Browse Category: Wellness


PCRMC Hosts First Jay Crump, DO, Memorial Emergency Medicine Seminar

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) hosted the first annual Jay Crump, DO, Memorial Emergency Medicine Seminar on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

About 40 representatives from PCRMC, area Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and ambulance districts, Texas County Memorial Hospital, Salem Memorial District Hospital and other healthcare organizations attended the daylong, free event held at the PCRMC Delbert Day Cancer Institute.

The attendees, which included paramedics, nursing and EMS staff, ambulance personnel and emergency department providers and employees, heard from physicians at PCRMC, MU Health Care in Columbia and SSM Health in St. Louis about topics related to emergency medicine.

“This seminar offered a chance to learn about the most up-to-date information in emergency care,” says Jeffery Kerr, DO, medical director of the PCRMC Emergency Department. “Even though we work for different organizations, we’re all on the same team when it comes to emergency care.”

During the seminar, Dr. Kerr led a session called “My Chest Hurts,” which explained the signs and symptoms of an impending critical event. He also filled in on a presentation about pediatric airway emergencies.

Carl “Chip” Lange, PA-C, with the PCRMC Emergency Department, discussed hot topics in emergency medicine.

Among the other speakers at the symposium was Dr. Albert Chan, an interventional cardiologist at MU Health Care, who provided an update on the management of ST elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI), a type of heart attack.

In addition, Dr. Jeffrey Coughenour, a trauma surgeon with MU Health Care, spoke about initial management of serious injuries in the rural setting, and Dr. Ashish Nanda, an interventional neurologist at SSM, discussed acute stroke management and interventional therapy.

This seminar was offered free to emergency services personnel thanks to the Jay Crump, DO, Memorial Fund, which provides for the needs of the PCRMC Emergency Department.

“The fund was set up by Dr. Crump’s family through the Phelps Regional Healthcare Foundation. The fund is used for educational opportunities for emergency medical personnel,” Dr. Kerr says. “Dr. Crump had a passion for teaching and promoting teamwork among healthcare professionals.”

Dr. Crump moved to Rolla in 1981 and joined the PCRMC staff, where he worked in the Emergency Room. He eventually became the medical director of emergency services from 1984-2009. In 1997, he took a position as vice president/chief medical officer at PCRMC and held this position until the time of his death in 2010.


Nurelign Abebe, MD, Joins PCRMC Medical Group

Nurelign Abebe, MD, is a new addition to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Physicians Group. He comes to PCRMC this August as a nephrologist, but this is not his first time in Rolla. Dr. Abebe originally was a hospitalist at PCRMC from 2011 to 2015.

A nephrologist, also known as a renal physician, is a specialist in internal medicine who has received additional training in the medical treatment of patients with kidney diseases. Nephrologists treat patients with conditions related to kidney problems, including kidney failure, as well as acute and chronic kidney diseases that are due to multiple causes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dr. Abebe is originally from Ethiopia, a country in eastern Africa. As a child, his youngest brother became sick and had to stay at a hospital in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. “I remember seeing the doctors and nurses making rounds, and I made the decision then that being a doctor is what I’d like to do,” Dr. Abebe says.

Dr. Abebe earned his medical degree from Gondar College of Medical Sciences in Ethiopia. He received his residency training in internal medicine through Addis Ababa University at Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia.

In addition, he completed a residency program in internal medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. In his second and third years, Dr. Abebe was named Resident of the Year at St. Luke’s.

He completed a nephrology fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital through Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Abebe says what he likes about PCRMC is that this healthcare organization “has many different specialties, so the doc­tors can take care of multiple patients and they don’t have to refer them to other facilities.”

Nephrology is a thought-provoking specialty, Dr. Abebe says. “There can be many types of problems with kidneys,” he says. And if a nephrologist like Dr. Abebe can catch issues earlier, patients can avoid more serious kidney problems down the road.

Dr. Abebe has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. He is married to Meskeram Asfaw. The couple has three children, two daughters, Lydia and Rebecca, and one son, David.

Dr Hadi

Hadi Bhurgri, MD, Joins PCRMC Medical Group

The Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Medical Group recently welcomed a new gastroenterologist, Hadi Bhurgri, MD, to the team. He began practicing at PCRMC in August.

Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine that deals with the study of disorders affecting a person’s digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Physicians who specialize in this field of medicine are sometimes referred to as GI (gastrointestinal) doctors.

Dr. Bhurgri finds this line of work to be very intellectually satisfying and challenging.

I get to see a wide variety of patients across all age groups,” he says. “I also like that I get to work with my hands.” He says PCRMC is well-equipped to handle most anything.

As a gastroenterologist, Dr. Bhurgri sees patients for a wide variety of general gastrointestinal conditions. “Some common GI complaints include heartburn, stomachache, dyspepsia (indigestion) or Barrett’s esophagus, (where the lining of the esophagus becomes damaged),” he says.

Dr. Bhurgri is trained in numerous general GI procedures, such as upper endoscopies and colonoscopies. He has special interests in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) gastroparesis and biliary pathology.

Dr. Bhurgri notes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for patients with GI issues. “Everyone requires a tailored approach,” he says.

To keep patients’ digestive tracts healthy, specific diets or changes to the types of foods patients eat may help in certain cases. Some GI doctors work with nutrition specialists to help patients.

Dr. Bhurgri was born and raised in Pakistan. “I always had an interest in science and medicine, growing up,” he says. “Both of my parents were physicians and held academic appointments as pathologists, and even my grandfathers on both my mom’s and dad’s sides of the family were doctors.”

In 2008, he earned his medical degree from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Bhurgri then came to the United States for post-graduate medical training. In the U.S., Dr. Bhurgri studied at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, as a visiting medical student.

In 2014, he completed a residency program in internal medicine followed by a fellowship specializing in gastroenterology, both at Rutgers University’s New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.

To learn more about gastroenterology, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhurgri, visit or call 573-364-9000.

joel leon becerril

Joel Leon-Becerril, MD, Joins PCRMC Physicians Group

The Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Physicians Group welcomes Joel Leon-Becerril, MD, as a new urologist. He joins fellow urologist Geoff Lloyd-Smith, MD.

Urologists specialize in treating conditions or diseases in the male and female urinary tract and male reproductive organs.

Dr. Leon-Becerril was born and raised in Mexico. While his father was a general practitioner, Dr. Leon-Becerril credits a fascination in science and the chance to help others as to what gave him the spark to become a doctor. “It was the perfect combination,” he says.

Dr. Leon-Becerril graduated from medical school at the Panamerican University in Mexico. He then studied general surgery for two years as an intern and a resident at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. He recently completed a four-year urology residency program at the University of Texas.

Dr. Leon-Becerril can treat patients with various urological conditions from kidney stones to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which occurs when the prostate enlarges, as well as erectile dysfunction, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, testicular cancer and penile cancer. He brings 5 years of experience to the PCRMC team.

Dr. Leon-Becerril has always liked using and learning about technology, and in this area of medicine, technology plays a big part in many of the procedures he performs.

Dr. Leon-Becerril is trained in laparoscopic surgery, which is a minimally invasive form of surgery. In fact, during his residency, Dr. Leon-Becerril was awarded an achievement naming him the best resident of the laparoscopic surgery program at the University of Texas Health Science Center by the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.

He also has been trained in adrenalectomies, in which one or both of the adrenal glands are surgically removed, and partial nephrectomies, in which part of the kidney is removed.

To keep patients’ urinary systems healthy, Dr. Leon-Becerril recommends people stay hydrated. “This can prevent the formation of kidney stones,” he says. Additionally, if patients feel there is any tension in their urinary tracts or notice blood in their urine, they need to seek the help of a urologist.

Dr. Leon-Becerril has been married to his wife, Alicia, for six years, and they have three children, Antonio, Sarah and Joel.

For more information or to make an appointment with one of PCRMC’s urologists, visit or call 573-364-9000.


The Pros and Cons of Using Antibiotics

Antibiotics can help you, but they also can cause harm in some cases. People often get antibiotics for the following health issues:

  • Bladder infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Eczema (itchy, red rashes)
  • Colds and runny noses
  • Wounds or torn skin from surgery

However, antibiotics do not work for infections caused by viruses, like the common cold. That is why you should talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you only use antibiotics for the right reasons — and at the right time.

Before you take antibiotics, ask if you really need them. Also, ask about the risks and benefits of antibiotics.

While antibiotics can prevent and treat some infections, they can cause the following risks:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic reactions, such as blisters, rashes, and face or throat swelling
  • Damage to nerves and tendons
  • Vaginal infections

It is important to remember that if you do take antibiotics, make sure to take the full amount you were prescribed.

However, if you use antibiotics too much or when you do not need them, they may not work for you someday. This is called “antibiotic resistance.”

Consumer Reports suggests the following ways to use fewer antibiotics and lower your risks of infections:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Get your vaccines and flu shots.
  • Ask if you can wait a few days before starting antibiotics. Then, call or visit your healthcare provider again to see if you really do need them.
  • If you are in the hospital, make sure everyone washes their hands when they come to see you.

 5 Questions to Consider Before Taking Antibiotics:

  1. Do I really need antibiotics?
  2. What are the risks and side effects?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. How much do they cost?
  5. How do I take antibiotics so they’re safe and effective?