Ask the doctor

Questions and answers on health care, hospice shared at presentation

Dr. Michael Grossman, a family practitioner at UP Health System Bell and the medical director of U.P. Home Health and Hospice, speaks during a Ask the Doctor presentation held Tuesday at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living in Marquette. Grossman answered general health questions and shared information about hospice with the audience.

MARQUETTE — Most people probably have a number of questions they’d like to ask a doctor.

To address this, Brookridge Heights Assisted Living in Marquette held the year’s first Ask the Doctor presentation at the facility, as U.P. Home Health & Hospice has collaborated with Brookridge to sponsor a speaker on the last Tuesday of each month during 2019.

Dr. Michael Grossman, a family practitioner at UP Health System-Bell and the medical director of U.P. Home Health and Hospice, was the speaker at Tuesday’s event.

He came prepared to answer a variety of questions from attendees, noting that he was happy to answer questions on “whatever anybody wants to talk about,” whether it’s diabetes, pain management, hospice care, hypertension, or even something in the news.

“(The goal is) just to give them more knowledge on common things that they might encounter, different illnesses that they may have or other people they know,” Grossman said.

Brochures for U.P. Home Health & Hospice displayed at a presentation offered at Brookridge Heights Tuesday are pictured. (Journal photos by Cecilia Brown)

It’s important to provide a resource like this, he said, as many individuals have questions about health that may be complex.

“The recommendations about the care change year to year, it’s hard enough for doctors to keep up with, let alone patients,” he said.

Grossman also wanted to inform the audience about hospice care, as he feels it’s a topic that many are interested in learning more about and wants the public to know that hospice can be offered in a person’s home, an assistive living facility or a place like the recently-opened Trillium House in Marquette.

“We focus on quality of life,” he said “We’re experts in taking care of physical pain and symptom management,” he said.

Furthermore, Grossman explained that hospice is about the care of symptoms, rather than making diagnoses or using “involved treatments that are no longer effective.”

Brookridge Heights Assisted Living, located at 1901 Division St. in Marquette, is pictured. Brookridge Heights was the location of an Ask the Doctor talk held Tuesday. (Journal photos by Cecilia Brown)

“A lot of people think that hospice is just about care for the dying, and that’s not really true, it’s not just end of life care,” Grossman told the audience. “It has to do with what medicine can do for you when it can’t save your life. So hospice is a service to help you or your family make small and big decisions and provide comfort and care for the patient and the family during this life-limiting journey. Hospice is not just about care of the dying; it’s about the best care for people with life-limiting disease. Hospice is not just about dying with dignity, it’s more about living with dignity because a lot of patients in hospice are there for 3 to 6 months and some people a little bit longer. So we don’t treat them like they’re dying, we want to make their life’s the best it can be while they’re still here.”

Overall, hospice is about care for the whole person and their family, he said.

“There’s physical pain, but there’s other types of pain too that we try to address,” Grossman said. “One would be emotional pain, if someone’s having problems with their loved ones. Financial pain, spiritual pain — if people are having unresolved issues with their religious beliefs, we do have a pastor or chaplain that can help you in that regard — so it doesn’t always help just to treat physical pain, because often our patients are suffering from other types of pain.”

With a wide variety of information being shared at Grossman’s presentations and others in the future, Organizers said the collaboration between the two agencies to provide these talks will help all involved.

“A partnership to offer education or information with the facility is beneficial on both ends,” said Gina Iery, director of clinical services at U.P. Home Health & Hospice. “The residents or family members or community members can hear information, and we can build relationships with them just to explain what services we have or just what other information can help them live best in the community.”

Because this was the first talk of the year, organizers said they wanted to use it to get a sense of what the needs and interests of the audience were, which will guide the topics and presenters featured at future events.

“We learn what their needs are, and then they can learn from us, and just help each other really, provide support to each other,” Iery said. “So we ask them what their needs are when we make these presentations.”

The next presentation, to be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 28 in Brookridge Heights Assisted Living’s dining room, will feature a physical therapist, who will discuss “mobility with aging and how they can keep up their activities of daily living and maximize their mobility as seniors,” Iery said.

For more information on Brookridge Heights, call 906-464-6747 or visit

For more information on UP Home Health & Hospice, call 906-225-4545 or visit