07-05-2018 Coloma Schools looking for new Superintendent; InterCare expands  substance abuse treatme

Coloma Schools looking for new Superintendent

By Annette Christie As the Coloma School District takes a summer break, the School Board will be on the search for a new Superintendent. According to the Sparta Area Schools Board meeting minutes of June 21, 2018, Peter Bush had been approved as their leader, leaving a vacancy for Coloma officials to attend to. Bush has been at the helm of the Coloma School District since the late fall of 2014. He had his first interview with the Coloma School Board in September 2014, followed by a second interview at the end of that month. The board finalized the contract approval at their October 22, 2014 board meeting. Bush had served as the principal at Coopersville High School prior to being selected as the Coloma Schools’ superintendent. The Coloma School Board held a special meeting on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. to approve a contract with the Michigan Leadership Institute to lead the search for a new superintendent. That same company assisted the district in 2014 when Bush was selected. In addition, this was the same company the Sparta School District used which ended up drawing Bush to their district. Bush said in an email, “It was a very difficult decision to leave the district. We have a lot of good things happening,” adding, “the opportunity to work in a larger district in the Grand Rapids area was also difficult to pass up.” It is anticipated that a timeframe for the superintendent search will be put in place between the Michigan Leadership Institute and the School Board, much like what was used in 2014.

InterCare expands  substance abuse treatment

Thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) to expand substance use disorder (SUD) services, InterCare will soon have a broader range of substance abuse services at their Bangor and Eau Claire sites to fight addictions to drugs like alcohol, opioids, and heroin. Currently these sites offer medicated assisted treatment (MAT), which means there are medication options such as Vivitrol and Suboxone to help patients struggling with addiction. Medical providers deliver these medications as part of a defined treatment program.

InterCare applied and received licensing from the State of Michigan to become an outpatient treatment center in Eau Claire and Bangor. With this licensing, InterCare can expand their MAT services to include outpatient therapy, nurse care management, and a peer recovery coach. InterCare is also licensed as an outpatient substance use disorder provider at its Holland and Benton Harbor locations. “The grant will improve continuity of care for our MAT patients and others needing outpatient therapy, as they will no longer have to go elsewhere to receive counseling services,” said Judy Rayman, Executive Vice President at InterCare. “We will now have a full range of SUD services all under one roof at the two sites where we are implementing the grant project. Eventually, InterCare hopes to expand this program model to its other sites, too.” In implementing the SUD grant, InterCare will follow the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) criteria, which include a multi-disciplinary collaborative care team that is person-centered and patient-driven. The primary care providers involved in addiction services at InterCare are Drs. David Perez and Bill Wilkinson in Bangor. Drs. David Puzycki and David Collins, along with Michael Jaskiewisz, FNP, provide addiction services in Eau Claire. These providers are part of a treatment team that also includes SUD outpatient therapists, a state certified peer recovery coach, and a nurse care manager.

Since the opioid addiction crisis became so prominent several years ago, Community Health Centers like InterCare have been on the front lines in battling the epidemic as they often serve our country’s most vulnerable populations and are well equipped to develop integrated treatment services within their primary care delivery sites. Nationally there were over 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016. Deaths in Michigan related to opioids increased 18% between 2015 and 2016, with 2,335 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016. InterCare has been providing comprehensive primary care to area residents and migrant and seasonal farm workers in six Michigan counties along the Lake Michigan shoreline for 46 years. At its eight fixed locations in five counties, InterCare offers access to a full range of medical, dental and behavioral health services.