by Melissa Shepard, associate editor

Since 1997, Dr. Fred VanAlstine has been a fixture at Shiawassee County Medical Group After Hours Care. He not only has run his family practice from there, but also an after hours emergency care clinic, staffed by local physicians and physician assistants.

Starting June 6, a new physician will be coming in to take over. Dr. Ekram Smith M.D., of Okemos, who previously worked at Michigan State University.

Dr. VanAlstine has known her since she was a resident and gives her his stamp of approval. She has been a doctor for 10 years, has three children, and is interested in taking care of multiple generations.

Dr. VanAlstine’s last day will be June 10. He has been accepted into a Fellowship program for Hospice and Palliative of Care at Emery University in Atlanta, GA. The goals of palliative care are to improve the quality of a seriously ill person’s life and to support that person and their family during and after treatment. Hospice focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of months, not years, and their families. It is described as a lot of pain control, and is something relatively new, not many physicians are involved with this type of care. In order to practice, Dr. VanAlstine must be certified. He will spend a year in Atlanta getting certified, from July 1 to June 30, 2017, and then return to Owosso and hopefully work in conjunction with Memorial Healthcare and the public to introduce this type of care.

When asked what he was looking forward to the most about the fellowship, Dr. VanAlstine said, “Learning and developing a new skill, and bringing it back to the community. Also, working with the hospital to get it integrated there. There is a need for this in the community.”

Dr. VanAlstine attended Medical School at the University of Michigan, where he did his Residency in family practice. In 1982, he opened a family practice in Durand. Moving to Owosso in 1997 he bought the After Hours practice (which started in 1993) and has been there ever since. His wife Kathy is his business manager, and has been since he started practicing. They have five children and one grandchild.

Local Doctor Pursuing Pain Care Certification in Georgia was last modified: May 16th, 2016 by Karen Elford