MCHI’s Wortman Surgery Center reflects long-term health care vision

Fourteen years after his passing, Ken Wortman’s impact on the level and quality of health care provided here in Hamilton County continues to evolve.
The visionary leader, who had a passion for health care and served as president of the Memorial Hospital board for many years, understood decades ago how important a strong hospital is to a rural community. He and many others worked to help build a facility that would serve the changing medical needs of local residents long into the future.
One particular piece of that vision has now reached a milestone, with the Ken Wortman Surgery Center turning 10 years old this year. A story in this week’s edition recounts the continued evolution of the center since it opened, which is a story worth reading and celebrating.
What may astound many who aren’t familiar with Memorial Community Health Inc. and its network of local health care services is the fact that approximately 700 surgeries are performed by some 30 area surgeons in the Wortman Surgery Center each year. Many of those surgeons are specialists who travel to Aurora on a regular basis to provide their specific expertise and surgical skills when needed.
The procedures handled on site in Aurora cover a wide gamut, including general surgery, knee and hip replacements, as well as those involving ear, nose and throat, obstetrics, orthopedics, opthamology, podiatry, pulmonology and pain management.
That’s an impressive list and year-end statistic of on-site procedures, but more important is what it means to local residents. As many have discovered, a patient’s journey at MCHI can often begin and end here at home from initial visits to post-surgery recovery and follow-ups. That’s a comforting notion not available in every rural Nebraska community.
MCHI CEO Diane Keller and the hospital board deserve a great deal of credit for working to stay ahead of the curve in what has become a rapidly changing health care landscape. The Wortman Surgery Center is just one example of MCHI’s commitment to providing top quality care.
Kurt Johnson

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