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Inspiring Health WINTER 2020

Every Step of the Way A new mother’s story of compassionate care at Brookings Health

Top Quality Obstetrics Care Brookings Hospital is re-designated as a Baby-Friendly hospital

Don’t Delay Care Providing safe care during the pandemic


DON’T DELAY CARE According to a survey conducted by the CDC, 4 in 10 adults reported avoiding medical care because of concerns related to COVID-19. Fear of coronavirus should not prohibit anyone from seeking needed medical attention. Brookings Hospital and other medical facilities across the country have implemented extensive safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, making it safe for patients to receive care. The following guidelines will help ensure you maintain your health during the pandemic.


GO TO THE ER IF NECESSARY: If you would normally go to the emergency room for your condition, still go. Seek emergency care if you experience: Head injury, unconsciousness, or other major trauma Severe abdominal pain Signs of a stroke, such as a numbness or weakness on one side High fever

PAY ATTENTION TO SYMPTOMS: Many serious conditions, such as heart attack or stroke, are successfully treated when patients receive prompt medical attention, but are potentially fatal if ignored.

Open fracture


Breathing problems

Following diet and exercise plans and getting appropriate health screenings prevents serious complications from conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and other long-term illnesses.

KEEP APPOINTMENTS FOR REGULAR EXAMS: As a part of maintaining health, keep appointments for annual physicals, dental and optical checkups, well-child checks, and other yearly screenings.

Uncontrollable pain or bleeding

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, do not delay care. Serious medical conditions often have positive outcomes when they receive prompt treatment. If you experience medical emergency warning signs, seek care immediately at Brookings Health System’s emergency department.

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Making a Difference During COVID-19

This fall SDSU Athletics honored 11 Brookings Health System team members who have impacted the health system’s ability to provide care for the community during COVID-19. “I am 63 years old and never in my lifetime has the medical profession been more important as they are now. Also, they have never been under more pressure than they are now,” said SDSU Head Football Coach John Stiegelmeier. “We are blessed to have so many Healthcare Heroes here in Brookings. To each and every one of you, thank you for Making a Difference, MAD!” Honorees were selected from various roles across the organization and include:

As a hospitalist, Dr. Leadabrand continuously pours over new COVID-19 studies and scientific research. She has spent hours of personal time developing the hospital’s COVID-19 care plan. Her compassion for and dedication to her patients starts before they are even admitted to the hospital.

Lynne Thompson  |  Kim Jensen  |  Justine Sauter  |  Kim Gray CASE MANAGEMENT TEAM

Deb Thomas  |  LABORATORY

Derick Johnson  |  RESPIRATORY CARE Properly fitted N95 respirators protect staff from contracting COVID-19 during patient care. Derick Johnson led the respiratory care team to fit-test N95 masks for all Brookings Health front-line staff, including reception and registration staff who previously were not required to use N95 masks.

The pandemic caused high demand for personal protective equipment and medical supplies, creating global shortages. To ensure Brookings Health has supplies to safely care for patients, Dezarae Norgaard keeps close watch on inventory levels and routinely places orders with vendors to keep the supply chain flowing.

As a graphic designer, Abby Peters has quickly responded to Brookings Health’s visual communication needs for the pandemic. Her graphics, signs, fliers and other materials communicate critical information and changes to patients, visitors and staff alike.

Due to the pandemic, long-term care facilities now require COVID-19 testing before placing a new resident. Brookings Hospital’s case managers stay in constant communication with nursing homes and assisted livings to advocate for patients and ensure a successful and safe care transition.

Dr. Catherine Leadabrand   |  INPATIENT CARE


Abby Peters  |  MARKETING

Laboratory Director Deb Thomas leads the lab team’s charge for COVID-19 testing. At the pandemic’s start, she secured supplies and testing from the Department of Health. This summer and fall, the lab quickly brought new testing equipment online while still adhering to government standards.

Amanda Trowbridge  |  Jason Hanssen THE NEIGHBORHOODS AT BROOKVIEW NURSING HOME Administrator Jason Hanssen and Nursing Director Amanda Trowbridge have led the nursing home team’s response to the pandemic. With an eye on safety for both residents and staff, they’ve stayed informed on ever-changing regulations, met reporting deadlines and adapted care plans. Learn how you can join our team and become one of our heroes at brookingshealth.org/jobs.

winter 2020




CARE This past summer Brookings Health System became re-designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, meaning the health system has implemented the policies and procedures to support mothers and babies in all aspects of breastfeeding. Those steps have ranked Brookings Health in the top 2% of hospitals nationwide for maternity practices in infant nutrition and care. Brookings Health System scored 98 of 100 points on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC). The mPINC survey is a national survey of infant feeding practices in maternity care settings. Every two years, all U.S. hospitals that


provide maternity services and free-standing birth centers are invited to participate. Brookings Health scored 25 points above the South Dakota average (73) and 19 points above the national average (79). “Our New Beginnings Birth Center team is committed to implementing evidence-based care to ensure mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported,” said Obstetrics Director Mary Schwaegerl. “As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, we’ve implemented many supportive hospital care practices recommended by the CDC that encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies.”

Brookings Health and all the hospitals are rated by mPINC on eight care dimensions that demonstrate supportive hospital practices to encourage breastfeeding.

CARE DIMENSIONS:         Hospital policies: written hospital policies support breastfeeding and are communicated to staff and patients.          Staff training: required breastfeeding education, clinical training and competency verification for all maternity staff who work with breastfeeding families.        Skin-to-skin contact: placing the newborn skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth, allowing uninterrupted time for breastfeeding. Teaching about breastfeeding: teaching mothers and babies how to breastfeed and to recognize and respond to important feeding cues. Early, frequent breastfeeding: helping mothers and babies start breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, with many opportunities to practice throughout the hospital stay. Pacifiers are used only when medically indicated.     Exclusive breastfeeding: offering supplementary feedings only in cases of rare medical complications.           Rooming-in: encouraging mothers and babies to room together and teach families the benefits of close contact, including better quality and quantity of sleep for both and more opportunities to practice breastfeeding. Active follow-up after discharge: scheduling in-person breastfeeding follow-up visits for mothers and babies after they go home to check-up on breastfeeding, help resolve any feeding problems, and connect families to community breastfeeding resources. According to the CDC, institutional changes in maternity care practices effectively increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. Birth facilities that have achieved the World Health Organization/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designation, such as Brookings Health, typically experience an increase in breastfeeding rates.

Learn more about obstetrics care at brookingshealth.org/OB. brookingshealth.org

Every Step of the Way Sioux Valley Kindergarten Teacher Amy Verhelst and her husband, Jon, were grateful for the expertise, compassion, and understanding displayed by Brookings Health’s team every step of the way during the birth of their first child, Cameron. At over 40 weeks, Amy and Jon were induced on a Thursday evening by OBGYN Dr. Kirstin Sholes. Amy was administered medicine overnight to start labor. In the morning, Dr. Sholes arrived to assess Amy’s progress. She gave Amy Pitocin, a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin that causes contractions, to spur on labor. But when labor didn’t progress as planned, Dr. Sholes told Amy and Jon they needed to seriously consider a C-section for Cameron’s safety. It was a scary time for Amy and Jon. Amy had shared with Dr. Sholes a fear to deliver Cameron by Caesarean section, the option she now faced. Showing compassion, Dr. Sholes gave Amy and Jon the time and space to talk, understanding how difficult the decision was for them. “That meant a lot,” said Amy. “I needed to prepare myself for what was about to happen.”

“Even the anesthesiologist who was part of our process when I got my epidural and then obviously getting ready for the C-section, he held my hand in the elevator because Jon couldn’t fit in with us. He was supporting me and coaching me through it. He was only there for that short amount of time, but he was giving me all of his support and care.” The OB nurses who had been with Amy prior to the C-section also stayed by her side in the OR, helping her to remain calm and reassuring her everything was going to be okay. “They just cared,” said Amy. “It wasn’t just a procedure to them, in and out. They were there making sure I was supported and comforted during that traumatic and scary time.” Cameron was born at 3:32 p.m., and even though their birth experience didn’t follow Amy and Jon’s labor plans, they were grateful to be in the care of such wonderful hands at Brookings Health.

In addition, the other health care staff also supported Amy and Jon.

“They are going to be there every step of the way to help you and to explain things to you,” said Amy. “And they’re going to care about you and they’re going to make you feel comfortable, even when it’s not a comfortable thing happening.”

“My husband and I can’t say enough good things about the nurses and everybody that we interacted with,” said Amy.

Learn more about our obstetrics services and watch Amy’s full birth story at brookingshealth.org/AmyV.

winter 2020


Image-Guided Relief for Chronically Painful Sinuses Each year over 4 million Americans are diagnosed with chronic sinus infections, also known as chronic sinusitis. To help local patients who live with chronic sinusitis, Brookings Health offers image-guided sinus surgery and balloon sinuplasty. Sinuses are tiny, air-filled cavities located in the skull. They create mucus to keep nasal passages clear from allergens and pollutants. But when the tissues lining the sinuses swell, the openings can become blocked, trapping mucus and air inside and causing pressure. Acute sinusitis following a cold or allergy symptoms is quite common. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, it affects around one in eight adults per year and most cases can be treated at home with improvements seen in a week to 10 days.


Chronic sinusitis is when symptoms last for more than 12 weeks. For some people, the symptoms linger for years, making it difficult to breathe due to constant sinus blockage and swelling. Risk factors include year-round allergies, a weak immune system, frequent respiratory infections and cigarette smoking. The cause of chronic sinusitis isn’t always obvious. Structural problems within the nasal passages, such as a deviated septum, or growths, such as nasal polyps, can prevent the sinuses from draining.

For patients who do not respond to medication, image-guided sinus surgery may be the best treatment option. To avoid scars, sinus procedures are typically performed through the patient’s nasal cavity, a very fragile area. ENT surgeons who perform image-guided sinus surgery use a surgical platform and navigation system. The surgical platform creates 3D images using pre-operative CT scans of the patient’s sinuses. At the beginning of surgery, the surgeon scans a patient’s head to match it up with the CT scan. An electromagnet field is then established around the patient’s head so the surgeon can guide and track instruments in real-time via the 3D images. Using a magnifying endoscope, the ENT surgeon removes the affected tissue and bone. As a part of image-guided sinus surgery, ENT surgeons may perform balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that dilates sinus openings. During balloon sinuplasty, a surgeon inserts an endoscope into the nasal passage. After reaching the sinus cavity, the surgeon slowly inserts a small balloon catheter. Once correctly positioned, the surgeon slowly inflates the balloon catheter, pressing against the sinus walls to slightly fracture the bone and force an opening. The goal of sinus surgery is to flush out infected material, open up blocked passages and keep enough healthy tissue so that a patient’s nose and sinuses can function normally. The surgery resolves most patients’ symptoms, such as nasal congestion, facial pressure and sinus headaches. In addition, most patients experience significantly fewer sinus infections. Want to learn more about ENT services available at Brookings Health System? Visit brookingshealth.org/ENT.


Ten Years of Strengthening Inspiring people to support Brookings Health System through philanthropy, recognizing the vital role of local health care in sustaining quality of life in our community.


in facility, equipment & technology upgrades Health events and wellness education for the community and employees


from the hospital for patients without financial means needing transportation Special outings and events for residents at The Neighborhoods at Brookview


for heart attacks and stroke health with Million Hearts


$58,100 raised for Tough Enough to Wear Pink by the Swiftel Center to promote cancer screenings and local resources

for hospice patients


provided to patients without financial means following hospital discharge


providing resources to newborn families and increasing SIDS awareness


through annual Aiming to Inspire Health Sporting Clays Tournament

Employees giving back to the community with over 575 gifts of time, talent & treasure annually

SUPPORT THE FOUNDATION FOR DECADES TO COME! Visit brookingshealth.org/foundation or call the Foundation at (605) 696-8855 for more information.


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  Please contact me about pledge or automatic withdrawal options. Donations are directed to the Foundation General Fund, please contact our office if you would like your donation designated toward a specific area. Checks may be made payable to Brookings Health System Foundation.

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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.

THANK-YOU To our community THANK-YOU for supporting and trusting us during this unprecedented time. We are here for you.

To our team members THANK-YOU for delivering our Mission: to provide high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care.

Together we will get through COVID-19. Stay informed at brookingshealth.org/COVID.

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Inspiring Health Winter 2020  

Inspiring Health Winter 2020