Regional West Physician Establishes Surgical Technology Scholarship

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., – Regional West surgical technologists play a vital role in preparing operating rooms and assisting the surgical team during medical procedures. It takes a skilled, focused surgical technologist to anticipate the order in which the surgeon will utilize each instrument and to be prepared to assist the surgeon throughout every procedure he or she performs.

“A good surgical technologist is irreplaceable,” said Regional West otolaryngologist James Massey, MD. “They make sure the proper instruments are in place, drape the patient, verify equipment is ready for surgery, and hand each instrument to the surgeon as needed. Depending on the procedure, they’re often the only other person scrubbed up in a sterile operating room.”

The responsibilities of a surgical technologist are so important to Dr. Massey and the surgeons at Regional West, that he established a scholarship through Regional West Foundation for students in the WNCC Surgical Technology program.

“So often in today’s environment, a surgeon is working through scopes and microscopes. The more you can keep your eye on the microscope and the surgical field, the safer the surgery,” said Dr. Massey. “A skilled surgical tech anticipates the instruments the surgeon will need; eliminating the need for a surgeon to look away from the microscope and that creates a smooth handoff that leads to better a surgical outcome.” 

Dr. Massey established the James Massey, MD, Surgical Technology Scholarship through Regional West Foundation. It is available to full-time students in the Surgical Technology program at Western Nebraska Community College. The $1,500 scholarships are offered in both the spring and fall.

The first two James Massey, MD Surgical Tech Scholarships were recently awarded to Kristy Kreman of Chadron and Brettni Mills of Alliance.

For more information about the James Massey, MD, Surgical Technology Scholarship or other health care scholarships, contact Julie Marshall, Regional West Foundation Director of Development, at 308.630.2244. Applications can be downloaded at

Regional West Foundation raises, manages, and distributes funds to enhance the services, programs, and projects of Regional West Health Services. The Foundation supports projects to strengthen health care services that are essential to the quality and growth of our local medical community, including new technology, building improvements, and health education scholarships.

Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state. As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 providers, and over 2,000 employees, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.