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 : 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.

NOCHS Pediatric Service Line Established

May 12, 2017

North Ottawa Medical Group, a division of NOCHS, is pleased to announce the establishment of its newest practice area, Pediatric Medicine. Cynthia DeMeester, MD, PhD, is returning to her hometown of West Michigan to lead the practice. Dr. DeMeester was recruited from Children’s Hospital of Boston, where she was the Community Neonatal Hospitalist within Southcoast Health System.

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and earned her medical degree and doctorate in molecular biology from UCLA. She completed her residency at the University of Hawaii and is Board Certified in Pediatrics.

She has extensive experience working inside hospitals with inpatients and newborns, as well as in an office-based practice focusing on well child care, developmental assessments and coordinating care for medically complex children. Her office will start seeing patients March 23 and has already begun scheduling appointments at (616) 844-4525. Her practice will be in the Dunewood Medical Building at 1310 Wisconsin St., on the main hospital campus.

She will be joined by Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Karly Hiser, who will also practice in this office. Karly is also originally from West Michigan but comes to us most recently from Pittsburgh, PA where she served patients as part of Children’s Community Pediatrics, and also worked within Children’s Express Care. Similar to Dr. DeMeester, Karly has extensive experience working on inpatient units – specifically the teaching hospitals of George Washington University and Duke University.

“Beyond their outstanding credentials having experience in inpatient and outpatient care, they are both natives of West Michigan with a love of community health, which makes them the total package for our community,” said Connie Gnegy, North Ottawa Medical Group Executive Director. “We are delighted to welcome them home and into the NOCHS family.”