History of McLaren Northern Michigan

The history of McLaren Northern Michigan hospital dates back to June 28, 1899 when William Lockwood gave the Oriental Hotel to nine Petoskey citizens for use as a hospital. That same year Petoskey’s first female physician, Magaret Kellogg, joined the hospital.

In July of 1902, Lockwood Hospital opened at the corner of Elm and Lindell, which is now known as Lockwood Avenue. There were 10 private rooms, three wards with three beds each and an Operating Room, equaling 20 beds total. Construction cost $3,000.

In 1909, the Reycraft brothers left Lockwood Hospital and formed Petoskey Hospital at their home on Arlington Street until1911 when the Petoskey Hospital moved to Delray/Moyer, a 25 bed building. To expand services, the Petoskey Hospital moved again in  1921, to the Grand Hotel on Lake Street and added an Operating Room, delivery room, nursery, and x-ray department.

Dean C. Burns founded the Burns Clinic in 1931 and Dr. Conway joins him. Dr. Burns was an apprentice under the Reycraft brothers until her received his medical degree and then became Vice President and an attending physician at Petoskey Hospital.

In 1937 Lockwood becomes Lockwood General Hospital, featuring an addition to the building including nursing, dietary, dining, and laundry facilities, increasing the bed capacity to 44.

After two years of capital campaigning, a new hospital, Little Traverse Hospital, opens in 1939 replacing the Petoskey Hospital. Dean Burns was the director and chief of staff for the 68 bed facility until his death in 1978.  Little Traverse Hospital was approved by the American College of Surgeons in 1941, the same year they made plans to add a wing to the hospital boosting capacity to over 100 beds. The $60,000 expansion of the facility began in 1951. 

From 1949 until 1955, Lockwood General Hospital expanded twice to include another wing for an outpatient department, laboratory, and diagnostic facilities, and also a pediatric area, nursing station, and radiology department.

Little Traverse hospital was approved for a new $666,000 three-story wing addition in 1957, which allowed for an increase in capacity to 160 beds, including a segregated maternity department with new delivery and labor rooms, a formula room, and nurseries.

In 1962, Lockwood General Hospital received a $22,000 grant and purchases a 14-acre parcel on Arlington Avenue.  In 1965, Lockwood General Hospital becomes Lockwood-MacDonald and was located at 1 MacDonald Drive, becoming a 71 bed facility.  A Physical Therapy department was established in 1966, and then an ICU in 1967.

In January of 1977, Lockwood-MacDonald and Little Traverse Hospital merged to form Northern Michigan Hospital. That same year, a $22.5 million expansion launched, including converting Lockwood-MacDonald into a 14-bed mental health unit.

In 1982, Northern Michigan Hospital was the first hospital in northern Michigan to be named a Regional Referral Center. A partnership with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute was established in 2000. In 2001, a $37.5 million expansion launched. The hospital was renamed to Northern Michigan Regional Hospital in 2007. 

In 2012,Northern Michigan Regional  Hospital  partnered with McLaren Health Care under the name McLaren Northern Michigan. McLaren Northern Michigan is a 202-bed, regional referral center located in Petoskey, serving residents in 22 counties across northern lower Michigan and the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. A medical staff of nearly 200 physicians represents nearly all medical and surgical specialties, enabling full-service care with an emphasis on heart, cancer, orthopedics, and neuroscience services. For additional information, visit northernhealth.org.


1970 – First Renal Dialysis Center in northern Michigan at Little Traverse Hospital

1971 – First diagnostic cardiac catheterization performed by Phillip Hill, MD

1973 – First mobile Hemodialysis Unit in the U.S. at Little Traverse Hospital

1973 – First open heart surgery in northern Michigan performed at Little Traverse Hospital under James Herlocher, MD

1977 – First Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis performed in northern Michigan

1982 – Northern Michigan Hospital is the first hospital in northern Michigan to be named a Regional Referral Center

1982 – First percutaneous cardiac balloon angioplasty in northern Michigan

1986 – HealthAccess is the first 24-hour service in northern Michigan

2000 – First Brachytherapy treatments in northern Michigan

2000 – First Beating Heart Surgery in northern Michigan 

2000 – First in northern Michigan to have bedside barcode medical administration (BRIDGE)

2002 – First hospital in northern Michigan to offer Cardiac Radiotherapy under Peter Levanovich, MD

2003 – One of the first in northern Michigan to perform an external ventricular assist device procedure kept at the facility and not transferred elsewhere

2005 – First hospital in northern Michigan to offer high-frequency ultrasound heart surgery for the treatment of atrial fibrillation under Brad Vazales, MD

2008 – First in the world to receive certification from PharmEcology® Associates, LLC for our medication waste disposal program

2012 – First in northern Michigan as an approved site for use of the Edwards SAPIEN valve for transcatheter aortic valve replacement TAVR in high risk inoperable patients.