Small-Hospital Surgeon Carries Big Load, Bigger Smile

As the only general surgeon in an Iowa Critical Access Hospital, Dr. Chad McCance shoulders a tremendous responsibility and he never fails to deliver. Even if he has to hike through a blizzard to get to the hospital (and he has!), he is always ready to serve his patients. Dr. McCance works with area surgeons from three different hospitals to ensure each community has surgery coverage at all times. In 2016, he was on call a total of 272 days.

A lifelong learner, Dr. McCance added C-sections to his skill set when he came to Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, a service he had never provided but was needed. When a patient needs more advanced care than he can provide, he not only has the wisdom to refer them on, but frequently travels to a metropolitan hospital 60 miles away so he can scrub in, learn new techniques and obtain firsthand knowledge of his patient’s medical status. Dr. McCance has juggled his medical career while serving as a member of the US Army Reserves from 1986 – 2012, including a 90-day tour of active duty in 2003. He retired as a lieutenant colonel. And through it all, he is a loving and devoted husband and father.

Dr. McCance doesn’t just show up for work, he greets his patients with passion and enthusiasm for how he can help them enjoy the very best quality of life. When he greets patients for a pre-scope office visit, he cannot hide his enthusiasm, because he knows that he can actually prevent a cancer from developing by performing a thorough scope examination. His heartfelt commitment is contagious.

And that is just the kind of person he is – driven by an internal desire to help and heal. It shows in all of his roles: veteran, father, husband, man of faith, mechanic, friend, student and teacher. These are all great things and are not necessarily uncommon. It is the combination of all of these roles, coupled with his selfless and tireless passion for health care, which makes him a hero.