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Haley Brunke, PA-C, Joins Mission Community Health Center

(MISSION, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Haley Brunke, PA-C, to Mission Community Health Center. Brunke joins providers Tony Berg, MD, Larry Dubray, PA, Rachele Vietor, PA-C, Spencer Mason, PA-C, Autumn Tucker, CNP, and Ryan Rowe, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Mission community.

Brunke attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD, graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She then received a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) in 2019 from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT.
Brunke, who is originally from Scotland, SD, enjoys playing guitar and singing country music. “I chose to become a PA to have the opportunity to serve patients in their most vulnerable moments,” stated Haley Brunke, PA-C. “It is a blessing to have the ability to comfort someone in a time of need and for them to allow you the chance to better their life.”

Brunke is currently available to be seen for appointments at Mission Community Health Center.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, Joins Aberdeen Community Health Center

(ABERDEEN, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, to Aberdeen Community Health Center. Aesoph joins providers Danny Wolfgram, MD, and Catherine Friesen, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Aberdeen community.

Aesoph attended Presentation College in Aberdeen, graduating in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. After graduation, she worked as an RN before receiving her Master’s Degree in Nursing from Purdue Global University in 2019.

“I aim to build successful relationships with my patients so that they can be their best selves,” stated Cassandra Aesoph, CNP. “My ultimate goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” Aesoph is currently available for appointments at Aberdeen Community Health Center

Aesoph, who is originally from Milbank, South Dakota, is married to husband, Mike. They recently welcomed a baby boy to the family. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Danny Wolfgram, MD, Joins Aberdeen Community Health Center

(ABERDEEN, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Danny Wolfgram, MD, to Aberdeen Community Health Center. Dr. Wolfgram joins providers Catherine Friesen, CNP, and Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Aberdeen community.

Dr. Wolfgram attended St. Olaf College and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1983 before earning his master’s degree at Iowa State University in 1985. He then attended medical school at the University of Minnesota – Duluth and the University of Minnesota – School of Medicine. Dr. Wolfgram earned his degree as a Physician in 1990. He specializes in family practice and sports medicine.

“As your physician, I am your partner in facilitating your medical care. As the patient, you are in control of accepting the care and making decisions to affect your medical future,” stated Danny Wolfgram, MD.

Dr. Wolfgram, a White Bear Lake, Minnesota native, has two sons, Alec and Jonathan, and one daughter, Elizabeth. His hobbies include curling, sailing, Taekwondo and spending time with his family. Dr. Wolfgram is now available for appointments at Aberdeen Community Health Center.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Prairie Winds Dental Welcomes Outreach Students

(HOWARD, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and Prairie Winds Dental, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, are pleased to introduce two dental students who are doing their clinical rotations in Howard from July 15 – 31. The students visiting Howard are Ashton Parmley of Elkhorn, NE, and Adam Fjeldheim of Watertown, SD.

Parmley completed her Bachelor’s Degree at University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, especially spending time at the lake with her family and friends, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and snow skiing. Her future plans after dental school including going into private practice for general dentistry in the Sioux Falls, SD area. Parmley is looking forward to providing quality comprehensive care to the population of Howard and the surrounding communities.

Fjeldheim completed his Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Biology from South Dakota State University. His hobbies include watching football games, playing golf, exercising and boating at the lake. After dental school he plans on moving back to South Dakota to begin practicing in the Sioux Falls, SD area. He is excited to work with the Horizon Health Care team.

“It is a pleasure to welcome two dental students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center to our team at Prairie Winds Dental,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with the area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Jerauld County Dental Clinic Welcomes Outreach Student

(WESSINGTON SPRINGS, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and Jerauld County Dental Clinic, in collaboration with the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, are pleased to introduce dental student, Chisom Chukwu, who is doing his clinical rotations in Wessington Springs.

Chukwu will be onsite in at Jerauld County Dental Clinic from July 15 – August 16. His future plans after dental school include an oral surgery residency. Two interesting facts about Chukwu are that he loves soccer and considers himself spontaneous.

“It is a pleasure to welcome a dental student from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health to our team at Jerauld County Dental Clinic,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Madeline Pfeiffer, DDS, Joins Prairie Winds Dental

(HOWARD, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Madeline Pfeiffer, DDS, to Prairie Winds Dental in Howard, SD. Dr. Pfeiffer joins Michelle Scholtz, DDS and Megan Palmquist, RDH, to provide quality dental care to the Howard community.

A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry, Dr. Pfeiffer is originally from Sioux Falls, SD. She completed her undergraduate studies at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, graduating in 2015 with a degree in ACS Biochemistry. She previously provided dental care at Horizon’s De Smet Dental Services in the fall 2018 during her student dental rotations.

“I chose dentistry because I’ve experienced first-hand how rewarding providing care for patients can be,” stated Madeline Pfeiffer, DDS. “I’m looking forward to providing care for patients who can’t receive care elsewhere and becoming a part of the Howard community.”

Dr. Pfeiffer is currently available for appointments at Prairie Winds Dental. In her spare time, she enjoys watching soccer, reading, playing clarinet and spending time at the cabin with family.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Prairie Winds Dental Clinic Welcomes Outreach Students

(HOWARD, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and Prairie Winds Dental Clinic, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, are pleased to introduce two dental students who are doing their clinical rotations in Howard from June 24 – July 12. The students visiting Howard are Curtis Collins of North Platte, NE, and Zachary Reierson of Aberdeen, SD.

Collins is a non-traditional dental student and previously worked for BNSF Railway out of Sioux City, IA, before he began dental school. He has been married to wife, Andrea, for eight years and they have three kids with another due in August. In his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors, fishing, camping and playing sports. He plans to work in a smaller community in the future.

Reierson completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Northern State University. Before starting dental school, he spent a year working at his cousin’s dental office in Minnesota. Reierson enjoys playing sports, including amateur baseball, and playing guitar. He is excited to put everything he has learned into practice and help out the patients in the area.

“It is a pleasure to welcome two dental students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center to our team at Prairie Winds Dental,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with the area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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The Importance of Vaccines and Your Health

The Importance of Vaccines and Your Health

Vaccinations play an important role in the health of your child and public health. They prevent the spreading of diseases such as:

  • Polio
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Whooping cough
  • Chicken pox
  • Diphtheria
  • HPV and more

 

What Exactly is a Vaccine?

A vaccine is an immunization. It builds up your body’s natural immunity to a disease with antibodies. When your immunity is built up, it keeps you from contracting and spreading the disease.

Typically, it consists of a very small dose of the disease germ. It is usually injected into the leg or arm. When your body recognizes the invading germ, it develops antibodies to fight it. Antibodies can stay in your body for life, protecting you from sickness and disease.

With antibodies, your body builds up a defense system called your immune system.
Vaccines are used to help build your immune system for protection. So it’s very important to follow the Center for Disease Control’s Recommended Schedule.

Vaccines cover a wide range from illness to major diseases. A cold virus for example is usually a mild irritation. However, smallpox and polio caused life changing problems and death. History has taught us that taking preventative steps is extremely important. Vaccines protect you and protect children.

 

Who Needs Vaccines?

Vaccines are recommended for infants, children, teenagers, and adults. They are especially important for at risk populations like young children and older adults.

The best way to identify what vaccines you may need is to visit your Horizon Health Care provider. Our providers will review your medical history, including your immunization history and any risk factors associated with recommended vaccines. Some people shouldn’t get vaccines, such as infants under two months of age or a person with a particular medical issue. This is just one of the reasons Horizon Health Care providers want to know your whole health history. That way, we can discuss all medical interactions, including vaccines.

In addition, there are people who simply don’t respond to them. That’s why it’s very important for the family, friends and children around them to all get vaccinated. When the majority of a population is immune, diseases have trouble spreading.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also provides immunization schedules and helpful information on various diseases. It outlines what vaccines are needed at what age. Most of them are given to children. And in some cases, some are combined so they can be given with fewer shots.

 

Are There Side Effects Involved?

Vaccines can cause minor side effects to you and your child. But it’s important to know they are usually not severe. They may take the form of swelling from the injection. Children may also develop a small fever. In most cases, symptoms disappear in a day or so. Serious side effects are rare.

Vaccines undergo years of testing before they are deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA continues to track all vaccines after release to make sure there are no safety threats. Overall, the benefits of vaccines are far greater than any minor side effects.

 

If You Have Questions, Horizon Health is Here

As your primary care provider, Horizon Health Care always encourages you to ask any questions you may have.

  • Why does my child need vaccination?
  • What vaccinations do I need as an adult?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What do I do if there are side effects?
  • What happens if my child doesn’t get all the recommended schedule?
  • What happens if I miss a shot? Can I still get it?
  • What should I do if I don’t have health insurance, or my insurance doesn’t cover vaccinations?

 

Throughout the years, there have been myths spread about vaccines. To make matters worse, the internet is often not the best source of accurate information. Here are a few answers to common misconceptions.

NO, vaccines do NOT cause autism in children.
No matter what you may read or hear, there have been no credible studies linking vaccines to the development of autism. Current research suggests infants may be born with autism, long before any vaccine is introduced.

YES, an infant’s immune system can handle a vaccine.
Infants are exposed to hundreds of viruses and bacteria each day. So in fact, they’re immune system can handle much more than a vaccine.

Vaccines do NOT contain toxins that will harm you.
Some vaccines contain substances such as formaldehyde, aluminum, and mercury. But the amount is so small that the vaccines are completely safe and effective. These products are used to create safe vaccines and the toxic forms of these substances are not used in vaccines.

Vaccines do NOT cause the flu or other diseases.
Many people believe the flu shot actually causes the flu. This is a pretty common misconception. You can experience mild symptoms that resemble the illness. But you do not actually have the disease. Most flu vaccines are dead or dramatically weakened versions of the virus.

YES, we do still need vaccines, even with infections declining
The United States has a very high vaccination rate. But that is no reason to be complacent. Many serious diseases are still common place in other areas of the world. And if you’re not vaccinated, you could still risk exposure from another county. The only way to keep our infection rates low is to continue vaccinating.

 

Horizon Health Care encourages you to stay up to date on all vaccinations – for you, your family and the health of the public. Still have questions? Contact us any time about vaccinations and how they protect you.

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Marissa Schelske, RDH, Joins Horizon Health Care, Inc.

(WESSINGTON SPRINGS, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Marissa Schelske, Registered Dental Hygienist, to Jerauld County Dental Clinic and Aurora County Dental Clinic.

Schelske joins a team of two current providers: Dr. Nick Thome, DDS and Dr. Hilary Haley, DDS and one dental hygienist: Liza Kolousek, RDH, to provide quality dental care to the Wessington Springs and Plankinton communities.

Schelske attended the University of South Dakota where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 in Dental Hygiene. She has worked in the Huron community for the past 10 years.

“While in high school, I worked at my father’s dental office and my love for dentistry grew. From then on, I knew it would be the perfect career choice for me. I am very excited about joining the Horizon dental team to help people by educating and improving their oral health,” stated Marissa Schelske, RDH, who is currently available for appointments at Jerauld County Dental Clinic and Aurora County Dental Clinic.

Marissa, who is originally from Huron, currently resides in Virgil, SD with her husband, Adam, and their two sons, Holden and Hayes. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, checking cows with her boys, golfing, shopping, exercising, DIY projects and traveling.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Horizon Health Foundation receives nearly $500,000 for Building Renovations, Equipment, and Recruitment for Alcester Dental Clinic

(ALCESTER, SD) – Horizon Health Foundation has received generous donations from investors in Alcester, SD, to enhance the dental care provided at Horizon Health Care’s Alcester Dental Clinic.

Alcester Dental - Current

Currently, the Alcester Dental building is long-outdated and is not handicap accessible. Renovations will include larger, more accessible patient rooms, handicap-accessible entrances and bathroom, updated flooring and plumbing, plus updated dental equipment. Outside of the internal clinic updates, funds will also be used to assist in recruiting a dentist to the area to allow expanded service hours.

“Since our merger with allPOINTS in 2017, we have known that the Alcester Dental Clinic was in serious need of building and renovation updates,” said Christina Konechne, Horizon Health Care Chief Operations Officer. “However, with the uncertainty of adequate continued funding to align with our increased costs, we were not able to commit to this project on our own as soon as we would’ve liked to. When this opportunity came forward through donations to our Horizon Health Foundation, we were grateful to be able to move forward and invest in enhanced equipment to give patients a great dental experience.””

Investors involved in this project feel passionate about the long-term economic impact health care can play on the local community. Gary McKellips, a local retired businessman and Horizon Health Foundation board member, is one of the investors who spearheaded the idea of this project with the Horizon Health Foundation. “A dental office is a necessary business for Alcester and all communities,” said McKellips. “It provides local convenient care by reducing out-of-town trips for the elderly, minimizes time away from work by local employees, and actually contributes to the business community by bringing people to town for care.”

“The remodel of the dental clinic will allow us to expand access to quality dental care for Union County, due to the generosity of our investors,” said Tracy Pardy, Horizon Health Foundation Executive Director. “Their gift will make a lasting impact to many families and businesses in this community and the surrounding area for years to come.”

Other investors who have committed to supporting this project include: Alcester Community Foundation, Morningside Corporation, and Alcester Lions Club.

“There is nothing more important for the health of a community than having healthy residents,” said Gary Scott, Alcester Community Foundation President. “The Alcester Community Foundation has supported the physical health of our community with a number of grants for our medical clinic. Now, we are pleased to help support the dental health of our residents through this project.”

Alcester Dental Clinic will be closed throughout the remodel period, beginning Thursday, February 21st, to allow for a faster turn-around period and for the safety of patients. The project is expected to take 10-12 weeks before completion.

“We are looking forward to being able to provide a more patient-friendly experience and are committed to investing in this project and continuously improving the quality of care delivered in our clinics,” said Konechne.

Any dental questions or concerns will still be handled by the Alcester Dental staff, but can be routed through the Yankton location at 605-260-0310.

An open house and ribbon cutting celebration will be held this spring, following completion of the renovations.

The Horizon Health Foundation was established in 2016 to ensure rural health care access to those in need and provide funding for Horizon Health Care. Horizon Health Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, seeks through responsible activities to encourage and derive sustaining gift support from current and former patients and interested friends, including corporate entities. The Horizon Health Foundation, operating in coordination with Horizon Health Care, is the duly designated fundraising arm for Horizon Health Care.  In the broadest sense, the purpose of the Foundation is to create an awareness of the financial needs of Horizon Health Care, which are not provided by patient charges and to systematically implement plans by which dollar needs can be met.

For more information, please visit http://www.horizonhealthfoundation.com or call 605.772.4553.

About Horizon Health Care

For the past 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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