Awards, Big Rapids Hospital, Reed City Hospital

Spectrum Health Presents Northern Lights Education Award

Marie Wilkerson recognized for strengthening community and education in Evart

BIG RAPIDS & REED CITY, Mich., May 19, 2017 – Spectrum Health is proud to honor Marie Wilkerson with the 2017 Northern Lights Education Award for her support to Evart’s community and education.

The Northern Lights awards are given by the Spectrum Health Foundation Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals each year to recognize the contributions of outstanding individuals, groups or programs making a difference in our region.

Though Marie is a retired school administrator her passion for education continues. For years she has been an involved member of the Mecosta-Osceola School Board that focuses on quality educational programs provided to all students throughout the area.

As an Evart native, Marie recently has dedicated her time to her hometown. In 2015 Evart was identified as an eligible city under Governor Snyder’s Rising Tide program, a state-funded initiative that provides challenged communities with tools to build better economic development to attract business. Because of this designation, Marie wanted to engage in the progress of the community and strongly campaigned for the Evart Reads program for young readers.

Marie’s advocacy recruited over 45 volunteers for the Evart Reads program, which relies heavily on the work of volunteers. “The tireless work by Marie to recruit this many volunteers in such a small community was amazing,” said Dr Curtis Finch, superintendent of Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District.

“The children in the Evart area are benefitting immensely from The Evart Reads program. A large part of its success is owed to Marie’s ability to inspire and motivate people into making a difference in their community by volunteering.”

Photo Attached: Dr Curtis Finch, superintendent of MOISD and Marie Wilkerson

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.

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Danielle Wells
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