Why is the HPV Vaccine Important?

Posted by Madison Dusek on Aug 28, 2017 5:13:34 PM


The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is much more than a sexually transmitted disease (STD). While being the most common STD, it affects both genders, can cause pre-cancers and cancers and in some cases goes undetected. Thankfully modern medicine has produced vaccines for the most serious strains and young adults between twelve to sixteen are encouraged to take advantage of this source of prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tick Bites

Posted by Jack Gibbon on Jun 22, 2017 12:27:49 PM


It is the season for hiking, biking, and exploring the beautiful Black Hills and surrounding area. With these outdoor activities come concerns about ticks and tick bites. Though you are at low risk to contract a tick related disease in South Dakota, traveling to surround areas, such as Minnesota, may put you at higher risk. Here are a few frequently asked questions about tick bites and ticks.

Family medicine says farewell to Dr. Wessel

Posted by Madison Dusek on Nov 28, 2016 5:35:58 PM



After thrity-seven years in family pracrice and sixteen years with Rapid City Medical Center, LLP Alvin Wessel Jr., MD is hanging up his stethoscope for good. Over the years Dr. Wessel has had the privilege of caring for generation of patients and has found joy in watching families grow. He will offically reitre on November 30, 2016.

Three Simple Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Posted by Madison Dusek on Sep 14, 2016 2:18:42 PM


September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Although this observational month may not be as highly publicized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October or the ever-popular Movember for prostate cancer awareness, it supports a very serious and widespread problem in America.

According to the American Heart Association, one in three children between the ages of two and nineteen suffer from obesity. These children are at risk for immediate and long-term health problems as obesity leads to shortened lifespans and a diminished quality of life.

How to Modify Your Risk for Heart Disease

Posted by Madison Dusek on Sep 7, 2016 4:19:16 PM


An open letter from Dr. Kevin Weiland on the risk of heart disease and it's contributing factors. 

It was Labor Day, September 7, 1981, the day my father passed away. He was 55 years young, playing volleyball with his seven children while his only grandchild watched from the sideline. He fell to his knees with a clenched fist to his chest and passed away despite every effort to revive him.  

We could only assume that my father’s sudden death was a heart attack due to underlying heart disease.

Family Medicine: Childhood Obesity

Posted by Nikki Wardle on Aug 11, 2016 9:00:00 AM


We always hear that obesity has become an epidemic, but what does that mean eaxctly? An epidemic occurs when a population experiences unexpectedly high levels of a certain condition--levels that exceed expectations based on recent data. This is especially concerning when it comes to kids, but, unfortunately, childhood obesity is just as much an epidemic as adult obesity.

Family Medicine: What You Need to Know About Ticks

Posted by Nikki Wardle on May 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM


It's that time of year again. The days are getting longer; the air is getting warmer. All of Earth's living things are shedding the sleepy haze of winter and blooming, bursting, leaping, skipping, or galloping back to life. Of course, that goes for kids, too. As soon as the last stubborn snowflake melts quietly on the windowpane, children of all ages are throwing their winter coats and snow-boots in a disorderly pile by the front door and instead donning their bike-helmets and arming themselves with jump-ropes and sidewalk chalk. Spring is finally here. Unfortunately, with warmer weather and the promise of outdoor adventures comes the rather uncomfortable risk of ticks. Don't keep the kids inside or allow them to play outdoors only if they're covered in bubble-wrap, though--there are a few simple tips that can keep kids safe from ticks.


The most common types of ticks are dog ticks and wood ticks, and they're the nasty little creatures you're most likely picturing when you imagine ticks in general. However, there is another type of tick, the infamous deer tick, which looks like a brown or reddish-orange sesame seed and grows much larger when filled with human blood. But that's not all. Deer ticks carry Lyme disease, an unpleasant infection which attacks the skin, nervous systems, joints, and more. While it is most common by the sea and in the Midwest, Lyme disease can spread to other parts of the U.S.; however, since the infection takes 36 hours to pass from tick to human, daily checking of the skin and body should help prevent deer ticks and Lyme disease.

Tick Tips

So, how can you avoid ticks when the kids are running in every direction, rolling in the grass, climbing the trees, and exposing themselves to ticks at every possible interval? Let our Family Medicine experts provide some quick and easy tips.

  • Get the facts. Before you can launch any avoidance mission, you have to know the enemy. Ticks live in short plants like grasses, and they especially like to stay at the edges of heavily-wooded areas. This means that sticking to the center of the trail when hiking or walking will help prevent ticks. Similarly, knowing what ticks look like will help you spot them; light-colored clothing makes the brown or reddish-orange color of the ticks stand out.
  • Daily tick check. It may sound exhausting, and the kids certainly won't like it, but daily tick checks are crucial. Take special care to check areas like the scalp, the back of the knees, and the armpits--smaller places where ticks are more likely to feel safe and hidden--and remember that deer ticks can be tiny, so be sure to check carefully.
  • Tick removal. If you do spot a tick, it's important to know how to remove it properly. With a pair of tweezers, begin to pull upward steadily, careful not to jerk the tick's body. After the tick is gone, clean the area carefully and, for the next 30 days, watch for any signs of a rash--and also keep an eye out for red circular "bull's-eye" rashes, as well as fever, headache, fatigue, and more.

Interested in more tick tips? Looking for Family Medicine experts? Contact us today!