Keeping health care local

Dec 3, 2012


The cornerstones of a thriving community include quality education, a vibrant industrial base, dependable public safety, and reliable and trusted health care.

We’re fortunate in Northwest Ottawa County to have all of these.

To say anyone is more important than the other would be a tough argument, and we don’t intend to do so here. We recognize the fact that all play a vital role in making our community a place that people want to visit and live, and we encourage you to support each of them.

The health care market, however, is different.

Residents of the Tri-Cities area are nestled between two large health systems to the east and to the north, both of which provide excellent care and services to their patients, as does our health system right here in Grand Haven.

People have choices.

A big difference is that the Grand Haven-based North Ottawa Community Health System is operated by professionals who are a part of our community. They are people who are committed to providing affordable, quality medical care close to home. They practice health care in our community because they want to be here, not because they have to be.

How important is it to have health care managed locally? If you consider the 800 jobs, the $34 million in annual salaries and benefits, and that 90 percent of employees live in the area and reinvest millions of dollars back into our community as important, then the answer is simply — very!

We applaud the North Ottawa Community Health System for its efforts in redefining its relevance to the community with sure financial footing and a plan for growth. We encourage you to get to know your local health care system, and find out more about what it means to you and to our community as a whole to keep health care local.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



As a former resident (still home owner) I applaud the position of the paper and the health system. Local community hospitals need to explore their symbiotic relationship with the community. As the ACA comes to fruition those community hospitals that fully develop this relationship will pay significant dividends to the denizens of that area. Signed, the ceo of a different community hospital.


Since clearly you are in a unique position to understand the ACA and its impact upon full implementation, I wish you would clarify how the symbiotic relationship with the community will pay significant dividends to the the local citizenry.

My own relatively uninformed view of the ACA coming to fruition is that it would likely have no benefits to most hospitals and citizens; that it would disadvantage lower income citizens and especially those who reside in urban areas. Are there no community hospitals in Detroit, Flint, Dearborn and Newark? If there are, is it your opinion that the "denizens" of those garden spots will be paid significant benefits?

When I first read your comment I thought you were being sarcastic, but I'd really like to know what your view is.



I agree with Bleicher05... North Ottawa Community Health Systems and it's GREAT staff do an excellent job and also attempts to provide a great service to the tri-cities area. I'm sorry to say If any problems with the medical care in the area its due to the pushing of patients through the office like an assemble line. You can blame the local physician offices that are owned by medical groups. Its all about the numbers.... I take my hat off to a few local doctors that had the guts to cut ties from these medical groups and run their offices like they really care about their patients. The NOCHS hospital has the same feelings about their patients. Don't let the medical group owned doctor offices tell you need to use their lab or xray services... Remember to support your local hospital services and NOCH ambulance service. This fine hospital is far from being a bandaid station... They are highly trained and true professionals....


both i and my wife has resorted to health care outside of our area, only because we can not get the health services that mercy and muskegon family care provide, anyone that cant not afford insurance needs to look for alternatives and North Ottawa don't provide, has anyone gone to the emergency room only to wait 5 hours to see a doctor, thats crazy, on the hand, go to muskegon mercy, they have you in the room, tests done and out the door in a couple of hours, thats right, dont blame the hospital, but the doctors, first word they ask, do you have insurance ?


gordbzz231.... U see the same ER doctor in Grand Haven as in the Muskegon hospitals and a few of the other doctors also work at the GR hospital... and the family doctors you must be referring to are from the Mercy Health Partners and the Spectrum Health Groups... Both health care groups will tell you that you need to have your tests done at their facilities which is totally illegal and a bunch of BS. You may have your test done anywhere you like. So if you want to stay in a old run down hospital you just go to those Muskegon hospitals... I will continue to support our OWN locally ran hospital, doctors offices, and EMS ambulance service.... PS... they all ask for the insurance cards... who you kinding!!!!


i am just saying that here in grand haven area, they dont have resources that muskegon co has for familys without insurance, here in grand haven they do have a clinic once a month, but you stand in line most of the day, if your lucky, you get waited on, another thing, if you are on medicare or medicare, good luck on finding a doctor, muskegon is better equipped to deal with situations like this, there is not much support in this area, anyway sometimes its not a choice


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.


Your comment is disturbing, to say the least. Having some nursing home experience, the scenario you describe at Heartwood Lodge is chilling. Let's hope something can be done to make some changes there, for both the staff and residents.


Can't address Heartwood Lodge, but the care I received from the EMTs and in the ER of North Ottawa Community Hospital was second to none. There are so many avenues available to bring these alleged abuses to light that I question writing a book as a valid response. Sounds more like a disgruntled employee to me.


Check their state surveys, state agreed with me on Nocc's poor performance.


If you have had such terrible care at these facilities I question why its brought up now in the local newspapers comment section. Contact your hospital administrator or board member that represents your governmental entity. The hospital administrator still works for the hospital board and the board still answers to the communities needs and seven municipalities of the tri-cities area. Its the middle management that usually creates most of these issues. Maybe the hospital administrator has blinders on or really has no idea what the middle management are doing in their departments. The hospital has many top quality employees working for them. Lets not include them with the few bad or rotten apples.


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