Philip Health Services' branch clinic opens in Kadoka

The doors are open, the doctor is in and patients are being seen.

Housed in the south section of the Kadoka Nursing Home facility (the former Sundet Memorial Hospital), the Kadoka Clinic held its ribbon cutting ceremony Monday, August 1st.

It was a long time coming, with a number of hurdles, but after four months of renovation it is no longer just a dream to have a new clinic in Kadoka.

The Kadoka Clinic is owned and operated by Philip Health Services, which rents the space from the Kadoka Nursing Home Association. It is a ambulatory care facility which means it is mostly geared toward walk-ins and out-patients. Philip Health Services itself includes acute and long term care capabilities.

The new clinic is made possible through a large amount of community work and through a one percent loan from West Central Electric. “Over the life of the $100,000 loan the note will save us $106,000 over 15 years,” said Larry Dolezal, president of the Kadoka Nursing Home Board of Directors. In addition, Dolezal said, several individuals signed for an additional $50,000 through BankWest.

Ruby Sanftner, COO at the nursing home, served as the mistress of ceremonies during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “The community can be very proud of this facility. It’s truly a community effort as many people have spent endless hours working for this special day,” Sanftner told a crowd of spectators.

Larry Dolezal gave an opening prayer and remarks, and praised those who helped out at a critical time, “Dan Smiley and his crew did an excellent job. You couldn’t get any better craftsmanship any place else. They did a wonderful job.” Dolezal went on to say that they are not done yet, “We have more plans to keep going with the remodeling.” There’s remodeling to be done in the nursing home and a new roof is needed. “We’re not done, but we’ve got a good start here today,” he ended.

Rusty Olney, who was on the original building committee, gave a brief synopsis of a five-year goal of getting a new rural health-care clinic.

Starting in 2002, the building committee formed a plan to remodel the old hospital. The first bid was $300,000. They looked at putting up a new building and, through Community Block and Rural Development grants, there was money. However, there was never an acceptable bid.

Olney said he was glad they went the route they did. “This place is phenomenal.” Olney went on to say, “In order to get the designation of a rural health clinic, which will help the economic liability of this place due to better reimbursement, we had to get out of the basement and have handicap accessibility.”

Olney commended Dan Smiley and his crew. The two main crew members were Rick Dennis and Mike Coller. Also helping with the project were Luke Carlson and Randy Peters.

The only thing left is some exterior work -- roof, paving and eaves.

“When it’s all said and done we’ll be approximately $100,000 under what the original bid came in at,” Olney said. “We couldn’t have done it without the local contractors.”

Olney relayed a comment made a few years ago that they were trying to make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. He went on to again commend Smiley and his crew, “We have a silk purse.”

Mayor Harry Weller expressed his thanks to everyone who was involved in the project. “This is something positive for us in the City of Kadoka to enjoy, use and appreciate,” Weller noted.

Lova Bushnell and Lois Pettyjohn were asked to cut the red, white and blue ribbon. And the Kadoka Clinic was officially opened. Lana Sanftner sang “God Bless America.”

Gene Christensen of BankWest said this is free enterprise at its best. He said you don’t really see businesses that were under new construction or remodeled from private money, at least not for many years. He said this is an important start and it’s not from tax dollars, but private money. He hopes for grants to do more work.

“It’s easy to be innovative when you have projective thinkers in the community. For a community project of this magnitude it was easy to get co-signers on a note and that made it easy for me to participate as a representative from BankWest.”

Dave Jordahl, the interim administrator at Philip Health Services, was on hand. “You have a great facility to be proud of,” he said, adding that people wouldn’t get any better care in the new clinic because the staff is already giving the best care.

Physican’s Assistant Terry Henrie, excited about the new facility, said they will give an excellent level of care, but now in a patient-friendly environment. “We will work hard to provide for the health-care needs of Kadoka,” he said. Henrie is based out of Philip and works in Kadoka Mondays through Wednesday. On Thursdays, Philip’s Dr. Holman takes over. The clinic is closed on Fridays.

David Dick, Ruby Sanftner and the nursing home board’s leadership were instrumental in making this happen, Henrie said. David Dick, who was instrumental in the clinic project, was unable to attend as he has started his new job in Kansas.

Ruby Sanftner presented a plaque which will be put up inside the clinic giving WCEC credit for their loan. Sanftner closed thanking everyone for their support, Father Bryan Sorenson gave a closing prayer and everyone enjoyed cookies and coffee inside the new clinic