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Snow Falls

Cold weather brings winter fun-and injuries.

By Liza Long
Photography Courtesy of St. Alphonsus

No matter how you feel about Ryan Neptune’s new winter terrain park in Eagle’s foothills, one thing’s for sure: a fun-filled day of skiing, snowboarding, or sledding can take a turn for the worse after a bad fall. Fortunately, winter sports fans have 24-hour access to world-class medical care right here in the Eagle community. The state-of-the-art Saint Alphonsus Eagle Health Plaza provides the same level of patient-centered care that is available at its award-winning Boise regional trauma center, with a focus on accessibility, affordability and convenience.

That convenience will be a real benefit to Eagle’s skiers and snowboarders. Every year, more than 40 people die while skiing or snowboarding. And snowboarders experience an injury rate twice that of alpine skiers, in large part because of wrist injuries, according to the FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski), the world governing body for these winter sports.

Good health care starts with prevention, says Dr. Heather Hammerstedt, M.D. MPH, the Eagle Health Plaza’s medical director. “Ten percent of all sports-related injuries during winter are to the head,” she notes. “Almost all of these injuries can be prevented with appropriate protective gear like helmets.” Wrist guards can protect beginning snowboarders from injury.

Other common winter injuries include shoulder and knee sprains, strains, and tears. Dr. Hammerstedt recommends taking lessons to learn the right way to fall. “Warming up and stretching needs more attention, especially to prevent sprains and strains,” she says.

The Eagle Health Plaza’s 24-hour emergency department is staffed with board-certified physicians around the clock, prepared to deal with every emergency from a minor strain to major trauma. In rare cases where a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital, transport can be quickly arranged to the Saint Alphonsus Regional Trauma Center at no cost to the patient. With 10,000 visits per year, the Eagle Emergency Department staff stays busy, but wait times are usually short.

The emergency department also features the most advanced medical imaging and laboratory equipment. “Depending on the injury, in most cases we can do everything you need right here,” Dr. Hammerstedt says. “We see everything from minor sprains to heart attacks and trauma. Our goal is to take care of people quickly and close to home, right here in Eagle.”

The 74,000 foot facility, built in 2007, was designed to promote health and healing with soothing natural décor. In addition to emergency medical care, the Eagle Health Plaza also offers a wide range of medical services, from primary care physicians to obstetrics and gynecology to vision care and a pharmacy.

For Dr. Hammerstedt, patient satisfaction is key to the Eagle Health Plaza’s success. “We take the Eagle community very seriously,” she says. “That’s why we have a 98% patient satisfaction rating. I credit our exceptional nursing staff and their focus on patient care. We are really pleased to be able to offer this quality of care in the Eagle community.”

For Eagle’s skiers and snowboarders, that quality of care, right here in Eagle, may be just what the doctor orders this winter.

Services Available in the St. Alphonsus
Eagle Health Plaza:

– 24-hour emergency department
– Primary care services include:
internal medicine, family practice, and
occupational medicine accepting new
patients
– Pediatric care services
– Obstetrics & gynecology services
– Rehabilitation services
– Radiology and medical imaging
– Lab services
– Vision care
– Pharmacy and home medical
equipment
– Physician offices—Orthopedics,
allergies and general surgery

Saint Alphonsus Eagle Health Plaza
323 E. Riverside Drive
Eagle, Idaho 83616
Main Phone Number: 208-367-5300
Emergency Dept. : 208-367-5355