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.

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.

Ask A Doc : Dr. Jennifer Sandy, Bariatrician and Medical Director for Medical Weight Loss at NOCHS Bariatric Clinic

May 12, 2017

There are so many articles about the best way to lose weight.  What is the best diet?

 It’s easy to get caught up in the newest diet craze but it’s important to remember that losing weight is just the beginning. For many, it can be harder to keep the weight off. Several recent studies have supported that weight loss differences between low fat and low carb diets are relatively small. However, low carb and low glycemic index diets were better than low fat diets at keeping your metabolism higher after weight loss.

In our practice, we find that people are less hungry when they are getting adequate protein and fiber in their diets. Plus, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits is important in overall wellness and disease prevention. However, many people are not likely to continue a diet that eliminates an entire food group long term. Thus, the best diet is one that you can continue long term to maintain your weight loss. Focus on creating a nutritional balance with proteins, vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains. Keeping a food log can also be helpful for awareness and planning the calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat content you eat. We recommend that you eat every 3-5 hours throughout the day. When you skip meals and go long periods without eating, not only do most people get so hungry that they make poor choices, but our bodies also react by slowing metabolism, making weight loss even more elusive.

A lot of foods are labeled low fat or high protein.  Does this mean they are good choices?

A word of caution when looking at food marketing: look at the nutrition label not the packaging. Often foods are marketed to try to make them appear to be a healthy choice, when in reality foods labeled “low fat” or “high protein” may be that, but also contain significant sugar, sodium, or unnecessary carbs. Next time you are in the grocery store, check how many boxes of gummy candy and licorice are labeled low fat and how many “protein” bars have more than 20 grams of sugar (nearly half of the recommended limit of sugar for the entire day).

We will all have some help with sorting natural sugars and added sugars with some food label changes in 2018. Until then, looking at the ingredient list can help.

Sports Medicine Moves to Urgent Care

May 12, 2017

NOMG’s Sports Medicine practice will be moving from it’s current location on the hospital’s main campus at Harbor Dunes Health Center, 1445 Sheldon Road to NOCHS Urgent Care location at 1091 S. Beacon Blvd. The office will be open to see patients on February 1, 2017.

Sports medicine physician, Brett Martin MD, came to West Michigan and joined NOCHS to establish the practice in late 2015. Since his arrival, the practice has been growing steadily, building strong relationships with the public school athletic programs and supporting our community’s highly active residents.

This move to a more central location, and embedded within the urgent care will be more convenient for patients, and enable Dr. Martin to more closely and immediately collaborate with the urgent care staff in caring for patients who come in with injuries or flareups related to chronic conditions. It will also enable NOCHS to leverage Dr. Martin’s expertise in overseeing the sports physicals program already in place at urgent care.

This move puts the sports medicine practice closer to NOCHS’ rehabilitation center, which is also at the South Beacon location, just steps from his office within NOCHS’ Urgent Care. Patients can now go directly to rehabilitation from his office or the urgent care for immediate service.

This move introduces a new model of care for athletes, weekend warriors or industrial athletes in our community. Patients will be seen for routine/scheduled appointments or be seen for an acute injury on a walk-in basis in the same convenient location.

Dr. Martin continues to except new patients into his practice. Appointments can be made by calling 616.844.4502.