Big Rapids Hospital

Orthopedic Provider Now Seeing Patients in Big Rapids

James Thiel, DO, Joins Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital staff.

Dr. James Thiel

BIG RAPIDS, Mich., July 30, 2020 – Orthopedic physician and surgeon James Thiel, DO, is now seeing patients at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital.

Thiel has worked at Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville since January of 2018 and will now split time between the facilities. He joins Melissa DeNiel, MD, to provide comprehensive orthopedic care and surgical services to patients in the greater Big Rapids area.

“I’m excited to meet people and provide care for patients of all ages and for all types of injuries,” Thiel said. “Having another local provider will offer more convenience and help eliminate some trips out of town for folks.”

In addition to basic fracture care, common procedures Thiel will provide include hand surgery for carpal tunnel and trigger finger; knee arthroscopy and shoulder, ankle and wrist procedures.

Thiel is a sports medicine specialist and will be available to care for area athletic injuries.  He once served as the team physician for the Washington Spirit, a professional women’s soccer team in Washington D.C., while working in private practice.

He’s also worked with college and high school teams and hopes to assist Dr. DeNiel in working with Ferris State University athletes.

Thiel is Gaylord native who played football for a year at Adrian College before transferring to Michigan State where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

He received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006, followed by residency at McLaren Greater Lansing. He completed an orthopedic sports medicine fellowship through the University of Pennsylvania.

While in medical school, Thiel met his wife Lisa, who is a maternal-fetal medicine physician at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. They live in Ada with their three young children.

Thiel is a big sports fan, and in addition to rooting for his Michigan State Spartans, he follows the professional Detroit teams. He also enjoys golf and spending time with family.

To make an appointment with Thiel, call Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Orthopedics at 231.592.1002.


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 serving 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 $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year 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.

John Norton
Communications Specialist
Office: 231.592.4387
Mobile: 231.580.1079