Committed to You

At Munson, our commitment runs deep – and it's rooted in the strong personal values of our Healthcare Team. From the call to serve to the drive to make a difference, our heroes show up for our communities with a deep sense of purpose. And at the heart of their commitment is you.

Gary Rajah, MD

Gary B. Rajah, MD
Committed to Improving Lives

Prasanthi Yelavarthy, MD

Prasanthi Yelavarthy, MD
Committed to Healing Hearts

Michael VanWagner, DO

Michael VanWagner, DO
Committed to Patient-Centered Care

Jessica D. Arden, MD, PhD

Jessica D. Arden, MD, PhD
Committed to Northern Michigan

Dino Recchia, MD

Dino Recchia, MD, FACC
Committed to Connection

Marta W., RN

Marta W., MSN, RN
Committed to Our Future

Crystal B., CCLS, CPST

Crystal B., BA, CCLS, CPST
Committed to Positive Experiences

Abbey C., BSN, RN, RNC-OB

Abbey C., BSN, RN
Committed to My Hometown

Clare P., BSN, RN

Clare P., BSN, RN
Committed to Caring

Sophia S., BSN, RN

Sophia S., BSN, RN
Committed to Healthy Hearts


Gary B. Rajah, MDGary B. Rajah, MD
Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon; Surgical Director, Munson Healthcare Comprehensive Stroke Program

"I’m a Michigan native committed to making a difference in the lives of you and your loved ones. Following my Neurosurgery fellowship, I chose to return home to Michigan to join Munson Healthcare because I wanted to start an interventional stroke program that would truly make a difference and save lives. We are now eliminating the need for stroke patients to travel downstate during a time when every minute matters.

Building a leading-edge stroke program in a place that needs it is every neurosurgeon’s dream. I’m proud to be a part of this team that will continue to care for the Northern Michigan community for years to come."

 


Prasanthi Yelavarthy, MD Prasanthi Yelavarthy, MD
Interventional Cardiologist

“I’ve been committed to people – and their hearts – since the day my grandfather had a heart attack. I want to be able to help other patients and their families the same way that my grandfather’s medical team had helped mine. 

Commitment means taking the best possible care of our patients and making sure that they get the quality care they deserve. I am proud to serve at the heart of such a collaborative team that is so deeply committed to providing excellent care for the people of Northern Michigan. It's an honor to work with smart, thoughtful, and caring people every day who are dedicated to making our patients the priority."

 


Michael VanWagner, DOMichael VanWagner, DO
Orthopedic Surgeon

“My father was an Orthopedic Surgeon in Traverse City for many years, and I saw the positive influence he had on his patients, the community, and the hospital. During my hockey career, I had several orthopedic injuries and surgeries that further contributed to my desire to follow in his footsteps and help others.  

As an adult hip and knee replacement specialist, I have the unique privilege of helping patients with chronic, painful joints regain function and mobility, and improve their quality of life. Our aging population is more active than generations in the past, and I enjoy providing patients with various treatment options to help them remain active and healthy. 

To me, commitment means creating a culture of excellence at our hospitals. We are so fortunate to have an independent healthcare system that has been a part of our communities for so long. At Munson, I am able to help build something truly excellent for our community, centered around our patients, that also improves the health of our hospitals.”

 


Jessica D. Arden, MD, PhDJessica D. Arden, MD, PhD
Radiation Oncologist

“What I love most about being a radiation oncologist is the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of cancer patients.

After earning my PhD in cancer biology, I chose this path so I could apply my knowledge to directly serve my local community. Guiding my patients through treatment, providing support, and witnessing their resilience is incredibly rewarding.

Commitment to me means dedicating my skills and passion to a healthcare system with a reputation for exceptional care. I’m fortunate to work alongside such an incredible team focused on expertise, cutting-edge technology, and compassionate support to address the unique needs of our patients. Joining Munson was a natural choice for me, and I am proud to serve my local community.”

 


Dino Recchia, MDDino Recchia, MD, FACC
Cardiologist; Medical Director, Heart & Vascular Services

“I believe the highest calling one can have is to serve. And after visiting Munson during my search for a place to practice, I knew instinctively that because of the people, the place, and the mission, this was where I belonged.  

In my eyes, commitment is about the process, not the outcome. It’s about bringing our best to every situation, every time. I am fortunate to be part of a very special team committed to delivering cardiovascular care of the highest quality. Together we serve our patients, each other, and our mission to improve lives with a deep sense of purpose and compassion. The best part of my work is the connection I feel with my patients and coworkers. The science of medicine is fascinating, but it's these special connections that give my work its unique texture and color.” 

 


Mary M., RNMary M., RN
Coordinator, Women’s & Children’s Services

“Commitment means putting our patients first in all decision-making processes.  

I’m proud to say the families I work with are always my “why.” I’m committed to ensuring each person I am graced to work with has care and support beyond what is obvious. Our commitment to our patients then has a ripple effect on supporting a healthy community at large. 

Working in healthcare, specifically as a maternal-child nurse, chose me. From a young age, ‘nursing’ others came naturally. It was such an obvious part of who I was that I didn’t recognize it as a career path. I am grateful to my husband for helping me see the light. Almost three decades later, I can honestly say I love my chosen career even more than when I started."

 


Aaron G., RNAaron G., RN
Maternity Nurse

"Nursing is such a diverse field where you can do and learn so many different things. I knew I wanted a job where I could have an energizing, teamwork-based environment while helping people in a profound way. That’s why I decided to become a labor and delivery nurse. I think it's so cool that I get to help people deliver their babies – especially in the same hospital where I was born!

For me, commitment means dedication to the well-being of my patients and supporting my peers. I love connecting with all the families I take care of while educating and empowering them every step of the way to help relieve the anxiety and fears of becoming a parent. These are moments that they will never forget, and I get to help them make that moment so special."

 


Marta W., BSN, RNMarta W., MSN, RN
Manager Nursing Services, NICU/Pediatrics

"My commitment to my patients comes from being a mom in the community. Our kids are our hearts and future, and I want the best for them.

I moved to Northern Michigan from Illinois after my now husband and I got engaged. He has lived here his whole life, and now we are raising our family here. My children were born at Munson, and I’m proud to be part of the team that cared for us – a team of people who care so deeply about our patients and communities."

 


David T.David T.
Ambulatory Informatics Manager

"When I was 18, I joined the United States Army, driven by a noncombatant spirit. I served as a combat medic for 10 years before transitioning to civilian healthcare, where I chose to make a difference behind the scenes through my passion for advanced technology.

Much like the army, Munson has a mission: to improve lives. Commitment, to me, is a steadfast dedication to seeing this mission through to its conclusion. As a clinical informaticist, I play a crucial role in leveraging information technology to enhance the efficiency, quality, and safety of care we deliver to our patients. Our work ultimately contributes to better patient outcomes and fosters advancements in healthcare. "

 


Crystal B., BA, CCLS, CPST Crystal B., BA, CCLS, CPST
Coordinator of Child Life Services

"I have always wanted to work with children who had unique learning or medical challenges. As a Certified Child Life Specialist, my role is to help lower anxiety and stress for pediatric patients and their families, while enhancing their coping skills through education, support, and play!

For me, commitment means dedication to providing the best care for my patients. Each of them has unique needs, and I love tailoring what I do for each patient and family's experience. While working in pediatrics, you don't just care for the child – you care for the whole family. Recently, a young patient described me as the 'Chief Happiness Officer' which is now proudly displayed in my office in a plaque. I’m incredibly blessed to have such a rewarding role, where I get to 'be the calm' on what could be a family’s worst day."

 


Abbey C., BSN, RN, RNC-OBAbbey C., BSN, RN, RNC-OB
Maternity Nurse

"Growing up, I watched many family members provide exceptional nursing care here at Munson, including my father, who served as a registered nurse for 38 years. Witnessing his dedication to his patients and community set a high standard for me. Working at Munson means a commitment to continuing a legacy.

I am committed most to being a supportive advocate for my maternity patients, so they feel safe and well cared for. There is not one staff member here in Labor & Delivery who doesn't love what they do, and that makes me very proud of our team. The people that I work with are amazing humans – they are a large part of what makes Munson such a special place. I can’t imagine being anywhere else."

 


Clare P., BSN, RNClare P., BSN, RN
Coordinator of Patient Care, Cardiology

"For me, commitment means showing up when people are in need. When I show up to work, my team and patients know I am fully committed to caring for them. I’ve always had a passion for helping others and want our communities to know that they can count on us to care for them and their loved ones. Our priority is you and always will be!  

What I love most about my role at Munson are the relationships that I have built. There is no greater feeling than working with a group of people who have similar goals and passions in life, and I get to experience that every day – it makes me love my job even more!"

 


Sophia S., BSN, RNSophia S., BSN, RN
Cardiac Nurse

"When I was 8 years old, my youngest brother was born with Down's Syndrome. He spent almost a month in the NICU after he was born. Since then, he has been in and out of the hospital many times. I chose to be a nurse to pay forward all the amazing care and support my family has received and continues to receive for my brother. 

I joined Munson as a nurse in 2020. I was born and raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, so I knew after graduating I wanted to move somewhere new. Munson offers a fantastic learning opportunity through their nurse residency program, so I made the trek downstate. I continue to choose Munson as my place of employment because of their strong commitment to helping their employees grow.

To me, commitment means being dedicated to the task at hand. It means always giving my coworkers and patients the best version of myself. I LOVE talking with my patients and hearing their stories. I feel very honored to be caring for them during such a vulnerable time."