Thanking a “Founding Father”

May 31, 2019, marks the last day that Gary Bochna, MD will practice medicine with the Rapid City Medical Center Gastroenterology Department. As CEO, I wish to thank him for 32 years of service to patients in our community and to this physician group practice.

Dr. Bochna began with the Rapid City Medical Center in July of 1987 when the practice was located at 728 Columbus Street in downtown Rapid City. He was recruited out of fellowship at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, by Ken Voegle, MD. Dr. Voegle knew the program director at Nebraska and Dr.

Bochna was considered a “shining star.” Bochna recalls that time was one of limited job opportunities. He contemplated moving home to Wisconsin to practice but at his program director’s urging, he and his wife, Sue, traveled to Rapid City to meet with Dr. Voegle. The Bochnas were “impressed with the area,” especially the geography and the Rapid City Medical Center opportunity- and the rest he says, ” is history!” Dr. Bochna felt then and believes today that the best care possible occurs when physicians lead the effort.

Over his 32 year career at the Rapid City Medical Center, Dr. Bochna was inspired by collegiality with other physicians and staff. He appreciated Dr. Voegle’s mentoring and vision, finding that oftentimes new physicians do not have someone willing to take the time to teach both the medical and business side of the practice of medicine. Drs. Bachwich, McGuire, and Tillotson joined the group in the late 90’s which Bochna recalls had an immediate positive impact for GI patients in our community.

When asked to share the highlight of his career, Dr. Bochna indicated without hesitation that it is his relationships with patients. He feels the people in the Black Hill s community are genuine, full of integrity and engaged in their care. He enjoyed collaborating outside of GI with other RCMC specialists. While electronic medical record requirements have been the most difficult burden, Dr. Bochna feels honored for his time spent with patients and cannot think of a better profession to which one devotes his life. He cautions physicians from relying on tests ” right out of the blocks,” rather urges to spend time speaking with patients as they often hold the keys to the answer. Patients know their own bodies, and it is a physician’s job to listen and analyze what is said then apply it to the medical issue at hand.

Dr. Bochna has seen an increase in “fatty liver disease” over his career, which is a concern. He attributes this to the change in Americans’ diet and sedentary lifestyle.  The best medical advancement has been the use of “screening colonoscopies,” resulting in a vast decrease in colorectal cancer deaths.

In his retirement, Dr. Bochna hopes to travel, garden, and be engaged in the “music scene” again, playing the trombone, which has been a past joy for him. His eyes twinkle when he thinks of potential future grandchildren. On behalf of the Rapid City Medical Center, physicians and staff, we wish Dr. Bochna well. He will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Kind regards,
Jennifer Trucano

May is About Skin Protection

For over 30 years, the American Academy of Dermatology’s free skin cancer screening program has been one of the most successful public health programs. Since 1985 Rapid City Medical Center dermatologists have supported this program along with other dermatologists in the area. Approximately 9,500 people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. This year Dr. Briana Hill, Dr. Jason Noble and Lyndsi Slusarski volunteered at this years screening at Community Health of the Black Hills.

This year Dr. Briana Hill, Dr. Jason Noble and Lyndsi Slusarski volunteered at this years screening at Community Health of the Black Hills.

“Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. At least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Each year, the first Monday in May is designated as Melanoma Monday, officially kicking off Skin Cancer Awareness Month. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and to encourage everyone to take action to detect skin cancer in its early, most treatable stage,” said Dr. Noble.

Melanoma Monday promotes early detection of suspicious spots through self-exams and free skin cancer screenings to the underprivileged and others who may not have access to a board certified dermatologist.

Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer, but unlike other cancers, it can often be detected by dermatologists during a visual skin exam. This form of skin cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells and can appear suddenly without warning. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, melanoma rates continue to rise in the United States.

Cosmetic Procedure Trends to Watch for in 2019

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures have grown 200 percent since 2000. Rapid City Medical Center is dedicated to staying on top of these advancements in technology and research to meet the needs of our patients. Here our team of board-certified plastic surgeons and dermatologists weigh in on the procedures they feel will be most popular in 2019.


Urgent Care Welcomes Dr. Eric Thompson

We are excited to welcome Eric Thompson, MD to our Urgent Care team. Dr. Thompson joins us from Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota. He is passionate about bringing patients better options to achieve optimal health with a focus on lifestyle modification.


Platelet Rich Plasma is the Natural Answer for Facial and Vaginal Rejuvenation.

As part of our continued effort to offer ground-breaking health treatments to women of South Dakota, we are now offer Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments for both facial and vaginal rejuvenation. This simple but clinically effective in-office procedure uses components of patient's own blood to naturally promote the production of collagen and growth factors to the treated area. 


Think You’re Allergic to Penicillin? It’s Time to Test to be Sure.

Penicillin is one of the most important antibiotics doctors can prescribe to treat ear, sinus, chest, throat and skin infections. It works to kill and prevent bacteria from growing. Penicillins have a number of advantages, such as often being the best drug to treat infections, being safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, it is well tolerated in children and is very economical.