Winter 2022 Monument Health Issue 5

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Issue 05

Winter 2022

TRUST One physician’s quick action saved the life of a baby born with an unexpected hernia.






MOVING. A new knee for a more active you. Thanks to robotic technology. Having chronic knee pain shouldn’t mean giving up the things you love. Thankfully, Monument Health has a new way to keep you moving: ROSA Knee robotic technology. Our specially trained surgeons use ROSA Knee to personalize the approach to total knee replacement — providing a solution that works for you and your unique anatomy. Contact Monument Health today to find out whether treatment is right for you, and the risks of knee replacement.

Learn more at

Zimmer Biomet is a medical device manufacturer that provides products and other services used by health care professionals to create personalized care plans. Zimmer Biomet is not a medical professional and does not practice medicine. Zimmer Biomet is not responsible for the content of The persons in these advertisements are models and not actual recipients of Zimmer Biomet products and services. Results are not necessarily typical and will vary due to health, weight, activity and other human variables. *Not all patients are candidates for joint procedures or ROSA Knee robotic technology. Only a medical professional can determine the treatment appropriate for your specific condition. Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risk of impact wear, loosening, breakage, failure or risk of infection, all of which could require additional surgery. For general information on joint pain and technology, visit or call 1.800.447.5633. ©2020 Zimmer Biomet.




Paulette Davidson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Monument Health

W Sgt. Thomas Keller thought his injury wasn’t serious, but it turned out to be life-threatening. Fortunately, a medevac team was nearby who got him to Monument Health just in time.

elcome to the fifth issue of Monument Health Magazine. We appreciate the reactions, support and readership during the publication’s first year. This issue is packed with medical stories, profiles and advice on healthy living. Here are a few items that should pique your interest. In rural areas of western South Dakota, any medical emergency can be scary. For Sgt. Thomas Keller of the Rosebud Correctional Facility, a weightlifting accident almost took his life. He dropped

a 315 lb. barbell on his chest, which fractured his sternum and punctured his heart. Because of the quick action of Oglala Lakota Air Rescue and Monument Health Cardiothoracic Surgeon Kalyan Vunnamadala, M.D., he’s alive and well today. You can read about tiny Linkin, the Spearfish newborn whose life got off to a complicated start. He was born with an underdeveloped diaphragm with a hole that allowed the abdominal organs to migrate into the chest, crowding the heart and lungs. Fortunately for Linkin, Pediatrician Jonathan Bigwood, M.D., was able to diagnose and treat his rare condition immediately. You can also read about how Director of Infection Control, Ty White leads a team that touches literally every person at Monument Health, from patients and visitors to caregivers and contractors. We hope you enjoy the newest issue of Monument Health Magazine. Any feedback, story suggestions or questions about health care would be welcome. Send your ideas to us at




In Case You Missed It This is our round up of all the latest news and happenings throughout Monument Health. page 4 Awareness Month Highlights of key health issues and medical staff. page 6 My Space Ty White’s Infection Control team touches every aspect of Monument Health. page 9


Managing Editor Melissa Haught Editor Stephany Chalberg Senior Writer Dan Daly Wade Ellett Contributors Karlee Baumann Jennessa Dempsey Kelsie Dietrich Ronda Neugebauer Anna Whetham Art Director Stacy Brozik Photographer Allison Geier-Barlow Social Media Manager Breanne Canaday Production courtesy of Rapid City Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary Published in association with Evergreen Media Creative Director John Edwards Design Director Chris Valencia Photographer Jesse Brown Nelson Senior Writer Ashley Johnson 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 Monument Health Magazine is a free, quarterly publication distributed throughout the Black Hills. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.



Ask The Doc Daniel Lochmann, M.D., and Kipp Gould, D.O., discuss how the ROSA robotic surgical assistant is changing knee surgery. page 10 Meet the Volunteers Joyce Bjork and Sharon Hasvold volunteer to fill needs in Rapid City. page 12


Gym Memberships Most of us quit exercising before we see results because we don’t like our gym. Learn how to find the right one for you. page 14 Sleep and Diet Getting good rest is important, but did you know what you eat could be causing you to lose sleep? page 18 Patient Stories When Sgt. Keller dropped a barbell on his chest, he didn’t know how serious it was. A medevac team and a Monument Health surgeon prevented the injury from being fatal. page 22

Physician Spotlight Meet Charles Lewis, D.O., and Sarah Lewis, D.O., a father and daughter who are setting the bar in family medicine. page 32 My Space Carla Stark finds the best physicians from around the world and helps them relocate to Monument Health. page 35 Introducing Get to know physicians who have recently joined Monument Health. page 36 Calendar Upcoming events at Monument Health. page 39 Directory Find a Monument Health provider near you. page 40

Features and Stories

The Best and Worst Day of My Life When baby Linkin was born, he had an unexpected heart defect that could have cost him his life. Luckily, Dr. Bigwood’s quick action saved the day. page 26 Helping People Care for People The Monument Health Foundation raises funds for causes like the Cancer Care Institute, but also smaller, more personal touches that help patients every day. page 30



The Monument Health Nurse Triage Line, created during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way people could discuss their symptoms and schedule COVID-19 tests, now offers new services. Patients with non-COVID-19 illnesses can call the Nurse Triage Line at 605.755.1350 to speak directly with a trained Registered Nurse who will help them understand the urgency of their case and help them get the most appropriate type of care. This could include their primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic or the hospital emergency department if needed. However, anyone experiencing chest pains, stroke symptoms or serious injury should call 911 and get medical help immediately.


The renovated Sturgis Hospital Emergency Department opened in July 2021. The construction project to upgrade the department took about six months and added additional space, private rooms, updates to furnishings and fixtures, staff enhancements for charting and dictation, a behavioral health safe room and a negative airflow system. The Greater Sturgis Lifecare Foundation contributed $150,000 to Monument Health Sturgis Hospital for the renovation, and the Monument Health Foundation matched the contribution with a $150,000 donation. Monument Health paid for the remainder of the project’s $900,000 cost. “We implemented new features like completely enclosed shelving and storage areas, as well as a negative airflow system that will protect our caregivers and other patients from any aerosolized contaminants or microbes,” said Mark Schulte, then President of the Sturgis Market. 4


Irony Sade, M.D., received a Preceptor of the Year award from the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Clinical Affairs Department. The preceptorship has ICOM students rotate with a surgeon for four weeks. Students follow the preceptor in the clinic, during endoscopy, in the operating room and rounding with patients. Dr. Sade was unanimously voted Rapid City Hospital’s Preceptor of the Year by his students. They admired his ability to interact with caregivers and fellow physicians, but especially his interactions with patients. Everyone agreed he went above and beyond when communicating with patients, and even those who don’t plan on going into surgical medicine loved learning from him.




Monument Health Rapid City Hospital received the American Heart Association’s Silver Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Quality Achievement Award for 2020. This award recognizes commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

The end of August saw a significant increase in the need to test individuals for COVID-19. Monument Health had adequate analyzers and other lab equipment, said Emily Leech, Director of the Monument Health Laboratory Services, but additional caregivers were needed to administer those diagnostic tests. The South Dakota National Guard was asked to assist with COVID-19 test collection. Nine Guard members assisted with sample collection at Monument Health’s drive-through locations in Belle Fourche, Custer, Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis.

COVID-19 BOOSTER AND PEDIATRIC DOSES In November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded criteria for who should receive a COVID-19 booster dose. The CDC also announced its recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. There are now booster recommendations for all three COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose, as CDC recommendations allow for mix and match dosing. COVID-19 vaccines have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Vaccinating children will help protect them from getting COVID-19 and reduce their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations or developing long-term complications. To accommodate an increase in eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, Monument Health opened additional appointments at the Rushmore Mall Clinic and at locations throughout the Black Hills. To find an appointment near you go to


Patients are able to schedule a COVID-19 test or vaccine by texting: TEST or VACCINE to 844-736-4798

ROPER SIGNS NEW DEAL Rickie Engesser, professional breakaway roper, signed a sports sponsorship agreement with Monument Health. Engesser, a native of Spearfish, has a few South Dakota High School Rodeo Association wins under her belt. She has also made it to the College National Finals Rodeo four times. Engesser recently finished up her college rodeo career and is hitting the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit in breakaway roping.



Doctors’ Day

AMERICAN HEART MONTH Heart disease remains the nation’s biggest health threat, killing about 2,300 Americans every day — more than any other disease. Since 1964, February has been designated American Heart Month with the intention of raising awareness of this often-silent killer, as well as to provide tips on how to stay healthy and prevent heart disease. The first Friday of the month is National Wear Red Day — when everyone from coast to coast is encouraged to wear the color red to support the fight against heart disease. Monument Health Heart and Vascular Institute is home to South Dakota’s largest group of cardiovascular specialists offering the full spectrum of care, including diagnostic services, cardiovascular research and nationally accredited labs.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week

The last full week in January is CRNA Week, a celebration of anesthesia patient safety and the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who provide anesthesia for surgeries and other medical procedures. Monument Health’s CRNAs provide needed pain relief in every stage of healing, whether that’s administering anesthesia or managing pain medication during recovery.


PULMONARY REHABILITATION WEEK Observed the second full week of March, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week recognizes the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic lung disease or difficulty breathing — including patients struggling with the long-term effects of COVID-19. Monument Health’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is an outpatient program that combines education, exercise and peer support. The goal is to help patients do more of the things they enjoy without medication, and decrease the need for hospital visits.

Every March 30, we recognize Doctors’ Day to say thank you to dedicated physicians everywhere who serve their communities by delivering highquality care to the patients who depend on them. Across 12 communities, five hospitals and 38 medical clinics and specialty centers, Monument Health’s physicians are proud to serve those who trust them with their health care needs.

Brain Injury Month

Traumatic brain injuries affect millions of Americans every year. The Brain Injury Association of America led the charge to designate March as Brain Injury Awareness Month, helping to destigmatize brain injuries and to educate the public about them. Monument Health offers a variety of services to treat brain injuries — including rehabilitation in five communities, as well as a neurology clinic in Rapid City.

National Athletic Training Month Every March we recognize Athletic Training Month to shine a light on the athletic trainers, or ATCs, who dedicate themselves to preventing injury and illness. Athletic trainers can diagnose and treat injuries ranging from concussions and cardiac arrest, to spine injuries and heat stroke. ATCs are vital members of athletic teams. Monument Health has a number of athletic trainers on staff in local high schools and area colleges and universities as part of an ongoing commitment to community health and wellness. These ATCs ensure that the region’s student athletes are able to perform to the best of their ability, as safely as possible.




Heart disease is the



It’s responsible for 1 in 3 deaths each year – more deaths than all forms of cancer combined. At Monument Health, our Heart and Vascular team stands together in the fight against heart disease. Join our team by wearing red on Feb. 4 for American Heart Month and to raise awareness of women’s heart health.

Heart and Vascular Institute Rapid City Hospital | 353 Fairmont Blvd. | Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-4300 |




+ 2 classes per week (adult EXOS and/or group exercise)

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+ Unlimited access to gym during business hours

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ADULT UNLIMITED PERFORMANCE MEMBERSHIP + Unlimited EXOS classes + Unlmited group exercise classes + Unlimited access to gym during business hours

SIGN UP TODAY 605-755-MOVE Download our App! Search SPI EXOS in your App Store

+ Performance Quotient + Four 30-minute massages annually + Eight nutrition consultations annually + Four performance coach consultations annually


$149/month ($119/month for 12-month membership)

1635 Caregiver Circle, Rapid City, SD 57702

Family memberships available. Call 605-755-MOVE to learn more.


Discounted pricing available for Monument Health employees.


From setting standards for personal protective equipment to establishing transmission-based precautions that protect certain populations, our Infection Control team has your health and safety in mind.


Ty White

mls(ascp)cm, sm(ascp)cm Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Rapid City

Ty White’s team touches every person at Monument Health, from patients and visitors to caregivers and contractors.

My Role As the Director of Infection Control for Monument Health, I lead a great team of infection preventionists that focus on decreasing health care associated infections. We cooperate with leaders all over the organization to help create the best health outcomes for everyone. My Goal The ultimate goal is to eliminate all health care associated infections throughout Monument Health, and keep everyone in the health care environment safe. There are still improvements we can make as a community, but we continue to work on eliminating every preventable infection that we can. My Passion What drew me to this position was the ability to make a difference in a lot of patients’ lives. We also get to play detective to find the source of infections, or what may be causing certain outcomes, and figure out the best way forward. Knowing that the things we work on and implement can keep a lot of people safe keeps me passionate about the job.


The Infection Control team is responsible for the development, implementation and administration of infection prevention and control programs throughout all of Monument Health. They work with all of the organization’s clinical teams to prevent health care associated infections. Infection control policies affect everyone from contractors and construction workers to caregivers, patients and visitors. Infection Control professionals are also experts on emergency preparedness. They have been on the leading edge of preparation and implementation of personal protective equipment guidance and protocols throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.



What you need to know about ROSA Knee surgery No two bodies are exactly the same and getting a precise knee implant — that fits the patient’s anatomy — is crucial to comfort, motion and overall experience following knee replacement surgery. Kipp Gould, D.O. and Daniel Lochmann, M.D. explain how the ROSA Knee system can help a surgeon during total knee replacement.

How does using robotic technology like ROSA in surgery increase patient outcomes?

GOULD: Because of this technology, we can complete the surgery in less time, which in turn means the patient spends less time on the operating table. This is huge. Because the incision isn’t open as long, it decreases the chance of complications. LOCHMANN: Using ROSA makes many aspects of the surgery more precise. It has been a winwin for everyone — it’s great for the surgeon and the patients. The number of positive patient outcomes we’ve had speaks to the success of using ROSA; less pain and a quick return to daily activities are just a few. How is ROSA different from a traditional knee replacement?

GOULD: The actual surgery itself is similar to a traditional knee Kipp Gould, D.O.: ROSA is replacement. The surgeon is still the premium robotic surgical performing the surgery, ROSA assistant used to assist during a only assists. During the surgery, total knee replacement surgery. the surgeon moves the robotic arm Monument Health orthopedics based on the preoperative plan worked very hard to add the ROSA created by the surgeon to ensure Knee system to our total joint the implants’ accuracy. ROSA is replacement program, and we an incredibly helpful tool because were the first in the area to it helps to align the implant for utilize this type of robotic joint exact fit and accuracy, but the replacement system. skills of the surgeon are necessary Daniel Lochmann, M.D.: ROSA for a successful procedure. is used to help guide and calibrate LOCHMANN: ROSA Knee the cuts that an orthopedic uses data collected before and surgeon makes during a total during surgery to inform your knee replacement surgery. surgeon of many details related The surgeon is still the one to your unique anatomy that performing the procedure, but may affect your implant fit. By ROSA is an incredible tool to using this data to make more have at our disposal. informed decisions, your surgeon What is ROSA?

KIPP GOULD, D.O. A boardcertified orthopedic surgeon who is an expert at diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders of the hips, shoulders and knees. Dr. Gould started the same-day total joint program in November 2016.


DANIEL LOCHMANN, M.D. A Navy veteran and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience in general orthopedics. He has experience in sports medicine and traumatology and has special training in hyperbaric and diving medicine.


To learn more about ROSA and knee surgery options at Monument Health, visit us online at

is able to plan for and carry out a personalized surgery based upon your individual needs. ROSA functions as a high-tech GPS, using trackers and a camera to determine the knee’s positioning. ROSA will make adjustments to even the slightest movements of the knee. This ability ensures the surgical plan is accomplished. The surgeon uses real-time data to enhance their skills throughout the procedure to ensure accuracy. Who is a candidate for a ROSA total knee replacement?

GOULD: Anyone who comes in for a total knee replacement is a candidate for ROSA. LOCHMANN: And depending on their age, level of activity and overall health, some patients will have even better outcomes by having a total knee with ROSA.

What do you want patients to know about robotic technology when considering surgery?

GOULD: It gives them a more normal feeling knee post-surgery, and allows patients to return to daily living more quickly with less acute pain after the operation. It allows us to reproduce or restore their natural motion in a more predictable manner than a traditional knee replacement. LOCHMANN: I want them to know that while we call it “robotic surgery,” the surgeon is the one actually controlling and performing the surgery. What does recovery from a knee replacement look like? Does ROSA help reduce the average patient’s healing time?


GOULD: Recovery time is quicker than with a traditional knee replacement since we do less soft tissue manipulation during surgery. LOCHMANN: ROSA offers a minimally invasive approach. This means a smaller incision with reduced scarring and minimal bleeding, reduced injury to nearby tissues, precise implant placement and increased longevity of the implant. All of that leads to a faster return to daily living and activities. What are the most common complications you see after surgery, and is there anything patients can do to avoid them?

GOULD: It’s important for patients to remember to take their medications as prescribed by their physician. Otherwise, they start feeling more discomfort and become afraid to move due to the pain. Many patients wait too long to come in to have a total joint replacement, which can also

complicate their recovery based on the amount of damage to the existing joint. LOCHMANN: Overuse. Some patients respond differently to different pain medications used during surgery. On occasion people feel really good after surgery and feel like it’s a quick fix. Surgery is not a quick fix. Recovery time is important. Listen to your physician and care team, they want the best outcome for you as well. What excites you about using a system like ROSA?

LOCHMANN: Using ROSA has been helpful in surgical planning that is specific to the individual patient. There have been fewer complications and returns to the operating room and patients are happy knowing that the surgeon is still performing the procedure, they’re just assisted by ROSA. GOULD: Simply put, the most exciting thing about ROSA is positive patient outcomes.



Joyce has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has found joy in bringing comfort to patients through the years by doing something she loves.

Joyce Bjork Volunteer, Rapid City Hospital

Since she started volunteering at Rapid City Hospital, Joyce Bjork has clocked over 32,000 volunteer hours — more than any other volunteer. But Joyce isn’t looking for recognition, she just loves using her favorite pastime to help others.

Joyce has spent her time making everything from teddy bears and special pillows for heart patients, to baby bibs and neck pillows.

For anyone that worries volunteering will be boring, or those that aren’t sure what they could do, Joyce is an excellent role model. She’s taken something that she loves doing — sewing — and uses it to help others feel better. What have you done as a volunteer? The thing that I’ve always done and continue to do is be in the sewing group. My mother used to be in the sewing group, and I started in about 1980. I’ve always been a part of the sewing group and I’ve been in charge of it for 15 or 20 years now. I’ve been on the board, and I used to do a lot of computer work and kept track of stuff to help out. I really just sew now, and we’ve expanded our projects a lot. What’s your favorite part of volunteering? I think it’s good for everybody to volunteer doing something they like; sewing happens to be my thing. I almost never see the results. We don’t see people get a teddy bear or a heart pillow, but we know it’s helping. What advice do you have for new volunteers? Find your niche. I love to sew, but that might not be for everybody. There’s a lot of different things you can do at the hospital; some directly with patients and some not. There’s a way for you to help that you will enjoy or find fulfilling. You just have to find it.



Sharon enjoys seeing changes to Rapid City Hospital. “Our new lobby and entrance is incredibly beautiful and it is a pleasure to show it off,” she says of the Fifth Street Entrance.


Almost immediately after Sharon retired from her role as a microbiologist and lab supervisor at the Rapid City Hospital Lab, she missed the hospital environment. Returning as a volunteer, she’s making trips to the hospital a bit more inviting for anyone who comes through the door. Why do you volunteer? I worked for 24 years as a microbiologist in the lab at what was then Rapid City Regional Hospital. Retiring in 2013, I almost immediately missed the hospital environment. My grandson was born early in 2017 and spent six weeks in the NICU. The daily visits to see him helped me realize that this is where I wanted to be again. There are so many very special people that work at Monument Health and I have been honored to be a part of that for so many years. I missed the caring environment and am very happy to be immersed in it again. What have you done as a volunteer? Patients and visitors arrive at the hospital under various circumstances — most are experiencing some degree of vulnerability or distress. It’s our job as volunteers to make sure they get to the right location, but more than that, to help ease feelings of anxiety or tension. It is so rewarding that presenting a friendly face and offering kind words can help make their day and their visit a little easier. Why would you recommend volunteering to others? Monument Health is a very special place. It is not the facility that makes it special, but the people that truly care so much for their patients. I would encourage people to volunteer, to not only strengthen their ties to the community, but to gain opportunity for human connection. It’s as simple as that. I encourage anyone with an interest in serving the public to consider being a volunteer in the Monument Health system.

Sharon Hasvold Volunteer, Rapid City Hospital

Sharon Hasvold had a rewarding 24-year career at Rapid City Hospital, and has served as the Volunteer Auxiliary president. For Sharon, being part of the hospital environment is about immersing herself in caring for others.




Act like you own the place Ready to get started? Here are some ways to avoid gymtimidation and exercise with confidence. • Take T ake a tour. Everyone is intimidated by a place they’ve never been before, even if they’ve worked out for years. A tour will introduce you to your new gym and the people who work there. •T ake a buddy. Doing something with another person makes it less intimidating, not to mention more fun. Plus, having an accountability partner has been shown to increase the likelihood of committing to a new fitness routine. •A sk the experts. No matter what gym you go to, there will always be someone who can show you the ropes. Whether it’s a personal trainer or someone else who works at your gym, don’t be afraid to ask questions.



Adding small habits to your daily routine means you’re more likely to stick with them. Exercising at the same time every day is also beneficial as it will help you treat fitness as a priority, rather than trying to squeeze it in at the last minute.


The Sports Performance Institute Powered by EXOS is a unique facility within Monument Health's Orthopedic and Specialty Hospital that deals with preventative medicine, rather than diagnostic. The goal at SPI is to use training and nutrition to reach MANY PEOPLE QUIT your peak performance and transform the THEIR NEW FITNESS way you look and feel every day. ROUTINE LONG Kyle Wheeldon is a Performance Coach at Sports Performance Institute who enjoys BEFORE THEY SEE helping people reach their goals no matter their RESULTS — BUT A fitness level. He wants to make every person that LOT OF TIMES IT'S comes to SPI comfortable with the facility and SIMPLY BECAUSE with the staff, and also to help them figure out the THEY DON'T LIKE schedule that will work best for them. “Find a gym where people know what they’re THEIR GYM. doing,” Kyle said. “Whether that’s here or somewhere else in town, a good gym will have staff that are willing to help you learn your way around and set you up for success.” IT’S NOT JUST YOU

Once you’ve decided to make fitness part of your routine, it’s time to find a gym or workout program that fits your lifestyle. Whether you choose a facility like SPI, a local gym or something specialized like a yoga studio, there are a few hurdles to look out for. The first is the tendency to be intimidated by a new gym. Studies show that one of the top reasons people quit a new fitness program is not because they aren’t seeing results; most quit because they are uncomfortable with their gym or fitness program. Anyone can be intimidated by a new gym, even people who have worked out for years. “I don’t think it’s centered so much around the gym as it is about something new, or things we aren’t used to. We tend to get uncomfortable in new situations.” Kyle said. To help avoid this, do some research before joining. Look at the hours they’re open, if they offer group classes or one-on-one training and how close the gym




Physical fitness has many benefits for every area of your life, no matter your age or health status — you just have to get started.

Avoid the plateau You’ve settled into an exercise routine, but now your results are flatlining. Or maybe you haven’t started yet, but you’ve quit exercising in the past because of stagnating results. Kyle has three tips to help you avoid a plateau in your fitness goals. First: Start simple. When a lot of people start their fitness journey they think they need more than they really do. A basic fitness program for someone just starting out is about three days a week, including a full body workout and some cardio to start. If you start out with an advanced, six-days-a-week program, you’ll plateau sooner because you’ve left yourself nowhere to go but to a more advanced program. Second: Talk to someone who’s qualified. I recommend someone who has an exercise science degree, but even someone who’s been training themselves for two or three years can answer questions and get you started. Third: Remember fitness and health are cumulative. You have 23 hours a day you’re not in the gym. All the work you’ve just put in can be for nothing if you don't also adjust some lifestyle habits. If you’re not eating and sleeping well, the time you spend in the gym won’t be effective.



If lifting weights intimidates you, doing bodyweight exercises is a great way to get started with a strength routine. Exercises like push-ups, crunches, squats and burpees are simple to do and can easily add a strength component to your workout.

is to your home or place of work. Most gyms offer free tours for prospective members, and it’s a great way to get a feel for whether or not the gym matches your personality. It also helps you feel more comfortable the first time you go to actually work out, since you’re already familiar with the space. “I’m a big fan of the community inside the gym, and not just the equipment or the classes,” Kyle said. “What keeps people coming back is the environment. When you come in and the staff knows your name and asks about how your family is doing, that’s what sets gyms apart.”

Unfortunately most of them are hard — or downright impossible — to sustain over the long term. Instead, Kyle recommends making small, sustainable changes to your daily routine. “For example, you could say ‘I’m going to eat four cups of vegetables a day to help me lose weight.’ First of all, you won’t be very hungry eating that many vegetables, which will help you get to your goal. But more importantly, by doing that every day and sticking with it, it becomes something you just do without thinking about it. That’s what will help you reach your goals, and also maintain them,” Kyle explained.


Once you’ve decided what your goals are, you can look into the best fitness routine to help you achieve them. Starting with an advanced program like those shared on social media by fitness influencers may get you immediate results, but they can be harder to maintain in the long run. Not to mention, they can also make your progress plateau much earlier than if you start at a more appropriate level. “Start where you’re at — not where somebody else is,” Kyle said. “A lot of times we see other people who are super fit and want to do what they’re doing, but what you don’t see is that person has been training 15 years longer than you have. So what they’re doing now isn’t what they did to get started, so you shouldn’t begin with it either.” For most people just starting out, a fitness routine doesn’t have to be complicated or use a lot of equipment. It’s more about finding something you’ll enjoy enough to continue doing, as well as finding a gym or workout space that fits you. If you're comfortable in your routine, you're more likely to succeed.

A regular fitness routine is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Whether you want to lose weight, improve muscle tone or increase your cardiorespiratory endurance, it’s important to consider why you’re starting. New Year's resolutions may include goals, but they seldom last long enough to see results. It isn’t necessarily because you lack motivation or stamina; a lot of times it’s because we haven’t set a goal that’s practical, or have no idea how to go about attaining it. “Start out by making a big goal like, ‘I want to lose 10 pounds by summer,’” suggested Kyle. “But then make smaller goals that will get you there, dealing with your daily habits. If you can build those sustainable habits, that’s when you really start seeing lifestyle changes and lasting results.” Most people who set out to lose weight will succeed, but the majority of them will also put that weight back on shortly after losing it. A common culprit is changing too many habits at once, or making unsustainable changes. Elimination diets and fitness crazes are popular on social media and TV because of quick results.



Why strength training and highintensity interval training (HIIT) are important Exercises like running or swimming increase our cardiovascular health, but steadystate cardio is only one part of the equation. Strength training and HIIT are also important, and while it can be intimidating for beginners, it's a crucial part of a fitness routine. “If you come in and do a steady-state cardio workout and burn 300 calories, that’s great, but afterwards the metabolic rate returns to baseline. There’s nothing else going on when your body is at rest,” Kyle said. “If you lift weights and burn 200 calories, it seems like less, but you’re doing is stimulating growth. For the next 48 to 72 hours your body is repairing tissues, joints and ligaments, which takes energy. It can be anywhere from a 10 to 12 percent increase in caloric expenditure while you’re at rest for that time period than if you had just done steadystate cardio, so a combination is important.”



The Perfect


LACK OF SLEEP CAN MAKE US IRRITABLE, BUT IT CAN ALSO CAUSE A HOST OF HEALTH PROBLEMS YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT. LUCKILY, GETTING BETTER SLEEP MAY BE AS SIMPLE AS CHANGING WHAT YOU EAT. Pinpointing why we aren’t sleeping well can be difficult, but one lifestyle factor many of us overlook is diet. From not getting enough vitamins and minerals to eating too close to bedtime, there are several ways our diet can cause poor sleep. Fortunately, there are changes you can make to your daily meals to improve your sleep. The trick is to recognize which foods may disrupt your sleep and either eat them earlier in the day or reduce how much of them you consume altogether. KNOW THE RISKS

Most of us recognize the symptoms we experience when we don’t get enough sleep


— irritability, lack of energy and inability to focus, to name a few. While these may be minor inconveniences, a prolonged lack of sleep can cause serious health issues. Regular lack of sleep increases your risk for depression, heart disease, diabetes and other issues that can cause long-term damage to your body and health. Sleep is when our body recovers from the strains and stresses of the day and without adequate time to rest and heal, our bodies are constantly trying to catch up. When that happens, we’re never running at optimum performance. It can also negatively affect our immune system, which makes it harder for our body to fight off illness.


Diet, exercise and a good night's sleep are all key components to a healthy lifestyle, but many of us aren't aware of exactly how much they affect one another.

Trade chips or fried snacks for nuts like almonds, pistachios and walnuts, which are all high in tryptophan. Walnuts also contain melatonin, so you can get an extra dose of the sleep-inducing hormone.

Simple food swaps Poor diet can cause poor sleep, but a few easy food swaps may help get that perfect 8 hours of sleep. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and that extends to your sleep as well. A poor diet can affect your sleep by not giving you enough of certain nutrients your body needs to function properly and prepare for restful sleep. These include B6, tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin, among others. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means our body cannot make it and must be acquired through diet. It helps our body create the two hormones serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin regulates your sleep-wake cycles, and serotonin helps with sleeping, eating and digestion. •E at your dinner on rice instead of pasta. Studies show a connection between eating white rice and having higher quality sleep, possibly because of rice’s high glycemic index. The rise in your blood sugar after eating rice — or other highglycemic foods — causes an increase in insulin, which can help tryptophan enter your brain and convert into melatonin.


•S wap out your dinner protein for fish such as tuna, halibut and salmon. These fish are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin. Other foods high in vitamin B6 include raw garlic and pistachios. • Grab a bowl of yogurt and add honey instead of eating ice cream. The natural sugar found in honey slightly increases insulin without spiking your blood sugar. This allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily, and the calcium in yogurt helps your brain use the tryptophan to create melatonin. If honey isn’t your thing, add some healthy cereal to your yogurt instead; the blood sugar and insulin increase from the carbohydrates may have a similar effect. • Drink a warm glass of milk before bed. It may sound like an old wives’ tale, but there may actually be some truth behind it. The calcium in milk helps your brain use tryptophan to create melatonin, but also regulates muscle movements so you can relax and fall asleep.




Many of us suffering from poor sleep may be unwittingly causing the issue ourselves through lifestyle choices. Robert Finley, M.D., a board-certified physician at Monument Health Sleep Center, said, “a lot of us in developed countries are sleeping less and less. A lot of it’s voluntary. We stay up on social media all night, for instance, with all that blue light exposure. Even with a filter, that can be very stimulating and decrease our quality of sleep.” Cell phones aren’t the only culprit; any electronic device, such as TVs or computer screens, also emits blue light. Engaging in stimulating activities before bed is part of the problem, as it doesn’t give our brains a chance to wind down and prepare for a good night of sleep. BALANCING DIET AND TIMING

If you’re having trouble sleeping, taking a closer look at your diet may also provide some answers. Both what you eat and when you eat it are important factors to consider. Dr. Finley recommends maintaining a balanced diet, including foods rich in vitamins and minerals that can help you get to sleep more easily. “When you’re planning your meals, make sure you include things like calcium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins,” he said. These nutrients are a vital part of how our body prepares for sleep. They also help our bodies stay in a deep, restorative state once we’ve fallen asleep. Dr. Finley also recommends concluding your meals at least two to three hours before bedtime. If you need a snack between dinner and bedtime, stay away from foods that are high in fat and sugar. “If you need something before bed, try something like a cold cereal that’s high in fiber with no added sugar. You can also try a banana; they’re high in serotonin, which can help with getting to sleep,” he said.


Robert Finley, M.D., As part of the Monument Health Sleep Center team, Dr. Finley helps diagnose and manage sleep disturbances such as restless sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy, as well as child and infant sleep problems. Treatment services at the sleep center include consultations, in-lab and home sleep studies and follow-up programs.

A healthy diet is critical to our overall health, but there are relatively healthy foods you should eat in moderation if your quality of sleep is poor. Watch out for foods with caffeine, such as soda or tea, but also lesser known ones like chocolate and coffee-flavored ice cream. Foods with high levels of tyramine — such as bacon, pepperoni and certain types of cheese — can also make you feel more alert and affect your sleep. Refined or processed carbohydrates can also contribute to poor sleep. Avoiding sugar before bed is common advice, but foods like white bread, white rice and pizza are also high in refined carbs that can have a similar effect on your body. Foods such as yogurt and pasta sauce use refined sugars as a preservative, so you may be consuming more sugar than you realize if you don’t check nutrition labels. Unfortunately, poor sleep can become a self-perpetuating cycle; when we’re sleep deprived, we tend to eat unhealthy foods, which makes us sleep less due to lack of proper nutrition. This is especially true for shift workers and those in high-stress jobs. When we’re sleep deprived and stressed, our body craves foods that are calorie-dense and high in fat and carbs. “We see this a lot in shift workers. In the middle of the night, hardly anyone is eating a salad — we have things like chips and cookies instead. We all get the urge to eat unhealthy food at night, especially if we don’t get enough sleep,” Dr. Finley said. Set yourself up for success by planning snacks like nuts and healthy proteins, and keep an eye on how much sleep you’re getting every night. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night; if you’re getting less than that, keeping track of your meals can help you pinpoint whether your diet may be part of the problem.


Diet can play a large role in your quality of sleep, but don't discount external factors. Things like stress at work and changing seasons can also cause poor sleep.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, can disrupt our sleep cycles. While it can happen any time of year, it’s most common in the winter months when there’s less sun. “SAD is actually a form of depression,” Dr. Finley said. “There’s a part of the brain, the kind of master clock that drives our circadian rhythm, that functions on daylight. In the winter months, when it gets less daylight, it can get a little off of its normal rhythm.” Experts aren’t entirely sure why Seasonal Affective Disorder happens. It could be because we spend less time socializing and interacting with others, or possibly because


we spend more time indoors in the winter which means we’re getting less fresh air and sunlight exposure, and thus we get less vitamin D. It is important to recognize if you’re feeling unlike yourself for more than a couple days. “We all have times where it’s a day or two, but if it becomes a persistent thing where you don’t want to do anything like exercising, eating healthy or socializing for a longer period of time, you should talk to your doctor or therapist,” Dr. Finley said. Seasonal Affective Disorder can also make you feel sleepy during the day or make you want to sleep longer than usual at night.



“The mission of Oglala Lakota Air Rescue is to provide immediate access to life-saving care in the communities we serve,” explained CEO Wade Black. “We appreciate being recognized for our role in Thomas’s amazing story, and are proud of the focus on patient care that our teams provide day in and day out.”



OLAR was founded in 2019 and is the only Native American-owned air rescue service in the country. They partner with Apollo MedFlight, who provides medical air transport in 11 states, including South Dakota. Together, they provide emergency air rescue services to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, as well as other rural tribal lands throughout the state.


From l-r: Kathy Keller; Richard Keller; Travis Rup, paramedic; Chris Eisenzimmer, flight nurse; Thomas Keller; Thomas’s daughter.

Thomas Keller is a correctional officer at the Rosebud Adult Correctional Facility near Mission, S.D. Working out after his shift with fellow officers, he found himself struggling after accidentally dropping a barbell loaded with 315 pounds on his chest. “The bar slipped out of my hands and landed on my chest,” he said. “I caught the bar after it bounced off my chest and I stood up and racked it. Another officer asked if I was alright and I just told him I needed some water and I’d be fine. I walked around the weight room a little bit, and I remember it getting really dark and I went to a knee.” A STROKE OF LUCK Thomas’s coworkers called an ambulance, who transported him to the Indian Health


Service’s Rosebud Unit Emergency Room. He had fractured his sternum and punctured his heart — a serious condition that would need specialized care. They made the call to arrange for transport to Monument Health Rapid City Hospital. The Oglala Lakota Air Rescue service had a helicopter that had just fueled up in Winner, South Dakota, on their way home from Sioux Falls. It wasn’t a routine stop for them, so they were nearby purely by chance. The crew landed at the Rosebud Emergency Room before they had a full grasp of Thomas’s injury. Once they understood the severity of the situation, they knew they had to get Thomas in the helicopter and transport him to Monument Health as quickly as possible. The original plan had been to fly Thomas from the Rosebud Unit Emergency Room to Monument Health by airplane. It would have resulted in another 45 minutes of transport time — which likely would have resulted in a fatal outcome for Thomas. RACING AGAINST THE CLOCK When the helicopter landed on Monument Health’s helipad, the team took Thomas directly to the surgical suite for treatment. Kalyan Vunnamadala, M.D., a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at the Heart and Vascular Institute, had already been



MedEvac Foundation International selected Thomas Keller as their Patient of the Year for 2021 for his experience with Oglala Lakota Air Rescue and Monument Health. Award recipients are chosen based on their ability to demonstrate that their medical event and the decision to request medical transport improved their quality of life. Recipients typify the foundation’s ideals of giving of oneself and enhancing the lives of others.

briefed by the Rosebud Unit Emergency Department. He understood every minute spent getting Thomas to surgery was the difference between life and death. “I spoke with the emergency room doctor at Rosebud, who said there was fluid around Mr. Keller’s heart. My concern was that this was blood pushing on his heart,” Dr. Vunnamadala said. “We had a team waiting in the operating room, including our anesthesiologist and our perfusionist who runs the heart-lung machine. All of our OR team was waiting, and as soon as Mr. Keller came in we knew time was of the essence.” Thomas’s injury had caused pericardial effusion — a buildup of fluid inside the lining around the heart — that results in excess pressure. Dr. Vunnamadala


Kalyan Vunnamadala, M.D., received his medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. He completed his residency in General Surgery at Easton Hospital in Easton, Pa., where he was also Chief Surgical Resident. He completed his residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Texas Heart Institute/ Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

performed a median sternotomy, which involved opening the breastbone in order to access the heart, and then cut open the pericardium to relieve the pressure. PERSPECTIVE AND GRATITUDE “I initially thought I had just broken a rib. I didn’t know it was that severe. But when I saw that many doctors suited up and locked in, I knew it was more serious,” Thomas said. “Once they put the gas on my nose, I remember I had a sigh of relief. It felt like my fight was done. It was in this guy’s hands now, and I felt like it was all going to be okay.” “When he came to us, Thomas was as close to death as one can be,” Dr. Vunnamadala said. “The reason he’s alive today has a lot to do with all the medical teams involved in his care. But it also has to do with the team that saw him in the emergency room who made that phone call, and having the flight crew who brought him to us immediately. Thank God the OLAR team was close because he would not have made it even another 20 minutes. That crew gave him a fighting chance at life.”


TAKING CARE OF YOURS LIKE OUR OWN Caring for your child is one of the most important

Pediatric services include:

priorities in your life. It’s important to us, too. Monument

• Well-Child Care

• Care of Chronic Diseases

Health’s board-certified pediatricians specialize in caring

• Immunizations

• School and Sports Physicals

for kids from birth to teenagers and for the usual bumps

• COVID-19 Vaccination

• Teen Health

and bruises to complex challenges like diabetes and

• Sick Care and Minor Injuries

• Teen Reproductive Health

neurological issues.

• Behavioral and Developmental Evaluations and Treatment

• Circumcision for Newborns

Roslyn Oakley, M.D.

Tara Ulmer, M.D.

Jonathan Bigwood, M.D.

Jami Kortan, PA-C


Spearfish, Newcastle

Spearfish, Sturgis


To make an appointment, call: 605-644-4170 Spearfish Clinic: 1445 North Ave. | Sturgis Clinic: 2140 Junction Ave.






CDH affects about one in every 3,000 pregnancies, occurring with relatively high frequency for a birth defect.

THE WORST AND BEST DAY OF MY LIFE A SURPRISE BIRTH DEFECT COULD HAVE COST LINKIN HIS LIFE, HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR JONATHAN BIGWOOD, M.D. Kennedi Springstun had what most would consider a normal pregnancy. Other than the typical discomforts of pregnancy, the motherto-be felt healthy and excited to meet her baby, Linkin. On July 31, 2021, three weeks before her due date, Kennedi began having contractions. Concerned, she and her fiance, Derek, headed to Monument Health Spearfish Hospital. When they arrived, Kennedi was already 4 cm dilated and entering the active phase of labor. Her concern turned to worry as the nurses began to prep her for delivery — at just 36 weeks and 6 days, she feared it might be too early. The delivery began with no issues. Kennedi was given an epidural and began pushing normally. Everything went according to plan until the baby was delivered. Linkin was limp, blue and wasn’t breathing. The delivery team immediately brought him to Dr. Bigwood, who was unable to locate a heartbeat and began resuscitation at once. Because Linkin didn’t respond immediately, he was brought to the nursery where resuscitation continued. Dr. Bigwood suspected that the newborn had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). CDH is a birth defect in which the diaphragm — the muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest — doesn’t develop


completely, resulting in a hole that allows the abdominal organs to migrate into the chest. When that happens, the lungs don’t have enough space to develop normally, making it difficult for the baby to breathe, while also crowding the heart. X-rays soon confirmed the pediatrician’s initial assessment, and in Linkin’s case, the heart was so crowded it had been pushed to the opposite side of his chest. One of the common experiences among parents is the anticipation of hearing their baby’s first cries. It’s an infant’s first interaction with the world around them and a signal to moms and dads that everything is okay. Kennedi didn’t hear that cry when her baby was born, or even see him. But Kennedi and Derek put their trust in Dr. Bigwood, and more than 20 years of pediatric experience in three major children’s



There’s plenty of gratitude to go around: Kennedi and Derek are grateful for Dr. Bigwood; Dr. Bigwood is grateful for his training and experience which made it possible to recognize Linkin’s condition so quickly; all are grateful for the incredible caregivers and physicians that were part of Linkin’s care team.



Pediatricians throughout Monument Health offer preventive care services such as well-child visits and immunizations, as well as care for a wide range of illnesses and chronic health conditions.

hospitals across the country gave him the insight necessary to diagnose the condition immediately. While the OB/GYN team cared for Kennedi, Linkin was intubated and stabilized for transport. After being taken to Rapid City by ambulance he was airlifted to Sioux Falls. “It was the worst and best day of my life,” Kennedi reflects, shaking her head. “This is a serious condition,” notes Dr. Bigwood. “It is very difficult for these kids to breathe, and it is not a condition that is easy to survive. These babies have to go from the delivery room to surgery straight away.” It took nearly two days to stabilize Linkin to the point he was strong enough to undergo surgery to repair the hole in his diaphragm. He spent 27 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Sioux Falls following the procedure. Kennedi remembers driving to Sioux Falls to meet her son for the first time, “It was like going on a first date. I was so nervous.” The doctors assured Kennedi and Derek that it had been a great outcome, although at times it was difficult to stay positive. For the first three weeks of his life, they couldn’t hold their son, who was on a ventilator and feeding tube. “I would feel sick every time I would go up to the NICU,” Derek says, remembering the emotional toll it took on him. “Hearing the babies crying was so hard.” As is the case with many things, challenges lead to greater rewards — or in this particular case, struggles give way to snuggles. Linkin’s parents dote on him, and the days of not being able to hold him are long gone. Their hugs and kisses are plentiful, as are the smiles he gives back. Linkin has no long-term damage from CDH. He has completely recovered, and is a healthy infant. As Dr. Bigwood says, “He’s good! Look at him! Had you not known the whole story, you would never know there was anything wrong.” Linkin is pretty fond of Dr. Bigwood, who will be his pediatrician for the foreseeable future.

Jonathan Bigwood, M.D. is a pediatrician at the Monument Health Spearfish Clinic – North Avenue. The family has always been a central point of focus, and he recognizes the essential contribution families make towards children’s happiness and well-being. Born in the City of London, at eight he moved with his parents and six siblings to the countryside. Growing up on a small farm, he learned a great deal about nature, how to care for animals and the value of working hard. He gravitated towards sciences in school and loved to read and learn new things. Those experiences helped steer him towards a career in medicine. Spending time together is very important to Dr. Bigwood’s family. His wife and daughter enjoy discovering new things in their surroundings and feel very fortunate to be here.

The Monument Health Neonatal Transport Team consists of registered nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists specially trained in the stabilization, management and transport of ill and premature newborns by ambulance or airplane. The transport team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

He’s not the only one who appreciates the physician: “He saved his life,” Kennedi says of the pediatrician as she smiles at Linkin. There’s plenty of gratitude to go around: Kennedi and Derek are grateful for Dr. Bigwood; Dr. Bigwood is grateful for his training and experience which made it possible to recognize Linkin’s condition so quickly; all are grateful for the incredible caregivers and physicians that were part of Linkin’s care team. “We are a small hospital, but we are not small in what we handle,” Dr. Bigwood reflects. “I have worked at some of the biggest children’s hospitals in the country and we handle what they handle. Our team is just as dedicated.”

Kelsey Iverson, RN, Kayla Arnold, RN and Tige Bjornson, CNP




HELPING PEOPLE CARE FOR PEOPLE The Monument Health Foundation supports worthy causes connected to Monument Health, and their reach often goes further than most realize. The Monument Health Foundation provides a link between Monument Health and the communities the organization serves. The Foundation stewards funds for specific causes, allowing community members to donate to the causes that are close to their heart. When a hospital or clinic within Monument Health needs assistance in acquiring new equipment, education materials or anything else supported by a Foundation fund, they can apply to receive support. CARING FOR THE WHOLE PERSON

The Foundation supports big projects like the Cancer Care Institute Expansion and purchasing state-of-the-art medical equipment needed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and smaller, more personalized programs also receive much needed support. For example, pediatric patients at the Spearfish Clinic receive a new book after every visit, and patients at the Family Medicine Residency Clinic in Rapid City have access to a food pantry located at the clinic. These projects, and many more like them, receive funding from the Foundation. Foundation Director Angie Kliewer has been at Monument Health for 26 years. She has watched the organization grow from a small fundraising department to a fullfledged foundation. More importantly, she has seen the Foundation’s impact throughout communities in the Black Hills.


$85,000 to the Cancer Care Institute

$320,000 to Children’s Miracle Network


to address needs related to COVID-19

$75,400 for hospice programs

$234,600 other programs

2021 contributions

“It may seem like we only buy big medical equipment, but we’re really able to listen to all our departments and figure out ways to help them. We also help everybody in our community find a way to give to causes that they’re really passionate about,” Angie said. There are many projects and needs throughout Monument Health with funds that community members can donate to. They include the Children’s Miracle Network, the Cancer Care Institute Expansion project and Hospice Services, along with spiritual services, medical student scholarships, room furnishings and education materials. Through these funds, the Monument Health Foundation supports patients, caregivers and the community. HELP IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

Much of the Foundation’s work serves those in Monument Health’s care. The Foundation also has funds to support caregivers and staff in need. Funds are set aside that allow caregivers to help one another in times of need, such as unforeseen medical expenses or losing their home in a natural disaster. “When the pandemic started, we cared for those with COVID-19, while maintaining the administration of standard health care, from treating heart attacks to delivering babies. Fortunately, we had community members step up and ask how they could help our caregivers,” Angie said. “They donated things like personal protective equipment when it wasn’t available, and the Foundation helped facilitate those donations to help take care of our caregivers.” The Foundation also manages a fund called the Greatest Need, which allows community


The Foundation’s first capital campaign raised $5 million to build Hospice House. Its latest campaign, “Together We Can,” raised $8.5 million for the Cancer Care Institute Expansion.

Each year the Monument Health Foundation helps purchase equipment and fund programs for the benefit of patients. In the past year, the Foundation assisted with funding over $732,000 requests within Monument Health for specialty items in many different departments.

members to simply donate to a specific area’s greatest needs. It allows the Foundation to help in ways that may be unexpected yet vitally important to providing world class care across Monument Health. “There are times people will say ‘use this for what you need the most,’ so we reserve those funds in the Greatest Need fund. Then if there’s something a department needs, and we don’t have a fund specifically for it, we can use the Greatest Need fund to make sure they get what they need,” Angie explained. When hospitals unexpectedly needed to purchase ventilators and other equipment in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they turned to the Greatest Need fund. Because the Foundation already had the funds available, hospitals were able to purchase lifesaving equipment when it was needed without worrying about reallocating budgets or performing additional fundraising amid a public health crisis.


Raw Couture A large part of the Monument Health Foundation’s fundraising happens during events. Successful events include the Hospice Ball, the Tee it Up Fore Cancer golf tournament and the CMN Mediathon. This year, the Foundation is partnering with Evergreen Media and HomeSlice Media Group in Rapid City to bring Raw Couture back to the stage. Raw Couture began in 2017 as a way for the team at Evergreen Media to put their creative energy into a community fundraiser. For this high-energy, abstract fashion show, local businesses create a costume using materials from their business and model it as part of a runway show. Monument Health has partnered with Raw Couture since its inception, and now the Foundation will take a more active role in producing the event. Meghan Rose at Evergreen Media is excited for this new chapter. “The chance to partner with Monument Health and HomeSlice Media Group, who have been with us from the start, is a true gift,” she said. “I look forward to watching it grow and continue to raise impactful funds for the Monument Health Foundation in years to come.” This year’s event will take place in April with the theme Shadows of the Jungle.

More 2022 Foundation Events: • Tough Enough to Wear Pink Jan. 28 - Feb. 5 • Rush Fights Cancer Feb. 12 • Northern Hills Hospice Ball Feb. 26 • Raw Couture April - TBD • CMN Mediathon May 6 • Golden Guitars Gala June 9 • Tee It Up Fore Cancer June 20



Sarah Lewis, d.o. Family Medicine Physician, Rapid City

Dr. Lewis grew up watching her father’s dedication to his patients, and she looks forward to continuing to provide them with the level of care they’ve come to expect.

“The importance of self-improvement is exemplified by my dad, who rarely skips a morning of his weights, sit-ups, running in his younger years and more recently, walking. In medicine, selfimprovement means constantly seeking information and regularly engaging in the practice of cognitive autopsy – how can I constantly be improving as a physician. My dad is an astute diagnostician, and I love talking through cases with him. He is my sounding board; there is no substitute for 40 years of experience,” Dr. Sarah Lewis.

My Role I am a mother, wife, resident physician, athlete and learning enthusiast. My Goal: My goal in my personal life is to raise kind humans who will care about their impact on other people, our society, the planet and who will know how to work hard. My professional goals are to be a medical “home” for my patients; to maintain my dad’s practice as a place of continuity, to serve as an up-to-date resource for my patients and to have a relationship with each person that trusts me with their health or the health of a loved one. A well-trained family medicine physician should be able to take care of 85-90 percent of the health care needs of their patients. My dad does this and it is my goal to get there. My Passion: My passion is self-improvement. Growing up, work ethic was nonnegotiable with my dad. He was a “hard dad” and enforced the rule that when you commit to something, you commit wholeheartedly. Early in life he was my basketball coach, which meant practicing every day, all year, not only when it was convenient. Shooting hoops under the garage light with dad was a routine occurrence — which is pretty remarkable considering how horrible my shot was and the hours he was working. Later, in medical school and intern year, when time is a precious commodity, selfimprovement meant sacrificing sleep hours to take care of myself physically. Diet and exercise are important to me personally and in educating my patients.


Family physicians get to know you and your needs, and cover all areas of general health. Their practice includes pediatric and adolescent health, women’s and men’s health, gynecology, aging issues and office-based surgery.

My Role I have been in family practice in Sturgis since July 1984 and have been the Community Medical Director since the origin of that position. My Goal My short-term goal is to move into the Monument Health retirement pathway next July when my daughter, Dr. Sarah Lewis joins our practice. I will continue to practice until March 2023 when I will fully retire on my 72nd birthday. My long-term professional goal has been to recruit and retain a group of quality physicians and advanced practice providers to serve the Sturgis area after my retirement. My hope is that Sturgis Hospital and Clinic continues as a staple in the community, providing high-quality care for generations to come. After retirement, my wife Judy and I plan to remain in Sturgis, enjoying our family, friends, the outdoors and doing some traveling. My Passion My passion has always been my family, my love of the outdoors and practicing medicine. I consider medicine the most exciting, challenging and rewarding vocation on the planet. This was apparently very evident to my family as all three of my children Amy, Sarah and Ben went into medicine. I am very happy to be able to hand off my 38-yearold practice to my daughter, Sarah.

Charles Lewis, d.o. Community Medical Director, Sturgis

Dr. Lewis has built his family medicine practice over three decades — and he’s excited to see it stay in the family.



A TRULY GREAT DOCTOR IS HARD TO FIND, DIFFICULT TO PART WITH AND IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET. To all the truly amazing doctors at Monument Health, thank you.

Happy Doctors’ Day March 30

Delivering high-quality care is one of Monument Health’s priorities. To fulfill that goal, we are committed to recruiting and hiring the best and brightest physicians from around the world.

In 2022, Carla will retire after 34 years with Monument Health. She served as the Clinic Director for 11 specialties as Rapid City Regional Hospital was making the transition to outpatient services in the 1990s. She has been an integral part of the leadership that saw 10 existing medical practices join the organization during her tenure, and she has actively recruited and onboarded more than 335 physicians to Monument Health.

Carla Stark

Provider Relations Manager, Physician Services

Settling in at Monument Health — and in the Black Hills — is different for each new physician. Regardless of what assistance they need, Carla is here to help. HEALTH // WINTER 2022


My Role As the Provider Relations Manager, I work with all physicians who are being recruited to Monument Heath. I onboard each new physician, which includes processes like credentialing and privileging, licensing, making relocation arrangements, orientation and in some cases immigration needs. Each physician is unique and I support them throughout the recruitment process which can take a few months to several years. My Goal The recruitment and onboarding process is the first impression a physician has of Monument Health. My goal is to build a positive relationship with potential physicians by supporting and assisting them in any way I can. The journey to bring on a physician has many moving parts and I work alongside them to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. My Passion I truly enjoy working with physicians and being their “goto” person for any questions, before their employment and long afterwards. This is a very exciting time in their life, for some the beginning of their career. Most importantly, it gives me great satisfaction to know that I have had a role in bringing a physician to Monument Health and the Black Hills who will care for my family, my friends, my neighbors and the communities that we serve. At the end of the day this is what is most important.



Welcome our newest physicians CARDIOLOGY

Fawzi Ameer, m.d., is a

cardiologist at the Heart and Vascular Institute. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at the American University of Antigua and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and his Cardiovascular Fellowship at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens. Dr. Ameer also completed an Advanced Cardiac Imaging Fellowship at the Houston Methodist Hospital Debakey Heart and Vascular Institute. He is board-certified in cardiovascular medicine, internal medicine, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and cardiac computed tomography.

Luis Hernandez, m.d.,

is a cardiologist at the Heart and Vascular Institute. He received his medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. He completed his residency with the Presence Saint Joseph Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program, and his Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, Florida, where he was the chief fellow. Dr. Hernandez is boardcertified in cardiovascular medicine with an interest in heart failure, heart transplantation and heart pumps.

Jeffrey Wilson, m.d., is an

interventional cardiologist at the Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Wilson grew up in Wisconsin, where medicine has always been a part of his life — his


father and twin brother are also cardiologists. Dr. Wilson completed his Internal Medicine residency at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He completed his fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease and sub-fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine in Sioux Falls, S.D. He specializes in coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease. CRITICAL CARE

Linda Hodges, d.o., is a

critical care nocturnist at Rapid City Hospital. Dr. Hodges received her medical degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine – A.T. Still University in Mo. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirkland and her Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. DERMATOLOGY

Kirstin Hockhausen, m.d.,

is a dermatologist at Monument Health Dermatology in Rapid City. She is a native of Rapid City and a graduate of Stevens High School. Dr. Hockhausen chose to pursue medicine after her husband was diagnosed with leukemia and later found her passion in dermatology. Dr. Hockhausen joins her father, Samuel Huot (retired, family medicine) and two brothers, Christopher (ophthalmology) and Michael (anesthesiology), in providing health care to the Black Hills region.


Thomas Barrett, m.d.,

is a family medicine physician at Monument Health Deadwood Hospital and Clinic. He earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed his Family Medicine Residency at the University of California ­—ƒ Davis Mercy Medical Center Merced, Dignity Health.

Avery Sides, m.d., is a

family medicine physician at Monument Health Custer Hospital and Clinic. She earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine in Omaha. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Advanced Rural Training Program. Dr. Sides is active in the American Academy of Family Medicine, as well as the Air National Guard. GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY

Katherine Croft, m.d., is a

gynecological oncologist at Monument Health Cancer Care Institute. She earned her medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia, then completed a residency in OB/GYN at Carolinas Medical Center — now Atrium Health — in Charlotte N.C. and her fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. HOSPITAL MEDICINE

Thomas Brockhoft, m.d.,

is a hospitalist at Rapid City Hospital. He earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Dr. Brockhoft completed his residency at the Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency program in Billings, Mont.


Monument Health’s priority is to deliver high-quality care to every patient. With a team of over 5,500 physicians and caregivers throughout the region, we do just that.

Daryl Goh, m.d., is a

hospitalist at Rapid City Hospital. Dr. Goh earned his medical degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He comes to Monument Health after several years working at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Michael Van Winkle, d.o., is a hospitalist at Spearfish Hospital. He earned his medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio. Dr. Van Winkle completed his Internal Medicine Residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio. NEUROLOGY – EPILEPSY

Conrad Nievera, m.d.,

is a neurologist at Monument Health in Rapid City. Dr. Nievera earned his medical degree from the University of the Philippines in Manila, Philippines. Dr. Nievera went on to complete his Neurology residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin and his fellowship in EEG, Epilepsy and Evoked Potentials and Stroke at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Ind. NEUROSURGERY

AmiLyn Taplin, m.d., is a

neurosurgeon at Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital in Rapid City. Dr. Taplin earned her medical degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed her Neurosurgery residency at Albany Medical Center. While attending school, Dr. Taplin also served in the United States Army as a staff neurosurgeon. Her medical interests include tumors of the brain and spine, brain mapping, traumatic injuries and core strengthening to prevent back pain.




Rachel Michael, m.d.,

is an orthopedic surgeon with Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital in Rapid City. She received her medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University and completed her Orthopedic Surgery residency at the University of Toledo Medical Center. Dr. Michael specializes in general orthopedics and joint replacement. Her medical interests include trauma, hand and pediatric patients. PULMONOLOGY/CRITICAL CARE

Cliff Janikowski, m.d.,

is a pulmonology and critical care physician at Rapid City Clinic on Flormann Street. He received his medical degree from American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Dr. Janikowski completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at Creighton University.

Christopher Miller, d.o.,

is a critical care nocturnist at Rapid City Hospital. He received his medical degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine – A.T. Still University in Mo. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Missouri in Columbia and his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Miller also has master’s degrees in public health and health administration. PSYCHIATRY

James Hellekson, m.d., is a

psychiatrist at Monument Health Behavioral Health Center. A South Dakota native, he grew up in Faith, S.D. He earned his medical degree and completed his Psychiatry

residency at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. Dr. Hellekson specializes in adult psychiatry.

Heather Spain, m.d., is a

psychiatrist in both general and child and adolescent psychiatry. She earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed her residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. She then completed a fellowship at Creighton-UNMC in Omaha, Neb. Prior to moving to South Dakota, she worked in Omaha at Boys Town as both an inpatient and outpatient child and adolescent psychiatrist. Her current treatment population includes children, adolescents and young adults. Dr. Spain’s clinical interests include anxiety disorders and mood disorders. RADIOLOGY

Christopher Milnes, m.d.,

is a radiologist in Spearfish. Dr. Milnes earned his medical degree from the Sanford School of Medicine in Vermillion, S.D. and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Radiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. SPORTS MEDICINE

Abbie Metzler, d.o., is a

primary care sports medicine physician with Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital in Rapid City and a native of South Dakota. Dr. Metzler received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Minnesota. She is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and board-certified in family medicine. She specializes in nonoperative orthopedics and focuses on ultrasound guided procedures and adolescent medicine.




The Jungle Awaits APRIL 2022 Theatre and fashion like you’ve never seen before... #FeelTheWild AN ABSTRACT FASHION SHOW Presented by




Tough Enough to Wear Pink Jan. 28 - Feb. 5 • Rapid City

Community Health Summit Jan. 28 - Feb. 5 • The Monument

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo Jan. 28 - Feb. 5 • Rapid City

Rodeo Rapid City Jan. 28 - Feb. 5 • Rapid City

Rush Fights Cancer Feb. 12 • Rapid City

Northern Hills Hospice Ball Feb. 26

American Heart Association Heart Ball Mar. 5 • Rapid City

CMN Mediathon Mar. 6

Black Hills Sports Show & Outdoor Expo Mar. 11 - 13 • Rapid City

Raw Couture April - TBD • Rapid City

WAVI Spirit of Peace May 26 • Rapid City

Golden Guitars Gala June 9

Tee It Up Fore Cancer June 20

*All events are subject to change due to COVID-19 concerns. Schedules were correct at time of publication. HEALTH // WINTER 2022



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

Find a location or provider near you HOSPITALS Custer Hospital 1220 Montgomery St. Custer, SD 57730 605.673.9400

Lead-Deadwood Clinic 71 Charles St. Deadwood SD, 57732 605.717.6431

Lead-Deadwood Urgent Care Services 71 Charles St. Deadwood, SD 57732 605.717.6431

Lead-Deadwood Hospital 61 Charles St. Deadwood, SD 57732 605.717.6000

Rapid City Clinic 640 Flormann St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.3300

Spearfish Urgent Care 1420 N. 10th St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8595

Rapid City Clinic 2805 5th St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.5700

Sturgis Urgent Care Services 2140 Junction Ave. Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2600

Rapid City Hospital 353 Fairmont Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.1000 Spearfish Hospital 1440 N. Main St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4000 Sturgis Hospital 2140 Junction Ave. Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2400 MEDICAL CLINICS Belle Fourche Clinic 2200 13th Ave. Belle Fourche, SD 57717 605.723.8970 Buffalo Clinic 209 Ramsland St. Buffalo, SD 57720 605.375.3744 Custer Clinic 1220 Montgomery St. Custer, SD 57730 605.673.9400 Gillette Clinic 620 W. Four-J Ct. Gillette, WY 82716 307.682.1204 Hill City Clinic 238 Elm St. Hill City, SD 57745 605.574.4470 Hot Springs Clinic 1100 Highway 71 South, Suite 101 Hot Springs, SD 57747 605.745.8050

Spearfish Clinic 1445 North Ave. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4170 Spearfish Clinic 1420 N. 10th St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8595 Sturgis Clinic 2140 Junction Ave. Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2600 Wall Clinic 112 7th Ave. Wall, SD 57790 605.279.2149 Family Medicine Residency Clinic 502 E. Monroe St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4060 Family Health Education Services 930 N. 10th St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.642.6337 URGENT CARE Rapid City Urgent Care 1303 N. Lacrosse St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.2273 Rapid City Urgent Care 2116 Jackson Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57702 605.755.2273

Custer Urgent Care Services 1220 Montgomery St. Custer, SD 57730 605.673.9400 SPECIALTY CLINICS Assisted Living 432 N. 10th St. Custer, SD 57730 605.673.5588 Behavioral Health Center 915 Mountain View Rd. Rapid City, SD 57702 605.755.7200 Custer Care Center 1065 Montgomery St. Custer, SD 57730 605.673.2237 Sturgis Care Center 949 Harmon St. Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2400 Dermatology 550 E. Colorado Blvd. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8860 Dermatology 4150 5th St. Rapid City, SD 57783 605.755.5340 Dialysis Center 955 E. North St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.6950

Dialysis Center 132 Yankee St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.722.8110 Heart and Vascular Institute 353 Fairmont Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4300 Home+ Home Health 1440 N. Main St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4444 Home+ Hospice 1440 N. Main St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4444 Home+ Home Health 224 Elk St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.7710 Home+ Hospice House 224 Elk St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.7710 Infusion Services 224 Elk St., Suite 100 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.1155 Home+ Home Medical Equipment 1800 N. Haines Ave. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.9000 Home+ Home Medical Equipment 911 E. Colorado Blvd. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8930 Home+ Home Medical Equipment 2707 Lazelle St. Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2676 Home+ Pharmacy 353 Fairmont Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.8184 Home+ Pharmacy 1420 N. 10th St., Suite 1 Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8741 Home+ Specialty Pharmacy 2006 Mount Rushmore Rd., Suite 2 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.3065 Cancer Care Institute 353 Fairmont Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.2300

Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital 1635 Caregiver Cir. Rapid City, SD 57702 605.755.6100 Neurology and Rehabilitation 677 Cathedral Dr. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4150 Neuropsychology 677 Cathedral Dr., Suite 201 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.5276 Rehabilitation 2200 13th Ave. Belle Fourche, SD 57717 605.723.8961 Rehabilitation 1220 Montgomery St. Custer, SD 57730 605.673.9470 Rehabilitation 61 Charles St. Deadwood, SD 57732 605.717.6370 Rehabilitation 2449 E. Colorado Blvd. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4370 Rehabilitation 2140 Junction Ave. Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2570 Rehabilitation Center 1050 Fairmont Blvd., Suite A100 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.1230 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 2479 E. Colorado Blvd. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4460 Sleep Center 2929 5th St. Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4000 Sports Performance Institute powered by EXOS 1635 Caregiver Cir. Rapid City, SD 57702 605.755.6683 Surgery Center 1316 N. 10th St. Spearfish, SD 57783 605.642.3113

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At Monument Health, we believe protecting

At Monument Health, we believe protecting your health and well-being is just as important your health and well-being is just as important as preserving your way of life. as preserving your way of life. Monument Health offers preventive care options that help

Monument Health offers preventive options issues that help detect and prevent serious diseasescare and medical before detect and prevent diseases and medical navigating issues before they become majorserious problems. You are constantly a variety of occupational risks You including respiratorynavigating diseases, they become major problems. are constantly infections, skin cancer, sore bones and muscles, hearing loss, a variety of occupational risks including respiratory diseases, depression, anxiety and disabling We believe thatloss, with infections, skin cancer, sore bones injuries. and muscles, hearing proper preventative care and access to knowledgeable health depression, anxiety and disabling injuries. We believe that with professionals, you can live a long, healthy and productivehealth life. proper preventative care and access to knowledgeable professionals, you can live a long, healthy and productive life. Stop by our booth in the RODEO ZONE at the 2022 Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo to learn more.

Stop by our booth in the RODEO ZONE at the 2022 Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo to learn more.


CONTACT General information 605-755-1000

MyChart For assistance with MyChart, please call the MyChart patient portal hotline at 605-755-9890 or email mycharthelp@