New Law Provides More Access to Medical Care

SPRINGFIELD, S.D.-Chelsie Promes always dreamed of owning a business. Now, that’s a reality.

“I just thought that it would be a great need for the community,” said Promes.

She’s an independent nurse practitioner who owns Quality Health Clinic in Springfield. Promes can run the facility thanks to a state law that took effect last summer. It allows nurse practitioners to deliver many services without doctor supervision as long as they’ve trained more than one-thousand hours with doctors by their side.

She’s one of the first nurse practitioners in South Dakota to run her own practice. Now that Promes has her certification, she’s focusing on small town patients.

“Doctors like to congregate more in your larger communities just because there’s more opportunity and there’s more specialties and that’s what we’re seeing with the smaller communities. They just want a family practice that can do more of the holistic care,” said Promes. This practice gives people a closer option.

“With our aging population it’s harder for them to travel,” said Promes.

Before opening her clinic in February, Promes says Springfield residents had to drive 30 minutes to an hour away for care. Now she’s there to diagnose, treat and prescribe medications for everyday illnesses and even chronic conditions.

“Hypertension, diabetes, and then  we’ve also had our urgent care cases that come in such as a sinus infection or the common influenza or strep throat,” said Promes.

There are still things people will have to travel to see a doctor for like a cat scan or an MRI, but Promes says there are many things she can help with. The small town has shown a lot of appreciation.

“People just stop by even if they’re not sick to say hi and that they’re so glad that we are in the community for them when they need it,” said Promes.

The Springfield clinic is only open Mondays and Tuesdays, but the goal is to eventually expand those hours. A second location in Yankton is expected to open in June.

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