By Jennifer Grimes
Triplicate staff writer
The dire need for more doctors and locally-based surgeons is beginning to be met in Del Norte County.
On March 1, the yearlong wait for surgeon Jana Jaderborg to arrive from Arkansas ended. She opened her own practice behind the hospital and will take the load off Del Norte County?s only general surgeon, Dr. Thomas Polidore, at Sutter Coast Hospital.
?Dr. Polidore has been here alone since Dr. Dodson left last June, so yeah, it?s going to do a lot to alleviate him,? said John Menaugh, Sutter Coast Hospital?s chief executive officer.
Jaderborg is one of three new doctors to the area who have arrived in the last several months. Dr. Luz Alvarez, Dr. Prasanta Nath and nurse-practitioner Joan Miller are now seeing patients.
Having a second general surgeon in Jaderborg, however, may be the most significant addition, according to Polidore and Menaugh.
Six months ago, it was Polidore who did every general surgery, such as appendectomies, severed fingers and gallbladder removals at every hour of every day.
?It?s a huge problem for this community ? I just can?t do it all, all the time,? Polidore said in an interview last July.
Sutter Coast Hospital actively recruited new surgeons without much luck. Just getting a doctor?s appointment was also difficult for new patients. Most practices were full and not taking new clients.
Jaderborg, who opened her doors two weeks ago, felt the crush immediately.
?The first day, I saw nine new patients and had one procedure in the hospital. Nine new patients in one day is a lot,? she said.
Described by colleagues as being like ?the girl next door,? Jaderborg has a bit of a southern accent and has a very easy, down-to-earth quality. She and her husband Eric Jaderborg most recently lived in Arkansas. She also did some of her medical training in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Jaderborgs said Crescent City is the ideal place for them.
?For me in my practice, I wanted a small town atmosphere so I could develop a more intimate relationship with my patients.?
Her experience in Arkansas was the opposite, she said. Bouncing to five different hospitals in one day and rarely getting back to follow-up on every patient herself was the norm.
The Jaderborgs are also airplane pilots. Eric Jaderborg is now vying for a job with Cal-Ore Life Flight Ground and Air Ambulance Service.
He was once his wife?s high school English teacher. The two fell in love at her 10-year high school reunion and have been together ever since, she said.
Sutter Coast?s Menaugh said he is very happy to have her on board.
?It sounds like they want to make this their home. We?re lucky to have them here,? Menaugh said.