Aspirus system of care keeps getting stronger

HOUGHTON – The experienced and respected medical team previously at BlueSky Health in Houghton has joined Aspirus. Dr. Jeff Huotari and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) PeriAnn Wasie have been seeing patients at Aspirus Houghton Clinic near Walmart since October 10. The addition of Dr. Huotari and Wasie continues to build the Aspirus commitment to a higher level of health care for the Keweenaw and brings additional strength to the already excellent staff of the Houghton Clinic.

Dr. Huotari said the decision to join Aspirus was carefully thought out and patients have been notified via personal letters and phone calls to make the transition as easy as possible. “My number one priority is to ensure the best possible health care options for all of our patients, today and into the future,” he said. “I have been impressed by how Aspirus continues to build and deliver a higher level of health care to our community and the entire region. This is a great fit for our patients.”

The benefit for patients is having direct access to multiple on-site services including labs, x-ray, ultrasound, ECG and stress tests, immunizations, physical therapy, visiting specialists, cancer care, orthopedics and pharmacy services. The newly implemented electronic medical records also allows for the seamless exchange of key patient information across different health care settings.

Both Dr. Huotari and Wasie are well known in the area for their caring and consultative approach to health care. Dr. Huotari specializes in family medicine with an emphasis on diagnosis of new problems and managing complex patients with multiple chronic health conditions. He earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota and completed his residency at the Duluth Family Medicine Residency which specializes in training rural primary care physicians. He has practiced in the Keweenaw for the last 10 years, including originally at Keweenaw Memorial Medical Center (now at Aspirus Keweenaw) before opening BlueSky Health in 2006.

Wasie specializes in family medicine with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. “Part of that is meeting with each patient yearly for a preventive visit to go over all of the recommended screenings according to age and gender, and to implement those screenings,” she said. “Discussing healthy behaviors that can reduce the chance of developing a disease is a really important part of that visit. If diseases are found early through those screenings, we can make huge impacts in people’s lives, by decreasing the effects of disease so that they can live the happiest, healthiest lives possible.”

As a nurse practitioner, Wasie believes it’s important to listen to patients’ concerns, properly evaluate each situation and then get together with the patient to develop strategies to solve those concerns in order to promote good health. “I believe that it is always the patients’ choice, once informed of options and possible consequences, to make healthcare decisions that agree with their values,” she said.

Having the support of the Aspirus system allows Dr. Huotari and Wasie to focus more completely on patient care and less on clinic operations. According to Dr. Huotari’s philosophy of care, strong patient-provider relationships equals strong results. “Whether you’re talking about the patient experience of care, quality of care, or cost of care, those who understand and do relationships well will have the best outcomes,” he said. “Aspirus, from the top down, truly understands the importance and value of the patient-provider relationship, and works hard to protect it. They have bent over backwards to ensure that our particular methods of relationship-based care are not only preserved, but fostered.”

Mike Hauswirth, Chief Operating Officer for Aspirus Keweenaw and Ontonagon hospitals is excited about the addition of both providers to the medical staff at the Houghton Clinic. “We are honored that both Dr. Huotari and Family Nurse Practitioner PeriAnn Wasie have made the decision to join our team. We are only getting stronger and our expertise continues to grow with their addition,” he said.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeff Huotari or PeriAnn Wasie, call 906.483.2200 or the main Aspirus Houghton Clinic number at 906.487.1710.

Editor’s note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Aspirus Houghton Clinic. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.