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News and Notes

Aug 28, 2017 04:16PM ● By The Hood Magazine


Avera has earned national recognition as a technology leader as it was named to the list of Health Care’s Most Wired for the 18th time. The list is based on an annual survey released by the American Hospital Association. Avera received “advanced” designation. It was the sole South Dakota- based health system to receive the Most Wired Advanced Award.

Avera has launched GeneFolio, the latest advancement in providing easier access to personalized medicine using pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics is the study of DNA to understand how an individual will metabolize certain medication. The GeneFolio blood test starts at $179 plus lab fees. While it doesn’t tell the providers what to prescribe, it does give them an additional tool to select the most effective medications.

Avera Health is the first member of the new Patient Care Network launched by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. The network is the first of its kind in the addiction treatment industry and will allow members to gain access to tools, resources and collaborative consultation for their organization.

Black Hills


Regional Health has expanded its services in general surgery in Rapid City with the addition of Irony Sade, MD. Dr. Sade specializes in trauma and critical care, as well as vascular, pediatric and laparoscopic surgery.  He earned his doctor of medicine at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, and completed his general surgery residency at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY.

Six physicians graduated from the Rapid City Regional Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in June. Graduates from the three-year residency program include Kyle Adams, DO, Catherine Mitchel, MD, Peter Ostler, MD, and Giovanni Paoli, DO. Chief Residents of the program include Carson Phillips, MD and Matthew Schaffer, DO. This group is the 20th class of physicians to complete the program.

Rapid City Medical Center welcomes Jennifer May, MD, and her Rheumatology practice.  Dr. May is a Rapid City, South Dakota native who graduated from the USD Sanford School of Medicine and continued her training with an internal residency at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, followed by a rheumatology fellowship at Mayo Clinic. She is board-certified in rheumatology and internal medicine. 


David Steele, MD, and his long-time family medicine, women’s health, prenatal, and acupuncture practice, has joined family medicine services at Regional Health Medical Clinic in Hot Springs. Dr. Steele earned his medical degree at USD Sanford School of Medicine and went on to complete his family medicine residency at Marquette, Michigan. He practiced at the Black Hills Family Health Clinic in Hot Springs for ten years before joining Regional Health.


Patricia Fogarty, MD, has joined the geriatrics team at Regional Health in Spearfish. Dr. Fogarty earned her medical degree at the University of Otago in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, and completed her internal medicine residency and hospice and palliative care fellowships at the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Fogarty will serve as medical director for Regional Health Home+ Hospice of the Northern Hills and for the long-term care healing environments in Belle Fourche, Spearfish and Sturgis.


Bradley Archer, MD, RPH, has been appointed as the new Chief Clinical Integration and Medical Officer (CCIMO) for Regional Health in Rapid City and joined Regional Health’s leadership team September 1. Dr. Archer recveived his medical degree from USD Sanford School of Medicine. He was previously Chief Clinical Officer of Iowa Health Alliance and Director of Population Health at the University of Iowa Health System.

Regional Health Sturgis Hospital hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony July 13 for its new, 64-slice CT scanner. Sturgis Hospital is one of only 41 recipients of grants by the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program to benefit from this round of funding to purchase CT scanners.

The 28th Annual Great Black Hills Duck Race in Rapid City launched 15,500 rubber ducks in a 1.5 mile float in Memorial Park July 30. The event benefited the Children’s Miracle Network at Regional Health in Rapid City with 100 percent of the proceeds staying local. To support the fundraiser, participants paid $5 to buy a duck.

Becker’s Hospital Review ranked Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City 5th in the nation among the overall best for patient-recommended, physician-owned hospitals. BHSH received a 93% rating from patients – more than 20% higher than the national average. 

Regional Health Home+Home Health in Spearfish, South Dakota, was awarded the Strategic Healthcare Program’s (SHP) Best Superior Performer award for achieving an overall satisfaction score that ranked in the top 20th percentile of all SHP clients during 2016. The annual SHP Best program was developed to recognize home health agencies that consistently provide high quality service to their patients.

 Mark Ptacek, MD, and Nadia Tymkowych, MD,  have joined the Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital and Clinic team. Dr. Ptacek is a Nebraska native who earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and went on to complete his family medicine residency at the United Hospital Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Dr. Tymkowych, a South Dakota native, earned her medical degree at the University of Sint Eustatius in the Netherlands and went on to complete her family medicine residency at the Clarkson Family Medicine Residency Program, a department of the Nebraska Medical Center.



Regional Health Rapid City nurse Amber Stebbins, RN, receive the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in June. Stebbins was nominated by a patient whose husband received a diagnosis of kidney failure. She was described as “caring, thoughtful, understanding and sweet”.

Regional Health Rapid City nurses Allison Joachim, RN, and Trevor Dillon, RN, also received DAISY Awards for Extraordinary Nurses in June. Joachim was nominated by a family member whose husband was brought to the emergency room with a diabetic crisis. Dillon was nominated by a patient who recognized him as an exceptional caregiver who worked well with the members of his team.


Sanford Heart Hospital received two awards from Mission: Lifeline®, a program of the American Heart Association.

Sanford received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award and the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment.


Sanford nurse, Shawna Rorvick, RN, received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in April. Rorvick works in Pulmonary at Sanford USD Medical Center. 

Will’s Training Table, a new sports-themed restaurant, opened in July at the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls. The full-service restaurant and bar offers game-day favorites as well as healthier options.

Jeffrey Wilson, MD, and Maheedhar Gedela, MD, have joined have joined the Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Programs at Sanford. Dr. Wilson graduated from American University of Antiqua College of Medicine and has begun his Clinical Rotation. Dr. Gedela graduated from Rangaraya Medical College in India and is doing his Non-Invasive Rotation.


Mary Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP, has been elected to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Board of Directors. Currently, Dr. Nettleman services as Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Sanford School of Medicine at USD. Her appointment begins in November. 

Amy Elliott, PhD, will be the co-chair of the Biospecimens Working Group, which is part of the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). ECHO is an initiative of the National Institutes of Health which studies how environmental exposures affect child health and development.


The Accreditation Commission for Health Care presented UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s with full accreditation status for its sleep lab services. In order to receive the accreditation from ACHC, St. Luke’s sleep lab had to demonstrate compliance with national standards.

Mike Kramer, MD, has joined UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Siouxland PACE as the Medical Director. Dr. Kramer received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago where he also completed his residency in internal medicine. He is board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine. Siouxland PACE is an all-inclusive program that offers care for the elderly.

Hospice of Siouxland in Sioux City, Iowa, honored the volunteers involved in the Vet-to-Vet Program at its 4th annual Veteran’s breakfast June 23. The program pairs hospice patients who have military experience with veteran volunteers.


Michael Guzman, Jr., MD, joined Singing Hills Mercy Medical Clinic in Sioux City in July. Dr. Guzman is a graduate of the Creighton University Medical Center School of Medicine. He completed his residency in family medicine at Creighton University.

UnityPoint Health- St. Luke’s in Sioux City, Iowa has received the American College of Cardiology NCDR ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2017. The award recognizes the hospital’s high standards of care for the treatment of heart attack patients. St. Luke’s is one of 193 hospitals nationwide to receive this honor.

Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa, held an open house and ribbon cutting July 13 in celebration of its new Child Advocacy Center (CAC) at 701 Jackson Street in in Sioux City.  Donations from the Siouxland community helped fund the $3 million project. Over the last 28 years the CAC has helped over 17,000 children. 

Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City has received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Quality Achievement Award and the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for treatment of heart attack patients.

Mercy was also recognized with the Get with the Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention Guidelines for patients with heart failure.

Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City in conjunction with the Siouxland Stroke Support Network is hosting a “Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp” the weekend of September 15 -17. The camp brings stroke survivors and their families together for a weekend of support, education and fun.

A study by the Iowa Hospital Association says Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City created a $192.5 million impact on the local economy.  The hospital generates 1,324 jobs. The study also reported that Iowa’s healthcare sector provides nearly 325,000 jobs across the state. The same report indicates that UnityPoint Health in Sioux City has a $203 million impact on the local economy and generates 1,665 jobs.    

The sleep lab at Mercy Medical Center recently achieved accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). 

 Megan Bush, CNA with Mercy Medical Center has been awarded a $3500 scholarship from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation. Bush is pursuing her nursing degree from Morningside College. She is from Cleghorn, Iowa. 


Jason Losee, DO, has joined UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, as a new family medicine doctor. Dr. Losee received his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from A. T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. Losee completed his residency for Family Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital/Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. He completed his sports medicine fellowship at Evergreen Sports Medicine in Augusta, Maine.


Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls recently became the first center in the United States to perform Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery with Zepto.  This technology, developed by Mynosys, uses low-energy pulses to create a precise capsulotomy, independent of pupil size, corneal clarity or lense density. The automated incisions mean fewer logistical challenges and reduced, overall time a patient spends in surgery.


Emily Murphy, MD, has joined Surgical Institute of South Dakota. Dr. Murphy is a Sioux Falls, South Dakota native who graduated from the USD Sanford School of Medicine, completed her general surgery residency at Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware, and recently completed her fellowship in endocrine surgery at Medical College of Wisconsin.

A collaboration between Madison Regional Health System and Orthopedic Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has made it possible for Madison area residents to have orthopedic surgeries closer to home. Keith Baumgarten, MD, of Orthopedic Institute has been an outreach provider in orthopedic care and sports medicine at Madison Regional Health System for 11 years. Now he is performing carpal tunnel release, trigger finger release and knee scope surgeries at MRHS.

Watertown’s Brown Clinic announces the retirement of Edwin S. Gerrish, MD. Dr. Gerrish was a general surgeon who started practicing at Brown Clinic in August of 1983. He retired July 1.

Kate Sigford, MD, has been named as LifeScape’s new Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services. She will oversee rehabilitation and medically complex services at LifeScape’s Specialty Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Sigford is a graduate of the University of California at Davis School of Medicine and completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Stanford University in California. She completed a fellowship in Pediatric Rehabilitative Medicine at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare through the University of Minnesota.