Monument Health Custer adds new doctor

Avery Sides, M.D., a Nebraska native who has been practicing family medicine in the Black Hills since 2014, will join the medical staff at Monument Health Custer Hospital in July.
“I’m excited about being able to stay in the Black Hills,” said Dr. Sides, who has been with Fall River Health Services since moving to the Black Hills. “Monument Health Custer offers new opportunities and resources that allow me to continue working as a rural family doctor.”
During medical school and her residency in Omaha, Dr. Sides worked in underserved urban communities. However, her ultimate goal was to care for patients, families and community in underserved rural areas. She enjoys personal contact with patients and their families. She also likes that she has access to the resources of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Monument Health has been a member of the network since early 2020.
“We’ve known of [Dr. Sides] and her high-quality clinical work for years,” said Dr. Lisa Brown of Monument Health Custer Hospital and Clinic. “We’re excited to have her join us!”
In addition, some physicians at Custer Hospital and Clinic are experiencing transitions in their roles. Dr. Brown has taken on additional local and system leadership service. Dr. Kelly Phommahaxay, a new mother, will serve patients on an as-needed basis. Dr. Joy Falkenburg will serve fewer hours so she can pursue other interests.
Dr. Brown, who has been with Custer Hospital since 2008, has expanded her role. Since the fall of 2020 she has served as a physician advisor for Monument Health critical access hospitals. She also participates/leads system quality improvement projects representing primary care physicians/providers and the critical access hospitals in those efforts.
Dr. Brown loves her patients and direct patient care work, but also finds value in working to improve processes that support best care given by other physicians, providers and caregivers. She has transitioned to two days a week in clinic and continues to cover the emergency room and hospital as needed.
Dr. Phommahaxay’s family and her husband’s family are all in California. With the addition of Kota, their baby son, they are looking to move back to be with family, but does not have a definite end date for her service here. She will continue to care for patients in clinic, emergency and hospital.
Dr. Falkenburg, who has been working as a physician in Custer for 21 years, wants to spend more time being a mother, community member and mentor for other Custer doctors. She will be in clinic Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
She spent her professional springtime in college, medical school and residency. During her summer of life, she built a family, built a business and was a warrior for herself and those around her, she said.  
“Now, I am entering a fall in my life,” she said. “The relationships and the people I have nurtured fulfill me greatly. I am in love with my life and I want to take some time to reap the benefits of a life lived well and the seeds sown in the community – my family.”
Monument Health officials assure the community that access to care is available through a great team of nurses, physicians and other care providers through scheduled or walk-in visits.  Patients are encouraged to develop relationships with physicians or providers they view as their primary care provider. Having a continuous trusting relationship with a physician or CNP or PA-C improves patient experience and health outcomes.
Monument Health Custer Hospital offers 24-hour coverage in the Emergency Department and the hospital inpatient care. Providers take turns staffing the emergency room and care for the patients admitted to the hospital in addition to their clinic schedules.

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