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Meet Daniel Snell, MD, PMC Chief of Staff

Like a first love, baseball fans never forget their first visit to a major ballpark. Avid fans have a penchant for collecting ballpark memorabilia; it connects them to the parks and to a game in a very tangible way. The first game for Dr. Dan Snell was a big deal; it started a lifelong passion for the sport as well as for the stuff the game is played on – infield dirt. Vividly and with gleam in his eyes, he tells the story of how he pocketed his first dirt in September 1995 in Colorado. His toughest collection of dirt was at Chicago’s Wrigley Field; he reached through the fence and was only able to scrape a bit of dirt off the bottom step of the dugout.

“Perhaps when I retire, I will get the chance to be a part of the grounds crew of a major league baseball team,” Dr. Snell said with a smile.

There is a misconception when it comes to baseball fields; many think any old dirt will do. This is far from the truth as ordinary soil is much too inconsistent and is likely to erode. According to the experts, baseball fields are a strategic combination of ingredients that must work in unison and be applied in a variety of layers to create the highest performing fields for the ball players and the most durable for the groundskeepers. Base runners and fielders must sprint, brake, slide and fall on the dirt through all nine innings. All of the players rely on it for good footing. Fielders expect balls to bounce true on it. “Each segment of the infield skin, as it is called, has a special problem and a particular solution. Maintaining it demands skilled hands and geotechnical awareness,” notes a 2009 article in the New York Times.

While sand is commonly the most dominate material in baseball infield compositions, clay is the most important ingredient. Clay contributes to the overall strength of the infield mix as it is necessary for moisture retention and without it, the field would be hard and unsafe for the players. Added to the clay is often a ratio of silt. Without silt, infields would largely be composted of quick draining material (sand) and slow draining material (clay). A proper mix of soil, nurtured and cared for by a steady and reliable grounds crew, can save large amounts of time and money in costly repairs.

In much the same way a groundskeeper is responsible for the oversight and maintenance of the stadium’s infield, the Hospital Chief of Staff serves a pivotal role as they also work behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes and deal with many issues before they crack or erode.

“My role as chief of staff is to make sure, above all, that we have a high-quality, safe and efficient environment of care,” said Dr. Snell. “I work with my administrative partners to make sure we are staying ahead of the issues that affect healthcare. It is truly about improving quality, access and ensuring that we, at PMC, deliver the best possible care to patients and their families.”

The Chief of Staff duties that must be undertaken and managed are numerous, the general efficiency and harmony of the workplace can often be in their hands and they must have the essential skills to oversee operations from budgets to reporting to crucial functions within the hospital and in the larger medical community. As Portneuf Medical Center continues to evolve from being an excellent hospital to becoming an excellent regional system of care, there has to be a strategic combination of professionals who work in unison and have the depth and strength to create the highest performing health system for all patients. With a strong and well-grounded leader as Chief of Staff, we are able to communicate, manage and interact more effectively.

Portneuf Medical Center welcomes Daniel Snell, MD, board-certified anesthesiologist as their Chief of Staff. Dr. Snell has been practicing medicine at PMC for seven and a half years. In addition to his medical degree, he holds a Masters in Public Health. Beyond his professional duties and responsibilities, especially now that baseball season is underway, Dr. Snell spends time with his mom and his family attending Utes games. This season he will continue collecting and preserving dirt from fields across the country.

The Teddy Bear Clinic

Families throughout southeastern Idaho share their homes with polka dotted dogs, furry monkeys, pink Arabians, sea otters, friendly lions, and some, perhaps even have a spirited unicorn. While these animals don’t eat much, they wear plenty of hats and are often found sleeping under the covers, sneaking into backpacks, partaking in tea parties, comforting the nighttime frights and dare I say they often are infused with a bit of magic. Yet, like children, little furry friends sometimes get sick or injured and may need to be seen by a caring professional in order to get better.

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PMC is Smoke & Tobacco Free

Portneuf Medical Center joined a growing number of hospitals in Idaho in becoming smoke and tobacco free. As a healthcare provider we feel we have a responsibility to provide an environment where patients, visitors, physicians and employees are free from the hazards associated with second-hand smoke.

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