Community, Kelsey Hospital, United Hospital

Spectrum Health Foundation Charity Ball Set for February 8

Proceeds to expand adolescent behavioral health program.

John Merchun, MD, with his wife Julie at the 2019 Charity Ball. Merchun will receive the Fred and Lena Meijer Spirit of Caring Award at this year’s event.

Greenville, Mich., January 7, 2020 – You can make a difference in the lives of Montcalm County teenagers while enjoying a night of dinner and dancing at the 2020 Spectrum Health Foundation United and Kelsey Hospitals Charity Ball.

The black-tie event is February 8 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids and will feature a social hour, fine dining, musical entertainment, dancing and silent auction.

John Merchun, MD, chief of radiology at Spectrum Health United Hospital, will also be presented with the Fred and Lena Meijer Spirit of Caring Award at the event.

The award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding efforts in caring for others and improving health care in the greater Greenville community through philanthropy, leadership and commitment.

Charity Ball proceeds will support the expansion of the highly successful adolescent behavioral telemedicine program into all the public high schools in Montcalm County. A pilot program in 2019 with Greenville High School led to more than 175 student visits helping teens cope with depression, anxiety, suicide, sexual assault, mood disorders, loss of a parent, drug abuse and more.

“Based on the overwhelming response at the pilot site at Greenville High School, and the need for these services at other school districts, we are excited to expand to five more high schools in Montcalm County,” Spectrum Health virtual health specialist Katie Thorsen said. “Spectrum Health is committed to breaking the stigma associated with mental health services and providing much-needed adolescent behavioral health support for students across the county via our telemedicine program.”

Spectrum Health will lease space in each high school and appointments will be facilitated by a medical assistant in a private room where the student will see a dedicated master social worker who specializes in adolescent health.

“There are so many pressures on teens today, and we’re very excited to expand this program to help even more young people,” said Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum Health United, Kelsey, Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals. “We’re very grateful to those willing to help support this worthwhile endeavor.”

Last year’s Charity Ball raised $97,000 to combat childhood obesity through Spectrum Health United Lifestyles – a program designed to help people achieve their health goals.

Tickets to the event are $125 per person and can be purchased at or by calling 616.267.2986. Social hour and the silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.


Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,300 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 155 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.


John Norton
Corporate Communications Manager
Office: 231.592.4387
Mobile: 231.580.1079