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Inside? Brookings Health System.................... 2-3 Edgewood Vista...................................... 4 Brookings Dental..................................... 4 Embrace Family Dentistry....................... 5 Urology Specialists................................. 5 VRS CPA.................................................. 5 Brian J. Hildebrant, CPA......................... 6 Anderson Insurance................................ 6 Bisson Dental........................................... 7 Homecare Services of SD.................. 8-9 Ameriprise Financial............................... 8 Sanford Health........................................ 9 Avera Medical Group Brookings........10 Biotest Plasma Center...........................10

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Award-winning health care For the second time in three years, Brookings Health System has been named a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital by the National Rural Health Association. It’s also been named a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital for four years running, has received the NOSOROH Performance Leadership Award for two years in a row and has a three-peat on the 100 Great Community Hospitals list. Currently, the health system ranks in the top two percent of all rural and community hospitals nationwide according to the Hospital Strength INDEX® from iVantage Health Analytics. But that repeated recognition for high-quality care doesn’t happen by chance. “You need to have the right people, facilities, technology and service,” said CEO and President Jason Merkley. “With our new hospital expansion and renovation project completed, we have outstanding facilities and we’ve done our best to incorporate the latest technology in to it. We’ve also been fortunate to have an amazing team of people who strive to deliver exemplary service to our patients, residents and their families.” Merkley adds the health system is poised to grow and meet the future health care needs of the Brookings area. “We’ve focused on adding and expanding specialty services to improve local access to health care.”

Getting People Back on Their Feet One of the recently expanded specialty services is orthopedics. Orthopedic Surgeons Dr. Mark Mayer and Dr. Michael Holmoe and Podiatrist Dr. Tyler Harrell focus on emergency and chronic injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. Their goal: help patients at any age reduce pain, improve function and maximize their quality of life. Conditions the orthopedic team treats include fractures, sprains, arthritis, muscle pain, joint dislocations and sports-related injuries. They are also skilled in performing surgical repairs, including joint replacements; joint arthroscopy for shoulder, knee, hip and small joints like wrists; rotator cuff repairs; ACL and knee ligament reconstruction; carpel tunnel release and foot and ankle repairs. In 2018, the health system further invested in orthopedic care by adding the Mako robotic-arm assisted surgical system for total hip, total knee and partial knee joint replacements, becoming the second facility in South Dakota with the technology.

“It’s a new approach to joint replacements that offers patient-specific implant alignment and positioning,” said Merkley. “The optimal placement can help increase the longevity of a patient’s implant.” Before surgery, the patient has CT images taken which allow their surgeon to create a 3D joint replacement plan tailored to the patient’s anatomy. In the new, state-of-the-art operating room dedicated for orthopedic procedures, the surgeon controls the robotic arm that helps place the patient’s new joint with a high degree of accuracy. The patient benefits with a shorter recovery time and improved outcome. To make sure patients have the best outcomes possible with joint replacements, the health system now offers Joint Camp. This monthly class further educates and prepares patients prior to their joint replacement, offering information on not only the surgery, but also what they’ll need to do post-op for recovery. In addition, Brookings Health also offers supporting services to provide comprehensive orthopedic care. Advanced digital imaging technology such as CT, X-ray and MRI with an extra-wide opening, help physicians to diagnose conditions. Physical and occupational therapists help patients restore function after surgery or an injury. While patients recover, Home Health services are available for at-home medical visits as well as assistance with every day household tasks and personal care like bathing. For those who need a little extra TLC before returning home, short-term skilled care is available through Brookings Hospital’s swing bed program or through The Neighborhoods at Brookview’s shortterm rehabilitation.

the physician examines a woman’s uterus with a camera to help identify the cause of heavy or lengthy menstrual flow, bleeding between periods or bleeding after menopause. Once a physician determines the root cause, they can work with the patient to determine a suitable treatment. If needed, the gynecologist can also perform other surgical procedures to help ease a woman’s condition. If the cause is polyps (benign overgrowths of the uterus lining or cervix) or fibroids (benign overgrowths of the uterus muscle), those can be surgically removed in a procedure called a myomectomy which keeps the woman’s uterus and her ability to have children intact. For women who are done having children but haven’t gone through menopause, another surgical option is uterine ablation, a surgical process by which the uterine lining is destroyed through heat, radio-controlled frequency, or other method, to reduce or prevent further uterine bleeding. If those treatment options do not work, a woman and her gynecologist may consider hysterectomy. In addition to relieving heavy bleeding, hysterectomy may be considered in cases of ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer. It may also be used to treat uterine prolapse, a condition that occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and no longer provide support for the uterus. As a result, the uterus slips down into or protrudes from the vagina. It often affects postmenopausal women who’ve had one or more vaginal deliveries. “We have the da Vinci robotic surgical system available if a woman and her gynecologist decide hysterectomy is the best treatment option, “ said Hillestad. “The da Vinci system offers a minimally invasive Improving approach to hysterectomy Quality of Life with smaller incisions, less scarring, less blood loss and for Women quicker recovery times for Brookings Health has the patient. Many patients also grown OB-GYN ser- also have a shorter hospital vices. With four gynecol- stay and report less pain.” ogists now on staff—Dr. Richard Gudvangen, Dr. Preparing Larissa Bennis, Dr. Tara Haarsma and Dr. Kirstin for the Future Sholes—the team is positioned to do much more Brookings Health System’s hospital expansion than just deliver babies. “We‘re here to help wom- and renovation project esen, no matter their stage of tablished a platform to life,” said Chief Nursing deliver high-quality, compersonalized Officer Tammy Hillestad. passionate, “Many times women may healthcare for the commuexperience heavy or long nity. With that platform menstrual cycles and they squarely in place, it’s ready don’t realize it’s not normal to be built upon as needs because that’s the way it’s arise. always been for them. Our “We can’t rest on our doctors are board-certified laurels,” says Merkley. “In to perform gynecological fact, we’ve started expandprocedures, both in the of- ing our ENT [ear, nose and fice and in the operating throat] services by partnerroom, which can help alle- ing with Midwest ENT. Dr. viate the discomfort associ- Thomas Tamura and Audiated with abnormal bleed- ologist Dr. Holly Ralston are seeing patients once a ing.” Those include hysteros- week in the former OB unit. copy, a procedure in which Dr. Tamura is performing

near home

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Mark Mayer performs knee replacement surgery in Brookings Hospital’s OR using Mako robotic-arm assisted technology. Last year Brookings Health System became the second the facility in South Dakota to offer advanced robotic technology for hip and knee replacements.

Gynecologist Dr. Kirstin Sholes performs a hysteroscopy in Brookings Hospital’s operating room. With four board-certified gynecologists on staff, the Brookings Health team is able to perform several procedures to help alleviate any discomfort for local women.

Flandreau native and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Holmoe examines an x-ray in Brookings Hospital’s emergency room. The orthopedic team focuses on emergency and chronic injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. surgical procedures here, too, such as PE tubes insertion and adenoid removal for kids. We’re also bringing on another ENT specialist this July. We know it’s a need in the community.” Expanding the specialty services also means finishing the open shell space on the second level of the Medical Plaza physician office building. The health system is currently working on plans to construct exam

rooms and offices there. “The first floor of the Medical Plaza is getting crowded with all of the recently added specialists,” said Merkley. “We want to have office space available for all clinicians who benefit from easy and convenient hospital access.” Adding and expanding specialty services are part of the strategy to keep the health system on top as one of the premier rural com-

munity hospitals in South Dakota. “People want convenient access to care,” said Merkley. “They want care when they need it, where they need it. That’s why we’re focused on growing our services to meet the access needs of our community, to give people the high-quality care they need when they want it and where they want it—close to home.”

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New things happening at Embrace Dentistry Dr. Leeann Diercks and Dr. Hillary Van Dyke at Embrace Dentistry are both moms, as well as dentists, at Embrace Dentistry in Brookings. And since Brookings does not have a local pediatric dentist, they wanted to offer something unique to those mothers who are looking for a caring dentist for their children. Embrace Dentistry recently underwent a remodel for the development of a new kids’ section. This barn-themed play area has horses, video games, and a coloring section. Dr. Leeann says, “You can come in as a family, and the new play area keeps the children entertained so moms do not have to worry.” Dr. Leeann recently completed additional hands-on continuing education program focusing on pediatrics. “The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing in your child when their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday. It is so important to take care of their teeth before age 5,” says Dr. Leeann. “If we can develop good habits before our children get their permanent teeth, they will be more likely to maintain cavity-free teeth and healthy habits throughout their lives.” Dr. Leeann is a Brookings native and a graduate of Brookings High School. She did her undergraduate studies at Univer-

Showing off the new kids’ section at Embrace Yorkshire Dentistry in Brookings are, from left: Angela Van Hofwegen, dental assistant; Dr. Leeann Diercks; Kendra Bohls, receptionist-dental assistant; Kaylie Good, dental assistant; and Kim LaJoie, dental hygienist.

sity of South Dakota and is a graduate of Ohio State College of Dentistry. She previously practiced in Rochester, Minnesota and Watertown, South Dakota, before moving to Brookings. Dr. Hillary completed her undergraduate work at South Dakota State University and is a graduate of the UNMC College of Dentistry. She attended the Academy of Laser Dentistry and the Invisalign Assist continuing education program. Dr. Leeann and Dr. Hillary’s philos-

ophy is to provide the best dental care while maintaining a friendly atmosphere. And when it comes to a complete range of general dentistry, Embrace Dentistry in Brookings gets the job done, from infancy through adulthood including fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, partials, dentures, and even sport mouth guards. Learn more about Embrace Dentistry at or call (605) 697-6262.

Urology Specialists bring

specialized care to Brookings area Urology Specialists aims to be the region’s premier urological care team by providing comprehensive, compassionate, patient-centered care through dedicated staff, highly trained medical providers and state-of-the-art technology. And its providers are bringing their expertise to as many patients in the region as possible through outreach and satellite clinics, like the one right here in Brookings. The Brookings satellite clinic, serving local patients several times a month since 1989, is located at 216 W. Second St. S. and can be reached at 692-8189. Urology Specialists consists of 10 doctors, five physician assistants and one nurse practitioner. Its main office is in Sioux Falls, and they provide services to 16 outreach clinics in South Dakota and Iowa and have satellite clinics in Brookings, Worthington and Rapid City. Urology is a surgical specialty that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of the male and female urinary system and the male reproductive system.


Though not all urology conditions require surgery, Urology Specialists physicians are skilled medical specialists in both the operating room and the clinic exam room. Urology Specialists providers will review your medical history, recommend testing if necessary, diagnose your urological condition and work with you on a treatment plan. Dr. Eugene Park and Dr. Lauren Wood Thum provide services at the satellite clinic in Brookings. Dr. Park was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, near Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from Northwestern University and completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. After medical school, Dr. Park completed his surgical internship and urology residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Park joined Urology Specialists in 2014 after working in private practice in California. Dr. Park sees patients in Sioux Falls and Brookings, and Hendricks, Minnesota. Dr. Park is Board Certified

Dr. Eugene Park

Dr. Lauren Wood Thum

in Urology. Dr. Wood Thum grew up in Newport News, Virginia. She received both her undergraduate degree with distinction and medical degree from the University of Virginia. She completed her urology residency training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles as a member of the inaugural residency class. She joined Urology Specialists in 2018 after completing a fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of California Los Angeles. She is board eligible in both urology and FPMRS. The doctors treat any age of patient, from pediatric patients to those 100plus years old. Some are referred by other physicians, but self-referrals are welcome as well.

growing with Brookings

Brookings is a growing community, and accounting firm VRS P.C. is growing right along with it. A clear demand for more accounting services drew VRS P.C. to expand into Brookings in February 2017. The Watertown-based firm opened its Brookings office with Chad Vilhauer and Ricki Boyle serving local clients, and Heidi Bergquist has since joined the staff. All are full-time Brookings residents. Vilhauer is staff accountant and office manager, and Boyle and Bergquist are data processing specialists. Local connections helped VRS discover a demand for more accounting services here. The demand was so great, Vilhauer said, people had to leave Brookings for services instead of staying closer to home. “Everything we heard about Brookings is people like to support their local businesses,” Vilhauer said. VRS found a solution by opening a local branch. “We continue to take on new clients and will grow as Brookings needs us to, to fill that need. Brookings has been very supportive. We’ve gotten a lot of great referrals from clients we’ve worked with. Businesses in town talk to each other, and they really do support each other,” he added. The firm provides tax and financial services to both individuals and businesses. The Brookings office is located at 772 22nd Ave. S., in the Eastside Commons near Hy-Vee. “Clients come to us for a trustworthy

Ricki Boyle and Heidi Bergquist, data processing specialists, and staff accountant and office manager Chad Vilhauer make up the team at VRS P.C. in Brookings.

and friendly relationship,” said Boyle. “We pride ourselves on building and maintaining relationships with our clients, not only during tax time, but year-round.” VRS is a full-service accounting firm that offers services including audits, reviews and compilations; bookkeeping and payroll; new business consulting; planning for finances, estates, trusts and retirement’ tax preparation and management; and business valuation and litigation support. The full list of services allows VRS to help clients see the view ahead. “We consider ourselves advisory accountants,” Vilhauer said. This differs from a historical accountant who offers a rear-

view look at a client’s finances. VRS looks ahead. Boyle echoed his thoughts. “We pride ourselves on providing end-to-end services for clients and serve as advisers rather than just tax preparers,” she said. Vilhauer specializes in tax services with support from specialized staff in the Watertown office. His background began in financial planning. The Watertown native, who started with VRS in 2009, said this background is helpful to their clients. “It’s nice to have that full picture to help our clients to know what to be looking for,” he said. “We want to make sure we truly bring value to our clients.”

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Longevity based on staying current Brian J. Hildebrant, CPA, has been an accountant since 1981, and he started his own firm in Brookings in 1984. His firm’s consistently excellent reputation is built on the high standards Hildebrant and his team demand of themselves, and keeping up with changing tax codes is key to their success. This year marked some of the biggest changes in U.S. tax code in 30 years. Whether filing as an individual, a family or a business, having a trustworthy, experienced tax accountant who truly understands tax law is crucial. “The last time there was this much change in tax law was shortly after I started working as an accountant in the 1980s,” Hildebrant says, “so I’ve been through this once before. I know how important it is to keep up with the changes. That’s why my team and I worked so hard to get educated on every detail of all the current tax reforms and revisions, to ensure our mastery of the complexities of current tax code. That way, our clients benefit from every deduction and credit they are due.” Because of the complicated tax laws, filing even a simple tax return can be a daunting task for many people. Even with the latest tax software, it’s easy to miss details. For example, the latest tax reforms included changes in standard deductions, itemized deductions, child tax credits and more. The Hildebrant team helps individuals, families and businesses navigate every detail, and they double check everything. After the team of tax professionals thoroughly reviews the math, they run every return through pro-

Suzanne Moe, CPA and Brian Hildebrant, CPA

fessional-grade computer software to maximize deductions and minimize income tax. “We work for our clients, not for the IRS,” Hildebrant says. “We work to make sure our clients follow the law, but we are always on the lookout for legitimate tax saving opportunities.” That’s why many clients also work with Hildebrant for tax planning, determining and implementing potential tax-saving measures throughout the year. Part of that tax planning is determining how to adjust payroll withholding to get more money back each week, rather than giving the IRS a virtual interest-free loan for a year or more. “My philosophy is that it’s always better for people to use their own money yearround rather than letting the government use

‘Trust, knowledge, experience When it comes to the complicated and ever-changing world of health insurance, the go-to agency for the Brookings area is Anderson Insurance Associates. Terry L. Anderson, LUTCF (Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow) health and life advisor, manager and mentor, began the business in 1984. In 2008, he was joined by Jessica Blum, agent, office administrator, and state president of NAIFA-SD (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), with 300 members statewide. Now to better serve its clients, the agency has added insurance agent Nathan Kirby; Marv Bleeker, office support and special projects; Samantha “Sami” Anderson, administrative assistant; and Kathy Vrchota, office administration. And now Anderson Insurance Associates also has a branch office in Sioux Falls, staffed by agents Natalie Nielsen and Dawn Howey. The company’s focus is health and life insurance; as an independent contractor, its agents sell a wide range of coverage tied to those areas: such as Avera; Sanford; Wellmark; Blue Cross; Blue Shield; and any life insurance company. Coverage areas include: health, life, group benefits, disability, dental, vision, long-term care; and Medicare. As the company looks to trust, knowledge and experience since 1984 and growth with the opening of the Sioux Falls office, its focus remains on putting its clients first. “We’re pretty proud with our trust, knowledge and experience,” Blum said. “A lot of our clients come to us for trust. And

it,” Hildebrant explains. “Refunds in March or April are certainly nice, but that just means you’ve been overpaying all year. When you have the correct amount withheld from your paycheck, you get to use your own money all year for investing, saving or spending.” As a CPA firm, the Hildebrant team also works with potential startups. They are also experts in organizing business finance, handling business accounting, payroll preparation and payroll tax return preparation. As Hildebrant says, “We are more than an accounting firm; we are business people who understand what it takes to succeed.” Brian J. Hildebrant, CPA 417 Eighth Street South, Brookings 605-697-6404

for 35 years’

The staff at Anderson Insurance Associates are dedicated to “trust, knowledge and experience.” From left are: Samantha “Sami” Anderson, office assistance; Nathy Kirby, agent; Jessica Blum, agent; Marvin Bleeker, office assistance; Terry Anderson, agent/owner; Natalie Nielsen, agent (Sioux Falls office); and Dawn Howey, agent (Sioux Falls office).

they go back to their friends and tell them they should go to Anderson Insurance. “Insurance is based on needs and wants. Not everyone’s needs are the same; every person’s case is different. That’s what keeps us busy every day: determining what’s best for this client versus that client.” “We’re fortunate that we’re a referral-based business,” Anderson added. “Referrals come from our clients and other agents. Fewer and fewer agents want to get involved with the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and the federal rules and regulations that go along with them.” Anderson also noted that he and his agents need to keep up with changes that mandate that they receive ongoing education and

training. “Not only do we need to maintain agent licensing; we also earn certification with the insurance companies and state and federal governments. We spend a lot of time learning, training and keeping up to date with the different programs out there. “It’s a constantly changing market and we stay on top of it.” With membership in NAIFA, Anderson Insurance is kept up to date on changes to health insurance that might come out of the state Legislature and affect the health care industry. Contact the office at 605-692-4722 or visit the agency at 104 Sixth St. W. across from Pioneer Park in Brookings.

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Bisson Dental giving patients the care they For Dr. John Bisson and his family, Brookings is a place where dreams come true. Dr. Bisson acquired Dr. Ben Gates’ dental office in February 2018. The two dentists worked together for a six-month transition period ensuring continued care and treatment for the existing patients. After this transition and nearly 40 years of service to the Brookings community and surrounding area, Dr. Gates officially retired in September 2018, leaving Dr. Bisson as the sole owner and operator. Bisson Dental currently has five caring and experienced employees, including two dental hygienists, an office manager and two dental assistants. Dr. Bisson was raised in Sturgis and attended South Dakota State University, where he graduated with a degree in biology. Dr. Bisson also met his wife, Alex Hoffman Bisson, at SDSU as they were both members of the Jackrabbit Swimming & Diving Team. Dr. Bisson pursued his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. After receiving his degree from Creighton, Dr. Bisson worked in Council Bluffs for one year while his wife continued her TV news career at KETV. John and Alex both felt the timing was right to move back home to South Dakota after the birth of their first child, Jackson, in late 2015. John worked as an associate dentist in Mitchell for two years. During that time, they also welcomed their second child, Avery. When

the time was right to start looking for ownership opportunities, Brookings was the clear choice for the Bisson family. Since starting Bisson Dental over a year ago, John and Alex have completely remodeled the existing dental office at 305 Main Ave. S. The project began with removing and replacing the carpet, trim, and paint in the waiting room, front office, treatment rooms and hallways. They also replaced the furniture and decor in the waiting room, installed laminate wood flooring in the five dental treatment rooms, and upgraded the wet lab space with new flooring, cabinets, countertops and plumbing. In addition to changing the physical appearance of the clinic, Dr. Bisson upgraded the entire office with more advanced technology, introducing digital radiographs and high definition intra-oral cameras. Paired with new computers and TVs in each treatment room, this technology allows the staff and patients a crystal-clear view of their teeth to better identify and diagnose dental related issues. The intra-oral camera works as a fantastic educational tool which gives patients a more relatable image of their teeth and gums to better understand any possible issues. Dr. Bisson says his team is committed to providing patients of all ages the best in preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental care. With every patient they have the honor of caring for, the staff at Bisson Dental is attentive to their needs, educates them on proper oral health habits, and

clearly explains treatment options without pushing unnecessary products or services. Dr. Bisson says the staff also strives to form long-term relationships with patients. They are invested in the patient’s lives and take the time to get to know them personally to help foster a patient-centered experience. When a patient leaves the office after their appointment, Dr. Bisson wants them to be so pleased with their experience that they can’t wait to tell their friends about it. At Bisson Dental, the goal is to treat every patient like a member of their own family. With a year of ownership under his belt, Dr. Bisson says he is excited to see what the future holds. Over the next year, Dr. Bisson’s goal is to continue to invest in his staff and in his patients. The staff will attend various continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and procedures. Dr. Bisson also plans to continue to remodel the office, with a focus on the exterior of the building and the landscaping this summer. Dr. Bisson realizes choosing a dentist is not a decision that patients take lightly, and he is honored when patients trust Bisson Dental with their family’s dental care. He is committed to giving his patients the care they desire and the care they deserve. Call Bisson Dental today at 605-692-2820 to get set up for your first appointment. They can’t wait to meet you!


Since starting Bisson Dental over a year ago, John and Alex have completely remodeled the existing dental office at 305 Main Ave. S. In addition to changing the physical appearance of the clinic, Dr. Bisson upgraded the entire office with more advanced technology.

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Homecare Services helps individuals stay Family matters, and no one knows that more than the folks at Homecare Services, where their motto is “Expert Advice, Professional Care.” Homecare Services is a private agency committed to providing expert advice and specialized care to those who want to remain living independently at home. Their team of nurses, caregivers and administrative staff offer a full-range of in-home support services throughout South Dakota and into Minnesota. They have nearly 40 employees serving about 100 homes in the Brookings area alone. “People are healthiest and feel the best in their own atmosphere, so we do everything from hanging out and playing cards to their cleaning, helping them with daily cares or just companionship. It could be for just an hour a day to 12 hours a day; it just depends on what their needs are,” Brookings Homecare Services branch coordinator Kristin Hildebrandt said. Homecare Services serves a wide range of individuals, from adolescence to the elderly. Their services are skillfully tailored to meet the individual needs that are unique to each situation. “We’re not just for the elderly; we also serve children and adults of all ages. We’re in their homes helping them when they get home from school or get home from work at Advance,” Kristin said. Homecare Services understands the apprehension and uncertainty that often accompanies searching for the appropriate services for yourself or a loved one. Sometimes all you really need is some guidance or direction, so they en-

courage people to contact any one of their branch locations to discuss your specific situation and get the advice and/or the help that you need. Over the last 35 years, Homecare Services has earned its reputation as a trusted provider of in-home care services. What began in Pierre, South Dakota, as two people with an idea has matured into an established network of professionals dedicated to one mission: helping others. Their history of working with countless families in both rural and metro areas has given them unparalleled experience and expertise. They have developed an enduring set of service delivery methods and complemented those timeless methods with young professionals who are excited to carry the mission into the future. Their roots run deep, their enthusiasm is steadfast, and their desire to help is sincere. Their services are specially tailored to meet the needs unique to each particular situation and are flexible enough to accommodate you or your loved one as those needs change. Homecare Services offers services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so your services will be provided when you need them the most; anytime of the day or night. Homecare Services understand the confusion and anxiety that sometimes accompanies obtaining in-home services for yourself or a loved one. Their Branch Coordinators work with families on a daily basis to learn about their needs and help to minimize the apprehension and confusion. It’ll come as no surprise then that Kristin spends a lot of her time simply listening to

those seeking assistance for themselves or a loved one. “So many times there are these situations where someone is taking care of a loved one, they exhaust themselves and they don’t know it’s OK to ask for help or to have us come in,” Kristin said. “Nine times out of 10, I’m listening to their stories and have to tell them that they absolutely do deserve that reprieve. Instead of working for your family member, you get to enjoy your family member. We’ll work for them; you enjoy them. We’ll do all the other stuff so you can enjoy them.” While most of the services provided are in the home setting, Homecare Services is equipped to provide services wherever the need is best met. Homecare Services has provided care to individuals at their places of employment, schools and universities, rehabilitation centers, and a variety of other locations. Their skilled team of caregivers are as diverse as the clients, but they do have one key thing in common: they have a passion for helping others. What’s more, each caregiver has been carefully selected utilizing an extensive pre-employment screening process which includes a thorough background investigation. Upon being hired, each caregiver goes through Homecare Services’ orientation process. This process provides comprehensive training on Homecare Services’ policies, procedures, safety protocols, and expectations. Following orientation, you caregiver will receive special training to meet the needs specific to your individualized plan of care and will continue to receive

A wealth of experience Setting financial goals on the horizon is something everyone should do, but navigating a safe path toward those goals involves complex decisions. Legacy Financial Partners with Ameriprise Financial has a team of Certified Financial Planner® practitioners that can help outline a clear path and simplify life’s complex decisions in order to help you reach your financial goals. The team at the Brookings Ameriprise office, located at 309 Fourth St., has two Certified Financial Planners®, Robyn Jensen and Brad Ness, who use sound strategies to help clients reach their financial goals. These two advisors have four professional designations and a total of 43 years of experience in the financial planning industry. Alongside these advisors is Les Howard, who focuses on business development and boasts an additional 32 years of experience. Pattie Berkner is the operations manager for the team and has her insurance and investment licenses as well, which makes each member of the team fully licensed to handle client needs. The top areas of focus for the Brookings team include retirement planning, investment management, retirement distribution strategies, small business planning, wealth preservation strategies, protection planning and tax planning. This wealth of experience is bolstered by the Legacy Financial Partners network. Legacy Financial Partners has 21 offices in the upper Mid-

at Legacy Financial Partners

The team at Legacy Financial Partners with Ameriprise Financial includes Robyn Jensen, Brad Ness and Pattie Berkner.

west – mostly in North and South Dakota. Weekly strategy sessions with all the offices in the Legacy Financial Partners family are held to share resources and industry knowledge in an effort to better serve their clients. The strategy sessions help by deepening the advisors’ knowledge in the industry and of client needs. It also helps the Ameriprise staff to develop relations with other experts and stay up to date on news and regulations that affect their clients. “By sharing our time, talent and resources within our team of industry leaders, we can better serve our clients” Jensen said. Robyn added that the team takes a “goals-based approach” to investing, based on the belief that comprehensive financial planning and establishing an ongoing relationship with a financial advisor are the most valuable investments a person can make. It’s our mission to help clients plan for more confident finan-

cial futures. From short-term to longterm goals, Ameriprise financial advisors work with clients individually to develop financial strategies to achieve those goals, while preparing for unexpected events that may arise along the way. The Ameriprise services include access to a wide range of solutions, including investment products, financial planning, insurance and brokerage services. The Ameriprise financial advisors take the time to find out what is important to their clients and work with them to develop a holistic customized plan for their lives – to help them live more confidently today and tomorrow. This team works to develop a clear understanding of their clients hopes and dreams and help them simplify their financial decisions to make the journey to achieve their goals easier. For more information, contact the team at Legacy Financial Partners at 692-5501.

in their homes.

on-going training. Homecare Services offers a variety of services to ensure comprehensive and consistent care. Their team of professionals will assist you in selecting from our menu of services to develop an individualized plan of care. They offer such services as help bathing, dressing, feeding, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, medication set-up and administration, among many other services. “Whatever that client wants, we will gladly fulfill it,” Kristin said. “If they’re a morning person and want to be ready to go to church at 6:30 on Sunday morning, we’re there. If they want to sit up and watch TV and don’t want to go to bed and need help going to bed at 9 or 10, we’re there. We mold into what the consumers want. If they want a set personality, I’ll try to find that set personality.” Homecare Services does accept a variety of consumer referrals, including from the Department of Human Services, the ALS Association, the MS Foundation, Vocational Rehab Program, long term care insurances, some health insurances, accident coverage, work compensation coverage and private pay. “Don’t be afraid to call. No question is ever going to go unanswered. Our door is always open and my phone is always on,” Kristin said. The Brookings branch of Homecare Services can be reached at 605-692-4253 by phone and Their offices are located at 306 Fourth Street, Suite A, in Brookings. Check out their website at

Homecare Services staff members are committed to providing expert advice and specialized care to those who want to remain living independently at home.

The Brookings Register, Saturday, April 27, 2019 - Page 9

New ways to serve patients at Sanford BROOKINGS – Sanford Health Clinic is always looking for new ways to serve patients, so they’ve added new hours and a special staff member – Wally the therapy dog. Wally, a maltipoo, is certified through the Sanford health system out of Sioux Falls to work with children alongside Dr. Ashley Huffingham, pediatrician. The fluffy white dog helps relieve anxiety for the kids, said Stephanie Wright, patient access representative, and Shelly Thiewes, RN, clinical services supervisor. They now accept acute care patients as walk-ins from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Acute care covers conditions that are sudden, like a fever, cough, cold, infection or a fall, said Wright. It’s not for chronic conditions or wellness checks. They’ve had the acute care for a while, just not every day like they will now. “We’ve seen great numbers and great response from the community, saying ‘thank you, so we didn’t have to go to the ER or drive to Sioux Falls,’” Wright said. Sanford taking those acute care patients frees the emergency room for more serious cases, but Sanford will refer patients if they need care like an IV or CT scan. “We work with the Brookings hospital and the ambulance service,” Wright said. There are 52 employees to keep the clinic running. Three family practitioners work at Sanford: Dr. Jennifer Olson, Dr. Amy Cook and Dr. Zoilo Lansang. They also have seven advance practice providers, either nurse practitioners or physician assistants

New therapy dog Wally, a maltipoo, is certified through the Sanford health system out of Sioux Falls to work with children alongside a pediatrician.

to provide care alongside 20 nurses and 11 people in patient access and registration, as well as various outreach specialties, including pediatric cardiology, OBGYN, ortho sports medicine, pulmonary, cardiology, vascular, and general surgery, Wright said. They also have MRI and mammogram as outreach care, too. A new in-house service is ultrasound. Not just for pregnant women anymore, it can be used for pelvic, testicular, abdominal, thyroid and soft tissue imaging, Thiewes said. The nurse services include immunization updates. The certified lactation consultant, JoLynn Rowbotham, does breast-feeding assistance for new moms – and they don’t have to be Sanford patients. She also does private lactation consults on Wednesday mornings. Sanford just started offering tele-med visits with Dr. Eggers, a child psychiatrist. “They’re here in front of a screen and he works from his home and will consult with the patient, the child and their par-

ent, ages 4-18,” Wright said. Other Tele Health services include consults with the burn center, diabetic education and infectious disease specialists. “That’s nice for those that aren’t able to travel,” Wright said. Another travel-saving service is having blood drawn. If you see a specialist in the Twin Cities and they want you to have your blood drawn for tests in a few weeks, instead of driving all the way back, you could have the tests done at Sanford, said Wright. “As long as there’s an order, we can help anybody with those lab services,” she said, adding that’s true for heart monitors, EKG’s, and X-rays, too. The RN Care Manager, Connie Woodring, can help people with diabetic education, including proper diet, weight loss and other aspects of diabetes. “You know how you have life coaches now – it’s kind of like a life coach, but for your health care,” Wright said.

Page 10 - The Brookings Register, Saturday, April 27, 2019

Growth at Avera Medical Group Brookings clinic

not just in square feet By Jarett C. Bies Avera Health Public Relations

Growth comes in many forms, and the health care team that makes up Avera Medical Group Brookings is seeing that truth continue to unfold as it makes big plans for a busy 2019. “The credit for our success goes to our providers and their care teams. That’s why we have been able to grow,” said Avera Medical Group Brookings Clinic Director Patrick Siegling. “We have a strong, well-established group of primary care providers who serve as our enthusiastic foundation, and we’ve added more specialists to give patients the care they need.” The clinic expanded in 2016 with the opening of a new clinic that added specialist space. In 2018, a comprehensive remodeling effort of the primary care clinic was completed. Space for a women’s health center will come online later this year. From its origins as a primary care group, the clinic added obstetrics-gynecology and general surgery services, and more recently began to offer urology, podiatry and orthopedics as well as dermatology. “We’ve hired a second orthopedic surgeon, and soon we’ll add another OB/GYN physician,” Siegling said. “These additions are really a win for the population of Brookings and the surrounding communities. It takes a level of stress away for people when they realize they can get the care they need

Avera Medical Group Brookings OB/GYN physician Tara Haarsma, DO, left, talks to a patient at Brookings Health System.

much closer to home.” The success of the partnership between Brookings Health System, the community-owned hospital where Avera Medical Group providers practice, and the Avera clinic has provided advantages for both parties. “Without that robust relationship, we would not have the success we’ve had. We have a dynamic integration between the two sides,” he said. “We have a single focus: to help the people we serve be healthier.” Since services such as obstetrics have expanded, those providers continue to bring in more patients. Siegling estimated that births in Brookings have increased by more than 100 per year. The same increase has been noted in surgical procedures, such as orthopedic joint replacements. It shows the local population trusts the care the clinic and hospital provide.

“We have older patients in the surrounding communities, as well as in town, who would prefer to avoid the drive and the traffic, along with parking in a ramp – all the aspects that come in a larger city,” said Siegling. “Now they no longer have to make that drive. We feel the convenience is leading more people to get the procedures or surgeries they need.” The clinic will need to stay ahead to continue its success, and Siegling said they plan to do just that. “We’re reflecting Avera’s commitment to healthy communities by adding full-time specialists, and we’ll continue to do so. In fact, we plan to add an ear, nose and throat specialist this summer,” he said. “People realize they can get high-quality care here – and we’re going to continue to provide just that.”

Biotest Plasma Center –

Partnering with the Brookings community Have you been able to flex with us at a South Dakota State men’s basketball game on our Biotest Superhero Flex jumbo cam? Or how about showing off your superhero skills by donating plasma at our Biotest Plasma Center? These are just a couple of ways we are partnering with the Brookings community. We here at Biotest Plasma Centers have been proud members of the Brookings community since 2016 and are proud to employee 45 employees to high quality positions. During this time not only have we served our dedicated and committed plasma donors but also are proud to serve here in our wonderful community. Wonder how together WE make the difference for so many? During the recent holiday season, we held a food drive where we were able to collect over 250 pounds of food for the local Brookings County Food Pantry. When the New Year rolled around, we found ourselves on the South Dakota State University campus giving students an opportunity to play on our “Spin to Win” wheel while spreading the word about the importance of plasma donation. We have also been fortunate enough to sponsor a game for our mighty South Dakota State men’s basketball team. Our Biotest Superhero Flex Cam was a big hit amongst the fans! One way we partner with the local community is through plasma donation. Plasma, the liquid portion of the blood, contains hundreds of essential proteins and antibodies vital to the body’s ability to maintain critical functions. The medi-

Biotest Plasma Centers and its employees have been proud members of the Brookings community since 2016.

Biotest Plasma Centers is located at 718 22nd Avenue S.

cines produced out of plasma treat a variety of conditions such as hemophilia, primary immune deficiency, hemolytic disease of the newborn, rabies exposure, shock and trauma among others. Some of the people who receive these medications may be your friends, family, or neighbors. Biotest depends on many healthy, qualified, and repeat donors from our community. In fact, it takes anywhere from 130 to 1,300 donations to treat just one patient for one year. Donating plasma is one thing members of the community can do to make a difference in the lives of others. You could potentially double flex with us while giving back: a double win! We are so grateful to be part of the thriving Brookings community and the donors

who are committed to helping save lives with their plasma donations. Everyone has their own story about what donating plasma means to them. Some donate because a friend or family member has been affected by a debilitating disease. Others donate for the joy of helping others. No matter the reason, we thank all donors for their donations. Without their generosity, Biotest would not be able to serve patients around the world who depend on plasma medicines. To learn more about us or the plasma donation or the work that we are doing in the local community visit www. or come find out for yourself at: Biotest Plasma Centers 718 22nd Ave. S Brookings, SD 57006 605-691-6214

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Progress 1: Health & Wealth  

Progress 1: Health & Wealth