August 5, 2022

Dear Heartland Health Care Clinic, Thank You For All That You Do!

In honor of National Health Center Week, August 7-13, Memorial Health System (MHS) would like to recognize its amazing partner, Heartland Health Care Clinic (HHCC) in Abilene.  If ever there was a question what this clinic was capable of, the last few years have certainly highlighted why they should be applauded. 

HHCC is full of dedicated staff who have stepped up to meet the challenges required to continue giving quality care.  The clinic is divided into four pods, normally in each pod you will find a physician, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), and two other clinical staff members such as a registered nurse, medical assistant or licensed practical nurse.  In recent times, teamwork has become essential and staff are moving around more to go where the help is needed.  These healthcare workers support each other, no matter what, so that the patient’s needs are always top priority.

Telemedicine, although not implemented in the formal way HHCC would normally bring something new to patients, has proven to be a successful method of delivering care to patients when the appointment between provider and patient is mostly discussion based.  When COVID ramped up, HHCC had to make quick changes to keep seeing patients, while providing quality care and safety.  Although COVID is less severe than was two years ago, telemedicine is going strong and is here to stay as another option in care.

In October of 2021, the Walk-In Clinic expanded its hours to accommodate the growing need for immediate appointments during the hours of 7:00AM-11:00AM and 1:00PM-6:00PM.   The convenient care provided through a walk in appointment includes acute illness or accidents such as the following:  colds and flus, sore throat, ear infection, laceration repairs, muscle strains and pains, and other minor aches and pains.  In January of 2021, the total number of walk in patients seen was 183.  When the Walk-In Clinic opened for the full day in October, that number increased significantly.  The total number of patients seen in October of 2021 was 521.  The total number of patients seen for the whole year in 2021 was 1,580.  So far, for 2022 that total number is 3,283.  These numbers show just how important the Walk-In clinic is for the community.

As patient numbers continue to grow at HHCC, MHS is looking at ways to support that growth.  Last year Dr. Kimmy Hinman, Family Physician, and Dr. Christopher Young, General Surgeon, joined the team.  On September 1 of this year another Family Physician, Dr. Michael Ziegler will start.  Also added recently was a new APRN, Laura Pape.  Growing numbers means refiguring available space to make room for new staff and new patients.  Very soon HHCC will undergo some construction that has an expected completion date of December.  Included in the remodel will be a new registration area to improve efficiency and privacy, and more exam rooms.

The affiliation with Salina Regional Health Center changed some processes, and after getting through the initial growing pains that come with change, there are some definite improvements that are worth mentioning.  One improvement is so very beneficial for the medical staff and patients, and that is the electronic medical records system (EMR).  This increases efficiency for staff to access the most current information on a patient so they are given the best care possible, and also allows the patient to gain access to their own records through the patient portal.  Not only can they see their records, but they can also send messages to their providers through the portal.

These are just some of the many ways Heartland Health Care Clinic is striving to always put patient care first.  Innovation is key in healthcare.  Angie Johnson, Chief Nursing Officer who oversees HHCC said, “We are continually looking for ways to expand or add services to meet healthcare needs in our community.”  Couple that with the compassionate care that HHCC gives on a daily basis, and what you get is a team of healthcare champions.  Memorial Health System thanks you Heartland Health Care Clinic!

MHS News