Community, Big Rapids Hospital, Reed City Hospital

Free workshop to give Osceola County parents resources for talking to teen kids about sex

BIG RAPIDS, Mich., May 11, 2017 – Reed City Area Public Schools is hosting a free workshop designed to provide resources, tips and empowerment for parents to have conversations with their teen children about abstinence and sex. The workshop is scheduled at Reed City High School on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m., and includes a free dinner.

The nationally recognized workshops, called Talk Early & Talk Often, are two-hour sessions designed to help parents and caregivers of middle school and high school youth recognize opportunities for open conversations. The workshops will help parents and caregivers listen and respond to their children with greater confidence and skill.

The free workshop is organized by Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals, with grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

“Parents are the primary educators of their children,” said Scott Lombard, manager of community education at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals. “Continued communication at home is vital in helping our youth avoid the serious consequences of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. We’re pleased to partner with schools and parents on these workshops, which empowers parents on an important issue affecting families.”

The workshop will provide parents skills to:

  • Open the door to conversation about abstinence and sexuality
  • Address sticky situations and uncomfortable topics
  • Recognize and use teachable moments
  • Become an “askable” parent

“Young people want and value information from their parents,” said Tim Webster, superintendent of Reed City Area Public Schools. “When young people have a positive relationship with their parents they are less likely to engage in sexual risk-taking behavior. Open and honest communication about abstinence and sexuality between parents and their children is necessary from childhood through adulthood.”

The Talk Early & Talk Often event is for adults only. Child care will be provided for parents with young children at no charge. Dinner will also be provided to children. Those who attend will be entered into gift prize drawings. Seating is limited, so interested parents should call 231.592.4207 or register online at

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time the organization has received this recognition.

Patricia Ezdebski
Marketing and Public Relations
Office: 231.845.2350
Mobile: 231.301.4864

Danielle Wells
Media Relations Contact