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Inspiring Health WINTER 2017

The Center of Attention A patient’s experience in same-day surgery

Local Orthopedic Care Brookings Health System welcomes Dr. Patrick Moriarty

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Fighting the opioid epidemic

New Directors Brookings Health System recently appointed two new directors, Sandra Ruesch, RN, and Sara Schneider. Ruesch was promoted to serve as the new quality director. In this role Ruesch provides education and training to drive organizational improvement efforts and to support staff competence. She oversees clinical data submissions as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and administers the physician peer review process as required by federal and state regulations for hospitals.

Sandra Ruesch, RN

Sara Schneider

Schneider was recently hired as the new foundation director. In this role, Schneider manages and coordinates fundraising for Brookings Health System Foundation. She is responsible for managing grant funding, implementing fundraising strategies, and coordinating fund distribution to support Brookings Health System. To learn more about career opportunities available at Brookings Health System, please visit

Is it the Flu or a Cold? 2

Influenza and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but different viruses cause each. Because they have similar symptoms, it can be challenging to tell them apart. Differences between the two include: •

Influenza symptoms tend to be much worse than cold symptoms and come on suddenly. Cold symptoms tend to arrive gradually. You typically know when you have influenza. You’ll have a high fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, fatigue and aching muscles/joints. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur with influenza in young children and the elderly, but these symptoms by themselves typically indicate a stomach bug.

Colds typically only come with a sore throat and runny nose. They’re also more common than influenza.

Colds will make you feel under-the-weather for a few days, whereas influenza will make you feel very ill for a few days to weeks.

In general, influenza is more intense than a cold and can result in serious health problems which can lead to hospitalization. If you suspect you have influenza, see your primary care provider for a prescription antiviral drug.

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Get to Know Our HOSPITALISTS A hospitalist is a doctor who is trained in hospital medicine and specializes in caring for patients in the hospital setting. At Brookings Health, our hospitalists work closely with other members of our hospital care team to provide patients comprehensive care during their stay.

Dr. Nazir Delawar

Dr. John Kinross-Wright



Medical School: University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, NE

Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO

Residency: Clarkson Family Medicine Residency Program, Omaha, NE

Residency: University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, SD



American Board of Family Medicine

American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Catherine Leadbrand

Dr. Natalie Owens-Sloan



Medical School: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

Medical School: Ross University, Roseau, Dominica Residency: Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA

Residency: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE



American Board of Internal Medicine

American Board of Internal Medicine American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Dr. Matthew Swartz

To learn more about the hospitalist program at Brookings Health System, please visit

Education Medical School: NOVA Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Residency: Family Medicine Residency Program, Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, NC

winter 2017


Orthopedic Care In November, Brookings native Dr. Patrick Moriarty moved his general orthopedics practice to his hometown. His goal: to help members of the Brookings area community receive great orthopedic care close to home.


Born and raised in Brookings, Dr. Moriarty has spent the last 19 years in Bemidji, Minn. where he has practiced general orthopedics. He received his doctorate degree from Creighton University, performed his residency in orthopedics at Mayo Clinic Rochester and completed his fellowship in orthopedics at Lake Tahoe Orthopedic Institute. As an orthopedic specialist, he focuses on injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. “Our objective in general orthopedics is to help people heal and return to their normal function and activities,” said Dr. Moriarty. To meet this objective, Dr. Moriarty is available to see patients at the Avera Medical Group Specialty Care clinic, perform surgeries at Brookings Hospital, and also tend to those who present with orthopedic injuries at Brookings Health System’s ER. Conditions he’s able to treat patients for include: •

Fractures that require casting or surgical repair

Sprains, strains and muscle pains

Joint dislocations

Joint replacements

Arthroscopy of joints, including knees, shoulders, wrists and ankles

Carpel tunnel syndrome and trigger fingers


Sports-related injuries

To treat patients, Dr. Moriarty often orders imaging diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, CT or MRI scans, to help diagnose conditions. Treatment may also include physical therapy or injections before pursuing surgical treatment. “We only perform surgery when a patient becomes a good candidate for the procedure,” said Dr. Moriarty. “Sometimes therapy or pain management can help a patient maintain function for years. Our bodies naturally wear down, but it’s best to wait for surgery when the time is right for each patient.” Dr. Moriarty takes a team approach to care, working alongside with primary care providers, occupational and physical therapists, radiologists, nurse anesthetists, operating room staff and other professionals to provide as holistic of an approach as possible. He also keeps himself up-to-date on the newest advancements in orthopedics to help people recover quickly. “There’s been many advancements in orthopedic care,” said Dr. Moriarty. “What was once a fatal injury, like a hip fracture, we can now better treat and repair to get patients mobilized and bearing weight again on the joint.” And for orthopedic patients, Dr. Moriarty and his team’s services mean patients can recover close to home without additional expense and travel time. Could you benefit from local orthopedic care? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Moriarty by calling Avera Medical Group Specialty Care clinic at (605) 696-2700.

The Center of ATTENTION Hernia repair is a common same-day surgical procedure experienced by 300,000 Americans each year. What isn’t always as common is a surgery team who treats you like family. When Bob Munich of Brookings had his hernia repaired, he discovered what Brookings Health System’s high-quality, compassionate, personalized care is all about. An umbilical hernia is a soft swelling or bulge near the navel. It happens when tissues bulge through an opening in the abdomen muscles. In Bob’s case, the cause was an old injury. “I had it for years,” said Bob. “I think what happened was many years ago I lifted a heavy piano when I shouldn’t have and it tore something lose.” Watchful waiting is generally not recommended for adults with an umbilical hernia. In Bob’s case, the hernia became more pronounced over the years to the point where it was dangerous not to repair it. Bob’s physician, Dr. Daniel Cecil, recommended Bob have the hernia repaired and referred him to General Surgeon Dr. Theresa Oey. Bob connected with Dr. Oey immediately. “She just has a way of making you feel at home and like I was a part of the process.” An operation is the only way to repair a hernia. As such, Dr. Oey recommended Bob have hernia surgery using the da Vinci robot which was less invasive than other surgical

methods. Using the da Vinici surgical system would allow Bob to heal more quickly and experience less pain. “I thought there would be pain with this type of surgery. I didn’t feel any pain at all, even during the recovery,” said Bob. Bob felt anxious when he arrived at Brookings Hospital on the day of his procedure. But the same-day surgery team immediately made him feel at home and calmed his nerves with their personal care and responsiveness. “Everybody involved in the procedure, they all had smiles on their faces and they all welcomed me and made me feel like I was the center of attention,” said Bob. After his procedure, Dr. Oey talked to Bob’s wife, Linda, to reassure her all went well. Bob was relieved he didn’t experience any major complications and that he was finally able to enjoy his life with a belly button again. In addition to a successful surgery, Bob appreciated being close of home. Once he was ready for discharge, Linda drove him to their house in five minutes. Bob also valued the personal feel of being care for by fellow community neighbors. “It’s good to know when you come in you’re going to be taken care of like family because you are a community of family members.” Want to know more? Listen to Bob tell his story online at

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Enhanced Recovery After Surgery 6

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2.1 million people in 2015 misused prescription opioids for the first time. Alternative pain methods, such as those implemented at Brookings Health System, are helping to reduce the number of opioids prescribed to patients and fight the opioid epidemic. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a shift throughout the United States in reducing opioid use after surgical care. Brookings Health System’s anesthesia team has implemented ERAS to provide pain relief to surgical patients instead of opioids. “Our goal is to reduce surgical complications and improve outcomes and patient satisfaction throughout the patient stay,” said Anesthesia Director Brian Kvamme. “With ERAS, patients recover faster, have a shorter hospital stay and have fewer post-surgery complications.” Research shows that ERAS result in reduced care costs and improved patient satisfaction and outcomes. According to the ERAS Society, ERAS reduce postoperative complications by up to 50 percent. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found ERAS reduced patient stays from 6.7 days to 3.7 days. In addition, narcotic opioid use during hospital stays dropped from 63 percent to 15 percent of patients. Historically, surgical patients would receive a large amount of opioids post-surgery to help control pain for both inpatient and outpatient procedures.

“Patients would receive an IV of patient-controlled morphine and they’d be lying in their bed half-awake for a few days,” said Kvamme. “That limits their ability to be involved in their care.” While patients who were prescribed opioids may not feel any pain, they also would be less alert, less able to communicate, and less able to get up and move. What’s more, they’d also endure side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and constipation, and be at risk for developing a dependence on opioids. With ERAS, nurse anesthetists perform regional anesthesia when possible and use a variety of non-opioid pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, nerve pain medication and others to control pain post-surgery. Care providers also focus on helping patients to maintain their energy levels before, during and after surgery so they can recover more quickly. Patients are encouraged to eat a light meal up to six hours before surgery and to drink a carbohydrate beverage, such as orange juice or milk, two hours before surgery. They are also encouraged to stay hydrated and are not prohibited from water intake after midnight. After surgery, patients are given nutrition right away and are encouraged to move and walk around. The ERAS pain control methods implemented at Brookings Health System result in patients taking fewer pain medications and using little to no IV opioids during their stay. To learn more about the quality of health care at Brookings Health System, please visit

Sleep Lab


New upgrades to Brookings Health System’s sleep diagnostics facility further enhance the sleep study quality patients receive in a home-like atmosphere from care providers who are committed to quality. Brookings Health System recently upgraded to a new polysomnography sleep system to give care providers enhanced information on a patient’s sleep patterns. “Therapists and physicians use the gathered information to customize therapeutic treatments to a patient’s unique needs,” said Respiratory Care Director Lynne Thompson. The system’s software monitors when a patient’s airway is restricted during sleep, either while inhaling or exhaling. If the patient’s problem is identifiable in the first half of the sleep study, the therapist will awaken them to try an adaptive device, like a CPAP machine, to see if that helps the patient during the second half of the sleep study. In addition, the system also includes an infrared video camera that records a patient’s movements and audio while they sleep in complete darkness. Physicians, who are not on-site during a sleep study, can view

the recording to have a better idea of a patient’s sleep tendencies and provide a more accurate diagnosis. In addition to the new equipment, the sleep diagnostic facility recently became accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. “Accreditation demonstrates we meet the established regulatory requirements and standards,” said Thompson. “In addition, it shows our team’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients.” To meet the accreditation guidelines, Brookings Health verified it had the policies and procedures in place to meet patient safety protocols. It also demonstrated compliance with national regulations and industry best practices. The sleep diagnostics facility further ensures a high-quality sleep study for patients with its quiet and comfortable environment. “The level of comfort is higher at our facility than in other sleep labs because of the atmosphere,” said Thompson. “Because our sleep lab is an apartment, it feels like a home, not a hotel or a hospital room. This enables our patients to sleep more naturally like they would in their own bedroom at home.” The sleep diagnostic facility can test two patients each night. Each patient has his or her own private bedroom with a queen-sized bed, TV and bath. A recliner option for sleeping is also available to patients. Brookings Health provides testing for patients 16 years of age and older. Types of studies that can be performed include diagnostic testing for sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. Daytime sleep studies are also available for those patients who work overnight shifts. Think you may benefit from a sleep study? Ask your physician to refer you to Brookings Health System. Learn more at

winter 2017


300 22nd Avenue Brookings, SD 57006

This is a recyclable product.

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.


home décor 

•   accessories 

•   books 

•   cards 

•   candles 

Brookings Health System’s new gift shop is now open on the first floor of the renovated hospital and offer visitors a convenient way to purchase a get well present for a loved one. “We have tried to select a variety of items that appeal to many different tastes,” said Volunteer and Gift Shop Coordinator Lisa Rasmussen. “Each individual is unique, and whether you’re calling in a gift, stopping by on your way to visit a patient, or acknowledging a caregiver, we hope to have that just-right item for you.” Gift shop merchandise includes home and seasonal décor, women’s apparel, Brookings Health branded merchandise, women’s and men’s accessories, SDSU items, books, cards, candles, balloons, flowers, plush animals, baby items and more.

•   balloons 

•   flowers 

•   baby items 

•   apparel

The new shop is much larger than the previous gift shop location and offers a true store-front feel to customers. It is also open extended hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Personnel also now accept orders over-the-phone for patient room delivery. Orders can be placed by calling (605) 696-8063. Volunteers staff the gift shop. If you’d like to give your time to Brookings Health, contact Rasmussen at (605) 696-8063 or

Inspiring Health Winter 2017  
Inspiring Health Winter 2017