Eliminating the Hours and Miles
MidAmerica Cancer Care meets its patients where they live, work, and play, providing the same level of care no matter the community it serves.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matt Kocourek | Sponsored Content
What constitutes a rural community? As defined by the Census Bureau, rural refers to “any population, housing, or territory not in an urban area.” Rural often refers to farm life, living in the country, or a place where there are presumably more animals than people. In a rural setting, the benefits are immense: more space, cleaner air, proximity to nature, less noise, more privacy, fewer crimes, and a less expensive cost of living. However, those who reside within a rural community may not have the one thing that is vitally important to one’s overall well-being, and that is quality health care.
Fortunately for the residents of Clinton, Missouri (a town of about 10,000 people situated about 70 miles Southeast of Kansas City), and the surrounding areas (which extends the reach to about 60,000 people), Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (GVMH), stands at the ready to assist, providing patients what they refer to as the “Golden Standard of Care.” This stems from the view that this full-service healthcare organization does not see its patients as just patients. They are friends, family members, and neighbors. It is not uncommon to see your physician at the store or your pediatrician at church. At GVMH, there is a solid understanding among its providers that patients deserve the highest level of care, friendliness, and compassion. No matter the individual patient’s needs, GVMH is poised to respond.
In addition to its high-tech 56-bed hospital, GVMH has a 24/7 emergency department and four multi-specialty clinics in Clinton, Osceola, Warsaw and Windsor. The organization also provides patient access to highly trained medical specialists that offer a wide range of primary and specialty care services. One of these specialties is in its oncology department. GVMH is home to MidAmerica Cancer Care (MACC). Established in 2019, the mission of MACC is simple yet profound: to provide compassionate cancer (oncology) care to patients right in their own communities. Due to the unique nature of cancer and tumors, it is important to develop a specialized treatment plan for each individual patient. The medical experts at MACC focus on treating the whole patient and not just the disease itself. They do this through the use of leading-edge technologies and programs offered in a highly personal and compassionate setting.
The main location of MACC is located on the campus at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. However, these specialists visit patients in multiple locations, both rural and metropolitan, one of which is GVMH. Overseen by Dr. Jaswinder Singh, M.D., the success of MACC can be attributed to its team of exclusive doctors and staff, all of whom work tirelessly to provide the best possible care for each patient. MACC has four physicians and 10 nurse practitioners on staff throughout its 10 locations. With 50+ years of combined experience, MACC stands with each patient as if they are family. Dr. Nicholas Shuler, DO, works on-site with Dr. Singh at the GVMH location, and the appreciation for what these physicians and staff provide knows no end.
“If not for Dr. Singh and his team and their willingness to travel to Clinton, our patients would not receive the care they need,” expressed Craig Thompson, CEO of GVMH. “He has made access to care so much easier for our patients. Otherwise, they’d have to go elsewhere.”
Cancer Care Close to Home
MACC works with the GVMH cancer center to provide physician services and treatments. GMVH offers medical oncology visits, chemotherapy, infusions, oral chemotherapy and a full range of lab and imaging needs.
“We are a highly comprehensive healthcare organization where patients can receive care close to home,” noted Thompson. “This is essential as some of our patients may not want to travel or perhaps cannot travel because they can’t afford gas or do not have someone to drive them. The willingness of Dr. Singh and his team to come to GVMH positively changes the outcomes for our patients.”
According to Thompson, GVMH sees about 500 cancer patients a year and Dr. Singh or someone on his staff is onsite every week.
“It is not unusual for Dr. Singh to see 50 patients a day here during an eight-hour day,” explained Thompson. “However, he reassures the patients that he will give them as much time as they need to be with him. He has literally gone into the waiting room to apologize for running behind but puts their minds at ease that he will not rush through their own individual appointment times with him. I think that speaks directly to his character.”
In addition to his time, Dr. Singh also provides his patients with his personal cell phone number and encourages them to call him with any questions or concerns they might have.
Recognized as one of the Top 10 hospitals in the State of Missouri – and the only rural one in that honor – GVMH also received an A grade from the Leapfrog Group, which is a watch dog group for patients. This has a lot to do with the care and services provided.
“What is unique about our cancer center is the care we provide is so personal,” emphasized Thompson. “Because we are in a rural community, we likely know our patients outside of GVMH. As such, we hold ourselves to a higher level of accountability, making each visit with our patients meaningful and personal.”
GVMH and its staff feel very blessed to provide patients the technology that rivals bigger city hospitals. This gives patients peace of mind as they do not have to travel to receive better care.
“We don’t want the need to travel to become a burden or an obstacle,” said Thompson, who indicated GVMH also treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. “We simply want to make sure they have access to the care they need, and MACC is a part of that care.”
MACC offers new patient consults, follow-up out-patient visits, in-patient care, correspondence with primary care providers, care planning, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, IV and oral treatments, palliative care, supportive care, and more. Further, MACC provides a lifeline of trust, compassion, and a level of care seemingly unheard of elsewhere. No matter the community, MACC remains committed to caring for patients right within their own communities.
660.383.3197 or 816.835.2261
1600 N. Second Street, Clinton, MO 64735
660.890.7300 l gvmh.org