When Brian Klippenstein traveled to Gillette last year, it was under less than ideal circumstances. While on an 800-mile drive from Missouri to Montana, Brian's father, Glen, had a heart attack in his Gillette hotel room. As soon as Brian heard what had happened, he and his mother flew to Gillette from Missouri and hoped that everything would be OK.
When they arrived at Campbell County Health, the two were surprised at not only how well Glen was doing, but at the wonderful care he was receiving as well.
"People were friendly and inviting," Brian said. "The professional and capable care was clear to us."
After calling 911, Glen had been rushed to the Cardiac Cath Lab and had two stents put into place by
Dr. Sairav Shah, FACC. The quick response is something that Brian said most likely saved his father's life.
"He was in big trouble and he needed care fast," Brian said.
For the next couple of days while Glen was at Campbell County Health, Brian and his mom became acquainted with the hospital staff and were impressed by the entire experience. At one point during his stay in the hospital, Campbell County Health CEO Andy Fitzgerald visited Glen as well. For Brian, when the CEO showed up in the room, he said he realized there was something unique about CCH.
"I knew it had to be some kind of culture of the hospital, coupled with the goodness of the community," Brian said. "It's a good, neighborly, rural attitude that makes it so unique."
The family not only felt like they were treated well while Glen was in the hospital, but the care he received was top-notch as well, Brian said.
"Dr. Shah not only gave all the information necessary to the cardio care physicians, but he also called dad," Brian said. "It just showed he cared."
Dr. Shah has been practicing in Gillette for a little more than a year at Campbell County Medical Group Cardiology. In that time, Dr. Shah and
Dr. Nicholas Stamato have established the first Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory in Gillette. Previously, patients suffering from heart-related emergencies were flown to larger regional hospitals in the area. Now with Drs. Shah and Stamato on board at CCH, patients can be treated close to home.
"We came here to help establish this cardiac care center in the community,"Dr. Shah said. "It's an honor to be selected by the hospital to provide these services."
While Dr. Shah always thought he would become a neurosurgeon like his father, cardiac care drew him in during his residency.
"When I was doing my residency, I fell in love with it," Dr. Shah said. "I like to work with my hands and help people improve their overall health."
Beyond helping the community by providing the cardiac services, Dr. Shah also enjoys working with patients directly and not only saving their lives, but helping them to maintain and improve their health over time. When patients come in during emergency situations the focus for Dr. Shah is to get the blood flowing in the heart again and under those circumstances it's not always easy to establish the doctor patient relationship, he said.
"The first thing I do is help them understand what's going on," Dr. Shah said. "We try to get that relationship established immediately."
After the emergency situation has been resolved, Dr. Shah spends time with patients determining what changes need to be made in their life to keep their heart healthy and avoid future heart attacks.
For patients like Glen Klippenstein the services provided at the hands of Dr. Shah helped save his life. That's something that Glen and his son won't quickly forget.
"He's told scores of people, 'thank God I spent the night in Gillette, Wyoming,'" Brian said. "He knows he had an outstanding experience there."
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer