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News & Notes: June 2016

May 27, 2016 08:20AM ● By MED Magazine




Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell has been named among the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals by iVantage Health Analytics. This is the first year that iVantage has named the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in addition to its annual recognition of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals. Avera Queen of Peace also holds iVantage Health Analytics top quartile awards including Excellence in Quality and Excellence in Financial Strength.


Lucio Margallo, MD, of Avera Medical Group Internal Medicine Mitchell has been named 2016 Children’s Champion for providing care to children at Abbott House for more than 30 years. Abbott House provides a home, school and therapeutic care for girls and young women who have been abandoned or suffer from emotional or behavioral disorders. Dr. Margallo is a graduate of USD Medical School.


Avera Health has been recognized by the Coalition for Physician Wellbeing with the new Medicus Integra Award. The award recognizes healthcare organizations for an “established, comprehensive, institutional approach” to physician wellbeing. Avera is one of four sites recognized nationally.


Black Hills


Black Hills Surgical Hospital has won the Healthgrades 2016 Outstanding Patient Experience Award for the fourth consecutive year.


Five new medical providers have joined Regional Health. They are:

Christoper Seime, PA-C, Family Medicine, Massa Berry Regional Medical Clinic, Sturgis Heidi Glood, CNP, Oncology, Regional Cancer Care Institute, Rapid City

Karen Fryhling, CNP, Orthopedics, Regional Medical Clinic in Rapid City

Melissa Traub, CNP, Endocrinology, Regional Medical Clinic, Rapid City. 

Christopher McGoldrick, PA-C to Rheumatology, Regional Medical Clinic in Aspen, Rapid City.

Michelle Wasson, CNP, Family Medicine, Regional Medical Clinic-Aspen, Rapid City



Regional Health is upgrading its lab with state-of-the-art chemistry analyzing and automation. The new technology, made possible through a partnership with Beckman Coulter, will allow the laboratory to consult, troubleshoot, and review patient results from one location, which will decrease turnaround times and improve patient care. The install will be complete system-wide by the end of July.


Regional Health hosted the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals Radiothon, raising more than $80,828 during a 12-hour live broadcast over five local radio stations on Friday, May 6. The fundraiser took place in Rapid City Regional Hospital's lobby and aired on Homeslice Media Group radio stations 93.9 The Mix, KAT 98.7, The FOX 100.3, and Hot 93.1, and Smash Hits KKLS.


Three Regional Health were recognized during the month of April for the “I Am Regional Health” campaign. The individuals are Mallory Strang, Resident Account Representative at Sturgis Regional Senior Care; Chris Schmit, Supervisor of Environmental Services at Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital; and Jason Ellingson, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Rapid City Regional Hospital.





Sanford Aberdeen is the only South Dakota Facility to make the Becker's Hospital Review list of hospitals with ER wait times of five minutes or less. The national average is 24 minutes, but Sanford Aberdeen's wait is just 2 minutes, placing it 8th on the list.


Sanford Aberdeen has also been recently verified as a Level III Trauma Center. Criteria included 24 hour immediate coverage by ER physicians, coverage by general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiology services, acute care services, and more. Sanford Aberdeen was verified at a Level IV in 2014, just a year after opening.


Sanford Research has partnered with Professional Patient Advocates in Life Sciences Inc (PPALS) to better train patient advocates. The two organizations have teamed to create a certified professional development program for people who either work as patient advocates or who are leaders for non-profit health patient advocacy groups. The group held its first 3-day conference in May.


Sanford Research has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of more than $337,000 to continue the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program in conjunction with Sinte Gleska University. SURE is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to receive hands-on research experience and mentoring in social-behavioral research in American Indian community-based projects.


Sanford Health has purchased the Sanford Tracy Medical Center in Tracy, Minnesota. Sanford previously operated the facility which was owned by the city of Tracy. Under the agreement, Sanford now owns the buildings and grounds. The medical center includes a hospital, clinic and visiting outpatient medical specialty services.


Gene Hoyme, MD, chief of genetics and genomic medicine at Sanford Health, has received the American Academy of Pediatrics’ David W. Smith Award for Excellence in Genetics and Birth Defects Education. Dr. Hoyme received the award during the American College of Medical Genetics meeting in Tampa.  Hoyme joined Sanford Health in 2007 and is internationally known for his work in pediatrics and medical genetics.


The Sanford Project’s “T-Rex” Study of cell therapy in type 1 diabetes has enrolled its first patient. investigators in this trial are studying the effectiveness of cell therapy with expanded regulatory T cells, or Treg cells, to treat type 1 diabetes in adolescents. Participants must be between 12 and 17 and be diagnosed in the last two months.




Tobacco/substance abuse and obesity have been identified as the top two health concerns for the Siouxland region according to an unprecedented partnership that included the Siouxland District Health Department, Dunes Surgical Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s. The yearlong effort was the first ever joint Community Health Needs Assessment for all four entities.


Mercy Medical Center generates 1,320 jobs and UnityPoint Health-Sioux City generates another 2,890 that together add more than $260 million to Siouxland’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association. The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector. In all, the Iowa health care secto contributes $15.5 billion to the state’s economy


Karen Iseminger is the new Director of Clinic Operations at UnityPoint Clinic. A Sioux City native, Iseminger graduated from Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. In her new position, she will focus on patient and employee satisfaction, growth opportunities, and operational efficiency.



Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has selected UnityPoint Health–St. Luke’s as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement. Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement demonstrate expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions.  St. Luke’s is one of seven UnityPoint Health hospitals to receive the distinction.


Jacob Trierweiler in the new Manager of Nursing Services/Oncology at Mercy Medical Center.  In his position, Trierweiler will direct all aspects of Mercy’s Nursing Services, as well as the Oncology unit and associated oncology programs. Mr. Trierweiler acquired his nursing degree from Briar Cliff University. 

St. Luke’s Cardiology and Cardiovascular Associates has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in echocardiography in the area of Adult Transthoracic, Adult Stress by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. St Luke’s is the only accredited program in Sioux City. This is their fourth consecutive three-year accreditation.


Becky Wittrock, PA-C, of the Paullina Mercy Medical Clinic and the Sutherland Mercy Medical Clinic in Northwestern Iowa and Dr. Heather Longval of Mercy Singing Hills Family Medicine have been recognized by the Diabetes Physician Recognition Program for providing quality care for their patients with diabetes.


Kristen Ball in the new manager of Post Critical and Step-down Care Unit at Mercy Medical Center. Ball received her Bachelor's degree in Nursing at Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing in Omaha and began her nursing career at Mercy in 2003. She will direct all aspects of Mercy's critical care step down unit and associated programs.





Interventional cardiologist Richard A. Howard, MD, has joined Prairie Lakes Healthcare System.  Dr. Howard received his MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York and completed both a residency and fellowships in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology at Boston Medical Center. He comes to Prairie Lakes with more than twenty years experience in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, internal medicine, and hypertension. 


South Dakota Health Link is looking for a Clinical Engagement Consultant.  The Consultant will be a key member coordinating site visits with clients, arranging educational events, and market services.  There will be travel involved up to 50% of the time and plenty of client engagement.  A successful candidate must have a four-year degree and RN licensure.  To apply visit