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News & Notes

Aug 26, 2016 09:15AM ● By MED Magazine



The National Rural Health Association (NHRA) gave Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital the designation as a Top 20 Best Practices in Patient Satisfaction.  All the honored facilities will be recognized at the Critical Access Conference on September 23 in Kansas City.


Avera Health recently earned more than $1 million in grants from two federal agencies. USDA Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program provided a grant to be used for Pyxis Automated Dispensing Machines in 18 rural locations. Other funded projects include "Before Baby: Avera Remote Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Project" at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and the Rural Pharmacy Connections Project to expand ePharmacy services.


Mandi Greenway, MD, Jesse Barondeau, MD, FAAP, and Megan Kippes, DO have joined Avera Medical Group Family Health Center on Avera Grassland Health Campus in Mitchell.  Drs. Greenway and Barondeau graduated from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.  Dr. Greenway went on to be certified in dermatology.  Dr. Barondeau went on to be certified in both pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Dr. Kippes is a graduate of Des Moines University and is board certified in internal medicine.


Avera Health welcomes these new appointments to its Board of Directors, which began July 1st:  

Current board member, Daniel D. Eisenbraun has been named the new board chair, Sr. Debra Kolecka has been named vice chair, and Dr. Charlie Hart joined the board.  Ken Karels and Mark Buche both retired.




"Helping Kids, One Duck at a Time" was the theme of the 27th annual Great Black Hills Duck Race on July 31st. The community showed its support to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) at Regional Health by sponsoring some 17,000 ducks in the race. One hundred percent of the funds raised from the race went toward helping local ill and injured children by providing programs, services, and medical equipment at Regional Health Hospitals.


Rapid City Regional Health has began a multiphase parking lot project. In phase one they will expand an existing lot south of the hospital and put in a new lot at 5th and Elk. In the future, the hospital plans to put in a three-story parking deck. They hope to make things more convenient for their patients, visitors, and staff.


Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital hosted a Digital Mammography Open House on July 19th.  The event was held at the hospital, where community members were invited to meet the team members and learn about the benefits of digital mammography.


Regional Health is offering the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) at seven sites across the Black Hills to help adults at risk for type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the disease by making lifestyle changes that also promote weight loss. New classes begin in September. Participants must be at least 18 and meet criteria that demonstrate diabetes risk. People in one recent program hosted by Regional Health lost an average of 11 percent of excess body weight, with improvements in glucose, lipid, and blood pressure levels.


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists awarded Sanford Women's a certification in Outpatient Practice Excellence (SCOPE).  This was the first in Sioux Falls, as well as the tri-state region. Once Sanford Women's met the criteria for certification, a three year certification was granted.  SCOPE's primary focus is enhancing the safety environment in the office setting.


The 18th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired survey named Sanford Health a Most Wired Hospital for the sixth year in a row.  As a Most Wired Hospital, Sanford Health fills in the gap physicians and pharmacists are unavailable to fulfill using telehealth to give their patients 24-hour service.  Electronic access to the patient’s care team improves efficiency of care delivery, creates a new dynamic in patient interactions, and expands access to medical specialists.


The National Association of Occupational Health Professionals has given Sanford Health's Occupational Medicine Program a perfect score in their certification.  Sanford OccMed is the largest franchise-based occupational medicine program in the country to achieve this certification.


Former family medicine physician Timothy Donelan, MD, is now the new vice president and medical officer and Timothy Byrne is the new vice president of operations for Sanford Health Plan. Dr. Donelan has practiced with Sanford for more than 20 years. Byrne is a native of Ghent, Minnesota and has worked in leadership roles in several insurance groups including UnitedHealth Group.  Byrne started at Sanford in early July.

Photos: Donelan, Byrne


Sanford oncologist/researcher, Steven Powell, MD, collaborated with a team of researchers to discover that the drug Olanzapine significantly improves nausea prevention in patients undergoing chemotherapy.  Olanzapine is FDA approved as an antipsychotic agent, however researchers noted significant relief for study patients using the drug.  The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was funded by the National Cancer Institute.


Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls has received the Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center – GOLD PLUS Level Recognition Award. The American Heart Association program recognizes hospitals that quickly and appropriately treat heart attack patients.This is the seventh consecutive year Sanford Heart Hospital has received this award.


A group of experts led by Sanford Health’s Eugene Hoyme, MD, has developed proposed updated clinical guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders based on an analysis of 10,000 individuals involved in studies of prenatal alcohol exposure. The study was organized, endorsed and funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and appears online in Pediatrics.The study is titled “Updated clinical guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.




iVantage Healthstrong recently named Cherokee Regional Medical Center (CRMC) a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the third year in a row.  CRMC is affiliated with UnityPoint Health.  iVantage's results show that critical access hospitals such as CRMC can provide a safety net for rural communities across America.


UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s has been named a “Most Wired” hospital by the AHA for the fifth year in a row. Grundy County Memorial Hospital, a UnityPoint Health Community Network Hospital, has also received the honor.


UnityPoint Health-St Luke's recognizes the following employees who have committed themselves to advancing their education:  Renee Grell, Courtney Ott, and Becky Haafke received Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  In addition, these employees have worked towards new certifications: Lesleigh Ailts, Paula Emerson, Kristen Nelson, Megan Berens, Faye Tompkins, Corina Anema, and Benita Triplett.


Three pediatric nurses at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s received the 2016 Innovations in Patient Care Award from the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL) for their work in reducing pediatric patient distress. Studies show that pediatric patients’ primary source of pain was related to having blood drawn. The trio conducted a study that showed a significant drop in patient anxiety when using an existing IV catheter to draw blood, rather than drawing blood traditionally. As a result, this type of blood draw has become standard practice in the pediatric department at St. Luke’s.

Photo: Daniels et al

Photo caption: l to r: Breanna Daniels, RN, Matthew Robertson, RN and Marsha Henn, MSN, RNC-MNN


The Mercy Medical Center Foundation Fall Gala is set to be chaired by Dr. Julie and Chris Lohr.  The Foundation's Gala will be held on November 5th. This year's proceeds will be directed to Mercy's Child Advocacy Center.

Photo: Lohr


Father Anthony Nwudah has joined the Spiritual Care Team at Mercy Medical Center. Father Anthony completed his Clinical Pastoral education (CPE) at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He is board certified with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains as of 2014.  Father Anthony started at Mercy in June.

Photo: Nwudah


The American College of Radiology has designated Mercy Breast Care Center a Center of Excellence. In addition, Mercy Radiology has received a three year accreditation in breast MRI, along with other accreditations in breast care modalities.  Breast MRI is now available at Mercy Medical Center and can impart valuable information to radiologists which is not available through other imaging modalities.


Internist and pediatrician, Steven Joyce, MD, and surgeon, Lawrence Volz, MD, will now also serve as Chief Primary Care Officer and Chief Medical Officer respectively for Mercy Medical Center, effective immediately.  The two physicians will continue in their current practices.  Mercy President and CEO Jim Fitzpatrick says that the half-time roles place the two doctors close to the work, which is an important perspective in their roles.

Photos: Joyce, Volz


Mercy Medical Center provided Operation Heat Relief again this summer during days where temperatures went above 90 degrees.  Mercy provided cool drinks in their cafeteria for people without adequate shelter or cooling in their homes.  Physicians at Mercy’s Emergency Department say that heat-induced illnesses can be life threatening if residents do not stay inside during warm days and drink plenty of water.


The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association awarded the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll to Mercy Medical Center.  Mercy also met specific qualification guidelines to qualify as a Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center.  These guidelines feature a comprehensive system of rapid diagnosis and treatment for stroke patients in the emergency room.


The AHA has also awarded Mercy with the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Silver Achievement Award.  As a participant in Mission: Lifeline, Mercy commits itself to the best practice guidelines of the AHA in treating heart patients.





Clinical DIetitian Sara Berreth has joined Prairie Lakes Nutritional Services. Berreth is a native of  Volga.  As a Nutritionist, her interests are with employee health, fad diets, nutritional support, and malnutrition. Berreth will assess and work with patients in the hospital and can also accept appointments for one on one or group sessions.  

Photo: Berreth


Marcy Dimond, CEBT, CTBS, Chief Executive Officer of Dakota Lions Sight and Health (formerly the South Dakota Lions Eye and Tissue Bank) has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Eye Bank Association of America.


Sioux Falls based Vance Thompson Vision has expanded to Fargo, North Dakota with the opening of a new clinic there August 1. Jamestown, ND native Mike Greenwood, MD, a graduate of UND Medical School, will return to his home state to run the new clinic. Dr. Greenwood completed his ophthalmology residency at Case Western Reserve in Ohio and did a one-year fellowship at Vance Thompson Vision’s Sioux Falls clinic. Dr. Greenwood will offer treatment for diseases of the cornea, glaucoma, and cataracts as well as complex intraocular lens implants and LASIK surgery. The two offices will be linked via a direct-wired system.


D1 Sports Training & Therapy, an athletic-based training facility jointly owned by Orthopedic Institute, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Tyler Starr, opened in Sioux Falls in July. The facility features over 14,000 square feet of training space and a full-service physical therapy clinic. D1 will offer a variety of services focusing on strength, agility, injury prevention, weight loss and general health and fitness for ages 7 through adult.


Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, chair of pediatrics at at the USD Sanford School of Medicine, is chair-elect of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Women in Medicine and Science.The AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science advocates for the advancement of women within the field of academic medicine, including the nation’s medical schools.

Photo: Chatterjee