Posted 11 months ago
By Kevin Horn
One of the top concerns expressed by clients of Box Butte General Hospital (BBGH) has been the recruitment of medical providers to meet the health care needs of the communities the hospital serves, both now and in the future. The recent hiring of two physicians and a physician assistant at Greater Nebraska Medical & Surgical Services is proof that the hospital listened.
“I’ve long said that just recruiting any physician or mid-level provider that came along can sometimes be counterproductive,” commented BBGH CEO Dan Griess. “What is key to a stable medical staff is finding the right providers for this area. All three of the new members of our Greater Nebraska Medical & Surgical Services (GNMSS) Family Medicine medical staff are originally from, or near, the Nebraska Panhandle and wanted to be in Western Nebraska to continue their practices and be closer to friends and relatives.”
Dr. Bowland arrives from Oshkosh, NE, where she practiced family medicine at Garden County Health Services from September, 2011 to November, 2012. During that time she was also a locum tenens physician (a doctor who temporarily fills positions at other clinics or hospitals) at Indian Health Services in Winnebago, NE and Trough Creek Medical Clinic in Cassville, PA. Prior to that, she completed her family practice residency at Southampton Hospital in Southampton, NY.
“I grew up in Idaho Springs, CO,” she said. “I went to California for my undergrad and med school, then out to New York for my residency and training. After being on both coasts for several years, I wanted to get closer to Colorado, practicing in either Kansas or Nebraska.” She said BBGH was her choice in furthering her medical career for several reasons. “I saw a great opportunity at Box Butte General Hospital and also liked the size of the community, as well as the people I met,” She said. “I have been very impressed with BBGH and the Alliance community. Everyone has been very welcoming to me and has gone out of their way to help me. Also, I chose BBGH because there is a need here. I want to be where I’m needed. It’s been a wonderful experience so far and I’m very glad that I am here.”
Dr. Bowland is single. “I thought I’d be married by now and have kids … but as it turns out this career and medical school thing got in the way,” she said with a smile.
As for her leisure time, she likes to work out and loves taking classes. “Right now, I’m doing the Insanity workout at the Y, which it really is.” she said. “It’s insane to get up and be at an exercise class by 5:30 a.m. But I really enjoy the Insanity classes now and I look forward to them each morning. As far as classes, right now I’m taking two health law classes and a finance class. Also, I love to grow flowers, spend time with family and friends, and see movies.”
Dr. Bowland will practice family medicine at GNMSS Family Medicine, seeing clients from infants to geriatric. She is now accepting patients.
The hospital’s new Physician Assistant is no stranger to BBGH. Ms. Barth was a PA student at BBGH over the summer, from Memorial Day through mid-July. At the end of that month, she obtained her physician assistant certification from the Towson University/CCBC Program, in Baltimore, MD, as well as her Master of Science degree.
Ms. Barth has two sons. “One son lives in Richmond, VA, where he is a middle school technology teacher,” she said. “The other son is a paramedic in Buffalo, NY, finishing his masters in clinical social work. I also have other family in Arizona.”
Asked why she signed a contract with BBGH, Ms. Barth said, “I’m originally from Rushville, moving to Arizona when I was a teenager. Also, Carol Bauer is my cousin (Ms. Bauer has long been a wound care nurse at BBGH, now semi-retired). “Prior to my being a student at BBGH, I had called her and mentioned I wanted a small-town practice. I wanted out of the city. Carol told me about the program here, so I came over the summer as a student, with Jerre Mount, PA-C, as my preceptor. I’d gotten to know the town over those months, and found I enjoyed living here.”
Her hobbies include crocheting and martial arts (she has a black belt in Kempo Karate). “However my favorite pastime is playing French horn,” Ms. Barth said. “I’ve been playing with the St. John Brass ensemble for several weeks. I have a Bachelor of Music in horn performance, so I tend to not think of it as a ‘hobby’.”
Ms. Barth will practice family medicine at GNMSS Family Medicine as well, and will see new born to geriatric clients. She is also accepting patients.
Dr. Fattig was born in Kearney, NE, but spent most of his youth growing up in Central City. He has dedicated his medical career to practicing in rural settings. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor in a small town environment,” he said.
He obtained his MD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha in 1998. Soon after he went to Creighton, NE where he was a family practice resident. He then spent two years as a general practitioner in Gothenburg at Gothenburg Medical Arts. “That’s where I really started to find out where the training deficits were; deficits you really needed to know in order to practice in a small town,” Dr. Fattig said. “So I decided to go to the University of Kansas in Wichita for three years of residency in internal medicine.” In 2004 he went to Kearney Primary Care in Kearney, and in 2007 he started his solo practice, the Lakeside Medical Clinic, just off the shores of Johnson Lake, near Elwood, NE.
“From all those years in a rural setting I learned the real deficit in rural Nebraska is internal medicine; learning to work with people with formidable medical problems,” he said.
“The reason I wanted to come to Box Butte General Hospital is that it’s a great facility and still rural medicine,” Dr. Fattig said. “This place is fantastic as far as what services they offer. When I had my solo practice I would have to get echocardiograms in Hastings, send people to Omaha for MRIs, or send people to Cozad for sleep studies, or Kearney for CTs. This hospital has everything right here, including nuclear medicine, stress tests and more. It’s like a one stop shop. The new addition is going to make it even better.”
Dr. Fattig loves to play around with computers in his leisure time. “Back before I had my solo practice … you know … when I had a life … I really enjoyed hunting and fishing,” he joked. “And I’ve also talked about being a pilot, but never had a chance to pursue that. Oh, and I really enjoy reading as well.”
He and his wife Sandy have four children: 18 yr. old daughter Brittany (she will be going to Chadron State College); 16 yr. old son Christian; 15 yr. old daughter Ashley; and 8 yr. old daughter Danielle.
Dr. Fattig will be doing general practice and internal medicine at GNMSS. “I’m just six months away from being boarded in internal medicine, but the government has limits on how much residency a person can have and I’m at or near that limit, unless I do a fellowship.” He will also be the medical director at GNMSS Hyannis Clinic. He will see new born infants to geriatric clients as well, and is accepting patients.
Besides having their primary practices at GNMSS Family Medicine in Alliance, all three medical providers will be cross trained at GNMSS satellite clinics in Hemingford and Hyannis.
The new providers join the four current practitioners at GNMSS Family Medicine: David Isom, MD, FAAFP; Brittney Bauer, PA-C; Jerre Mount, PA-C.; and Stephen VanNoy, PA-C.
Appointments for the provider of your choice at Greater Nebraska Medical & Surgical Services Family Medicine can be made by calling 308.762.7244; appointments in Hemingford by calling308.487.3322; and appointments in Hyannis by calling 308.458.2436.