Personalized Local Care - Brookings Health System

I'm Jennifer Kampmann. I live in Elkton, South Dakota. I work at South Dakota State University and I teach in the Early Childhood Program.


Why Did You Need a Kidney Transplant?

I was born of polycystic kidney disease, so I have fluid-filled cysts that grow on their own on my kidneys, and that impairs the function. And so in 2008, I was told without a transplant, I would be facing dialysis and a limited life span. So I was lucky enough to receive one from my husband.


What Procedures Do you Receive Regularly at Brookings Health System?

I had a kidney transplant on Christmas Eve 2008, where my husband was my living donor, and the procedures I have done at the Brookings Health System lab are follow-up, to make sure that kidney's working properly. He was a good match. We had some issues where that match went from a positive match to a negative match, and I had to have a procedure called plasma-free syston, to reverse that back to a positive match. And after that, it's been going fine. I did have some pre-transplant work done here as well, with iron infusions and blood work to make sure that I was ready for the procedure.


How Did the Laboratory Remodel Change Your Experience?

The care has been the same and the wonderful people who work here have been the same. What's been great with the change, has been the speed of registering. I don't have to go through the whole outpatient registering anymore. It's very smooth and very quick. It maybe takes two minutes to get registered to do labs. I just have to call them, tell them when I want to come, and then check in at the ER. It's really quick, and then the space has been fantastic. The change, it's so beautiful and inviting. And there's a proper large waiting room and the space where you get your labs drawn, is really large and lovely. Before it was one little side room where you'd have to wait, sort of amongst people's office furniture, and this has been a great change.


What Staff  Do You Work with at Brookings Health System?

I work with the ER receptionist when I come in, and she's lovely and knows what to do, gets me in when I need to get in. And I work with central scheduling to set up my appointments and again, they're just a breeze to work with, no issues. And I work with all of the lab staff who would be on call that day to draw blood, and they're all wonderful and helpful, and I come enough that most of them know me, and so we have good relationships and on-going conversations that pick up from the last three months I was here, and it's like being with family.


What Do You Appreciate Most About the Staff?

I appreciate their relationships they have with their patients. It's very much like family and that one-on-one interaction, they make me feel very comfortable, especially when it's something unpleasant like having blood taken or waiting for lab results that are tense when it's involving a kidney transplant, and so they take my mind off that, make me feel at ease, wonderful people.


What Differences Do You See Between a Small Health Care System and a Large System?

The small system can be very personal. You have good relationships with those people because it's a small staff, and so the more you come, the more you see the same people over and over. I do my physicianing at Avera in Sioux Falls, which is very large, and while they're very good, they don't always have that home town feel, the small staff and you see the same people over and over. So that's what I appreciate about Brookings Health.


Would You Recommend Brookings Health System?

I would recommend Brookings Health System, especially if you're someone who values relationships and getting to know your care providers, and feeling like they're taking care of you like you're one of their own family. I would definitely recommend Brookings Health System.


What Has Your Husband Done Since Donating His Kidney?

As a result of giving me a kidney, he's become an advocate for living donors, and so he does bike rides at long distances, one was from South Dakota to Michigan last year. This year, from California to Washington, D.C. and you can look him up, Tony Kampmann, K-A-M-P-M-A-N-N, at the Living Donor Project and find out more about his efforts to get more people interested in being living donors.