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News and Notes

Oct 27, 2017 04:24PM ● By The Hood Magazine

Avera Medical Group announced Infectious Disease Specialists, PC, of Sioux Falls and its physicians have joined Avera and came under its ownership September 1. The name of the practice is now Avera Medical Group Infectious Disease Specialists. The physicians in the practice include Jawad Nazir, MD, FACP, Fares Masannat, MD, Brian Pepito, MD, Robert Kessler, MD and Asma Syed, MD. All are board certified in infectious disease.

Avera Health has rebranded its orthopedics and sports medicine programs under a new name: Avera Orthopedics. The Avera team of orthopedic physicians includes 33 doctors in addition to 20 advance practice providers. In Sioux Falls, Avera Orthopedics includes the region’s first orthopedic trauma group to cover the emergency department 24/7 for complex fractures.



Local Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the Black Hills joined forces again this year to raise money for Regional Health during the annual Children’s Miracle Network 2017 campaign. This year’s ‘register campaign’ - where customers can donate $1 or more when checking out at any Black Hills area Walmart or Sam’s Club - ran through October 29. Last year’s campaign raised $48,000 for CMN at Regional Health.


Justin Steinert, MD, has joined Regional Health’s team of orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists in Rapid City. Dr. Steinert earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City and went on to complete his residency at Florida’s Orlando Regional Medical Center where he received extensive experience caring for trauma and total joint arthroplasty cases.


Regional Health Rapid City Hospital received a Kohl’s Cares grant of more than $80,000 for KidShape, a children’s healthy living education program. KidShape is designed for children ages six to 12 who are overweight or wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Ten Rapid City Hospital VolunTeens received $2000 scholarships from the hospital’s volunteer auxiliary. Recipients include: Alana Brown, Isabella Glissendorf, Grace Wittenberg and Sophia Gomez from St. Thomas More; Abby Grismer, Christina Delzer, Janna Hagen, McKenna Haas and Tayla Bahr from Stevens High School; and Seth Papenfuss from Sturgis High School.

 Regional Health Rapid City Hospital nurse Bekka Pierce, RN, and Dan Warnke, RN, were recognized as DAISY Award Winners. Pierce was nominated by the mother of a pediatric patient for her compassion and care. Warnke was nominated by the wife of an ICU patient who recognized the nurse for his patience and empathy.



Sanford Health has earned full accreditation in human research from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP). AAHRPP has accredited 247 organizations. Sanford Health is the only fully AAHRPP-accredited healthcare system in Sioux Falls and all of North Dakota.

Sanford Health has created a Department of Veterans and Military Services to streamline and bolster services to veterans. Paul Weckman, a 26-year veteran and retired captain in the US Navy, will lead the department. The new department will help veterans and military personnel obtain healthcare services, navigate care and insurance coverage, identify wellness services, and search for employment opportunities.


Efrat Feldman, MD, has joined Sanford Health as a neurologist at the Sanford Brain & Spine Center in Sioux Falls. Dr. Feldman graduated from medical school at Semmelweis University School of Medicine in Budapest, Hungary, and completed her residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.


Stephen Grove, MD, has joined Sanford Health as an emergency medicine specialist at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. Dr. Grove graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He completed his emergency medicine residency at Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Michigan.



Donella Herman, MD, has joined Sanford Health as a primary care sports medicine physician at Sanford Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in Sioux Falls. Dr. Herman graduated from the Sanford USD School of Medicine in Vermillion. She completed her residency at the Center for Family Medicine in Sioux Falls as well as a fellowship at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.



Valentina Joseph, MD, has joined Sanford Health as a neurologist at the Sanford Brain and Spine Center in Sioux Falls. Dr. Joseph graduated from medical school at MBBS, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences & Research in Tamil Nadu, India, and completed her neurology residency at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio. Her areas of expertise include sleep disorders in adults and children.


Sanford USD Medical Center has attained Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program for the fourth time. Magnet recognition distinguishes healthcare organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence and is the highest national honor for professional nursing practice.

Sanford Health’s first adipose-derived stem cell clinical trial has reached full enrollment. The trial is the first in the United States to offer an FDA-approved adipose-derived stem cell trial for shoulder injuries. Sanford’s Mark Lundeen, MD, of Fargo and Jason Hurd, MD, who is based in Sioux Falls, are the study’s principal investigators.

The Population Health Group at Sanford Health has been awarded $11.33 million to study health outcomes and disparities as they relate to public health. The five-year study will focus on rural and American Indian health. Sanford Health was one of 20 institutions to receive three Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Profile by Sanford, the nutrition and lifestyle coaching service developed by Sanford Health, opened in stores in Evansville, Illinois, Cedar Rapids and Ankeny, Iowa, and Colorado Springs. Profile is headquartered in Sioux Falls and has physical locations in 14 states. It opened its first location in 2012 has helped members lose more than 1.25 million pounds. The Sioux City location was recently named Profile franchise of the year.


Sanford Health nurses Jami Jacobson, RN, and Ruth Kaiser, RN, recently received DAISY awards for nursing excellence. Jacobso works in the NICU and is described as friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate. Kaiser has been called respectful, calm, and kind. She works in inpatient-rehab.


Sanford Health celebrated its top employees this summer at its annual Employees of the Year presentation in July. This year, 22 winners in the Sioux Falls region received awards in various departments ranging from The Birthplace, communications,  NICU, and radiology to IT, security, and payroll.



Mercy Medical Center–Sioux City hosted a Retreat and Refresh Stroke camp the weekend of September 15 at Inspiration Hills Camp in Inwood, Iowa. The goal of the camp is to help stroke survivors and caregivers improve their quality of life and connect with others in similar circumstances and hopefully gain strength.

 Mercy Home Care in Sioux City, Iowa which provides in-home nursing and therapy for people recovering from illness or surgery, launched Home Care Connect. The integrated care program empowers patients to stay in their homes. Using a tablet patients self-report such things a blood pressure, weight and current health symptoms. Mercy Home Care’s Vital Care Center nurses monitor the data 24/7. There is no cost to patients for Home Care Connect.


Cathleen and Chris McGowan of Sioux City are the chairs of the Mercy Medical Center Foundation’s Fall Gala November 4 at the Delta by Marriott. The annual fundraiser helps provide the financial resources needed to further Mercy’s mission of hope and caring. Since its inception, the Gala has raised $3.5 million to improve healthcare for Siouxlanders.



Douglas Powell, DO, a vascular and interventional radiologist, joined Mercy Medical Center in September. Dr. Powell’s specialty training will expand Mercy’s interventional radiology services. A Michigan native and graduate of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Powell completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at MSU and Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. He received his fellowship training in Interventional Radiology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and at the Cleveland clinic.

UnityPoint Clinic–Sergeant Bluff has been recognized as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. To achieve this recognition, the clinic successfully demonstrated excellence in care management, patient-focused huddles, setting patient goals and identifying barriers along with chart preparation and charting rooming standards.

In an August announcement, Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City reported that Jim Fitzpatrick, President and Chief Executive Officer, has stepped down. Regional Chief Financial Officer Rod Schlader was named interim CEO.

As part of National Child Passenger Safety Month in September, Safe Kids Woodbury County hosted a car seat check September 23. The Safe Kids program also conducted a “walk to school” and a bike safety program. Karin Ward and Amy Scarmon of Mercy’s Child Advocacy Center serve as coordinators of Safe Kids Woodbury County.



Mercy Medical Center has announced the appointment of Shelby Reed and Jennifer Blackmore as hospital liaisons. In this role, the two will work to strengthen relationships between Mercy Medical Center and other area hospitals, primary care physicians, and specialty providers as well as recruitment, retention and orientation of new physicians.





Laura McNaughton, MD, has joined Midlands Clinic, PC, in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota as a plastic surgeon. Dr. McNaughton received her Doctorate from the USD Sanford School of Medicine and completed her plastic surgery residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has published research in cosmetic breast surgery and craniofacial reconstruction and is the recipient of the 2017 “Best Emerging Author Paper” in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.


Craig Severtson, founder of the non-profit Helping Kids Round First (HKRF), was honored in September by the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations with the 2017 Healthcare Hero Distinguished Service Award. HKRF improved access to quality healthcare services to the poorest regions of Nicaragua by delivering donated hospital equipment. Severtson farms and ranches near Flandreau and founded HKRF in 2009.