Economic Development and Health Care

Orthopedic group joins Bronson Healthcare System

September 3, 2014
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Bronson ortho
Southern Michigan Orthopaedics PC, providing orthopedic wellness services in south central Michigan, joined the Bronson Healthcare System as Bronson Orthopedic Specialists in August. Courtesy Bronson Healthcare

A group of orthopedic surgeons and physician assistants have merged with a southwest Michigan health care system to provide increased access to patient care and meet the future changes in the industry.

Southern Michigan Orthopaedics PC, providing orthopedic wellness services in south central Michigan, last month joined the Bronson Healthcare System as Bronson Orthopedic Specialists.

The existing staff from the former Southern Michigan Orthopaedics remains in place and becomes part of the nonprofit health system. Eight staff members are orthopedic surgeons and physician assistants, including Dr. Joseph E. Burkhardt, Dr. William J. Comai, Dr. Daniel X. Garcia, Dr. Mark D. Russell, Gabriel Bravo, Jae Green, Lori Smith and Heather VanSchoick.

With locations at 2 Heritage Oak Lane and 710 North Ave., Battle Creek, and a third in Marshall, Bronson Orthopedic Specialists will continue to provide a range of comprehensive treatment and care for patients at its existing locations.

Several of the diagnostic, surgical, and treatment procedures include sports injuries, arthritis treatment, fracture care and treatment, hand surgery, joint fluid therapies, joint replacement surgery, work-related injuries, and arthroscopic surgery and assisted ligament reconstruction.

Jim McKernan, chief operating officer at Bronson Battle Creek, said the health system is excited to welcome the new practice to the health system.

“We have a long-standing relationship with this team and can attribute a number of Bronson Battle Creek’s quality achievements to the great care and surgical expertise that this physician group provides,” said McKernan in a release.

John L. Jones Jr., senior vice president of Bronson Healthcare Group and chief operating officer of Bronson Medical Practices, said due to the working relationship between the physicians and Bronson Battle Creek for many years, working together made sense in light of future changes in the medical field.

“It was a little over a year ago we started talking; it really made sense for us to come together because we started to look at the changes we thought collectively were going to occur in health care and we felt working and being together we would better face these challenges,” he said.

With the incorporation of Bronson Orthopedic Specialists into the system-wide medical record program Epic in February, and keeping access in mind, Jones said it made sense going forward to keep the orthopedic group in Battle Creek and work together.

“From Paw Paw to Kalamazoo to Battle Creek, we will be one EMR so that is certainly an advantage,” Jones said. “We started to look at access and ensuring we have the right care at the right place at the right time. This ensures people stay in Battle Creek who need to be treated in Battle Creek, and we are able to accomplish that together in this ever-changing environment.”

Southern Michigan Orthopaedics was established in 2011 after The Great Lakes Bone & Joint Center and Battle Creek Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine merged to form one comprehensive physician group. The orthopedic surgeons have been serving patients in Calhoun County since the 1960s.

“Working together will ensure that we will all be there and they may be under a different form under Bronson, but we will be there to have that continued access to care in the community,” said Jones in reference to patient benefits. “The environment will surely change and being together we can face these changes and withstand them so we will be able to continue to serve the patients for many more years to come.”

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