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A New Knee, New Rooms, Local Care

  • Author: Robin Schilling
  • Date Submitted: Aug 5, 2020

“I wanted to know if I could get the most advanced methods in Gillette,” said Robin. “Dr. Israelsen was quiet and confident in answering my concerns, and I decided to have my surgery done here.”

Robin Schilling was supposed to have her knee replaced in March, but the suspension of elective surgeries at Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) meant she had to wait. Robin’s knee was just ‘worn out’, and the pain was affecting her every day, so she made the decision to have surgery as soon as it was safe to do so.

Even though Robin had seen providers at Powder River Orthopedics & Spine (PROS) several times over the years, her original plan was to get a second opinion in Billings before making a decision on where to have her surgery. She saw Dr. Stanford Israelsen at PROS and questioned him about how many of this type of surgery he had performed, how the procedure would be done, and what she could expect.

“I wanted to know if I could get the most advanced methods in Gillette,” said Robin. “Dr. Israelsen was quiet and confident in answering my concerns, and I decided to have my surgery done here.”

It was also important to Robin to try and stay local. She raised her family in Gillette, and she and her husband own a Gillette business, Tower Communications. Now they live in Sheridan, Wyoming, and support local businesses in both communities whenever they can.

Robin had her knee replacement surgery performed on June 1, and spent just one night in the hospital. She was one of the first patients to stay in the brand new Medical Surgical unit, just completed at the end of May. Called the Inpatient Room Replacement Project, the construction above the hospital Main Lobby means that all the patient rooms are new, the first time new rooms have been constructed since the hospital opened in 1982.

New CCMH Patient Rooms are Now Open

New Patient Rooms are Now Open

The new rooms in the Medical Surgical unit were designed with safety in mind. They are large and comfortable, with features like pullout seating for families and spacious bathrooms. Along with new patient rooms, there are comfortable new spaces for family and friends to gather on the second floor, above the Main Lobby.

“I really liked the bathroom, and the rooms are much bigger and nicer,” said Robin.
More important than the size of the rooms was the care Robin received at CCH. 

“It was a little scary to get up and walk around right after surgery,” said Robin. “The nurses were very reassuring and I never wanted for anything.”

Robin also used the new physical therapy room located adjacent to the Medical Surgical unit. She worked with a physical therapist from CCH Rehabilitation Services to practice the skills she would need when she got home, like negotiating the two steps from her garage into her house. It gave her the confidence to know that she could be safe at home.

Robin is home now and making good progress with her physical therapy sessions.

“But, I'm not very patient,” said Robin. “I think I should be doing more, but I understand it takes time.”

“It was a pleasure to work with Robin and I’m happy that she was pleased with her care,” said Dr. Israelsen. “I know that patients have many questions about having surgery, especially a major procedure like a knee replacement. It’s important to me to make sure my patients have the opportunity to have their questions answered beforehand—it reduces anxiety and usually makes their whole experience better. Our nurses and staff are the best I have worked with anywhere, and now we have facilities to match, both in surgery and the new patient rooms.”

“It really is a marvel that they can just put in a brand new knee," says Robin.

Dr. Stanford Israelsen is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Powder River Orthopedics & Spine in Gillette, Wyoming. The physicians at PROS take an innovative and comprehensive approach to the treatment of acute and chronic orthopedic pain. Have your procedure in our modern operating rooms at Campbell County Memorial Hospital or Powder River Surgery Center. For a consultation, call 307-686-1413 or visit www.cchwyo.org/PROS.