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Rural Partners in Medicine

In the News

Last Chance: Panhandle Public Health District Needs Survey

· In the News ·

Help identify community needs by taking a quick survey! Its purpose is to get input about the health of the community. The Panhandle Public Health District, area hospitals, and economic development will use the results and other information to identify the most pressing concerns which can be addressed through community action.

The estimated completion time for this survey is 10 minutes or less and will be available through May 31.
To access the survey, please click either the “English” or “Spanish” link:

Celebrating with our Partners!

· In the News ·

Recently at our partnering hospital, the Lexington Regional Health Center’s staff and Dr. Jeffrey Schopp, Orthopedic Surgeon had some fun celebrating the local public power company’s 80th anniversary.


Suffering from Lower Back Pain?

· In the News ·

Are you one of many who suffers from lower back pain? Read the article Do I Need to See a Doctor for My Lower Left Back Pain? If you decide it’s time to see a doctor, remember you have options! Many of RPM’s partnering hospitals have Orthopedic Spine Specialist. These hospitals include Box Butte General Hospital (Alliance, NE), Lexington Regional Medical Center (Lexington, NE),  Phelps Memorial Health Center (Holdrege, NE) and Sidney Regional Medical Center (Sidney, NE).


BBGH’s June Schedule

· In the News ·

Box Butte General Hospital’s June 2017 Orthopedic Surgery and Urology Schedule. Appointments can be made by calling 308.761.7244. Please visit for more information!


Regional West Welcomes Karen Wenner, APRN-BC, FA-C!

· In the News ·

Regional West Physicians Clinic-Orthopaedics welcomed Karen Wenner, APRN-BC, FA-C on February 6, 2017. Karen will be available for comprehensive orthopaedic and musculoskeletal care for arthritis, reconstructive surgery, hand disease, hand trauma, sports medicine, overuse disorders, arthroscopic surgery, pediatric musculoskeletal disease, and trauma. To visit with Karen, please call 308-630-1717.


RPM Newsletter: The Connector

· In the News ·

Welcome Dr. MacMillan to Regional West!

· In the News ·

We are pleased to announce Jeffrey MacMillan, MD has begun working at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, NE as of February 6, 2017. Dr. MacMillan is board certified in orthopaedic surgery. His clinic will offer comprehensive orthopaedic and musculoskeletal care for arthritis, reconstructive surgery, hand disease, hand trauma, sports medicine, overuse disorders, arthroscopic surgery, pediatric musculoskeletal disease, and trauma. To schedule an appointment, call 308-630-1717!


Meyer Visits Kosovo with American300 Tours

· In the News ·

In November 2016, Eric Meyer, M.D. spent some time volunteering with American300 Tours. This specific tour was Everest Tour II (Never Quit Series). During this time, Eric and fellow climbers shared their experiences with our Army troops and fellow American300 volunteers at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo!


Photo courtesy of


Common Urology Problems

· In the News ·

Recently, Dr. Childs, a Urologist at Lexington Regional Health Center and Box Butte General Hospital, took time out of his day to talk about common Urology problems on NTV’s Good Life. View his interview here . If you wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Childs in Lexington call (308)324-8343 or (308)762.7244 for Alliance. Photo courtesy of Lexington Regional Health Center’s Facebook page.

If you wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Childs call (308)324-8343 for Lexington or (308)762.7244 for Alliance. Photo courtesy of Lexington Regional Health Center’s Facebook page.stacy childs NTV

Are Bigger Hospitals Always the Better Choice?

· In the News ·

Doctors usually think bigger hospitals offer better surgery. Turns out, we’re wrong.

During surgical training I got a call from my mother with an unusually focused question. She had just returned from the doctor’s office where she was told she needed to have her gallbladder removed. Her question to me was simple enough — “Where should I have my surgery?”

Like nearly every health care provider, I’m quite used to having family members ask for medical advice. Usually it is in other fields I do not practice, and I often guide them back to the doctor they’re already seeing.

But this time was different. Not only was my mom asking about a procedure I have actually performed, she was also asking an important question about variation in hospital quality that is the focus of my research work. Even if I weren’t her son, I was probably a good person to ask and should have an informed answer for her. Like every son, I wanted my mother to have the best operation possible. I told her to travel across town to the large academic center. She resisted.

My mother preferred to stay closer to home at a small community hospital….

This article can be found here: Doctors usually think bigger hospitals offer better surgery. Turns out, we’re wrong

New Study: Care Improves when Surgeons Travel to Rural Areas

· In the News ·

Access to Care improves when Orthopaedic Surgeons Travel to Treat Rural Patients

Patient travel times reduced for more than 450,000 Iowa residents

ROSEMONT, Ill. (May 11, 2016)—Patients living in rural areas are more likely to be older, overweight and less physically active—all risk factors for orthopaedic conditions. And yet, with few orthopaedic surgeons practicing in rural areas, access to care is limited. A new study in the May 4 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgeryassessed the impact of visiting consultant clinics (VCCs), staffed by orthopaedic surgeons, who routinely travel to meet with patients in rural areas.

While America’s rural population is aging faster than its urban population, only 30 percent of rural hospitals have a full-time orthopaedic surgeon. As a result, patients often must travel long distances for orthopaedic care, and many patients delay treatment resulting in poorer outcomes and increased costs.

In this study, researchers specifically looked at VCCs in Iowa, an arrangement that involves regular visits by an orthopaedic surgeon to an outreach site, typically a rural hospital located in a community too small to support a full-time specialist. Patients meet with doctors in person, and receive diagnostic services and some outpatient procedures. More complex procedures are usually referred to larger hospitals with the appropriate resources to support major procedures.

Data from 2014 were used to estimate average trip length for participating orthopaedic surgeons and patients in all Iowa census tracts. Primary practice locations, visiting consultant clinic locations, and census tracts were classified according to 2010 Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCA) classifications.

Among the results:

  • In 2014, 4,596 VCC days were provided in 80 predominately rural sites throughout Iowa.
  • Forty-five percent of all Iowa-based orthopaedic surgeons participated in a VCC, driving a total of 32,496 miles per month.
  • The number of Iowa counties with an orthopaedic surgeon increased from 35 to 88, out of 99 counties.
  • For rural patients, the average driving distance to the nearest orthopaedic surgeon was reduced more than 50 percent—from 19.2 miles to 8.4 miles—improving access to orthopaedic surgeons for between 450,000 and 670,000 Iowa residents.

“Orthopaedic surgeons in Iowa have been involved in rural outreach for more than 25 years,” said lead study author Thomas S. Gruca, PhD, a professor in the Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa. “By traveling to 80 different sites every month, these physicians from Iowa and surrounding states reduced patient travel times and improved access to orthopaedic care.”

This article can be found here:AAOS News Room

Dan Williams, M.D. Featured in Scottsbluff Star Herald

· In the News ·

daniel-williamsRural Life Perfect Fit for Anesthesiologists

When Dan walked into Wendy’s high school classroom in Switzerland she knew she wanted to meet him. She was 17. He was 20 and was in the country after accepting an invitation from the Swiss ski team to practice with them. Wendy’s English teacher thought it would be a good idea to have Dan stop by to hear what a real American sounded like…

To read more, please visit Scottsbluff Star Herald

Supporting American 300

· In the News ·

Our very own Dr. Eric Meyer volunteered his time with the organization American 300. He and fellow Everest climbers spent time in various countries visiting our service members. Each climber shared real life stories of how they operated in the death zone while on Everest. To learn more or see photos from Eric’s Everest Tour, please visit the Facebook page of  American 300 Tours.


Celebrate the Power of Rural Health!

· In the News ·

National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural America. It also gives a chance to bring awareness to the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face.

Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why nearly 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call them home. These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are places where neighbors know each other, listen to each other, respect each other and work together to benefit the greater good. These communities provide the rest of the country with a wealth of services and commodities, and they are the economic engine that has helped the United State become the world economic power it is today.

Today more than ever, rural communities must address accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and under- insured citizens. And rural hospitals – which are often the economic foundation of their communities in addition to being the primary providers of care – struggle daily as declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels make it challenging to serve their residents. Take a minute to think how you can help address these issues and bring power back rural America.

RPM would like to thank all of our partners who make it possible to empower rural health!

To learn more about rural America please visit

Ribbon Cutting for the New SRMC Hospital!

· In the News ·

Sidney Regional Medical Center is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, December 8th. According to this is a tentative date that they hope you will add to your calendars. Watch for more details to come on their website.

Photo courtesy of Saunders Construction.