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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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July 31, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 31, 1997
 

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18 Thursday, July 31, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Food, Health and Fitness Carma Kreitler, cruising along from sea to shining desert by L H. Stronach Gazette Staff Carma  Kreitler, executive director, of Pahrump Center for Healthcare, was instrumental in organizing and training staff when she began working at Pahrump's new medical center in 1995. Janu- ary 1997, Arcon Healthcare as- sumed the operation because she loves what she does, the people and Pahrump she stated. As a child, Kreitler had a role model that influenced her career choice. At the age of twelve, Kreitler attended summer camp and was quite impressed with the minister's wife who was the camp nurse. "She was kind, had time to listen to you, compassionate and gentle. She was quite a lady!" Carma Kxeitler Kreitler, 60, was born in Cen- ter, Neb., spent her childhood on a farm and worked in the family grocery store from age eight. She graduated from Orchard High School, Orchard, Neb. in 1954. From 1954-58 she attended the University of Nebraska College of Nursing receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. During 1958-61, when her husband Frank attended medical school, Kreitler taught nursing at St. Catherine's School of Nursing in Omaha. In 1961, Kreitler and her husband moved to California for his internship. Subsequently, he went into private practice in Costa Mesa, Calif. until 1980. The early years were spent close to home caring for sons Jeff and Tim and daughter, Carleen. "I raised a family and helped in my husband's office. At the time it was really important that I was at home when the kids were growing up." 1967 brought an exciting new hobby to the Kreitlers, that was flying. She and Frank, attended ground school pilot training at Orange County Community College. Her husband received a multi- engine instrument rating. "We had our own plane and that's how we flew back and forth to the grandparents in the summer time." When the children no longer needed full time mothering, Kreifler did critical care nursing in Huntington Beach. From 1980-87 she was Director of Nursing in Hawthorne, NV. In 1987 Kreitler's nursing career began a new dimension when she began seven years with Princess Cruise Lines. The job required spending three months at sea and two months at home. In 1993, she took a position in Los Angeles as an Assistant to the Chief Medical cruise line. "The nice thing about it was that Frank to sea with me for two weeks or so. The family could come thirty days at a time if they wished." found an interesting aspect of working and traveling aboard ship was, "the ability to see all the differem cultures. ,I traveled all over the world. I had a chance to compare types of medicial practices and hospitals in all parts of the world. And find how wonderful it was to get back to the United States." When asked which country had the biggest disparity in how the U.S. delivers medicine compared to that country she replied, "I would say the Islands of the Pacific, probably." Kreitler went on to say, "The quality of doctors there is very good but the fact is they don't have any facilities or medicine to speak of compared to what we have. If they have an X-ray machine it's something that we would have phased out in the U.S. back in the forties. They do a lot more medicine like we used to practice in the U.S. in the forties or fifties whe n you looked, listened and felt rather than X-rays and fancy tests." As for there being a difference between rural nursing and nursing on board ship Kreitler stated, "No, it's very similar. You have to be self-sufficient. You have to have all the supplies you could need for whatever might happen." Would she return to cruise nursing? Kreitler stated, "Basically, Idon't think there's any going back. Once you leave ajobor complete something and move on if you were to return it's never quite the same. I feel I did everything I wanted to do and felt it was time to move on." Kreitler has specialized training in many areas and is working on her masters degree at the University of Phoenix. When considering leaving Princess Cruise Lines, Kreitler had planned to return to the Nevada State Employment system. "I had met a couple that were passengers on the ship, who were extremely happy and excited about Pahrump." stated Kreitler, "Basically, I had returned to Nevada to get more time in the retirement system because I had been in the State Employee Retirement Plan." "Prior to taking the position with Pabrnmp Medical Center in 1995, I was scheduled to spend one summer in the Mediterranean. I even have the contract to prove it. I framed it." said Kreitier. "My friend kept sending me newspapers telling me about jobs in Nevada. I saw the St. Rose ad and thought it sounded real enticing and became more excited about it as I interviewed. I took the job even though it wasn't in the state employment system." When presented with the option of relaxing in the Mediterranean versus coming to work in the desert Kreitler said, "There is no question. I love the desert. The desert and I agree with each other." She loves riding motorcycles, dirt bikes, bicycles and driving her four wheel drive pickup towards Mr. Charleston, which supports her statement, that she and the desert agree with each other. Kreifler usually rides, "Anywhere, I can find a road to drive, i go up Wheeler Pass to that first little canyon." In addition to riding two and four wheel vehicles she loves animals, camping and gardening. Since purchasing a south valley home on two and oue-half acres in 1996, Kreitler has begun the arduous task of eleanng the property. I have a lot of trees. About 10,000 mesquite trees! I have the scratches to prove it" she said. Kreitler's opinion of managed care plans is, "It's not ideal. People don't get what they pay for. It's a wonderful plan as long as you're healthy." she said, "There are a lot of good doctors in managed care. It's just that you have difficulty accessing them especially if you live in the rural areas. "The way they make money is to capitate the plan and pay less money. (Capitation is a plan where health care providers contract with the managed care or health maintenance organization for a lump sum per year for each patient's care.) Therefore, you can provide the service in the rural area but you don't get paid for it and the people are still forced to go to the city." As for medicine in the future Kreitler stated, "IfI had the answer, I probably wouldn't be working for a living. Personally, I feel that we'll see it condnue towards home care. Less hospital stays and shorter hospital stays. More outpatient services and more managed home care." The future for Arcon, a dynamic young company formed in 1995 to specialize in health care for rural areas, is showing positive signs in what has developed less than a year after taking over management from St. Rose Dominican Hospital. Kreitler stated, "I believe that Arcon has the right principles and the right methods for dealing with health care in the rural areas. They are strictly a rural provider. I think we will see other companies patterned after their concept." Arcon has planned a number of changes, the first stage is the conversion of the existing space to an imaging center. The imaging center includes, CAT scan, expanded radiology and fluoroscopy, a larger mammography room and echocardiogram/ultrasound. In the second stage, which is slated to start Noember 1, they will be expanding the primary care offices in front and the ambulatory services should be completed by January 1, 1998. Kreitler explained that there will, a capability of doing "most kind of outpatient surgery that is being done around the country." There will be an anesthesiologist including a pain management specialist on a monthly basis to start. Specialist groups chosen through an IPA (Independent Practice Association) are in place and will be announced soon. As for directing a facility from the start, Kreitler stated, "I guess I'm a work-a-holic. I still love people and I love nursing. I believe in what we're doing." Kreitler feels Pahrump definitely needs a dialysis center. "The biggest thing I have been aware of since I came here is for dial,sis locally. Arcon is working with several groups trying to get someone to come either joint venture or with their facility on the campus, or through the hospital district." Regarding health care in the rural area, Kreitler said, "I think w need a lot more wellness training in the rural areas. People have alway s had to take more of an active part in their health because it was such a distance to get treatment." In a discussion about insurance reimbursement and choice of physicians Kreitler stated, "I think there's some unfairness of the ; reimbursement in the rural areas considering the difficulty getting doctors and health care workers. There should be more choice in the rural areas but there isn't because most doctors don't want to go out there." Comparing medicine from the early 60s to what we have in the 90s, Kreitler stated, "It's changed from a true hospital based system where hospitalization was easy to come by and length of stay was longer, to where there's a very short length of stay." She feels that there is "Much more responsibility for families with older parents because they're being returned to their homes much sooner. A hip replacement used to be a week to ten days and now they are being returned home in 4-5 days." Kreitler feels that the health problems in today's youth aren't "any different than it was twenty years ago. Today's youth as youth in general implies that 'I'm indestructible and it won't happen to me. I don't think that's any different than it was twenty years ago." Considering middle age health problems, Kreifler stated "Middle age probably has the best health care because most of them are working and insured." She stated, "Pneumonia (affects older people more). The bugs have become more selective, I think, and with more antibiotics you can see acute illness at any age." Kreitler feels that young people choosing the medical arena have many choife s such as sales, teaching, public relations and quality assurance. "I would say their opportunities are unlimited. Statistics will bear out that medicine will be the main employer for the next several years. There is no shortage of people being sick." Regarding a 'commuter' marriage, Kreitler said, "My husband comes up from Palos Verde, Calif. and visits and I go down there once in awhile. It works for us. I'm lucky that he's very interested in my happiness. We both work very hard." Dr. Kreitler has been attempting to end the life of commuting by moving to Nevada. He has applied for licensure in Nevada, possibly geared toward working in Pabrump. In ten years Kreitler sees herself, "On a beach in the Caribbean." She continued, "1 plan to work another five years. I want to grow with this facility and with Arco." Then she intends to spend, "Six months in Pabrump and six months in the Caribbean." As for her accomplishments she said, "Three wonderful kids and a marriage of forty years. A very satisfying career in nursing. It's been my privilege to be with a lot of wonderful people." When asked, "What else can you tell us about Carma Kreitler, she said, "She's pretty humble as you can tell by my office (meaning sharing her 8 X 10 office with her secretary). It's a real blessing that I have been able to have good health, do my job, use my education to help people and have a wonderful support system of family and friends."