The Brighton, Michigan campus of Ross Medical Education Center has been busy! Under the Direction of Instructor Wendy Schumann in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program, the students, faculty, and staff planted seeds to grow plants for the Farm at St. Joseph Mercy Woodland Center in Brighton.
The seeds were planted in eco-friendly, disintegrating pots. The campus planted cucumbers, squash and other vegetables for the Family Medicine Residency garden. The plants were grown in the campus lobby, with occasional trips to the sidewalk to acclimate the plants to the outdoors. One of these outings required the expertise of Financial Aid Student Services Representative Lynette Arpi to provide emergency re-planting.
After over a month of cultivation at the campus, Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration Instructor Wendy Schumman, Medical Assistant program Instructor Lisa Smego, Financial Aid Student Services Representative Lynette Arpi, Campus Director Susan Mall, and students gathered at the Residency Garden behind the St. Joseph Mercy Woodland Health Center in Brighton. The staff and students joined Office Garden Coordinator Judy Trudeau, along with volunteer Master Gardeners and Medical Residents from the St Joseph Mercy Health System. The volunteers were instructed how to dig holes, loosen roots and create a water circle around the plants. The staff and students not only planted the vegetables grown at the campus, but other plants donated to the garden.
Medical Assistant student Chelsea Adams, her niece Madi Martin, Medical Assistant student Aley Clayton, and her son Conner Quarry planted squash. Rene Malin of the evening Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration class put in a large section of peppers and marigolds. Tomatoes, chives, and strawberries were some of the other crops planted in the garden. Wendy Schumman commented that the project “helps feed the members of the community that don’t have the means to buy fresh vegetables for their family.”
The produce is free to patients who visit the Woodland Health Center and is available in the lobby during the summer and fall. Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration student Rene Malin was happy to help on a Saturday “for such a worthy cause.” Ms. Schumman told the students and staff that the garden yields up to 1000 pounds of produce a season. Campus Director Susan Mall and Medical Assistant Instructor Lisa Smego plan to coordinate trips to weed the garden during the summer to keep the plants healthy.