by Brent Fuerbringer
Today started a bit earlier for the Podiatry crew as we were headed to “mothership” Pine Ridge Hospital. The timing of our visit could not have been better. The local (and only) podiatrist suffered a family emergency requiring he be gone at short notice. We were able to assume his full clinic schedule of patients in addition to addressing all new consults. The day was filled with a wide varied of pathology and patients were thankful that their appointments were able to be maintained. Many people rely on family members or friends for transportation in this vast region and thus having to reschedule could be the difference between being seen or not at all.
The support staff at Pine Ridge are truly top notch. Tawnee is the departments only designated medical support staff and without her it’s easy to see how the clinic simply wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately this is all to common place on the reservation with medical staff running only one deep and no backup.
We had a “small world” encounter today with the hospital’s only staff dietitian. He originates from Tomah, WI but has called South Dakota and IHS home for nearly thirty years. His insight regarding the region, culture, and IHS were enlightening. As a true Wisconsinite he remains a loyal Packer fan / cheesehead to the core!
Overall a successful day and we look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.