A family-medicine physician, who recently moved to Larned, has started seeing patients at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital and its clinic, Pawnee Valley Medical Associates.
Kurtis Herwich, DO, is caring for and treating patients of all ages, offering the full range of primary-care services. His office is at the clinic.
“I have been interested in a smaller community ever since I started medical school,” Dr. Herwich said. “There are many challenges in rural areas but Larned has an excellent balance. It provides many services found in larger cities, as well as those offered in collaboration with HaysMed.
“The facilities are very impressive and it is obvious that this community cares deeply for their hospital,” he added. “Everyone has been welcoming and I hope they are as excited about working with me as I am about working with them.”
Dr. Herwich treats the whole gamut of family-medicine conditions – from anemia to zinc deficiency.
“Most days there is a mix of sore throats, runny noses, itchy eyes and sports injuries, as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood pressure.
“We also encourage health maintenance and management through yearly check-ups and offer advice about healthy lifestyles,” he noted. “It is easier to establish good habits to prevent disease than it is to treat a condition once it has developed.”
Dr. Herwich has specialized training in Wilderness Medicine, which focuses on patients in austere environments where an Emergency Department is not readily available.
“This includes treatment for injuries, lightning strikes, elevation sickness and snake bites,” he explained. “I also have training in advanced wound care.”
In addition, Dr. Herwich has a personal understanding of the challenges that patients and their families encounter.
“My personal health experiences have given me valuable insight into the medical system, teaching me empathy and perseverance.
“I always try to treat my patients with the same dignity and respect that I would expect for myself. I empower patients to be involved in decision-making to optimize their outcomes.”
The physician offered a definition of a DO, doctor of osteopathic medicine, who receives the same training as an MD, medical doctor. “But there is also additional training for DOs in hands-on techniques for muscle, joint and spine concerns.”
Dr. Herwich earned his DO degree in 2010 at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. His family-practice residency was performed at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in Niagara Falls, N.Y., from 2011 to 2015.
Previous employers include Wilson Medical Center in Neodesha, Hillsboro Community Hospital and Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care, Kansas City, Ks.
Prior to medical school, Dr. Herwich earned a bachelor’s in mass communications/radio & TV at Kansas State University in 1994. He worked in video and film production, mostly as a sound recordist, for about 14 years. This included extensive national and international travel.
Today, his traveling companion around town and other destinations is Buster Bleu, a rescue cat.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Herwich to our family-medicine team,” said Melanie Urban, Administrator of Pawnee Valley Community Hospital. “His passion for patients, listening to their stories and empowering their active role in their own care make him an excellent addition to our hospital and community.”
Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, 923 Carroll in Larned, is a 25-bed facility, offering many services not typically available in a smaller facility. Included are 24/7 emergency care; acute, skilled and specialized nursing; surgery; high-tech imaging and laboratory tests; rehabilitation; and sleep and diagnostic center. The Pawnee Valley Medical Associates clinic, 713 W. 11th, provides the full range of family-medicine services; physician-assisted weight loss; and women’s health services. The hospital’s number is 620-285-3161; the clinic’s number is 620-804-6007.