SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - Kyle Brown, PA-C, a physician assistant with Regional West Physicians Clinic-Family Medicine, was recently named Preceptor of the Year by Creighton University’s Physician Assistant Program. He sees patients at Regional West Physicians Clinic-Family Medicine clinics in Sidney and Chappell, and at Regional West Garden County in Oshkosh.

The annual award winner is student-nominated and selected from numerous nominations of deserving preceptors. Brown’s nominators all noted his ability to make students feel seen and heard.

One student nominee said, “Kyle has both challenged me and believed in me more than I could have imagined in just my first rotation. He made me feel valued and heard and has created an extremely healthy learning environment. At the same time, he has taught me to not feel complacent and always find ways to learn throughout each patient interaction.”

“Kyle is passionate about training future physician assistants and provides them with an excellent example of what a patient-focused, forward-thinking provider is,” said Martha Stricker, MBA, RN, Regional West Physicians Clinic Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to have Kyle as part of the Regional West family.”

“Clinical preceptors give more than their knowledge – they offer their time, perspectives, counsel, and wisdom,” said Stephane VanderMeulen, MA, MPAS, PA-C, director of Creighton University’s Physician Assistant Program. “Mr. Brown goes beyond the typical role of preceptor to ensure that students rotating with him know how to learn continuously and serve their patients and their community well. We are truly grateful to have this high caliber preceptor for our students.”

Regional West’s Birth and Infant Care Center Receives Infant Holiday Clothing Donations

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ? Babies born in December at Regional West’s Birth and Infant Care Center (BICC) are celebrating their first holiday season in style, thanks to a Nebraska-based program called Handmade for the Holidays.

In 2011, Handmade for the Holidays started as a family support project to boost the spirits of families with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Since then, volunteers from across the Midwest have created and donated thousands of handmade items to newborn nurseries and NICUs in Nebraska, South Dakota, and western Iowa. Several organizations help collect, sanitize, and organize items, including Girl Scouts troops, sororities, and March of Dimes.

Erin Walvoord, NNP, splits her time working for the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and the BICC in Scottsbluff. When she saw that the Scottsbluff area didn’t have a newborn-focused support program, she made the effort to connect with Handmade for the Holidays and bring handmade donations here.

“There are many support programs available in the Omaha and Lincoln area, especially with March of Dimes. I wanted to bring something here,” Walvoord said.

Walvoord travels monthly from her home in eastern Nebraska to Scottsbluff, bringing outfits for each major holiday. Donations typically include a hat and bodysuit. Each item is unique and crafted with care by those who have donated yarn, clothing, or simply time.

“Some families use their outfits for newborn photos, while others keep theirs as keepsakes,” Walvoord said. “It’s nice to see families enjoy a handmade item that’s special and unique.”

When COVID-19 hit, Handmade for the Holidays continued to be a bright spot for both families and volunteers. Many women in nursing homes took up knitting and crocheting to help keep the supply going, which led to growth for the program. 

“In the peak of the pandemic, this project found a way to keep the oldest and youngest populations connected. We saw a lot of growth during COVID-19,” Walvoord said.

Birth and Infant Care Center Director Erika Carmody, MSN, RN, said she appreciates the generosity of donors and the impact they have on patients’ families.

“The BICC and Pediatrics employees are always elated to have these adorable handmade items to give to our babies and their families,” Carmody said. “We are so thankful for the generosity of the Handmade for the Holidays group, as well as Erin, for being so dedicated in getting us these items. This program brings a lot of joy to our families and employees around the holidays.”