Sigler is employee of the month
It should take no one by surprise that Dr. Ron Sigler was named the St. Mary’s Hospital June Employee of the Month for two reasons. One, he is well liked not only by his patients, but by his fellow staff members, as well. Two, the doctors and Family Nurse Practitioners are also employees. When SMHC first began employing doctors back in the early 80s it was highly unusual, most doctors had their own private practices. Employing health practitioners is now standard practice, but SMH was a pioneer in developing that model.
Dr. Sigler was hired 27 years ago in 1984 fresh out of the family practice residency program at Baylor College of Affiliated Hospitals. He grew up in Dallas, Texas and, like most students, when he started college at North Texas State he didn’t know what he wanted to be. “I took one business class, and the biggest thing I learned from that was I didn’t want to take any more business classes,” he said. His brother who was studying to be a dentist suggested pre-med. Studying the sciences was right up his alley. Dr. Sigler majored in biology and minored in chemistry then attended medical school at the University of Texas.
After studying with a rural family practice physician in Wyoming-who was also the father of actor Glenn Close-he decided he wanted to live and work in the Intermountain West. When he saw an ad for a doctor in Cascade, Idaho he immediately called only to be told the position was already filled. However, he was told, there was an opening at a small hospital 100 miles north in Cottonwood. The rest is history.
“I didn’t know the how close the hospital was to closing when I first came here,” he said. It didn’t take long for patients to begin coming to the new clinic which was the former sleeping quarters for the Benedictine sisters who served as nurses at the hospital.
Dr Sigler also sees patients in the Kamiah Medical Clinic and regularly performs tonsillectomies and endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopies. He sees expectant moms in the two clinics and delivers babies in the hospital’s birthing suite. When not working, which is very seldom, he and Dr. Teel Bruner serve as assistant football and girls basketball coaches at Prairie High School. He also delivers the sermon a couple times a year at his church, Grangeville United Methodist.
One of the things Dr. Sigler lists as being most proud of during his almost three decade practice is watching the babies he delivered grow up and have babies of their own. He also says that being part of a patient’s life can mean being part of their final act of living. “People here have a good concept of death being part of life,” he said, citing a phrase he’s often heard: “When God puts his hand on, you take your hand off.”