Spring ▪ 2014 ▪ Healthy Times

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Spring • 2014

Back Home Again Born at West Nebraska Methodist Hospital and raised in LaGrange, Wyo., Regional West’s new oncologist returns to the region to ranch and provide cancer care. David Johnson, MD, FACP Regional West Physicians ClinicOncology


Cover Story...

Back Home Again Last December, David Johnson retired from a busy and rewarding medical practice in Wichita, Kan., and moved back to his hometown of LaGrange, Wyo., to help his brother Steve run the family ranch. Soon after he and his wife Gayle returned to the area, he discovered by chance that Regional West Physicians Clinic might be in need of an additional oncology provider. Despite his retirement―and calving season―he called the hospital and said if they needed some extra help, he would be willing to assist. It turns out that Dr. Johnson is not only a rancher, but he’s also a board-certified oncologist and hematologist; former Air Force physician and Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; founder of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Wichita, Kan.; and in 2005, he made the cover of Wichita Register magazine as one of Wichita’s “Top Doctors.” Dr. Johnson retired early from what was “a great practice” in Wichita because he was busier than he wanted to be. “In oncology, it’s hard to slow down because you want to help people,” said Dr. Johnson. “I wanted to return to the family farm and ranch before I was too old to do it,” he said. Despite living, working, and raising their five children in Kansas for 30 years, he said: “I still consider this home.” Now, he’s joining Vincent Bjorling, MD; Regine Leconte, MD; Becci Bowman DNP, APRN-C, AOCNP, ACHPN; and




Sue Schoeneman, MSN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP, as a part-time physician at Regional West Physicians Clinic-Oncology. Dr. Johnson graduated in 1972 from LaGrange High School, and received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He completed his internship, medical residency, and fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Wilford Hall, the United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He also completed a visiting fellowship at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Wash. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Subspecialty Boards of Medical Oncology and Hematology. Dr. Johnson established and is the past director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at St. Francis Regional Medical Center and served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine—Wichita. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the Southwest Oncology Group, and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project. He sees patients two days a week at Regional West Physicians Clinic-Oncology in Scottsbluff and also at their satellite offices. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson, please call 308.630.2100.

re a C h t l a e H f o The Future t s e W l a n o i at Reg withstand est in order to W al n io eg R t ina lumes for both ust take place m vo t s n ge tie a an p ch d t a ce due to redu mmunities th ; losses largely ed our local co 0 1 rm 0 2 fo in I ce n ll, si fa d Last sustaine nue that we’ve cent of our the loss of reve 0 million (8 per rvices. 2 $ se y t b n s tie se a p en tp reduce ex patient and ou cies. ented a plan to m le p im s a ical competen h in s cl or ct ew n ire d op of el r board help us dev act issues on Since then ou 31, 2015 and tory and contr er la b gu m re ce e gh D u y b ro ill working th total expenses) ives and are st ct je ob r ou of e ccess with som We have had su e: d ccesses inclu n others. Our su ible health pla a high-deduct to s e ye lo p l em • Moving al mary care changes in pri ss e cc a g tin • Implemen n plan system tive successio cu e ex an y replacement g in og h ol n lis ch ab st Te E n tio • a discount) rma tical agents at ting a new Info u en ce a m m le p ar h im p d an to purchase • Selecting am (allows us gr ro p edians g ru d B 0 e to market m g a 34 tiv tin la en re m n le p tio sa Im • ian compen oration tive and physic cu e ex l al into single corp g in ic w lin C ging are s n ia ic • Revie ys atory, and ima and Ph r or b te la en , C IT , al R ic H d s ting the Me eas such a • Consolida al functional ar it sp o h d an ic tion of clin entialed” by • Consolida must be “cred s y el er d ic n vi g ro p in d e se u several proce ed, mainly beca at can require th ow sl ss ce en e ro b p s a a , h ies) t time solidation rance compan own during tha su -d in , ow d sl • Legal con t ai ic en d e m edicare, M with the pay payers (e.g., M t how to work ou re u fig to d e nee months, and w ins us nal structure ng recruited) jo se organizatio ei vi b re tly d en an rr u w (c ie with it. O • Rev sident and CO e must change re w P d ew an n g r n ou gi til an n stly ways to th care is ch • Deferred u er and less co ficult, but heal tt if e d b is g in ge d fin an e ch ude ar d elopments incl d because we is frustrating an ev se d a ty e n se cr ai e e rt th d ce s of n a s u h hard ple eds I know like these, it is ay. Good exam care hospital b s st te ge al it cu an a sp r ch o fo h of d a The deman s we do d to require es. Because ars from now a rgical techniqu blems that use ye ro su p e y ve fiv si an ff va a m in st ith y ss deal w ns and le loyee as man toxic medicatio neral) will emp ge in s al it sp o newer and less st (or h t Regional We s financially to imagine tha ervices remain S th al e H st e ay, in the al W today. s. While we m anges, Region er d ch vi e ro th p l d al an ite years—a es sp e been for 90 ember that de skilled employe av m ly h re h e ig w to h t t d a n h ta an w or d It’s imp we remain ts of our e dedicate care to residen system, for now fortunate to hav y it e re al ar ca u e q th W h al . ig e h le h , ab st another roviding safe affiliating with dedicated to p d an d le ol tr future, consider n lly co al center, loca sen, MD, MS regional medic Todd S. Soren CEO communities. President and

R egional West Foundation D O N O R S M A K E R E N O VAT I O N S P O S S I B L E Regional West is undergoing a renewal thanks to the generosity of Regional West providers, staff, and friends and supporters of Regional West Foundation. Approximately 24 patient rooms and hallways on the 2 West patient care unit are undergoing complete renovation. A vacant space next to the second floor lobby is being converted to a state-of-the-art education center, and new technology is being planned. It’s all part of Regional West Foundation’s “Campaign for Continuing Excellence.” For the past two years, Regional West Foundation board members and campaign volunteers have been meeting with local businesses, potential donors, and Regional West employees, and writing grants in support of the campaign. The campaign will fund investments in technology, expand health care services, provide space for on-site education for health care providers, and support the Medical Center’s renewal project. The Foundation has committed $600,000 specifically for the patient room renovation. The Foundation has already raised nearly two-thirds of its $4.2 million goal. Generous donations have been pledged by businesses that want to show their support for the Medical Center, and funds raised at the 2013 Regional West Foundation Gala were also donated to the campaign.




The Campaign for Continuing Excellence is the Foundation’s first major fundraising campaign since its 1995 campaign to raise funds for the Regional Communications Network. “Nearly 20 years ago, our donors showed their faith in Regional West by supporting our efforts to establish an emergency communication system for trauma services. Today, thanks in large part to donors’ generosity, western Nebraska has reliable, seamless emergency communication between ground, air, and hospitals. The ‘Campaign for Continuing Excellence’ is another great opportunity for donors to consider their support of Regional West Foundation and to ensure quality health care services for the future,” said Regional West Foundation President John Massey. Regional West Foundation has been raising funds for the benefit of the hospital since 1972. The foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that solicits tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of Regional West Medical Center. For more information about the Regional West Foundation Campaign for Continuing Excellence, please call 308.630.1485.

New Regional West Orthopaedic Surgeon Specializes in Trauma Care

What’s Happening at Regional West! Monthly Programs

A Time to Heal (Cancer Survivors) Support Group Third Thursday | 6 to 8 p.m. Dorwart Cancer Care Center-Sidney Break for Lunch Cancer Survivors Meeting Monthly | Noon Call 308.630.1348 for schedule

Regional West Medical Center’s Trauma Services have reached a new level of care with the addition of a world renowned orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in trauma surgery. Wade Smith, MD, who is based in Denver, CO, at Mountain Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeons at Swedish Medical Center (MOTUS) is now seeing orthopaedic patients every other Monday at Regional West Physicians Clinic-Orthopaedics. He will work with the Regional West Trauma Center to develop a state of the art orthopaedic fracture service. As an orthopaedic trauma physician, Dr. Smith focuses on the management of severe fractures, non-healing bones and infected bones. He is part of the Regional West Trauma Team, which will be a benefit to critically ill and injured patients. “After years of serving the injured patients of Western Nebraska from afar, it is a great privilege to be able to join the Trauma Team at Regional West Medical Center. I look forward to working with the excellent staff to increase the scope of service available to our patients.” About Wade Smith, MD Dr. Smith earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine in 1990. He completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, followed by a one year fellowship in orthopaedic traumatology at the University of Pittsburgh. He performed additional fellowships for limb salvage in Lecco, Italy and Kurgan, Russia. He is active in research and regularly teaches at local, national and international levels. Dr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Academy of orthopaedic surgery. He served on the governor appointed State Trauma Board as the representative for Level 1 Trauma Surgeons in Colorado. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma and served as the national Orthopaedic Chair. He also serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and continues to train and mentor clinician researchers from around the world.

Coffee Time Second Monday | 10 a.m. The Village at Regional West—Main Dining Room Coping 101 Monthly | 5 p.m. Call 308.630.1348 for schedule Diabetes Support Group Fourth Tuesday | 6 to 7 p.m. Regional West Medical Plaza South—Room 1202 The Guy’s Forum Cancer Group Monthly | 7 p.m. Call 308.630.1348 for schedule Prenatal Classes Upcoming Classes May 17, June 14, July 12 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. $70 per couple | Call 308.630.1550 to register Space is limited Stroke Support Group Second Tuesday | Noon to 1 p.m. Regional West Medical Center—Scotts Bluff Room II Survivors Group (for all cancer survivors) Monthly | 7 p.m. Call 308.630.1348 for schedule Weight Loss Options Third Tuesday | 7 to 8 p.m. Regional West Medical Plaza North-Suite G100 Women’s Forum for Cancer Survivors Monthly | 7 p.m. Call 308.630.1348 for schedule






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Regional West Medical Center Celebrates 90th Anniversary

A small black binder holds the weathered pages of history carefully typed by Rev. Carl Critchett in June 1933. Titled “The West Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, A Historical Sketch,” it tells the hospital’s history dating to 1917. “Dr. Frank B. Young of Gering, now of Long Beach, Calif., was a prime mover in cultivating the idea of establishing a Methodist hospital in Scottsbluff (sic) county. The idea received hearty acceptance and became a purpose of the business men of the community. The Scottsbluff Chamber of Commerce began soliciting funds for this purpose in 1920, and soon secured the assistance of Rev. M.C. Brooks as financial secretary. Together they secured cash and subscriptions amounting to more than $100,000…” …and so Regional West Medical Center began.




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9 7 On April 15, 1924, the West Nebraska Methodist Episcopal Hospital opened at the corner of 18th and Broadway in Scottsbluff. A staff of 25 welcomed the first seven patients. The building was intended to be a hotel, but was never completed. With support from the Methodist Church, local businessmen and the Chamber of Commerce joined together to raise money to purchase the building for use as a hospital. Later that first year, on October 20, the School of Nursing opened with a class of four. The school was the first of several programs developed during the past century to train skilled health care staff. During its 90-year history, the hospital has changed its name three times to: West Nebraska Methodist Hospital (1928), West Nebraska General Hospital (1954), and finally to Regional West Medical Center (1988).

It has grown to become one of the largest employers and biggest industries in western Nebraska. All of its growth is the result of hard work and generous donations from dedicated community members who recognized the need for a hospital, the need for improved care, and the need for better facilities and technology Regional West Medical Center has always been a community hospital--paid for by the community, supervised by a volunteer board of local citizens, and improved by contributions from volunteers and friends who continue to donate their time and talent to ensure quality health care for the future. In celebrating our 90th Anniversary, we thank our providers and staff, hospital volunteers, and board members, Regional West Foundation donors, and all patients and families who trust their health care to Regional West Medical Center.

1 Students at the West Nebraska Methodist Episcopal Hospital School of Nursing in 1927 are taught to care for newborns. 2 Roy Rugger donated land for the 1967 hospital building. 3 West Nebraska Methodist Episcopal Hospital operating room, 1927. 4 Overcrowding at the old West Nebraska General Hospital in the late 1950s drove fundraising for a new building. 5 West Nebraska General Hospital, 18th and Broadway, Scottsbluff. 6 WNGH President Max Coppom steps up to the Auxiliary’s Wishing Well in the late 1970s hoping to reel in some big donations. 7 “Memorial Gift Opportunities� were promoted at the 1965 groundbreaking 8 Regional West Medical Center Board of Directors, 1993 9 WNGH Board President Chet Fleisbach receives a check for $70,000 from Auxilliary President Lenore Everett in 1977.

Bradley Coots, MD Regional West Physicians ClinicPlastic & Reconstructive Surgery

John Blomstedt III, DO Regional West Physicians ClinicSkin Clinic & Medical Aesthetic Center

Julian Henley, MD, FACS Regional West Physicians ClinicFacial Plastic Surgery

A Full Range of Dermatologic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Services Right Here in the Panhandle Whether you’re concerned about changes in a mole, coping with acne, or considering eyelid surgery, you’ll find the medical skin and cosmetic services you need at Regional West Physicians Clinic’s Skin Clinic & Medical Aesthetic Center in Scottsbluff.

Dr. Coots completed fellowships in hand and microsurgery at the Buncke Clinic, San Francisco, Calif; pediatric and craniofacial surgery at the University of Tennessee, Memphis; and craniofacial surgery at Necker Hospital, Paris, France.

The center offers a wealth of cosmetic options from three board-certified physicians who are skilled in providing the latest cosmetic procedures: Skin Specialist Dr. John Blomstedt III, DO; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Bradley Coots, MD; and Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgeon Julian Henley, MD, FACS.

Dr. Henley is board-certified in Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery. As an otolaryngologist, he specializes in surgery of the ear, nose, and throat. As a plastic surgeon, he utilizes many of the same skills in facial plastic surgery procedures related to ears, chin, lips, eyelids, nose, neck lifts, and facial implants.

Dr. Blomstedt specializes in medical and cosmetic skin care, including treatment of skin cancer, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, warts, and eczema. In addition, he provides cosmetic procedures as varied as Botox, chemical peels, and tattoo removal.

Dr. Henley earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, and completed a residency in surgery at Harvard Medical School-Beth Israel Hospital. He was then awarded a fellowship in biomedical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Henley went on to complete a second residency in otorhinolaryngology at the University of California San Francisco-Moffit.

Dr. Blomstedt is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician who has chosen to limit his practice to dermatology. He earned his medical degree from Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He completed his residency at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend, Ind., as well as post-graduate training at Applegarth Dermatology, PC, in Valparaiso, Ind. Dr. Coots is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery and aesthetic surgery, including pediatric conditions, breast reduction and augmentation, and breast reconstruction. In addition, he offers advanced techniques in aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body, as well as laser skin resurfacing, hair removal and replacement, and Botox and fillers. Dr. Coots earned his medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at Michigan State University and Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center.

The staff and physicians at the Skin Clinic & Medical Aesthetic Center are dedicated to providing personalized care while ensuring confidentiality and professionalism. In Scottsbluff, the center is located at Regional West Medical Plaza North: Dr. Blomstedt in Suite 3500, phone 308.630.2595 Dr. Coots in Suite 3700, phone 308.630.2500 Dr. Henley in Suite 1100, phone 308.635.3155 Dr. Blomstedt also provides services at Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance; at Kimball Health Services; and in Sidney at Dorwart Cancer Care Center. Dr. Coots provides services monthly in Sidney at Dorwart Cancer Care Center. Dr. Henley provides services monthly in Gordon. For more information visit www.PhysiciansClinic.net.



Regional West Earns THE JOINT COMMIS SION’S GOLD SE AL OF APPROVAL ® A rigorous, week-long, on-site survey that began with an unannounced visit by a team from The Joint Commission last September has resulted in a full three-year accreditation for Regional West Medical Center and Regional West Home Care. The accreditation award recognizes Regional West Medical Center’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. The survey was conducted by a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors who evaluated the hospital and Home Care department for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. “In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, Regional West Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients,” said Mark G. Pelletier, MS, RN, Chief Operating Officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission’s hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts and patients.




“Achieving Joint Commission reaccreditation for our organization demonstrates our commitment to maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide. With Joint Commission accreditation, we are making a significant investment in safety and quality on a day-to-day basis. It takes every employee’s and provider’s commitment to make this happen,” said Shirley Knodel, RN, MS, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President Patient Care. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Making Family Medicine

More “Patient-Centered” Regional West Physicians Clinic-Family Medicine is changing the delivery of patient care. The office now opens an hour earlier, scheduling is centralized, and patients can see a provider the same day they call. Behind the scenes, many more changes have been made to ensure that family medicine is “patient-centered.” “All of our staff has worked together with a consultant from VHA, Inc.* for the past six months to improve the way we work. Our goal is to increase patient satisfaction with the care we provide,” said Family Medicine Physician Kent Lacey, MD. Working together, the staff analyzed the entire patient care experience— from calling for an appointment, to the check-in process, to how patients were escorted to exam rooms, how rooms were re-supplied, and how prescription refills were ordered; in order to determine how to improve efficiency

and reduce paperwork and duplication of effort, while increasing patient satisfaction. One of the first priorities in this process improvement effort was to give patients the option of being seen the same day, either by their regular provider or another family medicine physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. “Studies show that patients want to be seen as soon as possible when they call for a doctor’s appointment,” said Rose Wagner, VHA Senior Principal. “We found a good majority of patients would like to be seen the same day.” To offer that convenience, scheduling is now coordinated among all three Family Medicine offices—at Scottsbluff, Gering, and Morrill. A centralized scheduling system allows staff to check available appointment times at all three clinics and schedule patients at any

of the three locations, if the patient chooses. “We’re finding that if you give patients the choice of seeing their personal health care provider as soon as possible or accepting a sameday appointment with a different provider, they will usually take the first available appointment, and this can be accomplished using the team approach,” said Wagner. “This is a positive way to introduce the concept of a ‘medical home,’” said Dr. Lacey. “Patients can be seen by various health care providers within the primary care group. It’s called a ‘care team’ model. With electronic health records (EHR), all providers can access the patient’s medical record. If you’re seeing a patient for the first time, the EHR shows previous treatment so we don’t duplicate efforts.”

Continued on back...

Maria Akhtar, MD

Jennie Brehm, PA-C, MPAS

Patrick Brown, MD

Michelle Cheloha, MD

Joshua Dean, PA-C

Alan Johnson, MD

Milton “Pete” Johnson, MD

Kent Lacey, MD

Tara Longoria, MD

Lindsey Mosel, MD

Lodewyk Papenfus, MD

Monica Sarawagi, MD

John Spethman, MD

Michelle Stahly, PA-C


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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 kriegjo@rwmc.net. Todd S. Sorensen, MD, MS, President & CEO Julie Franklin, Director of Marketing & Public Relations Joanne Krieg, Writer/Editor Contributing Photographer: Ken Kurtz, Spectrum Photo

Making Family Medicine More “Patient-Centered” Continued from page 11

The recent conversion to electronic health records is obvious by the switch from paper charts to computers. Now staff known as “roomers” escort patients to exams room and promptly update medical records on a tablet computer. Health care providers record details of the office visit directly into the medical record and order prescription refills online while the patient is still in the exam room. The changes have streamlined patient visits and the added efficiency is keeping providers on schedule so they can see patients on time. As always, staff continues to schedule patients in either 15 or 30 minute appointments, which is why schedulers ask the reason for the appointment; it helps them determine if a patient needs a short or long appointment time. And as for you, if you’re planning to visit your Family Medicine provider, be sure to bring along your insurance card, co-pay, a photo ID (now required by new privacy laws), and a list of current medications, and please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. With the new process improvements, you just might get in and out of the office more quickly than ever before. *VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes.

Upcoming Events Books are Fun Book Fair Sept. 11-12 | 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regional West Medical Center Scotts Bluff II Jewelry Show August 14 & 15 | 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regional West Medical Center Scotts Bluff II

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4021 Avenue B | Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Cattleman’s Ball June 6 & 7 See cattlemansball.com for details

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