Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Life Lessons

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Sometimes, life has lessons for us that we don’t truly appreciate until much later.
Many years ago, when I was a very wet behind the ears new doctor, I had the privilege of being part of the care team for an elderly Native American woman. She had been transferred from somewhere in rural South Dakota to our hospital in the city in hopes of identifying her disease and ascertaining how best to help her. Her daughter accompanied her. The medical team was convinced we knew “best,” while her daughter was determined that we were not going to take a single step that might conflict with her mother’s values. The stage was set for conflict. 
As an intern on one of my first rotations, I just could not understand why someone would come to us for help, and then not be willing to follow our recommendations for testing and procedures that we felt would give us information we needed. We were frustrated. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I learned a lot from that fierce patient advocate.
In retrospect, the most obvious lesson was the importance of acknowledging that people have different values, and those values are shaped by many things, including culture and religion. While it may be true that some values are shared across cultures, it is a mistake to assume that we can understand another person’s values and priorities through the prism of our own, or based upon what we think we know about them.
Healthcare providers can best help their patients by taking time to discuss cultural values, sacred traditions, and priorities with patients. This is especially true when it comes to end of life care, but it also applies to situations such as acceptance of medical testing, preferences regarding prescription drugs versus non-pharmaceutical alternatives and culture-based healing practices.
Another lesson was the importance of an advocate for the sick and vulnerable. It is extremely valuable for both the patient and the care team to have someone else present with the patient. This is a person the patient trusts to help clarify their concerns, to remember information, and to pass that information along to the patient’s loved ones. Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, few patients utilized an advocate, except in the gravest of circumstances. Now, procedures in place to protect patients, staff, and family from this dreadful virus, limit the opportunity for patients to have an advocate physically present. However, most facilities support connection to patient advocates via phone call or video call.
In the end, a wise chaplain arranged for a traditional healer to visit our patient in her hospital room. I was not present for the ceremony, but the senior physicians and the daughter agreed on a plan of action. We didn’t cure the patient, but we were able to offer her physical comfort in her final days, and I believe that by blending her culture and traditions with our medical ethos, we helped both the patient and her daughter find spiritual comfort as well. 
Debra Johnston, MD is part of The Prairie Doc® team of physicians and currently practices family medicine in Brookings, SD.

DOC

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Choosing Healthy Habits

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic with many people spending a lot of time at home, a wise friend told me that people will likely come out of this “a chunk, a hunk, or a drunk.” So, here we are four months later, and I have observed these outcomes in several of... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Radiology…It’s Not Always Black and White

“Doctor, I need an x-ray.” As a rheumatologist, I hear this statement many times from patients who believe imaging will help determine the cause of symptoms, such as back pain or knee pain. It seems simple, take a picture, and find out what is wrong. However, radiology... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - As Plain as the Nose on your Face

My friend broke my nose at an after-prom party in high school. It was nothing deliberate, such as fighting over a girl. Rather, we bumped heads while wearing those big round air-filled sumo wrestler suits. Besides hurting a lot, I remember thinking, “I’ve never been... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Heart of the Matter

A few years ago, I spoke at a conference for women physicians. My talk opened with a simple question.  What organ does the heart supply blood to first? It was a deceptively simple question, but the room was silent as they all pondered what they thought was a trick question.... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Native American Medicine Wheel

In recent years, I’ve learned of wonderful aspects of Native American culture, especially the sacred medicine wheel or hoop of life with variations in colors and meanings according to each tribe and nation. The circle is a universal spiritual symbol, but the Native American... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Opioids: The Unfolding of a Crisis

By now everyone with a television or internet connection has heard of the “Opioid Crisis in America”.  Deaths from accidental overdoses of opioids each year have now surpassed deaths from automobile accidents.  Depending on whose numbers you read, these... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Give the Gift of Organ Donation

At the bottom right hand corner of my driver’s license there is a small heart and the word “donor”.  The print is small and easy to miss among all the other information contained.  That one word, I would argue, is the most important piece of data there.... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Secrets of Circulation

The medical history books reveal secrets of circulation and blood pressure that rival the best novels of intrigue. Years ago, before people had figured out how blood circulates, second century Greek scientist Galen, had the idea that blood moved from the right side of the heart... [More]

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COURT

Wallace County District Court Proceedings

Rene Trevino appeared in Wallace County District Court on October 2, 2019 for sentencing in case number 2019 CR 12.  Trevino had been charged with 1 Count Domestic Battery, a Class B, Person Misdemeanor on September 7, 2019.  He appeared in court with court-appointed... [More]

Traffic Court for January and February

Catherine Elizabeth Capra, Pleasant Hill, Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred, court costs $108. Justin Blake Meyer, St. Francis, Kans, liquor purchased by minor, nolo contendre, fined $200, court costs $239. Transporting an open container, guilty plea, fined $200.... [More]

Traffic Court September-December

Forman, David Scott, Miami Fla, driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone. Fines $177 Court Cost $108. Hagan, Audrey Ann, Columbia Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. Deferred. Court Cost $108. Pfeffer, Samuel Tyler, Sharon Springs, Reckless Driving.  Bench Trial – Not... [More]

Traffic Court up to September 2019

Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03.  Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]

Traffic Court for April 2019

James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]

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NEWS

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USD 241 First Day of School Postponed

On Saturday, July 25th Superintendent Bruce Bolen and Principal Christy Hammer announced that the decision had been made to delay the school year in order for the teachers to have additional days to prepare the safest environment possible for students and staff. The first day... [More]

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KDA Asks Public to Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has been notified that several Kansas residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time. The packages were sent by mail; some... [More]

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Jammin' Randy at the South Park

Jammin’ Randy appeared last Friday at South Park to perform for area children, sponsored by the Sharon Springs Public Library.

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2nd Annual DJ Noyes Memorial Motorcycle Fun Run

Tri-State Coalition of Concerned Motorcyclists had 42 motorcycles and 48 riders who joined the cause of raising funds for DJ’s Toy Fund for Sick Children on Sunday, July 19th.  The event raised over $2900. Riders left Oakley from the Casey’s General Store at... [More]

A Look In The Window

It has been a long time since we have been able to enjoy each others company at the Senior Center.  The building was closed on March 16, 2020 due to Covid19.  The closure has lasted much longer than necessary for the virus but there are many long overdue upgrades being... [More]

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University of Kansas Program Tracing COVID-19 In Wastewater Provides Early Warning to Kansans Of Virus Spread

The University of Kansas School of Engineering and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have expanded a project to detect COVID-19 virus in the wastewater systems of local communities across the state. The original project launched this spring looked for evidence of... [More]

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Zooming into her 90s

Covid-19 restrictions couldn’t keep Bernice David’s family from celebrating her 90th birthday, Sunday, July 19th. Family members who had planned to visit over fair weekend spent the morning in a zoom meeting via computers, iPads, and smartphones, to wish her a happy... [More]

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WCHS Prom King & Queen

Prom King Jeremy Voth and Queen Lakin Perry were crowned at Wallace County High School prom last Saturday, July 18th.  Prom had been postponed last spring due to Coronavirus restrictions.  Jeremy is the son of J.J. and JoLynn Voth. Lakin is the daughter of Heath and... [More]

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Jul 16, 2020

The re-scheduled Annual Meeting of the Fort Wallace Memorial Association will be held Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 5 pm at the Fort Wallace Muuseum. This year’s meeting will be more low-key; there will be annual reports and the election of officers, but no educational program.... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jul 9, 2020

Visitorship remains steady at the Fort Wallace Museum, with a strong number of area people, as well as travelers along Hwy 40. Work continues on the Weskan Sod Schoolhouse display by Patty Lou Lock, Lynn and Rita Kirkham, which will showcase information about our County’s... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jun 25, 2020

It takes a team to bring together a great project at the Fort Wallace Museum and here’s another great example! Strategic Doing through the Dane G. Hansen Foundation brought about the desire for more children’s activities and programming, a “children’s... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jun 4, 2020

Our good news to share is that the Fort Wallace Museum has now re-opened to the public! Our main changes in operation will be more frequent wiping down of door handles and in sign-in procedures. Our staff will not be giving tours for the moment, as we try to minimize contact... [More]

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Bugle Notes - May 28, 2020

Although it was a very different year, the Wallace Community still managed to honor the sacrifices of our military on Memorial Day 2020.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions that are still in place, a “Do-It-Yourself” observance was held in the morning at the cemetery,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - May 7, 2020

The Museum has been missing its visitors, but things are still happening on the grounds! A long-time need has been addressed by some of our hard-working volunteers, combined with the generosity of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation through the Wallace County Foundation. Over the past... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Apr 2, 2020

The Fort Wallace Museum continues to be closed to visitors until April 6th, when the Board will re-evaluate opening hours once more. We do have staff putting in hours at the Museum on most days, so do feel free to give us a call at 785.891.3564 to ask a question or leave a message. ... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Mar 19, 2020

This past weekend, the Guardians of Fort Wallace Museum’s Fundraiser Banquet was compelled to greatly scale back their planned events, due to weather. as well as health concerns. The “Harvesting the Plains” History Symposium went on with a very limited audience.... [More]

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