Dr. Jeff Bacon, medical director at Sterling Regional MedCenter, has been named the hospital’s Physician of the Year by the medical staff.
Dr. Bacon, who has been a full-scope family practice doctor in Sterling for 17 years, said it was “very nice” to be honored by his colleagues.
“I really appreciate the trust and loyalty of our physicians in bestowing that upon me,” he said.
Dr. Bacon said he entered the medical field because “I love taking care of people,” and treating them as if they are members of his family. “I think that’s one of the things I enjoy doing, is taking care of people like they’re my brother, sister, mother, father, grandfather…”
He’s been in the community long enough that he recently saw a 17 year old preparing for graduation, who happened to be the first baby he treated when he started in Sterling. The newborn was “a sick kid when he came out; he’s pretty darn healthy now,” he said. “That’s pretty gratifying.”
Bacon finds life in Sterling to be a good fit. The community has a lot in common with his own hometown, and his wife is from Sterling originally. When considering the move to the area, he said, “I thought it was a great place to raise my kids.”
Prior to coming to Sterling, Dr. Bacon practiced family medicine in Iowa for three years.
“I think I like it here,” he said.
During his medical career, Dr. Bacon has seen some significant changes at SRM, and in the field of medicine in general. One has been the shift to electronic records, rather than paper charts. “That’s actually been a good thing for taking care of patients,” he said.
He’s happy to see that the rate of providers coming and going in the community has “kind of stabilized,” and he’s very excited about the launch of the new residency program at the hospital. Two residents enrolled in the North Colorado Family Medicine Residency Training Program will arrive in Sterling in July to complete their last two years of residency, and two others will come in 2018.
One of the most exciting recent developments, he added, is the addition of a radiation oncologist at the David Walsh Cancer Center. “It’s awesome to see (patients) can get treatment rapidly instead of having to drive to the Front Range to get it,” he said.
Dr. Bacon also referenced the work the hospital is doing at local nursing homes and at Northeastern Junior College geared towards patient population care. “I think population health care will be huge in the future,” he said. He explained that means treating a group of patients with the same condition or need — such as diabetics — similarly, “and they have better outcomes.”
SRM is doing that with the geriatric population in nursing homes, and is working toward that end with sports management at NJC.
“I’m kind of excited about it taking off in Sterling,” he said.
Since taking on an administrative role as medical director at the hospital, “That’s been kind of cool to see how that works, and how you do a group of people instead of just one or…