Springfield's convenient clinic
SPRINGFIELD — For five years, Springfield resident Bernadine Pinkelman had to travel 30 miles to Yankton for her doctor appointments.
The travel forced her husband to rearrange his plans and drive her, compromising the couple's individual plans.
But Tuesday, Pinkelman visited her recently reopened hometown clinic, Quality Health Clinic, getting care just blocks from her home for the first time in a half decade.
"It's just so much easier for me to walk down there since I don't drive," Pinkelman said. "I know a lot of the other older ladies in town feel the same, too. It's a great thing to have here and we're grateful for it."
In mid-February, nurse practitioner Chelsie Promes opened the Eighth Street clinic, the only health care facility in town, aside from a dentist's office.
Each week, Promes has seen more local residents flock to her clinic, and when the clinic is soon able to accept more forms of health insurance, Promes expects another influx of patients.
A Yankton resident, Promes teaches nursing classes three days per week at Mount Marty College and operates the clinic on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Promes received her nursing degree in 2011 from College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, and worked in intensive care for four years. She obtained her master's in nursing education from Nebraska Wesleyan University, also in Omaha, in 2014 and her family nurse practitioner degree from Clarkson College, Omaha, in 2016.
She has worked at Mount Marty for four years, while also treating patients at Yankton's urgent care facility.
When classes are over in June, she expects to provide more availability at the clinic, and she and her husband are working to open a pharmacy in Springfield, too.
"I've always had a passion for helping people and Springfield is awesome," Promes said. "Everybody is appreciative of our clinic and it feels good."
For now, though, Promes works largely by herself, with the help of a nurse in the facility that houses three exam rooms, an infusion room and procedure room.
As a nurse practitioner, Promes can perform various tests, such as X-rays and lab work, and she can treat infections, chronic illnesses and prescribe medications.
Prior to deciding to open her Springfield clinic, Promes had rarely visited the Bon Homme County town, aside from driving by en route to other places. But when she asked city officials about equipment in the then-closed clinic, they told her the equipment wasn't for sale. But the right to reopen the clinic was. And upon investigation, Promes found there is a need for health care options in Springfield and ultimately decided it was the right place to expand her career.
"We just saw this need and when I talked about it with my husband, we realized it was something I could really help with," Promes said. "So far it's been really great."