Newdoctor arrives in Birch Bay

Published on Thu, Sep 22, 2005 by ack Kintner

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New doctor arrives in Birch Bay

By Jack Kintner

John Hiemstra, D.O., began practicing at the Birch Bay office of Lynden Family Medicine at 8097 Birch Bay Road. He joins Bruce Pederson, M.D., who started the office nine years ago. Pederson’s former associate, Rod Thompson, left last year for a Sumas partnership, creating the opening. Lynden Family Medicine one of 11 medical offices that are part of the Family Care Network. The osteopathic physician’s practice includes obstetrics.

Hiemstra, 35, his wife Dee, daughter Holly, eight, and son Sam, 2, moved into their new Birch Bay house last week. Holly begins third grade this year at Lynden Christian Elementary.

Hiemstra grew up in rural Darien, Wisconsin, a small town near the Illinois border, and initially went into computer programming even though medicine had been a life-long dream. “My mom always asked me if I really wanted to be getting up at all hours,” Hiemstra laughed, “so I guess I can blame her for the delay.”

Hiemstra attended the Christian Reformed Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and went to medical school at Des Moines University. Osteopathic physicians, Hiemstra explained, have the same local hospital privileges and virtually identical training to M.D.s. Osteopathy was begun as a reform movement within 19th-century medicine by Andrew Still, M.D., in 1874.

“There’s a bit more emphasis, I suppose, on wellness, and a D.O. will occasionally do adjustments, but if a patient wasn’t told beforehand they wouldn’t know the difference in care,” Hiemstra said.

For more information, call the Birch Bay office at 371-5855.