One weekend changed Webster's mind about Crossett

Dr. Sarahrose Webster, center, recently joined the Ashley County Medical Center staff as a general surgeon. She is shown here with Dr. Mark Malloy, left, and ACMC Chief Executive Officer Phillip Gilmore, right.

The new general surgeon at Ashley County Medical Center said one weekend at ACMC was what she needed to convince her to come to the area.

Dr. Sarahrose Webster, a native of Seattle, Wa., said she heard that ACMC was looking for a general surgeon from a doctor at her former hospital.

Webster said she decided to interview for the position, but really had no intention of taking it because she was nearly settled in White Hall and had little interest in moving again.

“I had never even heard of Crossett before,” Dr. Webster said. “No one likes moving, but culture is a big deal.”

After spending the weekend in Crossett, Webster said her mind changed completely because of the culture and atmosphere at ACMC.

“I think people here take pride in what they do and they enjoy their job here (at ACMC),” Dr. Webster said.

She said she was most impressed with the way the hospital Chief Executive Officer Phillip Gilmore knew each of the employee’s names and interacted with them as though everyone was a team.

“We would pass a nurse or care tech in the hallway and he would speak and know them by name, and that is really something,” Webster said.

Working together and working as a team is something that Webster said is important to her and she feels that everyone at ACMC feels the same.

“None of us could do our job if someone didn’t put light bulbs in; we all have to work together,” Webster said. “I can’t do my nurse’s job; I can’t turn a patient, but that’s what nurses are trained in.”

Visiting Crossett reminded Dr. Webster that people can be happy at their job.

“I was losing that because of the negative atmosphere I was in,” she said. “Down here, it’s still the same job, but when you’re in a positive culture —positivity breeds positivity.”

Some of the other surgeons from ACMC took time out of their weekend to meet and talk with Webster, and she said that was also refreshing. She said it’s difficult sometimes for surgeons or doctors to form friendships, but she didn’t expect that to be the case at ACMC.

Specifically, Dr. Skip MacDonald made sure to meet and speak with Webster while she was here. Though they had never met, MacDonald’s wife did her nursing clinicals at a hospital where Webster was also working and she had reported good things about Webster to him.

Webster said found out that she and MacDonald have a lot in common as they both enjoy being outdoors and studying wilderness medicine.

“I had never met Skip before and I go in his office and he has a little mural of Walt Disney and he has a picture of him climbing, and I thought wow,” Dr. Webster said.

MacDonald said he is excited to have Webster join the team and said she will be an asset to the hospital.

“Dr. Webster brings a fresh university based approach, she is used to teaching residents so she is used to being on the cutting edge,” MacDonald said. “No questions asked, we are blessed to have her join the team.”

She also got to experience some traditional events at ACMC and visit the Mia Rose Hollis Memorial garden.

“I got to attend the Mia Rose Hollis Memorial ceremony, and it was an amazing experience,” Dr. Webster said.

During her weekend, she got to meet and visit with several of the staff members and said she was really impressed with the way they told her things work in the hospital. She said learning that Gilmore allows his staff to have input on decisions, even small ones, makes a big difference to her.

In addition to touring and spending time at the hospital and meeting the staff, she also got to go out and experience other parts of Crossett.

“We ate at Johnny’s (Pizza House), drove around and went out to Felsenthal,” Webster said.

Though she was only two days into her new job Monday, Webster said she has already booked a Disney vacation for January. Her schedule and the pace of the hospital will allow her to have more time to herself than she has ever had before.

“For the most part, people are able to enjoy their job and have a life and a family,” Webster said.

Webster said she is also excited about the opportunity to treat the “whole” patient and being able to do a variety of different surgeries.

“In small towns you’re able to take care of the whole person and their family,” Dr. Webster said.

Hospital Marketing Director Caitlin Martin said that though Webster has only been there for a few days, she already feels like she fits in and is part of the team.

“Dr. Sarahrose Webster will be a great addition to our ACMC team, and our region,” Gilmore said. “Her board certification speaks to her skill as a surgeon, and her wholistic approach to healthcare. Hearing that the culture and atmosphere is one of the main reasons that brought Dr. Webster to Ashley County Medical Center, emphasizes the passion for her patients and the care they receive.

“Dr. Webster joining our community will enable families to continue to have their surgical care close to home.”

Webster received her medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Her residency training in General Surgery was completed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery. She is ATLS, ACLS, and PALS certified. Webster has been a practicing surgeon at Jefferson Regional Medical Center and served as a surgical instructor for UAMS-South Central Family Practice Residency Program.

As a general surgeon, Webster offers surgical services including lap and open cholecystectomies for gallbladder, lap and open appendectomies, placement of central lines, repair of hernias, port placements, endoscopies, removal of skin lesions and cancers, drainage of abscesses, and more. She specializes in general surgery and digestive care.

When Webster isn’t caring for her patients, she enjoys time outdoors with her children.

Webster said she plans to start seeing patients around mid-August.

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