Health 9

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An accident put this motocross athlete in a hospital bed. Monument Health’s caregivers got him back on the bike.

MONUMENT Issue 09 Winter 2023

At Monument Health we are constantly striving to provide an environment where technology, innovation and health care meet compassion and peace of mind. The Emergency Department expansion is one of three investments being made in Spearfish. The others include an expansion to the hospital and clinic on the north side and a new multi-specialty clinic at Exit 17.

square feet
covered drive-thru ambulance drop-off dedicated entrance
Adds a dedicated entrance directly on
A DONATION, scan QR code or visit
more than 6,000
a fully
MAKE spearfishexpansion

the most important thing in ours.

THE PROJECT • Adds more than 49,000 square feet • Adds a dedicated entrance • Updated and modernized space for Labor & Delivery and Pediatric Care, including NICU
understands that
family is the most important thing in your world. That’s why it’s


Paulette Davidson

Healing is a word that could describe this issue of Monument Health Magazine. Throughout these pages, you can notice different examples of healing — both physically and emotionally.

The gentleman on the cover, James Carter, demonstrated that healing is an act of determination and will. Read his story to discover

more about this professional motocross athlete and how he found healing in a difficult time in health care.

Sam Biberdorf had a similar healing experience. This teenager fought tooth and nail to recover after a car accident. Sam had to relearn some things that most of us take for granted, like the ability to speak. Sam stuck with his rehabilitation, and we all can take note of his catch phrase during that time: “I can, I will. Watch me.”

Healing in many instances is an ongoing process and one that happens on an emotional level. Julie Raymond, M.D., was a physician who changed how this community treats breast cancer. We lost her last year. One of her colleagues and dear friends sat down to share her experience with this beloved physician.

We hope you enjoy the stories of healing in this issue of Monument Health Magazine as much as we enjoy sharing them with you. We welcome any feedback, story suggestions or questions about health care. Send your thoughts to us at


Managing Editor Melissa Haught


Stephany Chalberg

Senior Writers Wade Ellett

David Scott

Contributors Karlee Baumann Jennessa Dempsey

Dawn Kocina

Ronda Neugebauer

Anna Whetham

Art Director Stacy Brozik

Photographer Bob Slocum

Social Media Manager Breanne Canaday

Production courtesy of Rapid City Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary

Published in association with Evergreen Media

Creative Director

John Edwards

Photographer Jesse Brown Nelson

Senior Writer

Stephen Simpson

©Monument Health Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without the expressed consent of the publisher is prohibited. The information included in this publication is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing. Additional articles are available online at magazine. Monument Health Magazine is a free, quarterly publication distributed throughout the Black Hills. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

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In Case You Missed It

This is our roundup of all the latest news and happenings throughout Monument Health. page 4

Awareness Months

Highlights of key health issues and medical staff. page 6

My Space

Brett Sterkel is the Lead Case Manager at Rapid City Hospital. She is passionate about advocating for patients. page 7

Ask the Doc 90 percent of surgeons say they listen to music in the OR. What are the surgeons at Monument Health listening to? page 8

Volunteer Profiles

Meet Betty Goddard and Martha Maron, volunteers who have no doubt about their impact. page 10

New Beginnings

The story of Sandra Gruenig, RN, offers some valuable insight on the value of nurses with an international background. page 12

Tastes Like Teen Spirit

Some of Monument Health’s Performance Specialists offer their best tips on nutrition for teens. page 22

Betting the Pharm

The Director of Pharmacy at Rapid City Hospital has a few thoughts about online pharmacies. page 29


Get to know physicians who have recently joined Monument Health. page 32

Physician Spotlight

Meet Wesley Badger, M.D., a General Surgeon and Rajesh Pradhan, M.D., FACC, the Cardiovascular Imaging Director at the Heart and Vascular Institute. page 34

My Space

Eric Brouillette’s role is to support caregivers in the Northern Hills. page 37


Upcoming events at Monument Health. page 39


Find a Monument Health provider near you. page 40

Features and Stories

A Crash Course in Healing

Professional freestyle motocross athlete James Carter shares his story of healing and triumph. page 16

I Can, I Will. Watch Me!

Sam Biberdorf offers an inspirational account of his healing and rehab experience. page 26

Honoring the Legacy

Two caregivers share their experiences with one of the most impactful physicians in the region. page 30 12


In July, Monument Health announced the purchase of a new Globus Medical ExcelsiusGPS® robotic navigation platform. The system is designed to improve safety and accuracy in the operating room and reduce radiation exposure to surgeons and staff. The robotic system is used by neurosurgeons at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital to place spinal hardware more safely. Surgery using the robot involves less tissue dissection and manipulation, significantly

improves the accuracy of the surgery and decreases intraoperative radiation exposure.

The addition of the Globus robot comes alongside other innovative robotic platforms in the hospital’s toolkit. Part of Monument Health’s long-term commitment to make the latest innovations and technology available to our caregivers and providers, enabling them to provide higher quality care to our patients while keeping them closer to home.


In July, Monument Health Rapid City Hospital earned an upgraded rating from the American Heart Association. The hospital received a Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award, recognizing the hospital’s commitment to providing stroke patients with the most appropriate treatment.

Get With the Guidelines was put together by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to help hospitals align their patient care with the latest research-based and evidence-based guidelines.



In September, the Monument Health Heart and Vascular Institute became the first health care system in South Dakota to introduce a new technology that allows for greater precision and success in treating atrial fibrillation. An advanced highdensity mapping catheter called Octaray is now being used to diagnose complex arrhythmias in the heart. The new technology provides clearer, high-density maps to the hospital’s electrophysiologists while they perform mapping procedures, providing a more accurate picture when giving a diagnosis and identifying problem areas.

One in four adults 40 and older will develop atrial fibrillation in their lifetime. Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness, even while lying down, are signs of a serious problem, and people experiencing these symptoms should go to the emergency room or call 911.


In July, the American College of Cardiology presented the NCDR Chest Pain–MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award to Monument Health for the 11th straight year. The award recognizes the successes of the Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) of Rapid City, and their ongoing commitment to providing high-quality care to heart attack patients. The standards HVI strives to provide are set by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.


July 25 marked the launch of Monument Health’s new Doc Talk podcast. Doc Talk is a chance for Monument Health physicians to discuss common health care topics in an informal, conversational setting. Episodes typically last 15 minutes and cover a wide range of topics, from the inaugural episode’s topic of living with heart failure to weight loss and shoulder surgery. A new episode airs every Monday. Episodes are available on Monument Health’s website and wherever you get your podcasts.

Environmental Excellence Award

In August, Monument Health was awarded the Stryker Gold Environmental Excellence Award. Throughout 2022, more than 26,000 pounds of medical equipment was captured and sent to Stryker Sustainability Solutions for reprocessing and remanufacturing, rather than going to a landfill. By purchasing these recycled materials, Monument Health saved more than $426,000 in 2022.

Honoring young heroes

On July 16, Monument Health hosted The Little Black Hills Battles 5K Walk, an event to honor children in our communities fighting to overcome childhood illness. Participation in the event was free and featured ambulance tours and other children’s activities. The Children’s Miracle Network event recognized the bravery of Monument Health’s local pediatric patients.



February is National Heart Month, which recognizes the importance of cardiovascular health. Heart disease can refer to several different diseases; the most common of which is coronary artery disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking are all major risk factors. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Many conditions related to heart disease are preventable with changes in lifestyle, such as staying active and eating healthy foods. Medications can be combined with lifestyle changes to help manage conditions that could lead to heart disease. Feb. 3 is National Wear Red Day, which helps raise awareness of heart disease and its causes.

Black History Month

In February, we celebrate Black History Month. The contributions by African Americans to the field of medicine are numerous and ongoing. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open heart surgery in 1893.

Dr. Charles Richard Drew was the first director of the American Red Cross, and pioneered long term storage of lifesaving blood plasma. Dr. Mae C. Jemison is not only the first black female astronaut, but an accomplished physician who contributed greatly to medical research while aboard the shuttle Endeavour.


In March, we recognize the important work of athletic trainers (AT) who help ensure the health and well-being of athletes at all levels of play. Athletic trainers diagnose, prevent and treat muscle and bone injuries and illnesses in athletes. Whether in a hospital, at schools and universities or for professional athletic clubs, these professionals work alongside athletes to ensure they can play safely and competitively.

Doctors’ Day

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day, when we recognize the impact that physicians have on our communities and their contributions to our health and wellbeing as a society. Doctors now have more tools and information at their disposal than ever before. Their tireless dedication to their patients and to furthering our collective knowledge of medicine allows us to enjoy longer, healthier lives.

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Social Work Month

March is Social Work Month, when we recognize and celebrate the critical work of our nation’s social workers. Social workers help people every day with a wide variety of issues and can be found developing programs, helping families in health care settings and providing mental health services or advocacy for children, people with disabilities and the elderly.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. More than 5 million people across the nation have a permanent brain injuryrelated disability. Brain injuries are generally classified as traumatic or nontraumatic and as mild, moderate or severe. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result from external causes, such as from falls or sudden collisions resulting from traffic accidents, assaults or sports injuries. Nontraumatic brain injuries, or acquired brain injuries, are caused by non-hereditary conditions occurring after birth, such as oxygen deprivation, exposure to toxic substances or medical causes such as tumors.

Symptoms can include loss of consciousness, dizziness, balance problems and paralysis, among others. Quick diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries is critical.


My Role

Nurse case managers assess all patients in the inpatient setting to ensure they move smoothly across the continuum of care. As they move from emergency care to more longterm treatment, we create and update their care plan. As a lead case manager, I serve as a resource, advisor and mentor to the case management team, which includes RNs, social workers, case management assistants and transportation coordinators. My role includes partnering with hospitalists to serve as a liaison and resource. I also collaborate with the interdisciplinary care team to help patients and families understand why they are admitted and what their plan of care is while hospitalized as well as coordinate a safe discharge plan.

My Goal

I strive to help every patient have a safe discharge, as well as guide them through complex medical decisions. My hope is that we can improve their quality of life and their success outside of the hospital. As a lead case manager, it is important to me to inspire my teammates through mentoring so they can develop their skills and we can positively impact as many patients and families as possible.

My Passion

Being a patient advocate is something I’m extremely passionate about. I find value in being able to support patients and families through stressful situations by listening to them, understanding their point of view and outlining the next steps so the process seems more manageable.

Brett Sterkel

During their stay in the hospital, patients often need care and treatment from different specialists in different care settings. Collaboration between physicians and caregivers is crucial, and Monument Health’s case managers ensure the treatment plan

Case Management is a patient-centered partnership that extends across the continuum of care. Identifying any non-medical factors that influence the patient’s health, recognizing their autonomy and understanding their goals of care are at the center of this work. Case Management works with physicians and the multidisciplinary team to develop a plan that is safe, efficient and costeffective.

Monument Health is fortunate to have Case Managers with expertise throughout the system such as Sara Snow, who is the Sturgis Hospital Case Manager, and Kim Jenson, who serves our patients on the ambulatory Case Management team.

Monument Health Case Management initiatives have been featured in three national peer-reviewed publications, and team members have presented at national conferences.

What do you listen to during surgery?

Joseph Tuma, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, Interventional Cardiologist

I have two rules for procedures, no country and no Christmas music! Usually I enjoy listening to 90s rap — Snoop Dogg, Tupac, etc.

Ray Jensen, D.O., Orthopedic Surgeon Typically, I listen to classic or alternative rock. My favorites are Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers.

Alice Police, M.D., FACS, Breast Surgeon In the OR, I listen to whatever the hardworking nurses want to hear. They are so wonderful and I always let them pick, even if it is country music, which I dislike intensely.

Kyle Schmidt, M.D., Neurosurgeon I prefer country music, old or new, I’m flexible. If it is a long case then I do Avicii Radio.

Richard Little, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon Simple. For me, it’s classic rock.


Saverio Barbera, M.D., FACC, FHRS, Cardiac Electrophysiologist

We listen to a little bit of everything! Mostly it’s going to be classic 70s rock or classic country. Sometimes we’ll throw in a little jazz or Frank Sinatra. Everybody gets a chance to pick the genre for the procedure. I really believe that listening to music enhances the experience overall. It improves mood and concentration.

Michelle Krohn, D.O., OB/GYN

We go around the room and let everybody have a chance to pick what we’re listening to — sort of like MTV’s Total Request Live!

Katherine Croft, M.D., Gynecologic Oncologist

I don’t have a surgical playlist because we usually listen to Pandora in the operating room. When I was a trainee, the first thing I wanted to do as an attending was to get to play Metallica in my OR! Once this happened, I settled into classic rock, which is my go-to. In general, anything with an electric guitar makes me a pretty happy camper. I also listen to 90s alternative rock/grunge, 80s hair metal and 90s Hip Hop. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a little Taylor Swift or Lizzo.

Bradley Anderson, M.D., FACS, Urologist

I have created two playlists for when I’m in the OR. I always let the scrub tech choose which one we’re going to listen to. The first, “Brad’s Killer Country” on Spotify. It’s 49 hours long. Or we go with my other Spotify playlist, “Brad’s Shamelessly Clichéd Pop,” which is 44 hours long. When those are on shuffle you hear something new each surgery. Both lists do have one thing in common, they are exclusively upbeat.

Rachel Michael, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon

My playlist includes about 60 hours of music from all genres. We put it on shuffle for everyone in the OR to enjoy. This way, if someone doesn’t like a song, a new option in a new genre comes on in just a few minutes. It covers rock, rap, hip hop, international, broadway musical, classical, indie, Disney, top hits, country, metal, punk, Latin, blues, R&B, folk, jazz, EDM, disco, 1920s-2022 music... You name it, it’s on there. It helps keep everyone happy and allows for a fun day while we are all working hard for our patients. My playlist is public on Spotify, give it a listen! Just search OR Tunes.

Dan Lochmann, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon

When I’m in the OR, I’m usually listening to 80s and 90s rock. My favorite, though, are the Rolling Stones.

According to a survey conducted by Spotify, 90 percent of surgeons listen to music while they operate.

Betty Goddard

Betty Goddard got involved with the Sturgis Hospital Auxiliary nearly 10 years ago as a way to meet people after moving to Sturgis. Since then, she’s been a near-constant presence in the gift shop.

Betty Goddard has been part of the Sturgis Hospital Auxiliary since 2013. Her primary duty has been managing the gift shop, and she is the current president of the auxiliary club.

Why do you volunteer?

After semi-retiring from ranching in Perkins County, I was looking for an opportunity to meet people and get involved in the community. I was invited to join the hospital auxiliary and joined in 2013. I started volunteering in the gift shop because I had seen how nice it was, and I thought it would be a fun thing to do.

How did you end up managing the gift shop?

The lady who was running it asked me to take it over as she said she was running short on time to keep it up. I thought about it for a while and decided to go for it. That was in 2016. It has really been fulfilling, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?

I enjoy seeing all the customers, especially as many of them are Monument Health caregivers. I also enjoy stocking the store and having different items available for people.

How does the Sturgis gift shop benefit Monument Health?

Our funds have been used for scholarships, we’ve helped remodel a room in the nursing home as well as the beauty shop and we donate to other community interests outside Monument Health as well. The purpose of the gift shop is for local fundraising.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to your community?

It keeps the community together. It helps those in need and helps promote Monument Health, which is great, because Monument Health is so important to our communities when you look at how many people it serves and all the services it offers.

In addition to managing the gift shop on behalf of the Sturgis Hospital Auxiliary, Betty Goddard is also the current president. She loves to sew and often contributes her own handmade items to the gift shop’s inventory.


For more information about volunteering or to learn how to get involved, visit or call Volunteer Services at 605-755-8980.

Martha Maron


When the time came for Registered Nurse, Martha Maron, to retire, she discovered that she couldn’t quit helping others — which brought her back as a volunteer.

A volunteer since 2013, Martha has run the Volunteer Nurse Corps at Rapid City Hospital, and was the driving force behind Operation Patriot, a way for Monument Health to recognize and show appreciation for veteran patients.

Why do you volunteer with Monument Health?

I spent essentially all of my adult life working in a hospital, and I love that environment. I love working with hospital personnel, particularly the nursing staff and the nurse aides. This gives me an opportunity to do what I love and to help out the nurses that are volunteering at the same time.

What is the Volunteer Nurse Corps? In South Dakota, nurses must actively work in nursing to renew their license. They have to get a certain number of hours in each two year cycle, and if they don’t want a job — perhaps they are retired, or a stay at home parent — but want to maintain their license, they look for opportunities to work in nursing as a volunteer. When I came to volunteer in 2013, I was asked to take over the program and make sure it was working properly.

What else have you done as a volunteer?

I’m very proud of my role in starting Operation Patriot. I am a retired military nurse and when I started volunteering I wanted to find a way to show veteran patients that the hospital cares about them. We came up with certificates to show appreciation, and then pins were added. We started with me going around and giving veterans their pins and certificates, but I was only there once a week. Since then, the Monument Health Military Veterans Group has taken over and they have done an excellent job.

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to volunteer?

Come on over! There are so many ways to help. Whether it’s as a nurse or a wayfinder, we’ve got a place for you and could use your help.

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Rapid City Hospital

Benefits of having international nurses

Foreign-born professionals make up a sizable group of the nation’s health care workforce. More than 2 million health care workers in the United States immigrated from other countries, and physicians and registered nurses represent more than half that number. Our nation’s health care system relies on the expertise and perspectives of foreign-born health care professionals to function. Immigrants make up a larger portion of the health care field than they proportionally do for other sectors. Diverse perspectives help us to improve the quality of the care we can offer to the communities we serve. Whether they received their education outside the United States or started on a new path after arriving, the health care professionals who immigrated here are invaluable, not only to our health care system, but to the communities in which they live.



it was a challenge to overcome some obstacles. “In the Philippines, most of our classes are taught in English by the first grade, so when I got here I knew how to speak English,” she said. “But it was intimidating, at first, to try and express myself. I felt like it took twice the effort just to comprehend all the information I was getting, or sometimes my coworkers would make a joke and I wouldn’t really understand it.”

Sandra Gruenig, Registered Nurse and Clinical Coordinator at Rapid City Hospital, didn’t plan to enter the nursing profession. Sandra originally completed her degree in engineering while she was living in her home country of the Philippines. As it often does, life sent her in an unexpected direction. She married an American citizen and moved to the United States, where she wasn’t able to find work in her field. While working in an assisted living facility she began to consider returning to school to become a nurse.

If you had asked her earlier what profession she’d choose, nursing would have been one of her last answers. She had a lot of misconceptions about the profession that changed when she started the program. “I used to think of nurses as just the doctor’s assistant, but it’s much more than that. You really are a team,” Sandra said. “You’re the doctor’s eyes and ears when they aren’t there, and nurses are the people who spend the most time caring for patients.”


Sandra was accepted to the South Dakota State University School of Nursing in Rapid City. She said

Sandra was able to use her experiences to help a group of new Filipino nurses at Monument Health adjust to new equipment and processes they weren’t used to. “They were having a hard time with things like using infusion pumps to measure flow rates. They would tell me they didn’t really use those. They were used to calculating flow rates manually.”

Helping and working with those nurses provided a new lens for her and other managers to look through. “Understanding the training people received, and how they approach things differently, helped us understand what to expect and taught us how to prepare new nurses who were trained in other countries.”


Sandra joined Monument Health directly out of school but wanted to understand how other health care systems operated. She spent half a year working as a traveling nurse with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and she credits Monument Health for supporting her traveling and exploring what opportunities were available. “I did not really leave Monument Health, but I

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For more information on nursing at Monument Health, go to
Written by David Scott Photo by Robert Slocum

What is a DAISY?

Monument Health recognizes the hard work of nurses and their support teams through two different awards, the DAISY and TULIP.

The DAISY Award is a nationwide program presented in collaboration with The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. It was established by the DAISY Foundation in California in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of an autoimmune disease.

DAISY is an acronym for “diseases attacking the immune system.” Nurses can be recognized by patients or by the patient’s family, and other caregivers for their outstanding service.

TULIP is an acronym for, “Thoughtful

upbeat loving individuals caring for patients,” and the TULIP Award recognizes outstanding members of Monument Health’s nursing support teams. Nursing support includes positions such as Nurse Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants, Emergency Department Technicians, Psychiatric Technicians, Health Unit Clerks, Dialysis Technicians, Clinical Assistants, Cardiac Monitoring Technicians, Activities Assistants, Medical Assistants, Certified Medical Assistants, Medication Aides and Restorative Assistants. The TULIP award is specific to Monument Health. Twelve nurses and nursing support caregivers in Rapid City are selected for each of these recognitions each year. They are also honored in Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Spearfish and Sturgis.

stayed a PRN for a time and I went traveling,” she said. “I planned to come back, but I also wanted new experiences and wanted to know what’s out there, probably for my own satisfaction, and they were really supportive of that plan.” PRN is taken from the latin pro re nata, which means “as the situation demands” or “as needed.” PRN nurses do not work full time but rather work as needed and as their schedule allows.

She said culture shock isn’t only for people coming from other countries. “It’s not just the difference between the United States and the Philippines. When I went to Nebraska, their culture was very different.” Everything, from the way doctors and nurses interacted to how they did things changed significantly from what she was used to. “When I got back to Monument Health and people were talking about being short staffed, I was like, ‘You think we’re short staffed? This is not short staffed.’”


Sandra said Monument Health has become a more supportive organization over time because the health care system has faced and adapted to many challenges, particularly regarding training

and preparing caregivers who come from other health care systems. She said experienced managers go a long way in helping people feel at home. “I think managers have a better idea about what to expect and what challenges there are. We’ve learned the questions to ask to find out what new nurses need when they come in from other organizations.”

Sandra encourages people who want to get into nursing to understand what is motivating them to do that. “When you ask somebody why they want to be a nurse I feel like many people would say, ‘Oh, because I’m passionate. I want to do this job.’ Passion is an important part, but nursing is a lot of work and requires a lot of patience, and they need to think about if that is something they want.”

She noted the importance of being able to see the patients as people and feels like that can be easily overlooked. “That patient is also a mother, a sister, a brother or someone else important to another person. Ask yourself, if it was your family, how would you want them to be treated, then work to give every patient that level of care.”

Sandra’s patience and dedication to her patients has been a constant over her career. In 2021, she received a DAISY award after a patient nominated her for her compassion and care.


Forbes, in collaboration with market research company Statista, surveyed 70,000 employees working for businesses with more than 500 employees. A total of 1,382 employers were ranked from varying industries. Fair pay, safe working conditions, inclusive culture and diversity initiatives were among Forbes’ criteria. Based on that, Monument Health was named one of America’s Best-in-State Employers.

At Monument Health, our vision is to be one team, to listen, to be inclusive and to show we care.

There’s only one thing missing … You. For more information or to apply visit:


Written by Wade Ellett Photos by Bob Slocum & Zac Meier

Growing up, a lot of young people have posters on their walls of athletes and individuals they idolize. They dream of competing with them some day, and in that way, James Carter is living the dream. In the past decade, he’s competed in the same motocross competitions alongside athletes that had previously adorned his childhood walls.

“I’ve been doing freestyle motocross since 2008, and if you’re not super familiar with the sport, it’s basically any type of trick on a dirt bike,” James explained cheerfully. “So that’s anything from backflips to hanging off the bike at 35 feet in the air across a 75-foot gap.” The

smile on his face makes it obvious that he loves what he does.

In 2020, James signed a sports performance agreement with Monument Health Sports Performance Institute. He said, “My partnership with Monument Health is one of the biggest accomplishments I have had in my career. I knew I could expect the best health care and great physical therapy — everything I could ask for to know my health would be at 100 percent, which is key for a successful athlete.”

Having ridden, and placed first, in competitions around the globe, and securing sponsorship doing what he loves, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that James is living

the dream.

But living the dream isn’t easy — it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to become a professional freestyle motocross legend, and sometimes the best of dreams have moments out of nightmares. That’s something James understands all too well.


“The last year has probably been one of the wildest times in my life,” James said. “I went from being 32 years old, feeling the best I’ve ever felt and performing the best I ever have, to all of a sudden having an accident — something that seemed, at first, so small compared to everything

Freestyle motocross athletes are no strangers to injury — in fact, you might say it’s part of the job. The most common injury in freestyle motocross is fractures, and James broke both his right tibia and fibula in 2012, requiring surgery, and broke his right femur months later.

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James is one of six athletes sponsored by Monument Health Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, in sports including freestyle motocross, triathlon, breakaway roping, snowboarding and bobsledding.

James was thrown 30 feet in the air across an 80-foot gap, flying off his bike and crashing on his elbows and knees.

I’ve done — that turned out to be pretty devastating,” he explained.

James was in Massachusetts when he had the accident, riding a full course at his friend’s property. He took a run at a newly built jump, but it didn’t go as planned. “I over-jumped the first jump, which put me in the face of the next jump,” he said. “I hit my face on the handlebars, and you tend to lose all control after that. You get pushed toward the back of the seat, and it’s a little hard to explain, but your wrist moves down and gives you a bit of a wispy throttle on the next jump.”

Unfortunately for James, the next jump was even more aggressive. He was thrown 30 feet in the air across an 80-foot gap, flying off the bike at its apex, then landing

on the backside knuckle — the spot where the landing area meets the downward slope of the ground — on his elbows and knees.

James immediately, and correctly, suspected that he had broken his left femur — he had broken his right femur in 2012 and this felt similar to him. What he first believed to be a dislocated shoulder turned out to be a fractured humerus on his right side. “I knew right away that something bad was going on. We called an ambulance and went straight to the emergency room.”


To fully recover from his injuries and get back on the bike, James would need to commit to physical therapy. As a Monument Health-sponsored athlete, he knew that excellent physical therapists were ready to help at Monument Health Sports Performance Institute powered by exos, but there was just one problem: James was trapped in a hospital in Massachusetts as the COVID-19

James Carter is a professional freestyle motocross athlete who has performed in shows and contests around the globe.

This includes the X Games, Nitro Circus World Games, Masters of Dirt and Red Bull X Fighters. As a Monument Health sponsored athlete, James has access to all the training areas at Monument Health Sports Performance Institute powered by exos, and the specialists that work there.

“You know, I wasn’t planning on a sponsorship for me as a rider — I reached out to Monument Health because I was looking for sponsors for the DeadwoodMoto show. I connected with the right people, and I was grateful that Monument Health did sponsor the event.

Right after, we had a meeting, and one of the things we talked about was sponsoring me as an athlete, which has been a relationship that I’m really grateful for,” said James.

“If you’re wanting to meet and exceed your goals as an athlete, this place and these people will help you do it.”


pandemic began wreaking havoc on health care across the country.

Things went from bad to worse. James developed a deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot that often occurs in patients with broken femurs, and then contracted COVID-19 while in the hospital. Despite his condition, he struggled to get any information from his physicians and care team.

“I just didn’t feel like the health care workers there were on my side, and I never had a doctor ever come in and tell me what was going on,” he said with a sigh. “Of course, I was concerned about my future, from the perspective of my health as well as my career. All I really wanted to do was get home, because I knew I’d be in better hands at Monument Health.”

Travel restrictions made that difficult, and even after he had recovered from COVID-19, his blood clot meant James couldn’t fly. The solution to that problem was to rent an RV and drive from Boston to Rapid City. “Luckily I had my buddy Zac Meier, who is also my photographer, who had come out with me to get footage, and he stuck around. My dad also flew out, and the two of them took turns driving straight through.”

“I tried to lay in the back of the RV, and riding in those things is not soft at all,” James continued. “I bounced around and then finally had to move to the front on the couch and just lay there the whole time. It wasn’t an easy trip, but I was so grateful to be home with my daughter, wife, my friends and doctors I knew I could count on.”


Returning to South Dakota was a turning point for James. Reunited with family and friends, he began

feeling more secure in his future. “Once we got back here, got situated and I talked to Dr. (Daniel) Lochmann, I started to feel a whole lot better about everything,” James said. “He made me feel so much more confident about the prospect of coming back and riding again, although I’ll admit that I definitely thought it wouldn’t take as long as it did.”

Even before his fractures healed, physical therapists at Monument Health got him started on the road to recovery. “When I first saw James, he was still pretty fresh off the accident. He was still using a crutch and had the sling on his right arm,” said Codi Grable, PT. “We started by focusing on basic range of motion, pain control, getting some of his muscles firing again and just getting back to normal day-to-day function and mobility.”

Dry Needling

As James made progress, Codi began focusing on higher level strength and getting James into some one-on-one training at Sports Performance Institute. She said it seemed easier to get started with strength in the lower extremities, and then move on to higher-level plyometric exercises with his upper body.

“It was important that we train him to be able to handle the impact of the bike landing, to be able to retain control and not have his hands fall off the bars or anything like that,” Codi said. To help with this, Codi had James do blood flow restriction training, or BFR, which essentially uses a dynamic blood pressure cuff to reduce blood flow to an area. “This tricks your muscles into thinking they’re doing more work than they are,” Codi said. “It allowed us to rebuild some of James’

Functional Dry Needling (FDN) is a technique used to treat dysfunction in neural, muscular or connective tissue, by inserting an extremely thin but solid needle into muscular trigger points. Dry Needling can be used to treat acute injury, chronic disease process, overuse syndromes/injuries, post-surgical diagnoses and more. Therapists at Monument Health use FDN as one part of a comprehensive approach to help improve, restore and optimize movement and function.

Dry Needling can result in:

• Increased blood flow

• Decreased pain and inflammation

• Deactivation of the trigger point

• Normalization of muscle tone

Blood Flow Restriction Training

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training is a specialized treatment involving restricting circulation in an extremity while exercising at a light intensity. Despite the light intensity, exercising in this state stimulates significant responses that mimic exercising with much higher loads. This causes strength and conditioning gains, as well as supporting an accelerated healing response, that would normally require a much more intensive workout routine.

Benefits of BFR Training include:

• Accelerated soft tissue and bone healing responses.

• Applicable to patients that have limited weight-bearing ability or other limitations.

• Increased repair of muscle tissue, gains in muscular strength and improvements in overall endurance.

19 HEALTH // WINTER 2023

muscle mass without over-stressing the fracture sites.”

Bryan Olson, PT, also used dry needling to help relieve some pain and tenderness in the injured extremities. Dry needling is a treatment in which a thin needle is pushed through the skin into underlying trigger points in muscle tissue. It may sound a little painful, but is usually only mildly uncomfortable and can relieve a lot of muscle tension and pain.

When Codi went on leave, Bryan also stepped in to help James take the next steps in his rehabilitation. “I got to come in and start working on highlevel activities with James, building greater strength in the shoulder and leg and trying to challenge him more in a plyometric capacity, just trying to get him ready for the demands he would face freestyling on the bike.”


As physical therapy progressed, James was

ready to start working with Performance Coach Chris Hathaway at Monument Health Sports Performance Institute powered by exos. “My training with Chris focused on really getting me even stronger than I was before, not just being okay,” James said. “The whole idea was how to make me better on the bike, and I’ll admit that there were days that I hated it. Of course, by the end of the week I would feel better, then the following week, Chris would change it up and I’d be at it again.”

Chris enjoyed working with James because he brought his drive to every session. “There are days he didn’t want to be there — which happens to everyone who trains,” Chris said. “Everybody has days where they would rather stay in bed, but James never let anything stop him. I think he’s been successful at rehabilitation and training for the same reason he has been successful on the back of the dirt bike. He’s got an unstoppable positive attitude.”

James said he felt like he was in good hands with both Codi and Bryan, because they’re both familiar with the demands of motocross. Bryan’s nephew races motocross, so he had an idea of what James would need. “There’s a lot of demands on the body when you’re doing that kind of riding,” Bryan said.

“James has to control the bike and his body, while he’s riding, while in the air and then through the landing. Pain and limited mobility can really throw off that timing.”

Codi has an even better understanding of motocross. “I grew up watching motocross, and then I ended up marrying a motocross rider,” she said with a laugh.

“He raced for a long time, and his family runs the 4Gmx Indoor Motocross series. Racing and freestyle are different, but if you’re familiar with one you’re familiar with the other.”



After six months of physical therapy and training, it was time for the ultimate test: getting back on the bike. “Throughout my training and rehabilitation, I had one thing in mind, which was, ‘No matter what, I’m riding the September DeadwoodMoto show,’” James said.

He felt ready, but when it came time to practice, he found himself taking a lot of runs toward the ramp, but not taking the jump. “I took about 30 runs before I finally made the jump, and of course afterward I was smacking myself in the head for overthinking and stressing about it,” James said with a quiet chuckle. “Even so, I could tell my shoulder wasn’t as strong as it should be, and I knew I needed to take it easy.”

James rode during that show, and though he wanted to push himself, he exercised caution and protected his shoulder. He did the same at a show the following weekend in Rapid City. He said, “I felt even better at that show, but still I felt like my shoulder wasn’t where it needed to be, and felt like if I had grabbed with just my right arm it might have dislocated.”

“James sustained severe long bone fractures to femur and humerus, both requiring extensive reconstruction. This was also complicated by a pulmonary embolism and COVID-19, increasing his risk of complications and need for further surgery. He had his surgery in Boston, but was able to be transferred home within a week of the accident.

He was always extremely motivated and cooperative with his rehab and recovery restrictions, needing mostly to be reminded not to be doing ‘too much.’ At one year, he is still in rehab, working to get back on his motorcycle. I wouldn’t recommend getting back on the bike too quickly, but with his ambition, it’s difficult to slow him down.”

Returning to physical therapy the following week, Bryan began working on new ways to focus on that rotator cuff to build more strength into the shoulder. “I’m feeling good again, and I’m still fired up about riding. Now I just want to make sure that I’m doing the right shows.”

For James, the right shows are here in South Dakota, or close enough that he doesn’t have to spend much time away from his family. “My priorities have changed a bit, and the accident is only part of that,” he explained. “I can’t see a future where I’m not riding, but from now on I want to focus on being near my family and doing fun stuff on the bike locally.”

Although James plans on staying on his bike as long as possible, he does plan for when his professional riding days are over. That’s one of the reasons that he’s turned into an entrepreneur, opening B21 Storage in 2022. He has also partnered with his friend Zac to start Wide Open Brew Coffee Co. Their coffee is available online, and they now have an enclosed trailer that converts to a merchandise stand that will sell coffee at races and events in the future.

Additionally, he’s working on ways to help kids who are getting into motocross or other motorsports, through collaborations and potential sponsorships. “I think getting kids on two wheels can make a world of a difference in their lives, just like it did in mine.”

“I don’t know exactly what will come next for me,” James said, smiling playfully. “But I’m addicted to cars, motorcycles and coffee, so you can bet they’ll be involved.”

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Monument Health Orthopedics and Specialty Hospital offers a comprehensive, one-stop shop. To learn more, visit

Is there a onesize-fits-all solution to teen nutrition? No.

Teens, just like everyone else, all have different health and food needs. Most teens do have one thing in common, though — they’re not eating enough.



Zombies exist purely in the realm of science fiction, but, as many parents and guardians of teenagers know, something vaguely reminiscent of the horror movie staple can often be seen stumbling to the breakfast table — or straight out the door — on any given morning. “Most kids are just not getting enough sleep,” explained Eric Santure. He works with athletes at Spearfish High School and is a Performance Enhancement Specialist with Monument Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

And it’s not just a full night’s sleep that teens are missing. Eric and his sports medicine colleagues at Monument Health work with high school students every day, and they see both the chronic undersleeping and undereating that is afflicting teens. They also know what it takes to get teenagers out of the fog and back to their best.


Faith Wilson, Performance Coach for Monument Health Sports Performance Institute and South Dakota Mines, explained that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to teens getting adequate sleep. “It’s been proven when sleep quality decreases, so does attention span in school,” she said. “Mental health is impacted. Performance and recovery as an athlete declines. The likelihood of injuries while playing sports goes up, too.” Almost every aspect of a teen’s life is impacted in a negative way by scant slumber.

Eric said that a common early morning scene at the Spearfish High School gym is under-fed and under-rested teens. “Their faces turn pale, and they’ll look absolutely exhausted after about five minutes of weight training. And then I’ll ask them what they did last night; it’s usually something like, ‘played Xbox until 1 in the morning.’”

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Monument Health dietitians recommend that teenagers and adults use the “three-for-three” rule when deciding on meals — three meals a day, each with a carb, a protein and a vegetable or fruit. Written by Stephen Simpson



said, “Drink half your body weight in fluid ounces. So, for a 150 pound individual, they need to be drinking 75 fluid ounces; 20 ounces for every hour of exercise. If it’s hot, replenish electrolytes.”

Electrolytes are salts that living things use to maintain healthy body systems. Humans and other animals need electrolytes for things like muscle contractions, to maintain proper blood pressure and other vital functions.

“Hydrate right away in the morning,” Eric added. “You don’t want to play catch up with hydration. Drink a big glass of water with your breakfast, not just coffee.”


Eric’s follow-up question to his lethargic lifters usually centers around their food intake that day. The typical breakfast?

“Nothing,” Eric reported. “The large majority of high schoolers are chronically undereating,” he said. “Chronic undereating in teenagers impacts their attention span in the classroom. And it impacts their performance and recovery as an athlete.”

Faith said, “Most teens I know — and most people in general — don’t want to go into exercise feeling full. But you need to have something in your stomach — a piece

of toast or half a Clif Bar or something. Running on empty while working out has the potential to cause some major damage.”

Food as fuel is a mantra that can be heard consistently from Monument Health’s sports medicine caregivers. And for athletes, this metaphor is obvious — if you want your body to perform in a certain way, then it needs access to carefully curated nutrition — and a lot of it. But what about those moments when your teen’s body doesn’t need to bench 200 pounds or sprint up and down a basketball court for 48 minutes? Does a teen body still need the kind of beefed up calorie consideration that these coaches are preaching to their athletes?

The average teenager burns more calories than the average adult. For most teens, their bodies are still growing. These growth spurts require a huge uptick in caloric intake. But teens aren’t just growing physically. They also need to consider mental performance.


Teens are burning calories in calculus class. A teen’s brain needs fuel just like the rest of their body. The biggest fuel source for a teen’s brain — or anyone’s

Towsley, Performance Dietitian for Monument Health Sports Performance Institute,


Working out without any protein is like having a crew show up to construct your house without building materials.

“If we have protein readily available in our bodies after a workout — from a protein shake or some chocolate milk — we’re guaranteeing that there’s a big stack of lumber and a big bucket of nails ready when the carpenters show up,” Eric said.

Did he say chocolate milk? Over 20 papers have been published that support drinking chocolate milk post workout. As a liquid, it’s quickly consumed and digested. And the protein to carbohydrate ratio in the beloved beverage is just about perfect for most people. “There are a lot of Division 1 universities that stock their weight room coolers with chocolate milk,” Eric added.

Do you feel like you need to take your nutrition to the next level? Check out


Has there ever been a more notorious nutrient? Carbs are a hotly debated topic for many dieters. Should this macronutrient get such a bad rap? Probably not, said Alissa Towsley, Performance Dietician for Monument Health Sports Performance Institute. “It’s our brain’s preferred energy source,” she said. And she explained that carbs come in two varieties: simple and complex.

— is a nutrient that has gotten a bit of bad rap. Alissa Towsley, Performance Dietitian at Monument Health Sports Performance Institute, reveals the brain’s preferred fuel: carbs.

Carbohydrates, despite being dragged through the mud in recent years, are a vital source of energy for the human brain. “It’s all about nutrient timing and knowing the different kinds of carbs out there,” Alissa said. “Simple carbs are like white bread, pasta and some kinds of fruits — our bodies can easily and quickly utilize these to refuel, so simple carbs are good for a quick burst of energy.” Feeling sluggish and you have that history exam in 10 minutes? A PB&J might just provide your teen with enough perk to get through those essay questions with a clear head.

What about that day of back-to-back finals? Start your morning with carbs of a different variety. Alissa explained, “Complex carbs are things like whole grains and oatmeal — things with fiber in them. Complex carbs will help you feel fuller longer and help with digestion.” Steady, consistent energy through the day is what complex carbs are bringing to the table. Learning to time carbs is key to staying alert and running at full capacity, both at practice and in class.

“Simple carbs are great for a quick burst of energy. Complex carbs can give us a longer, more consistent source of energy.”

Simple carbs include:

• Milk

• Cookies

• Bananas

Complex carbs include:

• Whole grains

• Apples

• Beans


So how do we keep our teens wellfed and playing and learning at their best? Alissa said that routine is a big factor for feeding teens well. “Having a consistent eating schedule is huge, including regular snacks.” Make breakfast quick and predictable and something that is enjoyable to eat. Make it something hard to skip.

And make snacks readily available. Chips and cookies have their places, but access to nuts and other foods with plant-based fats have special benefits. “Unsaturated fats — found in things like nuts, olive oil and other plant-based fat sources — help with cell structure and can reduce inflammation. They can also help with mental clarity,” Alissa said. She added that crafting meals can be simple if you remember the three-for-three rule. “That means three meals a day with these three things: a protein, a carb and a fruit or vegetable.”

Putting all of these feeding instructions together may seem a little bit like looking after a gremlin, but making sure your teen is rested and fed enough couldn’t be more crucial to their success in both sports and in the classroom. Food is fuel, after all.

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Sam, 15, is the kind of guy with whom you want to be friends. He’s smart, cheerful and fun to be around. He’s an athlete, a good student and just an all-around good dude known for wearing fun, silly socks. He’s the kind of person who people support when he needs it. Like in March 2022, when students and staff at Douglas High School all sported crazy socks to show support for Sam and his family.

Why the support? On March 5, 2022, Sam was seriously injured in a car accident. “I don’t really remember it. I know that I had a TBI — a traumatic brain injury,” he explained. “I also had a bruised lung, which was from wearing my seatbelt.” Sam recognized the severity of his injuries, but was quick to clarify, “wearing my seatbelt saved my life.”

Sam, who doesn’t even remember getting in the car that morning, had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters. He was rushed to the Rapid City Hospital Emergency Room, and his parents and brother were quick to join him there. The ER physician met with Stacey and Terry Biberdorf, Sam’s mother and father, along with a surgeon. Sam was still unconscious at the time, and both physicians wanted to get diagnostic imaging taken to better understand the injuries Sam had sustained.


“The doctors wanted to do a CAT scan, but Sam had a mouthful of braces at the time, which prevented them from doing it,” said Stacey, Sam’s mom. “When Sam was admitted, his orthodontist actually made a trip to the hospital and removed the braces for us.”

CAT scans and MRIs revealed what Sam’s care team suspected — his unconsciousness was the result of a traumatic brain injury. “At that point, it was just a waiting game to see if and when he would wake up and walk around,” Stacey said.

“We didn’t know what to make of anything,” explained Sam’s dad, Terry. “There’s the fear of the unknown, and you worry if he’s going to wake up.” Stacey added, “but we had fantastic doctors and nurses who helped try to work through everything.”


The Biberdorfs have nothing but praise for Sam’s care team, but for Stacey, one physician stands out — Nivedita Mohari, M.D. Dr. Mohari is an Advanced Care Pediatrics locum Intensivist. A locum is a physician that temporarily works in a practice — a clinic or hospital — that is not their own.

“She always advocated for Sam, even pushing for things that may have raised some eyebrows, like taking him outside. She said, ‘He’s a kid, he’s used to running outside, he needs to be outside, so we’re taking him outside to get some fresh air.’ And that’s when Sam first opened his eyes, when he was outside.”

Sam’s road to recovery wasn’t an easy one.


The support that Sam and his family received from the community was tremendous. “We were blown away, and felt very blessed by the support we received, especially since we essentially moved to Lincoln while Sam was at Madonna,” Stacey said. “His school had a ‘Silly Sock for Sam’ day, and there was a community ‘Supper for Sam’ fundraiser, as well.” The Rapid City Rush even collected donations for Sam at one of their games.

Because of his TBI, Sam couldn’t function normally during his 11-day stay at Rapid City Hospital. This extended beyond lack of consciousness — he couldn’t regulate his temperature and would sweat constantly. Though he wasn’t awake, he was moving constantly, which caused problems with his feeding tube that actually required surgery to rectify.

Once Sam had opened his eyes and EEGs verified that he was experiencing brain activity, he was transferred to the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital Lincoln Campus in Lincoln, Neb. Dr. Mohari had worked with physicians at Madonna to begin administering medication before the transfer.

“Through everything, Sam’s nurses were amazing,” Stacey said. “They did so much for him from when he was admitted to when he was transferred, that I can’t even begin to express my thanks.”


Sam got right to work once he arrived at Madonna. They immediately evaluated him for occupational, physical and speech therapy. Things were looking up. Stacey said, “As Sam was doing his OT evaluation and was playing a game with his brother, he said his first words since the accident — ‘I win.’”

The physical therapist made it a priority to get Sam out of his wheelchair and moving. “They pushed me really hard, and it was a lot of work,” Sam explained. “I had PT, OT and speech therapy twice a day.” Sam also met with a

27 HEALTH // WINTER 2023
Monument Health offers a wide variety of speech therapy services. Speech therapy is often part of the treatment and rehabiliation surrounding a variety of conditions. Learn more at

The support from Sam’s care team also meant a lot to Sam and his family. “Both Dr. Mohari and the advanced care pediatric nurses treated Sam like he was their own child, and even when we were at our worst, we knew he was in very good hands.”

physician at least once a day to see how things were going and to assess his progress.

“He progressed very fast,” Stacey said.

Sam had to relearn everything: how to speak, how to eat and how to walk and talk. Everything he knew was still in his mind, but he had to learn how to access the information, knowledge and skills all over again. That would be an intimidating task for anyone, but Sam was relentless, coming up with a motto that served him for every step of his rehabilitation.

“I can, I will. Watch me.”


Sam’s positive attitude and relentless effort paid off. He was discharged from Madonna and returned to Rapid City, where he continued his rehabilitation via outpatient therapy at Monument Health Orthopedics and Specialty Hospital. Here, he continued to work hard at recovery, quickly completing speech therapy and continuing his occupational therapy and physical therapy.

While Sam was still in Nebraska, he was able to begin working on school work. Physicians told the Biberdorfs that Sam hadn’t lost anything he had previously known — it

Sam and his family are especially grateful for Nivedita Mohari, M.D., and how she went above and beyond in her care. From advocating for Sam to spend time outside — where he first opened his eyes — to taking great care to coordinate with physicians at Madonna to make his transfer as seamless as possible, the Biberdorfs felt that Dr. Mohari looked after Sam as if he was her own child.

would just take some time and effort to bring that information to the surface. “Sam has always been an A-plus student, and school is super important to him,” Stacey said.

Returning to school turned out to be a great move for Sam. He continued his outpatient rehabilitation, working on some balance and vision issues related to his traumatic brain injury, but he improved every day. Despite early worries, the young man proved to be the same old Sam, with the same great sense of humor, the same drive, the same positive attitude and the same penchant for wearing silly socks. “Oh yeah, still wearing silly socks,” Sam laughed when asked. “Right now I’m wearing a pair with apes on them.”

It has been a long road to recovery, and Sam still has more to do, but his positive attitude helps him continue to progress. “I’m feeling great,” he said enthusiastically eight months after the accident. “I’m doing all the things I normally do — running, lifting, homework, school and working. As far as running goes, I’m not to the point I was at before the accident, but it all takes time. I’ll be back there soon enough. I can, I will. Watch me.”

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As much of the world becomes more convenient and more automated, so has medicine. Online companies like Amazon Pharmacy, For Hims, For Hers and others have expanded the ways people can have their prescriptions filled.

Dana Darger, RPh, is Director of Pharmacy at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital. He said that there’s nothing inherently wrong or dangerous with these online pharmacies. He is leary, however, of some of the motivations behind using these ultra-convenient pharmacies.

“It’s hard to say if getting your medications prescribed and filled online is safe or not,” he said. “But, some of it can be a bad health care paradigm.” Dana explained that providers are best able to help patients improve their health and wellness when they are working with a complete health care picture.

For instance, a common prescription drug that patients seek online is sildenafil,

a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Some sites like For Hims allow patients to get prescriptions like this generic version of Viagra after filling out an online form and having a brief consultation with a doctor online or over the phone.

“If you get an online prescription and if you aren’t paying through insurance, there’s no record of you taking this drug,” Dana explained. Prescription records are kept in tandem with insurance in most cases. So, the only way a provider might know that a patient who paid for sildenafil with cash is taking the drug would be if the patient volunteered that information — something that might not happen. Sildenafil interacts with certain heart medications, and if providers don’t have that drug in a patient’s records, and the patient doesn’t disclose that information, the results could be disastrous.

“The other issue might be that people are assuming that ED is only a symptom of aging,” Dana said. “There actually could be a lot of different health conditions that could be causing that — serious ones.” Seeking out automation and convenience is only natural. Dana’s advice is not to shortchange your own health care. He said to make the time and cultivate that relationship with your pharmacist and other providers. An online pharmacy, if used responsibly, can be a great tool. But nothing can replace a capable provider with a full picture of your health care needs.

Online pharmacies and other telehealth services are the future. The FDA has released a guide to navigating online pharmacies safely.

Safe Signs

Your online pharmacy is likely safe if it:

• Always requires a doctor’s prescription

• Provides a physical address and telephone number in the United States

• Has a licensed pharmacist on staff to answer your questions

• Is licensed with a state board of pharmacy

Warning Signs

Your online pharmacy may be an unsafe website if it:

• Does not require a doctor’s prescription

• Is not licensed in the United States and by your state board of pharmacy

• Does not have a licensed pharmacist on staff to answer your questions

• Sends medicine that looks different than what you receive at your local pharmacy

• The medication arrives in packaging that is broken, damaged, in a foreign language, has no expiration date or is expired

• Offers deep discounts or prices that seem too good to be true

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Written by Stephen Simpson



Put simply, health care in this region is better because of Julie Raymond, M.D. Her work, particularly in breast health, elevated the level of care that is available to the people of the Black Hills. But it wasn’t just her work that inspired her colleagues to strive for excellence. Her life was a study in human compassion. “A legacy of love,” Alice Police, M.D., labeled it.

Dr. Police came to Monument Health with surgery experience from hospitals in New York and California. She expected to bring the


Kendra Storm, DNP, worked alongside Dr. Raymond for over 20 years as her nurse. She credits Dr. Raymond with helping her to pursue excellence and compassion in every way in both her career and life.

friend, my sister, my mentor. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her,” she said.

Dr. Raymond was a special person, a one-ofa-kind combination of leadership, devotion and an unwavering sense of love. “She was the whole package; she was kind, intelligent. She would give you everything,” Kendra said. “She had no idea how wonderful she was. She didn’t know how good she was. For her, it’s just what you do — you go in and take good care of patients.”


“If you told her how wonderful this program is because of her, she’d have brushed it off — she’d say this is just what you’re supposed to do,” Kendra said.

cutting edge procedures and protocols of these big city hospitals to Rapid City.

“When I came here, I expected to find a rudimentary breast care program. I was blown away by the program I found,” she explained. Dr. Raymond laid the foundations of an astonishing breast care program at Monument Health. “There are some breast care programs in New York and California that aren’t as sophisticated as the one here,” Dr. Police shared.

HOW GOOD SHE WAS It’s one thing to provide outstanding care. It’s something entirely different to provide excellent care that is warm and caring at its roots. Dr. Raymond’s heart was always aimed at helping people. “She was the most compassionate person I’ve ever met,” said Kendra Storm, DNP. “It didn’t matter who you were — what walk of life you came from — she accepted you, and she wanted to do what she could to help you.” Kendra worked alongside Dr. Raymond for over 20 years. “When I lost her, I lost my best

Alice Police, M.D., FACS, is a breast surgeon with more than 25 years of experience. She joined Monument Health after Dr. Raymond’s passing. She works with Kendra to continue the outstanding breast care that is offered at the Cancer Care Institute.

“She changed a community,” Dr. Police said. “It’s rare in medicine to see one physician making that big of a difference.” With breast cancer being as common as it is, it’s comforting to know that a program like the one championed by Dr. Raymond exists and is continuing — and not just the distinction of it, but the heart of it, too. “We treat everyone from homeless people to wealthy ranchers,” Dr. Police said, “and we treat everyone — regardless of background — with the same human value.” That sort of unconditional love is the Julie Raymond way.

WITH ALL OF HER HEART Kendra, reminiscing about her friend and mentor, summed up the unforgettable Dr. Raymond, “If a patient needed a commode at their house or a shower chair, she would go and make sure that they had it. If she had a patient call in who couldn’t make it to their appointment, she would go and visit them at their house. She once opened the clinic by herself in the middle of snow storm to meet with patients. She never thought of herself, she only ever thought of others.”

The central theme of the Julie Raymond story is love, and that permeated every setting she was in. “Her family meant the world to her,” Kendra shared. Dr. Raymond’s three kids and her husband were the delight of her life. “She would do anything for them. She loved them with all of her heart.”

31 HEALTH // WINTER 2023
“Dr. Raymond’s work means that every breast cancer patient at Monument Health is having their case reviewed in detail by multiple specialists every week.” -Eric Eastmo, M.D., Radiation Oncologist The Dr. Julie Raymond Memorial Fund honors Dr. Raymond’s dedication to breast health education in the community. Funds raised support the continuation of her vision and passion through community education and events. Donations can be made by visiting

Welcome our newest physicians


Devin Crane, d.o., is a Family Medicine Physician at Monument Health Spearfish Clinic, North 10th Street. Dr. Crane grew up in rural Southeastern Idaho and earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. He is an active member of the American Osteopathic Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He takes a holistic approach to medicine, seeking to treat each patient as a whole person rather than solely treating a problem. He enjoys serving a broad range of people, from newborns to geriatric patients. Dr. Crane enjoys camping, hiking and fishing with his wife and two active sons. He also has a special interest in Dutch oven cooking.

Sarah Lewis, d.o., is a Family Medicine Physician at Monument Health Sturgis Hospital and Clinic. She grew up in Sturgis, but also spent significant time in Meadow, S.D., on her grandparents’ farm. Dr. Lewis attended South Dakota State University for her undergraduate and graduate education before going on to earn her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree and completing a fellowship at A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo.

Dr. Lewis strives to be a medical home for her patients and learned what’s most important in medicine by watching her father practice medicine for almost 40 years. She has a passion for both medical and leisure reading, is a runner and cyclist and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and children.



d.o., is a Family Medicine Physician at Monument Health LeadDeadwood Hospital and Clinic. She grew up in Denver, Colo. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and earned her B.S. in Biology with Honors from Iowa State University before attending Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine to complete her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Dr. Ruffcorn has a special interest in women’s health, emergency medicine and pediatrics. She practices with the philosophy of treating her patients as if they are family. Dr. Ruffcorn and her husband, Jake, enjoy hiking and traveling together.


Ali Zakaria, m.d., is a board-certified Gastroenterology and Hepatology Physician at Monument Health Rapid City Clinic, 5th Street. He is also trained in Advanced Interventional Endoscopy. Dr. Zakaria received his medical degree from the University of Jordan, completed his Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at Ascension Providence Hospital and Medical Center in Southfield, Mich., before completing an additional Advanced Endoscopy fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center/Tampa General Hospital – University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. Dr. Zakaria takes pride in continuing his education and research and promotes diversity throughout the community. In his free time, Dr. Zakaria enjoys walking, gardening, watching movies, traveling and spending time with his family.



Jose Henao, m.d., is a Nephrologist at Monument Health Rapid City Clinic, Flormann Street. He received his medical degree from the Caribbean Medical University and completed his Nephrology fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. Dr. Henao’s clinical interests include cardiorenal syndrome, hepatorenal syndrome and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in the critical care setting. He is fluent in Spanish. In his free time, Dr. Henao enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his family and friends.

ONCOLOGY Bayan Al-Share,

m.d., is a Hematologist and Oncologist at Monument Health Cancer Care Institute. She earned her medical degree at the University of Jordan. After practicing in Jordan for a number of years and serving with Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Al-Share moved to Michigan to begin her training in the United States. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Ascension Providence Hospital/MSU-CHM and her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Karmanos Cancer Center at Wayne State University. Helping people during difficult times and being part of their treatment journey while working with Doctors Without Borders was an experience that led Dr. Al-Share to pursue Hematology/Oncology as a medical focus. She is fluent in English and Arabic, and enjoys high-intensity sports and reading in her free time. She enjoys socializing and meeting new people. Since moving to the United States, Dr. Al-Share especially enjoys exploring new cultures and sharing cultural knowledge with others.


Nicholas Hopson, d.o., is an Urologic Surgeon at Monument Health Rapid City Clinic, 5th Street. Dr. Hopson earned his medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. He completed his residency in Urology at the University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio. Prior to Monument Health, he served as a Major in the U.S. Army Medical Corp. In addition to English, Dr. Hopson speaks Spanish and Danish. In his free time, Dr. Hopson and his family enjoy mountain biking, hiking, camping and traveling. He is looking forward to experiencing the Black Hills.

Brennan Tesdahl,

m.d., is an Urologist at Monument Health, Rapid City Clinic, 5th Street. Dr. Tesdahl earned his medical degree at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City. After completing his General Surgery internship and Urology residency at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb., he relocated to Rapid City to practice. Dr. Tesdahl is excited to explore and learn more about the Black Hills region.

33 HEALTH // WINTER 2023
Discover more about the mission of Monument Health at

My Role

I am a general surgeon in Spearfish, where I provide broad-based care in the full breadth of general surgery. I was once told that general surgery is the surgery of the skin and its contents. While this may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s pretty close!

My Goal

Providing care in a small community is such a privilege. The people who we care for are not strangers or nameless faces in a crowd; these are our neighbors, friends or family. My goal is to provide exceptional care to my community.

My Passion

I am passionate about growing Spearfish into a surgical destination for excellent care. I have two separate areas of interest within general surgery. The first is surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid. The second is the management of common bile duct stones through surgical and endoscopic means. The ability to provide these services within our community means that care can be rendered closer to home, when in the past these patients may have needed to be transferred to a higher level of care.

Dr. Badger said that when he sees patients for surgical emergencies in the emergency department or for frightening surgery problems in the clinic, he strives to provide them with a sense of calm. “It is easy to forget that, while this is our day to day, this is a life-changing experience for our patients. I hope to provide care in the same manner that I would wish to receive it.”

Wesley Badger, m.d.

Monument Health’s surgical care teams in Rapid City and Spearfish include skilled, experienced surgeons and specialists.
People come to Spearfish, S.D. for the outdoors, but General Surgeon, Wesley Badger, M.D., wants to help grow the city into a surgical destination for excellent care. How? By providing high-quality care in the same manner he would like to receive it.
General Surgeon, Spearfish Clinic, North Avenue

Dr. Pradhan has a passion for teaching. He usually has one medical student from the University of South Dakota and one resident from the Monument Health Family Residency Program at any given time. Along with teaching students, he also enjoys helping his colleagues learn how to use the tools at their disposal to work faster. This helps everybody give the highest possible care to their patients, and also allows them to save time for themselves and maintain a healthy work life balance.

Rajesh Pradhan, m.d., facc

Since his first visit to South Dakota in 2013, Dr. Pradhan and his wife — both natives of Nepal — felt like they had found a new home. After seeing the physicians and the advanced procedures that were being performed at the Heart and Vascular Institute, he knew Monument Health was right for him.

I’ve been the director of cardiovascular imaging since 2016. I’m one of the invasive non-interventional cardiologists in the group. As the cardiovascular imaging director, my job is to oversee running the echocardiology lab, the stress lab, the nuclear stress tests, cardiac CT and all other imaging modalities such as vascular ultrasound. Since I took over the cardiovascular imaging director position, we have brought a lot of new imaging modalities to Rapid City including 3D echocardiology, which has become a central part of the structural cardiac interventions at Monument Health. We also have been working hard to get cardiac CTA to the highest possible quality. Cardiac CTA is a heart imaging test that can help identify severely obstructive coronary disease in patients with symptoms.

My Goal

The number one goal for me is to provide the highest quality patient care. When we go to medical school, we take the Hippocratic Oath, which says that I will put my patient at the center and everything I do will be for the care of my patient. To be able to provide the highest possible care for a patient is my goal. It is also important to me to act as a role model — demonstrating good work-life balance, healthy stress management and working smarter.

My Passion

I love taking care of patients with valve disease. With my training in cardiac imaging, I feel like I've built quite a bit of expertise in that field. Structural interventional cardiology at Monument Health has taken off, and advanced imaging, including interventional echocardiography, assists in those procedures. My colleague, Dr. Purushottam calls me GPS, because I help guide the interventional cardiologists during minimally invasive procedures, such as those to treat valve disease. Interventional echocardiology is a new and rapidly evolving field in cardiology, and along with other cardiologists on the team, we’ve built a successful program here at Monument Health. My other passion is teaching and helping the entire cardiology team be efficient in their work.

35 HEALTH // WINTER 2023



Whether you are fueling for your sport or the next big race, our new EXOS Fuel Program is going to fill all the gaps when it comes to performance nutrition. This program goes beyond carbs, fats and protein to cover the best tips and tricks to improve your performance across the board.

Program details

• Weekly check-in with Performance Dietitian

• Unlimited email & digital communication

• Bi-weekly BodyMetrix scans

• Digital assets to help keep you on track

• Macro and micronutrient tailored to you!

• $200 per month - members receive a 30% discount

• Weekly Check-in with Performance Dietitian

• Unlimited Email & Digital communication

• Bi-Weekly BodyMetrix Scans

• Digital assets to help keep you on track

• Macro and Micronutrient tailored to you!

• $200 per month - Members receive a 30% discount

This is not your traditional “weight-loss” program, we don’t subscribe to quick fixes and unsustainable diet practices. The EXOS Recomposition Program is designed to burn fat and replace it with functional mass, making your clothes fit better and making you feel better. The EXOS Recomposition coaching program is for those who are looking to make a sustainable lifestyle change.

Program details

• Weekly check-in with Performance Dietitian

• Unlimited email & digital communication

• Bi-weekly BodyMetrix scans

• Digital assets to help keep you on track

• Macro and micronutrient tailored to you!

• $200 per month - members receive a 30% discount


Monument Health’s human resources teams deal with everything worker related. This includes talent acquisition, training and development, promoting and onboarding, as well as dealing with employee health, morale and engagement. Other teams and departments that fall under the human resources umbrella include the Total Rewards program (which deals with caregiver benefits and compensation), Enterprise Resource Planning, the System Workforce Service Center and Child Care. The total department is comprised of more than 65 caregivers across the system.

Eric Brouillette

My Role

I am currently in the Human Resources Department as an HR Business Partner, supporting the Northern Hills Market. This includes all hospitals and clinics in the Lead-Deadwood, Sturgis, Spearfish and Belle Fourche communities. As an HR Business Partner, I provide consultation and support to our leaders and caregivers on all HR matters ranging from employee relations, staffing needs, policy interpretation, coaching, performance management and many more.

My Goal

I strive to bring a positive energy to our Northern Hills locations for both leaders and caregivers. Every day I ensure that I am a trusted partner for our teams, whatever the issue may be. My goal is to aid the organization by supporting leadership strategically and to help our caregivers through all situations relating to Human Resources. I take pride in responding to and getting answers out in a timely manner. If I don’t have an indepth answer to a caregiver’s question, I am proud to be part of a phenomenal team of HR professionals who also provide their input and support to ensure we are meeting our client’s needs.

My Passion

My passion is driven by knowing the work I do strategically supports our leaders and caregivers so they can provide the best care to our patients. I think a lot of people view human resources as a tough role, but I view it as a way to ensure Monument Health is a great workplace for our caregivers, who are our most valuable asset. I believe strongly in upholding and supporting Monument Health’s mission, vision and values so we can collectively grow together in the same direction and strive toward the same goals.

37 HEALTH // WINTER 2023
discover career opportunities at Monument Health, visit Eric Brouillette’s position takes him all around Monument Health’s northern communities where he works to support fellow Monument Health caregivers. Human Resources Business Partner, Northern Hills Markets


One of Monument Health’s top priorities is impacting our communities. Our goal this year is to provide over 5000 health screenings to our friends and families in the Black Hills. From blood pressure checks and prediabetes screenings to mental health assessments, our focus is to provide preventive care, close to home.

Find us at one of these upcoming events:

Jan. 27-Feb. 4 - Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo

Feb. 16 - South Dakota Mines Wellness Fair

Feb. 17 - Black Hills State Basketball Games

Mar. 31 - Monument Health Sports Medicine and Performance Community Night

SPRING 2022 // HEALTH 46
COMMUNITY // CALENDAR 39 HEALTH // WINTER 2023 Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo Rapid City Rodeo Rapid City Summit Arena Rapid City American Heart Association Heart Ball Rapid City Tough Enough to Wear – Pink Night at Rodeo Rapid City Rapid City Monument Health Special Rodeo Rapid City February Freeze Rapid City Jan 27 –Feb 4 Jan 27 –Feb 4 Feb 25 Feb 3 Jan 28 Feb 12

We’re near you


Custer Hospital 1220 Montgomery Street Custer, SD 57730 605-673-9400

Lead-Deadwood Hospital 61 Charles Street Deadwood, SD 57732 605-717-6000

Rapid City Hospital 353 Fairmont Boulevard Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-1000

Spearfish Hospital 1440 N. Main Street Spearfish, SD 57783 605-644-4000

Sturgis Hospital 2140 Junction Avenue Sturgis, SD 57785 605-720-2600


Belle Fourche Clinic 2200 13th Avenue Belle Fourche, SD 57717 605-723-8970

Buffalo Clinic 209 Ramsland Street Buffalo, SD 57720 605-375-3744

Custer Clinic 1220 Montgomery Street Custer, SD 57730 605-673-9400

Family Medicine Residency Clinic 502 East Monroe Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-4060

Family Health Education Services 930 N. 10th St Spearfish, SD 57783 605-642-6337

Gillette Clinic 20 W Four-J Court Gillette, WY 82716 307-682-1204

Hill City Clinic 238 Elm Street Hill City, SD 57745 605-574-4470

Hot Springs Clinic 1100 Highway 71 South, Suite 101 Hot Springs, SD 57747 605-745-8050

Lead-Deadwood Clinic 71 Charles Street Deadwood, SD 57732 605-717-6431

Rapid City ClinicFlormann St. 640 Flormann Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-3300

Rapid City Clinic5th St. 2805 5th Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-5700

Spearfish ClinicNorth Ave. 1445 North Avenue Spearfish, SD 57783 605-644-4170

Spearfish ClinicNorth 10th St. 1420 North 10th Street Spearfish, SD 57783 605-717-8595

Sturgis Clinic 2140 Junction Avenue Sturgis, SD 57785 605-720-2400

Wall Clinic 112 7th Avenue Wall, SD 57790 605-279-2149

URGENT CARE Custer Urgent Care Services

1220 Montgomery Street Custer, SD 57730 605-673-9400


Urgent Care Services 71 Charles Street Deadwood, SD 57732 605-717-6431

Rapid City Urgent Care Jackson Blvd. 2116 Jackson Boulevard Rapid City, SD 57702 605-755-2273

Rapid City Urgent Care Lacrosse St. 1303 N. Lacrosse Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-2273

Spearfish Urgent Care Services

1420 North 10th Street Spearfish, SD 57783 605-717-8595

Sturgis Urgent Care Services 2140 Junction Avenue Sturgis, SD 57785 605-720-2600


Assisted Living 432 North 10th Street Custer, SD 57730 605-673-5588

Behavioral Health Center 915 Mountain View Road Rapid City, SD 57702 605-755-7200

Care Center 949 Harmon Street Sturgis SD 57785 605-720-2400

Cancer Care Institute 353 Fairmont Boulevard Rapid City SD, 57701 605-755-2300

Dermatology 4150 5th Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-5340

Dermatology 550 East Colorado Boulevard Spearfish, SD 57783 605-717-8860

Dialysis Center 955 East North Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-6950

Dialysis Center 132 Yankee Street Spearfish SD 57783 605-722-8110

Heart and Vascular Institute 353 Fairmont Boulevard Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-4300

Home+ Home Health and Hospice 931 E Colorado Boulevard Spearfish, SD 57783 605-644-4444

Home+ Home Health 224 Elk Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-7710

Home+ Home Medical Equipment

1800 N. Haines Avenue Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-9000

Home+ Home Medical Equipment

1635 Caregiver Circle, Rapid City, SD 57702 605-755-6150

Home+ Home Medical Equipment 911 East Colorado Boulevard Spearfish, SD 57783 605-717-8930

Home+ Home Medical Equipment 2707 Lazelle Street Sturgis, SD 57785 605-720-2676

Home+ Hospice House 224 Elk Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-7710

Home+ Infusion 224 Elk Street, Suite 100 Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-1155

Home+ Pharmacy 353 Fairmont Boulevard Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-8184

Home+ Pharmacy 1420 North 10th Street, Suite 1 Spearfish, SD 57783 605-717-8741

Home+ Specialty Pharmacy 2006 Mount Rushmore Rd., Suite 2 Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-3065

Neurosciences Center 677 Cathedral Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-5276

Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital

1635 Caregiver Circle Rapid City, SD 57702 605-755-6100

Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

2449 East Colorado Boulevard Spearfish, SD 57783 605-644-4460

Rehabilitation 2200 13th Avenue Belle Fourche, SD 57717 605-723-8961

Rehabilitation 220 Montgomery Street Custer, SD 605-673-9470

Rehabilitation 61 Charles Street Deadwood, SD 605-717-6370

Rehabilitation 2479 East Colorado Boulevard Spearfish, SD 57783 605-644-4370

Rehabilitation 2140 Junction Avenue Sturgis, SD 605-720-2570

Rehabilitation Center 1050 Fairmont Boulevard Rapid City, SD 605-755-1230

Sleep Center 2929 5th Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-4000

Sports Performance Institute powered by EXOS 1635 Caregiver Circle Rapid City, SD 57702 605-755-6683

Surgery Center 1316 North 10th Street Spearfish, SD 57783 605-642-3113

Please call your local clinic to schedule an appointment. Monument Health is also offering extended services through video and telephone visits with your provider.


is a recognition of Monument Health’s Pediatric patients who bravely fight childhood illness and disease every day right here in our community. Donations through Monument Health’s Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) program are devoted to helping these children. All funds stay local.

Monument Health offers pediatric services close to home.

Curtis Lolita
Sayler Lennon Wilder Read about each courageous battle! To learn more, scan the QR code or visit save the date | 5K walk | September 9, 2023
General information 605-755-1000 MyChart For assistance with MyChart, please call the MyChart patient portal hotline at 605-755-9890 or email mycharthelp@ SUBSCRIBE At CONTACT

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