Surgical Associates was established in 1972 by four forward-thinking physicians: Doctor Matthew Bennett, Doctor Eric Linche, Doctor Thomas Mudge and Doctor James Keplinger. They were all covering the emergency rooms at St. Mary's Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital (now Marquette General Hospital) and Bell Memorial Hospital in addition to their office practices. The four surgeons were the first to form a major medical group in the area; a practice that is commonplace today, but a new concept in the early '70s, when solo or two-person practices were the standard. Lincke said the idea caught on because, “physicians could serve their communities more effectively by working together instead of competing with each other.”
Today, Surgical Associates of Marquette is made up of Doctor Joseph Jameson, Doctor Patrick Bulinski, Doctor Ryan Edwards and Doctor Larry Lewis. Doctor Keplinger is the last of the original founders to retire. A lot has changed since 1972, but physicians continue to join forces to offer quality surgical services to the residents of the U.P.