An excerpt from providing over 100 Years of Service.
Founded in 1912 by Dr. Andrew Hilger, our practice’s first clinic was opened at the Lowry Medical Arts building in St Paul.
We look forward to continuing our 102 years tradition with top quality providers of Ear, Nose & Throat, Hearing, Allergy & Asthma, and Facial Plastic Surgery care. Along with our multiple locations, surgery center, and experienced nursing staff; we provide high quality Board Certified Head and Neck Oncology, Facial Plastic Surgery, Rhinology, Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat, and Allergy and Asthma Specialists. Our experienced providers allow us to deliver high quality medical care, service, and safety you have come to expect from Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists. Rest assured that we will continue our tradition as a leader in compassionate, patient-centered, high value care,and setting the standard that exceeds our patients’ expectation in a timely, convenient, and accessible manner.
At the time we were the only ENT Specialist between Chicago and Seattle. Dr. Hilger completed routine ENT procedures and performed 40 ENT mastoid drainage surgical cases at Ancker Hospital (eventually Regions). At this time ENT also included ophthalmology.
In 1940 Andrew’s nephew, Jerome Hilger, started to work with the practice; he had a vision of expanding and growing both the practice and the field. In 1950 Dr. Neil Goltz joined the group and the practice continued to grow, with the addition of Dr. Douglas Kusske and his brother Dr. Bradley Kusske. By 1955 the practice was completing head and neck, rhinosinal, pharyngeal, and ear surgery and added another physician Dr. Albert Hohmann.
1962 marked one of the most significant years for the practice, and for the field of ENT when Dr. Jerome Hilger articulated that ophthalmology and otolaryngology needed to be separate specialties in order to reach their full potential. Jerome was successful and our clinic was one of the first medical practices included in the Otolaryngology Professional Association.
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, what once was a practice that performed only a few surgeries became a comprehensive ENT clinic complete with audiology services and a postgrad teaching commitment. Everyone in the practice had an obligation to teach residents, which eventually lead to the addition of excellent ENT physicians.
From 1940-73, the practice had a more national focus endeavoring to develop otolaryngology as a specialty founded upon strong academic training and research. Since that time it has shifted to a more local focus. In a commitment to the community they serve, many of the practice’s physicians had/have significant roles in the local hospital and ENT communities.
The business itself physically expanded as the practice opened up four clinics throughout the years. The now closed Central Medical clinic started in 1968. In 1983, the Maplewood clinic was opened. The South St. Paul clinic arrived two years later. Woodbury and the main office were constructed in 2001-2. Throughout this time the practice added many wonderful physicians including our current physicians Drs. Okner (1985), Smith (1992), Tolan (1996), Cox (1999), Karlen (2001), Becken (2005), Gendron (2007), Zachary (2012), and Griffin (2013).
The practice also made sure that all sub-specialties held significance. The audiology department, headed by Blake Strand, organized clinical audiology and standardized the prescription and follow-up of hearing aids. Additionally, sub-specialties such as pediatric otolaryngology (practiced by Dr. Karlen), facial plastic and reconstructive surgery (practiced by Dr. Tolan & Dr. Griffin), and speech and language pathology were established. 2012 includes the addition of our Allergy & Asthma division as well as of our sleep center. This focus ensures that all patients can be cared for. Yet it is not just doctors who have improved the practice: the many staff who practice alongside Midwest ENT physicians have positively shaped our history and continue to support our future.
Midwest ENT has grown from performing forty mastoidectomies a month before antibiotics were used, to completing thousands of surgical procedures. However, throughout its century of care, the practice never wavered in its commitment to all aspects of ENT. Midwest ENT Specialists has continued to assure that patients receive the best possible care from physicians who really know and love their field. And from staff who sincerely and compassionately care for our patients.