By Jan Rahn
A new outpatient specialist has joined Perkins County Health Services.
Dr. Mark Meyer, orthopedic surgeon of the Kearney Bone and Joint Clinic, saw a number of patients on his first day, Sept. 29.
He will be in Grant twice a month—his next scheduled visit being Tuesday, Oct. 27.
As a 1973 graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Meyer has many years of experience in treating injuries and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, nerves and ligaments of the body.
Flying his private plane into the agriculture community at the western end of the state is a comfortable fit for him as a native of Fremont who grew up on a farm in Dodge County.
“I have, since the late 70s, held orthopedic clinics in various western Nebraska communities—in part because it fits well with my love of airplane flying, but also because I identify with country people because I am one,” said Dr. Meyer. “The farmers and ranchers of rural America and their supporting cast are generally good patients, and I hope it is somewhat helpful to them to have their doctor be a little closer than Kearney.”
Besides being in Grant twice a month, he and Joel McReynolds, PA-C will see patients in Imperial and Benkelman—plus, one of them will be in Grant an additional Thursday or Friday each month.
“We will be somewhere in the neighborhood six to eight days a month,” said Meyer.
He completed a rotating internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, and it was there that he first learned about Grant.
Dr. Meyer wrecked an airplane at a village landing strip in Darien, Panama in 1976. The missionaries there radioed their colleagues in Panama City and arranged to have Meyer and his traveling companions picked up the next day. The plane that landed in the jungle said, “New Tribes Missions, Grant, Nebraska.”
“I have watched with interest the progress of that thriving community ever since and am looking forward to being more personally involved,” said Meyer.
Already mentioned are his two favorite hobbies of farming and flying. The doctor has his own airport, Onion Crest Airpark—43 November Echo, and he operates a small farm in the Kearney area where he has lived since 1977, growing several acres of onions most years.
His wife, C. Jayne Meyer, runs the Shopping Tripps store in downtown Kearney.
They have four children who live in Kansas City, Omaha and Denver. The couple also has seven grandchildren.
Although it’s too early to predict how busy the clinic will be, Dr. Meyer, who is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and has his subspecialty certificate in Orthopedic Sports Medicine, is hoping to see a combination of outpatients and do procedures on his visits to Grant.
“I am looking forward to developing an orthopedic practice in Grant to better utilize the staff and facilities there while providing convenient access for the patients,” said Dr. Meyer.
“A large percentage of the procedures that I do can be done safely and predictably in the rural hospital to the mutual benefit of all involved.”