Being Well Blog

“We know you well” means we not only know what it takes to keep you healthy, but that we actually get to know each other. No other group of doctors can do that like we can, because only the North Ottawa Medical Group is made up of doctors employed by North Ottawa Community Health System. We’re your neighbors, fellow parents at the school, coaches to your kids, and as much a part of this community as you are.

We want you to be healthy, and we want you to get to know us a bit better, so this blog will provide you with health and wellness information as well as fun ways to learn about who your home-town Medical Group doctors are. After all, being well is more than just great care. To the North Ottawa Medical Group, it’s also about building genuine personal relationships.

Feel free to browse the information below or choose from one of the categories found in the left margin.

North Ottawa Community Health System (NOCHS) and Mercy Health are pleased to announce…

July 20, 2018

Dear Valued Patient,

North Ottawa Community Health System (NOCHS) and Mercy Health are pleased to announce that North Ottawa Medical Group (NOMG) has joined Mercy Health Physician Partners (MHPP). MHPP is a multi-specialty physician network, owned by Mercy Health, and employing more than 800 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore.
Mercy Health Physician Partners fully supports local relationships and a focus on the individual communities we serve. You can look forward to continuing to receive the care you’ve always known, with the provider you already know – and who knows you – in the location you already go.

We consider it a privilege to serve you, and want to ensure we address your questions about this transition.

How does this change my care? Our intent is to make this transition as seamless as possible for you. That means you’ll continue to see the same doctor and medical team you’ve come to know and trust for your care. You’ll still visit the same location and call the same phone number. You still have access to North Ottawa Community Hospital. In addition, you continue to have access to Mercy Health Muskegon, particularly for tertiary care.

How does this change for my physician? While NOMG and its staff are now employed by Mercy Health, they remain a part of the NOCHS extended family with permanent offices right here on the NOCHS campus – at the same address and phone number, as well as with the same local leadership.

NOMG represents a strong, healthy and vibrant group of physicians, comprised of talented, community-minded experts in family medicine, internal medicine, pulmonology, gastrointestinal, and obstetrician care. Their commitment to you, the patient, and to our community remains stronger than ever.

Did Mercy Health buy North Ottawa Community Hospital? No, North Ottawa Community Hospital remains an independent community hospital.

Why did this happen? NOCHS and Mercy Health share a desire to help residents on the lakeshore maintain local access – and choice – to hospital and primary care services. Our groups have worked together for more than a decade toward that goal, all while improving quality, and keeping comprehensive, high-quality care close to home. This transition helps secure the growth of NOMG, as well as gives those providers access to MHPP’s regional best practices that will help them continue to lead the charge in population health, chronic disease management and wellness initiatives. This transition also permits NOCHS, if it so chooses, to refocus its investments directly into hospital growth in order to keep serving a growing population with leading-edge technology and services.

We encourage you to talk with your provider if you would like to learn more. You may also visit for more information.

We look forward to continuing to be your provider of choice. Thank you for entrusting us with your care.

In Good Health,
Dr. Haney Assaad
Internal Medicine Physician, VP Medical Affairs, NOCHS

Dr. Kristen Brown

VP Physician Network, Mercy Health Physician Partners

Ask A Doc: ADHD

March 30, 2018

Kimberly Fenbert, DNP, CPNP from NOMG’s Pediatric office answers your questions about ADHD.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. Adults are also affected by ADHD. A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. Many ADHD symptoms such as high activity level, difficulty sitting still for long periods and limited attention spans, are common to young children in general. The difference in children with ADHD is that their hyperactivity and inattention are noticeably greater than expected for their age and cause issues and/or problems functioning at home, school or with friends.

When is someone typically diagnosed with ADHD?

There is no lab test to diagnose ADHD. Diagnosis involves gathering information from parents, teachers and others, filling out checklists and having a medical evaluation (including vision and hearing screening) to rule out other medical problems. Other conditions that can coexist with ADHD include anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant, and conduct disorders, learning and language disorders, tics and sleep apnea.

What are the signs of ADHD?

Children with ADHD will often lack focus, forget or lose homework, “act as if driven by a motor” –moving, squirming, and talking at inappropriate times. They can be impulsive, impatient, and interrupt others. They are often disorganized and cannot complete a task when asked due to lack of focus. They may not seem to listen when spoken to directly. They don’t follow through on instructions and fail to finish homework, chores or duties due to getting sidetracked. They may have trouble waiting his or her turn and be unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly.

How do you treat ADHD?

There is no cure for ADHD, but there are treatments that can reduce symptoms and improve functioning. Treatments include medication and behavior therapy. The goals of behavior therapy are to encourage positive behaviors and discourage unwanted or problem behaviors.  Parents learn to use skills to better manage their child’s behavior. Children learn new behaviors to replace behaviors to replace behaviors that cause problems. Often behavior therapy is started first in children aged 4-5 years, but in combination with medication in children age 6 years and up.

For many people, ADHD medications decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work and learn. Anyone taking medications must be monitored closely. Two types of medications are used in the treatment of ADHD: stimulants and non-stimulants. Patients work closely with their provider to determine which type of medication is best for them. Sometimes several different medications and dosages need to be tried before the right medication is found.

NOMG wants you to know it is NOT moving

February 23, 2018
North Ottawa Medical Group offices have received calls from patients confused about letters they received from Spectrum Health Medical Group, which led them to believe their physician was moving. It’s unclear why North Ottawa Medical Group patients would receive the letter, but we want to ensure you know that NOMG practices are not moving and your medical record will remain here, on site, in our offices on the NOCHS Main Campus. To reiterate:
  • None of North Ottawa Medical Group providers are moving from their current location(s). All 40+ of our providers remain right where they’ve always been, on the main NOCHS campus, adjacent to the hospital.


  • While Spectrum Health Medical Group will be moving out of our Harbor Dunes Medical Office Building on March 1, all other tenants will remain including: North Ottawa Medical Group’s Women’s Health practice, Grand Haven Bone & Joint (now part of Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon), Shoreline Vision, Dunewood Pharmacy, Lakeshore Urology, West Shore Cardiology, NOCHS’ Bariatric Clinic, Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists, and Foot & Ankle Specialists of Grand Haven. In fact, we continue to work on expanding your specialty choices, so stay tuned for future announcements.


  • NOMG is the largest medical group in the area. We continue to accept most insurance plans and do not determine acceptance of patients based on their insurance coverage, or ability to pay. Unlike many other providers in the area, we also continue to care for the under- and un-insured, without exception. Further, we continue to support the Love In Action Free Health Clinic, which exponentially increases access for our community’s underserved. Our mission is to serve ALL of our community’s residents, with easy to navigate, local access to excellent and compassionate care.
Please call (616) 847-5468 if you need to speak with someone about finding a doctor, or if you have questions. We are ready to help.

Ask A Doc – Sleep Health

August 18, 2017

Dr. Mehul Patel of NOCHS Center for Sleep Disorder and Pulmonologist at North Ottawa Medical Group answers your questions about sleep health.

Why is sleep important?

Sleep plays an important role in maintaining good health throughout your life. Getting quality sleep is important to protect your mental health, physical health, safety, and also quality of your life. Good sleep is essential for decision making, problem solving, controlling emotions, and paying attention. Sleep deficiency can increase risk of heart disease, obesity, mental disorders, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. Sleep is also important to support healthy growth and maintaining healthy immune system.

How do I know if I’m getting enough sleep?

Everyone is different. Some people may function well with just five hours of sleep and others may need 10 hours or more. The key is, how do you feel. Do you need an alarm clock to wake up? Do you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Are you having trouble concentrating at work or at school? Are you feeling sleepy in meetings, in classrooms, or while driving? If the answers are YES for most of these questions, then you are probably not getting enough sleep.

What can I do if I have trouble sleeping?

Improving overall sleep hygiene can be a good start. Sleep hygiene includes having a regular sleep schedule with a same wake up time, disconnecting electronics 30 minutes prior to going to bed, avoiding late and long daytime naps, and limiting alcohol consumption. You should also avoid large meals, exercise, bright light and also tobacco use at night. Caffeine intake should be avoided eight hours prior to bedtime. However, improving sleep hygiene alone is not sufficient for some people. If you have poor quality of sleep despite improving sleep hygiene, you may need a comprehensive sleep evaluation by a sleep physician. You can schedule an appointment with our Center for Sleep Disorders by calling (616) 847-5342 or click here to learn more.