SMITH CENTER, Kan. – The leadership at Smith County Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of Perry Desbien to the staff. Desbien is a nurse practitioner with more than 20 years of healthcare experience.
“We’re pleased to be bringing a new nurse practitioner in the rural health clinic,” Allen Van Driel, CEO, said. “Perry is an excellent addition to our staff and will serve well with the providers already established at our facility.”
Desbien will join doctors Ferrill Conant, Hannah Haack, Justin Overmiller and Leah Wiehl and fellow nurse practitioners, Tammy Windscheffel and Wini Schaedel to see patients in the rural health clinic. He starts in the new role on July 17 and will spend the first few weeks getting oriented to the facility and community before seeing patients.
“Perry is an excellent addition to our team,” said Overmiller. “Our team is very close-knit. We enjoy working together to provide the best possible care for our patient community. Perry’s experience and attention to his patients make him an ideal provider for Smith County Memorial Hospital.”
In his extensive work in healthcare, Desbien has seen the industry through a number of different roles. He completed Coffeyville Community College’s paramedic program then earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wichita State University and spent three years as an RN before going back to Wichita State to earn an MSN-FNP.
“I started in the medical field as an EMT, then became a paramedic, then RN and then went to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner,” Desbien said. “This journey has given me many different perspectives on healthcare. I liked the science of medicine and the impact I made on saving lives.”
Desbien, his wife Kendra and their family will move to Smith Center from Hill City this summer.
“The decision to move to Smith Center was an easy and obvious choice for me and my family,” Desbien said. “Smith Center has a lot of amazing things going for it. It is a very nice, friendly, clean town. Everyone I mention Smith Center to says ‘that is a nice town.’ It is easy to see why other people say this after just the short time I have been there so far.”
He is also impressed with the new hospital facility and even more so with the school system and the importance of family that is apparent in his visits to the community.
“Education is very important to me,” he said. “I am a lifelong learner and the highly rated school system here is very exciting to me and my family. The job opportunity here will allow me a better work/life balance to be able to spend more time with my six children.”
The addition of Desbien is also the first step in a new care model the hospital is working toward.
“We’re in the process of ramping up to a new care model that will include staffing the emergency department with full-time mid-level providers,” Van Driel said. “Perry is the first step of that process and we look forward to building a base of nurse practitioners that focus primarily on patients needing emergency care.”
The hospital is following the model that several other facilities have found very successful.
“Not only does this give more focus to our emergency department, it also allows even more focused care for patients in quick care and those who have made appointments in the clinic because it doesn’t divide the providers’ attention,” Van Driel said. “This model has shown it can reduce wait times for patients, give more satisfactory care to patients and support providers’ work/life balance and give them the ability to maintain a productive clinic practice and emergency room.”
Van Driel explains that the hospital will need to hire additional mid-level providers before this model goes into effect completely.
“Our medical staff has been talking for several months about this model.” Van Driel said. “Our team is very special. I have never worked with a team of providers who are so thoughtful and careful about patient care. We want to bring on the right people to be part of that team so when we found Perry, we knew we could start the process of building toward this new model.”
Desbien agrees this role is exactly what he was looking for next in his career.
“My time as an NP has made me realize that caring and spending time with my patients is the most important thing to me,” Desbien said. “I have a strong emergency room skill set and background and this job in Smith Center is a perfect fit for me.”