Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Provides More Inpatient Care


Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital now has more capacity for inpatient care.

“Why would I go to Paul Oliver when they’re just going to send me to Munson Medical Center? We’ve all heard it,” said Nancy Smith (Reye), M.D., chief medical officer for Munson Healthcare Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. “And for many years, that was true. If there was a possibility that a patient would need to be admitted, we sent them to Traverse City. But we’re changing that standard procedure, and that narrative.” 

In August of 2018, the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan
focused on returning to a structure that resembles a true community hospital. 

“That means offering robust emergency and acute care service lines,” Dr. Smith said. “Paul Oliver is known for providing really high-quality outpatient care – things like physical and occupational therapy, lab, and imaging services. Many also know us for our five-star long-term care center. But an essential piece of rural hospitals today is getting patients the emergency and acute care they need close to home.” 

During the past year and a half, Paul Oliver readied itself to care for patients who need to be admitted or stay overnight in the acute care department. Smith and Mark Kuiper, M.D., who brings more than 17 years of experience as a board-certified internist, provide the unit’s 24/7 medical coverage.

More recently, the hospital opened an onsite primary care office — the Frankfort Medical Group — which provides routine outpatient primary care for infants to older adults, but also coordinates closely with the emergency and acute care departments.

“At the Frankfort Medical Group, we all have experience with hospital-based acute care medicine, which allows us to manage more complex patients,” Smith said. “Our physical space also works in our favor. The primary care office, emergency department, and acute care units are a 30-second walk from each other. Combine that with providers who deeply value communication and we are able to provide consistent care lines for patients – something that is hard to find in medicine today.” 

“This is a really exciting time to be at Paul Oliver,” Smith added. “I’ve cared for thousands of patients in many settings, but I’ve never been so impressed by a team’s ability to adapt to new models of care that truly put the patient first.”

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