North Ottawa Community Health System

I know I am not alone when I think about how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and naturally abundant area. You can start a family here just as easily as retire here because this community offers a quality of life like few others in America.

While our population base is growing at all age levels, our 60-and-over crowd continues to boom. One of the most important health issues facing this population are the damaging and sometimes life-threatening effects of osteoporosis.

As part of our continuing effort to expand the continuum of care for our patients, we’ve welcomed Neurosurgeons David Lowry, MD to the North Ottawa family of providers.

He is an extraordinarily talented specialists when it comes to dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis as well as the full spectrum of care related to back, neck and spine problems.

He is based in Ottawa County and have growing practices in Holland, Zeeland and now in the Tri-Cities, where he sees patients out of our Harbor Dunes facility.

Neurosurgery is a critical need in our community. And we are thrilled to be providing this exceptional level of expertise and care so close to home.

I hope you’ll help me in welcoming Dr. Lowry to our health system.

In good health,
Shelleye Yaklin
President and CEO
North Ottawa Community Health System

When we think of osteoporosis, we often think of it as the inevitability of old age – shortened stature; a hunched back; limited mobility; typically found in women. But that snapshot is no longer true. Osteoporosis, meaning “porous bones” is a skeletal disease affecting women and men. As bones age, they lose minerals such as calcium, which make them weaker, more brittle, and susceptible to fracture. While osteoporosis can occur anywhere in the body, it mostly affects the back/spine, hips and wrists. Consider the statistics:

  • 300,000 hip – 44 million people in the U.S. are at risk
  • 250,000 wrist – Of the 1.5 million fragility fractures occurring annually in U.S.
  • 300,000 other – 700,000 spine (that’s one every 45 seconds)

Because the disease makes bones thinner and weaker, fractures can occur during ordinary movements like bending and lifting, or from falls. These fractures can be painful, disfiguring, and often go unnoticed at first. Fractures may also reduce a person’s ability to lead an active life. It is estimated that one out of every two women over the age of 50 will be affected by osteoporosis in her remaining lifetime.

Leading an active lifestyle and ensuring you get enough calcium in your diet are the first steps toward avoiding osteoporosis. Early diagnosis and developing a plan with your doctor will also minimize or even prevent the serious affects of osteoporosis from taking hold of your life.

The Neurosurgery team at North Ottawa Community Health system coupled with diagnostic tools such as our new Bone Density Analysis machine are available to help you understand if you are at risk for osteoporosis. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine if you need an osteoporosis screening.