Category: People

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health Offers Breakthrough Treatment for Emphysema

In a breakthrough for patients suffering from severe emphysema, Metro Health — University of Michigan Health has become one of the first West Michigan health systems to offer a new, minimally-invasive procedure that offers hope for better breathing, without the risk of major surgery.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 3.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema, a form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The condition makes it difficult to breathe as air sacs in the lungs are damaged.

The most common cause of COPD is smoking, but other risk factors include secondhand smoke and environmental conditions. The American Lung Association estimates that in Kent County alone 40,557 adults suffer from COPD.

In Kent County alone more than 40,000 adults suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Patients with severe emphysema can feel as though they are fighting to survive day to day instead of living their lives to the fullest. They may struggle to move around the house or complete daily tasks, and leaving the home can be tiresome and frightening. Some patients are connected to supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day.

Many patients can be treated with medication, pulmonary rehabilitation or supplemental oxygen, but if those treatments don’t work, major surgery is their only option. During surgery, damaged lung tissue may be removed or, in the most severe cases, a lung transplant is needed.

In June, the Zephyr™ Valve became the first minimally invasive device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating patients with severe emphysema.

The Zephyr™ Valve procedure is a 30 to 60 minute process where the doctor uses a bronchoscope, a tiny tube with a camera, to place small valves in airways. This allows parts of the patient’s lungs to expand, lifting pressure off the diaphragm and helping to ease breathing.

“Metro Health — University of Michigan Health is proud to pioneer this groundbreaking treatment for qualifying patients in West Michigan,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, Metro Health President and CEO. “As a pulmonologist,

Dr. Mounir Ghali

I have seen firsthand the debilitating effects on patients who have difficulty breathing. The new procedure offers hope of improved lung function and a better quality of life.”

In its Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data report, the FDA wrote: “This device offers a significant clinically meaningful advantage over the current standard of care and therefore its ability is also in the best interest of patients.”

Metro Health has identified several patients who are candidates for the Zephyr™ Valve procedure. The first procedure will be performed by Dr. Mounir Ghali, interventional pulmonologist.

Metro Health’s highly-qualified team of pulmonologists have trained in some of the most prestigious institutions across the country.

“I believe we have the best clinical pulmonology program, perhaps in the state,” Dr. Hahn said. “We are providing patients with an option for treating the most advanced lung conditions.”

If you are suffering from lung or respiratory conditions or want to learn more about the Zephyr™ Valve procedure, call Metro Health’s pulmonary specialists at 616-252-5220 or visit

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Ready to Spend a Day in Port Huron?

Port Huron’s historic downtown and the beautiful views of Lighthouse Park set the stage for another look at Michigan’s unique retailers with MLive’s Nick Behling.

Nick explores the huge inventory of instruments at Hanson Pro Music with the shop’s owner, Eric Hanson, who explains that he enjoys helping budding musicians find just the right piece of equipment. He then settles in and gets comfortable at the Raven Cafe while enjoying a great sandwich and a cup of coffee.

Follow along with the Michigan Retailers Association and Nick to discover what makes Michigan unique, while remembering to buy nearby as local stores and restaurants employ more than 800,000 people across our state.

Stay with us for more Michigan’s Best adventures as Nick and the team uncover can’t-miss locations around the Mitten.

The advertiser paid a fee to promote this sponsor article and may have influenced or authored the content. The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect those of this site or affiliated companies.

Bike Safety: Why Road Signs Apply to You Too, Cyclists

Driving Change is now entering its third summer of improving road relationships between motorists and bicyclists in Grand Rapids and aiming to keep everyone safe on our roads.

Road Relationship Counselor Dr. Susan Wheeler has taken some of the most popular questions about our ordinances and safety tips and provided practical advice to help you remember how you can do your part to keep everyone safe on our roads.

In this episode, Dr. Wheeler shares one motorist’s question, demonstrating how important it is for bicyclists to also follow the same rules of the road as motorists, including stopping at all stop signs and red lights. Not only is it the law, but it also helps motorists know what to expect from quick-moving bicycles so they can keep their distance.

Together, we can work to improve our road relationships and drive change in Grand Rapids.

The advertiser paid a fee to promote this sponsor article and may have influenced or authored the content. The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect those of this site or affiliated companies.

After the Holiday’s These People Will Still Need Your Help

It’s a conversation with Roy that sticks in Lisa Church’s mind, that compels her to keep helping senior citizens even now that he is gone.

Church was visiting Roy, delivering a Senior Grocery Box from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to his home, when the 40-year Coast Guard veteran living with diabetes explained how it was too expensive for him to buy hand sanitizer needed to clean his skin before checking his blood sugar levels.

“I went to deliver the grocery box and we were sitting there talking and he was saying how astounded he was when he went to the pharmacy for a bottle of hand sanitizer and found that it cost almost $5,” said Church, owner of Alternative Elderly Care, a home health care service that works with the Food Bank to distribute the grocery boxes. “He couldn’t believe it.

“I probably have $5 in change sitting in my purse. Five dollars doesn’t mean a lot to me, but it means everything to these seniors.”

Roy has passed away, but his plight lives on in the challenging financial situations faced by many older people throughout Michigan. Between housing rent, utility bills and medications, it’s difficult for many seniors to find money for one of the most basic human needs: food.

The 50-pound Senior Grocery Box contains non-perishable staples of a healthy diet including canned goods, rice, cereal and seasonal fresh produce along with household hygiene items.

That’s where the Senior Grocery Box comes in. For less than $5 per week — a total of $200 per year — you can provide a 50-pound box of food each month to an elderly neighbor in need in your community. For less than $5 per week, you can make a lasting, positive impact on someone who lives right in your community.

“Every little bit helps,” Church said. “Most of the individuals in our program have an income level of under $1,000 a month, and that’s expected to be able to pay their bills (including rent).

“We’ve delivered to homes that don’t have heat, don’t have appliances. These individuals don’t have access to a vehicle, they don’t have the option to go to soup kitchens or food pantries, and they definitely can’t afford the grocery delivery services that are popping up. A lot of them don’t have families to step up and help, either. For some of them, the box is all they have.”

The Food Bank’s Senior Grocery Box program involves hundreds of local agencies such as Alternative Elderly Care that deliver the food to seniors each month. The 50-pound boxes contain many non-perishable staples of a healthy diet including cereals, canned goods, beans, rice, soup, dehydrated milk, pancake mix, snacks, cookies and seasonal fresh produce as well as household hygiene items such as toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, soap and toothpaste.

The Food Bank each year serves more than 331,000 people across a 22-county area from Flint north to the Mackinac Bridge through a variety of programs. In 2017, those programs distributed 28 million pounds of food, including 11 million pounds of fresh produce.

The need for Food Bank services is great throughout Michigan, where 1.4 million people live in poverty including 9 percent of residents age 65 and up, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The poverty rate is even higher in the areas served by the Food Bank: Bay County, 15 percent; Saginaw County, 17 percent; Genesee County, 18 percent; Flint, 39 percent.

The need tends to increase in the winter, when utility costs typically rise. Natural gas bills are expected to increase by 5 percent this heating season due to higher prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s about $30 more, on average, than last winter.

For $200 per year — less than $5 per week — a grocery box from the Food Bank can ease financial stress for seniors and give them the food they need without requiring them to choose between medicine, heat or lights. Please donate now.

The advertiser paid a fee to promote this sponsor article and may have influenced or authored the content. The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect those of this site or affiliated companies.