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.

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.

Top Safety Tips From the NOMG’s Pediatric Team

June 28, 2017

Summer brings a lot of fun and outdoor activities, especially in this beautiful lakeshore community. How can you keep your kids safe while enjoying what West Michigan has to offer? Here are the top safety tips from Karly Hiser, CPNP-PC, a member of the new NOCHS pediatric group.

  • Sunscreen. For children younger than 6 months, protective clothing is recommended instead of sunscreen. For older children, Karly recommends a sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient. “It washes off at the end of the day, so your child is not absorbing the chemicals into his or her skin,” she says. “Don’t forget to reapply often, especially after swimming.”
  • Bug spray. The Pediatrics group gets a lot of questions about bug spray. “Bug spray is not recommended for children younger than 2 months,” Karly notes. “You can use it with caution on older infants, but be careful not to overuse it. As children age, bug spray becomes more safe for them. Just make sure you pick something with 30% DEET or less.” Concentrations on bug spray can vary widely, so make sure you read the label.
  • Water safety. Did you know a child could drown in 20-60 seconds? You should never be more than arm’s length away from a baby or toddler in the water. As soon as your child is old enough, Karly recommends swimming lessons to help mitigate the risk. But never leave your child alone in or near the water!
  • ATVs. This one might not have popped up on your radar screen, but all terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be extremely dangerous. “Always make sure your child wears a full protective helmet, like a motorcycle helmet. A bike helmet is not enough,” Karly asserts. “Also, remember that children who do not have a driver’s license should not be driving an ATV. It is a motorized vehicle.” Adults – you are also responsible for the safety of the children who are with you. Make sure you only ride during daylight hours, with proper lights and reflectors. And whatever you do, don’t drive an ATV under the influence. You’re risking your own life as well as that of your child.
  • Bike safety. Karly has one word: helmet. “All children should wear bike helmets every time they are on bikes, even in the driveway.” Make sure the helmet fits properly or it won’t do much good. Also, parents: don’t push your child to go without training wheels before he or she is ready. A frightened or unwilling rider is a lot more prone to accidents than one who is confident and ready.
  • Lawn mowers. While it’s great to teach kids responsibility by having them mow the lawn, remember that they are operating a dangerous power tool. Children younger than 16 should not operate a riding lawn mower, and children under the age of 12 should not operate a power mower. When a child is old enough to mow, sturdy shoes should be the rule, not flip flops. And never take your child as a passenger on a mower.

If ever you have a question about your child’s safety, make sure you call your pediatrician. “We’re happy to help parents make smart choices to balance safety with fun,” Karly says.

North Ottawa Medical Group | Pediatrics
1310 Wisconsin Street, Suite 204, Grand Haven, MI 49417
To schedule your appointment, please call our office at 616.844.4523.