Our Town Kearney: Health Care Hub

Pure Nebraska
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 2:22 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:46 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - There is a great quality of life to be found in Kearney, and that is enhanced by two hospitals that provide important health care options for the entire region.

At CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, patients come from far and wide to get medical services.

“One of the things we point out to our new employees is the geography we cover and see patients from,” CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital President Curt Coleman said. “The region we serve is roughly the size of the state of Indiana. We are seeing patients who come from the southern part of South Dakota to western Nebraska all the way down to the northern part of Kansas.”

With such a large service area, Good Samaritan is equipped to provide a wide array of services.

“As a level 2 trauma center, we actually own our own helicopter service, and we will go out and get patients who are critically ill and bring them back here,” Coleman said. “We have a lot of what you’d call secondary and tertiary services as well. We have cancer services, both radiation and medical oncology. We offer cardiology services, we have advanced orthopedic trauma, orthopedic surgeries, urology, and we also have our own behavior health hospital, Richard Young.”

Having a hospital like Good Samaritan in town, means people don’t have to go far for great medical care.

“It is a regional hub,” Coleman said. “There’s really not a bigger city to the north, south or west of us, so it becomes a natural hub for health care and other types of businesses.”

Our Town Kearney has a population of nearly 34,000 people. While it’s a smaller city, it has not one, but two hospitals. Kearney Regional Medical Center is now a full service acute care hospital.

“This last summer, we were able to obtain trauma designation, which allows us to take patients that are brought in via EMS or transfers from outside facilities,” Kearney Regional Medical Center Director of Nursing Shealee Clausen said. “Platte Valley Medical Clinic is also attached to Kearney Regional Medical Center. Many of our providers are able to practice there. We have a lot of service lines that function out of the clinic, and those same providers practice at Kearney Regional Medical Center to see our patients in the hospital side as well.”

While Good Samaritan and Kearney Regional both offer some “big city” services, patients still get a hometown, friendly feeling from these two health care hubs.

“For example, St. Francis, Kansas is about 3 hours and 15 minutes away from here,” Clausen said. “It would be closer for those patients to go to Denver, but a lot of them choose to come to Kearney for care.”

Kearney Regional doctors often will go to the patients, too.

“Our providers are willing to go out and see patients in their communities, which is so important to those patients so they don’t always have to travel here for their follow-up appointments or their regular check-ups with cardiology or whatever that looks like,” Clausen said.

Both Kearney Regional and Good Samaritan are known to work together to provide health care for Our Town Kearney, and the greater Nebraska region.

“We have a very collegial relationship with Kearney Regional Medical Center,” Coleman said. “There’s a lot of need in the community, and really, it takes both providers working together to meet all of those needs.”

By having two hospitals in town, it certainly helps build a great community.

“If you need open heart surgery, you don’t have to go out of town to get the service,” Clausen said. “It can be done here locally. Or, if you need a heart cath done or a total knee replacement, there are a large number of services we are able to provide without having to go outside of Kearney. So, I think that makes Kearney a good place to be.”

A good place, where quality health care is just a few minutes away.