About Us

Progressive Care with Compassion.
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Marilyn Winkelbauer

Marilyn Winkelbauer’s two-decade career at VCHS has been devoted to living

providing resources to patients who prefer living at home;
guiding patients about future living options;
helping patients focus on living life to the fullest during their final days;
supporting family and friends with living after losing a loved one;
and encouraging all to recognize that life is for living.

As the social worker for Valley County Health System (VCHS) Home Health and Hospice, Marilyn connects patients and families to resources and provides support to make living, in line with a patient’s and family’s wishes, possible.

The combination of an aging population, advancing technologies, and growing desire to receive care at home versus in a facility has increased the demand for home health services across the United States. Marilyn plays a key role in enabling seniors, or those at any age dealing with injury or illness, to receive care in their home through assisting with living arrangements, long-term planning, and financial concerns.

“My role as a social worker for home health reflects the VCHS Mission by providing patients a continuum of nursing and medical care after they leave the hospital,” Marilyn says.

Marilyn’s role as a social worker for VCHS Hospice as well means providing resources and offering support can come during some of life’s most trying and difficult moments.

Often misperceived, individuals with incurable illnesses, or in instances where further treatment won’t help, are eligible for hospice care if their life expectancy is six months or less.

“As a social worker for VCHS Hospice, I am able to assist with helping patients focus on life and making each day the best it can be,” Marilyn says. “Hospice care is less about dying and more about living.”

Marilyn works with the team of doctors, nurses, clergy members, therapists, and volunteers to offer a holistic approach to making a patient’s remaining time as fulfilling and comfortable as possible. This ranges from helping identify pain issues to offering physical, emotional, and spiritual companionship to completing advanced directives. Following a patient’s loss, Marilyn also provides individualized bereavement services to a patient’s loved ones for at least a year through mailings on grief, follow-up contacts, and grief support meetings.

Marilyn and the VCHS Home Health and Hospice serve patients in more than 10 central Nebraska counties, logging a combined average of nearly 30,000 miles every month traveling to provide care; the lives Marilyn has impacted over the years is immeasurable.

This August, Marilyn will retire after twenty years at VCHS. From spending more time with her husband, kids, and grandkids to traveling and visiting longtime friends to having more time to volunteer at her church and other causes, Marilyn says retirement will be bittersweet. While her compassion and expertise will be missed, she will continue to do what she does best and to what she has devoted her career to helping others do: living.

Pictured: Marilyn Winkelbauer, Home Health and Hospice Social Worker