Northern Mich. health news


Free Community CPR
Accidents or medical emergencies can happen anywhere – at home, at work, or at one of the many northern Michigan lakes, parks, trails, or community events. Knowing basic, hands-only CPR is an important skill that can help save a life.
If you have 15 minutes to spare, join McLaren Northern Michigan for a free Community CPR training on Wednesday April 10 anytime between 4-6 p.m. at the John and Marnie Demmer Wellness Pavilion and Dialysis Center, located at 820 Arlington Avenue in Petoskey.

New treatment for CAD
McLaren Northern Michigan is pleased to announce being the first in northern Michigan to offer TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), a new procedure to treat patients with carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes.
“I’m very pleased to bring this innovative and lifesaving procedure to our northern Michigan community,” said Richard Sheppeck, MD, Vascular Surgeon on medical staff at McLaren Northern Michigan. “TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive, and safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.”
Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a buildup of plaque, in the two main arteries in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If left untreated, carotid artery disease can often lead to stroke. It is estimated that up to one third of strokes are caused by the carotid artery, with 400,000 new diagnoses of the disease made every year in the U.S. alone.
While some individuals can manage carotid artery disease with medications and lifestyle, more severe cases may require surgery to repair the blockage in the artery.
Traditional treatment for carotid artery disease involves either scraping out the plaque or placing a stent over the plaque to open the artery. Both involved a risk of surgical stroke, however, as plaque can break free and flow to the brain.
TCAR is unique compared to the traditional carotid artery procedures.
During the procedure, the blood flow is temporarily reversed so that any small bits of plaque that may break off are diverted away from the brain, and filtered out of the blood stream, preventing a stroke.
A stent is then placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, minimizing the risk of a future stroke. Normal blood flow is then restored.
“TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke. Patients who are at a higher risk of complications due to age, anatomy, or health for traditional carotid artery surgeries can now have an option,” said Dr. Sheppeck, who has performed dozens of TCAR procedures at a TCAR Center for Excellence prior to joining McLaren Northern Michigan in 2018. “Because of its low stroke risk and faster patient recovery, I believe TCAR is the future of carotid repair.”
Talk to your primary care provider about treatment options for carotid artery disease.
For more information about TCAR and vascular surgery, please contact 800-248-6777 or visit

Local Healthcare APP
When you’re sick or have a minor injury, it isn’t always convenient to get dressed, drive to a walk-in clinic, wait to be seen, and deal with insurance on the way out.
McLaren Health Care has introduced a solution that can connect you with a virtual doctor visit from anywhere, at any time.
McLarenNow is a new program that allows consumers to see a board-certified physician through their smart phone, tablet, or computer (with web cam) without an appointment. Simply open the McLarenNow app or visit the webpage at and follow the simple prompts to get connected.
The service is available for minor illnesses and injuries, and, if appropriate, medications can also be prescribed.
Patients can see and hear the doctor via live video and use a webcam or camera on their device to talk to the doctor directly, all while in the comfort of their home.
Common conditions that can be treated through McLarenNow are back strain, cough and cold, ear pain, headaches, pink eye, rash, sore throat, sinus problems, and flu symptoms. McLarenNow should not be used for emergencies.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all Michigan residents age 2 or older. You do not need to be a McLaren patient to use this convenient service.
With McLarenNow, you skip having to deal with insurance information. Instead, there is a simple $49 fee for each visit.
Medicare and private insurances cannot be billed through McLarenNow services.
If you need lab orders or other diagnostic testing, you may be referred to a primary care physician, and may still be responsible for the cost of the McLarenNow visit.
More info at

McLaren Awarded 5-Star Hospital Rating
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that McLaren Northern Michigan has been awarded a 5-star rating, the highest rating possible for quality and safety. McLaren Northern Michigan has received a 5-star rating consecutively since the first hospital Star Ratings began in 2016.

A total of 3,725 hospitals nationwide were included in the analysis, which ranked hospitals from one to five stars based on distinct measures broken down into 7 categories, including mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging. A 5-star rating places McLaren Northern Michigan in the top 7.9% of hospitals in the country.

“McLaren Northern Michigan is dedicated to providing quality patient care and high customer satisfaction,” stated Jennifer Woods, MSN, RN, Interim CEO of McLaren Northern Michigan. “We are honored to be one of only 11 hospitals in Michigan with a 5-star rating. This is a testament to the dedication of our colleagues and medical staff, who give of themselves daily to improve the lives of others.”

The Star Rating was developed through a public and transparent process that evaluates quality measures based on HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey, infection prevention and treatment, and 30 day readmission rate.

For information on services available at McLaren Northern Michigan, please call 800-248-6777 or look online at


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