share your best shots. Trail snacks and water are provided. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Judson Center will honor National Autism Awareness Month with Bring Autism to Light

During the month of April, Judson Center will be honoring National Autism Awareness month as we Bring Autism to Light for world Autism Day (officially April 2nd).  The community is invited to the Autism2Light ceremony, as we light up 5th Avenue in downtown Royal Oak.

Autism2Light will be held on Monday, April 2 from 6-7pm on 5th Avenue, east of Washington Avenue.

Autism2Light is a family friendly ceremony that promotes understanding and awareness for autism.   With support from English Gardens, trees on 5th Avenue will officially light up in blue (the color for autism awareness) with the help of Judson Center President and CEO, Lenora Hardy Foster and City of Royal Oak leadership.  The Autism2Light ceremony will also include refreshments and the opportunity to pick up a free LED blue lightbulb for your home.

“We are excited to Bring Autism to Light to downtown Royal Oak and share this moment with our Judson Center families and supporters in the community.  We hope this event encourages awareness, understanding and most importantly, a dialogue that encourages acceptance for people impacted by autism," shared Lenora Hardy-Foster, President and CEO.

A preliminary kickoff to Bring Autism to Light will begin on Monday, March 19th, when Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier along with the City Commissioners, will present, for the second year in a row, an autism proclamation honoring National Autism Awareness Month and the life changing programs at Judson Center’s Autism Connections.  Royal Oak is also urging all employees, residents and members of the business community to join the movement.

Judson Center’s Royal Oak campus will shine bright in blue thanks to the support of English Gardens, and the community is invited to stop by Judson Center and pick up their free lightbulb, or visit any of Royal Oak’s three fire stations or the Royal Oak Public Library. 

Companies can also participate and Bring Autism to Light by shining blue for autism, designating a day to wear blue for autism awareness, and making a donation to Judson Center’s Autism Connections.

“The Bring Autism to Light campaign is now in its second year.  It was a huge success last year and we expect it to be one this year, because the need for services in Metro Detroit is growing, and so is the need for understanding.  Bring Autism to Light, truly does that. We want families to know, you are not alone and at Judson Center, we hear you, see you, and want to help," shared Lenora Hardy-Foster.

Since 2005, Judson Center’s Autism Connections program has been providing comprehensive services to the entire family impacted by autism.  Currently one in 68 children are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and in Michigan, there are over 50,000 individuals living with ASD.

For more information on how to get involved in Bring Autism to Light, visit www.judsoncenter.org, or contact Kayla Collins at 248-837-2007 or kayla_collins@judsoncenter.org.

Celebrate the first signs of spring at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

With daylight savings time and the official start of spring just around the corner, it’s time to head outdoors and watch nature awaken from its winter slumber. Hike the trails to watch as birds fly back home, learn to identify maple trees as maple syrup season gets under way and explore spring constellations in the nighttime sky.

Make plans to attend Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s signature spring event, the Great Marshmallow Drop, on March 30 at Catalpa Oaks County Park. More than 15,000 marshmallows will drop from a helicopter to a field below where children, divided into age groups, will collect a marshmallow to exchange for a prize. Other upcoming events include:

March 4
  • Nest Box Monitoring Training is 1-3 p.m. March 4 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Oakland County Parks and Recreation manages 167 nest boxes at seven parks for Eastern Bluebirds and other native bird species. Nest boxes are monitored by trained volunteers through Oakland County Parks and Recreation's Citizen Science Program. This training session will provide information about the birds, monitoring techniques and other volunteer requirements. Volunteers are asked to check assigned nest boxes at least weekly March through August. Nest data is tracked in NestWatch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916.
March 8
  • Join in the fun of Pop In & Play from 6-9 p.m. March 8 at Springfield Oaks County Park, 12450 Andersonville Road, Davisburg. Meet i the Grand Hall Room for an evening of jumbo-sized games and crafts. This free, family-friendly game night will feature larger than life favorites like Jumbo Jenga, Colossal Connect Four, Towering Tic Tac Toe and Significantly-sized Scrabble. Light carnival snacks will be provided; pizza available for purchase. Some games require socks and closed-toe shoes. Details: OaklandCountyParks.com.
March 9
  • Gather up a group of friends and head out to Glow on the Road. This free, indoor cosmic event is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 at White Lake Oaks Banquet Center, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. Enjoy a variety of activities, including indoor cosmic putt-putt, glow-in-the-dark face painting and music. Wearing neon clothing is encouraged. No pre-registration is necessary. Details: NawrockiM@oakgov,com, 248-858-5267 or OakladCountyParks.com.
March 10
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 10 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 10. Presentations will be given by Chef Jeff Rose from C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill ad Michael Metevia from Slows Bar-B-Q. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 1-2:30 p.m. March 10 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.
  • Maple Magic is 2-4 p.m. March 10 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Learn to identify maple trees, take a hike to tap a tree and taste the sap. Learn the tools, tips and methods needed to make your own batch of maple syrup at home. Taste sweet maple treats and take home maple-based recipes. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
March 16
  • A St. Patrick’s Day Social will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 16 at Oak Park Parks ad Recreation: 14300 Oak Park Blvd. in Oak Park. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and pizza. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 8. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Astro Evening is 8-10 p.m. March 16 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Locate late winter constellations inside StarLab, a portable planetarium. Gaze at deep sky wonders through telescopes provided by the Oakland Astronomy Club (weather permitting). A star-studded craft and snack are included. This program is suitable for school-aged children and adults and does fulfill some astronomy merit requirements for scouts. Cost is $4/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

March 17
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 17 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Wolf Cub Scouts: Paws on the Path is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. March 17 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. March 17. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Flowers: From Seed to Floral.” Learn how to create vibrant colors throughout your home and garden with flowers. The educational series will be held the third Saturday of the month through April. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • X Marks the Spot is 2-3:30 p.m. March 17 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Find leprechauns at the nature center while enjoying an afternoon of trickery and treasure hunting as participants explore the activity of letterboxing. Program includes a snack, craft and outdoor excursion. Sport St. Patty’s Day green if you wish. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
March 20
  • Swing Into Spring will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 20 at White Lake Oaks Banquet Center, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and dinner. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 13. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

March 24
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 24 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 24. The presenting chefs will be Laura Romito from High 5 Salts with Benefits and Chef Kelli Lewton from Pure Food 2 U. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

March 30
  • There will be marshmallow fun for everyone during the Great Marshmallow Drop beginning at 10 a.m. March 30 at Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27705 Greenfield Road, Southfield. During this free event, 15,000 marshmallows will be dropped from a helicopter to be turned in for a prize. Children only need one marshmallow to exchange for a prize. There will be three age groups: 4 years and younger and individuals with disabilities; children ages 5-7; and children ages 8-12. The helicopter will fly over three times, once for each age group. Details: 248-424-7081 or OaklandCountyParks.com.

March 31
  • Webelos: Walkabout is set from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 2-4:30 p.m. March 31 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Clinton River Trail adds 4.5 miles of recreational trailways through Pontiac

After several years of haggling, the city of Pontiac has acquired 4.5 miles of an abandoned rail line to convert into a recreational trail system. The sale was made possible thanks to a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant and a matching donation from the Canadian National Railway Company, the seller of the property.

The former rail line, already stripped of its ties and rails, is now part of the Clinton River Trail, adding 4.5 miles to the already 16 mile-long system of trails and pathways. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday, Nov. 16, drawing city, county, and state officials, as well as members of the volunteer group Friends of the Clinton River Trail, to celebrate the addition.

Dubbed the North Spur, the new trail stretches from the Clinton River Trail at Opdyke Road and on up north to Pontiac's Jaycee Park, running between wooded areas and wetlands.

While the trail is already welcoming walkers, its condition is not yet suitable for most recreational bicyclists, says Friends of the Clinton River Trail President Fred Phillips. A couple of bridges are currently unsuitable for use, as well.

"Converting this abandoned rail line into a trail allows us to connect the Clinton River Trail with a number of schools, parks, and neighborhoods throughout Pontiac," says Phillips.

The addition of the North Spur is especially significant because it will eventually allow the Clinton River Trail to connect to downtown Pontiac without the use of sidewalks, on which the current trail system currently relies. That trailway connection is planned at a later date.

Phillips says that the next step for the trail is to contract with an engineering firm to come up with designs and cost estimates for physical improvements. Bringing the bridges up to code is a priority.

The original 16-mile span reaches across Oakland County, from Sylvan Lake to the west and on east through Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, and Rochester.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Nonprofits and community groups from Oakland County Encouraged to apply for a Brooksie Way Minigrant

Not-for-profit organizations and community groups whose programming is designed to promote active lifestyles for Oakland County residents have until March 9 to apply for a Brooksie Way Minigrant.

The program has helped support nearly 150 projects throughout the county that range from a martial arts club for young people with cancer, a community garden and adult yoga classes to summer basketball camps and swimming lessons for children. Since it began in 2010, more than $200,000 in Brooksie Way minigrants has been distributed. The maximum award is $2,000.

They will be awarded April 24 at the kickoff for the 2018 McLaren Brooksie Way Half Marathon.

“This is one of the true legacies of The McLaren Brooksie Way and our family of races of which I am most proud,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “These minigrants continue to touch countless lives in our county, helping support the fitness programming so vital to our residents.”

Minigrant guidelines and applications as well as race registrations can be found at www.theBrooksieWay.com. Brooksie Way apparel and souvenir merchandise be purchased at the site too.

Patterson started the minigrant program as a way to put proceeds from the McLaren Brooksie Way Half Marathon back into the community. The Brooksie Way races, which include a 10k, 5k and “The Lil’ Brooksie” children’s race, were named in honor of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and the son of the county executive, who died in 2007.

The 11th running of the McLaren Brooksie Way Half Marathon is set for Sept. 23. The race, which can be run or walked, has become one of the most popular regional fall half marathons. The course begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University and includes parts of the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails, Rochester Hills and downtown Rochester. MLive readers named the Brooksie as one of the top courses in Michigan.


Sandy Dorey recognized as outstanding therapeutic recreation professional

Sandy Dorey, recreation program supervisor for Oakland County Parks and Recreation, received the Karen Medve Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Therapeutic Recreation Profession from mParks, the Michigan Recreation & Park Association. Dorey, a Clawson resident, received the award at the organization’s annual conference Feb. 7 in Detroit.

A recreation therapist with Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) for more than 25 years, Dorey has established numerous adaptive recreation programs, served on various committees, partnered with community organizations and assisted local residents with finding the best services for their families.

“There’s great satisfaction that comes from matching a person with a disability to a recreation experience,” she said. “It can be as simple as having participants attend our monthly dances where they spend time with friends or helping a person that has recently had a stroke learn how to get back in the game of golf. The connection that I make with participants and their families is rewarding.”

Oakland County Parks and Recreation is a leader in adaptive recreation, which provides opportunities for individuals of all ages with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities. These programs foster a sense of community and offer a supportive environment for participants and caregivers.

February is National Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Month. Sponsored by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, it raises awareness about therapeutic recreation programs and the role it plays in improving health and well-being of participants.

OCPR’s therapeutic recreation activities are designed to encourage creative expression, maximize enjoyment of the outdoors and promote fun leisure experiences. At the parks, a variety of adaptive equipment is available, including adaptive golf carts, pedal boats, pool transfer chairs, picnic tables, all-terrain trail and beach chairs and hand cycles. There are also paved trails in the parks and campsites, cabins and yurts with accessible features.

For additional information, call 248-424-7081 or email Adaptive@oakgov.com.


County seeking public input on eating habits to better provide access to healthy foods

Excerpt

Around 26 percent of the 3,140 Oakland County adults surveyed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said they were obese.

The Oakland County Food Policy Council, formed in September 2016, which aims to increase consumption, accessibility, and affordability of healthy foods among county residents, is trying to combat that issue but it needs the public’s help.

Read more

Senior living community opens new memory care addition in Waterford

Excerpt

Canterbury-on-the-Lake senior living community in Waterford Township has opened a new assisted living memory care center. The 24,500-square-foot addition is called The Meadows. It has 30 rooms, a large, secure central courtyard and a three-season porch that overlooks the 40-acre campus.

Read more

Free community event Feb. 27 to focus on healthy weight management

More than one third of Americans are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. With diet, exercise and, sometimes, surgery, many of these medical conditions could be avoided.

Knowing which healthy lifestyle changes to make can help you manage your weight and well-being.

On Feb. 27, Beaumont Hospital, Troy, will host an event, “Living Well: How to Achieve a Healthy Weight and Lifestyle” in the Qazi Auditorium within the Moceri Learning Center, 44201 Dequindre in Troy. Doors open at 5 p.m. and presentations begin at 5:45 p.m.

“Our patients have many questions about managing their weight. This event is a great way to support our community and share knowledge that will assist patients and families to take an active role in their health and wellness,” Beaumont, Troy, President Nancy Susick, RN, said.

WWJ news anchor Jackie Paige will emcee the free event which begins with a health fair that includes:
  • dietitians
  • pharmacists with information about medications
  • free blood pressure screenings
  • integrative medicine experts
  • stroke education and awareness
  • CPR education and training
  • vein center experts
  • patient and family advisors
  • health and fitness experts
After the interactive health fair, Jackie Paige will share her personal weight loss story. Then, Beaumont’s Weight Control Center director, Wendy Miller, M.D., will discuss the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight through nutrition and medical weight management. Beaumont bariatric surgeon Kevin Krause, M.D., will explain what surgical weight loss options are available.  Registered dietitian Megan Jozefowicz will share healthy eating advice. And, exercise physiologist Christine James will demonstrate easy exercises you can do at home. The evening concludes with a panel discussion.

Throughout the event, there will be drawings for prizes.

Those planning to attend should enter the hospital campus on Emergency Drive, parking in the Northwest lot adjacent the Moceri Learning Center entrance.

Space is limited and registration is recommended. To register, visit beaumont.org/weight or call 800-633-7377.

Residents urged to get flu shots following increase in flu cases

The Oakland County Health Division strongly urges residents to get vaccinated against flu in the wake of increasing flu cases. As of January 6, Oakland County has more than 950 reported flu cases since October 1, 2017.

“We are currently in the midst of a very active flu season with widespread and intense flu activity. It is critical to get vaccinated, which is the best way to prevent the flu,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “You can also prevent the flu by washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home when sick.”

The Health Division recommends everyone over the age of six months receive an influenza vaccination and take preventive actions. Those who are at a higher risk of flu complications such as children younger than 5-years-old, pregnant women, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions should especially get a flu shot.

“Getting an annual flu shot decreases the risk of getting the flu. It also helps decrease severity of illness, complications, and protects the entire community, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated,” said Stafford.

The flu virus can be spread to others as far as six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Less often, a person may also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water to avoid spreading flu. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Flu shots are available at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield from Noon – 8 p.m. on Mondays and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Pre-payment and registration are not available at these walk-in clinics. Flu shots cost $25. The high-dose flu shot recommended for those 65 years and older is $47 and is covered by Medicare. Flu shots may also be available through your physician and at select pharmacies.

Payment options include cash, credit (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa), Medicare, Medicaid, and some insurance. Credit card fees apply. Please bring picture identification and all insurance cards to the clinic. OCHD participates in the Vaccines for Children Program. No one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay; there is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available.

For up-to-date information, visit www.oakgov.com/health; follow the Health Division on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC; or call the Health Division’s Flu Shot Hotline at 800-434-3358. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533.

Oakland County battles human trafficking with new website

On January 11th, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Oakland County Health Division and Sheriff’s Office, held a press conference to address the issue of human trafficking. Also joining the commissioners were members of the public, community partners, law enforcement, and elected officials who are committed to promoting education and awareness about trafficking in Oakland County. Board Vice Chairman Michael Spiszopened the press conference with the announcement of the launch of a new website, a collaborative effort on behalf of the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force and its partners. The website, www.oakgov.com/humantrafficking, is intended to be a primary source of information about human trafficking for the region. It provides information and support for victims, parents, advocates, professionals, and anyone interested in learning more about the issue and how to help.

Oakland County Health and Human Services Director Kathy Forzley explained that human trafficking is a diverse and complex issue that affects 26 million victims worldwide, including men, women, and children. Forzley shared that the website, while attempting to be comprehensive with fact pages, a federal strategic action plan, and national hotline numbers, is still in its infancy. It’s intended to grow rapidly and expand to become a one stop shop for information and resources to assist victims, individuals, parents, or professionals in a coordinated community-wide and multi-disciplined response to human trafficking.

Commissioner Janet Jackson shared that she has been personally involved with addressing this serious problem since 2013. Jackson has coordinated annual countywide hotel outreach and awareness activities, partnering with SOAP (Saving our Adolescents from Prostitution) Metro Detroit. SOAP Metro Detroit is an anti-human trafficking and outreach hotel program that was created in response to FBI human trafficking sweeps in 2013.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard addressed the audience and emphasized that attacking this kind of insidious crime takes teamwork. While law enforcement plays an important role, the public also needs to be educated to recognize the signs and symptoms and to be aware that this can happen in any community. Bouchard shared, “Michigan is #8 for human trafficking in the country by most reports and that’s not a top ten list we want to be on.”
Sheriff Bouchard gave tips on what to watch out for regarding potential victims:
  • Being forced to work under harsh conditions
  • Working without pay
  • Fearful of leaving
  • Showing signs of injury
  • No freedom of movement
  • Not knowing their address
  • Limited social interaction
  • Mistrust of authorities
  • Worried about immigration status
  • No personal documentation
Southfield Chief of Police Eric Hawkins shared the impact that human trafficking has had on local police departments and their operations from the ground level stating, “When human tracking occurs in our local municipalities, there will be a corresponding increase in major crimes, social disorder, and quality of life complaints.” Hawkins added that it also forces officers to redirect valuable and scarce resources. When a human trafficking crime is suspected or reported, officers must alter their focus to investigate that crime, and, as a result, are taken away from important community policing and youth outreach programs.

Commissioner Eileen Kowall shared that she is honored to serve on the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force, and pointed out that it creates an important link to the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission, which has two goals:
  1. Assess the threat human trafficking poses to Michigan residents
  2. Develop policy recommendations to promote its exposure and prevention
Commissioner Kowall introduced Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and noted that, from the time the Attorney General took office, he took on a leadership role in the National Association of Attorneys General Pillars of Hope Initiative, formed the first human trafficking prosecution unit within the department of the Michigan Attorney General, and collaborated with legislators to form the first Michigan Human Trafficking Commission that focused on working with a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach.

Attorney General Schuette thanked the previous speakers, the public, judges, law enforcement, and elected officials for being there and for their partnership. He explained that when he first had the privilege of serving as Attorney General, he formed a bipartisan commission to focus on public awareness, training, data, and tougher penalties. He emphasized the importance of understanding that, men, women, and children who are trafficked are victims, not criminals.

Commissioner Spisz ended the press conference by thanking individuals and organizations for their support and their continued efforts to fight human trafficking, with special thanks directed toward the Oakland County Executive Office, elected officials, representatives from the FBIHomeland SecurityMichigan State Police, local law enforcement, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, and the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force. He encouraged the audience members to visit the new website and spread awareness by sharing Oakland County’s social media posts. He also reminded attendees to continue to wear the blue ribbons that were given out in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month throughout the month of January.

Visit the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for current initiatives and upcoming events online. For more information about their Human Trafficking Task Force, visit their webpage.
Follow along with us on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInPinterest, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty for county news and events, or visit our website.
 

When school's out, outdoor recreation keeps families happy, active

Whether students are out of class for winter break or have an unexpected day off due to weather conditions, embrace the snow and frosty temperatures at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. The 13-park system is a winter wonderland this time of the year with opportunities for nature viewing, outdoor recreation and learning enrichment.

 

Bundle up to enjoy a favorite activity or discover a new interest. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Addison Oaks County Park grooms the 2.5-mile Buhl Lake Trail for skiing. In addition to groomed ski trails, Independence Oaks County Park provides snowshoe and cross-country ski equipment rentals on Saturdays and Sundays. Ungroomed trails are available at Highland Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Rose Oaks county parks.
  • Set out on a winter hike. Take a walk on more than 70 miles of trails after a fresh snow for a breathtaking view. All parks, with the exception of Groveland Oaks County Park and Lyon Oaks Golf Course, are open for short walks and long treks.
  • Take the family ice skating on Crooked Lake in Independence Oaks County Park when conditions permit.
  • Try out fat tire biking at Addison Oaks County Park. Similar to mountain biking, fat tire bikes are built on a frame specifically designed to support wide, knobby tires. These over-sized tires provide a smooth ride, so they fare very well on groomed, snow-covered trail surfaces all season long.
  • Grab your favorite sled, tube or toboggan and head to the family sledding hill in Waterford Oaks County Park.
  • Check out platform tennis, the only racquet sport played outdoors in cold weather. After sow is removed, the courts’ special floor heating units provide a dry playing surface at Waterford Oaks County Park. Membership is required to play; trial memberships are available for new players.
  • Play disc golf year-round at Addison Oaks County Park’s 24-hole course. Disc Golf, also known as Frisbee golf, is played like ball golf, using a flying disc.
  • Let your furry friend run around in the dog parks at Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Red Oaks. Dog parks are typically ope one half-hour before sunrise until half-hour after sunset, or as posted.

Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or click here for a list of winter activities and amenities by park.

 

If you prefer the warmth indoors, participate in interpretative programs at Wint Nature Center and Red Oaks Nature Center or attend the popular cooking demonstrations at the Oakland County Farmers Market. Check out these upcoming events planned for January:

Jan. 13

  • Brownies: Home Scientist is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. Jan. 13 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. Ja. 13. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Animal Investigators is 2-4 p.m. Jan. 13 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Become a nature detective and examine tracks, scat and other animal clues to tell that animal’s story. Make an investigator guide to take home for future animal mysteries then don snowshoes and head outdoors for a wintry walk to discover which animals have been active this season. Snowshoes are provided. Participants must wear boots. A winter walk will be substituted if there is not sufficient snow. This program is appropriate for ages 5 and older. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. Ja. 13 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

Jan. 14

  • A Platform Tennis Open House is 1:30-3:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford. Platform Tennis is the only racquet sport played outdoors in cold weather. After snow is removed, the courts’ special floor heating units provide a dry playing surface. No previous experience needed and no pre-registration is necessary to attend the open house. Instruction will be provided by the Waterford Oaks Paddle Club. Dress for the weather. Tennis shoes required. Extra equipment will be available for first-time players or those who do not have their own paddles or paddle balls. Details: 248-858-0916 weekdays or OakladCountyParks.com.

Jan. 20

  • Bears: Super Science is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. Jan. 20 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. Ja. 20 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • A new educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market begins from 10-11 a.m. Jan. 20 Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Farms, this month’s topic will be “Rise and Shine: A Day in the Life of a Modern Farmer.” Discover the career of the modern farmer and learn what it takes to start a backyard farming adventure. The educational series will be held the third Saturday of the month through April. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • NatureFit: Snowshoe Try It! is 2-4 p.m. Jan. 20 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the history of snowshoes and then head outdoors for a guided snowshoe hike, campfire and snack. This program is appropriate for those ages 5 and older and snowshoes are provided. Participants must wear boots. A winter hike will be substituted if conditions do not permit snowshoeing. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

Jan. 27

  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. Ja. 27 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. Ja. 27. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Bronwies: Potter is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @OCParksAndRec.


Oakland University bringing Plum Market to campus Fall 2018

Plum Market will become Oakland University’s newest dining partner and will be located in the newly renovated Oakland Center on the university’s Rochester campus.

Plum Market is a privately-owned Michigan-based company operating five full-service grocery stores, a location at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and more than 10 food service operations across Southeast Michigan and Chicago.
 
Plum Market was selected for its variety of healthier and innovative food choices and desire to help build a sense of community around dining. The company specializes in using only the freshest ingredients with an emphasis on organic produce and All Natural meats, and locally-sourced products. Oakland University serves a volume of 23,000 meals a week and just over 350,000 meals each semester.
 
Chris Reed, Director of the Oakland Center, said, “Along with our campus-wide food service vendor Chartwells Higher Education, OU is proud to partner with Plum Market as the flagship dining location in the Oakland Center, which is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion. The Plum Market location will include a CoffeeBar featuring freshly brewed Zingerman’s Coffee, so this opportunity to bring two well-known Michigan-based companies into this highly anticipated facility expansion provides something new and exciting for the OU community.” Plum Market will be the centerpiece on the main level of the new expansion.
 
Students will now have access to Plum Market’s variety of chef crafted options that are made from scratch. Typical menu options will include:
  • A Showcase featuring seasonally fresh composed salads and globally infused recipes
  • All Natural meat and seafood entrées available at our Carving Station
  • Grab & Go artisan sandwiches and Organic snacks
  • All Natural soups with vegetarian choices and meat-based options
  • A CoffeeBar featuring Zingerman’s brewed coffee and freshly baked goods offered daily 
The mission is to recreate how people think about eating.  With the growing attention to food quality and eating healthy, Oakland University and Plum Market’s partnership will focus on quality food, service, and a level of engagement with students and faculty will go beyond to meet the expectations. Plum Market customizes each menu to best fit the specific wants and needs of students and faculty, including accommodating food allergies.

“This is an exciting time for Oakland University, and the relationship with Plum Market will truly enhance the student experience on campus," said Glenn McIntosh, VP for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at OU. "Not only will this help attract new students, but it will also be a destination for the local community to visit campus and become a part of Oakland University.”
 
This program’s goals align directly with Oakland University’s vision to bring healthy, high- quality meals to college dining options.  “We could not be more excited to open this Plum Market location,” said Plum Market CEO and Co-Founder Matt Jonna. “It’s an honor to have our brand complement Oakland University’s newly renovated dining facility. We believe our concept brings fresh and healthy offerings many of the students and staff will appreciate.”
 
About Plum Market: Plum Market is your source for Natural, Organic, and Local food and beverage essentials. The Michigan-based company is privately-owned by Matt and Marc Jonna, and operates five full-service grocery stores across Bloomfield Township, Michigan; West Bloomfield, Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois; and has a location in the McNamara Terminal of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Plum Market’s Food Service division operates more than 10 locations across Southeastern Michigan.  For more information, visit www.plummarket.com, join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PlumMarket and follow us @PlumMarket on Twitter and Instagram. 
 
About Oakland University: Oakland University is a doctoral, research university located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills in Oakland County, Michigan. The University has 140 bachelor's degree programs and 137 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland is a nationally recognized public university with nearly 20,000 students. Academics include programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education and Human Services, School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Health Sciences, School of Medicine and School of Nursing.

Farmington YMCA gets fitness center makeover

Excerpt

Hard hats and safety vests are not typical attire at the Farmington YMCA, but during the month of December they were standard issue for some Y staff, as well as construction workers who executed a complete makeover of the fitness areas at the Y.

“We are calling this update the Farmington Fitness Experience Makeover,” said Kyle Anderson, Executive Director of the Farmington Family YMCA.  “There are really three areas that will have a complete update,” continued Anderson

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