HMS signs contract with new doctor

Adrian Durham comes with plenty of experience including pararescue and emergency medicine


Photo courtesy Adrian Durham

Doctor Adrian Durham has recently signed a contract with Health Management Services to work at Platte Valley Clinic.

Since Health Management Services (HMS) announced they were assuming management of the Corbett Medical Clinic in Saratoga in August 2018, one of the biggest concerns for Valley residents has been when a doctor would be brought to the area.

While HMS, the Platte Valley Healthcare Project (PVHP) and the Corbett Medical Foundation have navigated the path to a critical access hospital, that concern had not gone unheard by any three of the organizations.

"You think back to our community healthcare assessment that we did initially and that was what people in the Valley want," said PHVP Chairman Will Faust.

"It was the elephant in the room," said Laura Bucholz, member of the Corbett Medical Foundation.

That search has appeared to have finally come to an end as HMS has signed a contract with Dr. Adrian Durham. Durham currently resides in Cheyenne and is undergoing a Family Medicine residency with the University of Wyoming. With a Bachelor of Science and Biology from Valdosta State University and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, it appears that Durham comes with some of the right credentials. Durham also has experience in an emergency room setting, having completed an emergency medicine residency with Adena Health System from 2016 to 2018.

Prior to entering the civilian medical field, however, Durham was a pararescuer in the United States Airforce from 1999 to 2013. Having had experience in a different setting in which not all medical supplies are available when needed, a remote area such as the Platte Valley may be slightly different while still providing a challenge.

"I pulled up the old bylaws of the Corbett Medical Foundation and that's exactly what it talks about is recognizing the difficulty of getting a practitioner to come to our Valley that has limited resources, limited everything. He's been in places that have had a lot more limitations than he has here," Bucholz said.

"He thrives in that type of environment. He likes the challenge," added Mark Pesognelli.

The search for a doctor hasn't been easy, according to the three groups. Though it may have appeared the search had been placed on hiatus in lieu of pursuing the critical access hospital, HMS has either interviewed or spoken with five potential candidates, including Durham.

"We didn't want to have a false start. We didn't want to have the wrong candidate, we didn't want to have somebody that showed up and didn't realize what winter looked like or what Wyoming looked like," said HMS President Karl Rude. "It was a very specific candidate that we had to find and we're very glad that we found him."

"This has been a joint effort. HMS is obviously the provider and the owner of the business but they've really included both Corbett Medical Foundation and the PVHP in the process. The idea is the recruiters go out, find resumes. Mark and Karl have been sifting through those to see which ones might be worth at least a phone interview," Faust said.

While there have been five candidates that HMS has talked with, only three of those have made the trip to Saratoga to see what the community is like. Durham made the trip with his wife, who is also a Doctor of Osteopathy and currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration, and his children to the area in March. According to Faust, the family was shown around Saratoga by Pesognelli, which included a tour of Valley Foods and the Saratoga schools with Principal Darrin Jennings.

"Really excited that him and his wife and his kids are going to be moving to Saratoga. They're in the process of signing a lease on a house, which is exciting. We're just thrilled to have this checked off the box," said Faust. "It's not even that we haven't been trying to find somebody, it's you want to find the right person. There are budgetary constraints on things and we're really excited to welcome them into our community."


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