February 27, 2013 - Dr. David Pinelli has come to know plenty of patients during his 14-year stint in Ortonville.
"I estimate 50,000 visits," laughs Pinelli, from his office at POH Medical Center, 180 Ortonville Road. "Over the years the practice has grown and so have I."
On Feb. 22, Pinelli will grow his expertise a littler further away from his local office in a new position as Medical Director for Quality and Compliance for McLaren Medical Group, where he will serve as chief medical officer and vice-president of medical affairs for McLaren Macomb in Mt Clemens.
"I remember meeting my first patients—an older couple," he said. "I've come to know so many families and now I care for the children of (former pediatric patients)."
A 1995 graduate of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Pinelli completed his residency at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital.
"I went from POH right here to Ortonville," he said. "Dr. Linda Loewenstein was here and has since provided ongoing support for me from day one. Our mission in health care has grown like the practice has, so my move to Macomb is bittersweet. The patients have been very understanding, but I will miss them all."
Dr. Pinelli said that during his years in Ortonville several external factors have impacted the practice.
"By far, the events of 9/11 was the biggest impact on my patients," he said. "The ramifications were immense—either patients knew someone associated directly with the attacks (on the World Trade Center) or they were fearful of the repercussions. The anxiety was ongoing long afterwards."
"Then the other big event was the economic downturn in 2007," he said. "Until that time there was growth in the community—people were moving here, homes were being built. Then people were losing their jobs, losing the homes—the anxiety was a big factor in the health of patients. I witnessed the transition from the outside sources of terrorism to the inside factors of economic stress."
However, the social-economic drivers are changing for the better.
"There's a slow uptick right now—we've got a long way to go, but it's getting better," he said.
Pinelli will draw on his years of experience in Ortonville and apply his knowledge of medicine as an administrator at McLaren Macomb.
"'Clinical integration' is the a new buzz word in medicine," he said. "That incorporates every component of health care, from hospitals to financial to insurance. The government says we have to integrate systems."
Pinelli is eager to start the transition to administrative.
"I can't count the number of relationships I've established here in Ortonville," he said. "The trust over the years put in my hands for the health care of families is immeasurable. It's been a privilege and honor to care for the families. I will never forget them and take pride in carrying that forward."