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News & Notes

May 24, 2018 09:04PM ● By Alyssa McGinnis


Avera eCARE, including telemedicine and monitoring services for ICU, Emergency, Pharmacy, Senior Care, Correctional Health, Specialty Clinic, Behavioral Health, Hospitalist and School Health, is celebrating 25 years in operation. Avera began telemedicine with a pilot project in 1993, connecting specialists in Sioux Falls to rural community partner facilities. In 2004, Avera expanded its telemedicine offerings to include eCARE ICU, its first 24-hour, on-demand service.

Today, the system extends specialty care from its eHelm “virtual health center” in Sioux Falls to 400+ sites in 17 states. In its history, it has served over 1.4 million patients, saved an estimated $200 million in healthcare costs and millions of miles of travel for both physicians and patients.

Black Hills

Regional Health and Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) have combined their Radiologic Technology education programs into a single program that allows students to complete clinical studies on both sides of the state and earn an associate’s degree from MTI in as little as 21 months. Demand for Radiological Technicians is increasing. MTI has a 98 to 99 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation. The cost of the MTI program is less than $23,000 for tuition, fees, books and uniforms. “Regional Health is proud to partner with a forward-thinking school like MTI. Our students will be well-trained and ready to start their careers in less than 2 years,” said Jamie Madden, Senior Director of Medical Imaging at Regional Health.

Rapid City Medical Center will soon offer Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments for facial and vaginal rejuvenation. The in-office procedure uses components of patient’s own blood to naturally promote the production of collagen and growth factors to the treated area. The treatment has been shown to improve skin texture, thickness and tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without the use of synthetic fillers. When used for hair loss, it has been shown to increase density of the hair by 30 to 40 percent and to stimulate regrowth. For gynecologic patients, PRP is injected into symptomatic areas to restore suppleness and increase lubrication and arousal.


The genomic medicine program at Sanford Health is expanding to Ireland through collaboration with the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Ireland. Physicians from Ireland will open a clinical initiative that explores how genomic profiling of tumors might help improve treatment options for patients with advanced or rare forms of cancer. The initiative represents the introduction of genomic testing in Ireland as a tool for deciding on cancer treatment.The initiative is modeled after Sanford Health’s GEMMA and COMPASS studies. The agreement with Ireland was part of a larger announcement where Sanford World Clinic also expanded into New Zealand, Vietnam, Costa Rica and South Africa. Sanford already has clinics in Ghana and China and owns a minority stake in a clinic in Munich, Germany.

A scientific advisory board has convened to narrow down the possible winners for the $1 million Lorraine Cross Award from Sanford Health. The prize will be given for the first time in December to recognize excellence in life-changing treatments, medical innovations and research. The award, which will be given every other year, is one of the top five most lucrative of its kind. Candidates for the award are chosen through nominations from the public and a computer algorithm that sifts through medical publications in search of great discoveries. The first step in choosing a winner is for the scientific panel to narrow down the candidates and make a recommendation.

Leaders form Sanford Health recently spoke about the Lorraine Cross award and other innovations at a conference at the Vatican. The conference, “Unite to Cure: The Fourth International Vatican Conference – How Science, Technology and 21st Century Medicine Will Impact Culture and Society,” brings together leaders in healthcare, science and research from around the world as part of the Cura Foundation conference, which is held every other year in Rome. This is the second time Sanford Health has presented at the invite-only event.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved two new clinical trials involving adipose-derived stem cells at Sanford Health. Sanford now has four FDA-approved clinical trials involving adipose-derived stem cells, with a fifth pending, including a pivotal rotator cuff study, a facet joint study, a wrist osteoarthritis study, and a study for non-healing leg wounds. Sanford Health had the first FDA-approved adipose-derived stem cell trial in the United States in 2016, with its first rotator cuff study. Data will be reviewed and study reports will be completed for that trial by the end of the summer.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Mallary Van Tol 

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Mallary Van Tol and Labor and Delivery RN Jolene Hooyer are the latest Sanford nurses to be recognized with DAISY awards for exceptional nursing. Van Tol’s nomination says she “always makes time to sit down with families in the NICU to answer their questions and calm their fears”. Hooyer was described as calm, encouraging, patient, and friendly.

Labor and Delivery RN Jolene Hooyer 


The Nylen Cancer Center in Sioux City is now offering TrueBeam, an advanced image-guided radiation therapy system. TrueBeam's sophisticated software and respiratory tracking system confirms the exact location of the tumor or area to be treated, track its movement while breathing and protect nearby organs and healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation.The TrueBeam system rotates around the body to deliver radiation therapy from nearly any angle. The treatment beam can be aimed at a tumor anywhere in the body from multiple angles to hit the target in a complete three-dimensional manner. TrueBeam’s treatment beam can be delivered with submillimeter accuracy and varying intensity.

Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City has announced the appointment of Jeffrey Lamoreux as  director of facilities. Lamoreux is a graduate of South Dakota State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology with a minor in business. He has been serving in an interim role of facilities director since January of 2018. Prior to this, Lamoreux served as Mercy’s continuous improvement specialist.

General Surgeon, Dr. JD Welander has joined Midlands Clinic in Dakota Dunes. Dr. Welander received his Doctorate at Creighton University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Iowa Methodist Hospital. In addition to his education, he has published research in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. He is offering a full range of the latest general surgery services including, but not limited to, breast cancer surgery, colorectal surgery, gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery, laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive                                                                                       surgery, robotic surgery, and trauma surgery.

Gastroenterologist and Advanced Endoscopist Fadi Rzouq, MD, has joined Midlands Clinic in Dakota Dunes. Dr. Rzouq received his MD from the University of Jordan and completed his residency at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He completed both his gastroenterology fellowship and an advanced endoscopy fellowship at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Dr. Rzouq is qualified to treat Barrett’s esophagus, pancreas diseases and biliary systems using Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography and Endoscopic Ultrasound. He also subspecializes in hepatology and performs therapeutic endoscopy.


Ian Alverson, PharmD, was named the 2018 Preceptor of the Year award by the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions in Brookings. Alverson is a 2012 graduate of the pharmacy program at SDSU and is currently employed at Madison Regional Health System and is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist. Preceptors provide practical experience and training for students typically in their fourth year of pharmacy school, preparing them for their future careers. Alverson has served as preceptor for the past 5 years and has supervised over 30 pharmacy students in a clinical setting at various levels.

 Pat Ronan, PhD, Research Scientist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Sanford USD School of Medicine, and his colleagues published an article in the March 2018 edition of Alcohol and Alcoholism titled Central Administration of Cyclosporine A Decreases Ethanol Drinking.  This study, performed at the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center, demonstrated that immunosuppressants act in the brain to significantly decrease binge-like alcohol consumption in mice. In the past few years numerous lines of converging evidence have implicated brain immune mechanisms in alcoholism.  This is the first study to show that directly targeting a specific protein in a neuroinflammatory pathway is sufficient to stop excessive alcohol drinking in an animal model. This study opens the path to discovering new therapies for alcoholism.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Sioux Falls Health Care System hosted its first ever baby shower for Veterans who are new parents and Veterans and their significant others who are parents-to-be in early May.  New parents and parents-to-be had dinner and an opportunity to meet other Veteran parents and parents-to-be, learn about topics of interest to new parents, play games, hear a speaker, and take home a new baby kit. Sioux Falls is one of 60 sites across the country to participate in the nationwide baby shower.

Midwest ENT in Sioux Falls is among the first practices in the US to offer the SINUVA sinus implant. SINUVA was recently approved by the FDA to treat nasal polyps in adults who have had previous ethmoid sinus surgery (ESS). SINUVA is a non-surgical option that can be placed during a routine physician office visit and is clinically proven to reduce nasal congestion and polyps by opening the sinus and delivering anti-inflammatory medicine to treat nasal polyps.

Anna Bahnson, a Pillar Three student in the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, is a 2018 recipient of the Excellence in Public Health Award, presented by the US Public Health Service. Bahnson was recognized for her research and education project about skin cancer risks associated with working in agriculture, and the importance of educating cosmetologists to identify skin cancer symptoms on their clients. Bahnson’s project, titled “Skin Cancer Education in the Rural Salon” is designed to help educate cosmetologists in rural South Dakota about skin cancer lesions.  

The 2018 Dr. Theodore H Sattler/Yankton Medical Clinic, PC, $1000 scholarship has been awarded to a student from Yankton High School. Recipient Javier Lopez plan to study medicine at Stanford University. The scholarship program has been in place for 22 years. High schools with the clinic’s service area are eligible to participate.

 Audiologist Mandy Rounseville-Norgaard, AuD, a Sioux Falls native who has experienced hearing loss herself, has just opened her new private practice, Sioux Falls Audiology Associates. Dr. Rounseville-Norgaard is a native of Sioux Falls and a graduate of the University of South Dakota and Missouri State University. She earned her doctorate degree at the University of Florida. In addition to practicing audiology at the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center, Dr. Rounseville-Norgaard’s experience includes private practice; ear, nose & throat; and education.

Susan G. Komen Great Plains is introducing a new Treatment Assistance Program for individuals in Nebraska and South Dakota to help eligible breast cancer patients cover costs associated with treatment. The programs are among ten new community programs that received a total of more than $400,000 to provide medically underserved patients with breast health education, breast cancer screenings, and various types of support over the next year. The programs were selected for funding through a competitive application and independent review process.

Yankton Medical Clinic oncologist/hematologist Dr. Mary Lee Villanueva has been recertified as a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine in oncology. Dr. Villanueva is also board certified in internal medicine, hematology and is a clinical associate professor at the USD Sanford School of Medicine.

Orthopedic Nurse Carole Schultz, LPN, has received the 2018 Award for Nursing Excellence at Yankton Medical Clinic, PC. Nominations are submitted by the nursing staff and reviewed by a randomly selected award committee. Schulte has been a nurse for 40 years and has worked at Yankton Medical Clinic for 24 years. This is the third year for the award.

Ashlesha Kaushik, MD, has joined UnityPoint Clinic Pediatric Infectious Disease – Sergeant Bluff. Dr. Kaushik received her MD from Sawai Man Singh Medical College and Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center (Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University), and a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern, Children's Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Kaushik is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics: Pediatrics; American Board of Pediatrics: Pediatric Infectious Diseases; and Healthcare Epidemiology, Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship: Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).