The opening of a neurology clinic in Grand Haven could become the first of multiple satellite sites for Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.
Mercy Health is talking with other hospitals within and outside of the health system about hosting a neurology clinic staffed and operated by Hauenstein Neurosciences. Additional locations could come in 2017, according to Dr. Philip Gorelick, the medical director of Hauenstein Neurosciences.
Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences treats patients with epilepsy, spine and brain disorders, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, stroke and dementia. In addition to the Grand Haven neurology clinic, the Hauenstein center also plans to open a stroke clinic soon at the Mercy Health campus in Muskegon.
“As we learn from all of these experiences and as needs arise, we will continue to expand,” Gorelick said. “The concept of Hauenstein and outreaches in various communities will, hopefully, become a reality in a number of places. We are preparing to bring out other service lines within our specialty.”
Gorelick joined Mercy Health four years ago from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, where he was a professor and led the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation. In that role, he worked to extend medical services and forge outreach partnerships.
The extension of other neurology services – epilepsy, movement disorders and Parkinson’s – is “ready to go,” he said. Driving the push outward is an aging population and the expected resulting increase in related neurological disorders.
“We have had ongoing discussions with others and we’re looking at novel ways that we might be able to share resources,” Gorelick said.
The move by Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences into Grand Haven follows a clinical affiliation the health system signed last spring with North Ottawa Community Health System to fill gaps for specialized care in the lakeshore market that stretches from Holland on the south and north to Ludington. Mercy Health has already extended to full time for a cardiology practice and worked with North Ottawa to expand a primary care office and diagnostics lab in Spring Lake.
The agreement with North Ottawa is part of a broader push by Mercy Health to expand its footprint along the lakeshore for neurology and other specialized care.
“We’ve been looking at how we can expand service on the lakeshore and serve people closer to home, and particularly for people with chronic disease of any kind and the kind of things that make it hard to get out and move around,” said Dr. David Baumgartner, chief medical officer at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “Hopefully we’re going to see a lot more expansion all along the lakeshore.”