2020 Doctor’s Day National Doctor’s Day on March 30 provides the Great Plains Health team and our region’s communities another opportunity to show our appreciation for the many fine physicians who serve our region. We are truly grateful for the commitment to exceptional medical care that our physicians provide and for the many miles they travel to ensure that the people of our region receive quality care as close to home as possible. This special publication is a tribute to our physicians, who spend countless hours making a significant impact on the health of our community. In an age of increasing regulation, reimbursement reductions, and change, the healthcare industry has become a highly complex environment to deliver care. Our physicians work tirelessly to stay in step with these complex changes while keeping patients at the center of care, always. Our physicians not only care for local residents, but they are community leaders, neighbors, soccer coaches and friends. We salute these fine men and women who have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of others. As we carry out our mission to inspire health and healing by putting our patients first – ALWAYS – and move forward to our vision to be the region’s most trusted healthcare community, we are honored to partner with the physicians of the North Platte region.
Dr. Vuksanovic said that Marko does have some savant characteristics. When he was very young, he had some blocks with letters on them. He arranged them in a specific way, which at first looked like nonsense. Upon closer inspection, it was apparent that he had arranged the letters in the formation of a keyboard. He also has an excellent memory. When it was time for Marko to start daycare, they sent their therapist with him. When Marko started school at McDaid, there were no other children at the school with special needs. They sent their nanny to school with him. Soon, the school found him a para, but Marko didn’t like to be separated from the other children. Before Marko started kindergarten, the school held a special assembly for children and parents to educate them about autism, which meant a lot to Dr. Vuksanovic. Marko has a lot of great friends at school. One day, Marko lost his beloved fidget spinner. The entire class went out and searched the playground but couldn’t find it. The next day, a classmate brought Marko a new one. When speaking of what it is like to parent a child with autism, Dr. Vuksanovic says that isolation is common. It is hard for other families to understand. On one occasion, Dr. Vuksanovic remembers taking Marko trick or treating. All the other families were out having a good time, and “I was chasing Marko all around, so he didn’t run in the street and get hit by a car. I had to leave my younger daughter to chase after him – something that is supposed to be enjoyable. And when you look at him, he doesn’t have an obvious disability, so there are always the looks when he is having a meltdown in public. Something as simple as going to Walmart is extremely difficult.” When asked what advice she would give to families in a similar situation, Dr. Vuksanovic said, “Educate the people in your inner circle.” Good friends who understand can make all the difference. Dr. Vuksanovic also always exposed Marko to social situations. “I didn’t shield him from things; he needs to learn how to get along in the world.” Dr. Vuksanovic also remarked that the community has changed a lot since she has moved here. There is a wonderful autism group that provides community experiences – for example, they have sensory-friendly movies and early entry to the carnival.
Mel McNea, MHA Chief Executive Officer Great Plains Health Mike Simonson, MD Chief of Staff Great Plains Health
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