Marquette General to host prostate cancer discussion

About one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

You can gain crucial – possibly lifesaving – insight into this all- too-common cancer during a panel presentation led by leading regional physicians on September 25 at Marquette General Hospital. The free-to-the-public event will take place at the MGH West Lobby and begin at 6 p.m. The West Lobby is adjacent to Marquette General’s Emergency Department.

The physician panel offers the public a rare opportunity to hear from a combined array of prostate cancer experts who will address risk factors, prevention, diagnostic options and breakthrough treatment.

The panel discussion will be led by Marquette General experts Dr. Ross Siemers, medical oncologist, Dr. Paul Thieme, radiation oncologist and Dr. Jay Lonsway, urologist.

prostate lectureProstate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men in the United States. A man’s chances of being diagnosed with the disease increases with age with about six cases in every 10 diagnosed in men age 65 and older.

Although well-established risk factors for prostate cancer include increasing age, African ancestry and a family history, prostate cancer often doesn’t produce any symptoms in early stages and those with any of the below symptoms should see their doctor:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Urgency in urinating
  • Trouble starting urine stream
  • A weak or interrupted urine stream
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • A feeling that your bladder doesn’t empty completely
  • Blood in urine
  • A nagging pain in the back, hips or pelvis

Although these symptoms can be caused by prostate cancer, they also can be caused by other conditions that are not cancer, so it’s important to see your doctor to pinpoint the cause of symptoms.

If you doctor determines that a screening should be done, the two most commonly used methods for detecting prostate cancer are: the digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

If prostate cancer is detected, your doctors will help you decide which prostate cancer treatment is the best, most effective option for you. The Marquette General panel will discuss treatment options along with the benefits, risks and impact on quality of life of each. Treatment options may include: watchful waiting/active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, cryosurgery (cryotherapy), hormone therapy, chemotherapy, vaccine treatment or bone-directed treatment.

“Treatment options for prostate cancer are continually evolving and improving,” said Dr. Siemers. “It’s important that men are educated about the options and work with their doctor to decide the best possible treatment for them.”

Several treatments are very successful in providing a cure or keeping the cancer under control for many years. Most men with prostate cancer are a living testimony to this. Some prostate cancers grow quickly and spread – or metastasize – to other parts of the body. If unchecked, these cancers can be fatal. Most prostate cancers, however, are slow growing and in many cases, immediate treatment isn’t necessary. Many men take several months to decide what to do.

Be sure to attend Prostate Cancer Panel Discussion at Marquette General Thursday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in the West Lobby. The discussion is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 906-225-3500.

Duke LifePoint and City of Marquette Sign Agreement Regarding Site for New Marquette General Hospital

New $280 million project, including 279-bed hospital and 80,000-square-foot medical office building, finds home along Baraga Avenue in South Marquette.

Duke LifePoint Healthcare has reached an agreement with the City of Marquette to build a new hospital campus for Marquette General Hospital (MGH) at what is known as the “Roundhouse/MSC site.”

On Monday, September 8, 2014, the Marquette City Commission voted to accept a memorandum of understanding (MOU) related to an offer by Duke LifePoint to purchase the 37-acre property in South Marquette. The parties will now move forward to negotiate the final terms of a contract for approval by the City Commission, a process which is expected to be completed in the near future.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the City of Marquette,” said Jeff Seraphine, President of LifePoint Hospital’s Eastern Group. “Finding the right spot for the new Marquette General Hospital has been a long and thoughtful process, and the Roundhouse/MSC Site emerged as the best fit for our needs. We are excited to partner with the City to revitalize this area and move forward on the construction of the new hospital and medical campus.”

The 37-acre Roundhouse/MSC property is located near the US-41 corridor and Baraga Avenue in South Marquette. It is south of Washington Street, west of 7th Street and north of US-41. Situated close to downtown and just one mile from Northern Michigan University, it will offer easy access to Marquette General from various main and secondary roads and enhance collaboration between the hospital and the university. It also is in close proximity to many community amenities.


Map courtesy of City of Marquette

The Roundhouse/MSC site was used for industrial purposes for generations. Redeveloping the land as a site for a new medical campus will offer major benefits to the Marquette community and add to ongoing revitalization of the downtown area.

“Environmentally, this is a great step forward for Marquette,” said MGH CEO Ed Banos. “As we have seen with the amazing development of Marquette’s Lower Harbor, brownfield areas previously used for industrial purposes can be transformed and revitalize our community. We are very proud to be a part in this proactive environmental evolution, while plotting our course toward opening the finest hospital UP residents could hope for.”

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding reached, Duke LifePoint will pay $4 million for the property, constructing a 279-bed hospital structure and 80,000-square-foot physician office building. The project cost is estimated at more than $280 million. The City of Marquette will work to have the Roundhouse/MSC property designated a Brownfield Project, which would provide incentives for its revitalization.

Additionally, the City has agreed to make changes to the roadways surrounding the property including realigning Baraga Avenue to tie into Spring Street, expanding 7th Street and West Spring Street, establishing a roundabout or other entrance to the new hospital on US-41, and building a new bridge on US-41 at Grove Street. It also will lead upgrades to the utility infrastructure surrounding the site.

“In the Roundhouse property, we have found the perfect place to build a state-of-the-art hospital and medical office facility, ensure easy access to care for our patients, and expand on our commitment to providing UP residents with the finest healthcare possible,” Seraphine added. “We want to thank the City Commission for its hard work and cooperation in ensuring that MGH can remain within the City of Marquette and help drive this community forward for generations to come.”

Veteran healthcare design firm Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P) was chosen in early spring as the architect of the new Marquette General facility. Selected from healthcare architects across the nation, Gresham, Smith and Partners has worked with health systems in communities worldwide and is on the forefront of creating efficient and resilient designs for the changing healthcare market.

Schematics for the new Marquette General campus are underway, and design will begin late fall. A groundbreaking is planned for spring 2015, and construction on the campus is expected to be complete in late 2017.

MGH will continue to occupy its current College Avenue location until the new hospital is constructed and operational. During that time, MGH will work closely with the city officials and the community to explore how its present campus can be best utilized in the long-term future.

About Marquette General Hospital
A Duke LifePoint hospital, Marquette General Hospital is a federally designated Regional Referral Center and a member of Superior Health Partners. We are the regional medical center for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and beyond. Marquette General is the region’s Level II Trauma Center and a Thomson Reuters’ Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital. Marquette General receives patients from throughout Upper Michigan and provides care in 65 specialties and subspecialties. Our medical staff of more than 200 doctors works as a team with our 2,400 employees in caring for approximately 10,000 inpatients and more than 200,000 outpatients a year. For additional information, visit

MGH Neuropsychology team addresses conditions that impact thinking and daily life

The primary mission of Marquette General Neuropsychology is providing services to people with conditions that impact thinking and daily life. Many different conditions can impact thinking, such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, dementia, genetic conditions, strokes, seizures, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and psychological concerns like depression and anxiety.

Dr. Julianne Kirkham, PhD

Dr. Julianne Kirkham, PhD

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD

Dr. Julianne Kirkham and Dr. Jessica Caldwell form the MGH Neuropsychology team. They offer comprehensive outpatient and inpatient neuropsychological and psychological assessment and treatment services for ages 6-90.

Results from an MGH Neuropsychology assessment can help people to understand the causes of problems or changes in thinking. Based on their assessment results, Dr. Kirkham and Dr. Caldwell also help people learn to function better at work, at school, or in daily life.

Dr. Kirkham and Dr. Caldwell are part of the MGH Memory Clinic and MGH Rehabilitation Team, and work closely with physicians, nurses, therapists (such as occupational, physical, and speech therapists), and other medical professionals to assist with diagnosis and treatment planning.

Patients with the following difficulties or conditions may benefit from working with a neuropsychologist:

  • Memory
  • Attention and concentration
  • Having words on the tip of the tongue
  • Speech
  • Spatial skills
  • Speed of thinking
  • Multitasking
  • Managing work, school, or daily tasks like paying bills and driving
  • Genetic, medical, or psychiatric conditions that interfere with thinking
  • Attention problems combined with other medical or psychological concerns

For information on how to schedule Neuropsychological evaluations, please call (906) 225-7116.

MGH, MSU celebrate medical education partnership

At a recent 50th anniversary celebration of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, MSU-CHM Dean Marsha Rappley, MD, (center) posed with medical students who are currently training at the Upper Peninsula campus based at Marquette General.

At a recent 50th anniversary celebration of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, MSU-CHM Dean Marsha Rappley, MD, (center) posed with medical students who are currently training at the Upper Peninsula campus based at Marquette General.

In recognition of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 50th anniversary, Marquette General and MSU co-hosted a special Business After Hours recently at Northern Michigan University.

About 300 area health care professionals, physicians, MSU alumni, academics, business leaders and community members joined Michigan State University President Lou Ann Simon, PhD, MSU College of Human Medicine Dean Marsha Rappley, MD, and Marquette General CEO Ed Banos in the celebration.

Marquette General has a long, successful history of collaborating with the MSU College of Human Medicine to train future physicians. Marquette General hosts two medical education programs that fall under the MSU College of Human Medicine umbrella: MSU College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Region and the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program. These programs together have graduated more than 400 physicians, 125 of whom have returned to care for patients right here in the Upper Peninsula.

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Region is one of six clinical campuses throughout the state where MSU-CHM students experience their clinical education. Upon completion of their two preclinical years at either the MSU campus in East Lansing or in Grand Rapids, up to 12 Rural Physician Program students head to the Upper Peninsula to experience two years of clinical education, completing many of their required clerkships at Marquette General.

The Marquette-based regional campus was established in 1974 in order to address the rural physician shortage in Michigan and specifically here in the remote Upper Peninsula.

The Rural Physician Program, developed by the Upper Peninsula Region campus, was designed to enhance the primary-care experience and focus on community integration for students.  The cornerstone of the program is eight weeks spent in a rural community at the end of the third year. The students live in their assigned community for the two months, usually splitting time between two family physicians.  Students work with the physicians in all patient care settings, including the office, the hospital, nursing homes, or doing home visits together.

Twelve students are selected for this program each year. Students are selected based on their interest in rural health, prior life-experience in rural areas, and personal fit with the program.

UP Region students also have the option to participate in the optional Compass Certificate Program, a northern wilderness emergency and sports medicine program.

The Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program was established in 1977 as a result of efforts led by local nephrologist Dr. Dan Mazzuchi. The program was founded to provide young doctors with medical experience in the rural setting, and like the medical school, helped to combat the shortage of physicians in the Upper Peninsula.

The Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program is a dually accredited three-year program that trains both allopathic and osteopathic physicians. Graduates of the program are qualified to manage the full spectrum of family medicine. The program’s intimate size allows for tailored training to meet the individual needs of each resident. Training takes place at Marquette General Hospital, within outpatient clinics as well as at rural sites throughout the Upper Peninsula. The program accepts six residents per year.

The most recent graduating class saw four physicians, all Michigan State University alumni, opting to remain in the UP to practice. Those graduates include:

  • Tim LaBonte, MD, a native of Laurium and MSU CHM graduate, joined the Portage Health team at the Lake Linden clinic.
  • Tom Massie, MD, of Ishpeming, spent the clinical portion of medical school training in the Upper Peninsula as part of the MSU CHM UP Region. Dr. Massie has joined Sound Physicians and is part of the Hospitalist team at Marquette General.
  • Michelle Seguin, MD, of Iron Mountain, also earned her medical degree from the MSU CHM UP Region. Dr. Seguin now provides outpatient family medicine at Portage Health’s clinic in Hancock.
  • Tara Varoni, DO, of Manistique, earned her medical degree from the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Tara plans to join the Marquette General team at Doctors Park Family Physicians later this year.

As Marquette General celebrates this special 50th anniversary with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine we look forward to future collaborations that will help to enhance the quality of life in the UP by providing healthcare career opportunities for our young people and training physicians interested in serving rural and underserved communities.

Critical need for blood throughout Upper Peninsula

The U.P. Regional Blood Center, a service of Marquette General Hospital, is in critical need of O-positive, A-positive, O-negative, and A-negative blood throughout Upper Peninsula. The need is high in Marquette, Hancock and Sault Ste. Marie.

If you haven’t donated in the last 8 weeks, please take the time to give the “gift of life.” Did you know that just 1 pint of your blood can help save 3 lives? All blood donated at the UP Regional Blood Center stays in the UP.

Please donate at one of the following locations:

U.P. Regional Blood Center – Marquette

  • 427 West College Ave. – Adjacent to Marquette General Hospital
  • Walk-ins welcome!
  • For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (906) 225-4610
  • Hours:
    • Monday – 8am-5pm
    • Tuesday – 8am-5pm
    • Wednesday – 8am-6pm
    • Thursday – 8am-5pm
    • Friday – 7am-4pm

U.P. Regional Blood Center – Hancock

  • 787 Market St., Ste. #6, Quincy Center on Market Street, next to Pat’s Food
  • To schedule an appointment, please call (906) 483-1392.
  • Hours:
    • Monday – 9am-5pm
    • Tuesday – 9am-5pm
    • Wednesday – 8:30am – 4pm
    • Thursday – 8:30am-1pm
    • Friday – 8:30am – 1pm

U.P. Regional Blood Center – Sault Ste. Marie

  • 550 Osborn St.
  • Call for an Appointment (906) 632-1177
  • Hours:
    • Tuesday –  8am-5pm
    • Wednesday – 9am-6pm
    • Thursday – 7:30am – 1:30pm

MGH Neuropsychologist publishes research on brain activity

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD

Marquette General Neuropsychologist, Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD, recently authored an article in the August issue of The Journal of NeuroVirology – a journal focused on viruses that impact brain function.

Dr. Caldwell and her colleagues looked at brain activity in people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). They found that although people with HIV could perform a simple task just as well as non-infected people, their brains used more activity to do so.

“We found that individuals with HIV had to work harder, mentally, to reach the same performance as healthy people,” said Dr. Caldwell. “Healthy people had ‘reserve’ or extra mental power to use as the task got harder, but people infected with HIV had less reserve.”

The study also showed that having other health risks in addition to HIV related to further weaknesses in brain activity. For example, having Hepatitis C infection or more severe HIV over time (such as higher virus levels in the blood) related to inefficient patterns of mental activity.

Dr. Caldwell’s study shows that even with good medication treatments for HIV, people living with HIV may struggle with thinking due to HIV-related changes in the brain.

“Today, there are very good medication treatments for HIV,” said Dr. Caldwell. “These medicines allow people with HIV to live longer and healthier lives. Even with these medicines, many people with HIV have problems memory or attention.”

Dr. Caldwell said she hopes her research will lead to more programs that help people with HIV stay healthy and get help for thinking weaknesses.

MGH honors Carolyn Kovala with Heritage Award

Ed Banos, MGH CEO, presents Carolyn Kovala with a watercolor print by artist Bill Hamilton.

Ed Banos, MGH CEO, presents Carolyn Kovala with a watercolor print by artist Bill Hamilton.

Marquette General Hospital has provided care to the people of the Upper Peninsula for nearly four decades. More than one million patients cared for by thousands of staff members – some of whom can’t help but stand out among their peers. The Heritage Award is presented annually to a deserving MGH retiree who has demonstrated loyalty to the organization, as well as dedication, leadership and commitment in our community.

MGH is proud to name Carolyn Kovala as this year’s Heritage Award recipient.

Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Carolyn began her career at MGH in 1980, working in the Information Systems Department (now called Information Technology) as an IT Operator, in which she monitored all of the computer systems to ensure they were available to the end users. Later in her career, when the department name was changed to Information Technology, she performed duties as a Documentation Specialist, in which she maintained software licensing, changes to IT systems and the birthday calendar, so she would know when everyone’s birthday was in the department.

While at MGH, Carolyn was involved in the Employee Relations Committee, as well as the “Adopt-a-Family” Christmas program. After 28 years of service, Carolyn retired from MGH in 2008.

At present, Carolyn is an MGH Volunteer in the OR Lounge and Skywalk Information Desk. She also volunteers at Bell Hospital as a greeter, and takes a Finnish language class through NICE Community Schools.

Carolyn said she was definitely surprised to learn she was this year’s Heritage Award winner, and that she feels very special.

Carolyn resides in Ishpeming, with her husband, Jim. They have two children, and four grandchildren. Congratulations, Carolyn!