A Story of Hope and Healing

Larry and his wife
Through contributions of our donors, McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation is able to bring hope and healing to hundreds of patients. One of those patients is Larry. After struggling with abnormal heart rhythms for years and undergoing an unsuccessful procedure at another facility that nearly cost him his life, Larry was discouraged, lethargic, and unable to keep to his daily routine.

“It felt like a car was shifting and the engine just kept revving up. My heart kept beating at 180 beats per minute. I was exhausted,” said Larry.

That’s when he found Dr. Daniel Buerkel, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Michigan Heart and Vascular Specialists of McLaren Northern Michigan. Experienced in the treatment of abnormal heart rhythms, Dr. Buerkel performed an ablation procedure to correct the problem. Larry has not had an episode since. He no longer needs medication, his blood pressure is back to normal, and he has more energy. He couldn’t be happier.

“I’m very grateful,” said Larry. “Dr. Buerkel saved my life.”

Larry’s story is not an anomaly; thousands of patients’ lives are changed through the care they receive at McLaren Northern Michigan. Your gifts to the McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation help make that care possible. This year, contributions to the Foundation helped purchase new equipment, recruit the best doctors, make facility upgrades, and provide assistance for patients in need.

We’re asking for your support this year. Please consider giving to the Unrestricted Fund, which will support the areas of greatest need as they arise.


Thanks to generous donors, the McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation disbursed over $4.1 million in support of hospital and hospice needs in 2017.

During the past year, the Foundation has invested more than $584,000 into our cardiology series and technology to help patients such as Larry get the life-changing treatment they need. McLaren Northern Michigan was named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals of 2018 by IBM Watson Health.

(The Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study, formerly the Truven Health Analytics study, is an annual, objective, quantitative study that identifies the nation’s best providers of cardiovascular care, based on publicly available data and a balanced look at clinical, operational, and financial performance metrics. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market their honor.)


Larry, a cardiovascular patient, underwent an ablation procedure earlier this year. His wife Cheryl said, “This is the best thing that ever happened to Larry. He’s just a changed person because of it.”