Welcome to West Michigan Rheumatology

We provide outstanding care for patients with immune-mediated rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, poly and dermatomyositis, psoriatic arthritis and various types of vasculitis.  Our four full-time rheumatologists bring you the benefit of deep clinical experience and translational research.

Trusted & Committed

We believe that excellent care is the result of communicating well, being consistent and available to our patients when they need us. We have a decades long relationship with TrinityHealth GR & Muskegon as well as UM-West/MetroHealth. WMR is the longest serving anchor of rheumatic disease care servicing West Michigan and the Lakeshore since 1991.

Since 1991 we have:
  • Cared for >140,000 new patients
  • Trained > 400 medical learners
  • Completed > 75 clinical trials
  • Published > 80 scholarly publications

Our four rheumatologists trained in different national centers of excellence:

  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Mayo Clinic
  • University of Tennessee – Memphis
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Each brings unique experience and perspective.  You benefit from our collective knowledge and collaboration.

Integrated Clinical Care

In our model of care, we provide patient care, teach medical learners and conduct research seamlessly at one site.  We promise you will always see your rheumatologist, never an assistant, and will never be charged a facility fee.   To make care more coordinated, our electronic medical records are linked and communicate with many other systems including:  TrinityHealth, Spectrum Health, UM-West, Borgess and Mayo Clinic.

Nationally Recognized Quality

MIPS is a mandated national medical quality program.   Electronic medical records are used to continuously audit and report your physician’s interaction with each patient.  This attempts to measure and compare quality of care with the goal of improving patient experience by encouraging patient centered care.

For 5 consecutive years West Michigan Rheumatology has achieved a maximum MIPs Quality Score of 100%, distinguishing our practice as providing the highest quality care by the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS).

Championing Shared Decision-Making 

Shared decision-making (SDM) is an underpinning of patient centered care.  It begins with an attitude of mutual respect between the physician and patient and takes form in the dialogue where facts, personal values and choice are shared.  The MSU College of Human Medicine and faculty at West Michigan Rheumatology have been early leaders in developing and implementing SDM as a clinical science. You can learn more about our academic work by clicking ‘Patient Disease Aids‘ on the menu above. As shared decision making is identified as a MIPS improvement activity – the use of patient decision aids to support shared decision-making is one indicator of high quality care.  This demonstrates that listening and caring are core values at WMR.

Research News

WMR a Scleroderma Center of Excellence

WMR’s commitment to the care of patients with scleroderma has spanned 3 decades. Our research collaboration in the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium has improved research methods and answered important questions about how to treat scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenon. In 2020 we reported a landmark study where the rheumatoid arthritis medication Actemra (tocilizumab) stabilized progression of interstitial lung disease in scleroderma (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32866440/). This completes a circle of research, beginning in the early 2000’s when WMR participated in studies of Actemra (tocilizumab), which ultimately contributed to its approval to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In 2022 we reported the ability of stem cells harvested from one’s own fat via liposuction, can improve the thickening of skin and soft tissue resulting in improved hand function. This shows that you don’t have to travel far to received the most advanced care for scleroderma. If you have recently developed scleroderma call for an expedited appointment.

WMR Leads the IPDAS Standards Research on Presenting Balanced Information in Patient Decision Aids

Bias, disinformation, and ‘fake news’ have taken a toll on peoples trust of information from retail news, political parties and public health sources. This is particularly visible with vaccine hesitancy, but also with some riskier medical treatments. The International Patient Decision Aids Standards Group (IPDAS) is an international academic movement that researches and creates guidelines for the optimal design and development of patient decision aids – unbiased information structured to support patients making informed choices about medical options. WMR has participated with colleagues on four continents since 2007. This expansive review and synthesis is part of the most recent Update on the IPDAS standards that was published 10/1/2021 in the academic journal Medical Decision Making. It sets a clear standard for decision aid, and other health information developers, of how to provide information in a fair and balanced manner. Learn more about this translation research at our Patient Decision Aids page.

`The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.’
William Mayo, MD 1910