Rapid City Medical Center’s Dr. Heather Moline, and OB/GYN provider, addresses some common questions about the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine for women who are pregnant, breast feeding, or trying to become pregnant.
At this time, all COVID-19 vaccine is being administered by Monument Health as directed by the South Dakota Department of Health. Rapid City Medical Center does not have COVID-19 vaccine available to us.
Beginning January 18th, Monument Health will be scheduling patients that meet the following criteria:
80 years and older, OR
Post-transplant (any age over 18 years), OR
Actively being treated for cancer (any age over 18 years)
All eligible patients must contact Monument Health at 605-755-1350 to schedule. If you have an electronic medical record with Monument (“My Chart”), they indicate you may request an appointment through that. Or, you can visit https://www.monument.health and choose the “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling” quick link.
Staff from Monument Health will be available from 7 am- 7pm each day to schedule patients. Rapid City Medical Center is NOT able to schedule these vaccines at this time.
Please note: If you have issues contacting this number or accessing your “My Chart” account you will need to contact Monument Health. We do not have access to help with any technical issues that you may encounter with their systems.
For more information on the South Dakota Department of Health’s vaccine plan, please visit: https://doh.sd.gov/COVID/Vaccine/Public.aspx
Our very own Dr. Halie Anderson, Board Certified Allergist & Immunologist, took some time to address some of the concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine.
She did record this before the Moderna vaccine was approved, but the science and information is valuable for community members and healthcare workers who are interested in better understanding the vaccine and dispelling some myths.
Please be aware that Rapid City Medical Center does not currently have COVID vaccine available to us to distribute to our patients. The CDC and the SD Department of Health are currently managing the distribution of the COVID vaccine. As the vaccine becomes more available we hope to receive supply to vaccinate our established primary care patients. If you are not established with primary care we encourage you to do so NOW! Once we receive notice of vaccine being distributed to us we will notify our established primary care patients with information on how to schedule based on guidelines set forth by the CDC and DOH. At this time we will not be taking names to create lists as we will have certain criteria required in vaccinating our patients.
RAPID CITY, SD – Providers from the physician owned Rapid City Medical Center began receiving Covid-19 vaccinations the week before Christmas. With nearly full participation from the almost 80 Physicians, Certified Nurse Practitioners, and Physician’s Assistants within the 8 clinic locations of Rapid City Medical Center’s multi-specialty practices, the RCMC providers look to lead the community towards health in 2021.
Dr. Kevin Weiland, MD, a Board Certified internal medicine specialist said, “Ironically, the shot was put in the arm where my small pox vaccine scar is. My son, 10 years ago, asked me why I have a scar there and I told him it was from my smallpox vaccine. He asked why he does not have one. I told him, “Because it worked.” Dr. Oksana Anand, MD, double Board Certified gastroenterologist and internalist expressed how excited her young children were that she was able to be vaccinated before Christmas.
Additional providers, nursing staff, and essential workers on the Rapid City Medical Center team are scheduled for vaccines in waves over the next month. Dr. Halie Anderson, MD, Board Certified Allergist & Immunologist, took some time to address some of the concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine in a video she shared via social media with all staff and with the Black Hills community as a whole. “I’m actually pregnant, and I plan to get this vaccine as soon as it’s available to me,” she said in the video, dispelling myths that the vaccine is unsafe for pregnant mothers. Dr. Anderson received her vaccine on December 30th. Photos are attached.
Rapid City Medical Center does not currently have COVID vaccines available to distribute to their patients. The CDC and the SD Department of Health are currently managing the distribution of the COVID vaccine. As the vaccine becomes more available, RCMC hopes to receive supply to vaccinate their established primary care patients.
In 2020, Rapid City Medical Center was proud to welcome four new physicians.
Dr. Kay Kelts is double board certified in Family Medicine with the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She practices Full-scope Family Medicine including in-office procedures, women’s health, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Dr. Kelts completed her medical school training at Rocky Vista University where she was part of their inaugural class and a pre-doctoral osteopathic principles and practices fellow. Dr. Kelts believes in treating the whole person, helping each patient achieve his or her personal health goals and live life to the fullest.
Dr. Andrew Kelts was born and raised in Rapid City before completing his undergraduate degree at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He went to medical school at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Kelts was awarded a Gastroenterology fellowship at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, New York and joins the Gastroenterology department at our Mt. Rushmore Rd. Clinic.
Dr. Luke Hushagen is originally from Bismarck, North Dakota. He began his undergraduate training at Bismarck State College, finishing at the University of North Dakota where he also attended medical school. His medical training was completed with an internal medicine residency at Penn State University practicing at the renowned Hershey Medical Center. As an internist, Dr. Hushagen cares for patients in all stages of their adult lives. His primary focus is on patient education with an emphasis on complex medical care. His goal is to empower his patients to become advocates for their own care. Dr. Hushagen practices out of our newest Tower Road Clinic location.
Dr. Tyler A. Ptacek is a double Board Certified pain specialist from O’Neill, Nebraska who completed his residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE and his Interventional Pain Fellowship at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC. Dr. Ptacek currently serves in the US Air Force Air National Guard as Flight Surgeon and introduces an Interventional Pain department to our practice. He looks forward to living in and enjoying all the Black Hills have to offer with his wife and small children.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — In the United States, a hysterectomy is a common surgery for women hoping to relieve long lasting discomfort and serious health conditions. While the benefits of this procedure can be tremendous in some cases, it is important to know that it is not a catch-all solution.
Each patient’s case and needs are different, and every major surgery requires careful thought and consideration. Common circumstances that lead to a hysterectomy include cervical and uterine cancers, abnormal or persistent bleeding, fibroids, and enlarged or prolapsed uterus that causes constant discomfort or pain.
Dr. Heather Moline, gynecologist at Rapid City Medical Center, says that in the right cases the surgery can be transformative. “We have to be conscious that one procedure is not always the best procedure for everyone,” Dr. Moline says, “but when it is the right procedure for the right patient, it is a life changing surgery.”
Dr. Moline says that doctors take a number of factors into account before recommending a hysterectomy for their patients. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, age, and possible desire to have children later in life, a hysterectomy might not be the best treatment plan.
“The most recent literature is not supportive of hysterectomies for those who have not tried alternative therapies,” she says. Because of the possible complications that come with any surgical procedure, Dr. Moline says that other, less invasive options should be discussed and explored. For those who have not found relief with alternate treatments like hormone therapy, a hysterectomy may be the best option. “Generally speaking,” Dr. Moline says, “a hysterectomy is a great procedure for a vast majority of patients, but it doesn’t solve every problem for everyone.”
Patients who decide to undergo a hysterectomy after experiencing constant pain and discomfort are often surprised by how the procedure can change their life. “Most patients are grateful that they did the procedure and a lot of them wish they would have done it sooner,” Dr. Moline says.
“There are many women who think that a hysterectomy will solve all of their problems, or that it is the best thing for them, but what is most important is that women seek care that is individualized for them, that they are given all of their alternative options, because a hysterectomy is a major surgery, it’s not without risks, and there are usually alternatives that they should consider before moving straight to a hysterectomy.”
Expecting mothers across the nation want to know what the COVID-19 outbreak will mean for their pregnancy. Heather Moline, MD, who specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology, has some advice for women who are pregnant or expecting to become pregnant during this time.
There is limited literature available at this time on pregnant women contracting COVID-19, the available information does indicate that due to low immunity in general, pregnant women tend to fall into the a more susceptible category.
“COVID-19 doesn’t appear to target pregnant women compared to other respiratory illnesses such as influenza and SARS, and we don’t believe the outcomes will be necessarily worse when we look at the outcomes from China and so far what has come out of Italy.” said Dr. Moline.
The same type of precautionary measures being recommended to the general public are also being recommended to pregnant women. Dr. Moline advises that mothers-to-be avoid contact with anyone who is currently sick and socially isolate themselves, practice excellent hand hygiene, and avoid any non-essential travel.
The few cases that have been reported on pregnant women have been primarily in the second and third trimester. Mothers who demonstrated positive COVID-19 with symptoms at the time of arriving at the hospital have had an increased risk of pre-term birth or low birth weight, however this data set is small and the majority of patients underwent delivery via cesarean section to expedite delivery of the baby and improve recovery time for the mother.
Currently, there are not enough cases of women contracting COVID-19 in the first trimester to have a firm grasp on the potential long term consequences of the virus on a developing fetus. Regardless of your stage in pregnancy, Dr. Moline suggests the same thing for patients experiencing high fever and significant symptoms of a viral respiratory illness: increase oral fluids and control the fever. “Depleted fluids and high fever can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes at all stages of pregnancy,” said Dr. Moline.
For those concerned about transmission of the virus to the child, “It appears that if a mother is to become sick with COVID-19 during her pregnancy that there is, right now, very limited data to suggest that there is transmission to the fetus,” said Moline, “While there may be positive cases as we move into the future, it seems that the current infants that have been born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 have tested negative for the virus. In addition, there currently does not appear to be any transmission of the virus into breast milk.” Dr. Moline added, “As long as the mother is not too sick to breastfeed, there are still many significant benefits to breastfeeding”
Pregnant mothers and other non-pregnant patients may be apprehensive about entering a hospital due to the increased risk of contracting the virus. In this case, Rapid City Medical Center is offering telehealth appointments, where patients can phone-in for their regular appointments. While this does not allow for neonatal assessments, Dr. Moline still urges regular visits via telehealth or in-person for the continued monitoring of mother and baby. Patients should discuss their pregnancy with their OB/GYN so that they can work on a strategy to be seen regularly and limit their visits to hospitals.
Limiting exposure, practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing is vital to keeping everyone healthy. Dr. Moline suggests that pregnant women especially avoid unnecessary visits to the hospital which includes taking family members to regular appointments as well as visiting family or friends who are admitted for extended hospital stays, for any reason.
Amid all the anxiety about the current situation, Dr. Heather Moline wants her pregnant patients to know that they will be taken care of. “The whole medical system in the United States and everywhere in the world right now is trying to keep patients safe and healthy and we’re working together to do everything we can to keep people as healthy as possible. It is a very worrisome time and the best thing patients can do is just to protect themselves from potential sick contacts and practice social distancing.”
We are protecting our community in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic by offering virtual visits to patients in their homes. Just like the seasonal flu, limiting contact with those who are experiencing acute symptoms is key to reducing the spread of this virus. As of Monday, March 16, 2020,
for any patient over the age of 60 and who has chronic conditions or for those experiencing acute respiratory symptoms, RCMC physicians are encouraging you to call to see if this tool is right for you. It is easy to use with a smart-phone or computer equipped with a camera.
In addition, Rapid City Medical Center has implemented best practices to focus patients with respiratory illnesses to certain waiting rooms and exam areas in their locations, allowing the majority of each clinic’s physical space for routine physician visits. “Rapid City Medical Center’s physicians continue to be the leaders in providing healthcare to our communities. We have been working diligently over the past several weeks and have fluid plans to meet and beat this virus,” says Heather Bindel, Chief Operations Officer at Rapid City Medical Center. “We will update our patients every Wednesday on our website as our plan evolves. Using telehealth ‘virtual visits’ and directing patients to specific clinic-areas based on their requested treatments are just two of the ways we are managing this concern. However, patients are encouraged to join us in remaining calm and working as a team to continue all types of healthcare. 80% of all coronavirus patients indicate the symptoms are mild and most relatively healthy individuals will beat this while staying at home. We continue to encourage hand-washing and not touching your face.”
If you wish to request a virtual visit, please call our direct line at 342-3280. All of our board-certified physicians are able to utilize this platform and they will determine with you if it is the best way to serve your needs.
Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can cause changes in vision. Symptoms include cloudy or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to glare. For people with cataracts, seeing is similar to looking through fogged glasses. This obstruction can make it more challenging to read, drive a car, especially at night, or even see facial expressions.
Cataracts form gradually as your eyes get older. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology by age 75, approximately half of all Americans have cataracts. The good news is that cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective procedures performed today.
In addition to traditional cataract surgery, Dr. Gail Bernard and Dr. Rebecca Linquist are allowing their patients to enhance their vision with the PanOptix Trifocal Lens at the time of cataract surgery. While monofocial lens can help you see far away, the PanOptix lens gives you a full range of vision, allowing you to rely less on glasses. Clinical studies have reported patients experiencing an exceptional combination of near, intermediate and distance vision while reducing the need for glasses after surgery.
Dr. Heather Moline is the newest provider to join the obstetrics and gynecology team at Rapid City Medical Center. Born and raised in Rapid City Moline returned home after completing her residency training at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She enjoys all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology including infertility, incontinence, low and high-risk obstetrics, well-women and adolescent gynecology as well as minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
“There is no greater privilege than taking care of women before, during and after pregnancy. Women’s healthcare is essential in all phases of life, including adolescence and post-menopause. I care for my patients in clinic, in surgical facilities and at the hospital and empower them to be advocates for their health.” -Dr. Moline
In her free time, she enjoys time with her husband and their baby, exploring all the beautiful BlackHills have to offer. She also enjoys gardening, canning and preserving food, beekeeping, skiing, brewing kombucha and hunting with her German Wirehaired Pointer, Greta.
Dr. Moline is now scheduling by calling 605-342-3280 or online by clicking here. She is accepting patients with most insurances and title 19.