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Inspiring Health Support Our Lifesavers Our Foundation’s new capital campaign aims to help give patients their best chance

FALL 2018

Patient-Centered Recovery Compassionate assistance on the Inpatient Care Unit

Time for Joint Camp Providing guidance to joint replacement surgery patients

Welcome Podiatrist Dr. Tyler Harrell! Brookings Health System proudly welcomes Dr. Tyler Harrell, DPM, of Avera Medical Group. Dr. Harrell specializes in podiatry and serves the needs of area patients of all ages. Dr. Harrell earned his Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from the Des Moines College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. He performed residencies at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, IL, and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township, MI. He is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He is available to diagnose and treat patients with conditions of the foot, ankle and related leg structures, including flat feet, bunions, hammer toe and plantar fasciitis. He also performs surgical procedures such as fusions, tendon repairs and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Harrell, please call Avera Medical Group at (605) 697-9500.

Fight the Flu Flu season is around the corner again, and while it’s unpredictable, you can fight the flu simply by getting vaccinated.


Where can I get a flu shot?

How long does a flu shot protect?

Several locations offer shots: doctor’s offices, pharmacies and clinics including Arlington Medical Center, Volga Medical Clinic and White Medical Clinic. Many places will advertise when they have flu shots available.

The CDC recommends people get a flu shot every season because the body’s immunity to influenza viruses declines over time.

How effective is the flu shot?

Yes. Your primary care provider can prescribe antiviral drugs to make your illness milder and help you feel better faster.

Vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year. It depends on a person’s age and health and the match between the predicted top three viruses the vaccine is designed to protect against versus the viruses circulating within the community. Even if the top virus prediction is wrong, it’s better to be vaccinated with some antibodies than none at all.

If I get the flu, is there treatment?


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Time for

JOINT CAMP Joint Camp is a free educational session for those having, or thinking about, knee or hip joint replacements. It introduces patients to team members, services and steps they can take to have the best outcome possible from their joint replacement.

The demand for joint replacements in the U.S. is expected to rise in the next decade. Total knee replacements are estimated to increase by 673 percent by 2030, while primary total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent. To help local patients who may be looking at partial knee, total knee or total hip replacements, Brookings Health System recently added Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery to its line of available orthopedic services. Now Brookings Health is introducing Joint Camp this fall to further help people successfully return to their activities of daily living after joint replacement. “The goal of Joint Camp is to answer any questions patients, or potential patients, may have before their joint replacement. We want to get them in the mindset of what it will take on their part to have a successful procedure,” said Operating Room & CSR Director Candy Johnson. “Statistics show that preparing for joint replacement helps speed-up patient recovery and increases a patient’s satisfaction with a new joint.” A 60-minute Joint Camp session is presented by team members, including nurses and therapists, who regularly assist patients on their joint journey. Topics covered include an explanation of joint pain, physical

and occupational therapy preparation, how to prepare the home for safety, what to bring with to the hospital and what to expect the day of surgery. In addition, patients will learn about available services, such as swing bed, short-term rehabilitation, home health and outpatient therapy, to help them plan for recovery and going home. Patients are also encouraged to bring along a support person to Joint Camp. The support person works with the patient to learn therapeutic exercises and expectations for post-surgical care. “People who have joint replacement surgery have several restrictions, including driving and heavy lifting,” said Johnson. “The support person should plan on helping with those restrictions as well as any other needs the patient has during recovery.” After attending Joint Camp, patients will have the necessary tools and understanding for a successful joint replacement surgery. Interested in attending Joint Camp? Register for an upcoming session online at or call (605) 696-8888.

fall 2018


Giving Patients Their


CHANCE Jennifer Moser and Paramedic Audie Beckman

Brookings Health System Foundation has launched a capital campaign for the Ambulance Station and Education Center and is asking the community to help raise $200,000. Two years ago on Sept. 2, 2016, the Friday before Labor Day, Brookings Health System’s ambulance service was called to an accident along U.S. Highway 14 west of Volga. An east-bound 2001 Oldsmobile crossed the center line, colliding head-on with the car driven by Medary Elementary Art Teacher Jennifer Moser.


Jennifer survived the crash despite numerous near-fatal injuries. Many have heard how Jennifer miraculously recovered from a liver that was nearly torn in half, a punctured and collapsed lung, cracks in her pelvis, fractured knees, a shattered elbow and broken vertebrae, ribs, feet and toes. What they haven’t heard is how her unbelievable recovery started: with the quick response of local emergency medical services. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” said Jennifer. “If I was in a different country, I would have died along the side of the road.”

Responding to the Call That evening minutes after the crash, Brookings Ambulance arrived on the scene to provide advanced life support to the survivors. Working on the ambulance crew that day was Paramedic Audie Beckman. The ambulance team was informed the driver of the Oldsmobile was already dead. So was Jennifer. While the other ambulance crew members went to check on the Oldsmobile’s passengers, Audie went to double-check Jennifer. “I wanted to check her for me personally,” said Audie. Jennifer was pinned under the driver’s console. As Audie looked, she saw Jennifer’s chest move. Audie crawled through the vehicle’s shattered back window and up to the passenger side to better assess Jennifer. That’s when she found Jennifer’s pulse.

“At that moment, I yelled to the first responders and the Volga Fire Department to help get her out of there,” said Audie. The team took out the windshield and freed Jennifer using the Jaws of Life. They moved Jennifer to a backboard, loaded her in to the ambulance, and took off for Brookings Hospital’s emergency room. Inside the ambulance Audie immediately began caring for her patient. As a paramedic, Audie is licensed to perform advanced life support. For Jennifer, this meant Audie administered an IV with pain medication during the ambulance ride. Once at the hospital, Audie stayed with Jennifer and helped the nurses and doctors stabilize her. The Brookings Health team took X-rays, intubated Jennifer’s airway and placed her in a pelvic girdle, prepping her for the Sanford AirMed flight to Sioux Falls. “When the flight crew arrived, they told us, ‘You did everything. We don’t need to do anything else to prep her for the flight,’” said Audie.

Ensuring a Quick, Efficient Response An early response to a medical emergency allows paramedics and EMTs to prolong life and give patients, like Jennifer, their best chance to receive definitive medical care. That’s why Brookings Health System is currently building the new Ambulance Station and Education Center along Yorkshire Drive. “Our ambulance team serves the same critical need for our community as law enforcement and fire and rescue. Improving dispatch and response times even by seconds can mean the difference between life and death for individuals who face medical emergencies,” said Ambulance Director Gordon Dekkenga. According to Dekkenga, the new station location is strategically placed to service the majority of call volume for both the city and county while maintaining strong access to respond to other advanced life support calls throughout the local area.

“The location on Yorkshire Drive gives us quick access to 22nd Avenue and main routes. It also gives us improved access to I-29, a hot spot, unfortunately, for accidents,” said Dekkenga. Brookings Health currently leases a location along Eighth Street South for the ambulance service. That location wasn’t designed to house emergency medical services. While functional, it has its drawbacks, including proper storage for medical supplies and vehicle garages disconnected from staff offices and living quarters. It’s also a significant distance from Brookings Hospital. The new Ambulance Station and Education Center fixes the challenges with the current location. It places the ambulance service in close proximity to Brookings Hospital and the ER. When completed, it will house all four advanced life support vehicles, the mass casualty vehicle and the mobile first-aid station trailer under the same roof as staff offices and living quarters. The result: increased efficiency and even quicker response times. The new station will also enable the ambulance service to attend to the growing needs of the community. In 2017, Brookings Health System’s ambulance service made over 2,285 calls, a 40% increase in call volume since 2009. While most calls do not involve the same trauma level as Jennifer’s, all calls involve a critical medical situation for a person in need.

offset 20% of the total building cost. As someone who survived thanks to the ambulance team’s quick response, Jennifer feels personally obligated to support the campaign and hopes community members will do the same. “They saved my life and they save so many lives,” said Jennifer. “I really think they are angels. What they do makes such a difference and they don’t get near the credit or recognition for what they do every day.” The Foundation’s 2018 Aiming to Inspire Health sporting clays fundraiser kick-started the campaign, contributing $21,250. That money will purchase items like audio/video equipment, whiteboard and other educational supplies for the education center which will hold training sessions for Brookings Health employees and host community classes like First Aid and CPR. The balance of funds raised during Brookings Health System’s Support Our Lifesavers campaign will help furnish other areas of the new Ambulance Station and Education Center, rounding out the much needed headquarters for the ambulance service.

Supporting Our Lifesavers

“Everyone in our community is affected by the Brookings Ambulance in one aspect or another,” said Foundation Director Sara Schneider. “You may not need emergency medical services today. You may not need them a year from now. But when you, or a loved one, need those services, Brookings Ambulance will always be there, always on-call and ready to assist.”

To help build the new Ambulance Station and Education Center, Brookings Health System Foundation has launched the Support Our Lifesavers capital fundraising campaign. The Foundation’s overall goal is to raise $200,000 to help

Have you benefitted from the life-saving services of Brookings Ambulance? Show your thanks by donating to the Support Our Lifesavers campaign.

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Please return donations to Brookings Health System Foundation, 300 22nd Ave. Brookings, SD 57006.


A Patient-Centered Recovery 6

Last winter Candy Jones spent a week on the Inpatient Care Unit following a medical procedure. While recuperating, she became a fan of Brookings Health System’s facility, care and people. “I wasn’t quite ready to be on my own. I live alone,” said Candy. “So I came to Brookings Health System for their swing bed program, and that allowed me to stay for a few days, learn how to take care of the things I needed help with, and to just get a little stronger.” Candy felt comfortable in her large hospital room that accommodated her family and included a hide-a-bed for her daughter to stay overnight. She also enjoyed the large windows that let in the sunlight and made her room cheerful. “It’s very inviting, and I can’t say that’s traditionally true of hospitals,” said Candy. “It’s very well designed, right down to the extra outlets for your electronics. Usually there are outlets, but they are clear over on the other wall or they’re all designed for medical equipment. These are clearly for patients.” The care team’s patient-centered approach further impressed Candy.

If I needed to go for a walk, they took me for a walk because I wasn’t allowed to go by myself. If I needed to get up for some reason, they came and made sure I was okay in that transition,” said Candy. “Anything I needed they were there and not just willing to do it, but happy to do it. I’ve never met such a positive group of people.” In addition, the team treated Candy’s family like guests. “They were very aware of taking care of the family emotionally as well as my medical issues. And I appreciated that because that made it easier for me.” Brookings Health’s team also arranged services to help Candy return home. “They set me up with so many aids, things that I wouldn’t have known to do if I had just gone home on my own,” said Candy. “I had all kinds of people I could contact. They arranged for in-home care for the things I needed. They helped me figure out transportation because I had daily visits to the hospital. Things I would have been able to handle easily on my own healthy, but when you don’t feel well, it’s just so overwhelming.” By handling those details and having the facility, care and people focused on her specific needs, Brookings Health delivered to Candy an excellent recovery experience.

“There’s no defining lines about what their job is other than whatever they can do for you to accomplish your goals. And for me that was to get stronger.

Hear more about Candy’s experience at


on the menu Brookings Health System has rolled out a new comfort menu for patients who stay overnight at Brookings Hospital. The comfort menu educates patients about available amenities, encourages them to make choices in their treatment plan, and fosters safe use of pain medications. Introduced this past spring, the comfort menu enables patients to work together with the health care team to reach individual comfort goals.

“We encourage patients to use the comfort menu first prior to moving to medication,” said Weber. “When it is time to look at medications, we discuss realistic pain management goals with patients. We want to reach a point where they can function with the pain rather than thinking we will be able to completely eliminate it.” Non-opioid medications available to patients for pain include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). If those medications do not sufficiently help patients reach their realistic pain management goals, opioids are available.

“Keeping patients comfortable during their hospital stay doesn’t always mean focusing on pain medication,” said Medical Surgical and ED Director Karen Weber. “Sometimes it means addressing simple hygiene needs, like hand lotion or dental floss. Other times our team helps patients stretch, take a walk, or administer aromatherapy. We even offer items to help with relaxation, including ear plugs, Do Not Disturb signs, puzzles and playing cards.”

“Because opioids can be addictive, we need to be very judicious with how we use them during treatment,” said Weber. “Opioids should be started at low doses and stopped as soon as possible for the patient’s safety.” The options on the comfort menu can also help patients identify relief practices that may work when they return home in place of pain medications.

Upon admission to the inpatient care unit, all patients are given a copy of the comfort menu which lists items and services they may request as needed from staff. In addition, the comfort menu lists medication options for pain relief, including alternatives to opioid medications.

Want to learn more about safety and quality of care at Brookings Health System? Visit

fall 2018


300 22nd Avenue Brookings, SD 57006

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Inspiring Health is published by Brookings Health System. This publication in no way seeks to serve as substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

DO YOU HAVE SLEEP APNEA? Sleep apnea is a life-shortening condition estimated to affect 22 million Americans. If you’re not getting a good night’s rest, sleep apnea may be the cause. Answer the questions to below to help assess if you’re at risk for sleep apnea. YES = 1 | NO = 0 Snoring:     Do you snore? Is it loud? Tired:

Do you feel tired, fatigued, and/or sleepy during the daytime?


Has anyone observed you stop breathing or choking/gasping during your sleep?


Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

Body Mass Index: Do you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 36 kg/m2?          Note: If you don’t know your BMI, you can find BMI calculators online. Age:       Are you older than 50? Neck size:    Do you have a large neck circumference?          Male: 17 inches          Female: 16 inches Gender:     Are you a male? SCORE:      TOTAL VALUE FROM BOXES ABOVE

If you’re at high risk for sleep apnea, make an appointment with your primary care physician right away. Your doctor may refer you for a sleep study at Brookings Health System’s sleep diagnostics facility. Learn more about sleep studies at or call (605) 696-8062.

SCORE: 0–2: low risk of sleep apnea 3–4: intermediate risk of sleep apnea 5–8: high risk of sleep apnea

Inspiring Health Fall 2018  
Inspiring Health Fall 2018