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      Partnership with DeVos brings more pediatric clinics to northern Michigan

      Ever O'Neil is held by his mother the same day as one of his appointments at a new pediatric clinic in Traverse City.

      Munson Medical Center in Traverse City and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids have joined together to create new pediatric clinics to serve children in northern Michigan. Four clinics in Traverse City are already open, offering specialty services like orthopedics, gastroenterology, nephrology and neurosurgery.

      The clinics are also supplementing specialty services already offered in the area. More clinics are on the way and most families of patients say that not only is the care much closer to home, it saves them the trip all the way to Grand Rapids for treatment.

      When Amanda O'Neil was 19 weeks pregnant, she and her husband Colbye found out that their son would be born with clubbed feet. Now baby Ever has to have casts put on his legs every week. With 4 other kids, the O'Neils would've had to drive from their Traverse City home to the Helen DeVos Children's hospital every week to do this but now one of the new pediatric clinics is open for treatment, and it's right down the road from the O'Neils.

      "It was just a huge relief to find out that he was not going to have to travel all the way to Grand Rapids as he doesn't like to travel in car seats for long periods of time...usually 10 to 20 minutes and then his legs feel uncomfortable," Ever's father, Colbye O'Neil said.

      Ever's doctor is pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Forness, who is helping the expansion into the Grand Traverse area. He says one of the biggest burdens for families that he treats is the traveling.

      If you're interested in going to one of the clinics, you can find out more information by visiting http://www.munsonhealthcare.org/pediatricclinics .