Author: Becca

Cutting-edge virtual physical therapy treats everyday aches and pains at home

Alliance PT Agile PT at home

As Grand Rapids-based Alliance Physical Therapy’s leaders prepared for the nationwide launch of its Agile Virtual Care telehealth practice, they were confident in the distinct advantage the service is providing patients.

CEO Richard Leaver explained: “We are embracing the technology that allows us to leverage a 40-year history of delivering high-quality care and exceptional patient experiences beyond our brick-and-mortar locations. We have developed a network that relies on existing physical therapy professionals and their expertise and proven clinical abilities.

“While others rely on the platform and try to build out the care network, we are balancing the strength of our practices with telehealth advancements. It is a fundamental difference.”

Patients will be able to access physical therapy from the comfort of their home and at the time that fits their schedules, Leaver said. The process is simple, convenient and, most importantly, effective because of the physical therapists who will customize treatment plans for each patient.

The standard of care, evidence-based treatment and attention to detail is no different from an office visit except for it taking place via a smartphone app, on a computer or tablet.

Agile Virtual Care will serve patients experiencing everyday body pain, movement limitations, strength decreases, a lack of flexibility, as well as those who require treatment before or after surgery. The most common areas of need center around:

  • Neck
  • Back
  • Shoulder
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Foot
  • Ankle
  • Wrist

“There is a full range of service and direct 1-on-1 care,” Leaver said. “As a consumer, you get more attention because there are no distractions and no one else in the session.”

Direct access to therapists can begin without a doctor referral and Agile Virtual Care will work with patients to determine any insurance coverage across the 29-state network. Virtual care reduces patient expenses by up to 47 percent and speeds scheduling an appointment by 60 percent over in-person care, studies have found.

“Our goal is to improve timely access to care and also geographical access,” Leaver said, pointing out that many patients do not live near a physical therapy center. Patients who do live near an office can use a hybrid treatment, particularly useful if manual therapy is needed.

The easy-to-navigate four-step process to regaining agility and muscle memory starts with requesting an appointment online or calling 1-844-648-0024 to provide patient information and a description of symptoms and limitations. Next, patients, within 12 to 24 hours, will receive an email with instructions to join a virtual care appointment at a time they’ve selected.

Patients enter a virtual waiting room before their visit and meet the therapist who will discuss the problem before evaluating mobility and movement thresholds. The trained, licensed therapist determines a course of care and recommends exercises and other recovery strategies.

The treatment continues at home through prescribed video exercises that give patients visual reference to their treatment, reminders to perform the movements and the ability to track their work. Future visits with physical therapists are charted out based on individual need. A typical first consultation and evaluation lasts approximately an hour and follow-up appointments are generally about 30 minutes

Virtual physical therapy is ideal for time-crunched professionals, weekend-warrior athletes who want to get back in the game and those simply looking to improve their lives, Leaver said. The virtual platform allows patients to skip steps necessary to access help.

Instead of going to an urgent care or scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician, who often will refer patients to physical therapy, there is a direct line to assistance.

“We’re really breaking new ground here with the immediate access to a robust, effective method of treating a wide range of conditions,” Leaver said. “We’re making it easier for people to live and feel their best.”

Visit Agile Virtual Care today to learn more or reach the physical therapy team here.

At Home with Eastbrook Homes: Home Repair Services

Brad Mooney of Eastbrook Homes and Joel Ruiter of Home Repair Services sit down with Eric Hultgren to discuss the impactful work HRS does in the community. Learn about Home Repair Service’s mission of strengthening vulnerable Kent County homeowners to build strong communities, as well as Eastbrook Home’s tie to the non-profit. HRS offers classes, resources, financial aid, ramp building, and more to the Kent County community. One program they offer is ramp building, which Brad Mooney of Eastbrook Homes has helped with for over a decade. This podcast will delve into various community needs, HRS’ story and mission, and how corporations and individuals alike can make a difference in their community.

Learn more about Home Repair Services here: http://www.homerepairservices.org/

Learn more about Eastbrook Homes here: http://www.eastbrookhomes.com

Fall Colors: 24 hours of Marquette, MI

Eric Hultgren travels through Marquette, MI

Each season in Michigan holds its own magic but there is one season where that magic feels more fleeting than others – the fall. The fall colors in Michigan are a yearly reminder that change is both wonderful and colorful, this year is no different. Eric Hultgren spent 24hrs in Marquette to show you the 6 places to catch the colors before they are gone.  On your way into town you can check out both the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and Mt. Marquette, from there head over to Sugar Loaf and the Cr-510 Bridge for some killer fall colors. Finally head 20 minutes out of town to climb Hogback Mountain and finish off near Big Bay at the Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook and you will get photos of some of the best fall colors in Michigan.

MI Best Stories: Michigan Sugar and Pioneer Sugar

farmer showing sugar beets to his sons

It’s easy to take those sweet treats in your pantry for granted, who thinks about the story behind that big, red bag of Pioneer Sugar.  We do!

MLive and Michigan Best’s Amy Sherman was curious to know more about the sugar she uses so often, especially when she learned that Pioneer Sugar comes from a Michigan-based company, Michigan Sugar Company. Her curiosity was piqued when she read Michigan Sugar Company’s purpose statement,

“Michigan Sugar Company aims to make life sweeter, both literally and figuratively, for our grower-owners, employees, customers, partners, and communities. Whether it’s a bag of our pure, all-natural sugar helping you bake your favorite family recipe, sponsorship of an important community event, providing a quality and stable work environment, delivering an order on time and as expected, or helping maximize profits for our grower-owners, Michigan Sugar Company has been Making Life Sweeter since 1906.”

Check out the videos below to learn more about Michigan Sugar and how you go from a sugar beet (or 7) to a bag of sugar.

We’ll be posting new videos exploring Michigan Sugar Company each week, be sure to come back to learn more!

Episode 1, in this first episode exploring Michigan Sugar, Amy Sherman talks with Rob Clark about how the company came to be and what makes Michigan Sugar so special.

 

Episode 2, in this episode Amy Sherman talks with Michigan Sugar Company’s president, Mark Flegenheimer, whose family has been in the sugar business since the 1920s

 

Episode 3, in this episode Amy talks with Pedro Figueroa, Michigan Sugar’s vice president of sales and marketing. They talk about the details of the sugarbeet processing, Pioneer Sugar’s new red bag, and how Pioneer Sugar is one of the few sugars that is 100% vegan certified.

 

Episode 4, in this episode Amy talks to Ellen Smith, the executive director of Human Resources at Michigan Sugar. As a locally grown, locally owned business, Michigan Sugar is proud to support local communities through its owner-grower farms and large employee base at its processing plants. Find out about what kind of employment opportunities are open at Michigan Sugar, and how to apply (www.michigansugar.com/careers).

 

Episode 5,  in this episode Amy talks with Jim Ruhlman, Michigan Sugar’s executive vice president. They discuss the agricultural side of the sugar production process and how the ‘root’ of the company is the 900+ grower-owners, who not only farm the actual sugarbeets, but also collaborate on seed varietal testing and approval.

 

Episode 6, in this episode Amy talks with Jason Lowry, Michigan Sugar’s vice president of operations. We learn the processing details from farm to factory (spoiler: it involves sugarbeet ‘french fries’) to red bag of Pioneer Sugar.

 

Michigan Sugar Company fun facts:

  • Michigan Sugar Company has been operating since 1906 and has been farmer-grower owned since 2002
  • There are 900 farmer-grower owners
  • Michigan Sugar Company has tested around 300 seed varieties, narrowing that down to up to 20 varieties that have been approved for use in the specific field growing conditions of their farms
  • 18% of a sugar beet is sugar
  • Michigan Sugar company growers plant and harvest 160,000 acres of sugar beets annually
  • That means 1.1 billion pounds of sugar are produced per year
  • It takes about 7 sugar beets to make 1 bag of sugar
  • Michigan Sugar operates 4 sugar beet slicing factories, including the oldest sugar beet slicing factory in the USA, located in Caro, Michigan.

 

Episode 7, in this episode Amy Sherman talks with Corey Guza about the science of creating amazing sugar.

 

Episode 8, Amy Sherman talks to the 2020 Michigan Sugar Queen Shaelynn Lavrack about life as the queen.

 

Episode 9, Amy talks to Adam Herford, chairman of the board and one of the over 900 grower-owners of Michigan Sugar. His multi-generation, over 100 year old farm, W.A. Herford & Sons, has been growing for and working with Michigan Sugar since his great-grandfather. He gets into the details of the grower-owner setup as well as the crop rotation, weather, and sustainability.

 

Episode 10,  in this episode Amy talks with Kevin Messing about his role as a field consultant for Michigan Sugar.

 

Episode 11, in this episode Amy talks with Kelly Scheffler, Michigan Sugar’s Bay City factory manager. Kelly walks us through the day-to-day operations of Michigan Sugar and some of the history, including how the currently operating factories are the original factory buildings, built in the 1900s, and upgraded and expanded since then. Kelly and his family have been a part of that long Michigan Sugar history for 3 generations, since his dad and continuing to his son.

 

Episode 12,  in this episode Amy talks with Elizabeth Taylor, the Ag relations and communications manager for Michigan Sugar. Elizabeth is in charge of the popular sugarbeet processing plant tours for Michigan Sugar. In normal times they average about 1,200 people through in a year, during their tour season from the end of September through February.

 

For more sweet goodness from Michigan Sugar, check out our Michigan’s Best, Sweet Treat of the Week on mlive.com/michigansbest or visit the Michigan Sugar Company website, michigasugar.com.