Latest News

Kristen Dunbar, PA-C To Join VCHS Medical Clinics

August 22, 2014

Valley County Health System is pleased to announce that Kristen “Kristy” Dunbar PA-C, will join the Burwell and Ord VCHS Medical Clinics in November, 2014. Kristy has been chosen to fulfill the role in the VCHS Medical Clinics that is currently held by Jeff Breitkreutz, PA-C, as he transitions to work full-time in the VCHS Emergency Department.

Dunbar grew up in Maryland. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science. She then earned her Master of Health Science in 1993 from Duke University. Since that time Kristy has provided medical care in central Nebraska for more than a decade, including the communities of Burwell, Sargent and Broken Bow.

Kristy lives on a ranch west of Taylor with her husband Bob. Together they have one son, Gus, who is a freshman at Sargent High School. About her new position at Valley County Health System, Kristy stated “I am very excited to be returning to the Burwell area, and look forward to becoming an established health care provider in the Ord community as well. I have known and respected Jeff for many years as a PA. I have assured him that I intend to put my best foot forward in an effort to continue to provide the excellent medical care that his patients and others are accustomed to.”

Jeff Breitkreutz, PA-C commented, “I am extremely pleased with the addition of Kristy to our Medical Staff. She is well-known and respected as a medical provider in the Burwell, Taylor and Sargent communities and I am comfortable and confident in referring my patients to her. She has a solid background in diagnosing and treating patients and I look forward to working closely with her and my patients as we make this transition.”

Dunbar will provide clinic services at the VCHS Medical Clinics in Burwell two days per week and Ord two days per week. She will join the other VCHS medical providers in sharing evening and weekend Emergency Department services at VCHS.

“We are extremely excited that Kristy will be joining our team of medical providers at VCHS. Her experience as a PA coupled with the fact that she and Jeff already have a strong working relationship, makes her the perfect fit for the patients in our Burwell and Ord Medical Clinics,” quoted Bill Sugg, President & CEO of VCHS.

Community receptions will be held for Kristy in both Ord and Burwell at a date to be determined.

To schedule an appointment with Kristy, call 728.4202.

Laura Nelson Named Associate of the Year

August 22, 2014

Laura Nelson was named Associate of the Year at Valley County Health System. Nelson was selected as Associate of the Quarter at Valley County Health System in July 2014 by fellow associates. She received the Associate of the Year award from among three other qualified candidates who were also named Associate of the Quarter during the year. Nelson was also nominated for the Nebraska Hospital Association’s Caring Kind Award.

In a letter nominating Nelson for the honor, a co-worker wrote, “Laura Nelson exemplifies the values of VCHS in every way. Her personal and professional integrity is above reproach. Laura will do the right thing for her patients or their families every time, even when no one is watching. Laura is a caring, compassionate nurse and is an inspiration to her patients and her co-workers.”

Nelson is an Acute Care Nurse at VCHS. She has been with Valley County Health System since 2002.

VCHS Foundation Begins Grateful Patient Program

August 15, 2014

The Valley County Health System (VCHS) Foundation is beginning a new program that allows individuals to show their appreciation for care received at VCHS. The Grateful Patient Program allows patients, or family members of patients, to express appreciation to the associates who cared for them at VCHS through a special donation to the Valley County Health System Foundation.

A tax-deductible donation can be made in honor of or in memory of someone special. This program also allows patients, or family members of patients, to tell us about a “hero” at VCHS. A gift can be made in tribute of an associate or volunteer, and contributions may be designated to a specific department, program, area of greatest need, or the endowment fund. While keeping the dollar amount confidential, we will send an acknowledgment card to the associate being recognized, informing them that you have given a donation in their honor.

When a donation is made, it helps provide for new equipment and additional education and training that will benefit both patients and VCHS caregivers. Gifts from the Grateful Patient Program will:

• Advance and support health care;
• Benefit current programs and services;
• Underwrite the cost of new equipment and technology; and
• Build our endowment funds for the future needs.

For more information call VCHS Foundation Director, Becky Ries at 308-728-3011, read the brochure here or visit

VCHS Now Offering Lung Cancer Screening Program

August 12, 2014

Valley County Health System and Advanced Medical Imaging are proud to announce a new program to aid in the early detection of lung cancer for high-risk patients. This program will utilize a low-dose CT scan to help high-risk patients screen for lung cancer.

These CT scans were found to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by 20 percent according to a recent study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). Based on these results, VCHS now has a Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Program that is available to VCHS patients meeting the criteria below:

• Men or Women 55-74 years of age
• 30 pack-year history of smoking
• If former smoker, quit date within last 15 years
• No weight loss greater than I 0 pounds in the last month
• No chest CT scan in the last 12 months
• Change in cough, shortness of breath or hemoptysis

The Somatom Definition CT scanner at VCHS is a 20 slice scanner. Results are interpreted by a board-certified radiologist and will be sent to the ordering physician. If insurance does not cover the cost of the screening, it can be completed for $250.00 payable at the time of service. For more information click here or to schedule an appointment for a low-dose CT scan call VCHS at 308.728.4200.

Laura Cox Accepts Specialty Clinic Manager Position at VCHS

August 8, 2014

Laura Cox, RN, has accepted the role of Specialty Clinic Manager at Valley County Health System. Previously, Laura worked as the MDS Coordinator for Valley View Living Center. Before coming to VCHS Laura was a Surgical Nurse in Holdrege, NE. Laura stated, “I am excited to get to work with all the patients utilizing our different Specialty Clinics, and to build relationships with the staff and visiting physicians that make up our Clinic.”

Laura recently moved to Ord with her husband Andy, and their two children. Laura received her Nursing Degree from Central Community College and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Hastings College. Laura is currently working on getting a BSN degree from Midland University.

Valley County Health System currently has 16 different Specialty Clinics available every month. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 308.728.4249.

VCHS Public Transportation Receives DOT Award

August 8, 2014

The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration has awarded the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Public Transportation Department one of their Annual Awards. The department was recognized for highest increase in rural ridership in the State of Nebraska among transit providers with three vehicles.

VCHS Public Transportation’s goal is to provide passengers a reliable means of transportation that is enjoyable and allows you to stay active. To learn more about VCHS Public Transportation call 308.728.4200.

Pictured L-R: Wayne Brown, Stephanie Copp, Stephanie Gideon, Mary Ann Zebert, Bill Longo, and Melvin Linke. Not Pictured: Ashley Woodward

VCHS Holding Community Forums for Strategic Plan

August 1, 2014

To better serve our region, Valley County Health System has engaged National Healthcare Associates to develop a Strategic Plan. This plan is based upon the needs and demographics of the region that Valley County Health System serves.

Valley County Health System is inviting the public to attend one of Strategic Planning Community Forums:

North Loup Forum
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
North Loup Community Center
112 South B Street
North Loup, NE 68859

Arcadia Forum
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Arcadia Community Center
230 North Hawthorne Street
Arcadia, NE 68815

Burwell Forum
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Rodeo Theater
171 South 8th Ave.
Burwell, NE 68823

Loup City Forum
Thursday, August 21, 2014
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Loup City Community Center
721 O Street
Loup City, NE 68853

Ord Forum
Thursday, August 21, 2014
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Vintage Rehab Center Old Hospital
217 Westridge Drive (enter through the east entrance)
Ord, NE 68862

For more information, call J.R. Lange at 308.728.4397 or for a printable flyer click here.

VCHS Completes Disaster Drill

July 25, 2014

Valley County Health System (VCHS) completed a disaster drill on Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 8:00-10:00 am. During the drill the power was turned off and the entire facility ran on generator power only to simulate a disaster scenario. VCHS was able to practice what it would be like providing care to patients using only generator power. This drill was also successful in helping VCHS Associates prepare to handle a large scale traumatic event. Associates were reassigned to different departments to help care for “victims” as they were brought in. Special areas of the facility were designated as treatment areas to handle the large number of patients that would be seen in the case of a tornado or large scale accident.

VCHS’ Director of Operations, Larry Proskocil said, “The drill not only tested communications and cooperation between the hospital staff but also allowed us to practice under abnormal conditions. We are using this drill to evaluate our policies and be as prepared as possible to handle any catastrophic event that might hit our region."

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact VCHS at 308-728-4200.

Laura Nelson Named Associate of the Quarter

July 25, 2014

Laura Nelson, LPN has been named Associate of the Quarter at Valley County Health System for the 4th Quarter of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

In a letter nominating Nelson for the honor, a co-worker discussed how Nelson portrays the values of VCHS. "Laura shows great integrity by always having the patient's best interest. She is an advocate for them and gives them the kind of care that you would want as a patient. Her compassion towards her patients is overwhelming. She spends time with them while making sure their medical needs are being met. Laura shows ownership by always being willing to pickup extra shifts and help out her coworkers whenever possible. She is willing to do whatever is asked of her and help out in any department if needed. Laura is very well respected by her peers. She is always willing to take on a leadership role and willing to teach and help out the new employees. Laura is a trustworthy associate and always respects her patients and coworkers. She puts their needs in front of her own and is always striving to be a better nurse by learning and listening."

Nelson is a Licensed Practical Nurse at VCHS in the Acute Care Department. She has been employed at Valley County Health System since 2002.

VCHS Loup City Clinic Designated as Rural Health Clinic

July 18, 2014

The State of Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services has designated the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Loup City Medical Clinic as a Rural Health Clinic. In order to earn this designation VCHS had to qualify geographically, and then pass a state survey involving staff and services that are available at the clinic.

The Rural Health Clinic Program was established by Congress in 1977 to address an inadequate supply of physicians who serve Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in rural areas. The program provides qualifying Clinics located in rural and medically underserved communities with payment on a cost-related basis for outpatient physician and certain non-physician services.

The VCHS Medical Clinic in Loup City is served by Daniel Schneider, MD, Robert Reilly, PA-C, Kelly Geweke, APRN-NP and Dion Machard, APRN-NP. To schedule an appointment, call 308.745.0324.