Have you participated in one of the monthly polls with the Buzz with Brittany? The results from all months are published below.


April Results     May Results     June Results    


July Results     August Results     September Results


October Results     November Results     December Results


January Poll Results

This month, we asked, "In the spirit of the New Year, tell us - what does wellness mean to you?" Check out the results below!

Congrats to Kelly King from Otsego Memorial Hospital, who won a $150 Visa gift card! Thank you to all Munson Healthcare team members who participated in this year-long Buzz with Brittany campaign. Please contact Brittany Miller at bmiller5@mhc.net for more information on employee wellness resources. 

Helpful Resources

Poll Survey Results


10 Great "Other" Responses

  1. "Wellness means feeling good on the inside and outside.  Taking time for yourself and doing things that your future self with thank you for."  – Otsego Memorial Hopsital
  2. "Being the best me I can be!" – Grayling Hospital 
  3. "Feeling groovy!  Waking up well rested, with a great attitude to start a new day.  Knowing I exercise, eat healthy, and do all I can do to make my quality of life the best it can be." – Kalkaska Memorial Health Center
  4. "Wellness is an overall state of feeling great mentally, physically, and emotionally.  My wellness is a daily work in progress.  I try to work on myself daily."  – Manistee Hospital
  5. "Wellness is a product of what you put into your body as in food and drink, what you into your mind via what you reaed and watch, and what you put into your spirit such as who you spend time with and the things that you do for yourself (self-care, exercise, fresh air, sunshine)." – Foster Family Community Health Center
  6. "Wellness means feeling good in body, mind, and spirit.  It means eating healthy, getting outside to enjoy some nature therapy, spending time with friends and family who nurture you, reading or participating in hobbies which fulfill you, and exercise the body."  – Munson Medical Center
  7. "To me, wellness is finding blessings, peace and fulfillment within my day to day life." – Charlevoix Hospital
  8. "Being cancer free for three years and being at peace with my body and mind." – Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital
  9. "Feeling my best to show up for myself and others."  Charlevoix Hospital
  10. "Wellness is an opportunity to incorporate different levels of practice to make your life, mind and body be positive.  It can help you have more balance in life."  – Cadillac Hospital

December Poll Results

This month, we asked, “The holidays can be a joyous time, but they can also be stressful. How do you manage your stress during the holidays?"” Check out the results below!

Congrats to April Pizzo, a lead trauma registrar at Munson Medical Center, who won the Apple Watch! Thank you to all Munson Healthcare team members who took the poll this month. Check back in January for the last monthly poll.

Total poll responses = 692

Helpful Resources

  • Free yoga classes for employees in the Health and Wellness Suite exercise room at the CFCC offered every Wednesday from 12-12:20 and 12:30-12:50. All equipment provided and you won’t sweat. *Classes change to Tuesdays starting 1/1/2020. 

  • Click here for employee discounts for acupuncture, massage, yoga and more at the Cowell Family Cancer Center and free meditation classes.

  • Looking for an accountability partner to help you reduce stress or stick to working out? Give health coaching a try.

  • Blow off steam with fitness classes, yoga, or the MHC Sports Clubs here.

  • Learn the art of Qigong to embrace your inner calm at Foster Family Community Health Center here

  • Need to talk? All employees and their household members get 4 free counseling sessions per year through our Employee Assistance Program.

Poll Survey Results

10 Great "Other" Responses

  1. "Change patterns of giving - Have the whole family give to the community, needy family or homeless.  Your heart will be full and the experience you give children cannot even be measured." – Cadillac Hospital
  2. "I do the things that bring me happiness and don't worry about the rest. I don't let the expectations for others determine my joy in the season." – Charlevoix Hospital
  3. "I try to exercise and maintain healthy eating habits. I have learned if I splurge I always feel awful. But I don't stress about the diet, I do have some treats I just try to keep it in moderation." – Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital
  4. "Make sure to get plenty of rest, and don't sweat the small stuff. Just remind yourself your human and you don't have to be perfect and everything doesn't need to be perfect in your life." – Grayling Hospital
  5. "During the holidays especially I make sure to keep up my exercise routine. It is also important each day to remember to be thankful. When I choose to find something to be thankful for the worries of not having a picture perfect Christmas fade away.  Lastly I find staying off social media helps with the comparison trap of the season." – Kalkaska Memorial Health Center
  6. "I have been keeping a gratitude journal daily thru an app on my phone called the Gratitude Garden to remind me of the things that are really important, and I have been practicing mindfulness so that I am present in the moment with family members and friends." – Otsego Memorial Hospital
  7. "I have the Simple Habit app on my phone and it reminds me each night to do five minutes of meditation. It really helps with stress and is a great habit to help me throughout the day to just breathe. One of my favorites is every time you wash your hands, take 3 deep breaths." – Manistee Hospital 
  8. "Plan ahead and try to live in the moment. Enjoy the crazy, sometimes drama filled time with those loved ones. There will be a time when we wish to have them. Not everyone is so blessed to be surrounded by loved ones." – Munson Medical Center
  9. "One huge stress has been sending out Christmas cards.  A made the decision to give them up a few years ago. I make sure to call or visit with those instead. It is much more joyful and meaningful for me. And it is a reward rather than a burden." – Munson Medical Center
  10. "Ask for help, you don't have to do everything alone, and remember what's really important...quality time with family."  – Cadillac Hospital

November Poll Results

This month, we asked, “How do you stick to healthy eating during the holidays and not over-indulge?” Check out the results below!

Melinda Shock, a registered nurse from Charlevoix Hospital, is this month's winner! She won an Aerogarden Harvest Elite, so she can grow fresh herbs and vegetables year round indoors!

Total poll responses = 241

Helpful Resources

Recipes in the Video

  • Easy Lentil Potato Soup, a healthy, hearty, low-calorie meal to offset the higher-calorie holidays foods. Brittany likes to add celery and/or spinach for extra veggies.
  • Pecan Pie Cookies, a healthier, yet still decadent holiday treat made with just 6, whole-food ingredients.

Resources for Staying Healthy

  • Core4 – a 10-week weight management program for employees and their families with one-on-one appointments with a dietitian and an exercise specialist, and weekly group classes led by a dietitian with food tastings. Upcoming sessions starting in January.
  • Weight Watchers at Work – a 12-week healthy living program for employees
  • See what’s available at your location

Poll Survey Results

Portion control was the most popular answer to prevent overindulgence through the holidays.

10 Great Ways MHC Team Avoid Over-Indulgence During the Holidays

  1. Simply by being stubborn. I’m currently doing the WW purple program and love it.  I’m very motivated and decided that this is mind over matter. I will reach my goal. – Cadillac Hospital
  2. Pre-plan my strategy…walk away from the table or area where food is out to avoid snacking.  Bring my own or have healthy snack options easily available. – Grayling Hospital
  3. I try to remember how awful I will feel! Regret is very powerful. Take a pause before diving in…if you give it just a little thought, you may stop before you start. – Charlevoix Hospital
  4. If I do overindulge I find ways to squeeze in some additional exercise time to try to erase some of the mistakes! – Otsego Memorial Hospital
  5. I make sure to take smaller portions so that I can see the space between on the plate. – Manistee Hospital
  6. I remember the joy of the snack is temporary but the weight lasts much longer! – Munson Home Care, Traverse City
  7. Remember that it’s a “holiday” not a “holimonth”. – Cadillac Hospital
  8. Meal prep and remember this month’s decisions are next month’s body. – Munson Healthcare, Traverse City
  9. Use a smaller plate to ensure smaller servings. Sounds silly, but it works! – Munson Medical Group
  10. I try to engage in more conversations. When I’m engaged in either discussing or listening to someone’s discussions I eat my food more slowly which allows me to become full while eating less over a longer period of time. – Cadillac Hospital

October Poll Results

This month, we asked, “If you had a free accountability partner, what would be the first thing you’d work on?” Check out the results below!

MMC Pharmacy Technician Olivia Ferreira won the prize: a gift certificate for ten chef-prepared lunches and dinners from Fuel Your Tomorrow, which recently opened in the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City. 

A great “other” response to share from a Traverse City employee: “Living in the moment more and not be so rushed all day long...enjoying the little things.”

Total poll responses = 357

Helpful Resources

Poll Survey Results

There is a tie! The top two areas respondents would focus on are fitness and stress, with weight close behind.

September Poll Results

The poll question was “What helps you most to manage your money?” If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the video below to hear from Colleen Etue of Transamerica, who shared some great tips on financial wellness earlier this month.

And the winner is: This month’s poll winner was Brianna LeRay from Manistee Hospital, won $100 cash deposited into her paycheck!

Helpful resources:

  • All Munson Healthcare employees and their household family members are eligible for a free 30-minute financial phone consultation through Cigna. Click to learn more.
  • Check out the free Wealth and Health class series with Amy Birtcher or Colleen Etue.
  • Looking for information on budgeting? Check out the budget tools here.

  • Make a free private retirement planning appointment with Colleen Etue or Amy Birtcher here.

Poll Survey Results

The number one response for what helps you manage your money was savings and retirement!


August Poll Results

The poll question was “How do You Avoid Mindless Eating?” Watch the video below to hear from Megan McClain, a Core4 participant, on the strategies she used to lose inches off her waist without feeling restricted. Plus, find out what the prize is this month and who the lucky winner is!

Helpful resources:

Poll Survey Results

The number one response was not keeping trigger foods in the house.

Top 5 Other Ways Health Care Team Members Avoid Mindless Eating

  1. Drink water. “I drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes before snacking. This helps me either snack less or realize I wasn't actually hungry.” - Grayling Hospital
  2. Stay busy. “I work out or find a book or a game to keep myself occupied.” - Manistee Hospital.
  3. Plan ahead. “I keep fresh fruits and veggies readily available for easy grab and go food.” - Cadillac Hospital.
  4. Brush your teeth. “I brush my teeth as soon as I get the urge to eat mindlessly”. - Otsego Memorial Hospital.
  5. Tracking. “I use an app on my phone to track what I eat and so does my sister, we try to keep each other in check!” - Munson Medical Center

July Poll Results

What's your favorite trick for making sure you eat a lot of healthy veggies? Rachel Sytsma Reed, Ph.D. shares recipes for World Cup Finals Salad with strawberries and mango, and watermelon gazpacho, originally from The Blender Girl by Tess Masters in the video below.



Watch the video below for more ideas to include vegetables that are fun and easy from Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Wellness Workshop Instructor Rachel Sytsma Reed, Ph.D. Congrats to Paula Winkle from Cadillac who won the Ninja Food Processor and Blender in one.

Tips from Munson Healthcare Dietitians

How to Eat More Veggies – Tips from 5 Munson Dietitians

  1. It's important to have them around and use often, especially when your kids are young. Puree vegetables to add to sauces – kids won't even know. To save time, make a larger batch and pour into ice cube trays to freeze and use at a later date. –Melissa Krajnik, RD – Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital
  2. It's my personal rule of thumb (and I do this for my family, too) that I eat at least 1 serving of fruit with breakfast, 1 serving each of fruit and vegetables at lunch and one serving each at dinner. That's 5 for 5-a-day right there. Additionally, I try to eat fruit/veggies for snacks to up that number. – Amanda Evans, RD – Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital
  3. Making sure to have them on hand, and ready to eat. If fresh vegetables aren't available, I always have some frozen vegetables on hand. I also love the salad bar in the hospital cafeteria, we always have a good assortment of greens and fresh vegetables to choose from. – Cheryl Melroy, RD – Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital
  4. Use a visual idea that half your lunch and dinner plate can be filled with colorful vegetables.  Connie Metcalf, RD – Foster Family Community Health Center & Kalkaska Dialysis Center
  5. Visibility & Variability. If I can see prepped veggies in my kitchen space, carry shelf stable veggies as a snack, I am 10 times more likely to eat them. As for variability, if I am rotating my stock of veggies, I am less likely to get bored with one vegetable's texture or taste and it allows my creative juices to stay flowing! – Madelyn Drumm, RD – Cowell Family Cancer Center

Top 15 Tips from Poll Responses

  1. Convenience: "Cutting up my veggies ahead of time and storing them in little baggies or storage containers makes it easier for me to just grab-n-go. I find I will grab them more over an unhealthy snack if the work is already done." – Cadillac
  2. Grilling: "Grilled! Everything tastes better. Grill extra veggies so there's leftovers to add to sandwiches or wraps." – Gaylord
  3. Salads: "Try to turn everything into a salad... taco salad, cheeseburger salad, naked burrito, egg roll in a bowl, etc." – TC
  4. Variety: "I like to spice up my food. I add different types of spices (cumin, paprika, and lemongrass curry) or herbs to make my food more interesting to eat. I do not like a bland diet and simply hiding my veggies will not work for me. I love to cook and enjoy trying new things so this is my way of eating a balanced diet without settling for boring!" – Manistee
  5. Kid-Friendly Tip: "Pairing spinach with fresh berries or bananas, along with a touch of honey is a favorite of my very picky children. They like to layer tiny bites to make "sandwiches".   It becomes an adventure as they try different combinations, which is amazing considering how finicky they are about foods." – Charlevoix
  6. Salads: "Create a delicious colorful salad every day for lunch. It includes green, orange, yellow, white, and any other veggie color. I include nuts and fruits also. If it's pleasing to the eyes it's pleasing to the palate." – Charlevoix
  7. Convenience: "I'm an evening snacker, so to avoid pulling out that bag of chips, I make sure I have a container of veggies ready (seedless cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, cherry tomatoes) and then dip them in Hummus while I'm reading or watching a video at night." – TC
  8. Rule of Thumb: "I always make sure there is something green on my plate for dinners. This has been a rule with my family too." – Manistee
  9. Dips: "It’s hard for me to eat raw veggies without some kind of dressing. A little bad with a whole lot of good." – Charlevoix
  10. Sneak ‘em In: "I like to sneak vegetables in with my breakfast. Starting the day with a little spinach added to a breakfast sandwich instead of meat, or veggie scrambled eggs...sometimes kale or spinach added to a smoothie....just feels good to have a vegetables first thing in the morning. If I don't have time to cook, sometimes I'll just snack on raw snap peas or green beans while I'm commuting to work." – TC
  11. Grilling: "We love grilling kabobs in the summer with olive oil and garlic. We alternate meat and veggies such as squash, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli! It's the best." – Grayling
  12. Rule of Thumb: "Eat them before I eat anything else on my plate so I don't fill up on other things." – TC
  13. Salad: "I eat a salad at lunch daily at work, the salad bar in the cafeteria makes it easy." – Kalkaska
  14. Convenience: "All my daily snacks are veggies only. Every Sunday evening, my daughter and I create our snack packs for the entire week, so all we have to do is grab and go." – Charlevoix
  15. Smoothies: "I eat a green smoothie every day. May favorite smoothie is the MangoRita. 1 cup of frozen pineapple, 2 cups frozen mango, 2 cups of power greens, 1 cup coconut water and a squeeze of a lime and a small orange." – TC

June Poll Results

Our poll question this month: “What is that one amazing thing that not only brings you joy but motivates you to stay healthy?” Thank you to everyone who completed this month's poll! Here are the employee responses by location! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s poll! Check out the video below to see the poll results, find out which location won the competition, who the winner is, what the prize is, and to hear from a few employees on the poll question: What is that one amazing thing that not only brings you joy but motivates you to stay healthy?


15 Great Responses

  1. "I’m 64, so when my grandsons ask me to play goalie while they send slap-shots zinging my way, it makes me realize what a joy it is to be able to move freely!" – Charlevoix
  2. "Surviving Cancer!! And trying to get healthier so that I can continue to fight the battle." – TC
  3. "The one thing that motivates me is, as a nurse it is hard to educate my patients on a healthy lifestyle when I do not live one myself. I want to "practice what I preach." – Gaylord
  4. "When I lift weights it makes me feel good and keeps me in a positive frame of mind. I always think to include activity as part of my self-care routine just like brushing your teeth or showering." – TC
  5. "Being the family historian. I had a health scare last year and my children, nephews and nieces told me I had to get better and stay around because I am the only family left of my generation to be able to pass on our history to their children. I never thought I would be the Matriarch of the family, but now that I am I want to keep the position for a good long stretch!" – Frankfort
  6. "Walking outdoors in our beautiful state. By losing weight I have been able to enjoy more hiking on our sunny days." – TC
  7. "Wanting to be able to hike and enjoy the natural beauty of northern Michigan’s woods and waterways with my family without feeling tired early or getting winded keeps me motivated to hit the gym to build strength and endurance." – Manistee
  8. "My ultra-amazing severely apraxic daughter is what keeps me motivated. Everything that requires motor movement is difficult for her including her speech. The more we do things, the better she gets physically and verbally. :)" – Gaylord
  9. "My husband and I enjoy travel and someday when we retire we need to be healthy and mobile enough to be able to be adventurous in our older age. We love travel and one day hope to do more after our kiddos are grown!" – TC
  10. "Every day I meet people who are living with health issues that may have been mitigated if they made different lifestyle choices. They are my motivation to make the best choices I can every day to stay strong and healthy. I also have a wonderful husband who has stayed married to me for 29 years and I am planning on at least 29 more!!!" – Charlevoix
  11. "My 89 year old grandmother is my amazing thing. She still lives alone, bowls, golfs, gardens, drives and takes no medication. I strive to stay active everyday so that I hopefully will have that quality of life when I am her age :)" – Cadillac
  12. "The first step I took after getting out of my wheelchair the first time made me realize how much I had taken my health for granted, a mistake that I never want to repeat." – TC
  13. "My kids bring the most joy. They keep me motivated because I want to be around for a long time to watch them grow up. I also like to be able to go do things with them. It can be as simple as going to look for mushrooms or throwing around the football with my boys." – Charlevoix
  14. "Kayaking & bird watching at our cabin in the U.P.  We have a nesting pair of Bald eagles on one of the small islands on our lake in the U.P. that’s only accessible by small boats. Love paddling out to keep an eye on the growing eaglets." – Gaylord
  15. "Being able to continue DIY renovation projects that involve climbing ladders, balancing on scaffolding, painting, etc." – TC

May Poll Results

Our poll question this month: “When you are feeling frustrated or stressed, how do you stay calm and keep a level-headed perspective?” Thank you to everyone who completed this month's poll! Here are the employee responses by location! 

Watch the video below to learn who won the kayak and paddle who works at Munson Medical Center. You will also hear from Deb Cenname, a personal trainer and exercise specialist at the Betsie Hosick Fitness Center in Frankfort on why exercise helps alleviate stress. Thank you to everyone who answered this month's poll question! Check back in June for the next poll.

  • Click the myFitness tab to find great ways to stay active and have fun outside
  • Click the myWellbeing tab for resources such as the Employee Assistance Program, health coaching, and other helpful ways to help manage stress and frustration

May’s Most Unique Optional Poll Responses:

  1. "By doing something pleasant. Instead of beating myself up mentally over a frustrating day, I choose to do something enjoyable. Take a soaking bath. Read a book. Go Golfing. Go for a nature trail walk. Emerge myself in a quilting project. I indulge myself a little yet stay sensible in my choice. Hobbies are effective for helping dispel frustration." – Cadillac
  2. ""Running away" the frustration on a long run and thinking through a situation with a clear head after I’m no longer in the moment helps. I tend to think before responding, especially with my kids. I keep in mind trying to model how I want them to respond when they are frustrated." – Traverse City
  3. "4 square breathing- breathe in 4 seconds and out 4 seconds." – Frankfort
  4. "Along the same lines as meditation/mindfulness in my life is prayer. It doesn’t need to be eloquent, just whatever is on your heart." – Cadillac
  5. "Along with exercising I tell myself positive affirmations such as "stay strong", "you got this", and I try to stay present (look at something and describe it to myself). This helps with stopping any negative self-talk." – Gaylord
  6. "At work, I will take few deep breaths and it helps a lot. When I get home I go into my sewing room and create something. I find having a creative outlet helps a lot. Forces you to focus on something else. And, bonus, you have a finished project." – Traverse City
  7. "Having coffee with our 2 pygmy goats in their pasture. Their reckless abandon always makes me laugh." – Traverse City
  8. "Teaching my bird new phrases and playing my guitar." – Kalkaska
  9. "To stay calm look around you. Find 5 things you can see. 4 things you can touch. 3 things you can hear. 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This helps to stay grounded." – Charlevoix
  10. "Journal, or draft a letter to/about whoever/whatever is on my mind. Doing so provides clarity, and then I may not even need to send the note." – Grayling
  11. "I love to laugh. Laughing is a great stress relief. You can find humor in almost any situation." – Traverse City
  12. "Putting on music and dancing or going barefoot in the yard and connecting with the earth." – Manistee
  13. "I always take a step back, take a few deep breaths and think about what is really important in life. I have two beautiful grandchildren that are more important to me than any conflict that may arise." – TC
  14. "I ask myself 3 questions: Why am I upset? Who am I most upset with? Were their actions intentional or am I taking it out of context? Once I answer those 3 questions I can re-focus and use my EAP tools to get my body and mind to relax." – Grayling
  15. "I remember that I can choose to let things under my skin or I can choose to address the issue and either do something about it or let it go. My favorite quote is "Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out". I can dwell on the negative or try to see things in a positive light." – Traverse City

April Poll Results

Our poll question this month: “When you’re trying to make a healthy lifestyle change, what helps you most to stay on track?” Thank you to everyone who completed this month's poll! Here are the employee responses by location! 

Watch the video below to see who won the smart water bottle and Fitbit Alta. Thank you to Julie Mueller and Julie Patulski for sharing your stories.

April’s Most Unique Optional Poll Responses:

  1. "I feel good when I stay on track. This helps keep me motivated."  – TC
  2. "I like to have an end of day accountability person. One who is waiting to hear from me and vice versa." – Charlevoix
  3. "I know when I wear something not too often and it suddenly seems tight, I’ve been off track too long. I then pick an outfit that I would love to fit back in to, and work toward that goal." – Manistee
  4. "My favorite way to stay on track is I have little notes placed everywhere. My children are 11 and 8 so they remind me constantly." – Manistee
  5. "I try to isolate one area/item at a time. Once my daily routine has adjusted to the point that the habit or food item is no longer a consideration, I move onto the next area of focus." – Gaylord
  6. "My husband and I try to encourage each other, so we decided that "he who is falling behind on their goals" has to take the dog out when she asks... and she asks A LOT." – TC
  7. "I make my password something to do with my goals. That way I have to type it many times a day." – TC
  8. "I’ve assigned a point value to good habits, like drinking water, exercising, and a negative point value to bad habits, like eating junk food or exceeding an app time limit. If I score over so many points in a month, I treat myself to a non-food reward." – TC
  9. "Placing money in a jar when daily goal achieved and removing when goal is not achieved. At the end of a designated time using the money as a reward for myself." – Grayling
  10. "Before I eat something that is not on my healthy track, I ask myself, is this going to help me reach my goal? Am I really hungry? Am I dehydrated? Am I bored?" – Grayling


Here are more resources available to help you stack on track with your healthy lifestyle goals.