Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center reports successful year

Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center reports successful year "I am pleased to report that the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center, in cooperation with the medical staff and in partnership with Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation, is celebrating the completion of a very successful year in serving the community," said John Paulson, CEO.

This success has been accomplished in each of the five priorities set forth 12 months ago to bring more and better health care to the area.

"In regard to our first priority of providing excellent patient and resident care, we are proud that recent satisfaction surveys of patients and residents show our medical center is being ranked higher than VHA's Upper Midwest comparison group of 20 similar health facilities," Paulson added.

The medical center's case load has also increased significantly this past year, particularly in the following areas: admissions +9 percent, surgery +26 percent, long-term care +13 percent, laboratory +47 percent and X-ray +20 percent.

The second priority of achieving excellent employee satisfaction is shown by the current ability the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center has to recruit, retain and empower a complete staff of highly competent health care professionals.

"Our patients are fortunate to be served by such health professionals," said Dr. William Dendinger, chief of staff. "The staff of our local medical center is committed to excellence."

The third priority of introducing new services and developing pride and leadership has been the focus of the center's Service Excellence program.

More specialty outreach and new local diagnostic services have been developed. They are supported by the medical staff, which included this year the addition of new family physicians Dr. Vicki Walker and Dr. Mary Jo Olson and pediatrician Dr. Matt Krell.

New surgical programs in urology, ENT, orthopedics and gynecology have also been developed. More new services and additional technology improvements are in the planning stages.

The fourth priority of ensuring financial stability to preserve the center's facilities and add services and equipment has been achieved through the combination of increased utilization, departmental performance improvement projects, and a strategic development plan established with the Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation (DHA&F).

Fern Kaufman, DHA&F president said, "Our local health care partnership with Sioux Valley is stronger than ever and is providing real dividends to the community in the form of access to comprehensive, high quality health care. We look forward to expanding our ability to improve the health of the individuals and communities we serve through our new Builders Club."

The fifth priority of reaching out to the community and university can be seen in the Sioux Valley/USD Wellness and Community Health Education Program. This new initiative features fitness, health promotion and disease management programs and classes for all age groups. Sioux Valley/USD Sports Medicine provides high quality athletic training and sports medicine services for The University of South Dakota athletic program and Vermillion and Elk Point-Jefferson high schools.

Dr. Tom Olson, sports medicine medical director, said, "We are proud of the accomplishments of the sports medicine program and areexcited with the success of the student athletes and teams of USD, and Vermillion and Elk Point-Jefferson high schools."

Over the last year a University Medical Center Task Force, made up of USD Health Science program leadership and Sioux Valley clinical directors, has been developing plans for improving health education, research and community health opportunities in Vermillion for USD and the Vermillion Medical Center. Several grants have been applied for to assist in this development.

"Our number one goal has to be helping make Vermillion a medical center in its own right," said Paulson. "We need to do this for Vermillion and also for surrounding communities, including those we look forward to serving in northeast Nebraska when the Newcastle-Vermillion bridge opens in November.

"Many involved in health care in the community believe this is Vermillion's best chance to be equal to communities like Watertown, Pierre, Yankton and similar-sized cities in terms of health care we can offer," he continued. "Supporting the development of our Vermillion Medical Center is a dedicated and caring medical staff and employees."

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