By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Sooner or later, a guy needs to slow down a little—smell the roses, so to speak.
That’s the path Kearney orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Meyer, 62, will take.
After 30 years of visiting the Chase County Community Hospital for his orthopedic clinic, today (Thursday) will mark his final regular clinic day here.
Over the years, Dr. Meyer has done many a surgery at CCCH. “The staff has been good to work with,” he noted.
In fact, he said Imperial has always felt like his home away from home.
But he said now it’s time to slow down, or at least his wife thinks so.
“I’m going to try to not work all the time,” he said. But he’s not leaving medicine behind all together.
He plans to work a four-day week at the Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital in O’Neil.
He said the schedule won’t be so crazy. Plus, he’s relinquishing trauma call at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
He said it’s not unusual to get called out in the middle of the night, which is then followed by hours of surgery.
“I don’t have as much energy as I used to,” he admitted.
Long association here
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Meyer has come to Imperial for his clinic and surgery every week or every other week.
One advantage Dr. Meyer has is that he’s a pilot and he’s made the commute via his airplane. Otherwise, he doubted a clinic here would have worked for him.
He can make the trip in about 45 minutes and lives right beside the airstrip he uses near Riverdale, north of Kearney.
He admitted not coming to Imperial is going to create a void, after coming here all these years.
“Ive been coming here so long, I can’t even remember when I started,” he said. But he knows Dr. Bryce Shopp was still practicing in Imperial when he first came.
Mission work in Africa
In addition to his practice, Kearney Bone and Joint Clinic, Dr. Meyer also finds time to travel to Africa for mission work.
He recently returned from Tanzania. While there, he did a total hip replacement, a surgery unheard of there.
Meyer’s team taught Tanzanian doctors how to use special equipment to fix broken hips.
He first went to Africa in 2003 as part of Siouxland Tanzania Education Medical Ministries, a mission started by a Sioux City, Iowa surgeon.
His first trip in 2003 was prompted when Dr. Steve Meyer, an orthopedic surgeon in Sioux City, Iowa, asked him if he could fill in as part of the (STEMM) team, a Christian missionary organization Steve Meyer began in 1996.
He and his wife returned in 2006.
The hospital will hold a reception for Dr. Meyer and his traveling staff today (Thursday) in the hospital dining room starting at 2 p.m.
The public is invited to attend.