BCMH Hospitalists Keep Health Care Local

The hospitalist program at Bates  County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) makes it possible for us to offer the same level of care available at many hospitals in the city, without having to transfer our patients there. Think of it this way – the advanced care our hospitalized patients need is now only 60 feet away from their primary care provider’s office, not 60 miles away.

In addition, the hospitalist program should make care more consistent and efficient for our patients, staff and primary care providers. Our hospitalists focus on taking care of inpatients and coordinate care with our primary care providers, who can devote more time to their clinic patients.

BCMH isn’t alone in working with hospitalists. The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) estimates the specialty has expanded from just a few hundred a decade ago, to more than 40,000 practicing hospitalists across the country today.

How the BCMH Hospitalist Program Works

One of the BCMH board-certified hospitalist physicians takes care of each individual admitted to the hospital as an inpatient.  In the past, doctors made rounds and then returned to the office to see patients there. Hospitalists remain on-site from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, which makes them more available to answer questions and explain treatment options to patients.

hospitalistIf a problem develops between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., a member of the hospitalist team is available. via an innovative telemedicine program only being used at a handful of area hospitals.

 During a telemedicine consult, our nursing staff brings the telemedicine robot to the patient’s bedside so that the specialist can see what the problem is. We also can transmit test results, such as a CT scan or lab tests, to the doctor for the consult. Armed with this information, the hospitalist or specialist can determine the best plan of action. Our experienced nursing staff also is available around the clock to care for patients.

While the BCMH hospitalist program makes it possible to care for more patients locally, some patients may need the technology or services available at an acute care facility in the city. If so, the hospitalist consults with the medical team to ensure the patient receives the level of care needed.

The hospitalist also decides when the patient is well enough to be released from the hospital and helps coordinate any other care or services needed, such as medicines or therapy. The hospitalist communicates the details of the case with the patient’s primary care provider to be sure there is a smooth transition in hospital-to-home care. Patients follow up with their primary care provider for further instructions and treatment. The hospitalist does not see patients after they are dismissed, unless one is re-admitted to the hospital.

BCMH Hospitalist Profiles:

To make the hospitalist program a reality for the community, BCMH is collaborating with  Saint Luke’s Health System, one of the region’s leaders in health care, and Saint Luke’s Physician  Specialists, a group of doctors including 47 hospitalists. Members of the BCMH Hospitalist Team include:


Mark Galant, M.D., Lead Hospitalist

Dr. Galant is one of the most experienced hospitalists in the Kansas City area, having practiced hospital medicine exclusively since 1998. Through the years, he’s cared for patients at a number of Kansas City area hospitals, including Research Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, and most recently, St. Joseph Health Center.

Dr. Galant is board certified in internal medicine. He performed an internal medicine residency at Truman Medical Center, and earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City.

He started his medical career in 1985, establishing his own internal medicine private practice in Belton, Mo. He has lived in Raymore, Mo., for 30 years with his wife, Carol, a nurse at Belton Regional Medical Center.


Tamara Crouse, D.O.

Dr. Crouse practiced as a hospitalist most recently with Heartland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph, Mo. She is board certified in family medicine, and performed her residency at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. She earned her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Mo.


Galen W. Epp, M.D.

Dr. Epp is board certified in internal medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at Saint Luke’s Hospital, and earned his medical degree from University of Kansas School of Medicine.



Eilikem Kpenu, M.D.

Dr. Kpenu is board certified in internal medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. He earned his medical degree from SABA University School of Medicine, Gardner, MA.

Preeti Sood, M.D.

Preeti Sood, M.D.

Dr. Sood most recently practiced at Centerpoint Medical Center, Independence, Mo. She is board certified in internal medicine. She performed an internal residency with Truman Medical/Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Mo., and earned her medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine.