An alternative for some medical, surgery needs

Southwest Colorado Surgery Center opened in 2002

Dr. William Rainer performs a colonoscopy with the help of his staff at Southwest Colorado Surgery Center in Cortez. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Dr. William Rainer performs a colonoscopy with the help of his staff at Southwest Colorado Surgery Center in Cortez.

The mission for hospitals all over the world is to aid, care for and protect patients by offering a comfortable, friendly atmosphere to assess their health. It’s important for all healthcare facilities to operate with professionalism and consistency to promote longevity.

Alternative centers have been growing consistently all over the country. Ambulatory Surgical Centers or ASC’s, are becoming more popular among people who are in need of procedures that do not require hours of operating time or who are not terminally sick.

Southwest Colorado Surgery Center has been flying under the radar for a number of years. Its patient list has grown through word-of-mouth and doctor referrals.

Now, Dr. William Rainer and his wife, Mical Rainer, are speaking up about their services and involvement in the community.

Since opening in 2002, SCSC, located at 20 South Beech St., has been strongly committed to quality, focused health care for outpatient surgeries. Their staff has grown from three to 10 employees ranging from Registered Nurses, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, tech students, medical students and they are always looking for other surgeons.

Dr. Rainer has been practicing medicine and performing surgeries for 28 years. He graduated in 1984 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. After graduating, he had an internship with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, which is where he began his residency.

In early 2000, he decided there was a direct need for an outpatient center that was separate from the hospital. He completed an Ambulatory Surgical Center course and set about constructing the idea for Southwest Colorado Surgery Center.

“The initial idea came about because we (Cortez) needed a place where outpatient procedures can be done with the best interests of the patients and the physicians,” Dr. Rainer said. “We want to concentrate on same day procedures, on their quality and satisfaction. It’s on the top of our priority list.”

Mical Rainer is an RN and the administrator and director of nursing for SCSC.

“We are a full, miniaturized surgery center,” said Mical. “We have everything a hospital operating room has and we are governed by the same laws a hospital is.”

The Rainers, as well as their staff, are all employed with Southwest Memorial Hospital here in Cortez. “We are simply an alternative to the hospital for patient needs,” said Mical. “We get referrals from Southwest (Memorial Hospital), we have a relationship with the hospital. We are not an elite group.”

SCSC offers various types of outpatient procedures. They do mostly colonoscopys but also specialize in upper GI endoscopys, hernia repairs, excisions, breast biopsies, orthopedic surgeries and varicose vein treatments.

Mical said that hopefully, in November, they will acquire an anesthesiologist for weekly visits so that they can start doing other types of day operating procedures. Currently, the business is open four days a week with one or two of those days set aside for operations. In that time period, Dr. Rainer will complete eight to 10 procedures.

“We want patients to stay within our area so they won’t have to go somewhere outside of Cortez to have these procedures done,” Mical said. “We want to continue with this smaller, more intimate space, plus we are very cost effective for the community.”

They currently offer free varicose vein screenings every Wednesday and the first Saturday of the month. This is a 20-minute session with Dr. Rainer where he assesses the problem and decides whether patients are candidates for the treatment he offers, a minimal thermal ablation therapy, or if he needs to refer them to another specialist.

They hope to focus on bringing more patients in with various, general needs.

“Patients should talk to their doctors first,” Mical said. “There is a classification system that determines if patients can come to an ASC.”

This is a process that the Rainers understand is very important. Getting the approval from a doctor beforehand is ideal. They want to provide the best care for existing and incoming patients and they need to go by the book to do so.

“We are like a family here,” Mical said. “And our patients are a big part of that.”

Doctors and health care professionals have amazing abilities and they want to help people. I think it’s safe to say everyone’s doc could use a break from time to time to focus on patients with extreme ailments and partner with other surgeons for patient needs. If there is a problem that any patient feels can be fixed outside of the hospital, ask your doctor.

SCSC takes Medicare and most forms of insurance, cash, check or credit card. For other questions call 565-1400 to check insurance coverage, make an appointment or talk to the staff. Patients can also stop by their office located at 20 South Beech St. to pick up brochures on varicose vein treatments or other information on SCSC and their services.

The staff at Southwest Colorado Surgery Center is, from left, Ginny McDonald, Kylee Peterson, Erin Gordanier, Dr. Bill Rainer, Amy Galyon and Mical Rainer. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

The staff at Southwest Colorado Surgery Center is, from left, Ginny McDonald, Kylee Peterson, Erin Gordanier, Dr. Bill Rainer, Amy Galyon and Mical Rainer.