Blackham joins Philip Health Services, Inc.
Wed, 06/08/2016 - 9:11am admin
Dr. Kerry Blackham is the newest addition to the medical providers at Philip Health Services, Inc.
Blackham is actually returning to Philip. During an university medical rotation in 1998-1999, he learned hands-on under the supervision of Philip’s Dr. Coen Klopper. That period was only one part of the journey Blackham has been on in his medical training and career.
After a stay in the United States Army as a veterinary technician, he was told by veterinarians and others that human medicine would be a better route. “You’ll never make any money at it,” was one of the main reasons behind the advice, said Blackham. Blackham likes human medicine.
He earned a bachelor of science in biology from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn., then a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Des Moines University, Iowa. He completed his internship and residency in family medicine at Rapid City Regional Hospital. He then held a multi-year practice in family medicine in Utah. Deciding to extend his specialities to include geriatric medicine, he recently earned a fellowship from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls.
“I wanted to stay in South Dakota,” said Blackham, “besides that, I wanted rural, not someplace like Rapid City.” Though he will take his on-call shifts for the Philip emergency room, he is happy that he is not on-call 24/seven and cannot leave town like previously in his career. “I’m happy to be here,” said Blackham. As well as in the Philip clinic, Blackham will serve in the Kadoka clinic.
Blackham said he enjoys seeing older people. “As family doctors, people think we get to be good at lots of things, but we don’t get to be great at any one thing,” said Blackham.
He joked that his wife, Heidi, “is just glad that I’m working.” According to him, she is excited to be in Philip and is looking forward to social groups and volunteering. She is a quilter, and enjoys being a substitute teacher. Blackham added that one of his main hobbies is golf, again joking that becoming a doctor includes learning to play golf and how to handwrite so people can’t understand it.
The best thing about Philip is the people, very nice, very welcoming, said Blackham. The worst thing, he said according to his wife, is the shopping selections and variety, at least compared to Utah. He is pleasantly surprised at some things though, such as the hardware store and how big it is in there.
Blackham recalls Klopper as “a great guy. I still remember things he taught me way back then. I still feel like I’m his student. If I have questions, I wouldn’t hesitate to go and ask him about it.” Blackham is fitting right it. Though he is an experienced family practice physician, his core practice at PHSI is geriatrics.
PHSI administrator, Kent Olson, said, “The workload has expanded. Many of our additional patients are now coming from the greater Wall area, a bigger geographical area. Many are getting older, and we can help them continue to grow older. We are looking to continuing to expand the patient base. We – myself, the other providers and the staff – are happy that Kerry is here.”
Blackham joins Klopper, Dr. David Holman, and physician assistants Terry Henrie and Janell Gerberding.