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News & Notes

Oct 29, 2016 11:19AM ● By MED Magazine

Avera Queen of Peace is opening a new pediatric therapy facility in Mitchell.  At the Avera Therapy and Integrated Therapy Services center, therapists use a collaborative team approach to help children function independently.  Before the center was built at the former urgent care facility, children were having to go out of town for care in Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy.

Avera Health has announced that their participation with Sanford Health Plan Provider Network will terminate as of January 1, 2017. Only South Dakota Hospitals will be removed from the Sanford Health Plan, but Avera Behavioral and Avera-employed Behavioral Health physicians will stay in-network.

Avera Cancer Institute in the Prairie Center hosted the Lakota Emergence Exhibit during the month of October.  Avera was the first host of the traveling version of the exhibit.  The exhibit was in honor of Native American Day, which fell on October 10 this year.

Photo: Avera Art
Avera Health Plans announced that they will donate $25,000 in support of the Great Plains Education Foundation.  The Foundation is a 501c(3) scholarship granting organization based in Aberdeen.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has distributed $157 million in awards for the fiscal year 2016 as part of a seven-year initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). Sanford Research received a grant for nearly $4.5 million from ECHO for their ongoing research project called Safe Passage.  Safe Passage investigates the role of prenatal alcohol in sudden infant death syndrome and stillbirths.

NIH also distributed a grant to the Cancer Biology Research Center at Sanford Research under their Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) program.  The grant was for 11.7 million to translate laboratory research into clinical trials for head and neck and pediatric cancers.
USD Sanford School of Medicine Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program has received initial accreditation from ACGME.  The fellowship program will begin training on July 1, 2017.

Steven Powell, MD, and Sam Milanovich, MD, are leading a new study called COMPASS.  COMPASS follows Sanford Research’s GEMMA trial and explores how genomic profiling might help improve treatment options for patients.  Both pediatric and adult patients with advanced stage cancers or cancers with no established treatments can participate.

Sanford Health Oncologist and Researcher, Steven Powell, MD, accepted for Sanford Cancer Center the 2016 ICLIO Innovator Award at the ICLIO National Conference in early October.  Sanford Cancer Center was selected for this award for its advanced research program, its multidisciplinary approach, and efforts to provide immunotherapy options to its patients.

Sanford Health now offers patients of family medicine and children’s medicine all day walk-in hours from 8am - 5pm.  Sanford Acute hours are from 5pm - 9pm.  “We’re always looking for new ways to better serve our patients,” said Clayton Van Balen, MD, enterprise medical director of employee health services for Sanford Health and Acute Care Physicians.

Marilyn Haiar is the newest DAISY Award recipient for outstanding nurses.  Ms. Haiar works at Sanford Children’s Specialty Clinic.  She had multiple submissions from patients stating she was prompt returning their calls, answered their questions, and was compassionate and caring to family members and patients.
Photo: Haiar
UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Foundation is pleased to announce that Rebecca Brown, Rocky Welker, and Jessica Wheeler will be joining their staff.  Ms. Brown and Mr. Welker have accepted positions as Development Directors.  Ms. Wheeler will be the Development Coordinator for St. Luke's Children's Miracle Network.

Photos: Brown, Welker, Wheeler
St. Luke's College - UnityPoint Health is now offering a continuing education opportunity for working healthcare professionals that is 100% online.  These bachelor degree programs also allow the flexibility of transferring credits from previous education programs.  For more information visit or call (712)279-3149.

Photo: Online ed
Mercy Medical Center would like to announce the appointments of Alicia Held and Kari Kirchmeier to the position of inpatient clinical nurse educators.  Ms. Held and Ms. Kirchmeier have both been on staff at Mercy for several years and in their new positions will be educating nurses to integrate evidence-based practices that will promote the high standards of patient care at Mercy.

Photos: Held, Kirchmeier
Stroke survivors and their caregivers were able to attend a retreat held by Mercy Medical Center at Inspirational Hills during the weekend of September 16.  The camp's goal was to bring together Stroke Survivors and improve their quality of life.  It allowed people of similar circumstances and their caregivers to interact outside of the hospital setting.

Photo: Stroke camp
Mercy Medical Center hosted Siouxland's first Birth Expo on Saturday, October 29.  It was held at the Sioux City Convention Center.  There was mini sessions on child safety from the City Fire Department, CPR instructors, SIDS Foundation and Poison Control Center.

Midlands Clinic is now offering ORBERA™, an Intragastric Balloon, to assist adult patients suffering from obesity.  ORBERA™ is a weight loss solution with 20 years of global results.
Photo: Orbera

Black Hills--
Spearfish Regional Hospital (SPRH) Hospice of the Northern Hills invited Barry Baines, MD, to their facility for a conference presenting "Honoring Patients' Choices".  The conference took place on September 27.  Dr. Baines is a nationally-recognized expert, researcher and speaker on patients' choices and is board-certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and Family Medicine.
Photo: Baines

Spearfish Regional Hospital was recently recognized by HealthStream for an Excellence Through Insight Award for the Most Improved in Home Care.  The award was for the 2015 calendar year and was presented at the Awards Luncheon during the HealthStream Summit in Nashville on October 27.

Rapid City native, Dr. Brett Lawlor, volunteered to accompany the United States Men's U-18 National Soccer Team to the Czech Republic.  Dr. Lawlor is a member of the Black Hills Sports Medicine Institute, a collaboration of specialized healthcare experts that provides the same high level of coordinated care found at National levels to the Black Hills region.

The Medical Center of Spearfish and Black Hills Urgent Care participated in a Spearfish Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Thursday, September 29.  Black Hills Urgent Care opened its doors to the Northern Hills on September 1.

Regional Health was among four healthcare organizations to receive the ASCEND Peak Performance Award at the 2016 Breakthrough Conference and Exhibition recently held in National Harbor, Maryland. They were selected for the award for the devotion to the ASCEND programs.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA) recognized both Mercy Medical Center and Regional Health with awards that showed they have reached aggressive compliance goals as outlined by the AHA/ASA. Mercy received the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award.  Regional received Get with the Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center Bronze Plus Recognition Award, and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION Registry- Get with the Guidelines Platinum Performance Achievement Award.
Photo: Regional Cardiac

Regional Health is pleased to welcome Travis Menge, MD, to their orthopedic surgery team.  Dr. Menge went to Medical School in Colorado and graduated an Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Member. Dr. Menge will be seeing patients at Regional Orthopedics.
Photo: Menge

Prairie Lakes Dermatology Clinic in Watertown is pleased to welcome Jeffery Smith, MD.  Dr. Smith received his medical degree from Texas Tech University School of Medicine and did his residency in dermatology at New York Presbyterian Hospital where he achieved Chief Resident.
Photo: Smith

Prairie Lakes Healthcare Systems has named Sara Spilde, PharmD, the new Director of Pharmacy. Dr. Spilde has been serving as the Interim Pharmacy Directory since June 6.  Spilde holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from SDSU and has worked at Prairie Lakes for 9 years in the Pharmacy Department.
Photo: Spilde

Prairie Lakes Healthcare Systems is pleased to welcome to Prairie Lakes Rehabilitation Services Physical Therapist Karen Skogstad.  Skogstad serves patients through Prairie Lakes Home Health.  Skogstad has twenty four years experience as a physical therapist.
Photo: Skogstad

Make-A-Wish of South Dakota is pleased to welcome Doug Ekeren and Dr. Kimmy Hart to its Board of Directors.  Mr. Ekeren is the regional president and chief executive officer of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.  Dr. Hart is a pediatric resident at Sanford Children's Hospital-- Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls.
Photo: Ekeren, Hart

The VA Black Hills Care System has appointed Jo-Ann Ginsberg to the position of Director of the Marion VA Medical Center.  Ms. Ginsberg is currently the Associate Director of Patient Care Services.  The Marion VAMC is one of seven VISN 15 health care systems of excellence covering six states: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky.

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