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Practice & Staff

When you visit Partners in Plastic Surgery of West Michigan, you will be assisted and cared for by a friendly, knowledgeable staff that is dedicated to providing a rewarding experience. Our exceptional plastic surgeons Dr. Hammond, Dr. Van Pelt, and Dr. Kath provide a comprehensive range of options that includes non-surgical treatments and plastic surgery. Our Grand Rapids practice offers convenience and the highest level of patient care with an on-site, fully accredited surgery center and our very own Skin Care Center.

To learn more about our Grand Rapids plastic surgery practice, request a consultation online or call us at (616) 464-4420.

Our Medical Support Staff


Joanne Decker, OR Manager, RN

Joanne joined our group in 2011 as our OR manager. Joanne is also our OSHA/safety coordinator and she works diligently at making sure that our entire office, including our operating room is clean, sterile, and safe for patients and staff. Her attention to detail is limitless and the entire staff benefits from her soft spoken good nature and silly sense of humor! Joanne has been a nurse for 32 years, working in intensive care, pediatrics, oncology and surgery. Her experience and knowledge is truly a blessing! Joanne says one of the greatest joys of her life is going on surgical missions with Operation Smile.


Joanie Dowling, LPN

Joanie has been a nurse since 1973. We call her our "Nurse Extraordinaire." She has worked side-by-side with Dr. Dennis Hammond for "way too long," since he started practice in 1992. If you remember "Radar" from M*A*S*H, that's Joanie. Joanie wears many hats, including clinical coordinator, part-time surgical assistant, Dr. Hammond's memory bank, and fill-in for almost any position in the office. Joanie loves what she does and works "with the greatest group of co-workers imaginable." When she's not at work trying her best to harass Dr. Hammond, she is with her sweet husband, or playing with her two little granddaughters.


Julie Garnsay, RN

Julie is a graduate of Ferris State University with a BA in nursing. She brings 20 years of experience in nursing to our practice. Her past experience includes medical/surgical, operating room, emergency room, and recovery room. Julie began her history with us as a nurse in our OR but is moving up to work in the clinic as well. Having had such a hands-on experience with so many of our procedures in the operating room, we are very excited about how much knowledge she has to offer our patients! Outside of work, Julie enjoys hiking, biking, snowshoeing, camping with her husband and 2 boys as well as watching her sons play soccer. Julie has participated in several training programs to become a nurse injector for the office. She greatly enjoys helping patient's achieve that youthful glow!


Dawn Hopkins, LPN

Dawn graduated from Davenport University with her LPN degree in 2004. Her previous nursing experience has been in orthopedics and pediatrics. She later graduated from a permanent cosmetic academy in 2014. When she is not at work, Dawn enjoys teaching dance and spending time with her children. She is also the owner of Cherish the Moment Photography.


Sarah Palmer, RN

Sarah graduated from William Jewell College of Nursing in 2007 with her BSN. She worked in Kansas City, Missouri as a labor and delivery nurse for 4 years before moving to Colorado with her husband. As her husband pursued grad school in Fort Collins, Colorado, she worked in an operating room for 2 years but learned that her passion is truly women's health. Sarah and her husband moved to Grand Rapids in 2013. Sarah has many roles in the office, from clinical nurse, scrub nurse in the OR, as well as nurse injector. Sarah and her husband welcomed their first child, a daughter, in March 2014.


Jan Wabeke, LPN

Jan is one of Dr. Hammond's nurses. She first met Dr. Hammond in 2001 while going through breast cancer treatment and reconstruction. Jan is a survivor! In her words, "I chose to have a mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction. Dr. Hammond and Joanie (Dowling) were so kind to me through the whole process. They helped with a lot of the emotional healing, because so many people do not understand." Jan is now proud to work with Dr. Hammond. Her compassion and empathy are evident with every person she meets. Jan also serves as our office social director. She never misses anyone's birthday and is always on the alert for an occasion to celebrate. Jan loves anything with a swirl design.


Melissa Williams, Surgical Technician

Melissa has been working as a surgical technician since 2000. Before joining our surgical team in 2010, Melissa had already had seven years' experience in plastic surgery. Her calm demeanor and attention to detail keep things running smoothly in surgery. Although Melissa's primary responsibilities are in the OR, she often helps in the office, educating patients about their upcoming surgeries. Melissa is married and has three children—two girls and a boy.


Davida Dennen, Patient Care

Davida joined the PIPS family in 2014. She graduated from GVSU in 2011 with her BSN. She worked as a medical/surgical nurse before coming to our clinic, where she now works in patient care. When she is not at work, Davida enjoys reading, watching and playing sports, and spending time with her family.

Our Office Staff


Machelle Hammond, Receptionist

Machelle has served as our office manager since the practice opened in 2001. She played an integral role in getting the business up and running, as well as in the aesthetic design of the office and operating room. Purple is her favorite color! She now works part-time at our front desk. Before joining the practice, Machelle previously worked as a special education teacher. Machelle has three children, two of whom are now in college. She continues to stay very active in her childrens' sports activities and as a volunteer for school events.


Tracie Marcus, Surgery Scheduler

Tracie has been with our practice since June 2010. She enjoys the challenge of trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together when scheduling surgery– the patients' needs, the doctors' schedules, and the operating room availability. She takes great satisfaction in making it all work so everyone is happy! Outside of work, Tracie is married and has two daughters in college. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching and participating in various sports, reading and doing crossword puzzles.


Laura Miling, Receptionist

Laura's friendly presence has been with Partners in Plastic Surgery of West Michigan since April, 2010. Her background includes working as an administrative assistant, financial assistant, and working at Rockford Public Schools. Laura enjoys all aspects of working the front desk– especially getting to know our great patients. Laura also loves working with our very caring and dedicated staff. Away from work, Laura relaxes by making greeting cards, knitting, reading or spending time with her family.


Laurie Roberson, Practice Manager

Laurie became the office manager for Partners in Plastic Surgery in 2011. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Laurie loves being able to step in and help patients and providers understand insurance coverage and health benefits. Laurie joined the team at Partners in Plastic Surgery because they have a wonderful combination of education, experience, skill, and fun! "This staff is a close knit family that supports one another and works together every day to create the best possible outcomes for our patients."


Marie Smith, Secretary to Our Doctors

Marie is the amazing secretary for Drs. Hammond, Van Pelt, and Kath. She originally started working with Dr. Hammond in 1996. Marie has more responsibilities than can be mentioned in one paragraph, or even one page, yet she takes care of everything with an open heart and a big smile. Marie joyfully tackles numerous administrative duties, coordinates several breast implant studies, and serves on the office social committee under Jan (Wabeke). For years, Marie has coordinated all of Dr. Hammond's global travel and kept his schedule on track. She is now excited to be of assistance to her two new docs! Marie says, "I love to spoil them."


Erin Rutter, Receptionist

Erin was happy to join our PIPS family in 2011. She is stationed at the front desk and loves being able to greet everyone who comes through the front door with a smile. Erin has a degree in Spanish from Grand Valley State University, which she has incorporated into her career in the medical field through translation. Erin finds satisfaction in working with such a great staff and amazing patients. When she's not at the office, Erin enjoys travelling to explore the different national parks, camping and hiking.


Lisa Valk, Surgery Scheduler

Lisa joined the practice in 2007 and works in many different capacities within the office. She is a surgery scheduler but can frequently be found helping our nursing crew or front desk. Lisa can always be counted on to fill in where needed or pick up any extra project. She is a true jack of all trades! When she is not at the office, Lisa enjoys reading, gardening, exercise and keeping up with her two teenagers.


Rebecca Ward, Biller

Rebecca joined the Partners in Plastic Surgery Family in March 2011. She has a background as a claims adjuster and also a medical billing specialist. Rebecca handles all of the billing for our patients. She is very organized, thorough, and accurate. She has improved and streamlined the billing process here at the office and she is always willing to help patients understand their insurance coverage. Rebecca is a valued member of our family for her knowledge, skill, and happy personality. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys playing softball, shopping, and spending time with her husband and son Jaxon and daughter Jaymeson.

Skin Care Center Staff


Laura Hire, Electrologist

Laura has been a registered electrologist for over 30 years and joined our Skin Care Center in 2008. She is the Midwest expert on multiple needle galvanic electrolysis. Laura has served on both state and national boards as well as lecturer for the Society of Clinical and Medical Electrologists and the American Electrology Association. Laura is active in the community as president of the Citizens Advisory Council to the 17th Circuit Court, as a member of the Izaac Walton League and as a lay youth minister. As if that weren't enough, some of Laura's hobbies include opera, theatre, cooking, reading, walking, travel and sports car racing. She enjoys people, nature, and TV shows "Dr. Who" and "Good Eats." Most importantly, Laura is the proud mother of a college freshman.


Amy Rabideau, Aesthetician

Amy has a true love for the aesthetic field, with its balance of science and art. She enjoys the benefit of working in a medical setting where she can offer clients a variety of products, procedures and technologies all at one location. Amy will effectively and confidently address your skin concerns. She will customize a therapeutic regimen for your aesthetic skin care needs to make real and visible changes!

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