Three for Three

by Rich Kerschen


Rich and Hannah Kerschen have a 16-year tradition of taking their kids and grandkids, including Charlie (7th from right), on a vacation every year.

My name is Rich Kerschen. My family and I have been blessed with good health over the years. Three times in my life I’ve needed access to specialty care—and all three times Healthnetwork came through. I’ve known about Healthnetwork for years, first through YPO and now through my Legatus membership. I hate to imagine where we’d all be today if not for the connections they’ve made possible.

1. In 2015…

My grandson, Charlie, was diagnosed before his second birthday with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. When Charlie was nine, he began having aggressive and violent behaviors towards peers and adults, including our family members, which ultimately led to his school district asking that he go to an out-of-district, alternative school. His parents tried to seek help from their local children’s hospital, but they lacked, by their own admission, the expertise to provide any assistance. My daughter and son-in-law ultimately found a local doctor who tried to help but who also lacked the experience and knowledge to effectively treat Charlie. In fact, the medications prescribed by this professional, we would learn later, likely aggravated his behaviors.

What could have happened:

Today Charlie is 18 years old, nearly 6 feet tall, and strong. Charlie’s intensifying, aggressive behaviors towards our family members and other adults and peers may have caused him to seriously hurt others or himself.

What actually happened:

Healthnetwork connected Charlie’s family with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), and specifically Dr. Craig Erickson, Dr. Kelli Dominick and the Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Department. My daughter will tell you that making the initial trip to CCHMC was the best decision they ever made and that this introduction changed everything and likely allowed Charlie to remain safely living with his family. Charlie was finally in the care of a medical team who were experts in Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which they quickly diagnosed, and experts in the best treatments for Charlie. Charlie’s aggressive behaviors seemingly changed overnight. With these violent behaviors under control, Charlie was happier, more productive at his school and better able to socialize with his peers and family. Charlie and his parents gladly travel to CCHMC at least twice a year for wellness checks with Dr. Erickson, Dr. Dominick and their amazing team, and they regularly communicate with CCHMC in between those visits. While Charlie’s regiment of medications has had to be adjusted several times, Charlie’s family has complete trust in CCHMC’s expertise to provide the care Charlie requires to keep him safe, happy, and healthy. Due to CCHMC’s continued professional, knowledgeable and amazing care of Charlie, he is happier, fun to be around, polite, and loves to go to school. He is very honest and he has his own sense of humor. Because of Healthnetwork, our entire family has been able to enjoy a relationship with Charlie more than we would have been able to otherwise, and we are all very grateful.

2. In 2022…

I had a cyst on my pancreas that we’d been monitoring for several years. But then I had an MRI showing the cyst had started to grow. It was pre-cancerous, and it definitely needed to be removed.

What could have happened:

I probably could have had the surgery done locally here in Wichita. After visiting with my doctor, I wasn’t comfortable with that option. Pancreas surgery is pretty serious.

What actually happened:

I called Healthnetwork and they linked me up with Dr. David Nagorney at Mayo Clinic, one of the top pancreatic surgeons in the country. I had peace of mind heading into the surgery, and the outcome was as good as I could have possibly hoped for.

3. Earlier this year…

My company’s CFO, Marc Porter, and I have worked together for over 35 years. My wife and I consider Marc and his wife, Sheryl, like family. Sheryl had been losing the use of her legs for about six months. Her local doctors diagnosed her with neuropathy and said there was nothing to be done. She went to a specialist who thought her issues were coming from a pinched nerve and ordered an MRI of the lumbar spine, which did not reveal anything concerning.

What could have happened:

Sheryl was close to being an invalid. She was in a wheelchair and could not drive or even use the bathroom by herself. She’d seen many doctors and had no answer—and yet things continued to get worse. Life was looking dismal.

What actually happened:

As a Gold supporter I know I can contact Healthnetwork on behalf of key employees in certain limited situations, and Sheryl’s predicament seemed like just the time to make that call. In less than a month, Healthnetwork got Sheryl into Mayo Clinic to see a top neurosurgeon. They did scans of her complete spine and found the cause of her problems immediately: a tumor squeezed against the spinal cord. The morning after her surgery to remove the tumor, the doctor asked Marc how his wife was feeling. Marc’s reply: “She told me it feels like Christmas!”

Best of the Best

Healthnetwork delivers on what they say they can do. They are the ultimate pros when you need to see the best of the best. I feel fortunate I belong to their group and that we’ve been able to take advantage of their services.