Let's DISH about the Clarion Clinic

The Clarion Family Practice Clinic is so much more than just Family Practice.  We have many services including behavioral health, diabetes education, laboratory services, nutrition coaching, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatric medication services, hormone therapy, internal medicine, autism/ADHD services plus genetic testing.
Let's DISH about the Clarion Clinic
Featured Speaker:
Alexis Chaney, Clinic Nurse Leader
Alexis Chaney is a Clinic Nurse Leader.

Gina Schnathorst: Welcome to the Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics' ISH Dish Podcast, practical health advice from Iowa Specialty Hospital experts. We want to connect the members of our communities with the latest healthcare information that's understandable, relatable, and useful to your daily life. With us in the studio today, I am so happy to be talking to Lexi Chaney. And Lexi is the clinic leader for Clarion. How are you doing?

Alexis Chaney: I'm doing good. How are you?

Gina Schnathorst: Wonderful. Absolutely good.

Alexis Chaney: Good.

Gina Schnathorst: At the time of this recording, it's a rainy Monday.

Alexis Chaney: I think we needed it though. I'm ready for the snow to be gone.

Gina Schnathorst: So many lakes out there in the country.

Alexis Chaney: Lots of them. That's what my son called him this morning, yep.

Gina Schnathorst: I was half expecting to see water-skiing squirrels or something.

Alexis Chaney: I think he was too. Yep.

Gina Schnathorst: So funny. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. And our main focus for the day is going to be talking about the clinic specific to Clarion. We have many clinics in our system, one at the Belmont Hospital and then one in Clarion, and then we have all the outliers. So, I feel like the Clarion Clinic, probably the same with the Belmont, the fact that they're in the hospital makes them a little bit different because we're not so specialized, we have a lot of things going on.

Alexis Chaney: We do. And we have a lot of resources too that we can reach out to, which is great.

Gina Schnathorst: Perfect. So, let's educate the public and tell them what all we offer from Clarion.

Alexis Chaney: Yeah. So, you know, most people see the family practice clinic and they think, "Okay, just family practice, well-childs, physicals. But you know, we have everything from behavior health, diabetes education; family medicine, of course; lab services, obstetrics; psychiatric medication services, so it kind of plays with the behavioral health services that we offer; hormone therapy, internal medicine; and then autism, ADHD services, which we have people come all over the United States to our hospital specifically for.

Gina Schnathorst: Because we have Dr. Ahrendsen.

Alexis Chaney: Correct. And Karn Johansen.

Gina Schnathorst: And Karn Johansen, and those two make an incredible team.

Alexis Chaney: They are wonderful.

Gina Schnathorst: And that really is a very specialized service.

Alexis Chaney: Yes. It's not something you see a lot of. We're always looking for more specialists in that area for sure.

Gina Schnathorst: Awesome. Well, I'm glad that we have that. And he's been doing that for many years, correct?

Alexis Chaney: Yes, a long time. And I plan to keep him for a little bit longer.

Gina Schnathorst: Good. So, we've talked about the different services that are offered at the clinic. So, how many different providers maybe would you have on staff in a certain day?

Alexis Chaney: Yeah. Like, today it's a Monday. It's one of our busier days, and I've got about 12 on staff that's including behavioral health. I have all the way from obstetrics to family medicine to an acute provider, internal med, and then we have our ADHD autism providers on staff.

Gina Schnathorst: So for the people who don't speak hospital speak, what does acute mean? We struggle with this a lot in marketing.

Alexis Chaney: Absolutely. Acute is that you wake up and you feel sick and you feel like you need to go see a doctor, that's your acute. Or you know, you stubbed your finger needing a quick x-ray, that considered an acute.

Gina Schnathorst: Do we take same-day appointments?

Alexis Chaney: We do. Yep. And that's kind of what an acute is. We have same-days set aside for your PCP. So if you wanted to talk about a medication, that'd be more with your PCP obviously, your primary.

Gina Schnathorst: Primary care.

Alexis Chaney: Yep. So, they have a couple same-day slots for those in their schedules.

Gina Schnathorst: I think that's a huge selling point.

Alexis Chaney: Yes.

Gina Schnathorst: Because you don't know what's going to happen, especially to your child overnight. You know, they're the ones that wake up at 2:00 AM with a fever and, you think, "Oh my."

Alexis Chaney: And we hold those. You know, we hold them until the night before or that morning of. So then, we have those 18 slots available for those 18 people that need to be seen right away. And we do that on purpose.

Gina Schnathorst: Perfect. That is worth the price of admission right there, folks. All right. So, we talked about how many different providers we see in a normal clinic day. Obviously, those change on a day-to-day basis. Everybody's scheduled differently. I, for one, want to commend you because I've done what you do and it's insane to try to keep all the providers, A, happy; B, where they're supposed to be.

Alexis Chaney: Yes.

Gina Schnathorst: And then, everybody has a nurse. Oh, it's a lot.

Alexis Chaney: It's a lot. But it's fun and it makes it fun because all the different personalities and things we do. It's worth it to me.

Gina Schnathorst: It seems like there's always food or parties or celebrations or something going on down there.

Alexis Chaney: We celebrate everything. You know, National Dog Day. National Redhead Day, that's a big one in our clinic.

Gina Schnathorst: There you go.

Alexis Chaney: We have five or six in our clinic right now, which is unheard of.

Gina Schnathorst: Just speaking from marketing because that's what I do, we talk a lot about the things that we do in our system that set us apart from everybody else. And when I had Dakota on a while ago, we talked about recruitment. Why'd you want to work here? You know, the different things that do set us apart. So if I were to ask you that question, what do you feel sets the Clarion Clinic apart from other people outside of our system?

Alexis Chaney: Yep. That's a great question. We're one big dysfunctional family, for sure. You know, I said that when we were talking before, we spend five days a week with each other, sometimes 10 hours a day. You know, we know everything about each other's families. Some people have delivered one's babies and, you know, some have watched them graduate high school.

We support growth with one another. You know, if someone wants to move on, we understand and we want them to grow and we support that. We're very transparent in who we are as well. It takes time, but patients keep coming back and we feel that's for a reason. And we care and we do whatever it takes to give them the best care. And we live up to that standard of Iowa Specialty.

Gina Schnathorst: That's awesome. I think it does make a difference when the people that you work with, especially that are public-facing, when you act like a family because you are like a family, that comes across to people and I think it makes them more comfortable. It does make them want to come back and see you because then they become part of your family.

Alexis Chaney: They do. They do. We've had people start with-- Dr. Whitters for example, I mean, he delivered babies, then he delivered their babies and then delivered-- the list goes on. It's very heartwarming to watch and see every day.

Gina Schnathorst: It is, yeah. He's a great example of that because he's gone through a lot of generations of baby deliveries. He delivered my daughter 31 years ago.

Alexis Chaney: Awesome.

Gina Schnathorst: And he didn't deliver me, but I love those stories. And we've had pictures of him before where, you know, he's lined up with all these babies that he's delivered.

Alexis Chaney: Yeah. And he follows their grandparents and their great-grandparents. It's awesome.

Gina Schnathorst: Yep. So if you were going to do some wishful thinking provider recruiting, who are you looking for? Or what services are we still needing?

Alexis Chaney: I know we always say we want a pediatrician or another male doctor for those male patients. But honestly, we're not looking for just one particular doctor. You know, we're looking for someone that's going to fit into our family, that's going to want to grow with us and change. You know, we have those bad days, but also have many more good days, and someone that we can refer our own family to. Because in the end, we don't want to work somewhere that we wouldn't even bring our own family to. And honestly, we have tons of different cultural backgrounds, personalities, and just someone that can adapt and work day in and day out and love what they do too.

Gina Schnathorst: Yeah. And you and I both know, especially being part of the leadership team for Iowa Specialty, that coming up in the ranks, that whole thing, we have a lot of older providers who eventually will retire, so we're going to have to keep that bucket filled. You know, it's sad to see that Dr. Whitters retired. And I'm sure Dr. Ahrendsen will be, you know, eventually, and there are others.

Alexis Chaney: Yeah. And you know, we found a great fit with Dr. Burke, who joined our team and kind of got to follow Dr. Whitters and kind of see-- and we have Dr. Tew and Dr. Andrea obviously that do more of that side of his specialty that he did. So, it's truly just getting them in and seeing where they fit and how they flow day in and they out. And we found that Dr. Burke does flow great on that obstetrics and pediatric and family medicine side.

Gina Schnathorst: Good. What about construction? Are you guys in the midst of anything in that area?

Alexis Chaney: We aren't currently. We're kind of doing some, I would say, remodeling and moving. We're kind of opening our registration up a little bit more. We're going to have the registration ladies facing the waiting room.

Gina Schnathorst: Facing the fish.

Alexis Chaney: Yes. You know, we want our patients to be able to-- you know, if they've been waiting a long time or they need something to be able to walk right up and talk to somebody. So, having that more one-on-one. Other than that, right now we're not doing a lot good. But we've got some big changes coming in the future.

Gina Schnathorst: And quite honestly, if you haven't been to the Clarion waiting area, the clinic and seen those fish, they're amazing.

Alexis Chaney: I know,. You know, I contemplated on getting rid of them for a while and I'm like, "I just can't do it." I can't bring myself to it.

Gina Schnathorst: It's kind of iconic now.

Alexis Chaney: They are. You know, they are. The kids love them, even the adults love them. So, they're there to stay.

Gina Schnathorst: Yeah. It gives you something to look at. Brings your blood pressure down.

Alexis Chaney: It does. kind of relaxing.

Gina Schnathorst: It is. Yeah. Talk about your hours. What are the hours for the clinic?

Alexis Chaney: Yeah. So currently, we're 7:30 to 5:00. We start seeing patients at 7:40 in the morning. And our last patient is seen at 4:40. It just depends on the provider and their schedule and kind of how it works.

Gina Schnathorst: Saturdays?

Alexis Chaney: We are open from 9:00 to noon.

Gina Schnathorst: Okay. And then, is that by appointment?

Alexis Chaney: We like by appointment only. Obviously, if someone walks in we understand, but we prefer scheduling an appointment before, so we can make sure that we have the tools necessary to take care of that patient.

Gina Schnathorst: Right. So, if I had a young one who woke up in the middle of the night sick, what's the earliest I can call?

Alexis Chaney: 7:30.

Gina Schnathorst: You can call at 7:30? Okay.

Alexis Chaney: Yep. I have a medical secretary that is there answering phones at 7:30.

Gina Schnathorst: I bet they start ringing too.

Alexis Chaney: They do. They do, which is great. Hey, we'll take it.

Gina Schnathorst: That's perfect.

Alexis Chaney: That's right.

Gina Schnathorst: Great. Any last thoughts about the clinic that you want people to know about?

Alexis Chaney: it's just an awesome place. And honestly, you know, if you're--

Gina Schnathorst: And you're not saying that just because you work there, right?

Alexis Chaney: I'm not. I'm not. I doctored with Mercy and, you know, I live in Hampton. I don't even live in Clarion, but I drive here every day. It's a great place to be. It's embracing, it's warm. You know, If you're contemplating on being a patient here, come walk around with us, come make an appointment with me and, you know, I can really show you what our clinic offers and obviously what Iowa Specialty as a whole offers as well.

Gina Schnathorst: Yeah, you can try before you buy.

Alexis Chaney: That's right.

Gina Schnathorst: I think that's a wonderful idea because, you know, we talk a lot about our ReDoc program. know, if somebody wanted to become a patient, there is a process that they can go through at the hospital to become a patient and we'll transfer your records and do all the things for you. So, you don't really need to just be scared that, you know, the provider that you see is somebody you're stuck with or you're just not sure about becoming a patient at the clinic in Clarion. Just, yeah, call Lexi and we'll just show you around.

Alexis Chaney: I would love it. And, you know, if you are seeing a provider and they feel like you might be better off with a different one with different specialties, they will refer you and we will walk you through that process. And it happens more often than we think. So, it's great. We all work together.

Gina Schnathorst: Yeah, that's good. It's always good to ebb and flow.

Alexis Chaney: Yes.

Gina Schnathorst: And if you want more information, you can check out our website. Or what's the phone number for the clinic?

Alexis Chaney: 532-9836.

Gina Schnathorst: 9836. 532-9836. Thank you so much for being on the show today.

Alexis Chaney: Thank you for having me.

Gina Schnathorst: Yes, absolutely. Thank you for listening to Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics' ISH Dish Podcast. For more information on the topics we discussed today, visit us on the web at iowaspecialtyhospital.com. There, you can read a transcript of today's episode or previously aired episodes, as well as get the latest news from Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics, and explore all of the services that we offer. For the ISH Dish Podcast, I'm Gina. Thanks for tuning in.