National Doctors’ Day Feature: Dr. Jusith Amparo
United Hospital surgeon makes Greenville her adopted hometown
March 30, 2021
Dr. Jusith Amparo still remembers the corn fields. And the size of the hospital and community when fellow surgeon Dr. Kevin O’Connor encouraged her to visit Greenville after she completed her medical training.
“It was the smallest hospital I had ever seen, and of course Greenville was the smallest town I had even been in,” she said.
Spectrum Health United Hospital was looking to add a general surgeon to its staff, and Dr. Amparo knew Dr. O’Connor from her residency in Detroit.
“He was actually who brought me to Greenville, to United,” she said. “He was already working in Greenville. He was my senior resident during training.”
Hospital leadership offered her the job, asking her to sign up for a three-year commitment.
“I said, ‘Oh no, how about one year, let’s try one year first,’ because I wasn’t sure,” she said.
That was in 1997.
“Well, look, I’m still here,” Dr. Amparo said laughing.
Dr. Amparo took the long route to get to Greenville, the place she now loves to call home.
She was born in the Philippines and when she was about 10 years old, her family moved to Guam.
At just 17 years old, she came to the United States to attend college at the University of California, Davis. She had an aunt who lived in Los Angeles.
“At least I had somebody nearby, but I definitely didn’t get to go home on weekends and that kind of thing,” she said.
She quickly made friends.
“I was lucky enough to land with awesome people,” Dr. Amparo said. “My dorm roommates are still my life-long friends.”
She received double majors in physiology and psychology and went on to medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
She completed her residency at Bi-County Community/Detroit Riverview Hospital.
Despite her hesitancy at the onset, she’s come to cherish her new home.
“I love working in a small hospital because it’s a little more personal,” she said. “The people you work with are not strangers—you get to know everyone. I like that type of environment.”
She’s also been impressed with the skill of the staff.
“For a small community, we are really blessed with an excellent hospital, doctors, nurses and clinical staff,” she said.
Amparo, DO, is one of three general surgeons at United Hospital, and the only female. As a result, she said she gets most breast surgeries to remove a benign or malignant mass.
In addition, common procedures include thyroid, gallbladder, appendix, hernia and bowel surgeries. She performs robotic gallbladder and robotic hernia surgeries. United Hospital surgeons have been using the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery system since 2019.
Dr. Amparo has been an active member of the Spectrum Health Foundation United and Kelsey Hospitals, serving on the scholarship selection committee and being involved in the Charity Ball and golf event.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, biking, walking and traveling.
And spending time in her adopted hometown.
““I love the community,” she said. “I love the people.”
Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan with more than 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.