McCook Clinic focuses on triple aim - better health, better care, lower healthcare costs
McCOOK, Nebraska -- When Dr. Fred Shank arrived in McCook in 1944, he brought with him a belief in the value of a clinic approach, teaming up with other doctors to provide health care services. With World War II drawing to a close, the idea quickly caught on and other well-known McCook doctors -- including Dr. Karrer, Dr. Batty and Dr. James -- joined Dr. Shank later in 1940s and 50s to establish McCook Clinic on West Seventh Street, across from where Hillcrest Nursing Home now stands.
In the 70 years since Dr. Shank's arrival there have been many changes in the McCook medical scene, but through it all McCook Clinic has played a central role, growing to the place today that the clinic provides medical services to close to 20,000 patients in a wide area of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.
"McCook Clinic has been blessed," said Brian Rokusek, the Clinic's administrator "We are very fortunate to now be located on the hospital campus, with the excellent hospital facilities and a visiting team of specialists to help us serve patients."
Growing steadily in recent years, the medical staff at McCook Clinic is at its highest level ever. With the arrival of Dr. Kristin Fulkerson in August, the Clinic now has nine physicians.
The team of family practice physicians includes Richard Klug, M.D.; Mark Serbousek, M.D.; Corinne Phillips-Ward, M.D.; John West. M.D.; Lori Reece, M.D.; Roselyn Remington, M.D.; Jason Blomstedt, D.O.; Brett Lindau, D.O., and Dr. Fulkerson, M.D.
Supplementing the medical care team at McCook Clinic are three Physician Assistants and a Nurse Practitioner. The practitioners are Chuck Krysl, PA-C; Mary Haller, PA-C; David Powell, PA-C; and Alyssa Bauer, NP-C.
With 35 exam rooms and a total of 17,000 square feet of space, McCook Clinic is open to serve patients from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Each day starts with the walk-in clinics, scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. "Walk-ins are always welcome," Rokusek said. "We devote the morning hours specifically to walk-ins, but if medical needs arise at other times of the day, we want people to know they can come to the clinic for care without an appointment."
Among the many services McCook Clinic provides for the community are the physicals that the Clinic does for those participating in sports at McCook High School. The physicals are done at a nominal cost and all monies received are donated back to the Bison Boosters.
With a total team of 50 staff members -- including nurses, laboratory and x-ray technicians, medical records personnel and receptionists -- the goal of McCook Clinic is to provide the most efficient and effective treatment possible for the patients it serves. In addition to the daily service at McCook Clinic, the Clinic's medical staff also helps staff the emergency room at Community Hospital and regularly sees patients at the Trenton Medical Clinic, the Curtis Medical Clinic and Hillcrest Nursing Home.
To help accomplish the multiple medical care responsibilities, McCook Clinic has been certified as the only Patient Centered Medical Home in Southwest Nebraska. The focus of the program is to educate patients on health care needs and the sharing of decision-making between the patient and the physician.
"This is McCook Clinic's highest priority," Rokusek said.
"Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of care gaining popularity in public and private sectors around the country," Rokusek said. "It is emerging independently of federal health care reform. The concept is similar to traditional small town family doctors, who developed long-term familiar relationships with patients."
To help patients stay healthy and keep costs in check, McCook Clinic now has two staff members whose full-time role is coordination of patient care. The care coordinators are there to help patients in whatever way the patients and their physician feel can best lead to the triple aim of better health, better care and lower costs.
"Our doctors and staff know that building relationships with our patients and working closely with other health care professionals are the keys to improving health and treating illness," Rokusek said.
For more information, call McCook Clinic at 344-4110 and ask to speak to one of the patient care coordinators. Information is also available by going to the clinic website -- www.mccookclinic.com -- and using the patient portal.