U.P. physicians, clinics join Bellin Health


Dickinson Hospital officials support move

IRON MOUNTAIN — Eight independent physicians from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and their practices have partnered with Bellin Health and are now accepting new patients.

The physicians and nurse practitioners joining the new Bellin Health U.P. Primary Care, effective October 1, are:

  • Stephen Leonard, M.D., 1711 S. Stephenson Ave., Suite 205, Iron Mountain
  • James Batti, M.D., 1711 S. Stephenson Ave., Suite 115, Iron Mountain
  • Rebecca Larson, N.P., 1711 S. Stephenson Ave., Suite 115, Iron Mountain
  • Douglas L. Villa, M.D., 212 East B St., Iron Mountain
  • David Atkinson, M.D., 500 Main St., Norway
  • Paul Hayes, M.D., 500 Main St., Norway
  • Dennis Ziemba, D.O., Kingsford Medical Associates, 145 Roseland, Kingsford
  • Ellen VanLaanen, D.O., Kingsford Medical Associates, 145 Roseland, Kingsford
  • Daniel McMahon, M.D., Kingsford Medical Associates, 145 Roseland, Kingsford

 “This partnership is a way for us to further enhance the exceptional, personalized health care we already offer the people in the U.P. area,” said Leonard.

“My decision to join this partnership was driven by my desire to serve this community through high-quality, local health care,” added Ziemba. “Bellin, a reputable health system with expertise in primary care, will support our efforts to do this,” he said.

Patient relationships will not be adversely affected by the change. Clinic staff, including nurses and physicians, will remain the same, as will the clinic locations and phone numbers. The clinics will remain within patients’ insurance networks to further ensure a smooth transition, although the new partnership will also allow for the acceptance of expanded health insurance options such as Medicaid.

What patients will immediately notice are the many enhanced features that will now be available to them, Atkinson noted. Such features include telephone access to schedule appointments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; same day appointments; and a 24-hour community health line staffed by registered nurses who answer health-related questions and direct callers to appropriate care, as needed.

“Establishing this team of clinics is an effort to strengthen the level of health care services available to people living in the Upper Peninsula,” said George Kerwin, president and chief executive officer at Bellin. “We have a long-standing commitment to care in this region, as evidenced by our valued relationship with Dickinson County Health System. Our services and values also fit well with the residents in this area.”

Dickinson CEO John Schon expressed his support. “We are pleased to have Bellin further their involvement in our communities,” he said. “Partnering with Bellin will help expand the overall spectrum of services for our patients and our region. This partnership offers us an opportunity to work cooperatively to make the Dickinson Hospital System even stronger while also strengthening our region’s health care.”

The two health systems will work together to build programs in the Upper Peninsula specifically designed to allow patients to seek health care closer to home, Schon said.

Partnering with health care providers in the U.P. area isn’t new to Bellin. Urologist Dr. Kevin Scott of Urology Associates, a Bellin Health Partner, was recruited from Danville, Pennsylvania, by the health system two years ago to serve the U.P. community and has built a successful practice.

“These clinics are a welcome opportunity to better aid our patients in their pursuit of excellent, affordable and truly personalized health care service,” Scott said. “When Bellin asked my family and me to move here, they shared their desire to serve this region. I’m proud to be affiliated with an organization that demonstrates this level of commitment.”