I Didn’t Know the Hospital Does That!

I Didn’t Know the Hospital Does That!


Michael Ladevich, Interim CEOBy Michael Ladevich, Interim CEO


10 years ago: 50% of hospital patients stayed at Murray County Medical Center

Today: 33% of hospital patients stay at Murray County Medical Center, 45% use hospitals in Sioux Falls

In the last six months, I’ve been struck by how many times people have told me: “I didn’t know the hospital does that!” Three months ago, an aunt and uncle of one of our nurses were walking aimlessly around the hospital late on a Friday afternoon. Things were quiet and few staff were present, so I intercepted them before they entered the in-patient area.

Facility Tour to Former Residents

After finding out that they were former Murray County residents and related to one of our nurses, I decided to give them the nickel tour of the hospital and clinic. These two transplanted to Los Angeles (L.A.) 50 years ago:  the man was a radiologist and the woman was a nurse. During the tour of the hospital, he was very impressed with our high technology, especially in Radiology, and she was excited about the level of technology and the comfort that the in-patient rooms offered patients and families. They told me that they would have to apologize for trying to talk their niece/nurse out of working for MCMC.  Their expectations and assumptions—based on 40+ year careers as a physician and nurse working in L.A. hospitals—regarding MCMC’s quality of the equipment, facility and staff were completely upended.  Score 1 for MCMC.

Trauma & Stroke Program Accolades

Three weeks ago, our Trauma Program was surveyed by three professionals from Minneapolis. Their comments during the exit interview were highly complimentary regarding the level of professionalism of our staff and structure of our Trauma Program. Similarly, five months ago a survey of our Stroke Program lauded our excellent results and the structure of our program. Both groups of surveyors were pleasantly surprised at our staff’s professionalism and competence which is yielding superior results for residents of this community. Score 2 for MCMC.

Obstetrics, ER & Babies!

Finally, while Obstetrics is not a focus of MCMC, over the past year our providers and nurses have been praised from the OB staff in Sioux Falls for the emergency deliveries of three babies in our ER. Score 3 more for MCMC.

A lot of Murray County residents are like the couple from L.A. who didn’t know that our hospital has high-tech equipment or that we have such strong programs or well-trained staff. We obviously need to do a better job of telling our residents about what we do well here.

Areas of Focus

Endoscopy & Colonoscopy

One area of focus which is particularly strong at MCMC are upper endoscopy (procedure used to look at the digestive tract through the mouth/throat) and colonoscopy. Regardless of the town where you receive your primary care, a screening colonoscopy is a fact of life and can be truly lifesaving because the procedure helps avoid cancer as it did when a pre-malignant polyp was found at age 40 in my wife. Imagine what would have happened if that polyp had another 10 or 15 years to grow? So why does anybody want to travel to Sioux Falls for this simple procedure? Dr. Snow and his amazing medical team have you covered.


A second area of focus that is invisible to many people is MCMC’s strong orthopedic service line. I recently spoke to a friend who was unaware that Dr. Nwakama performs a “reverse” shoulder procedure at MCMC. Dr. Nwakama has been on staff here for more than 10 years and also performs hip replacement surgery using the “anterior” approach which is less painful and has faster recovery than the traditional hip surgery. Did you know that Dr. Nwakama was educated at Mayo Clinic and has additional training in complex hand surgery? Did you know that Dr. Nwakama brings his most complex cases to MCMC because of our highly trained anesthesia, OR nurses, and in-patient nurses?  A better way to think about Orthopedics is that we do it all (except spine surgery) and do it better!

Like spine surgery, we don’t do everything here. If we don’t provide a service or specialty, we will transfer or refer you to where your care will be optimized. With that being said, we can address and provide services for 90% of your healthcare needs. And we can provide better care that you can trust because this is a small community. Come to us because we’re as good or better than the big city—you have a gem in Murray County Medical Center—don’t lose it because you aren’t informed about all of our strengths.

If you want a personal tour to see what all we do at MCMC, please call us at 507.836.1244 and Darlene Mechtenberg or I will be happy to walk you around and point out how much we ARE capable of here at MCMC.


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