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Bringing Pediatric Choice to Grand Haven – New Practice Emphasizes Parental Engagement

We are thrilled to announce that North Ottawa Medical Group is expanding to include a new pediatric practice. Here’s the best part: not only are our new providers phenomenally qualified, they are also both passionate about listening to and collaborating with families in their healthcare decisions.

Cynthia DeMeester, MD, PhD is coming back home. She grew up in West Michigan, and recalls spending time every summer on the Grand Haven shore. “I’ve been gone for 30 years, and this is a true homecoming for me,” she says. “I don’t want to be that ‘ helicopter doc’ who flies in from somewhere else and then goes home. I want to live in and contribute to a community. I’ve been trying to find a place where I can do that for a long time, and Grand Haven is perfect!”

Karly Hiser, our new nurse practitioner, is equally excited about returning to this community. “I grew up in Grand Rapids and I love it,” she says. “My family enjoys exploring the area as we hike and play in the beautiful parks. We are thrilled to be coming back.”

Both of these providers share a firm commitment to parental choice and involvement. “It’s hard to find a provider who will listen to parents’ concerns and address them holistically,” Karly notes. Dr. DeMeester is quick to agree. “My philosophy is very simple. I want to help parents raise healthy, happy children. There are a lot of ways to do that, and parents should be free to make their own choices for their children.”

They also both share a holistic approach to medicine. In order for children to thrive, you have to look at the whole person, not just their physical health. Dr. DeMeester realized early on that most pediatricians don’t receive formal education in parenting or pediatric mental health. She spent years studying and analyzing these areas of interest in order to provide more information to parents. Karly has also spent time studying developmental milestones of children from birth to adolescence. She loves working with families and children to use that knowledge in navigating challenges. Dr. DeMeester also encourages parents to consider the full breadth of treatments that may be available for a particular condition. “I practice holistic medicine,” she says. “Western medicine plays a significant role in how I care for children, but sometimes it’s not enough. For example, I think nutrition is critically important. I have also found that chiropractors and osteopaths can help fix problems that I was not able to fully solve. My strength is diagnosis and presenting options to parents in a judgment–free environment. Then we help implement their decisions.”

The new pediatric practice opened in March, and will continue to grow in order to meet the needs of our community. We also look forward to meeting new parents as our pediatric staff starts working in the NOCHS Family Birthing Unit to welcome newborns. This exciting step is the first of many that we are taking to ensure children on the lakeshore have the best possible pediatric care.

If you’re looking for a pediatric home, call us at 616.844.4523. We would love to introduce you to our new family members!

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