The Walk-In Clinic at Humboldt General Hospital (HGH) will have a new manager starting this month. Physician Assistant (PA) Robert Johnson was recruited to Winnemucca by Dr. Brad Granath. He has worked with Dr. Granath for the last two years. That job has ended now and the hospital has the opportunity to hire Johnson.
He spoke with hospital board members about his background and his desire to stay in Winnemucca.
"I've been in health care my entire adult life, in several different capacities," Johnson said. He said he has enjoyed working with Dr. Granath. He likes Winnemucca and doesn't want to go anywhere else.
Granath told the board that Johnson spent 26 years in the army. "He came to Winnemucca as a major. He started out as a flight medic. Then went to PA school and worked in the military, with tours in Iraq, Bosnia and Central America."
Granath said he felt really proud to have recruited Johnson to Winnemucca, adding that Johnson is the only PA who applied for and got privileges at HGH.
Granath said Johnson's vast experience as a flight medic and PA in the military benefited Winnemucca patients.
Granath told the board that many patients in their practice have spontaneously made very positive comments about Johnson.
"His patient care quality and outcomes are excellent," Granath said.
Granath then addressed the potential question of why he had chosen not to continue to employ Johnson in his private practice, saying it was due to the personal economics of trying to run a private practice.
"I want to stay another 10 years but I would really like to have another physician partner to work with me in my practice. My goal is to try to bring in another physician so I can share my workload with them," Granath said.
The hospital board voted unanimously to extend a contract to hire PA Robert Johnson to run the Walk-In Clinic. He has very specific previous experience in managing similar facilities. After his time in the military, he spent three years managing private walk-in clinics. He said that, before coming to Winnemucca, he had been running three walk-in clinics and starting a fourth.
It was noted that the walk-in clinic is currently managed by a traveling nurse practitioner, whose contract is up in December, so the timing is right.
"I really like him and want him to stay [in Winnemucca] and I'm thrilled he feels that way, too," said Granath. "He and his wife are great members of the community. I'm so glad he wants to stay and he will be a great addition to our hospital staff."