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Congratulations to the Carbon County High School Seniors receiving the 2016 Dr. James & Juanita Kane Scholarship. Aspen Allen, Lori Knight and Gunnar Nelson, all of Red Lodge High School, and Alicia Crane, a Certified Nurse Assistant at Beartooth, were awarded scholarships.  Rob Ringer, Chair of the Foundation Scholarship Committee, presented the awards at the Annual Meeting of the Memorial Hospital Association, the membership association that owns and operates Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge.

Beartooth Billings Clinic Foundation’s Dr. James and Juanita Kane Scholarship is presented annually to local graduating Carbon County seniors who wish to pursue studies in healthcare, as well as to one Beartooth Billings Clinic employee who desires to further their education in the field.  This fund, established by Dr. Kane and his family-- and now supported by many other generous donors-- encourages area students to obtain skills in the medical profession with the goal that they will return to the Carbon County area to serve the community upon completion of their post-secondary education.

 The scholarship program, and the opportunities it creates, is intended to honor Dr. James Kane for his nearly 60 year commitment to providing quality rural healthcare in Carbon County.  Dr. Kane was a general practice physician who began practicing medicine in the area in 1952.  Dr.  Kane’s dedication to his patients and his community is exemplary. 

(L-R) Aspen Allen, Alicia Crane, Lori Knight, Gunnar Nelson

Select procedures can be performed close to home

A higher level of health care is now available in Red Lodge.  Patients from the surrounding region who desire certain outpatient surgical procedures can have the surgery conveniently performed at Beartooth Billings Clinic.  Both surgeons and patients find many benefits in the new outpatient surgery services available at Beartooth.

Surgeons choose to perform certain elective minimally invasive procedures at Beartooth because they like the spacious sophisticated operating room, the expertise of the highly trained surgical team, and the fact that their patients don’t have to travel 60 miles before--and after--a procedure, especially when driving conditions are poor. 

There are a number of reasons patients will prefer having their outpatient surgery at Beartooth as well. According to Stephanie Anderson, Outpatient Surgery Coordinator at Beartooth, “Patients will avoid the extra time and cost of driving to Billings, plus we have ample parking close to the facility. A patient will receive the personal care they are accustomed to at Beartooth, which is more difficult to find in larger hospitals. We offer flexible procedure scheduling and most patients appreciate how quickly they will be back in their own home following surgery.”  Anderson noted outpatient procedures are less invasive, allowing a patient to return to their own home the same day--which generally results in faster recovery times.  In some cases, a surgical procedure can be scheduled at Beartooth sooner than if it were scheduled in Billings due to availability of the facility.

The Beartooth Billings Clinic Operating Suite. made possible through the generosity of the Cory Cabral and Jim Drescher Families, was included in the original construction of the new medical facility in 2010.  The ramp up phase included a rigorous certification and licensing process which requires passing strict safety and medical standards; purchasing sophisticated equipment and recruiting surgeons. Beartooth’s first outpatient surgical procedure, the removal of a mass, was performed in January by John Pender, MD, Billings Clinic General Surgeon.

Examples of elective surgical procedures that can be performed at Beartooth include removal of lumps, fatty tumors, breast biopsy of superficial mass, excision of Skin Cancer spots, open hernia repair, hemorrhoid banding and removal of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoidectomy).  The patient’s general health and other conditions may affect the ability of the procedure to be done at Beartooth.  Patients who are thinking of having an elective surgical procedure should ask their doctor or surgeon if the procedure could be done at Beartooth.  For info, call Stephanie Anderson, RN, Outpatient Surgery Coordinator, at 406.446.0560.

Proceeds from Reverse Auction purchase Computers on Wheels

Proceeds from the 2015 Beartooth Ball’s Reverse Auction enabled the Beartooth Billings Clinic Foundation to fund the purchase of seven Computers on Wheels (COWS) for use in a number of Beartooth patient care departments. 

The portable units allow patient care staff to electronically “chart” patient information without leaving the patient’s side.  Before the COWS arrived, information had to be manually written down on paper, and then entered digitally in the patient’s electronic file when staff was out of the patient’s room or following the patient’s appointment.   COWS allow for better patient care by increasing efficiency and accuracy in the entering of patient care data, and by reducing the time staff is away from the patient.

According to Amy Hummel, Physical Therapist at the Beartooth Billings Clinic satellite PT office in  Joliet, “The mobile “COWS” allow the therapist to have instant access to the patient chart and teaching materials in a safe and comfortable manner for the therapist.  They increase patient safety by having access to the last treatment during the current treatment and allow for faster progressive therapy. Also, real time documentation by the therapist is one of the most accurate methods of improving patient safety and care.”

Adding that “Developing patient home exercise programs during treatment sessions from the therapist’s laptop device during a session in the gym decreases patient wait time after the visit is completed and allows for immediate teaching with the patient, without disruption of care or having the need for available furniture or counter top space in the gym area.  The ability of the mobile stand to raise or lower to meet sitting or standing height is a great advantage.”

COWS are used by staff in our Acute Care, Rehabilitation, Outpatient Surgery, Clinic and Emergency Departments.  (Pictured below, Amy Hummel, PT, enters patient data on one of the COWS at Physical Therapy Joliet.)

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