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Investments in women’s health care add access and options

With new doctors and a comprehensive women’s health center soon to open, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health is working to ensure women in West Michigan have access to care through every phase of their lives.

Three OB/GYNs transitioned to Metro Health this year – Renee Elderkin, MD, Susan VandenBosch, MD, and Sue Hicks, DO. Their arrival extended an expansion that began in May 2017, when the former Michigan Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC, joined Metro Health – University of Michigan Health. Metro now has 10 employed physicians in the OB/GYN specialty. The program is also adding a third mid-level practitioner to increase access for patients.

Meanwhile, work is under way to open a Women’s Health Center at the Metro Health East campus, at the Cascade Road exit off I-96. Opening late-December, this comprehensive center will be a destination for women through all stages of their life. Health services offered include OB/GYN, family planning, mammograms, sexual health services, menopause management, and outpatient gynecological surgeries.

“Metro has, especially over the last few years, made a big commitment to women’s health,” said Steven Lown, DO, medical director Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We’re working collaboratively to bring more providers and increase our access for women’s health services across the board, including some subspecialties that we’re working on.”

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates the United States is facing a shortage of between 6,000 and 8,800 OB/GYNs by the year 2020 and possibly 22,000 by the year 2050. The efforts by Metro Health ensure women in West Michigan can access the right care, at the right time and in the right place. OB/GYN physicians are conveniently located in Metro Health Village in Wyoming – and at 10 other offices in West Michigan.

“We’ve added some new employees as we’ve grown, but we all have the same philosophy, and that is we work as a team and we work as a big family and that’s how we want to keep things,” Lown said. “We feel it’s very important to keep a personal touch with our patients and our employees as well.”

Metro Health’s emphasis on personalized, patient-centered care provides an ideal setting for OB/GYNs, who develop close patient-caregiver relationships that often span generations and entire families.

All the providers in the OB/GYN practice are accepting new patients. The physicians who recently transitioned to Metro Health have been pleased with how easy it has been for their existing patients to follow them. Insurance and medical records are simply managed by calling one phone number for the OB/GYN office, 616-252-4410.