Dr. Giroux bolsters speciality services in Eastern UP

Joy Butcher, Chrissie Stanaway, Laura Fisher, LPN, Dr. Sylvie Giroux and Ashly Ellis, NP pose for a photo outside of the Upper Peninsula Health System – Sault Ste. Marie clinic located inside the Avery Square complex on the 500 block of Ashmun Street. (Photo by Nick Nolan)

SAULT STE. MARIE — For many patients, seeing a cardiologist can be a nerve-racking experience. UP Health System’s Dr. Sylvie Giroux does her best to calm her patients’ anxieties and alleviate their ailments.

“I’m a cardiologist, yes,” said the doctor while stopping by the UP Health System Sault office. “But I won’t just treat the heart. I think a patient is more than an organ. You have to look at the entire human being, and the other organs, too. I think we also have to treat the soul.”

The Canadian cardiologist recently joined the team of ten other cardiologists and two surgeons who make up UP Health System’s Heart and Vascular group. She has been practicing in the Eastern Upper Peninsula since 2017 after a stay in Las Cruces, NM. She obtained her medical degree from Quebec City’s Laval University and completed her fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Outside of accolades and qualifications, Giroux explains the craft comes natural to her. She has known that she has wanted to be a cardiologist since she was a little girl in Quebec.

“My dad is a cardiologist,” she revealed. “At dinner, we’d talk about cardiology. He would ask me about scenarios and what I would do.”

For most 10-year-olds, talking about the branch of medicine dealing with heart diseases and abnormalities probably seems uncommon. Giroux though, cited these dinner conversations as being the source of her intrigue into the field.

“I got into medicine to do cardiology,” said Giroux. “For me, doing cardiology is like talking about the weather.”

New Mexico actually catered to Giroux’s favorite type of weather. She moved to the southwest to continue her career and enjoy the arid climate. She chuckled that she was always moving south to take in more sunshine and heat.

“When my parents retired they bought a house in Sault, Ontario,” she said. “That’s why I moved here. It’s for family.”

Despite the Upper Peninsula having slightly different temperatures than New Mexico, Giroux was more than happy with the move. She praised how friendly her newfound neighbors are and called the area, particularly the water, beautiful.

The doctor, currently seeing patients at the specialty clinic at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital and in the future at the Sault Ste. Marie location, made for a perfect fit for UP Health System, bringing another element to their system of specialty clinics.

Chrissie Stanaway has been working with the group’s Sault Ste. Marie branch since the mid-1990s.

“Marquette General Health System bought the practice of the physician I worked for in 1995, renaming the clinic Chippewa Medical Associates,” recalled Stanaway. “When we partnered with Duke LifePoint our clinic became UP Health System – Sault Ste. Marie. We’re an outlying clinic for UP Health System — Marquette.”

Stanaway went into detail explaining the services the clinic offers. The Sault branch is based in Avery Square on the 500 block of Ashmun Street.

“This clinic is for patients of all needs,” explained Stanaway, the branch’s practice manager. “We provide primary care, as well as many sub-specialty services so patients don’t have to travel to see a physician.”

Some of the clinic’s visiting specialists include a neurosurgeon and cardiologists — both general and heart rhythm specialists who visit one or two days per week. The office also provides tele-medicine appointments for neurology, neuropsychology, and behavioral health, among others, so a patient can remotely talk to a physician. In addition to using technology to bridge the distance between patient and specialist, Ashly Ellis, a nurse practitioner is on hand five days a week at the Sault clinic.

“Our primary care philosophy is to provide quality healthcare that focuses on the individual, improves quality of life and helps prevent disease,” Ellis says; adding, “We want our patients to know that we are here to be their advocate and help them with their health care needs.”

The clinic is opened to anyone from the surrounding areas, not just the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

“We center on patient care, and we’re going to continue to grow and add new physicians,” concluded Stanaway. “We’ve been here for a long time and we’re not going anywhere. We want to improve the health of our community by providing world-class care and services not available anywhere else in the region.”

To make an appointment, call the office at 906-632-6013.

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