Spring 2021 Monument Health Issue 2

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issue 02


We’re stronger together — and together, our physicians and caregivers help patients find strength and healing.

Spring 2021




Paulette Davidson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Monument Health

W The upcoming Cancer Care Institute expansion will double the size of the facility and allow Monument Health to treat almost 99% of cancer diagnoses right here in the Black Hills.

hen we launched our Monument Health Magazine in January, we weren’t sure what the reaction would be. Three months later, I’m delighted to report that we’ve seen great interest and positive feedback from throughout the region. Now the second issue of Monument Health Magazine has rolled off the presses. We hope you like it just as much. In this issue, you’ll meet Kate Frye, a grandmother from Ekalaka, Mont., who received treatment for lung cancer at the Monument Health Cancer Care Institute. Kate is determined to survive so she can watch her 7-year-old granddaughter, Emerson, grow up.

You will also learn about our $36 million Cancer Care Institute expansion project. It will allow us to meet the growing cancer care needs in our region. We’re committed to delivering quality, close-to-home cancer treatment for family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and community members. We also have stories of scary close calls. Katie Young’s cardiac arrest at a local bowling alley and the quick intervention by fellow bowler, Monument Health Registered Nurse Amanda Gunter. Steven Austin’s heart attack at home. Don Gray’s 51-day hospitalization due to COVID-19. We’ll also introduce you to Larry Mills, Pattie Paulsen and Jose Huertas, the team at the Monument Health Print Shop. They produce the beautiful posters, signs, banners, business cards and other materials that keep our patients and their families informed. I hope you enjoy this issue. Feel free to take extra copies and share them with your friends, neighbors and relatives. And watch for the summer issue of the Monument Health Magazine in July.




In Case You Missed It The latest news and happenings throughout Monument Health. page 4 Awareness Month The second quarter of 2021 highlights key health issues and medical staff. page 6

H E A L T H Managing Editor Melissa Haught Editor Stephany Chalberg Senior Writer Dan Daly Wade Ellett Contributors Karlee Baumann Jennessa Dempsey Kelsie Dietrich Cory Ferguson Chris Huber 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 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 magazine.monument. health. Monument Health Magazine is a free, quarterly publication distributed throughout the Black Hills. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates. ©


Our Space Larry Mills, Jose Huertas and Pattie Paulsen create all of Monument Health’s printed communication. page 9 Ask The Doc Siri Knutsen-Larson, M.D. and Christopher Gasbarre, M.D. discuss skin cancer prevention. page 10 Meet the Volunteers Beverly Paschke and Mary Mickley help patients and families. page 12


Patient Stories When Steven Austin’s heart quit, his physicians refused to give up on him. page 28

Physician Spotlight Meet Michael Hansen, M.D., a Pulmonologist and Critical Care Physician, and Heather Brewer, M.D., a board-certified OB/GYN. page 34 My Space As a Senior Desktop Analyst, Krishna Blair keeps Monument Health’s Information Technology working smoothly. page 37 Calendar Upcoming events at Monument Health. page 39 Directory Find a Monument Health provider near you. page 40

Features and Stories

Spring into Health Experts at Monument Health talk about trends in cardio exercise and give tips on injury prevention and recovery techniques. page 14

My Space Betty Nettleton, RN, came out of retirement to help give COVID-19 vaccines. page 32

Together We Can When Kate Frye was diagnosed with lung cancer, she made a promise. Read her story and learn how the Cancer Care Institute’s expansion will help future patients like her. page 18

Introducing Meet Monument Health’s newest physicians Maren Gaul, D.O., and Miranda Tracy, M.D. page 33

Right Place at the Right Time Katie Young collapsed at a bowling alley; luckily, nurse Amanda Gunter was nearby. page 24

Don Gray was hospitalized for 51 days, but was victorious over COVID-19. page 30


Pictured from left, Paulette Davidson, Dan Roline, Dr. Brad Archer and Dr. David Hayes as they sign the agreement for Monument Health to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network.


Monument Health introduced a new treatment for COVID-19 patients in November 2020. This is a new type of infusion therapy called monoclonal antibodies. By mid-January, 326 patients had received the infusion treatment, and it has drastically reduced the need for hospitalization among the patients who have received it. Monoclonal antibodies, which received emergency use authorization in November, are laboratorymade proteins designed to block the COVID-19 virus from attaching to cells in the human body. It is effective only for specific types of patients — including those who have mild to moderate symptoms in the previous 10 days or less and are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. It’s not for patients who are already hospitalized or on oxygen.


January marked the one-year anniversary of Monument Health’s membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network. On Jan. 17, 2020, Monument Health joined the worldwide network of independent health care systems with special access to Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise. Mayo Clinic is a world-class leader in health care, and membership in the network supports Monument Health’s focus on delivering high-quality, patient-centered care.


Monument Health has utilized a variety of services over the first year, including: • More than 400 eConsults that allow Monument Health physicians to connect with Mayo Clinic specialists on specific patient cases. • 4,200 uses of AskMayoExpert, a pointof-care tool that offers concise clinical information on hundreds of conditions. • Monument Health has engaged in consulting with the Mayo Clinic Care Network to find resources and solutions around COVID-19, sepsis, pressure injuries and workplace violence.


Whether it’s ground-breaking research, administering vaccines or supporting local youth, Monument Health provides world-class care while investing in the communities that we call home.


COVID-19 VACCINATIONS On Dec. 14, 2020, Emergency Medicine Physician Stephen Dick, M.D., rolled up his sleeve and was the first within Monument Health to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As of March 9, 2021, more than 47,350 total doses have been administered and 30,700 unique people have received at least one dose of the vaccine from Monument Health. Anyone interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine can sign up on the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist at www.vaccineregister.monument.health. For more information on the phases of the vaccine process, please go to www.covid.sd.gov.

Under the phases laid out by the South Dakota Department of Health, the vaccine was first administered to front line health care workers and longterm care facility health care workers. The vaccine rollout continued to include more groups of South Dakotans including public health workers, law enforcement, emergency medical services workers and more. By the beginning of March, the Department of Health opened up vaccinations for almost everyone in Phase I.

CARDIOLOGIST PUBLISHES RESEARCH A research paper written by Bhaskar Purushottam, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, an Interventional Cardiologist and Vascular Specialist at Monument Health Heart and Vascular Institute in Rapid City, was published in the Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Therapy. The paper, titled “Novel Technique to Cross Infrapopliteal Artery Chronic Total Occlusions,” discussed Dr. Purushottam’s innovative technique to open lower extremity arterial blockages in a timeefficient and economical way. In early 2020, Dr. Purushottam was invited to present on six separate topics at the LINC 2020 Vascular Symposium in Leipzig, Germany. He also published the first dedicated research study regarding gender differences in the treatment response to the widely used drug-coated balloon angioplasty for symptomatic lower extremity arterial disease with his Mount Sinai colleagues in New York. HEALTH // SPRING 2021

Monument Health gives back to local high school Monument Health donated $5,000, the proceeds of its summer athletic performance camp, to upgrade Spearfish High School’s weight room. Rose Lewis serves as the head strength and conditioning coach for all of the Spearfish Spartan sports teams. “We’re proud that Monument Health is putting money back into the school so we can improve the weight room,” Lewis said.

Sports Performance Institute signs Rapid City pro athlete James Carter, a professional Freestyle Motocross rider, has signed a sports performance agreement with Monument Health Sports Performance Institute. Carter joins Tamara Gorman, world-class triathlete, and Martin Christofferson, U.S.A. Olympic Bobsled Team hopeful, in signing with Monument Health Sports Performance Institute.



Sexual Assault Awareness Month Observed every April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month raises awareness about sexual assault and educates communities on ways they can prevent sexual violence. The Monument Health Rapid City Hospital Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is ready to help victims medically and legally, as well as to answer questions about sexual assault or point to available resources. To reach the Monument Health Rapid City Hospital SART, call the Emergency Department at 605-755-8222.

SKIN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. — it’s likely that one out of every five Americans will deal with skin cancer during their lifetime. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Monument Health’s dermatologists provide a line of defense against skin cancer. For more serious melanomas, the Cancer Care Institute is prepared to help patients using the best treatments available. Preventing skin cancer is always preferable to treating it. Avoid sun exposure by wearing UV-blocking clothing and properly apply a broadspectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher while spending time outside.

LABORATORY PROFESSIONALS WEEK April 18-24 is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week — or Lab Week. It is a yearly celebration of pathologists and laboratory professionals and their significant contributions to providing the best possible patient care. Monument Health’s skilled lab professionals


make it possible to detect, treat and monitor disease. These laboratory professionals play a crucial role in diagnosis and treatment, as over 70% of medical decisions are made based on lab results. Lab Week acknowledges and thanks the lab professionals and technicians that help patients get the care they need.

Occupational Therapy Month The month of April is Occupational Therapy month — a month to express thanks to those who take great care during the rehabilitation process with each patient, helping them to return to productive, independent and satisfying lives. This process looks different for every patient, and occupational therapy is customized for each individual’s needs.

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness month, an important time to remember that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience a mental health condition during their lifetime. Raising awareness about mental health helps break the stigma of mental illness and encourages people to get the help they need. Text 741741 or call 1-8006264 for 24/7, free confidential support.


May 6 is National Nurses Day. This day is the perfect time to acknowledge the vital role that nurses play in providing high quality, patient-centered care. Across Monument Health, nurses have been recognized for their contributions to nursing — they have received DAISY Awards, Star Awards and other honors. Because of everything that nurses do, Monument Health honors and celebrates its nurses on National Nurses Day — and year round!


New location The new Gifts With Heart gift shop at Rapid City Hospital offers more room and advanced merchandising to enhance your shopping experience. The gift shop offers a variety of items including flowers, gifts, get-well cards and personal necessities for friends and families

We are proud to offer in-room delivery to all our Rapid City Hospital patients. TO ORDER:

visiting patients at Rapid City Hospital.

Call 605-755-8041.

Purchase with a Purpose

We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Our volunteers have been raising money for Monument Health since they began selling gifts out of carts in the

All phone orders have applicable (6.5%) sales tax and a $2 processing fee added.

1960s. All proceeds from gift shop sales are donated back to the hospital to fund special projects such as the artwork throughout our hospital, as well as the printing and distribution of this magazine.

Show this ad for 20% off one regular price item at Gifts With Heart (some exclusions apply).

Located inside the Fifth Street Entrance | Rapid City Hospital | 353 Fairmont Blvd. 605-755-8041 | www.monument.health/giftshop HEALTH // SPRING 2021



Spearfish OB/GYN Team Services: Prenatal Care and Delivery | Infertility High Risk Pregnancies | Birth Control Management Well Woman Exams | Minimally Invasive Surgery Reproductive Systems Disorders Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Disorders

Monument Health Spearfish Clinic 1445 North Ave. | Spearfish, SD 57783 | 605-644-4170

Monument Health’s print shop has been operating since 1979. They process around 75 jobs a week, including everything from business cards to 70-foot banners.


Larry, Jose & Pattie Printing Services, Rapid City

Larry Mills, Jose Huertas and Pattie Paulsen touch every aspect of Monument Health’s printed communication, running a full-service print shop within Monument Health.

Our Role It’s our job to make sure every print job looks professional and leaves our shop in a timely manner. We ensure we are creating a finished product of the caliber our community deserves.


Our Goal We understand that being a patient isn’t easy; time spent here can be some of the most stressful parts of people’s lives. Our goal is to present information in a way that simplifies and eases a patient’s situation so they can focus on the important things.

Printing Services produces the printed communication that keeps Monument Health running smoothly. Most visitors will see their work in the community as banners for local services such as testing locations. Inside Monument Health, they print location posters and maps found in lobbies, as well as information pamphlets and the forms patients fill out prior to an appointment. The printers also work behind the scenes putting out internal communications such as meeting notices and letters, and take care of administrative duties such as business cards for caregivers.

Our Passion Working with the marketing team, we enjoy taking a product from the initial design to the final print. From selecting the right material to overcoming unforeseen environmental effects. It’s different every time, but we love the challenge of making sure each print is engaging and thoughtful.



Sunburns of youth could come back to haunt you May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but Black Hills Dermatologists Dr. Siri KnutsenLarson and Dr. Christopher Gasbarre firmly believe that protecting your skin should be a year-round priority, even for children. More than 3.3 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. It remains the most common form of cancer in the United States. We’ve heard that “sunburns of youth” can come back to haunt you. What exactly does that mean?

Dr. Knutsen-Larson: Research shows that if you’ve had more than 10 significant sunburns before age 18, your risk of skin cancer in adulthood is much greater. Skin damage occurs early, even if it doesn’t show up until later on. At what age do we need to start thinking about skin damage?

wide-brimmed hats and longsleeve shirts. Baseball caps, by the way, don’t shield your ears, a favorite target of skin cancer. If possible, avoid gardening, yard work or other direct sunlight chores between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, is there less danger of UV exposure?

Dr. Gasbarre: Direct sunlight is not a requirement for UV damage.

When you’re on a ski slope, for instance, the sunlight reflecting off the snow can greatly increase your exposure. Also, light clouds won’t block out the UV rays in sunlight. Is there anything about West River South Dakota that makes skin cancer more of a concern?

Dr. Knutsen-Larson: This region’s altitude is a factor. Higher altitudes bring greater exposure to ultraviolet

Dr. Knutsen-Larson: As soon as possible. I tell parents that if they start protecting their kids from sun exposure when they’re young, they will get into the habit of wearing long sleeves, rash guards and sunscreen. It’s as important as seatbelts. How do you protect yourself?

Dr. Gasbarre: Wear sunscreen, at least SPF 30, whenever you’re outdoors. Reapply it every two hours — or after swimming or sweating — to make sure it’s still doing its job. You can also wear sun protective clothing, ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) fabrics,


Dr. Siri Knutsen-Larson, pictured here examining her daughter’s skin, says parents must start early teaching their children to wear hats and apply sunscreen.


Skin cancer is treatable, but more importantly, it’s preventable.

Siri Knutsen-Larson, M.D. Dermatologist Monument Health Fifth Street Clinic Rapid City Dr. Knutsen-Larson grew up in Rapid City and was always intrigued by the medical field. Her father, Roger Knutsen, M.D., had a long-standing dermatology practice in Rapid City, and she felt compelled to follow in his footsteps. Her expertise includes medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology with specialized interests in pediatric and pregnancy related dermatology.

Dr. Christopher Gasbarre performs Mohs surgery on a patient in his Spearfish clinic. The procedure involves removal of cancerous tissue one layer at a time until the skin is cancer-free.

light. With every 1,000-foot gain in altitude, your exposure increases 5 to 8 percent. Rapid City is about 3,200 feet. Lead is another 2,000 feet higher, so your UV exposure would be 10 to 16 percent greater in Lead. How do you know if you already have skin cancer?

Dr. Gasbarre: Checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Do it often, and if you see changes in your skin — like irregularly shaped moles or lesions, or areas that don’t heal — make an appointment with a dermatologist. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment. If you’re prone to skin cancer — for


instance if you have a lot of moles or a family history of skin cancer — an annual skin check is a good idea. Dr. Knutsen-Larson: Don’t neglect the pale, protected areas that see no sunshine. You can get skin cancer anywhere on the body. What are the most common types of skin cancer?

Dr. Gasbarre: The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are more common. Melanoma is aggressive, more likely to spread to other parts of the body. It accounts for fewer cases, but more deaths.

Christopher Gasbarre, D.O. Dermatologist Monument Health Dermatology Spearfish Dr. Gasbarre is a boardcertified dermatologist and Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery who practices in Spearfish. He enjoys treating any and all conditions of the skin, but is particularly interested in the treatment of skin cancer. He has published and edited numerous articles and book chapters, as well as lectured internationally.



The Volunteer Auxiliary has dedicated over 45 years of service to Monument Health through both volunteer hours and fundraising efforts.

We make it a priority to deliver highquality care to our patients. Volunteers help us add a thoughtful touch to our everyday health care services.

Prior to moving to the area, Beverly had already spent time volunteering at a hospital, so when she found herself in Rapid City, she knew that volunteering at Monument Health would be right for her. Why do you volunteer? I feel like it’s a great opportunity to be able to help people and I like to be busy, so I fit right into volunteering. What have you done as a volunteer at Monument Health? Oh, I’ve done a little bit of everything. I was doing hand massages with Caring Hands at the Cancer Care Institute and also in the rooms. I did visitations and handed out items to make stays just a little more pleasant, like word search books, crossword puzzles or a deck of cards. We also make the neck pillows. I’ve made hundreds of them!

Beverly Paschke Volunteer, Rapid City Hospital

For the last 20 years, Beverly Paschke has devoted time to volunteering with Monument Health, and taking steps to make patient stays just a little more comfortable.


What advice do you have for folks who want to volunteer? No matter who you are, there’s a really big variety of opportunities at the hospital. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, you can make a difference, so just jump in. What’s the best part of volunteering? Volunteering keeps you in tune with what’s going on, and it sure helps you feel better because if you’re doing something for somebody else you’re not thinking about your own problems.


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


Mary Mickley Volunteer, Rapid City Hospital

After a successful nursing career spanning more than 30 years, Mary Mickley stays connected to the medical community by volunteering at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital.

Even though she no longer works as a nurse, health, wellness and community remain important to Mary. “I’ve always been community-minded, so if I identify a need in the community, I like to try to do something to alleviate that need.” That’s what led Mary to spearhead an effort that brought hundreds of homecooked meals to caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why do you volunteer? I like to keep in touch with the medical community. Since I’m no longer actively working, it helps keep me up-to-date with what’s going on. Second, I like to give back.

Monument Health’s mission is to make a difference. Every day. Our volunteers help us fulfill that promise for every patient.

How did you decide to begin providing home cooked meals to caregivers? I saw a nurse post that she was struggling on Facebook, so I decided I would take things one team at a time. It absolutely exploded with people that wanted to help with donations, so I took on the goal to feed each floor. It was a ton of work, but the community support and the team I enlisted was great. Why do you think people should volunteer? I think everyone needs a purpose. It’s important to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. For me, I want my purpose to benefit others. What advice would you give to new volunteers? I would just say find something that you’re passionate about. If you don’t see something right for you, come up with your own ideas. I think if you’re innovative, you can always find a way to volunteer.




EXOS has partnered with a web-based app that allows access to individualized workouts for clients. Performance Coaches can give feedback on progress or provide modifications as needed.


After a year of indoor or at-home workouts, spring is the perfect time to move physical fitness routines outside. The experts at Monument Health weigh in on how to safely implement walking or running into an exercise routine.



Whether it’s Physical Therapy, Lifestyle Medicine or classes with EXOS trainers, Monument Health is ready to find exactly what works for every individual.

This past year has caused many people to rethink their physical fitness regimens. Some have limited their use of gym equipment to reduce the need for cleaning, while others have shifted to completely at-home workouts. Now that nicer weather is on the horizon, exercising outside lets people reap the benefits of fresh air and sunshine. THE TREND ON THE TRAIL

Walking, running and hiking are all popular in the Black Hills, and are easy activities to add to a daily routine. Trail running is particularly popular, and although it has been around for some time, the sport has become more prevalent in the region. Kyle Taylor, a Performance Coach at Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital powered by EXOS, says, “Trail running has been around as long as people have been running, but now there are several races and events where trail running is the mode of competition.” The terrain around the Black Hills region is wellsuited for this type of activity, with local running clubs hosting several events throughout the year. Heading straight to the trail might not be the best starting place for everyone, however. Adding a new activity to your fitness routine should always be done in a measured way to allow your body to adapt. To start out, Kyle says, “I utilize something we call interval training; run at an easy pace you can maintain for 20-30 seconds and then walk for a minute or so and repeat. Slowly increase your pace or


Studies show that lung capacity and function are both improved by participating in regular cardiovascular exercise. Lung capacity decreases as we age, but making small adjustments to a daily routine can help reverse this decline. Simple things like parking your car at the back of the parking lot when you get groceries or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work can make a difference. For people recovering from COVID-19, there may be benefits related to increased lung capacity gained from breathing exercises or physical activity. Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

Kyle Taylor is a Performance Coach at Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital powered by EXOS in Rapid City. As a Performance Coach, he works with people on an individual level to find a program that best suits their needs, and also leads group circuit training, interval training and gym classes. He believes there’s a connection between physical fitness and mental wellbeing, especially through the sense of accomplishment he sees when people complete a workout session. For Kyle, the biggest reward is seeing the progress people make toward their goals. Whether it’s lifting a heavier weight, shedding pounds or being able to comfortably do an exercise that used to cause pain, he’s excited to help people reach their goals.



A good pair of shoes is the most important piece of gear you can buy when starting a new cardio routine. When picking out a new pair, Kyle says, “consider your own comfort, if you’re uncomfortable while running, it is a routine you will likely have a tough time sticking to.” In order to find a shoe that fits comfortably and supports you correctly, it’s best to talk to a professional. “Feet have a little bit of an identity, and we can help analyze your gait and reveal which part of your foot you like to load up, if you have any kind of arch collapse or any other challenges. Essentially, we can tell if you need more support and where,” Kyle says. Once you know more about your gait, experts at local sports stores can help you find a shoe that will give you the support you need.


time/distance as you feel prepared to do so.” The key is to listen to your body, and not try to push too hard or through too much pain. You should expect some muscle soreness, but if something hurts, it’s an indication that you need to slow down. THE VALUE OF STRENGTH

Conventional advice would have us believe that being a better runner simply means running more. There’s a component to running most people don’t consider, however: strength training. When it comes to running, Kyle says, “Feet inherently need stability and strength, and there are several exercises that you can do to strengthen them such as various heel and toe walks, and even calf raises.” Thighs and hips play a large role in stability when walking or running, and should also be the focus of strength training days. Finding the balance between

strength training and cardio depends on each individual and their personal fitness objectives. Kyle recommends, “a blend of both is ideal, but the frequency of each type of exercise will vary based on your goals, what you enjoy, etc.” Whether you’re a seasoned runner or hitting the trail for the first time, strengthening your feet and core will help you tackle your fitness objectives. GET STARTED SAFELY

When beginning a new routine, it can be easy to cause injury. Physical Therapist Alicia Porsch says, “start out with just a few minutes at a time and then add in 30 seconds to one minute each day. By starting like this you are creating the habit of walking and are more likely to continue without overdoing it. If somebody goes out and walks for 30 minutes on the first day, they may be too fatigued to continue the remainder


of the week.” Starting slowly and deliberately increasing your duration is more likely to build a lasting and safe fitness routine. HOW TO PREVENT INJURY

Running injuries are more common due to the higher impact, but walking can present similar problems. The most common injuries Alicia sees are patellofemoral pain, which is pain centralized around the kneecap. She says, “avoiding injury should be a multifactorial approach: make sure you don’t increase the intensity, frequency or duration too quickly; follow a strengthening and stretching routine consistently; properly fuel your body and ensure that you are


taking proper rest days. This includes seven to nine hours of sleep at night.” Giving your body the best opportunity to recover helps prevent soreness, but also makes sure you’re ready for the next workout. Alicia and Kyle both recommend adding a stretching routine to your cooldown after running. Using soft tissue tools such as a foam roller or a massage stick can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation. In addition to a good night’s sleep and stretching, Alicia emphasizes good nutrition. Focus on getting the proper amount of nutrients after a workout to help recover, but also fuel your body with well-balanced meals and snacks all day.

Alicia Porsch is a Physical Therapist practicing at Monument Health’s Belle Fourche Clinic. She completed her undergraduate degree at Black Hills State University and received her doctorate of physical therapy at the University of South Dakota in 2012. Alicia ran indoor track and cross country at BHSU from 2005– 2009. Alicia focuses on helping patients reach their goals by balancing exercise, nutrition, and rest. She starts each patient on a program they can incorporate into their daily routine before moving on to more structured exercises. Each person is different, and Alicia says helping her patients achieve their goals — whether that means helping them climb a flight of stairs or Black Elk Peak — is the best part of her job. As an avid runner herself, she knows how important it is to be able to have an active and healthy lifestyle.



TOGETHER WE CAN Sometimes winning the fight against cancer starts with a promise. Kate Frye is the kind of grandmother that any child would be lucky to have. When she talks about her granddaughter, Emerson, her eyes light up and she simply can’t keep herself from smiling. “She is pretty much my whole world, that little girl,” she said, with a mixture of pride and glee noticeable in her voice. Kate spends hours at a time playing outside with the energetic 7-year-old in Spearfish. When Emerson comes to visit her grandmother in Ekalaka, Mont., she often brings flowers to plant in the garden. “She loves running and


loves for me to try to catch her,” Kate said. With their strong connection, it’s no wonder that when she was diagnosed with lung cancer last summer, Kate made a promise to herself, focused on the granddaughter she loves so much. “I’m going to watch that little girl grow up,” she said with tears in her eyes. It’s that promise that keeps Kate so driven and positive even six months into her cancer treatment. In July 2020, Kate started to experience shortness of breath. Because of a family history


The Cancer Care Institute in Rapid City serves patients from five states. With rising numbers of cancer patients across the region, the Cancer Care Institute expansion project will ensure these patients continue to receive the best possible care close to home.

of heart trouble, she wanted to be proactive and scheduled an appointment with her local provider. Her EKG came back normal, so her doctor ordered more tests, eventually exposing cancer in her lungs. The diagnosis caught Kate off guard. “I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t believe it. I‘m just the kind of person that is never sick.” Kate’s local provider quickly arranged treatment at the Monument Health Cancer Care Institute and she learned that she would be coming to Rapid City for several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.




Adam Mitchell is a radiation therapist at Monument Health who works with patients like Kate. His technical expertise and positive attitude ensure patients at the Cancer Care Institute receive the best possible care that is also personal.












The Cancer Care Institute expansion will allow more cancer patients to receive state-of-the-art treatment locally, so that they can recuperate in the comfort of their own homes.

“I tell you what, they put you through a lot,” she said. “The day, after day, after day of radiation and chemo.” Kate raves about the care she received from Than Than Aye, M.D. and everyone at the Cancer Care Institute. They were all incredible to her, but one caregiver sticks out. Her radiation therapist, Adam Mitchell, really made an impression on her. He was always there with words of encouragement, a simple pat on the shoulder or just to say “you did great.” Those small gestures always made a big impact on Kate, and she jokingly told him that when she finally completed her treatment she planned to play him a song when she rang the “end of treatment bell.” Kate was joking, but Adam took it to heart — when Kate rang the bell last fall, Adam was ready with a choreographed dance routine complete with moves like the Q-Tip and the sprinkler. Everyone on hand fell into bouts of hysterical laughter, but no one laughed as hard as Kate. Cancer treatment isn’t easy, but these acts of human kindness — be they large or small — make it just a little bit easier.


There’s no doubt that fighting cancer is challenging, but Kate feels fortunate to have had her treatment at Cancer Care Institute. I’m so lucky. This team they have, they are phenomenal,” she said. “The second day you are there, they know your name. They always have a smile on their face — I cannot say enough about those people.” This coming summer, Kate is looking forward to being cancer-free and done with cancer treatments. She plans to spend the long summer days planting flowers and enjoying the sunshine with her yellow lab, Macy. Most of all, she can’t wait to chase Emerson around the yard, and watch her grow. THE GROWING NEED

Stories like Kate’s are becoming more common across the region. Each day nearly 200 patients are seen at Monument Health’s Cancer Care Institute. The facility serves five states and accommodates more than 40,000 patient visits annually. The rise in cancer isn’t unique to the region. In 2018, there were 18.1 million new cancer cases worldwide. By 2040, the number is expected to rise to 29.5 million. While physicians and caregivers in Rapid City offer the best care possible, they are simply running out of space to meet the region’s growing cancer needs. The solution is a $36 million expansion project for Cancer Care Institute that will double the institute’s current size. This project will be supported by the Together We Can capital campaign run by the Monument Health Foundation. The Foundation has already committed

It takes a village Kate Frye has a family history of heart trouble, so she never expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer. With help from physicians and caregivers at the Monument Health Cancer Care Institute, she’s overcome her diagnosis so she can get back to the people she loves.



$6.5 million in previously raised funds to this campaign and is working to raise an additional $2 million. With the community’s support of the Together We Can campaign, the Cancer Care Institute will become a 70,000 square-foot facility. The expansion and renovation will provide the space Monument Health needs to hire more oncologists and ensure the health care system is on the leading edge of the cancer fight. Kate believes keeping cancer care close to home is vital for patients and that is why she supports the Together We Can campaign. “I’ll tell you what, being around family and being able to go home, it’s just such a relief,” she said. By supporting this campaign and expanding Cancer Care Institute, more cancer patients across the region will receive state-of-the-art treatments every day, while getting to spend each night in the comfort of their own homes, right here in the Black Hills. A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH

Questions about treatment options, availability of clinical trials and what order to schedule appointments can overwhelm and exhaust patients already dealing with one of the most stressful events in their lives. With the expansion of Cancer Care Institute, Monument Health will take an integrated approach to care, where multidisciplinary conferences with several doctors and caregivers will help patients navigate the specialized path ahead. “With this new expansion,


“Time and again, our communities have proven that we can step up, take care of our neighbors and meet the needs of our growing region. This is one of those times,” said Paulette Davidson, Monument Health President and CEO. “We need to do this for the patients we’re treating today and for the patients we will treat in the future.”

TOGETHER WE CAN address our growing cancer needs, transform our treatment approach, build hope and change lives. THE PROJECT The expansion of Monument Health’s Cancer Care Institute is a $36 million project that will double the size of the current facility. Construction is slated to start this spring. The new main lobby and waiting room will be a bright and inviting space for the nearly 200 patients seen at the Cancer Care Institute each day. The area will feature more than 1,400 square feet of waiting space, a large greeter desk, patient resource lounge and a retail space. By expanding the infusion area to the second floor, patients will have private rooms with plenty of space for friends and family. The large windows with splendid views will provide a more pleasant experience. The project will also expand the radiation and medical oncology departments, allowing for more services and the hiring of more oncologists.

Monument Health will invest further in technologies that allow for multidisciplinary team-based care, where physicians and staff from multiple specialties can meet, review and plan the best possible care plan for our patients,” said Doug Koch, Monument Health’s Vice President of Operations for the Rapid City Market. The addition of a large 800 square foot, 50-person conference room, equipped with state-of-theart video conferencing equipment, will make it possible for a patient’s primary care providers to join the conversation from anywhere. Because Monument Health is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Mayo’s physicians and additional resources will be just a video conference away. This improved approach is clinically proven to increase patient outcomes. A recent study of 224 cancer patients, published in the


The Monument Health Foundation acquires and stewards charitable gifts for the benefit of the patients and communities we serve. The Foundation, through previous and ongoing campaigns, will contribute 25 percent of the total cost of the Cancer Care Institute expansion.

Fighting cancer isn’t easy — in every sense of the word, it truly is a fight. Patients receiving treatment at the Cancer Care Institute will find that they don’t have to go into battle alone. Just like Kate, they’ll find allies in the physicians and caregivers helping them through treatment with kind words, expert advice or just a shoulder to lean on.

Laryngoscope medical journal, found a 23 percent increase in 5-year disease-specific survival rates when multidisciplinary cancer treatment conferences were used. “Similar to other medical services provided in this region, the community deserves access to a state-of-the-art, modern cancer center that offers treatment for nearly 99 percent of all the cancers seen,” said Daniel Petereit, M.D., FASTRO, Radiation Oncologist at Monument Health’s Cancer Care Institute. “Our vision is to offer multidisciplinary care in one setting as opposed to patients having to travel to multiple clinics to receive the necessary opinions prior to initiating cancer treatment.”

Monument Health Foundation’s Together We Can capital campaign is an opportunity for our community to help shape the future of cancer care in the Black Hills. Through donations previously raised from programs like Tough Enough to Wear Pink, the Pink Champagne Brunch and golf tournaments, the Foundation committed $6.5 million at the outset of the campaign. The Foundation


is currently raising an additional $2 million, bringing the total campaign contribution to $8.5 million or nearly 25 percent of the total project cost. To reach that goal, Monument Health Foundation needs the help of the entire Black Hills community. Visit monument.health/togetherwecan to learn more about the campaign and partner on our new vision for cancer care in our region.



THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME When a healthy young woman collapsed, it could have been the end of her story. Registered Nurse, Amanda Gunter had other plans.



Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a condition that can cause fast, irregular heartbeats. This can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness or in some cases sudden death.

“I guess some people would be negative about this, or feel like it’s not fair, but the most important things in my life are my family, friends and my dog, and I’m just really happy that I get to continue being here with them,” Katie said. “I got a second chance — I would be wasting it if I was negative.” Katie Young

No one ever knows exactly what the future holds. That’s part of what makes life exciting. People plan and take precautions, but they simply can’t prepare for everything. Life can head in unexpected, and even tragic, directions. But sometimes — in what seems like a twist of fate — the right person shows up at just the right time. Just ask Katie Young. Katie is the kind of person that other people like to be around. She’s young, healthy and creative, with a bright smile. In the fall semester of 2020, she completed her BFA in studio art at BHSU. On Nov. 21, after participating in commencement, she decided to celebrate graduation with her boyfriend and friends in Rapid City. In the mood for some lighthearted fun, the group decided to go bowling. “I’m a very petite person,” Katie said of herself. “I’m only 4’ 11” and about 100 pounds. Usually when I’m bowling it’s with a kid’s bowling ball.” As she sorted through balls that evening, she reflected that they all felt heavier than usual, but she put it out of her mind. Then, after her first throw, she noticed that her ball felt even

heavier. Katie turned back to her group and began to ask for help finding a different ball to use. That was the last she remembered of the bowling alley. Katie doesn’t remember falling to the ground, and she has no recollection of the moment that her heart stopped beating. Nor does she recall Amanda Gunter, RN, running over and administering aid. “My husband saw Katie go down — she just collapsed — and he yelled at me right away,” said Amanda. “Immediately I ran over to her, and just like that, intuition took over.” JUMPING INTO ACTION

With ten years of nursing experience, Amanda quickly assessed the situation, and pieced together an idea of what was happening. Katie’s skin had turned blue, and Amanda couldn’t locate a pulse — her mind immediately turned to sudden cardiac arrest. “I went into full nurse mode and yelled for an AED and told someone to call 911. Then I initiated chest compressions, about 30 seconds after she first went down.” Amanda continued administering chest compressions

Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, are designed to be used by individuals with no medical training, using simple step-by-step instructions, often with audio commands, to guide the user through the process of using the device. While nothing can replace experienced medical intervention, AEDs can save lives when it comes to emergencies involving cardiac events. While Amanda’s quick reaction saved Katie’s life, access to an AED would have been a tremendous help. These devices can quickly and easily identify potentially life-threatening cardiac events, and treat them until emergency medical personnel can take over.




“I’ve got a new heart monitor in my chest now, and I’m taking heart medications. I’m really grateful that I got a second chance. I still have a lot of things that I want to do in my life.” Katie Young

for one minute before pausing to check for a pulse. Unfortunately, no AED was available, so Amanda returned to chest compressions. Roughly one minute later, a little color had returned to Katie’s skin, her eyelids started fluttering, and she began to moan. That’s when EMS arrived and Amanda gave them control of the scene. They re-evaluated Katie’s condition, and loaded her in an ambulance to take her to the hospital. “It all happened very fast,” Amanda recalled.

that was the fate in store for Katie. Or was it? Katie’s life took a sudden and unexpected turn that night. Fortunately for her, the right person was in the right place, at just the right time. Amanda’s quick reaction likely saved Katie’s life. Knowing this, one thing gives each woman pause — neither had initially intended to be there that evening. Katie turned down babysitting her niece and nephew to go out, and Amanda and her husband decided to change dinner plans so that they could spend A SECOND CHANCE time with their children. Had The next thing Katie remembers either kept their initial plans, is waking up in the ambulance. things could have played out quite “I was really confused for the differently. first three or four hours after I Katie’s mom, Kathy Young, is woke up,” she said. “They initially also a Monument Health caregiver, thought maybe I had a seizure, but working in the outpatient wound I wasn’t breathing. I didn’t have care department in Spearfish since a heartbeat. They finally realized 2002. “People with Long QT that I went into cardiac arrest, and Syndrome typically don’t survive was later diagnosed with Long QT — you hear about young healthy Syndrome, which we found out kids, or unexplained deaths in was caused by the antidepressants otherwise young healthy adults, that I was on.” and they generally blame it on Long QT Syndrome, or LQTS, is this,” Kathy reflected. “I’m just a heart rhythm disorder that has the so grateful Amanda was there. potential to cause seizures, fainting Really, it’s because of her that our and sudden death. Often it goes daughter survived, so thank you, undiagnosed, until it’s too late. It Amanda.” wouldn’t sound like a stretch to say Katie is optimistic about the


Long QT Syndrome can be genetic, but it can also be caused by medical conditions and certain medications as was the case with Katie. While it can be fatal, LQTS is also treatable in most cases. It may require taking certain medications, or avoiding others. In other cases, surgery or implantable devices can help control abnormal heart rhythms. This condition is rare, but often goes undiagnosed if there are no obvious symptoms. If there is a family history of LQTS, early signs such as loss of consciousness during physical activity or emotional events, seizures or gasping for breath during sleep, it’s worth speaking to a doctor about tests to determine whether LQTS is a possible diagnosis.


Registered Nurses facilitate quality, compassionate, relationshipcentered care to Monument Health patients. Their skills optimize health and healing while promoting their patients’ best interests.

“We raced to Rapid City when we got the call from Katie’s boyfriend. We went to the hospital and talked to a nurse, but we didn’t see Katie, because of COVID-19, the whole time. She was in the hospital for several days and then we brought her home,” said Kathy, Katie’s mother. “It’s been a journey, but she’s been getting stronger. She’s a fighter, and I’m so grateful she’s still here.” Kathy Young

future — she’s taking her artistic talents to a new medium, beginning a tattoo apprenticeship, and is looking forward to continuing to be part of her nieces’ and nephews’ lives. “They’re just kind of monitoring me right now, but it looks like everything has been pretty consistent,” she said. “I’m really grateful that I got a second chance. I still have a lot of things that I want to do in my life.” Thanks to Amanda’s quick reaction, Katie will have that opportunity.


Amanda Gunter is a Registered Nurse who was born and raised in the Black Hills. She works in Labor and Delivery at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital. A bowling alley is far from her normal work environment, but her decade of experience kicked in when she saw Katie on the ground. “My husband is still a little in awe at what happened that night,” she laughed. “I went from having a good time to all business. I knew something was wrong and I needed to jump in and do what I know how to do, which is provide care.”



WHEN A HEART STOPS BEATING When Steven Austin’s heart gave out on him, his physicians and caregivers wouldn’t let him give up.

The heart is an amazing piece of organic machinery, pumping blood through the body and delivering the oxygen and nutrients required to sustain life. It plays such a vital role that the heartbeat has become synonymous with life itself. If it beats steadily, everything is fine. When it races, it can signify fear, excitement or even love. But if the heart stops, it can only spell catastrophe. Steven Austin is intimately


familiar with the disaster that comes when one’s heart betrays them. It was a beautiful summer morning, and Steven was enjoying breakfast in the park with his wife and children. He had no idea that a few short hours later, he would be struggling to survive. After returning home, Steven collapsed. He would later learn that he had suffered cardiac arrest caused by a blood clot in


Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function, and can happen suddenly or in the wake of other symptoms. It is often fatal if medical care isn’t sought immediately.

the main artery of his heart. Steven’s wife Cynthia quickly loaded their three children into the car and rushed him to the Emergency Department at Rapid City Hospital. Within just a few moments of their arrival, Steven’s heart stopped beating. LIFESAVERS IN ACTION, TWICE

What started as a pleasant day had taken a tragic turn. For Cynthia and her children, this could easily have been the worst day of their lives. The Monument Health physicians and caregivers who treated Steven, and those who supported the Austin family, refused to let them give up. “I do not know the names of the nurses and aides who held my hand and sat beside me when my husband’s heart stopped and he coded in the ER,” said Cynthia. “I wanted to let you know how I appreciated the few minutes you were there with me. Your calm words and warm presence helped me through the darkest moments.” Joseph Tuma, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, was the physician on duty who operated on Steven. While Steven remembers being taken back to the Cath Lab with Dr. Tuma’s team, he quickly lost consciousness. After resuscitation, Steven recalled the physician sharing supportive words. Steven felt like he might be okay, perhaps even a little refreshed. Despite this feeling, his ordeal wasn’t over yet. Within an hour, Steven had another heart event while in the Intensive Care Unit, requiring Dr. Tuma and his team to intervene a second time.


The Austin family would like to thank Dr. Tuma and all of Steven’s care team. As Cynthia Austin said, “I witnessed many masked faces with sincere eyes. They were unsung Heroes during those days Steven was in the hospital. I will always remember the few moments you have touched our lives. Thank you for making it lighter.”

“My husband had two cardiac arrests,” explained Cynthia. “Dr. Tuma ran back to the Cath Lab to take care of the clot twice. God bless Dr. Tuma and his team.” BACK TO NORMAL

Following the second intervention, Steven started on the path to recovery. He still had a long way to go to get back to normal, but he had come through the darkest part of the journey. Steven’s medical treatment was vital to his recovery, but the care delivered to the Austin family went beyond surgery and medication. Caregivers helped the entire family return to their normal lives as quickly as possible. The Austin family is grateful for the attention that the physicians and caregivers gave to all of their concerns. “They were great listeners when I needed pain relief, had concerns for recovering, or questions about insurance and how to get back to health,” Steven added. RECOVERING AS A FAMILY

No one expects their heart to betray them. Yet a few people, like Steven, have firsthand knowledge of what happens when our hearts stop working. When that happens, time is of the essence, and Cynthia’s quick reaction may have saved her husband’s life. While getting Steven to the hospital was crucial, the Austins credit the care given to them by the physicians and caregivers for keeping their family intact. “I know I have forgotten a few names,” Steven reflected. “One thing I will not forget is the additional time Monument Health has allowed me to spend with my family.”



THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE Hot Springs man spent 51 days in the hospital with COVID-19

It was the Friday after Memorial Day when Lana Gray returned from work to find her husband, Don, sitting with his head on the kitchen table at their Hot Springs home. Normally, her husband of 40 years is energetic, the kind of man who can’t sit still. On this day he was exhausted; he just wanted to sleep. “I thought, that’s not him,” Lana recalled. What they didn’t know at the time was that Don, now 63, was about to begin the

Don and Lana Gray, pictured with Registered Nurse Karli Shama, talk about Don’s 51-day stay at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital.



Since the first cases were identified in the United States in January 2020, over 27 million cases have been reported, including over 100,000 in South Dakota.

fight of his life. He would spend 51 days in the Monument Health Rapid City Hospital COVID-19 Unit. THE HARDEST THING

That weekend, Don’s condition worsened. By Sunday he was throwing up, and on Monday he went to Fall River Health Services for a COVID-19 test; it was positive. Back at home, Don’s condition deteriorated quickly. He fell several times, but still thought he could stay home. “He’s so stubborn,” Lana said. Don shrugged, smiled and said, “I used to rodeo when I was younger. Hitting the ground was no big deal.” On Tuesday morning, Lana drove him to Rapid City Hospital. Due to visitor restrictions at the time, Lana wasn’t able to go inside. She didn’t know if she would ever see him again. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I just dropped him off and left.”

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARSCoV-2. It can have a range of symptoms, from coughing and trouble breathing to loss of taste or smell. The virus can lead to more serious conditions like respiratory failure, heart problems or death. Luckily, most patients recover from COVID-19 with few lingering side effects.


“It seems like the COVID-19 virus either treats you nice, or it tries to kill you,” Don said. Less than 48 hours after testing positive, he was put on a ventilator. He had total respiratory and kidney failure, and blood in his stomach and intestines. At times he was so disoriented he had to be physically restrained. Physicians put him in a medically induced coma for 45 days to allow his body to heal. Don doesn’t remember much about his time in the hospital. “I had some wonderful dreams. They put ‘The Matrix’ to shame,” he said. Throughout his stay, the hospital staff communicated with Lana by telephone. Karli

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I just dropped him off and left.” - Lana, Don Gray’s wife


Shama, RN, kept in regular touch, growing close to the entire Gray family in the process. “She made an impression on all of us,” Lana said. “Anytime we got to talk to Karli, it was a good day. We had a very special relationship.” In addition to Karli, Lana also thanked the rest of the hospital staff. Nurses Jessica Ramse and Brock Sanderson, and Nurse Supervisor Amanda Dosch were among the caregivers that made an impression on Lana. “And I’m so lucky that I had the support of my sons,” she added. Karli recalled that her biggest challenge in their conversations was to strike a balance between optimism and realistic expectations of his condition. “I didn’t want to give them false hope,” she said. Karli still remembers how excited she was when she could tell the family that Don had become less disoriented and was responding to commands. It was six weeks before Lana could see her husband in person. The first time was scary, she recalled. “I had to be strong for him. I didn’t want to cry,” she said, as fresh tears welled up in her eyes. His condition started improving, and by July 23 he was in a wheelchair headed for the exit doors of Rapid City Hospital. His path was lined with applauding Monument Health caregivers who had gathered to give him a hero’s sendoff. DON’S MOST LASTING EFFECT

Months after he left the hospital, Don still has reduced senses of taste and smell. He also has numbness in his right leg and left foot. “My eyesight took a hit,” he added. However, he didn’t end up with chronic breathing difficulty or other health problems experienced by some of the so-called COVID-19 long-haulers. Maybe COVID-19’s most lasting effect was on his personal outlook. He still gets choked up thinking about the future he almost didn’t have. “Every day, I get to see what I would have missed,” he said.



To sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist, go to www.vaccineregister.monument.health.

Betty Nettleton Vaccinator, Rapid City

After 32 years in a number of roles at the VA, Betty had more than earned retirement. But in the face of a pandemic, she returned to take on the role of vaccinator.

The South Dakota Department of Health designated the three major healthcare systems in the state to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. To fulfill this mission, Monument Health opened two large-scale vaccination clinics in Rapid City and Spearfish with clinics administering the vaccine in Custer, LeadDeadwood and Sturgis. Monument Health Rapid City Hospital serves as the central holding and distribution center for any COVID-19 vaccines shipped to western South Dakota. Monument Health ships vaccines to clinics in Bennett County, Fall River County, Philip, Kadoka and three Horizon clinics that operate in White River, Faith and Mission.


My Role It’s pretty simple — as a vaccinator, I get to put the COVID-19 vaccine in the arms of people that need it. It’s extremely cool, because I’m a big believer in vaccines, and people are very eager to receive one. My Goal If you’re able to help make a situation better, then you jump up and say, “I can do this!” I retired four years ago, and my husband — who works at Monument Health — told me they needed temporary vaccinators. I filled out the application, and here I am. I want to help all of us beat this pandemic. My Passion As a nurse, to have people excited to get this shot in their arm is very rewarding. The patients I talk to have all been extremely complimentary about how well organized this process is, which is a huge shoutout to the people that set this all up.


Monument Health is always there when you need them, with over 5,000 physicians and caregivers, 5 hospitals, 8 specialty and surgical centers and more than 40 medical clinics and health care service centers.


Please welcome our newest physicians DERMATOLOGY

Maren Gaul, d.o.

is a Dermatologist at the Rapid City Clinic on Fifth Street. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Dermatology. Dr. Gaul enjoys the variety that dermatology offers, and she is fascinated by the ever-changing field of cosmetic dermatology. Skin cancer and procedures such as Mohs surgery are special interests of hers. Training in internal medicine has given her even more appreciation for the reflection of inner health in the outer beauty of skin. Dr. Gaul trained in Ohio under colleagues of Christopher Gasbarre, D.O. (Monument Health Dermatology - Spearfish). Dr. Gaul looks forward to fostering the relationship with Siri Knutsen-Larson, M.D. (Monument Health Dermatology – Rapid City) that began at St. Olaf College, where they sang in the same choir.


Miranda Tracy, m.d.

is a Hospitalist at the Rapid City Hospital. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Dr. Tracy completed medical school at the University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine in Vermillion, SD and her residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She comes to Monument Health after working as an Urgent Care Physician in Texas. Originally from Pierre, SD she enjoys hiking, boating and camping with her son, husband and dog.


with Monument Health o A culture of teamwork, inclusion and self-care

o Tuition assistance and loan forgiveness

o Fulfilling work in a setting that fits your needs (clinic, specialty care, inpatient, etc.)

o Opportunities to advance care through shared governance councils

o Formal programs for appreciating and celebrating our nurses

o An outdoor lifestyle and natural beauty unmatched by any other organization in our region

If you are in search of a place where nurses are supported, appreciated and can truly make a difference — we hope you’ll join us.

To learn more or apply, visit www.monument.health/careers.


Monument Health offers the latest technology in diagnosing, treating and educating patients who require care related to asthma, COPD and other pulmonary issues.

How has COVID-19 impacted your past year? Providing high quality pulmonary and critical care is already a challenge in itself, but this has been dramatically amplified with this pandemic for so many reasons. Never before have I had to do as much reading and studying for a single disease as I have for COVID-19. It has also been an incredibly frustrating disease with our limited ability to save people from the destruction that it brings. Despite this, I remain hopeful that people, and modern medicine, can bring this pandemic to an end.

My Role My role is to provide highquality pulmonary and critical care — also known as intensive care — at Monument Health. In doing so, I educate patients and their families regarding the medical complexities of their care. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a great medical team of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and more. My Goal To help others improve their quality of life. Sometimes this comes in the form of an urgent medical intervention in the intensive care unit. Other times, it can come in the form of prevention medicine, by means of educating people. It is also my goal to provide trusted and accurate health information to the masses with my YouTube channel. My Passion As a pulmonologist, I am passionate about understanding the patient’s medical or respiratory issue at hand and figuring out a way to diagnose and treat them. When working in the ICU as an intensivist, the same applies, but with a higher degree of urgency. In my personal life, I am passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle with exercise and good nutrition.


Michael Hansen, m.d. Pulmonologist and Critical Care Physician, Rapid City

When he isn’t treating patients in the ICU, Dr. Michael Hansen enjoys giving back to organizations like Best Buddies and Special Olympics, and even runs his own YouTube channel. SPRING 2021 // HEALTH

From prenatal classes, infertility evaluations and lactation support, Monument Health’s obstetrics professionals provide care for every stage of starting a family.


In the course of her career, Dr. Heather Brewer has delivered over 3,000 babies and counting. Now she’s closing in on a new accomplishment — delivering the babies of patients she delivered.

Heather Brewer, m.d. OB/GYN, Spearfish

Dr Brewer offers the full scope of OB/ GYN services, including low and high-risk obstetrics and benign gynecologic care including infertility, incontinence and pelvic reconstruction. She practices at the Monument Health Spearfish Clinic on North Avenue.

My Role I am a board certified OB/GYN who has been practicing with Monument Health in Spearfish since 2004. I currently serve as the program director for the Women’s and Children’s program in Spearfish, and also serve on several committees and boards, including the Monument Health Network Board. My Goal In my practice, my goal is to provide a full spectrum of women’s health care, from obstetrics to gynecology, including gynecologic surgery. It’s very rewarding for me to be able to help patients — medically or surgically — who have complications that are significantly affecting their daily lives. My Passion I enjoy delivering babies the most — helping couples create a family is a huge honor. Being a mother myself, I know that having a baby can be scary and anxiety-provoking, so being able to be the physician to take care of families through this process is gratifying. Practicing in a small community, I am able to see some of these families regularly and watch their kids grow up. I grew up in Spearfish and am very invested in my community and the people here.




Intelligent surgery brings together human understanding, smart technology and actionable insights in surgical care. What is Robotic-Assisted Surgery? The da Vinci® Surgical System is an advanced robotic system that is less invasive than traditional laparoscopic surgery. Controlled by a skilled surgeon, tiny tools enter the body through small incisions and translate the surgeon’s hand movements into precise, small actions inside your body. As a result, the surgeon can operate on a smaller scale with enhanced vision and exacting movements. Robotic-Assisted Surgery is only available at our Rapid City location.

General Surgery Rapid City Clinic | 2805 5th Street Rapid City, SD 57701 605-755-5700

Compared to open surgery, this advanced, minimally-invasive surgical system has the potential benefits of: + Minimal to no pain medication

+ Less recovery time

+ Shorter hospital stay

+ Low rate of wound infection

+ Faster return to work

+ Little or no scarring


The Information Technology Division has almost 200 caregivers, providing technological support across five hospitals, eight specialty and surgical centers and more than 40 medical clinics and health care service centers.


Information Technology plays a crucial role in keeping Monument Health capable of providing the best possible care. That’s why Krishna Blair, Senior Desktop Analyst, does his best to keep technology working smoothly. I spend a large amount of time working specifically with the cardiology team and its vendors developing solutions and providing technological support. Being a part of this team has allowed me to collaborate with our caregivers and witness the successful impact with our patients and our communities. These brilliant physicians and caregivers inspire me with the amazing work they do. It challenges me to provide the most elite level of support and ensure their success. I am excited for the future and the role technology will continue to have in cardiology and across our system.

Krishna Blair Senior Desktop Analyst, Rapid City

My Role As a Senior Desktop Analyst, I get the opportunity to work with caregivers and providers from all specialties. We provide innovative solutions and technological support. This facilitates successful experiences, ensuring we exceed the expectations of the expanding technology needs in our system and the communities we serve. My Goal To provide our caregivers, patients and communities with the technological resources and support they need to be successful. We do this with efficiency and innovation in mind. I aim to inspire confidence and trust in technology. My Passion I am passionate about bridging the gap between all end users and technology. I seek to leverage technology to connect and grow our organization, making a “smooth” experience for not only our caregivers, but our patients as well.



IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. Are you feeling hopeless, angry, tired or restless?


Text 741741 or call 1-800-950-6264 for 24/7, free confidential support. www.monument.health/mentalhealth 38


Monument Health looks forward to supporting members of our community through joining together, raising awareness and recognizing those who go above and beyond for a cause.

April 17 April 18 April 25 May 2 May 15 May 15 June 11 June 21


Rush Fights Cancer Hockey Game

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City

TheHelpline Helpline The Center,Inc. Inc. Center,

TheSpirit Spiritof ofVolunteerism VolunteerismAwards Awards The RapidCity City Rapid

Donate Life Walk Storybook Island, Rapid City

Little Black Hills Battles 5K Rapid City

The Arthritis Foundation of SD The Walk to Cure Arthritis Western SD

National Multiple Sclerosis Society WalkMS Western SD

CMN Mediathon Founders Park, Rapid City

Tee It Up Fore Cancer Golf Tournament Arrowhead Country Club, Rapid City

*All events are subject to change due to COVID-19 concerns. Schedules were correct at time of publication. HEALTH // SPRING 2021



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 Hospital 61 Charles St., Deadwood, SD 57732 605.717.6000 Rapid City Hospital 353 Fairmont Blvd., Rapid, 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 605.720.2600 MEDICAL CLINICS Belle Fourche Clinic 2200 13th Ave., Belle Fourche, SD 57717 605.723.8970

Newcastle Clinic 1121 Washington Blvd., Newcastle, WY 82701 307.746.6720 Rapid City Clinic 640 Flormann St., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.3300 Rapid City Clinic 2805 5th St., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.5700 Spearfish Clinic 1445 North Ave., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4170 Spearfish Clinic 1420 North 10th St., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8595 Sturgis Clinic 2140 Junction Ave., Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2400 Upton Clinic 717 Pine St., Upton, WY 82730 307.468.2302

Buffalo Clinic 209 Ramsland St., Buffalo, SD 57720 605.375.3744

Wall Clinic 112 7th Ave., Wall, SD 57790 605.279.2149

Custer Clinic 1220 Montgomery St., Custer, SD 57730 605.673.9400

Family Medicine Residency Clinic 502 East Monroe St., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4060

Hill City Clinic 238 Elm St., Hill City, SD 57745 605.574.4470 Hot Springs Clinic 1100 Hwy 71 South, Suite 101 Hot Springs, SD 57747 605.745.8050 Lead-Deadwood Clinic 71 Charles St., Deadwood, SD 57732 605.717.6431


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 Lead-Deadwood Urgent Care Services 71 Charles St., Deadwood, SD 57732 605.717.6431 Spearfish Urgent Care 1420 North 10th St., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8595 Sturgis Urgent Care Services 2140 Junction Ave., Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2600 Custer Urgent Care Services 1220 Montgomery St., Custer, SD 57730 605.673.9400

Home+ Specialty Pharmacy 2006 Mount Rushmore Rd., Suite 2 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.3065

Dermatology 550 East Colorado Blvd., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8860 Dialysis Center 640 Flormann St., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.6950

John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute 353 Fairmont Blvd., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.2300

Dialysis Center 132 Yankee St., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.722.8110

Orthopedic and Specialty Hospital 1635 Caregiver Cir. Rapid City, SD 57702 605.755.6100

Heart and Vascular Institute 4150 5th St., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4300

Neurology and Rehabilitation 677 Cathedral Dr., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.4150

Home+ Home Health 1440 N Main St., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4444

Neuropsychology 677 Cathedral Dr., Suite 201 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.5276

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

Newcastle Urgent Care Services 1121 Washington Blvd., Newcastle, WY 82701 307.746.6720

Home+ Home Medical Equipment 1800 N. Haines Ave., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.9000

SPECIALTY CLINICS Assisted Living 432 North 10th St., Custer, SD 57730 605.673.5588

Home+ Home Medical Equipment 911 East Colorado Blvd., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8930

Behavioral Health Center 915 Mountain View Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702 605.755.7200

Home+ Home Medical Equipment 2707 Lazelle St., Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2676

Custer Care Center 1065 Montgomery St., Custer, SD 57730 605.673.2237

Home+ Pharmacy 353 Fairmont Blvd., Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.8184

Sturgis Care Center 949 Harmon St., Sturgis, SD 57785 605.720.2400

Home+ Pharmacy 1420 North 10th St., Suite 1 Spearfish, SD 57783 605.717.8741

Rehabilitation 2200 13th Ave., Belle Fourche, SD 57717 605.723.8961 Rehabilitation 2449 East Colorado Blvd., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.644.4370 Rehabilitation Center 1050 Fairmont Blvd., Suite A100 Rapid City, SD 57701 605.755.1230 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 2479 East 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 North 10th St., Spearfish, SD 57783 605.642.3113



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