Message from the President

On the Road

by Loren Hamel, MD - President, Spectrum Health Lakeland | Aug 9, 2019

Since our integration with Spectrum Health became official in October of last year, we’ve been excited about teaming up with another system. We know that together with Spectrum Health, we will be able to provide additional advantages to our community. You might remember one recent example of this: our new partnership with Mary Free Bed. This summer, we’re excited about another opportunity. It’s big and it’s bright. Actually, it’s something that’s pretty hard to miss. Can you guess what it is?

It’s the Veggie Van, a mobile farmer’s market supported by the YMCA and Spectrum Health. For several years, it’s been traveling around communities in west Michigan. And this summer it’s making a couple of pretty special stops—the first in southwest Michigan.

So, why is the Veggie Van such an exciting initiative?

It’s a new way we can bring healthy foods and nutrition information right to our community. At each stop, we’re offering free and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Plus, education so that we can share healthy recipes using these fruits and vegetables. We know that when we take this healthy food right to the community, we can reach more people who might not usually have easy access to this kind of food.

The Veggie Van is also a way that we are strengthening our relationship with Spectrum Health, as we care for our communities together. We’ve talked a lot about our mission to improve health, inspire hope, and save lives, and we know we can do that work better together. The Veggie Van is just one example of living out that mission and improving the health of the communities we serve.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the Veggie Van, you might be wondering where exactly it’ll stop. First, the Veggie Van headed to National Night Out in Benton Harbor on August 6 and later this month it’ll make a stop at the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor YMCA. If you have a chance to visit the Veggie Van, I encourage you stop by and see it for yourself.

Over the past year, I’ve observed and been a part of many teams working hard to harmonize the programs, policies, and clinical practices of Spectrum Health and Lakeland. It’s exciting to see these efforts grow and reach our community, as we take the Veggie Van, and our commitment to improving health, inspiring hope, and saving lives, on the road.

Dr Hamel signature

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© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2019