Kemmerer has a new family doctor in town. Dr. Regg Hagge opened his practice at South Lincoln Medical Center in early October. Dr. Hagge, originally from northeast Nebraska, brings 20 years of family medicine experience to the community.
“We have moved around more than I ever thought we would,” Hagge said. “This has positive and negative points. Seeing how different organizations operate and learning from their mistakes is something I am eager to share with South Lincoln.”
Hagge admits that are many challenges in health care currently. One of his main concerns is the fragmentation of health care.
“We have more technology now than ever, but the quality of care we offer patients is worse than when I was in training 20 years ago,” Hagge said. “I see patients who have three or four different doctors. Sadly, most of the time, none of them communicate with one another and the patient has no idea what is going on.”
Dr. Hagge believes the answer to this problem is family medicine, something he is very passionate about.
“Unlike our limited practice specialty colleagues who focus on just one area of medicine, I was specifically trained to care for 70-80% of a patient’s health care needs,” Hagge said. “Family doctors are, in many cases, one-stop shopping for health care. In many ways, we are the Wal-Mart of health care. Sure, there are times when you need to go to the fancier store, but most of the time you can get what you need there. That is true of family physicians as well.”
Dr. Hagge believes strongly in the continuity of care for the entire family.
“Whether you are delivering someone’s baby, performing their well woman PAP smear, suturing up their lacerations, removing a suspicious skin mole or injecting their knee for arthritis, half the battle of caring for someone is knowing the patient’s history,” Hagge said. “When you see a patient over and over, knowing not only their personal history, but their family history and social history provides a significant advantage in caring for them, resulting in higher quality care. I still believe family doctors are the best value in healthcare.”
Outside of medicine, Hagge is busy with his wife Danielle and four daughters, Lillian, 16; Abigail, 12; Anabelle, 10; and Lucille, 5.
“I’m blessed to have Danielle, our household CEO. She is the glue that keeps everything together,” Hagge said.
The Hagge family enjoys their small Scottish Highland cattle herd, flying and the outdoors.
“One of the main reasons we moved here was to enjoy the outdoor activities,” Hagge said. “It gets so hot in Nebraska during the summer that you can hardly stand to be outside.”
The Hagges recently purchased the Annala ranch southeast of Kemmerer on Highway 30. They look forward to expanding their cattle herd.
“Highland beef is some of the leanest, most iron fortified beef there is,” Hagge said. “We hope we can find a market for that in the area.”
Their other adventure involves purchasing Frontier Suites and reopening it.
“Right now, we are living in Frontier Suites, but hope to have it purchased and available for rental by late spring,” Hagge said. “We want the community to know we are here to stay.”