Page 1

Spring • 2013

New Providers, New Programs Award‑Winning Care Financial Report to the Community

Kent Lacey, MD 2012 Nebraska Family Physician of the Year

Kent Lacey, MD named Nebraska Family Physician of the Year Regional West Physicians Clinic’s Kent Lacey, MD, was named Nebraska’s 2012 Family Physician of the Year by the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians. The award was presented to Dr. Lacey by Governor Dave Heineman in a ceremony at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln last fall. For 27 years, Dr. Lacey has offered primary care for families in the Scottsbluff-Gering area. The Regional West Physician Satisfaction Team nominated him, citing his “warm, compassionate, and caring manner.” The nominating committee included testimonials from patients who recalled how Dr. Lacey went “above and beyond to provide care for patients.” One patient told how Dr. Lacey was at home caring for his own children while his wife was at work, when one of his patients called about her sick child. Because the child’s symptoms sounded serious, he asked the woman to bring the child to his home.





After examining the child, he sent her to the ER for a spinal tap. As it turned out, the child had meningitis. Dr. Lacey serves as the medical director of the West Nebraska Veterans Home, as well as medical director of two Regional West departments—Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and the Rehabilitation Department. In 2006, he was named Nebraska Medical Director of the Year. He has been actively involved in medical staff governance. In addition, he provides on-call coverage at Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska and serves as the medical advisor to Birthright of Scottsbluff. Dr. Lacey has demonstrated his commitment to the medical profession by mentoring young physicians in training through the Regional West Medical Center Family Practice Residency program. He serves as a preceptor for medical and physician assistant students. His nomination included several

handwritten thank you notes from students he had mentored. In the Scottsbluff-Gering community, Dr. Lacey has coached numerous youth sports teams and served on the YMCA board of directors. He is an active member and Sunday school teacher at Monument Bible Church. Dr. Lacey is a board-certified family medicine physician and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is a member of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians and a fellow with the American Academy of Family Practitioners. He is also a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and the past president and board member of the Nebraska Heart Association. He and his wife, Gayle, have three children and a son-in-law: Lauren and Dr. Bobby Learch; Allison Lacey; and Grant Lacey. Congratulations, Dr. Lacey!

Kent Lacey, MD 2012 Family Physician of the Year




Regional West Proudly Recognizes Our Award-Winning Physicians 4



Air Medical Physician Association 2011 Medical Director of the Year

Peter Meyer, MD

Award-Winn Top Performer on Key Quality Measures™

Nebraska Medical Association 2010 Physician of the Year

Vincent Bjorling, MD

Nebraska Medical Association 2005 Young Physician of the Year

Jeffrey Holloway, MD

Nebraska Medical Association 2003 Physician of the Year

Milton “Pete” Johnson, MD


The Joint Commission, America’s leading accreditor of health care organizations, named Regional West one of the nation’s 2011 Top Performers on Key Quality Measures™ for treatment of heart attack and pneumonia. Out of 3,376 hospitals that submitted accountability measure data to The Joint Commission for 2011, Regional West Medical Center was one of only 620 U.S. hospitals to meet or exceed the target rates of performance, and one of seven Nebraska hospitals to be recognized as a Top Performer™.

Outstanding Achievement Award x 3!

The Regional West Cancer Program is the only cancer program in Nebraska to earn three consecutive Outstanding Achievement Awards from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The award recognizes outstanding effort and commitment by the entire Regional West cancer services team for providing high quality cancer care. Of the 1,500 approved cancer programs surveyed nationwide, 90 cancer programs, including Regional West Medical Center, received the Outstanding Achievement Award.

ning Care

Regional West’s award-winning care demonstrates our commitment to providing the very best for our patients—quality, safety, and innovation.

CARF Certification for Rehabilitation and Stroke Care

Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) demonstrates providers’ commitment to the best possible quality and results in rehabilitation care. The CARF survey cited Regional West’s Acute Rehabilitation program for its “talented, skilled, and experienced clinical and support staff members who are clearly committed to exceptional care and outcomes.” It also recognized the volunteer Patient Advisory Council whose members are available to meet with patients experiencing diagnoses similar to those with which the volunteers have prior experience.

Level II Trauma Center Verification

Regional West Medical Center is one of three Nebraska hospitals verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. “As a Level II Trauma Center, we can assure our region’s residents that when they come to our hospital, they will receive the best trauma care possible, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Rommie Hughes, MD, FACS, trauma surgeon at Regional West Physicians Clinic-Surgery, Vascular Diagnostics, and Medical Director for Regional West’s Trauma Services.

Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Certified AACVPR programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. The Regional West Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program helps people recover faster from heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and other heart conditions, and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

Bariatric Center of Excellence

Regional West Medical Center is certified as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery. In 2001, Regional West was the first hospital in the region and one of only two hospitals west of the Mississippi River to perform lap banding procedures. Since then, over 1,700 gastric band procedures have been performed by Regional West surgeons.




A Community Hospital, Then and Now Excerpt from: The West Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, A Historical Sketch, by Rev. Carl Critchett, June 1933





“Dr. Frank B. Young of Gering was a prime mover in cultivating the idea of establishing a Methodist Hospital in Scotts Bluff County. The idea became a purpose of the businessmen of the community. The Scottsbluff Chamber of Commerce began soliciting funds for this purpose in 1920. Together they secured cash and subscriptions amounting to more than $100,000. It was the purpose of those concerned in the enterprise that a hospital building should be erected. Solicitations were made before there was any thought of buying the bankrupt hotel structure at 18th and Broadway.�

What does it mean to be a Community Hospital? The tradition of providing for the health care needs of our community that began with contributions to the Scottsbluff Chamber of Commerce in 1920 continues today. As a charitable, not-for-profit community hospital, Regional West operates with oversight from a volunteer board of directors made up of local citizens—community members, administrators, and physicians, who contribute a variety of perspectives. The Medical Center has no shareholders, pays no dividends, and its earnings are reinvested in staff, technology, equipment, and the facility. Board members influence hospital decisions in the following ways:

Approve Major Capital Expenditures and Budgets

The board approves the Medical Center budget and major capital expenditures annually, as well as special capital requests for needs that arise during the year. Total budget requests are always greater than the budget available, so board members and administrators make the difficult funding decisions based on justifications and priorities submitted by department directors. The proposed budget is presented to the Regional West Health Services Board for questions, modifications, and final approval.

Review Strategic Planning

The Strategic Planning Committee reviews quarterly management reports to determine whether actions and accomplishments are on track, or need adjustment, in order to achieve the board-defined vision

and mission. The Medical Center’s mission is to care for our patients, their families, and our community and that responsibility extends to every employee, every physician, and every volunteer.

Play a Major Role in Big Decisions

By participating in meetings, seminars, and being well-read regarding health care news and trends, board members gain the insight required to participate in major hospital decisions, such as the recent physician-hospital integration. After much research, the Regional West Health Services board concluded an integrated system is much more able to move forward than the individual clinics that preceded the integration project. While the change has not been without hurdles, the board remains committed to the idea that integration better positions the Medical Center for the future.




Monitor Finances, Quality, and Medical Staff

The Finance Committee meets monthly to review results, opportunities, and issues, and presents that information to the board for discussion during its monthly meeting. The Quality Committee is currently implementing a new hospitalwide Quality and Safety program. Three physicians from Regional West Physicians Clinic, who serve on the Regional West Health Services board, provide monthly reports on medical staff topics including recruitment and physician credentialing. Jim Trumbull, chairman of Regional West Medical Center’s Board of Directors, values the opportunity to serve the community as a hospital board member. “The health care industry is going through huge changes and it is not as individuals, but as a team that we will succeed. As a board, we need to be responsive to our customers, always think to the future, take care of our employees, and provide the best possible health care, so that Regional West Health Services will remain the leader it is for years to come,” says Trumbull.

Regional West Health Services Board of Directors Hod Kosman Regional West Health Services Chair

Jim Trumbull Regional West Medical Center Chair

Todd Sorensen, MD, MS President/CEO

David Griffiths Treasurer

Jim Darnell Rev. Lauren Ekdahl Glen Forney, MD Donald Gentry, MD Mark Gillam Lee Glenn Dennis Hadden Mark Hartman, MD David Holdt, MD Jeffrey Holloway, MD Jane Hunter, Ed D Tom Holyoke, Esq Julie Marshall Jonathan Morgan, MD





Regional West Health Services By the Numbers 2011 Revenues We charged our patients   for 32,555 days of inpatient nursing care for surgery, emergency, and special procedures   for lab, X-ray, pharmacy,   rehabilitation, and other services Charges not paid   by government and insurance Medicare, Medicaid   by those unable to pay Charity Care   by those unwilling to pay Bad Debts Net charges for patient care Revenue from other operating sources Total Operating Revenue

$41,159,664 $207,438,730 $249,790,654 ($249,855,134) ($12,563,941) ($14,007,474) $221,962,499 $21,815,522 $243,778,021

2011 Expenses What it cost   to pay our 1,800 employees   to provide them with benefits   to purchase medical services   to purchase supplies, insurance,   utilities, and other services   to pay interest on bonds and capital leases   for equipment Total Operating Expenses

$111,202,471 $29,356,632 $8,836,376

Giving Back to Our Community Regional West Medical Center is committed to being a good corporate citizen, by contributing time, money, and resources in support of worthy causes, both locally and regionally.

Among the dozens of organizations to receive donations were CASA and Capstone, Panhandle Humane Society, Theatre West, Gordon Memorial Hospital, Chadron Community Hospital, Scotts Bluff County YMCA, United Way of Western Nebraska, Long’s Peak Council of Boy Scouts, and Nebraska Mission of Mercy. In addition, the Medical Center provided $12,563,941 in charity health care to area residents.

In 2011, Regional West supported local schools, community organizations, health organizations, and more with cash and inkind donations totaling more than $35,000.

$75,164,390 $3,423,735 $14,048,584 $242,032,188

2011 Operating Income Profit or (loss)





Get to know the Regional West Leadership Team

How to reach them and how they connect with our Medical Center and community.

Todd Sorensen, MD, MS President/CEO

Steve W. Hodges, SPHR Vice President Human Resources



Sugar Valley Rally

VHA Mid America Board of Directors

Society for Human Resource Management

Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club

American College of Physician Executives

American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration

Oregon Trail Community Foundation

American College of Physicians

ASHHRA Advocacy Committee – Region 6 Representative

American Society of Internal Medicine

Platte Valley Human Resources Association

American College of Healthcare Executives

Monument Bible Church, Elder Board Chairperson

Board of Directors Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors Poudre Valley Health Services Board of Directors

Scottsbluff Family YMCA Board of Directors

Medical Center of the Rockies Board of Directors

Scotts Bluff County Community Emergency Response Team

Paul Hofmeister, Esq General Counsel Corporate Compliance Officer

Shirley Knodel, RN, MS Vice President Patient Care Chief Nursing Officer



Scottsbluff Family YMCA Advisory Board of Directors

American Nurses Association

Sigma Theta Tau International

Regional West Foundation Board of Directors

American Organization of Nurse Executives

Faith Lutheran Church, Evangelism Board

Scotts Bluff Country Club Board of Directors Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club

Vincent Bjorling MD McKesson, Corporation Nurse Advisory Council WNCC Nursing Program, Curriculum Advisory Board UNMC College of Nursing Western Division, Honorary Faculty





Faith Lutheran Church’s “Walk for the Community” Co-coordinator United Way Day of Caring and Funds Distribution Volunteer

Lisa Bewley, MSN, CPNP Vice President Information Technology

David Griffiths Vice President Finance Chief Financial Officer



Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) Board of Directors

Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club

Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) Technology Committee Co-chair

WestWay Christian Church, Treasurer Oregon Trail Community Foundation Regional Health Record Finance Committee, Chairman

Jonathan Morgan, MD Interim Chief Medical Officer 308.630.1478

Nebraska Society of Anesthesiologists, President

Recently completed semester of “Quality in

Jan Taylor Vice President Ancillary Services 308.630.1929 West Nebraska Blood Center Board of Directors

American Medical Association

Healthcare Delivery” at Intermountain

Friends of Alzheimer’s Disease Board of Directors

American Society of Anesthesiologists

Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah

CAPWN Health Committee Board of Directors

American Society of Regional Anesthesiologists

Licensed Fly Fishing Guide

Certified Advance Trauma Life Support, Instructor



| 11

The Many Ways We Care For Our Patients Case Management

To help patients and their families cope with the unexpected, Regional West has social work staff throughout the organization to guide, educate, and empower patients and their families during hospitalization and as patients prepare for dismissal.

Guest Relations

Have a concern or questions about your care? We strive to be responsive to your needs. A Guest Relations representative is available to assist patients and families at any time prior to or during hospitalization; simply call 308.630.1442 (within the hospital, dial Ext. 1442).

Pastoral Care

Our chaplain or volunteer clergy is available 24 hours a day to provide spiritual support for you and your family, and our chapel is open to patients and visitors at all times.





Rapid Response Team

Valet Service

Room Service


When a patient shows signs of distress or changes in vital signs, the Rapid Response Team is called to the bedside within minutes for rapid assessment and treatment. The team includes a critical care nurse and respiratory therapist. Their response is crucial because patient survival rates are directly impacted by how quickly the patient can be assessed and treated.

It’s almost like a fancy hotel! Regional West’s Room Service dining allows patients to order what they want to eat, when they want it, and their meal is delivered within 45 minutes of placing their order. Breakfast is available all day and patients’ guests may purchase a meal for a nominal fee.

Free valet service is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Main Entrance, Medical Plaza North, Medical Plaza South, and the Rehab Center. Our valets assist patients into and out of their vehicles, park the vehicles, and deliver them back to the building entrance when patients and guests ready to leave. No need to tip; tips are not accepted.

Our wonderful volunteers deliver patient mail, magazines, and flowers; work in the Gift Shop; staff the hospital information centers, the surgical waiting room, and patient care units; and provide clerical, non-clinical, technical support throughout the hospital. Our most creative volunteers also make Pediatric Pals for pediatric patients, lap robes, baby booties, crib blankets, and create silk flower arrangements.

Walk-In Wednesdays

We’ve changed our schedule to help busy women take time to get their mammograms. No appointment is needed on the first and third Wednesday of the month. Just walk in to the Breast Health Center for a mammogram between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. And on the second Wednesday of the month, you can get a mammogram in the evening. Just walk in for a mammogram until 6:30 p.m.

late as 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month.

Wall of Fame

The Regional West Acute Rehabilitation Unit (ARU) proudly displays “faces of triumph over disability” on its “Wall of Fame.” Framed photos and personal stories are prominently displayed in the ARU to provide motivation and strength from former Regional West patients to those currently hospitalized on the unit.

For those who want an evening appointment at a specific time, call Regional West Scheduling Services, 308.630.2700, Option 1 to schedule an appointment as



| 13

Award-Winning Cancer Treatment A Network of Care

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer survivor Kim Croft, RN, BSN, knows from personal experience that hearing the words, “You have cancer,” can be devastating. As Regional West’s Cancer Patient Navigator, Croft coordinates the treatment plan and support services for each breast cancer patient treated at Regional West— at no cost to the patient. In her role as patient advocate, she coordinates office visits, treatments, and any financial or emotional support the patient may need. Patients have her cell phone number and know they can call 24/7. “I’m here to help in any way that I can,” she says. “I can promise you that, as a patient, you won’t get lost in the system here.” Croft works with 20 to 25 breast cancer patients at a time. Future plans are to expand the Patient Navigator service to other cancers. “As a cancer survivor, I feel very strongly that we have an excellent cancer treatment program and are





so fortunate to have the providers that we do,” she adds. “Our goal is to move our patients through their cancer journey with as much expertise, comfort, and compassion as possible.”

Specialists in Every Facet of the Cancer Spectrum

Because cancer diagnosis and treatment often involve several physicians and cancer care services, navigating the process can be overwhelming. That’s where Regional West’s team approach to cancer shines, says Carol Willis, MD, a pathologist and chairman of Regional West’s Cancer Committee. “Having the very latest in screening, diagnosis, treatment, and support services all on one campus is a huge plus for our patients,” she says. “Because all of the experts connected with a patient’s care are all right here, they can easily collaborate to develop the best treatment plan for each individual.” “We truly have specialists in every facet of the cancer diagnosis/treatment

spectrum,” says Dr. Willis. “To find the depth of services and specialization that we offer in a relatively rural facility is amazing and comes as a surprise to most people—I would say that Regional West’s cancer program really is a hidden gem.” She is quick to add that Regional West has a good relationship with other facilities, so if a patient’s condition and type of cancer warrant receiving treatment elsewhere, then a seamless care transition is made. Likewise, if a patient receives an out-of-town cancer diagnosis, he or she can work with Regional West to receive treatment right here at home.

“Having the very latest in screening, diagnosis, treatment, and support services all on one campus is a huge plus for our patients.” Carol Willis, MD

Three in a Row

Stephen Johnson, MD, PhD Radiology Vincent Bjorling, MD Internal Medicine

Regional West Medical Center is one of just 14 cancer programs nationwide to earn three consecutive Outstanding Achievement Awards from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The award signifies that Regional West’s cancer program is one of an elite group of exceptional cancer programs nationwide. It recognizes outstanding effort and commitment by the entire Regional West cancer team – from administration to clinical and volunteer staff – who provide high quality cancer care to Regional West patients. “This award is a testament to the efforts of those who provide superior cancer care to our patients every day,” says Jeff Kriewald, BS, RT, (R) (T), Director of Regional West’s Cancer Treatment Center and the Dorwart Cancer Care Center in Sidney.

Vance Siedenburg, PA-C Radiation Oncology

experienced medical oncologists, radiation oncologist, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and family practice physicians, as well as skilled oncology nurses and other specially trained staff,” he says. According to Kriewald, physicians like Mark Hartman, MD, who serves as Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology Department, have been instrumental in helping expand Regional West’s cancer program to where it is today. As the only boardcertified radiation oncologist in the panhandle, Dr. Hartman works with cancer patients on a daily basis and has been an integral part of the cancer program’s growth. “We are able to offer the care and services that we do, thanks to professionals like Dr. Hartman,” says Kriewald.

“Part of what sets Regional West’s cancer program apart from the rest is its personalized approach and warm, supportive environment. Our patients benefit from a customized, comprehensive care program designed by a highly skilled team of cancer specialists, including our

| Mark Hartman, MD Radiation Oncology


| 15

Clinton Merrill, MD Oncology and Hematology

Regine Leconte, MD Oncology and Hematology





New Oncologists at Regional West As the region’s first medical oncologists board certified in both Oncology and Hematology, and the newest physicians to join Regional West Physicians Clinic-Oncology, Regine Leconte, MD, and Clinton Merrill, MD, bring a new dimension to Regional West’s cancer care team. Both physicians joined the Physicians Clinic staff in 2010. Dr. Leconte and Dr. Merrill, together with long-time Regional West physician Vincent Bjorling, MD, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, primarily with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and other drugs. They often coordinate cancer care with other specialists, including Regional West surgeons and radiation oncologist. A native of Haiti, Dr. Leconte earned a medical degree from Faculte de Medecine et de Pharmacie at Université d’Etat d’Haiti in Port-au-Prince. She completed residency training at San Juan City Hospital in

By Teresa Clark Regional West Marketing and Public Relations

San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she served as chief resident in Internal Medicine. Before coming to Regional West she practiced in Baltimore, Md. and Shreveport, La. Dr. Leconte speaks English, Spanish, French, and Creole, which she says provides a source of comfort when working with patients and families for whom English is a second language. “You can see the relief on a patient’s face when you start speaking in his or her native language—it’s a very comforting thing in an already stressful situation,” she says. Dr. Leconte says that she and her oncology colleagues believe in empowering their patients to play an active role in their treatment. “They are a very important part of the team,” she says. “I always tell my patients that we’re in this together—you are not alone.” Dr. Merrill was raised in Cheyenne, Wyo. and earned a medical degree

from Creighton University in Omaha. He completed residency training at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, and a Hematology and Medical Oncology fellowship at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Prior to joining Regional West, Dr. Merrill was in private practice in Laramie, Wyo. and Ft. Collins, Colo. He believes that getting to know his patients better is the most rewarding aspect of medicine, and says that the key to a good doctor/ patient relationship is a sense of humor and honesty spoken in the kindest way possible.

says that the cancer treatment process here is a team effort, which includes providers, nurses, technicians, social workers, and a host of other support staff. “One of the most important things that we do as physicians is help patients and their families understand the disease and treatment process and then formulate a plan,” he says. “We pull together as a team to make the patient’s experience the most successful one that it can be.”

“My greatest compliment that I’ve received from a patient is being described as a blue collar doctor,” he says. Dr. Bjorling, who earned a medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, has spent his entire career at Regional West. He



| 17

A Team Approach to Cancer Care When Alliance resident Mike Laverty was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2011, a friend suggested that he get treatment at world-renowned Johns Hopkins Cancer Center in Baltimore, Md. Laverty’s surgeon, John Kabalin, MD, of Scottsbluff Urology Associates, had graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, so Laverty saw a natural connection and contacted the center. After visiting with a Johns Hopkins physician, Laverty knew he’d receive excellent care there, so he proceeded with treatment…at Scottsbluff’s Regional West Medical Center. “I showed the Johns Hopkins doctor a copy of my treatment plan developed by Regional West physicians, and he said it was exactly the same plan that they would follow in Baltimore, so I decided to stay home for treatment,” says Laverty. “Having surgery and radiation therapy just an hour from home has been wonderful. Family and

Regional West prostate cancer patient Mike Laverty and his wife Maurica 18




friends have been nearby the whole time and I can’t imagine receiving better cancer care anywhere.” He especially appreciates not having to take extended time away from his job. During the course of 38 radiation treatments, Laverty would have a morning treatment in Scottsbluff and soon be back in Alliance for a full day of work. “Had I gone to Baltimore or Denver for treatment, this wouldn’t have been possible,” he says. “When I first met with Dr. Hartman to talk about radiation therapy, he handed me his cell phone number and told me to call him anytime—I couldn’t believe it. Do the research— the care here is outstanding! Why would you go anywhere else?”

Specialized Care, Close to Home Jaimie Clodfelter, DO Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Pain Medicine Medicine and Rehabilitation & Pain Medicine

Hope and Relief For Chronic Pain Patients

Chronic pain can ruin lives, but specialized care is available for patients in western Nebraska. Regional West Physicians ClinicPain Management (formerly referred to as the Neuroscience Pain Clinic) is dedicated to the treatment of chronic pain. The clinic specializes in treating patients with pain related to trauma, cancer, and other illnesses; post-operative pain; headaches; chronic pain of the joints, neck, back; and many other common and uncommon pain problems. Physiatrists Jaimie Clodfelter, DO, and R. Gregg Wilroy, DO, are nerve, muscle and bone specialists who treat injury or illness non-surgically to decrease pain and restore function. They are both board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as

well as Pain Medicine. Nurse practitioner Ron Strachan, APRNFNP/PMHNP completes the team of specialized providers. Regional West Physicians Clinic-Pain Management offers comprehensive pain services including assessment, treatment, education, and follow-up designed to address the physical aspects of pain. Physician referral is required.

Western Nebraska’s First Board-Certified Nephrologist

David Kanar, MD, has given area residents who suffer from kidney disease and/or kidney-related disorders a reason to smile. Now, they have a board-certified nephrologist close to home. Dr. Kanar, who earned his medical degree from Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He completed his


Ron Strachan, APRN-FNP/PMHNP

residency in internal medicine at Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill., and a fellowship in nephrology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY (An interesting side note, Dr. Kanar was a member of the University of Wisconsin (UW) men’s gymnastics team from 1985-1989 and is a UW recordholder of a 9.85 on floor exercise). Dr. Kanar is married to one of Regional West’s new hospitalists, Erika Gelgand, MD.

Always On Call

Hospitalists are internal medicine physicians whose entire practice is made up of hospitalized patients. They are the primary physicians for patients from other communities, whose health care providers aren’t available to see them during hospitalization and they oversee

| R. Gregg Wilroy, DO Physical | David Kanar, MD Nephrology

care of hospitalized patients on behalf of many local providers. Health care providers trust the care of their hospitalized patients to Regional West’s staff of skilled hospitalists for two reasons: first, the hospitalists can devote their time exclusively to inpatients, and second, by utilizing the hospitalist program, referring providers can devote their time and energy to patients in their own clinics. The hospitalist program has contributed to a reduction in the average patient’s length of stay. Regional West Medical Center’s hospitalists include: Erika Gelgand, MD; Manoj Kumar, MD; Lisa Scheppers, MD; Susan Schuckert, MD; Mithun Sreekantan, MD; Diana Turner, MD; and nurse practitioner Cynthia McCumbers, NP, CCA.



| 19

Expanding Services

Timothy Friedlein, MD, FAAOS

Eric Gardner, MD

Anthony Sanchez, MD, FAAOS

Building a New Orthopaedic Team for the Future

Andreas Sauerbrey, MD, FAAOS

Bryan Scheer, MD, FAAOS

Regional West Physicians Clinic–Orthopaedics is expanding its team of skilled orthopaedic surgeons and physician assistants to ensure comprehensive orthopaedic and musculoskeletal care for our patients. Regional West providers offer expertise in all aspects of orthopedic care, sports and trauma medicine, and share a single goal—to get you back on the road to rehabilitation. No referral is required.

Regional West Foundation Contributes to the NICU Expansion





Abbie Cross, PA-C

Trisha Lacey, MPAS, PA-C

To schedule an appointment, please call 308.635.1414 or toll-free 888.635.1114.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has recently been expanded from six beds to eight. In addition, the nurses’ station was expanded to allow more functional workspace and a procedure/formula prep room was added to the unit. Equipment for the two new NICU beds was made possible with a $90,000 contribution from Regional West Foundation.

Brad Coots, MD Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon joins Physicians Clinic Regional West Physicians Clinic is pleased to welcome Brad Coots, MD, to western Nebraska. Dr. Coots is board-certified in Plastic Surgery and sub-specialized in hand surgery. Dr. Coots earned his medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Ill. He completed residencies in both general surgery and plastic surgery at Michigan State University-GRMERC, Grand Rapids, Mich. He then completed a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the Buncke Clinic, San Francisco, Calif. After several years of private practice in Spokane, Wash., Dr. Coots accepted a second fellowship in craniofacial surgery at the University of Tennessee-Memphis

under Dr. Robert Wallace and in Paris, France, under Dr. Eric Arnaud. From July 2011 until his recent move to western Nebraska, he served as clinical assistant professor at the University of Iowa Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. While there, he served as the co-director of the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic and as the plastic surgery liaison to the burn unit. His interest in cleft lip and palate surgery led to his involvement with Third World medical missions. Dr. Coots has traveled to Africa, India, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic with Operation Smile and Rotaplast International. He recently participated in a mission trip to Bangladesh. Dr. Coots’ wife Carmen is a veterinarian with the Animal Health Center in Scottsbluff. The couple has one son, Callum, who is in second grade and a daughter, Georgia, who is in pre-K.



| 21

Day Brighteners Facebook posts such as these are inspirational to our staff. Thank you to all who take the time to visit the Regional West Medical Center and Air Link Facebook pages and share your appreciation for the care we provide.

My sincere thanks and appreciation to the doctors, nurses and staff at Regional West Medical Center in saving my 18 year-old daughter’s life today—Megan Blouin. I sincerely appreciate the personal call from the neurosurgeon after the operation and his status that he expects 100% recovery. I appreciate the initial assessment call, prognosis, status, etc. from the lead nurse. I appreciate the phone call every 30 minutes while my daughter was in surgery from the lead nurse and supporting team. I also want to thank the medevac pilots and crewman that got

my daughter to your hospital. And want to thank the initial first responders that helped stabilize her. I am thankful for your level 2 trauma certification and your wonderful facility in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Everyone has my sincere thanks and blessing.”

Gary Blouin, Matthews, NC via Facebook

Today we are thankful for the wonderful doctors and nurses at RWMC who have taken such great care of us.”

Jeane Suhr Anderson via Facebook





Avenue B Moved. What Now? The plan was to expand surgical suites and the Medical Center’s central utilities plant after Avenue B was relocated, but the economy and legislation threw us a curve ball. Like hospitals throughout the country, Regional West experienced a reduction in the number of services provided last year. Anticipation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, higher deductible health plans, and general economic concerns have all caused patients to be more cautious about their health care budgets. Just as patients are thinking twice before spending their money, the Medical Center’s board and administration felt that now is not the

time to commit $45 to $50 million to expansion. Regional West’s master facilities plan, which included moving Avenue B, was last updated when the economy was growing. The current economy put the brakes on many aspects of the plan. Expansion will happen, down the road, but for now, Regional West continues to focus on providing the best possible care by expanding services and improving quality, rather than by expanding the facility.

Physician-Hospital Integration How is it Working? By Michele Arnold, MD, FAAPMR, FAANEM

Four years ago, Regional West Physicians Clinic was born out of a need for collaboration between the hospital and its providers. It is a multispecialty clinic composed of 74 physicians and 35 non-physician practitioners from multiple different clinic sites. As a regional referral center and Level II Trauma Center, Regional West Medical Center is responsible for providing physician coverage for hospitalized patients and clinic patients, including primary care, specialty care, and surgical care. So much more than a critical-access or a community hospital, Regional West also boasts a Bariatric Center of Excellence, a CARF-accredited inpatient rehabilitation unit, a Pain Management Clinic, Spine Center, and a Cancer Treatment Center. These specialty lines of care can thrive only in a culture of collaboration between the hospital and physicians clinic.

The Regional West Physicians Clinic physicians and providers recognize this need, and have aligned strategically with Regional West Medical Center for patient care, quality, safety, and efficiency. Admittedly, there are ongoing growing pains. Cultural change is a slow and often painful process. We are collectively redirecting our perspective toward pursuing the optimal health of our population and local community. This brings new care strategies that often seem disruptive. Like any large organization immersed in multiple changes and facing an uncertain future, some departures have occurred, including some leaders and some physicians. However, we celebrate many successes resulting from the integration: • A dedicated system-wide patient safety initiative has successfully decreased the

serious safety event rate, and contributed to a culture of patient safety that bridges both the clinic and hospital. • Successful recruitment of 39 providers in the past four years, filling in gaps in both hospital and clinical care, and decreasing the cost of locums tenens (travelling, temporary) providers. • Ongoing implementation of a common electronic health record system at multiple physicians clinic sites. As we become more experienced with use of the Electronic Health Record, it will allow us to measure health care outcomes, identify patients at risk, track patient success with disease management, provide real feedback to physicians and providers about the impact of their care, and demonstrate opportunities for care improvements.

• Greater physician engagement: we now have a voice in system decisions, on committees, and regarding capital decisions for the health care system. • The physician hospital integration structure allows us to explore more costeffective and sustainable models of care delivery and weather oncoming changes in health care reimbursement. Trends predict that physician hospital integrations will outperform traditional hospitalindependent practice models on cost, quality of care, and access to care. Despite the bumps and bruises and ongoing challenges, our integrated system is more capable of withstanding the future health care payment reform that will likely threaten independent hospitals and clinics.



| 23

Healthy Times is published as a community service for friends and patrons of Regional West Medical Center, 4021 Avenue B, Scottsbluff, NE 69361, 308.635.3711. Information published in Healthy Times is not intended as personal medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding specific or personal health concerns or questions. Comments, questions? Email Todd S. Sorensen, MD, MS, President & CEO Julie Franklin, Director of Marketing & Public Relations Joanne Krieg, Writer/Editor Teresa Clark, Writer Michele Arnold, MD, Contributor Kaitlynn Sova, Graphic Designer

Volunteers and Friends of Regional West

Contributing Photographers: Ken Kurtz, Spectrum Photographics David Tejada Copyright Š 2013 Regional West Health Services. All rights reserved.

4021 Avenue B | Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Find us on Facebook/RegionalWest!

We’re proud to have 311 loyal volunteers and friends. You can be one, too! For more information about volunteering at Regional West, call Janelle Debes, Assistant Director of Volunteer Services and Guest Relations, at 308.630.1271 or send her an email at

Healthy Times  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you