Healthy Highlights - Summer 2017

Sarah’s Story

“If you don’t have a support system, find one.” Sarah was busy raising four-year-old twins and teaching middle school. Cancer was the last thing on her mind. Last May she received the phone call with a diagnosis that creates a great deal of fear. “My initial reaction was that it couldn’t be true, because so far everything they had told me on previous appointments was that it was highly unlikely it would be cancer.”

“ When it sank in that the doctor was really telling me this, my reaction was a lot of crying – a lot of fear that I was going to die and miss out on everything with my family, especially our twins.”

Prior to that phone call, Sarah noticed a lump under her arm. “It wasn’t painful but it was something new. I thought I’d better get checked.” The lump turned out to be a lymph node that was cancerous and had started in her breast.

“Now what,” she thought. Immediately she called her husband, Jared, and sat down with her parents. “And I sent text messages to extended family. We are all very close and I wanted everyone to be getting the same information about what was going on.” Throughout the process, Sarah kept them updated through text messages and Facebook.

For anyone who knows Sarah, she lights up a room when she walks in – and has the patience and understanding to be a school teacher. She was lucky in that the side effects were tolerable enough to continue working when she didn’t have treatment in Fargo.

The school was amazing to work with and all that came into substitute teach for me were lifesavers!”

Driving to Fargo for treatments was the hardest part – chemotherapy every week for four months, then surgery and recovery, followed by radiation every day for six weeks. “It was hard to miss out on life during that time – missing out on family life and work was the biggest issue,” she says.

“No one will ever say they were blessed WITH cancer, but I was definitely blessed THROUGH cancer.”

Sarah has one sound piece of advice for those facing a cancer diagnosis: “If you don’t have a support system, find one! It helped keep me positive through the ‘bad attitude’ days. If you can keep your mind in a positive place and focused on the goal of being done with cancer and keep doing what you have always done as much as possible, that’s half the battle.”

And for Kyla and Everett – well, let’s just say they are sure happy to have their mom back to their familiar routine.


Thank you for taking the time to keep in touch through our new quarterly newsletter. It’s exciting times for CDP Health Care System. Just to my left is Sarah’s Story featuring an active community member and favorite school teacher that so many of us know. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your story.

We’ll be celebrating our 50th Anniversary as a health care system on Thursday, August 10. Everyone is invited to share in the festivities.

And, recently we implemented a new electronic health record (EHR). An EHR is a patient’s computer medical record and takes the place of a traditional paper chart, streamlining the documentation process.

I’m very proud of our medical team who offer high quality care, close to home. Meet Dr. Joseph Riley, new to our OB/Gyn services and Dr. Ramon Morales, general surgeon.

Thank you for entrusting your health care to us. We value your loyalty and will continue to be your caregivers – for 50 more years and counting!

Sincerely, Michael Coyle
Chief Executive Officer
CDP Health Care System

Welcome, Dr. Riley and Dr. Morales

Joseph Riley, DO
Dr. Riley has extensive training and experience in women’s
health – from prenatal care to the birth of a baby – to taking
care of women’s health throughout life.
• Well-women care
• Prenatal care and delivery
• Minimally invasive surgery
• Robotics surgery
• High risk obstetrics
• Surgical treatment of incontinence

Ramon Morales, DO
General Surgery
Specializing in Laparoscopic, Vascular and General Surgery
• Appendix
• Gallbladder Disorders
• Gastrointestinal
• Hernias
• Thyroid Disease
• Colorectal Disease
• Vasectomies
• Breast Disease
Now accepting new patients: 605-698-7681

50th Anniversary!

CDP Health Care System is turning 50 this year.

Join your neighbors and the caregivers of CDP Health in this Community Celebration! Enjoy great food, lively music, inflatable games for the kids and more.

Thursday, August 10 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDP Health West side of campus (in case of rain, 4-H Building)

5:00 Celebration Program with guest speaker Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels and the Recognition of Board Members past and present

6:00 Picnic is served!

Our Employee Spotlight shines on Pam Helgeson

Pam has been at CDP Health for 15 years - in home health as a certified nursing assistant, a unit secretary, an administrative assistant in surgical services, and currently as our materials assistant. “The people, the community and the benefits CDP offers make this a great place to work. I enjoy helping others and hopefully I’ll be employed here for many years to come.” Pam’s hobbies include baking, cooking, spending time with family and friends – especially her grandbabies. Thank you, Pam, for your hard work and dedication.

Breast Cancer Screening

Regular mammograms can help find breast cancer at an early stage when treatment is most successful. The goal of screening tests for breast cancer is to find it before it causes symptoms, like a lump that can be felt.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colon Cancer Screening is one of the most powerful weapons you have for preventing colorectal cancer. Screening, beginning at age 50, is recommended for people who are not at increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Talk with your caregiver today to schedule important preventative care. 605-698-7681