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What’s New To Better Serve You?

            As time passes and technology advances, medicine also progresses.  Bringing those advancements that improve early diagnosis and modernize treatments for our patients has always been a priority with us.  We have recently placed into service audiovisual devices that do not require individual feedback to insure accurate results.  This means that we can screen infants and toddlers as well has handicapped and disabled individuals for hearing loss and visual problems that can lead to language problems and amblyopia (lazy eye).


      The “Suresight” Vision Screener is a hand held device that can be used on infants as young as 1 year and is quite effective after age two. This should reduce the incidence of “lazy eye” which is the most common cause of monocular blindness under age 70.  Any detected abnormalities would be confirmed at a later date and appropriate referral made should there be a high suspicion of abnormality. 


            The “Audiopath” hearing tester relies on Evoked Otoacoutic Emissions (EOAE) to measure auditory acuity in infants as young as one day old.  The devise generates a sound in three separate frequencies and then measures the response of the hair cells in the cochlea to these sounds.  This eliminates the need for active patient response as in traditional audiological testing.  It is very sensitive   

and detects all hearing loss, even that associated with fluid in the middle ear and wax and debris in the ear canal.  It does require a certain amount of individual “stillness” to be accurate.  That is something not necessarily associated with this age group so we anticipate a certain amount of repetition will be needed to finalize a diagnosis.  Hearing loss is associated with delayed language development and when diagnosed in the first year of life can be ameliorated.


      High blood pressure is a condition that affects a large number of middle aged and older people.  It is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney malfunction.  Treatment improves longevity and quality of life.  With estimates of ‘white coat’ hypertension running as high as 25% the diagnosis of borderline hypertension is especially difficult.  For the past year we have been loaning out automatic blood pressure cuffs for a month at a time so that our patients can monitor their blood pressure at home.  This allows us to differentiate between white coat hypertension and true hypertension, as well as monitor response to treatment.  Our new Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring System takes this concept one step further.  The patient wears an inconspicuous cuff and recorder that automatically records the blood pressure every 15 minutes for 24 hours.  This can then be  printed out as a permanent record for evaluation.  It will also be useful for the evaluation of dizziness that may be related to intermittent low blood pressure.


             These three new instruments join a growing number of  instruments that we have purchased lately to improve diagnosis and care.  These include the Sahara bone density testing ultrasound machine for detecting osteoporosis, flexible laryngoscope for evaluating nasal and laryngeal (voice box) disorders, video colposcope and surgical generator for evaluating abnormal PAP smears and doing LEEP procedures, HgbA1C tester for real-time evaluation of diabetic control, and a host of other updates that allow us to serve you better and more efficiently.


Plentywood Clinic & Planned         Parenthood Are Teaming Up!

            Intermountain Planned Parenthood and the Plentywood Clinic have teamed up to offer a dynamic program, PP-WOW  (Planned Parenthood Without Walls).  This program, run locally by Dr. Kirk Stoner and Amber Skorpil, PA-C of the Plentywood Clinic, provides confidential contraceptive care on a sliding fee scale to the women and men of Plentywood and the surrounding communities. PP-WOW will also be providing educational materials, classes for women in mid-life, and the popular growing up workshops “It’s a Girl Thing” and “It’s a Guy Thing”.

            Intermountain Planned Parenthood clinics have offered services in Montana’s larger cities for over 30 years.  However, the majority of Montana counties, including Sheridan County, do not have a Title X Family Planning Program. By teaming with local providers in rural areas, PP-WOW eliminates the distance barrier, allowing easier access to affordable contraceptive care. 

            InterMountain Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit health agency governed by volunteer board of directors.  An affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, they have clinics in Billings, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula as well as PP-WOW partnerships around the state.  If you have any questions about this new program, call the Plentywood Clinic at 765-1501.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Something Old... Something New...

      Faces are once again changing at the clinic.  Sherry Sebastian has left to take a job at the Plentywood High School as a teachers aide.  We would like to wish her the best of luck, and are really going to miss her around here!

            Lisa Fawcett, RN will be working with Dr. Stoner on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as doing the patient education clinics.  Karen Linder, RN, will now be working with Amber Skorpil, PA-C, on Mondays and Tuesdays.  With these new changes, we are confident that you will continue to receive  the best patient care possible.


Flu Shots Are Still Available


Clinic Holiday Schedule

We will be closed on the following days

November 25th, Thanksgiving Day

December 24th and 25th, Christmas

December 31st & January 1st New Years

Merry Christmas and

Happy New Year!

From Dr. Kirk Stoner

and the staff at

The Plentywood Clinic