With the addition of the Fountain Point medical campus, more patients than ever before should be able to have outpatient surgery right here in Norfolk.
That makes it a lot easier on families who previously had to travel to a larger city like Omaha, then spend a night in the hospital for a procedure that can now be completed in Norfolk in one day. Oftentimes, families who accompanied the patient stayed overnight at a motel, increasing the expense and inconvenience.
Many of those procedures are being completed at the Norfolk SurgiCenter, which is just north of the Fountain Point campus and has been in operation for nearly 20 years. This SurgiCenter will move into its new and improved location on the Fountain Point campus soon.
Dr. Chris Price, an anesthesiologist and one of the many physicians who have invested in Fountain Point, said the surgeries that are completed outpatient have many benefits.
“Number 1, we can do those same procedures with excellent quality and efficiency right here. Number 2, because we are independent, we can collaborate with a large neurosurgical group or orthopedic group, or a multi-specialty group like the Yankton Medical Clinic. All those different groups bring a unique aspect to the whole thing. That allows us to be very agile and make decisions quick, with the patients’ need and care the main focus.”
Along with collaboration, the doctors have a shared vision and a strong Christian background consisting of many faiths. They open each meeting with a prayer, and have a goal to bring procedures to Norfolk and the region that aren’t offered.
Collaboration is a key, said Dr. Jim Bertus, who said the doctors want to be “life giving” with all aspects of the patients’ lives.
That includes meeting such things as the patients’ emotional needs and nutritional needs, as well as health care.
The physicians strive for the Mayo Clinic model of care, where a patient might come in experiencing foot pain, for example. After seeing a podiatrist, it might be discovered that the patient has an infection, so the podiatrist collaborates with a wound doctor, and the patient gets care immediately that helps him.
“Overall, that would be life giving to the patient, especially if they didn’t have to get the two- to three-week appointment,” Bertus said. “ ‘Will we be perfect at it?’ No. ‘Will we have to keep working toward that goal?’ Yes, daily. But if we are reminded of it, that is something we can obtain — the wholeness of it.”