Board Hires New Nurse Practitioner

The Board of Directors of the Beaver Island Rural Health Center is very pleased to announce the hiring of Sue Solle, Family Nurse Practitioner, as a new practitioner to work with Chris VanLooy, PA-C.  Sue was one of six applicants (15 inquiries) and is highly qualified, bringing many years of experience and skills to complement and strengthen BIRHC's current health care services.  She will be an asset to the community.

Sue and her husband, Frank, will be moving to the island around the first of October from Ewen, Michigan, in the upper peninsula, where Sue has been the solo nurse practitioner for a small rural health center for the past seven years.  Both Sue and Frank have spent many years on the island previously, and are looking forward to joining the community on a permanent basis.

Sue is the daughter of Matt and Ellie Hohn.  Frank is the son of Rhea Christie and the stepson of former island doctor, Joseph Christie.  The board will host a community reception to welcome Sue after she and Frank are settled.

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Welcome Sue and Frank

Sue and Frank Solle.jpg (103080 bytes)With the arrival of Sue and Frank Solle the island, besides acquiring another practitioner, will have a couple who have a long-standing relationship with the island.  Like many couples, they met and fell in love on the island.  Sue's family has been coming to the island since 1961, while Frank's family was here from 1968 until 1979.  Frank is a graduate of the Beaver Island Community School.  They have one son, Scott, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.  They are out-of-door folks who like snowshoeing, hiking, and biking.  There's an interest in sports.. Frank has been the sports writer for the Ontonagon Herald and the Daily Mining Gazette.  He's also been involved in youth organizations.  Sue has been involved with organizations, including being the Treasurer and Board Member of the MidWest Clinician's Network.  Welcome, Sue and Frank, it's great to have you back.


Approved Minutes of Beaver Island Rural Health Center Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

St. James Township Hall

PRESENT -   Board Members -  Anne Glendon , Gerald LaFreniere, Pete LoDico, Barb Murphy, Paul Nelson , Joe Reed , Rick Speck , Connie Wojan ; Arlene Brennan , Transition Manager

ABSENT Board Members - Don Spencer

GUESTS – Many attendees from the community

I.  Call to Order, Welcome and Announcements:  President Connie Wojan called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. and welcomed all in attendance. To facilitate public comments, all persons who wished to speak were asked to sign up on the paper which was distributed.

II. Review, revisions to agenda

There will be one addition. Update on the truck raffle added as item V. E.

III. Minutes of the Special August 5, 2003 Meeting

Motion to approve minutes of the July 15, 2003 , meeting as distributed (Murphy/LaFreniere); approved. No discussion.

IV. Financial Report:  Rick Speck

A. A copy of the budget as of July 2003 was distributed. For the year, the operating loss is $13,286. Reminder that this budget does not include any grant money from the state. Projected loss for the year is slightly less than projected last month, and expenses were slightly under. Motion to accept and approve the treasurer’s report as submitted (Reed/Wojan); approved.  Report of the Special Project Fund and the Endowment Fund from CCCF was distributed and reviewed. Special Project Fund has $35,662.33 as of June 30, 2003 ; Endowment has $96,302.60 as of the same date. These reports are prepared by CCCF.

B. Requests were submitted to both townships for assessing the full allowable millage prior to August 1, 2003 , as per contract. The townships make their decisions as to the amount they will allocate at their respective September meetings.

C. A summary sheet was presented with details of the amounts of money held by BIRHC for the Lansing Delegation, the Housing Committee (soon to be the Beaver Island Community Development Corporation when they receive 501C3 status), and the Beaver Island Partnership. Pete LoDico provided an update regarding the work that is being done for housing and the efforts to raise money. There will be another benefit dinner on September 18th, and everyone is encouraged to attend. Nothing was available on the Medial Auxiliary at this time, however, recognition and thanks were given to the auxiliary for providing $2,000 in early winter for improvements to the condo, as well as funding the cost of printing raffle tickets and promotional flyers.

V. Resource Development Report:  Anne Glendon

A. Ms. Glendon provided a brief recap of the meeting on July 15, 2003 , at which Mr. Tambellini spoke regarding capital campaigns. The financial reports on the two funds at CCCF were reviewed by Mr. Speck (above).

B. Ms. Glendon completely reviewed the Preliminary BIRHC Capital Campaign Proposal which was distributed. All points of the document were explained and discussed. There was discussion about whether a reserve fund or the endowment fund should be repository for this money. With an endowment fund, the principal cannot be invaded; with a reserve fund, the principal can be used. Long term, the intent is that the endowment fund will be sufficient to provide the needed extra operating funds.  Because there are so many current uncertainties regarding state funding and operating costs for the new facility, it was recommended that monies raised during the proposed campaign be held in a special reserve fund. Although there was discussion about it, the issue of which type of fund (endowment vs. reserve) does not need to be decided immediately. What does need decision is how to move forward with the campaign. Motion to adopt the Preliminary BIRHC Capital Campaign Proposal (Speck/Reed); approved with a vote of 7 for and one (1), Paul Nelson , opposed. 

C. Ms. Glendon recognized many individuals and organizations who have provided contributions for the new facility. Included are the Traudt and Gill families, in-kind contributions from Ed Wojan, Jim Wojan, Parker Motor Freight, Munson Medical Center , Providence Hospital and Dr. Brad Grassmick, and Mike Penkovich with Universal Sign. This is a start to the list of donors which will be compiled. Both cash and in-kind contributions will be recognized appropriately.  Board members also expressed appreciation for the many kindnesses and donations received to date.

D. Ms. Glendon stated that there may be $15,000 available from the state for the health center. That possibility is actively being pursued.

E. Joe Reed announced that 236 truck raffle tickets have been sold. 36 have been purchased by board members. Special thank you to Kirk McBride, Dave Roop and Leonor Jacobson (all non-board members) for assisting with ticket sales. Mr. Reed thanked everyone for their efforts and for purchasing. He is recruiting more volunteers to assist.  

Special thanks were expressed by President Wojan to many Board members for their tireless work over the past several months.  She recognized Joe Reed for all the time and effort he has contributed coordinating ticket sales. She acknowledged Anne Glendon for all the work she has done for Resource Development, including the Contributions Policies, work on the capital campaign, as well as drafting Board member policies. Additionally, thanks were given to Pete LoDico, Barb Murphy, Don Spencer and Anne Glendon for going to Lansing in May at their own personal expense and for the help BIRHC has received as a result. President Wojan commented that the Board as a whole and individually give up a significant amount of personal time to fulfill the many tasks that must be done to support the Health Center .

VI. Operations Report:  Arlene Brennan

A. The two utilization reports were distributed and reviewed. Of note, the number of encounters for July 2003 compared to 2002 was down 12%; for the year to date, encounters are down 6%. With the number of visitors and the economy as it is, these decreases are not unexpected.

B. The Transition Manager’s Report was distributed and reviewed. As regards staffing, Chris VanLooy has worked during the week and the health center has had relief coverage for the weekends. That has worked well. The process to hire a second practitioner is proceeding well, and the process approved by the board is being followed. The arrangement with BIEMS to utilize their staff during the day to provide clinical assistance has worked well. Not only has the arrangement provided assistance, but it has strengthened the collaboration and relationship between the two organizations. Billing progress continues. The plan is to continue efforts on clean up activities and evaluate progress and status in September. Information regarding billing will be presented at a meeting where adequate time can be devoted to explaining it. The relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is developing. They have been asked to consider payments on labs and x-rays that will take into account all transportation costs, talk with EMS about reimbursement, and provide health information to the residents, as well as several other items.

C. The status report on operational objectives was distributed. It will be reviewed at the next meeting.

VII. Process and Timelines for Board Development:  Connie Wojan

A. President Wojan asked Pete LoDico and Anne Glendon to take the responsibility for interviewing applicants and ensuring the process approved by the board is followed. Ms. Glendon indicated she sent a letter to Kirk McBride with details of the process. Copies of that letter were distributed, and she reviewed the contents.

B. To date, there are 5 applicants. They are Dr. Mark Folkening, Dr. Brad Grassmick, Eula Thomas, Nancy Tritsch and Angel Welke; Jeff powers has withdrawn his name. Announcement was made that any other interested persons are welcome and encouraged to apply. All names are to be submitted by August 25, 2003 , to President Connie Wojan .

VIII.  Construction Committee Report: 

A. Rick Speck – Reviewed the Construction Account Invoice Log. To date, $472,996.34 has been paid out. The committee is still anticipating the cost to be $1.3 M; it is on budget and on schedule as of now.

B. Barb Murphy – Construction is on schedule. As of September 1, the building will be 48% done. Everything seems to be progressing well. On August 22nd, a shipment of donated furniture will arrive and be stored at Welter’s storage facility. Universal Sign in Grand Rapids is providing signage for the exterior. A “wish list” of equipment has been created.

IX. Old Business:  Connie Wojan

A. Dental Space

i. President Wojan presented a history of dental services on Beaver Island . It began in the early 1980s, when Joan Petrak suggested that a dentist should visit and provide services. BIRHC has never had a written agreement with any dentist, most of whom have come once a month. Ever since Dr. White began practicing on the island, BIRHC has paid the cost of utilities, regular maintenance and supplies, and some cleaning services for her growing practice. She also has use of the health center’s copy machine, paper, the fax machine and the associated long distance charges. Minutes of the Construction Committee of July 29, 2003 were distributed. The BIRHC Board remains very committed to having dental care on the island, but since they will own the facility (not the townships) they will soon have to pay all insurance costs for the building.  As a result of this and other expenses, they have discussed having an agreement/lease with Dr. White. These discussions actually began in earnest in late 2002, with several meetings in early 2003. To date, the Board has not insisted on any stipulations and remains willing to discuss the many issues that need to be resolved.

ii. A piece of paper with a draft list of considerations for a lease agreement was distributed. President Wojan asked members of the board to think about all the issues with an open mind so that we can discuss the entire matter at the next meeting.  We need to decide whether Dr. White should sign an agreement/lease prior to moving into the new dental space, and, if so, what should be included in that agreement.

B. Other – Pete LoDico invited all to attend the fund raising dinner for BI Housing Committee – soon to be known as the Beaver Island Community Development Corporation – on September 18, 2003 at the Beaver Island Lodge.  All proceeds will go to BICDC, thanks to the generosity of Nina Simpson -Jones and Ray Cole..

X. Public Comments – There is a great deal of interest in learning more about billing; the public will be invited to the staff presentation. Dr. White spoke about her concerns regarding the cost of practicing dentistry in a rural community, and her need for financial assistance.  She does not feel it is fair for her to pay the $5,000 estimated cost of a separate meter for the dental space in the new facility.  Dr. White reminded the community that they have gained a lot from her services. Several persons from the community and Board spoke in support of Dr. White, and many Board members affirmed the Board’s long term commitment to the importance of dental care as a component of overall health and wellness services.  

After all who wished to speak did so, President Wojan thanked everyone for attending and participating. She also invited the public to attend all BIRHC meetings in the future.

XI. Next Meeting:  September 16, 2003 at St. James Township Hall.

XII. 8:45 p.m. Motion to adjourn (Reed/LoDico); approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Glendon , Secretary BIRHC Board of Directors

Arlene Brennan , Transition Manager


Hamster Hunt

ginny.jpg (163996 bytes)We had an exciting Sunday morning at our house when it was discovered that Andrea's pet hamster had escaped sometime during the night.  If you've never gone on a hamster hunt, you just don't know what you're missing.  To add into the excitement was the fact that we own, not one, but two house cats - one of them being a thirty pound Russian Blue.  The cats were caged and the hunt began.  Under the furniture, behind books, under and behind appliances, you name it, we looked there.  Being able to think like a hamster would help but none of us had that particular ability.  We'd about given up when a tiny scratching noise was heard by Joe in the laundry room.  Checking under and behind the freezer was tricky but didn't produce the hamster.  Then Andrea thought she heard something in the family room so we trekked in there.  All of a sudden a wire moved slightly behind the entertainment center and lo, and behold, guess who tweaked that wire?  Now the only problem was getting her out since it's about impossible to move the entire entertainment center.  Grandpa's area soft touch for grand-daughters in tears and he came to the rescue with a saw, which cut a hole in the back of the entertainment center large enough for Andrea's upper body to reach through and grab the wayward critter.  The hamster has now been moved from the expensive Habi-trail plastic cage to a glass aquarium with a screened lid.  Just so it wouldn't escape again, last night a coffee can full of pennies was set on top of the lid.. now if that hamster can raise that lid weighing about ten pounds I'm not going to worry about the cats eating it, heck the cats had better be careful of the escapee hamster.


Larry K. Tepe 1965-2003

Larry K. Tepe, 37, of Elkhart, Indiana, died at his parents' home on September 13, 2003 of natural causes.

He was born on December 15, 1965, in Elkhart to Dennis O. and Jan A. (Pedler) Tepe.

His parents survive along with his former wife, Krista Tepe of South Bend; a brother Steve (Jill) of Elkhart; and his grandmother, Frances Tepe of Elkhart.  One brother, Gary, preceded him in death.

Larry was vice president of Tepe Sanitary Supply in Elkhart since 1990.  He was a 1984 graduate of Memorial High School, where he was a vasity swimmer.  He graduated from Ball State University in 1988 with a degree in business.  He was a graduate of the Elkhart Leadership Academy and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  He loved boating, swimming, snow skiing and vacationing at Beaver Island.

The funeral service will be September 16th, at 10 a.m. at Hillcrest United Methodist Church.  The Reverend David Cross will officiate.  A private family graveside service will be held at Zion Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Riley Hospital for Children or the Elkhart Community Hospice.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Larry's family.


Carl Frederick Vertican

Carl Frederick Vertican, age 80, of Kalkaska, formerly of Gaylord and long time summer island resident, died Friday, September 12, 2003.

Carl was born February 13, 1923 in Port Huron, Michigan.  He was employed as a master mechanic at Holland Chevrolet in Marine City, twenty years for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the last twenty-three years as an independent oil field contractor until he finished his last pump jack in 2002.

Carl faithfully served his family and his Lord and leaves a rich legacy of his love for his family and of his love for the great outdoors of northern Michigan.

Carl is survived by his wife of 60 years, E. Annette; his three sons, Carl Jr., and Gary of California, and David of Gaylord; his daughter Carole Bearss of Virginia; 17 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a sister Pat Blackwell of Sebring, Florida; and many nieces and nephews.

Services were held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16th at the Nelson Funeral Home in Gaylord with interment at Otsego Lake Township Cemetery.

Contributions in memory of Carl Vertican may be made to the Vertican family through the Nelson Funeral Home in Gaylord.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Annette and her family.


Moving the Lighthouse?

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It's common knowledge that Jerry LaFreniere is the proud owner of the Freesoil Museum, but did you know he's decided to add the Whiskey Point Lighthouse to his memorabilia?  At least that's the rumor after seeing all the digging going on around the base of the tower.  Sure looked as though they were preparing to move it light and all.  It seems that the Environmental Protection Agency had a off-shoot check out the lead in the soil, a result of years of flaking lead-based paint from the tower falling upon the ground.  The lead amounts were quite high resulting in the contaminated soil being dug up, barged off-island and "fresh", "clean" soil brought in.  According to Jerry, the diggers have found some interesting things.. walls from the old house attached to the tower, an old gold ring, and bits and pieces of various other items.  Jerry?  Just exactly how ARE you going to move the tower down the road to your place?  Are you going to have Marie keep the light polished and working?  According to son Gerald, the deal Marie made with Jerry is that he can have the lighthouse IF he gets rid of that boiler in the front yard.


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