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Three CHCS doctors serve as county medical directors

county medical directors

They care for clinic patients, they help cover weekends and nights at the hospital and emergency room, and they keep up with the latest developments in patient care and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now three Community HealthCare System physicians add County Medical Director to their list of responsibilities.

Dr. Nick Cahoj, Dr. Nancy Zidek, and Dr. David Allen are all serving in the capacity of Medical Director for Pottawatomie, Marshall, and Jackson Counties, respectively. The position entails reviewing and approving clinical policies and procedures, providing medical direction to the county public health director and nursing staff, and providing standing orders for public health clinics and programs such as immunizations, maternal and child health visits, and communicable diseases.

Drs. Cahoj and Zidek are recent appointees. In Pottawatomie County, Dr. Cahoj replaced longtime CHCS physician Dr. Tom Walsh, who also served as Pottawatomie County Medical Director for more than 30 years. Dr. Cahoj knows he has big shoes to fill but looks forward to working with Pottawatomie County Public Health Director Leslie Campbell and her staff.

“I’m easily accessible for the Health Department given my clinic location in Westmoreland, and I enjoy serving public entities and getting to interact with staff and patients in various settings,” Dr. Cahoj said.

All three physicians have deep ties to their communities. Dr. Allen is a Holton native, serves on the Jackson Heights School Board, and is active in his church and the wider community. Dr. Cahoj also serves on the St. George City Council and is a member of the Rock Creek Endowment Steering Committee. Dr. Zidek is currently serving as Chief of Medical Staff at CHCS and values remaining involved in the county where she grew up.

“I grew up in Marysville, and my dad practiced there for 35-plus years, so Marshall County is close to my heart. I care about the healthcare provided there,” Dr. Zidek said.

Dr. Zidek said that county health departments have worked through a difficult period because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’d like to support them any way I can,” she said, noting that consulting with the director on Kansas Department of Health and Environment policies and helping schools navigate COVID-19 testing and quarantines have been important duties so far.

Dr. Allen has also assisted Jackson County during the pandemic, having served as Medical Director through the last year and a half.

“The collaboration has helped all of us address the many challenges COVID-19 has brought. I enjoy serving the community in this way,” Dr. Allen said.

CEO Todd Willert said he is proud to see CHCS physicians assist three different counties in the four-county CHCS service area.

“Dr. Allen, Dr. Cahoj, and Dr. Zidek – and Dr. Walsh before them – all bring a spirit of civic duty and service to their work that is indicative of the larger leadership role CHCS associates play in their local communities, and I could not be prouder of all of them,” Willert said.


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