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THE PERFECT SPOT: Interior designer Michele Dupras knows just how to create the perfect space for her clients, and with UP Health System – Bell, she’s found the perfect spot to introduce her newest family additions to the world.
Michele Dupras knows how the quality of an environment can profoundly impact someone’s experience. As an interior designer and real estate agent, she is an expert at finding and creating spaces that provide her clients with beauty, comfort and function in their work and home lives. And as a mother of two, with a third on the way, she knows the perfect place to deliver a baby – UP Health System – Bell.
The 35-year-old entrepreneur quickly fell in love with Marquette when she moved here in 2002 to study art and design at Northern Michigan University, and eventually settled in Negaunee. When Michele and her husband were looking for the perfect place to deliver their first daughter, Alexandra, UP Health System – Bell kept coming up in conversations with friends.
“Initially, I had a few friends in the area that had chosen to go to Bell when they opened up their new location because it was a smaller hospital with more personalized care,” she recalls. “They all had really good things to say, and it was clear that Bell had a reputation as a great place to have your baby.”
When Michele and her husband checked things out, they received confirmation that Bell would be a perfect fit.
“It just felt really comfortable, and I liked that it was so close to home,” she says. “Being three miles from the hospital was a comforting idea – whether you’re in labor in the middle of the night or you’re needing to schedule an appointment. Their prenatal care was right there in the clinic, and you could walk right over to get your ultrasounds and lab work.”
When Michele checked in to Bell for her delivery, the expertise of the physicians and staff made a big impression on her. Michele’s obstetrician, Dr. Kelly Menge, was on call when the time came.
“Dr. Menge made me feel like I was the only person she had to deal with,” Michele recalls. “Being an active mom herself, it was easy to talk to her. Going through a first pregnancy, you have a lot of questions. And Dr. Menge was very approachable to talk to about those things.”
In addition to expert care for Michele and her new baby daughter, the Dupras family was almost as equally impressed with the environment and amenities of the hospital itself.
“We call it ‘Hotel Bell,’” she says, with a laugh. “The food is really good, and the rooms are really comfortable. It didn’t feel like a hospital, it felt like a hotel experience.”
While her first delivery was a difficult one, Michele felt consistently supported throughout the process and knew she wanted to return to Bell when it was time for her second baby.
“It didn’t make me afraid to go through it again because I knew the care I needed would be there,” she says.
When her second daughter Harlow’s delivery came with some complications, Michele witnessed yet another level of the staff’s expertise.
“I had some concerns and questions, and they never let me feel like it was an inconvenience,” Michele remembers. “They came in and got me comfortable in a bed. I never felt afraid to ask questions. The nurses were so awesome, I was almost inspired to become an OB nurse myself. I couldn’t believe how much they helped me through the recovery process. They were absolute angels.”
Michele is expecting her third child this August, and for the Dupras family, there’s only one choice for where to go.
“The care at Bell was so good that it played a big part in our decision to have another one,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve been so well supported, and I know what to expect. I know the people.”
UP Health System – Bell’s small-town atmosphere, personal touch and medical expertise have made the decision of where to go easy.
“From a woman’s standpoint, having other women there that can look you in the eye and tell you ‘It’s okay,’ and feeling like they’re really behind you – that really helps,” she continues. “It can be such a scary thing, but the staff at Bell really care about helping you through the process and putting you at ease. It’s not just a job to them.
“I’m excited for my third ‘Bell Baby’” she says. “I’m excited to go through it again without this big question mark because I already know it’s a good experience.”