Mercer Healthy Living Thu, 23 Sep 2021 15:11:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I think I have COVID-19. Where should I go? Thu, 23 Sep 2021 15:09:27 +0000 It can be difficult to navigate the healthcare system when you need care—and we know that COVID-19 has complicated it further. In most circumstances, we recommend contacting your primary care provider. However, if you need care when your primary care office is closed, we want you to know your options.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room. If you are not experiencing an emergency, we ask that you please do not seek emergency services. We have many options for non-emergency care, including multiple primary care offices, Doctors’ Urgent Care and virtual care options. Use this simple tool to determine where you should seek care for suspected COVID-19.

Infographic flow chart detailing where to seek care for COVID-19 in different scenarios.

As a reminder, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

(Note: This list does not include all possible symptoms. )

For quick reference, here is a list of our primary care locations:

Mercer Health Medical Group at Celina Pro
Mercer Health Medical Group at Coldwater
Mercer Health Medical Group at East Market
Mercer Health Medical Group at Ft. Recovery
Mercer Health Medical Group at the Galleria
Mercer Health Medical Group at St. Henry
Mercer Health Medical Group at Southland

For more information about COVID-19, visit


An Urgent Message to the Community Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:47:12 +0000 Through the years, we have seen great triumph and great tragedy in our communities. Often it is our friends, family and neighbors whom we turn to for celebration in the good times and support in the not so good times. For months now, our communities and beyond have endured division and disease, stress and strain. Those we typically turn to in times like these haven’t always been able to meet us where we are at in our journey, often leaving us frustrated and driving further division. This journey has ebbed and flowed but has never felt more crucial than right now.

To our community, we are experiencing a period of increased significant illness that is taking a toll on Mercer Health’s team members and resources. We are committed to caring for the community, no matter what it takes, however healthcare, as a whole, has never experience such a high demand of patient care continually and simultaneously for such a long period of time.

As of this morning, we are 25% over maximum capacity based upon our current staffing. We have not decreased our capacity due to staffing as some other health systems have unfortunately had to do. However, in order to increase capacity, which is the next phase in our surge planning, we will be required to cohort patients (placing more than one patient per room) and closely evaluating staffing ratios (at times minute by minute), as there are currently not an abundance of staffing reserves to meet continuously increasing need. To further complicate the situation, many of the larger hospitals that we would routinely transfer patients to are facing similar struggles. This is a complication that potentially impacts not just COVID patients but also patients with trauma, cardiac and other conditions.

Our Emergency Department also remains extremely busy. While we will always be here to care for patients in an emergency, we ask that you please do not seek emergency services unless you are experiencing a true emergency. We have many options for non-emergency care, including multiple primary care offices, Doctors’ Urgent Care and virtual care options. We always recommend that your first step be a phone call to your primary care provider or family doctor’s office; they can help you access the level of care you need. We pleadingly request that all COVID testing be completed at our swab station at Mercer Health at North Main in Celina.

What can you do to support us, and ultimately your friends, family and neighbors that rely on us to be there for them in their not so good times? Please consider all prevention measures. Please be patient with us as we do our best. Please use healthcare resources respectfully. Please trust and respect your local healthcare team.

To our extraordinary staff in all roles, we thank you for dedicating yourselves to Mercer Health and our patients.

In the spirit of community,
The Mercer Health team, your friends, family and neighbors

Effects of COVID-19 in children Wed, 01 Sep 2021 13:27:16 +0000 We are beginning to see the effects of COVID-19 in children—and of pediatric hospitals nearing full capacity—at a local level. As a team, we endorse the recommendations outlined by the children’s hospitals across the country and we ask each of you to please do your part to keep the children of our community safe and healthy.

Jennifer Bills, CNP
Megan Core, MD
Julia Eckert, MD
Melanie Jungblut, MD
Kristen Sherman, DO
Teresa Waite, CNP
Julie Westgerdes, CNP

Leaders from children's hospitals across the United States make recommendations to protect children from COVID-19.

Can breastfeeding moms receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Fri, 27 Aug 2021 17:52:39 +0000 As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to educate our patients and the community on the latest information available. We have recently received several questions from breastfeeding moms about whether or not they should be vaccinated and we asked two of our own experts, Jessica Bergman, Nurse Midwife, and John Terpstra, D.O., Mercer Health’s physician lead for COVID-19, to weigh in:

Jessica Bergman, CNM:  There is a study recently published by the University of Florida showing antibodies for COVID in the breastmilk of vaccinated mothers who have received either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Unfortunately, the sample size is pretty small, but it’s some promising looking information. For me, it’s the same logic right now as why it’s a good idea to get the tdap shot in pregnancy—baby cannot get the shot themselves, and breastmilk can pass a small amount of immunity onto the child.

Dr. Terpstra:  This JAMA article is a good reference:  Breastfeeding mothers that are vaccinated will have COVID antibodies in their breast milk. These would be antibodies that are made by the mothers own immune system. This would be similar to many other antibodies that the mother passes on to their child through breast milk. The current recommendation is that breastfeeding mothers can receive the COVID vaccine and likely should as pregnant and postpartum women are at higher risk of complications from COVID.

If you have further questions about this information, we recommend you reach out to your primary care provider, your child’s primary care provider and/or your OB/GYN.

If you would like to submit a question to our provider team, please email

Mercer Health welcomes Brian Colopy, D.O. Thu, 22 Jul 2021 06:00:29 +0000 Brian Colopy, D.O., joins Mercer Health Medical Group at Southland, our primary care office located in New Bremen, as a family medicine provider. Dr. Colopy was born and raised in southeastern Ohio where he had an interest in medicine at an early age. Following his graduation in 2010 from Otterbein College, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biochemistry with honors, he went on to complete his medical education through the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated in 2014. Dr. Colopy finished his residency in family medicine through OhioHealth in Columbus in 2017 and was board certified through the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Prior to coming to Mercer Health, he was practicing as an attending physician in Westerville, Ohio, for four years.

Dr. Colopy is passionate about practicing family medicine and sharing life’s trials, successes and joys with his patients. His osteopathic training facilitates a unique whole person approach that seeks to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact his patient’s well-being. He has a specific interest in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.

He looks forward to serving the local community as his wife was born and raised in Mercer County. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four kids, learning how to play the piano, sports, and the great outdoors. 

Dr. Colopy is now accepting patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with him, contact Mercer Health Medical Group at Southland at 419-629-2772.

Virtual Quick Care FAQs Wed, 14 Jul 2021 20:07:23 +0000 Mercer Health recently announced enhanced Virtual Care options to provide convenient access to care—when and where it’s needed—for established Mercer Health Medical Group patients and for community members who do not have a Mercer Health primary care provider.

“We began seeing patients virtually to limit exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Terpstra, Mercer Health’s Virtual Care physician advocate, said. “Most recently, we have developed a Virtual Quick Care concept. With Mercer Health’s Virtual Quick Care service, patients with or without a Mercer Health Medical Group provider can make one phone call and get an appointment quickly, if not immediately.”

What is Virtual Quick Care?

Virtual Quick Care is a type of Virtual Care visit that allows a patient to seek care quickly, in a virtual setting, with any available Mercer Health provider. Virtual Quick Care does not require a patient to have an established Mercer Health Medical Group provider. Virtual Quick Care is available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Some patients, depending on medical history and active symptoms, may not be eligible for Virtual Quick Care and may require a traditional in-person appointment.

Who can schedule a Virtual Quick Care visit?

  • Patients with a current Mercer Health Medical Group provider, can call his or her provider office to schedule a virtual visit. In some instances, a patient may require an in-person visit.
  • Patients without a current Mercer Health Medical Group provider, can call one centralized number, 567-890-MHMD (6463) and a Mercer Health representative will help schedule a virtual visit. In some instances, an in-person visit may be required.

I have a family doctor; can I use Virtual Quick Care?

Yes. Any patient who needs care quickly, whether they have a Mercer Health Medical Group primary care provider or not, can call 567-890-MHMD (6463) for a Virtual Quick Care visit with an available provider.

What symptoms and conditions can be seen in a Virtual Quick Care visit?

Virtual visits are great for treating and discussing:

  • Colds & Coughs
  • Fevers & Flus
  • Allergies
  • Other Minor Respiratory Concerns
  • Minor Cuts, Rashes, & Burns
  • Sinus Problems
  • Pink Eye
  • COVID Consultation

Will my insurance cover Virtual Quick Care?

Many insurances now cover virtual care appointments.  Contact your insurance provider with specific questions.

It’s important to remember that Virtual Quick Care is not appropriate in an emergency. As always, the emergency department provides emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients needing emergency medical care should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Department at Mercer Health’s Mercer County Community Hospital.

For more information on Virtual Care, Mercer Health Medical Group locations and other care options, including Doctors’ Urgent Care and Emergency Services, visit

Mercer Health welcomes Stephanie Stopher, CNP Wed, 07 Jul 2021 17:42:22 +0000 Stephanie Stopher, Certified Nurse Practitioner, recently joined our Disease Management Center team. She will see patients in the Celina office (located at the Community Medical Center) and in area nursing homes.

Stephanie grew up in Elida, Ohio, and graduated from Elida High School. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Ohio University and her Masters in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing.

Prior to becoming a APRN-CNP, Stephanie found her passion working as a registered nurse for 21 years in wound care, ostomy care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. She is currently preparing to sit for the WOCN (wound ostomy continence nurse) APRN certification.

In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys traveling and spending time with her son and her dog Mack.


Occupational Health FAQs Fri, 18 Jun 2021 14:15:17 +0000 We recently sat down with Jessica Brown, Manager of Occupational Health & Wellness, and Jodi Grover, CNP, one of our Occupational Health providers, to talk all things workplace health and wellness.

What IS Occupational Health?

When most people think about occupational health, they immediately think occupational therapy—but they’re totally different services! Occupational health is our service line that specifically focuses on all aspects of health, wellness and safety in the workplace—with an emphasis on prevention.

We help employers put safeguards in place for workplace risks utilizing injury prevention, pre-placement testing, annual surveillance programs and injury care.

To explain it in the simplest terms, we help employers make sure their employers are safe and healthy, help them keep their employees healthy, help them support their employees in improving their health and offer care for minor workplace injuries.

What exactly does that mean? What kinds of services do you offer?

We offer a wide range of health exams that are required by some employers, for example:

  • Pre-employment Physicals—to make sure an employee is healthy enough to perform a job safely
  • Fit for Duty—to make sure an employee is physically able to perform a job safely
  • Respiratory—helps to protect an employee’s health at work and ensures workplace compliance
  • Bus Driver—medical exam for bus drivers required by ODOT
  • DOT Physicals—medical exam for truck drivers to ensure both their and the public’s safety
  • Fire Fighter—to make sure fire fighters are physically able and healthy to perform their job safely

We also offer services like drug screenings, respiratory mask fit testing and audiograms, immunizations and employee wellness services. Our wellness services focus on prevention and include specifics like health fairs, wellness education, wellness challenges and more. We can customize a program for any employer.

Our healthcare providers also treat workplace/worker’s compensation injuries. This option allows quick and convenient care for non-emergency injuries, saving employers the high costs of emergency room visit for non-emergency treatment.

Who can use these services?

We can work with any employer to provide any of the services we talked about above.  Setting up an account is quick and easy–it can be done in just a few minutes.

Let’s talk more about the health fairs you mentioned.

Research shows that healthy employees are safer and more productive employees. And really it makes sense—when you aren’t feeling well, you aren’t at your best. We work with employers to customize a wellness program to meet their needs.  We usually start with a health fair where we draw labs and collect some measurements such as blood pressure, height and weight for each employee. We also have each employee complete a Health Risk Assessment which gives us data about their employees as whole—which helps us coordinate a wellness program that focuses on each workplace’s specific needs.

Why is it important for employers to focus on employee wellness?

Employee wellness is essential for an organization to thrive. It impacts the culture of the workplace as well as its productivity.

You mentioned DOT earlier—can you elaborate?

The Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to have medical clearance at least every two years, depending on the state of their health. Our providers are certified to complete these DOT clearance exams. DOT also requires drug and alcohol screenings for pre-employment, at random and some in other designated circumstances. We are trained to know the DOT requirements to collect for drug and alcohol testing.

Who can use these services?

Any employer that utilizes CDL drivers needs to meet DOT requirements. We work with an assortment of trucking companies, farming operations and construction businesses for example.

To sum it up—what are the three most important things the community should know about Mercer Health Occupational Health and wellness?

  1. Workplace safety is key and we work with any employer to help ensure safety, prevent injuries and meet OSHA regulations to avoid safety issues and fines.
  2. Our clinic is the low cost option for minor injury care. Employers can avoid the cost of emergency room visits for non-emergency injuries.
  3. We have extended hours in our Celina location from 7:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m. with walk-in capability for workplace/worker’s compensation injuries. We also have a satellite office at Mercer Health Medical Group at Fort Recovery.

For more information or to set up an account, visit or contact Occupational Health and Wellness at 419-586-1220.

2021 Healthy Waves Challenge Tue, 25 May 2021 17:59:45 +0000 Mercer Health and Community Sports and Therapy Center are partnering to offer a Healthy Waves Challenge to motivate and encourage the community to be more physically active this summer. The challenge requires participants to complete 1,020 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity for from June 1 to July 12.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services site recommends that adults complete at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week for substantial health benefits, such as reducing stress levels, boosting the immune system, improving sleep and preventing weight gain. Jennifer Bills, Certified Personal Trainer and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Mercer Health, recommends engaging in physical activity while staying safe and adhering to social distancing guidelines. “There are numerous ways one can stay active while also staying safe: outdoor activities such as running, walking, biking and hiking, family exercises, online fitness resources, virtual classes, relay races with kids-the options really are endless.”

Official entry forms and challenge rules can be downloaded here or at Completed entry forms must be submitted by July 20th to be eligible for prizes.

Please contact Mandy Wendel at 419-678-5247 or or Stacy Schwieterman at 419-678-5125 or for more information.

Participation in the Healthy Waves Challenge is completely voluntary. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

What to do with your COVID-19 vaccine card Thu, 25 Mar 2021 18:18:30 +0000 You received your COVID vaccine—and you have the proof! But what should you do you do with that CDC vaccination record card after you take the obligatory vaccine selfie? Your vaccination card is dual purpose—it is a record of your immunization against COVID-19 and a reminder to receive your second dose (be sure to bring it with you to your second appointment).

While it’s not currently necessary to carry it with you, it is recommend that you keep it in a safe place where you have other important documents stored. It may also be helpful to take a photo of your card and save it on your phone as a backup.

Why may I need to show someone your card?

Many employers, especially in healthcare, require proof of immunization against all vaccine preventable diseases (examples include MMR, Tdap, Hib, annual influenza). While proof of vaccination is not required to travel in the U.S., it may be necessary to show in some places while traveling internationally.

Also, as researchers continue to learn more and as COVID-19 variants evolve, booster shots may be recommended. In that event, your vaccine card will be a helpful reference to know which brand and which vaccine lot you received.

Is my card my only record of vaccination?

The organization that administered your vaccine—whether it was Mercer Health, Mercer County Health District, a pharmacy or another facility—will have record of your vaccine on file. The state of Ohio also maintains a vaccine record database. In the event that you need proof of vaccination, you would need to go through the formal process to request documentation. Keeping your vaccine card readily available would be a quicker, more convenient option.

If you would like record of your immunization entered into your Mercer Health medical record and MyChart account, contact your primary care provider’s office to notify them of your vaccination.

What if I lose my card?

If you do lose your card, contact the organization that administered your vaccine doses.

Effective March 29, Ohioans ages 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Information about upcoming vaccine clinics and how to register is available at If you have questions or concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to reach out to your primary care provider.