OSAGE | Mitchell County Regional Health Center (MCRHC) recently signed a contract with a full-time general surgeon, Dr. Erik Branstetter, to join the MCRHC team in July 2018.

"I am so excited to offer these services to our patients," Shelly Russell, MCRHC CEO said, "he will be a valuable clinician to both our patients and our communities."

According to Russell, Dr. Branstetter has over 18 years of experience, serving most recently at Aspirus Medford Hospital, Medford, Wisconsin, as their general surgeon. He also served as chief of staff and chief of surgery.

While employed at Aspirus, Branstetter also served in the United States Army Reserves on a Surgical Team from 1999 to 2009, deployed to Iraq in 2003 and to Fort Bliss, Texas in 2006.

Russell said the Mason City Clinic provides visiting specialty providers and will continue to provide specialty clinic services to MCRHC.

"The addition of Dr. Branstetter to our clinical team gives our patients more access to surgical services within our geographic area," Russell said, adding, "surgeries will occur almost every weekday starting in July and will provide a broader scope of surgical procedures done right here in Mitchell County."

Examples of additional surgical procedures, according to Russell, include colonoscopies, endoscopies, hernia repairs, breast biopsies, appendectomies, carpal tunnel, and some orthopedic and gynecological procedures.

"These are just a few surgeries that Dr. Branstetter can offer; the list of possible procedures is quite extensive," Russell said.

Russell said MCRHC providers will continue to work with patients to refer for surgical procedures appropriately.

Dr. Branstetter will begin seeing patients at MCRHC one week each month during the months of February through June, while he finishes out his current employment contract in Wisconsin, Russell said.

According to Russell, MCRHC has had an agreement with Mason City Clinic to provide surgical services each week for general surgery procedures, such as colonoscopies, gall bladder and hernia repair surgeries.

Russell said for the months leading up to July, Dr. Ahari from the Mason City Clinic, will also continue to provide surgical services and consultation in the Specialty Clinic located on the MCRHC Osage campus until Dr. Branstetter joins the team full-time.