By Dr. Bert C. Callahan
Beaver Dam Community Hospital
The landscape of health care is changing rapidly, for patients, providers, hospitals and health care systems.
In 2013, I made a career move to change from a private orthopedic practice, to an employed position. I gave the decision careful thought and consideration, and ultimately chose to join Beaver Dam Community Hospital (BDCH) in May 2013.
In 1996, my wife and I and our three young children left Fairbanks, Alaska after nine years in the U.S. Army, to move to Wisconsin and join a private orthopedic practice in Beaver Dam. Beaver Dam is our home, and we have raised our children here. When I was contemplating a new practice environment, BDCH was the logical choice.
Since 1996, the majority of my work and orthopedic surgeries have been performed at BDCH, and I have developed many strong relationships, and have a great deal of respect for the medical and nursing staff with whom I have worked.
Under John Landdeck, we witnessed the building of a new hospital and medical office building in 2006. I enjoyed working with John, and he is a man I greatly respect.
Current CEO Kim Miller has led BDCH since 2006, and brought a strong, innovative, collaborative, modern approach to the organization. She is a respected visionary leader who has enabled BDCH to expand, develop and improve a number of new service lines important to my practice, including a state-of-the-art Emergency Room, Anesthesia and Radiology services. Kim’s leadership has helped BDCH adapt to the changing health care environment, and position itself to adapt to dramatic health care changes on the horizon. Our community is very fortunate, and one of the few communities of our size in the nation, to have a strong, independent hospital with a new, state-of-the-art facility, services and equipment.
My field of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine covers most bone and joint disorders, including arthritis, fractures and cartilage injuries. Patients of all ages are affected, from kids riding bicycles or falling off of playground equipment, to the “weekend warrior” who injures a knee or shoulder in a basketball or softball game, to grandma or grandpa who takes an untimely fall. Throughout my career, BDCH has been very supportive of maintaining excellence in orthopedic care. Providing excellent orthopedic care requires an organizational commitment to providing the necessary resources that orthopedic surgeons need including facility, equipment and staff. Knowing BDCH has those resources, it was a natural choice for me to join our local health care organization, continue to support the mission of BDCH and to help to maintain the highest quality of care here in our region.
The experience for BDCH’s orthopedic patients is much more than the surgical procedure. BDCH has put into place a pre-operative teaching program to prepare patients for what to expect on the day of surgery. Well-trained and professional nursing and anesthesia staff guide the patient through the operation, and care for patients until they are discharged, or are admitted to the inpatient floor for further monitoring and care.
BDCH has experienced nursing staff to care for patients in the hospital setting. Rehabilitation after the surgical procedure is critical to recovery for most orthopedic patients. I have the privilege of working closely with BDCH’s Physical and Occupational Therapists as they shepherd orthopedic patients through the recovery process.
An important part of an orthopedic practice is the Sports Medicine services. We have a number of area high schools, all of which have active sports programs for boys and girls.
Participation in sports is beneficial for many, not just school age participants, but adults too. Being active, either competitively or recreationally, results in injury for some, and having a full spectrum of Sports Medicine treatment options available, as we have at BDCH, is critical. BDCH is very committed to Sports Medicine, with three Licensed Athletic Trainers on staff, as well as a knowledgeable orthopedic and rehabilitation staff. Our athletic trainers cover six area high schools. Additionally, BDCH trainers and our Physician Assistants are fully trained in IMPACT testing for concussion management.
A change of medical practice environment is not without its challenges. Yet, BDCH’s commitment to maintaining a strong, modern, orthopedic service line has been gratifying. Our community benefits from having four orthopedic surgeons providing care at BDCH, and from having a hospital that sees the importance of delivering high quality, cost effective, orthopedic care locally. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the BDCH team and to work collaboratively with excellent, dedicated staff to deliver leading-edge orthopedic care to our community.