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Whole patient care

Buske joins CHC and hopes to help make it a ‘medical home’ for patients

November 29, 2010
By JESSE HELLING, Messenger city editor

Since its establishment in 2006, the Community Health Center of Fort Dodge has expanded its services.

The descendant of the former Fort Dodge Free Clinic has evolved into a full-service medical establishment with more than 20 full-time medical professionals. In addition to providing general medical services target to the uninsured and underinsured, the CHC offers an in-house pharmacy and dental clinic.

This growing wealth of resources is what drew Sherry Buske to the clinic, she said.

Buske, a board-certified family nurse practitioner, joined the CHC staff in September.

Her goal is to help make CHC a "medical home" for patients.

"There is big potential to do a lot of good things in terms of whole patient care," Buske said.

Fact Box

Sherry Buske

Town:?Fort Dodge

Position:?Family nurse practitioner, Community Health Center of Fort Dodge

Hours worked:?Varies

How to reach her:?576-6500

By focusing on a patient's overall health, rather than just treating acute illnesses, CHC can help improve patient outcomes, Buske said.

"We want patients to feel safe and trusted and that their care is patient-centered," Buske said.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Buske has previously worked as a nurse in the endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism department at McFarland Clinic in Ames.

Prior to her work at CHC, Buske established the Diabetes Center at Trinity Regional Medical Center, where she worked for 12 years.

A major focus of Buske's work at CHC is also diabetic care, she said.

Statistically, Webster County has among the highest rates of diabetes in Iowa - 8.3 percent of the population over age 20, according to Buske.

Diabetes treatment is a prime example of how the whole-patient approach comes into play, she said.

In addition to drug treatments, diabetes management involves helping patients develop healthier habits pertaining to nutrition and exercise, as well as keeping an eye on blood pressure and blood sugar levels, among other things, Buske said.

"You really get a chance to build a rapport with patients," she said.

To help improve health education is the area, Buske has worked with CHC to provide twice-monthly nutrition classes free of charge to anyone who chooses to register, she said.

Buske said she hopes to help expand such educational opportunities at the CHC.

Contact Jesse Helling at (515) 573-2141 or



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