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Huron man receives top-notch care at De Smet Community Health Center

Teri Zwieg made his home and raised his children in Huron. That’s where he worked for 40 years as a machinist and where he chose his health care. He’s now semi-retired. And lucky to be alive.

In 2008 Zwieg had a heart attack. He wasn’t familiar with the signs when he felt a pain in his neck. Within a few days he was in the hospital having three stents put in to manage his heart disease.

“They lasted me pretty good until this October when I ended up getting a stent put in the widow maker,” Zwieg said. “It was very life-threatening, but we made it there in time.”

The “widow maker” is clinically known as the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. It carries almost 50% of blood to the heart. Since his heart attack, Zwieg had triple bypass surgery, from which he’s still recovering. He’s also diabetic and has had multiple surgeries from “working hard, not smart.”

Horizon provider Kristin Pratt, CNP, has helped him through his recovery and disease management. She was his primary care provider in Huron and when she moved to De Smet he eventually started driving there to work with her again.

“I really liked her style and her demeanor toward her patients,” Zwieg said. “Then when she decided to come to De Smet – that was our loss – I got to thinking it’s 30-some miles over there I’ll just see someone else.”

He tried that for several months but missed the care he’d received from Pratt.

Since he’s started seeing Pratt again, three of his children, who also live in Huron, have started driving to De Smet for their health care.

Since she started treating him, Pratt said Teri has taken ownership of his health by actively managing his diabetes and heart issues.

“He’s taken the forefront of being the driver of his health,” she said.

Zwieg said the staff at De Smet CHC has made an impact on him with their friendly demeanor and willingness to help.

“When I come here, they’re all very friendly – everyone from the front desk to her nurses,” Zwieg said. “I couldn’t be happier with what goes on here. She helps me out no matter what it is. She keeps me on the straight and narrow.”

A clinic as good as the De Smet CHC is hard to find, Zwieg said.

“Coming here was just a piece of mind for me and my family,” he said. “In this small town setting you get very personal. I like all the people who work here. It’s really nice.”