Michael J. Holte, MD Accepts New Position

From Michael J. Holte, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon, Chief Medical Officer, and Head of Surgery for SCBHS:

orI have been working at SCBHS for almost 20 years. I became interested in Benson, MN because of my brother-in-law, the late Dr. Joel Hoium, who practiced dentistry in Benson and was on the SCBHS Board. The hospital was in need of orthopedic services and I agreed to start an orthopedic outreach clinic from my practice in Aberdeen, SD. This worked out well as my wife, Julie, and children, Gina & David, would spend the summers at our lake home on Lake Minnewaska.

Things changed in 2005 when I left my practice in South Dakota to join the practice with SCMC in Morris. The services that I provided at SCBHS didn’t change much initially but since I lived in the area now I was available on a more regular basis. Eventually, my outreach clinics went from once a month to its peak of twice a week.

My surgical services changed drastically in 2007 when SCBHS underwent a major renovation and built the new surgical center. Now, I was able to offer nearly a full line of orthopedic services both inpatient and outpatient. The response of the community was incredible and as usual very supportive. The people of Benson fully understand the importance of having a gem like SCBHS and want their healthcare services at home whenever possible.

Since I started in Benson all those years ago, I had always worked for either my practice in Aberdeen or for SCMC in Morris. The organizations I worked for were always supportive of my outreach work and that was never an issue. However, I was not directly involved in the management or oversight of how the things were done at SCBHS. That has now changed. Over the past 3 years, ALL healthcare organizations have seen drastic changes. There are many factors involved including healthcare provider shortages, insurance reimbursement adjustments and Obamacare changes. During this time, SCBHS too has had some issues to deal with and those changes have been addressed and SCBHS is ready to get back on track.

SCBHS will be taking over the control and responsibility of the ACMC clinic. This is no small task but it opens up a whole world of opportunities for SCBHS including orthopedics. I will no longer be just an outreach doctor visiting Benson but will be an employee of SCBHS. No, I am not quitting in Morris and I will continue to work in Morris as well. So, why does this matter? Well, my new role will not just be to provide orthopedic care to the patients of Benson. I will also be involved in the management and direction of the hospital, clinic and surgical department. I have a great deal of experience in doing so from my practice in Aberdeen where my partners and I built and ran a very successful full-service specialty orthopedic hospital.

My new job titles include Chief Medical Officer and Head of Surgery. I will be the primary liaison between the medical staff at SCBHS and the administration. This will allow Dr. Horecka to concentrate his efforts on managing the new clinic as well as rebuilding the primary care clinic with the addition of Dr. Josie Syverson. Our efforts throughout the entire SCBHS organization will be centered on one common theme – excellence of quality of care. We will be committed to our patients to provide them with the highest standard of care possible. This includes  all  aspects  of  that care from the receptionist, nurses, nurse’s aides, doctors, lab and x-ray personnel, and administration. It will be my role as the CMO to lead by example, implement standard of care policies, monitor our performance and manage this performance on a regular and ongoing basis.

I also have the role of Head of Surgery. In the past, I was involved primarily as an adviser and mostly just with aspects of the OR that directly involved me. Now, I will be in the position to assist in the management and decision making process for the entire surgical department. We are going to focus our efforts to rebuild the surgical center through expansion of not just orthopedic services but general surgery as well. We have a new general surgeon with SCBHS, Dr. Ryan Lussenden. He offers a new aspect of services and is ready to build a busy practice with us in Benson. We also want to attract additional surgical services to Benson such as urology, gynecology,and others.

Change is hard and this is no different. SCBHS has experienced financial hardships and the changes that are about to occur will allow us to resolve these issues. As I mentioned earlier, there are physician shortages nationwide. However, there are well-trained, caring and compassionate healthcare providers looking for careers with organizations and communities like ours. But, they want to be part of a financially sound, mutually rewarding and supportive organization. With the past turmoil and differences, this was nearly impossible. Not any longer. Everyone involved with SCBHS has finally come together and is working for the same goal to provide the highest quality of care to benefit our patients and to do so in a financially responsible manner.

With that goal in mind, new physicians will welcome an opportunity to work with us. Benson is a great place to live and we should not sell ourselves short. We have all of the benefits of living in a rural farming community but the “big city” is only a couple of hours away.

Everyone with SCBHS is aware that the community has been frustrated with the difficulties involving the hospital and clinic. That is the past and we are “turning the page” of that chapter of our history and are starting anew. We will be providing the highest quality of care in a timely and compassionate manner. We also plan on providing the best services available in the ER with the addition of telemedicine. Sometimes the demands of providing healthcare overwhelm the providers and we “get behind”. Unfortunately, this is simply not avoidable. However, it is our commitment to keep this in mind and when appointments of timely care is delayed, you will be the first to know why you are waiting and when you can expect to be seen. Patients should expect nothing less from us. You should be able to call us and get a timely appointment which we provide in a friendly caring manner and “on time”. Also, we plan on providing “urgent care” services to allow the community to access us easily but able to avoid the emergency room. Our intentions are to form a partnership with the community of Benson to provide for all of our healthcare needs.

For more information about SCBHS call: 320-843-4232