Munson Health
Preston Dilts, MD

With a long, distinguished medical career behind him, Preston Dilts, MD, brings a wealth of medical knowledge to his new role as a Paul Oliver Foundation board member. He also brings enthusiastic support for the growing array of quality medical services available in Benzie County.

"I’m amazed, to be honest. The quality of care is just outstanding," he said. "The physician assistants, the nurses, the technicians, the whole crew do a fantastic job. I’ve had good friends go there and they all say the same thing."

Dr. Dilts, the son of a family physician, received his medical degree in 1959 from Northwestern University Medical School (now the Feinberg School of Medicine), and served his residency in obstetrics and gynecology there. He completed a fellowship in reproductive physiology at UCLA. He served on the faculty at the University of Kentucky before becoming department chair at the University of North Dakota, University of Tennessee and University of Michigan, and was head of the obstetrics service at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

He and his wife, Mary, first ventured to Crystal Lake in 1965 after his parents discovered Chimney Corners. "We tried it and loved it," he said. "We came back every year since, with the exception of the year in California." The Diltses built a cottage on Crystal Lake in 1980, followed by a retirement home and a permanent move to the county in 1996.

Dr. Dilts served on the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Board for five years, including three years as board chairman, and he likes to think he had a hand in helping the hospital grow and improve in recent years. "I ran the largest maternal referral service in the country in Memphis, so I have a fair amount of knowledge about what quality care is," he said. "Most of the people here realize what they have. It’s a lovely place to live and a vibrant, lively community with a lot of things going on, and we’re very lucky to have a hospital of this quality."

As part of the Foundation Board, he hopes to continue to encourage the hospital’s expansion of services, including assisted living, as well as additional outpatient surgery and specialty clinics. "That all requires more funding. It’s not the job of the Foundation to tell the hospital what to do, but we can help raise money for the hospital to use."

In addition to writing textbooks, medical journal articles, and being on the editorial board of the Merck Manual, in 1999 Dr. Dilts also penned a novel, Liability, based on a true story. One reviewer wrote: "This book reads like a courtroom thriller and is hard to put down after the first few pages. An eye-opener about the world of medical practice and malpractice litigation." It remains available at The Bookstore in Frankfort, from Dr. Dilts, and on

The Diltses have been married for 53 years and have one son and two daughters, including Cathy Dilts Carter, MSN, RN, CPNP, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Kid’s Creek Children’s Clinic in Traverse City, as well as five grandchildren.