From a pool of possible health care facilities why choose Stevens Community Medical Center?

For Dr. Jason Hughes, a family practice doctor with SCMC, ties to the region attracted him to SCMC.

"In 1991, as a new family physician just out of training, I had begun private practice in Granite Falls. My work there was quite rewarding, but due my father's illness, I had to return back to Texas," Hughes said in an email response to questions.

"Between that time and now, I had worked as a Naval Flight Surgeon, an emergency department physician, and even was involved with teaching residents and students in El Paso, Texas, and Iowa City, Iowa," Hughes said. "However, in the back of my mind, I had always considered returning to western Minnesota where I had initially been in practice."

Hughes and Dr. Jason Huikko had both worked at SCMC before they signed contracts to become a permanent part of the staff.

Hughes was a locum tenum for two months at SCMC in 2017. A locum tenum is a health care provider who provides temporary services for an organization.

Huikko had identified Morris and SCMC as a potential practice location. "...I was able to arrange rotations here during residency. My experience in those rotations helped in my decision to locate my practice in Morris," Huikko said in an email response to questions.

Huikko is family practice doctor and is one of four providers who provide obestrics care at SCMC. Huikko said he wanted a location where he could have a good pediatric and obstetrics practice.

Huikko also had other factors that influenced his choice.

"I was primarily looking to stay in Minnesota in a smaller community. I had grown up in a small town with a college and was looking for a similar location," he said.

While Hughes and Huikko had experience in rural health care new orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Paul Havel did not. Havel works part time for SCMC

He was looking for a change when he chose SCMC.

"I'd been involved in large facilities and medical corporations and was interested in being a part of rural healthcare and what it would be like," Havel said in an email response to questions.

Havel also had other requirements.

"I chose SCMC as I was looking for additional part-time work during my retirement phase," Havel said. "I also wanted to keep my expertise and technical skills up-to-speed."

Jason Breuer, the chief executive officer at SCMC, said recruitment is constant at the organization. And the pool of doctor candidates is shrinking in the U.S. In an April 12 community presentation about SCMC and the future of health care, Breuer said by 2025, the U.S. will be 65,000 doctors short of the need.

"During residency and continuing after residency there is heavy recruiting of physicians," Huikko said. "The recruitment comes primarily from rural communities throughout the United States."

Hughes said as he considered possible work locations, "I would say that my hope was to join a rural practice within a tight-knit medical community,"

For a related story on SCMC's recruiting, click this link: