Decade of growth for High Plains Podiatry

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Gazette Photo/Gene O. Morris High Plains Podiatry Staff - Dr. Rob Hinze, a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon, is surrounded by his staff which includes, from left, Ashlie DaCosta, Judy Boucher, Jennifer Hinze and Linda Kruger. This year marks the tenth anniversary of High Plains Podiatry, which was established by Dr. and Mrs. Hinze in 2004.

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Upon his arrival in McCook in July of 2004, Dr. Rob Hinze already had 12 appointments booked at the brand new High Plains Podiatry clinic. "My wife, Jennifer, did all the preparation. She researched the need for podiatry services in the McCook area. And, after determining the need was great, she arranged the financing, organized the office and did the advertising."

Her efforts were necessary because Dr. Hinze was completing his training as a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. "While I was taking my boards, Jennifer was back in Nebraska, making arrangements to start the clinic."

Ten years later -- looking back on a decade of growth and advances in surgical techniques and technology -- the Hinzes are grateful to the community, the region and the podiatric surgery profession for the reception they received.

"The timing could not have been better," Dr. Hinze said. "At the same time we started our practice, foot and ankle surgical methods were making great strides forward. In earlier years, lots of attention was focused on hip and knee surgeries. Then, in the early 2000s, manufacturers began making incredible advances in foot and ankle plates and screws," Dr. Hinze said.

The result was much faster healing times and much greater relief for foot pain. "High Plains Podiatry has grown every single year," Rob and Jennifer said. "We see between 100 and 200 patients every week."

To do so, Dr. Hinze and his staff travel extensively, seeing patients on a regular basis at satellite clinics in Imperial, Benkelman, Cambridge, Minden and Franklin. In addition, Dr. Hinze serves the nursing homes in Imperial, Bertrand, Wauneta and Trenton. He also sees patients at his main clinics in McCook and Holdrege.

Along with the advancements in foot and ankle surgical procedures, podiatric patients are benefitting from changes in how feet and ankles are protected after surgeries. "Remembering the old days, it's hard to believe, but in the ten years I have been doing surgeries, I only have had to put two patients' legs in casts. This has been possible because of pneumatic cam boots, the leg braces which strap on and are inflatable."

Diabetic foot care, nail care and heel pain relief are other major areas of emphasis for Dr. Hinze and the High Plains Podiatry team. "We are not a nail salon, but we do a lot of it," he said. High Plains Podiatry treats patients of all ages, but the large majority -- estimated at close to 80 percent -- are 65 and over.

Because of the patients' ages and the increasingly complex health care system, High Plains Podiatry devotes special attention to compliance standards for Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, from the beginning of their clinic in McCook, the Hinzes have maintained an electronic medical records system. "It's essential," Jennifer said. "By keeping complete records and staying up with all the changes, we have insured that patients receive all the benefits they can from insurance and health care programs."

Dr. Hinze and Jennifer, who serves as the business manager, are highly complimentary of their staff. "Linda Kruger, who has been with us from the start, is vital to the smooth operation of the business. She works the front desk and the back office and does a marvelous job in all she does." The Hinzes extended similar praise to their other staff members. Judy Boucher, who has been a member of the staff for eight years, handles insurance and other office tasks, and Ashlie DaCosta, on the staff for three years, is Dr. Hinze's medical assistant.

Adding to the busy pace at High Plains Podiatry, the Hinzes have developed other business enterprises in their years in Southwest Nebraska. The businesses include Hinze Orthotics and Prosthetics, started soon after the Hinzes arrived in McCook, and Kid's Corner Day Care. As High Plains Podiatry continued to expand, the orthotics and prosthetics' business was sold to Sky Prosthetics of Benkelman.

With a young family and keen community interests, the Hinze family keeps busy with a wide range of interests. They participate in activities at St. Patrick's Church and the Knights of Columbus, and help with softball, baseball and 4-H shooting sports. Their children are twins Maddy and Jackie, 12-year-old seventh graders at St. Patrick's School; Zach, 8, a second grader at St. Pat's; and Kaela, 5 1/2, a kindergarten student, also at St. Pat's.

As a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Rob Hinze is following a family tradition of health care service. His father, Dr. Steven Hinze, is an oral surgeon, and Rob's two brothers, Todd and Monte, and his sister, Michelle, are also medical care providers. Todd is a chiropractor in McCook, Monte is a chiropractor in Omaha, and Michelle is a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon in Omaha. The family's devotion to the medical field extends even further as Rob has two uncles and several cousins who have careers in health care. His uncle Matt is a plastic surgeon in Lincoln and his uncle Grant is a dentist in Holdrege.

"We are proud to share office space in McCook with my father, Steve, and my brother, Todd. As I said earlier, the timing couldn't have been better. The modern building, at 306 West D, was being completed just as I was completing my residency. Thanks to my family's vision and my wife, Jennifer's, preparations, I was ready to see and serve patients as soon as we came to town."

Busy from the start, Dr. Hinze can't believe how quickly the past ten years have gone by. "The best part has been the patients I have been privileged to serve and the people I work with. This truly is the Good Life and I have been blessed to serve at a time of great advances in podiatry."

Provider: Rob Hinze, DPM

Address: 306 West D; McCook, Nebraska

Other Offices: Imperial, Holdrege, Minden, Franklin, Cambridge, Benkelman

Phone Number: (308) 345-3773 or 1-877-345-3668

Website: www.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: