Phelps Memorial Grows By Bringing Providers to Patients

Phelps Memorial Grows By Bringing Providers to Patients Main Photo

21 Dec 2022

When rural Wilcox resident Cindy Lindstrom needed medical care this summer, she was relieved that her hospital stay was at least close to home at Phelps Memorial Health Center.

The team at PMHC treated her like she was in a “spa,” Lindstrom said. And, the food was incredible as well.

Now that Lindstrom is battling another health issue, cancer, she is grateful that instead of traveling hundreds of miles, she travels just a few miles down the road for chemotherapy treatments at PMHC.

In many rural areas, hospitals are closing and residents have to travel long distances for health care. That’s not the case in Phelps County as Phelps Memorial Health Center continues to be one of the top rural healthcare facilities in the state and continues to add more services.

“Phelps Memorial is embracing the concept of bringing the specialists to the patients instead of requiring patients to travel,” PMHC’s Director of Marketing and Business Development Holly Rahmann said. “We prioritize high-quality patient care with incredibly talented surgeons that can provide surgeries and treatments on-site in Holdrege.”

That business model is working. Of the 64 critical access hospitals in Nebraska, Rahmann said only six have annual revenue of more than $40 million, including Sidney, Holdrege, York, Alliance, McCook, and Beatrice.

This month, PMHC will start offering heart catheterization procedures on-site. It is made possible through a new partnership with Pioneer Heart Institute and Advanced Medical Imaging in Lincoln and the addition of a full-time local physician’s assistant, Sadie Johnson.

In 2020, PMHC completed a 42,000-square-foot expansion. Since then, the hospital has added the new cardiac catheterization lab, renovated the imaging department to add an in-house PET scanner and renovated the ortho/spine clinic at the Phelps Memorial Plaza.

“In early 2023, we will begin construction on the second level above our Phelps Medical Group clinic, which will become a new, larger specialty clinic that will accommodate more patient and minor procedure rooms for our visiting specialists,” Rahmann said.

In addition to the physical changes, Rahmann said PMHC has added a urologist; a gastroenterologist; an otolaryngologist (ENT) who will do surgeries at PMHC; a behavioral health psychiatrist who sees patients via the telehealth system in the specialty clinic; and a second physician assistant, Jessica Harms, in the ortho/spine clinic who specializes in spine care.

PMHC partners with an oncology group to offer chemotherapy treatments on-site, and the hospital has added one more day of care each month for the oncologists to be on-site.

Rahmann said another reason for the hospital’s success is the strong relationship between the hospital and the medical staff, and a “team of dedicated, hardworking individuals who go above and beyond for their patients and each other.”

PMHC currently employs 294 full- and part-time employees and is home to seven local primary care physicians, one podiatrist, five nurse practitioners and seven physician assistants, plus an additional group of six advanced practice providers who are staffing the emergency room full-time. It also has three CRNAs and 42 visiting specialists who work through Phelps Memorial’s specialty clinics. The hospital’s clinics provide care for cardiology, pulmonology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, orthopedics and spine care, psychiatry, urology, interventional radiology, therapy and rehabilitation, and more.