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Phillips County Health Systems recently welcomed three new additions to their team of highly-qualified medical providers, including a doctor who has been covering the Emergency Department and hospital intermittently for the past year. With our commitment to providing our community with quality, patient-centered care, our medical providers are able to spend time with you, making sure you have the safest, most personalized care needed to achieve the best results.

Cooper Nickel, MD, completed college and medical school at the University of Kansas and is Board Certified in Family Medicine. For Dr. Nickel, practicing rural family medicine is nothing short of a family tradition. Growing up, he watched his father, a family physician, practice medicine in a small town, giving him his first exposure to the work he would grow up to do himself.

“Having a great family physician who has taken care of my whole family for the last 15 years really set an example for me as far as the type of doctor I wanted to be,” said Dr. Nickel.
His father and family physician instilled a patient-centered approach to medicine in Dr. Nickel, showing that medicine is just as much personal as it is preventative. “I’m always willing to listen to my patient’s perspective and take their ideas and thoughts into account when trying to come up with a plan for them, while also realizing that their plan may not be my plan,” says Dr. Nickel. “Recognizing and honoring that is important because everyone has a decision in their healthcare.”

As a leader in rural healthcare, Phillips County Health System was a great fit for Dr. Nickel. However, it was his familiarity and former experience at Phillips Hospital that made Phillipsburg the right choice for him with the added bonus of working alongside his former residency classmate, Dr. Wisinger.

Dr. Nickel has a wife and two children. His wife, Lynda, is a registered nurse. They have two kids, a three-year-old boy named Charlie and a six-month-old girl named Piper. The Kansas native likes to spend his free time hanging with his kids and cooking.

“I’m always trying to incorporate cooking into patient visits in some way if I can, whether that’s getting recipe ideas from patients or talking to them about food; it’s one of the things I love,” says Dr. Nickel.

Melissa Berg, APRN-C, joins our team as an Advanced Family Nurse Practioner. A Midwest Kansas native, Melissa has put down roots in Phillipsburg and is eager for her family to join her after her son’s first semester of school wraps up and they can transfer to the area.

Melissa began her career working extensively in the Intensive Care as a pediatric perioperative nurse. She believed in her role of optimizing patient care and providing family support during times of uncertainty and ensuring optimal patient outcomes in a safe, pleasant, and child-friendly atmosphere. While residing in the Kansas City area, Melissa worked in a Trauma One (the highest level of designation) Emergency Department. Melissa did her medical dissertation on diabetes and has a comfortability of working with patients of all ages and backgrounds. She describes herself as a patient advocate and believes that patient success begins with vested providers.

Kai Englert, PA-C, will be primarily covering the Emergency Department in his role at Phillips County Health Systems but you may sometimes see him in the clinic covering overflow/work-in patients. With vast Emergency Department experience, Kai brings a level of knowledge and confidence to his practice in an often stressful, urgent area of care.

Kai and his wife currently reside in Manhattan, Kansas, and he is active in the Nebraska Army National Guard as a Medical Specialty Corps Officer – Physician Assistant, CPT. Prior to his medical career, Kai and his wife lived and farmed in Syracuse, Kansas. Kai graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics/Animal Science Industry (Cum Laude) from Kansas State University. He obtained his Masters in Physician Assistant Studies (Pi Alpha National Honor Society for Physician Assistants) from Wichita State University. His past experience in agriculture gives him a unique understanding of the common agricultural-based accidents that often present in rural Emergency Departments.

Kai has been working in emergency medicine for Rural Emergency Medical Providers, LLC, for the past several years. This role has allowed him to practice in rural hospitals across Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. This immense exposure to varying techniques, processes, communities, and facilities is an asset to Phillips County Health Systems and our patients. Kai will begin covering the Emergency Department beginning January 2022.

“We are fortunate to add new providers to serve both our medical clinic and our hospital,” said Tara Overmiller, Chief Strategy Officer. “These providers all bring backgrounds and experience that we believe mesh well with our community’s needs and position us well for continuing to provide excellent care into the future. Meeting the care needs of our community is one of our top priorities.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Nickel, Melissa Berg, APRN-C, or any of our medical providers, call the Phillips County Medical Clinic at 785-543-5211.

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