Surgeon hired by hospital
Dr. John Harrington to start work at GMH, Cozad in July.
A new surgeon is expected to begin practice at Gothenburg Memorial Hospital in July.
Dr. John Harrington, 38, will be employed by GMH and will work also at Cozad Community Hospital on a regular basis.
GMH administrator John Johnson announced the hiring during a Rotary meeting Monday noon at the Randazzle Cafe where he spoke about health care reform legislation.
Since 2005, Harrington has been a surgeon at Sangre de Cristo Surgical Associates and has been affiliated with Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, CO.
The surgeon said he thinks he may be better suited to practice in a rural community.
“I grew up on the prairie near Boise and am a rural person at heart,” he said. “It’s a different pace of life.”
Harrington is also married to Stacie (Bosch) Harrington who is originally from Farnam where her parents still live.
“It will be nice to live closer to family especially with four sons ranging in age from 1 to 9,” he said, noting that the Harringtons hope to live near Gothenburg.
In addition, he said he feels Gothenburg and Cozad are areas where he can make a strong contribution to the community.
“And there’s a need for general surgeons in rural areas,” he added.
A graduate of the University of Idaho, Harrington received a doctor of medicine degree from Loma Linda University and completed an integrated surgical residency at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AR.
Johnson said Harrington received his license to practice medicine in Nebraska on March 30.
The GMH board and Johnson have been working to attract younger doctors to Gothenburg.
Although Johnson said Harrington originally approached GMH officials, he described the hiring as the beginning of a process.
“It’s a positive step for Gothenburg in providing additional surgical services,” Johnson explained. “It’s also a service that will be provided to the community of Cozad through its hospital.”
Johnson said the GMH board gave him the thumbs up to hire Harrington.
“We felt it was a good choice to have this be our first step,” he said.
Another step the GMH board recently took was the selection of a contractor to design and build a new physician’s clinic.
The clinic, estimated to cost about $2.5 million, will accommodate up to at least seven medical practitioners.
Board members and Johnson have said they want the ability to attract doctors in the future by having adequate space.
The new building will be approximately 17,000 square feet.
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