MARQUETTE -Dale Moilanen, Chief Operating Officer of Orthopaedic Surgery Associates of Marquette, recently walked through the dark and barren hallways of the company's old office suite at the Upper Peninsula Medical Center.
"I called this the bowling alley," he said, looking down a long, narrow hallway with exam rooms crowded next to each other. "We had seven providers and four mid-level (physicians) with nine exam rooms. You can do the math, it got pretty crowded."
Moilanen said the waiting room at the old offices was so small, sometimes patients had to wait outside in the hallway.
Joe Lewis, Cathy Ruprecht and Dianne Reetz show off some of the equipment in the physical therapy room. (Journal photo by Christopher Diem)
"We basically outgrew the place," he said.
The company moved its offices to a new suite in the medical center in July, going from a 6,100-square-foot space to a 15,000-square-foot space.
The expanded space - in suite 190 at the medical center - not only allows improved access for patients, but also new services like in-office physical therapy, dexascan bone density studies and expanded X-ray and fluoroscopy studies.
Construction at the new suite started in February 2008. Menze Construction was the main contractor and Integrated Design did the electrical and mechanical work. Ray Fox, a medical architect from San Diego, designed the suite.
"We took one day off," Moilanen said. "We saw patients up through Thursday, July 24, we took the 25th off to move any remaining equipment and saw patients on the 28th, the next Monday. Really it went without a hitch."
Moilanen said the fastest growing population in the U.P. is over 65 years old. He said the new suite was built with expansion in mind so the practice can add physicians in the future. In fact, the center is currently recruiting.
"We're the largest orthopaedic group in the U.P.," Moilanen said. "We're the only group in the region that provides pediatric orthopaedics. We have two spine surgeons. We cover the whole range of orthopaedics."
The center specializes in total joint replacement surgery, spinal surgery, arthroscopic surgery, fracture care, sports medicine, foot and ankle surgery, hand surgery and pediatric orthopaedics.
Orthopaedic Surgery Associates also operates clinics in Escanaba, Ishpeming, L'Anse, Munising and Newberry.
Founded in 1966 by Dr. Eugene Elzinga and Dr. Donald Elzinga, the practice has been providing orthopaedic services to the U.P. for over 40 years.