Photo of Bill Diem (and his wife Andrea), Hip Replacement patient.

Bill Diem - Alpena, MI

"I know from experience that our local hospital is safe, top-notch and filled with caring staff."

Thankful for Orthopedic Care Close to Home

When Bill Diem arrived at the Emergency Department at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena, Joni James, P.A.-C., was a welcoming, familiar face. He had seen her before during a previous visit. After a preliminary examination, Joni ordered a round of tests, including a pelvic X-ray. Diem appreciated her proactive approach to quickly identifying the source of his pain. “Joni is excellent,” he said. Diem’s test results revealed that he had significant osteoarthritis which was causing the strong pain in his left hip.

Following his ER visit, he received a follow-up call from MyMichigan orthopedic surgery to schedule an appointment with Kiel Beltinck, D.O., to discuss hip replacement surgery.

“I met with Dr. Beltinck, and he made me feel very comfortable,” said Bill. “He took time with me eye-to-eye. He explained everything so that I would know what to expect, and even joked around with me a little which helped calm my nerves.”

Before his procedure date, Bill was asked to watch a preoperative Joint Camp video to further help him prepare for his upcoming procedure. He found the video to be very informative, and felt it answered many of the questions he had regarding his time in the hospital and how to be ready at home once he was discharged.

On the day of his surgery, everything went very well. Caitlin Kortman, R.N., and his care team had him up and walking the same day. “The nurses treated me like gold; like I was family,” Bill said. “They took great care of me and made sure I was moving to help reduce my recovery time. I hope I’m lucky enough to have the same nurses when I have my other hip replaced later this year.”

Bill is convinced that the quick action on the part of his nursing team helped him avoid taking the pain medication he was prescribed, and allowed him to manage his discomfort with the recommended over-the-counter options. He was also very impressed with his physical therapy team. Bill was determined to do all of his exercises and work extremely hard for his therapists. “They were very encouraging and professional and helped me stay focused,” he said.

Following his recovery, Bill also shared that his subsequent interactions with staff across MyMichigan Health were equally wonderful. Earlier this year, his daughter was diagnosed pneumonia. He was especially impressed with the coordinated effort between MyMichigan Medical Center Midland via telehealth, the hospital in Alpena and his daughter’s health care provider Sarah Stevens, P.A.-C., at Alcona Health. “Someone from the medical center or our doctor’s office called to check in on us almost every day for five weeks to ensure my daughter was doing ok, that her nebulizer was working, and that her condition was improving. They were cautious and thorough. I can’t thank them enough for taking such good care of my family.”

Additionally, Bill’s wife has since had Dr. Beltinck remove a painful cyst her knee. “After all we have been through this year, I have complete confidence in our doctors and nurses,” he added. “I know from experience that our local hospital is safe, top-notch and filled with caring staff. People need to know that.”

Bill looks forward to returning to some sense of normalcy after he has recovered from his next hip replacement procedure later this year. This time he is very much at ease knowing firsthand that he can expect excellent care.

MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena was recently selected as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement by Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Michigan. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

Those who would like more information about Dr. Beltinck may visit www.mymichigan.org/beltinck. Additionally, information about MyMichigan Health's comprehensive orthopedic program can be found at www.mymichigan.org/bonesandjoints.

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Call (833) 923-3444 for help in scheduling an appointment with a non-surgical musculoskeletal specialist or orthopedic surgeon.

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