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VCHS Introduces 3D Mammography in Ord

October 24, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) now offers 3D mammography exams – the latest advancement in the fight against breast cancer. Compared to digital mammograms, 3D mammograms find up to 40 percent more invasive cancers and reduce callbacks up to 40 percent.

“Mammography remains the first line of defense against breast cancer. With clearer, more accurate images, 3D mammography provides our patients with earlier detection of cancer, fewer callbacks and better treatment options,” Radiology Manager Sue Diehl said. “VCHS has long-promoted women’s health by providing digital mammography and through other programs. We’re excited to now provide our patients 3D mammography exams at VCHS.”

Former technology – the digital mammography – gave physicians two views of each breast from right angles, taken from the top and side of the breast. Breast tissue could sometimes overlap, which could make normal tissue appear abnormal or hide potential issues.

With the new technology, 3D mammography generates a stack of 1 mm slice images (“layers”) of breast tissue. Instead of viewing the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image, 3D mammography allows the radiologist to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by overlapping tissue. Arlene Hughes, R.T. (R) and Melissa Kasselder, R.T. (R) (MR) (M) conduct these mammograms for patients at VCHS in Ord.

To schedule a 3D mammography at VCHS, call 308-728-4249.

Pictured: Melissa Kasselder, R.T. (R) (MR) (M) and Arlene Hughes, R.T. (R) in the mammogram room at VCHS 

Peterson, PT, Recognized as Nebraska Hospital Association Leadership Institute Graduate

October 18, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) Rehabilitation Services Manager Heidi Peterson was recognized for her graduation from the 2016 Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) Leadership Institute at the annual NHA Convention on Oct. 12. The NHA Leadership Institute is a 10-month intensive leadership development program designed specifically for hospital managers.

“The NHA Leadership Institute helped me realize the multitude of areas that a manager needs to be proficient in to be a successful leader,” Peterson said. “The series of eight classes provided knowledge and hands-on experience that highlighted skills and qualities that will assist me in optimally performing my job as rehab manager.”

Participants completed dozens of hours of instruction and training, individualized reading, personality assessments, 360 degree feedback exercises and management coaching.

“Some of the topics included handling conflict, providing both positive and constructive feedback, public speaking, the process of hiring new employees and many more. I was also able to meet and network with professionals from NHA critical access hospitals across the state,” Peterson said. “I would like to personally thank VCHS for providing me with this excellent opportunity.” 

Pictured (l to r): Heidi Peterson, PT; VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke; VCHS Board of Trustees Chair Gary Garnick


VCHS Hosts Record-Setting Women’s Health Night, Raises Thousands for Local Nonprofits

October 18, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) hosted approximately 250 women at its annual women’s health event, helping raise a record $1,748 for the VCHS Auxiliary and 4 the Cure. Celebrate Being a Woman 2016 was held at the Trotter Event Center in Ord on Oct. 11.

“Every year, Celebrate Being a Woman gives women  in our communities a night to gather for an evening of informative health presentations and vendors, delicious food and great company, all while giving back to our communities,” VCHS Public Relations and Marketing Manager Beth Knapinski said. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of those who attended the event and are proud to donate back to our communities through their generosity.”

The two benefitting organizations – the VCHS Auxiliary and 4 the Cure – a local organization that provides assistance to cancer patients and their families, received $879 and $869, respectively. VCHS departments and employees donated raffle baskets, and money was raised through selling tickets for those baskets. Attendees chose which organization received their donation.

At the event, VCHS Mental Health Therapist Riley Smith, PLCSW, PLMHP, presented about the effects of stress on the body and how to foster positive thinking. Elyria Gardens catered a soup and salad dinner, and the VCHS Dietary Department created a dessert bar complete with cake balls, tiramisu, mini cheesecakes and chocolate covered strawberries. 

VCHS is always looking for ways to enhance its events and seeks ideas about what attendees would like to see or hear at future events. We welcome feedback at

Pictured: Heidi Proskocil represents the Valley County Community Foundation Fund at VCHS's Celebrate Being a Woman event on Oct. 11. 


Hughes, R.T. (R), Recognized at Statewide NHA Caring Kind Luncheon

October 17, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. – Arlene Hughes, R.T. (R), was one of 81 hospital workers statewide to be honored at the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) Caring Kind Luncheon on Oct. 14. The awards banquet was held in conjunction with the annual NHA Convention in La Vista, Neb.

The award recognizes hospital and health system employees in Nebraska who go above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating compassion, service excellence and teamwork within their job duties and organization. Each year, VCHS nominates its organizational Employee of the Year for this honor.

Hughes’s award nomination read, in part: “Arlene’s work ethic and compassion toward her patients are widely known not only by our employees but throughout our community. She closely monitors her patients’ reports and has everything ready for them when they need continued care. Compassion is Arlene’s middle name! She is overflowing with compassion and goes above and beyond for her patients – even coming in early and staying late.”

Hughes has worked at VCHS for 20 years and, along with Melissa Kasselder, R.T. (R) (MR) (M), conducts hundreds of mammography exams for patients at VCHS every year. 

“I appreciate receiving the Caring Kind Award. The entire experience has been very humbling,” Hughes said. 

Pictured: Arlene Hughes, R.T. (R) is pictured with her Caring Kind Award plaque at the NHA awards banquet on Oct. 14. 


VCHS Auxiliary Donations Top $260,000 Since 2005

October 3, 2016

ORD, Neb. – With ten more equipment donations in the last month, Valley County Health System (VCHS) Auxiliary donations to VCHS have totaled $264,922 since 2005. More than 100 donations to departments throughout the health system have been made during this time.

The ten most recent donations include new and updated equipment for various VCHS departments, including the medical clinics, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation services, podiatry, mental health services and laboratory.

The VCHS Auxiliary operates the Second Hand Rose Thrift Shop in downtown Ord, which provide funds for the Auxiliary to purchase needed equipment for VCHS. The shop is entirely volunteer-run and, with the exception of utilities and minimum upkeep costs, all proceeds are donated to VCHS in the form of new equipment and updated technology.

The Second Hand Rose is open from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. It is located at 1537 M Street in Ord. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the VCHS Auxiliary, contact VCHS at 308-728-4200. Learn more about the VCHS Auxiliary at

Pictured: Members of the VCHS Auxiliary sort and prepare donations to display for sale at The Second Hand Rose Thrift Shop and Boutique in downtown Ord. 

VCHS Hospice Department to Host Community Memorial Service

October 3, 2016

ORD, Neb. – The Valley County Health System (VCHS) Hospice Department will host a public community memorial service on Sun., Nov. 6, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Ord.

The 10th Celebration of Life will honor the memory of all loved ones who have died this past year. The service will include a speaker, music, candle lighting ceremony, a slide show presentation and balloon release. Refreshments will be served following the service.

If you would like to include your loved one in the service, call Marilyn Winkelbauer at 308-728-4315.  To include your loved one in the slide show presentation, please email the picture to If emailing is not possible, bring it by the VCHS Home Health/Hospice building at 400 South 23rd St. or mail it to Marilyn Winkelbauer, VCHS Hospice Department, 2707 L St., Ord, NE 68862. Photos need to be received by Oct. 21.

All photos will be returned at the service or mailed at the sender’s request.

(Pictured: VCHS Hospice Community Memorial Service attendees participate in a balloon release during 2015's service.) 


Breitkreutz, PA-C, Named Nebraska’s Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner

September 23, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Jeff Breitkreutz, PA-C, of Valley County Health System (VCHS) in Ord has been named Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner by the Nebraska Rural Health Association.

The Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner Award recognizes an individual who is a direct service provider and who has exhibited outstanding leadership, care and collaboration in improving health services in rural Nebraska. He received the award at the Nebraska Rural Health Conference in Kearney on Sept. 21.

Breitkreutz’s nomination, submitted by VCHS coworkers, touted his exceptional medical and patient care, as well as his community involvement.

“Jeff’s extensive medical knowledge and commitment to providing top quality care to our patients has been evident throughout his many years of service at VCHS. We also see that knowledge and commitment extend beyond the hospital walls through his involvement in our local communities,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said. 

Joining VCHS in 2001, Breitkreutz has provided care to patients from more than a dozen counties. Currently, he primarily provides medical services to patients in the VCHS emergency department. During his time at VCHS, Breitkreutz has been the recipient of numerous internal, local and statewide awards: VCHS Employee of the Month, VCHS Employee of the Year, VCHS President’s Award, Ord Chamber of Commerce’s Employee of the Year and Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants Physician Assistant of the Year. Beyond direct patient care, Breitkreutz’s commitment to VCHS was evident throughout his 13 years of service on the VCHS Foundation board.

Outside of work, Breitkreutz has served as a Boy Scout leader for more than 20 years; a volunteer, council member and instructor for the local 4-H group; a church council member; and an officer for the local Karp and Krow board. Breitkreutz’s service has also extended beyond central Nebraska with his medical mission trip to Paraguay. 

“VCHS, our patients and our communities are so fortunate and thankful for Jeff’s service and congratulate him on this well-deserved award," Glaubke said.

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Pictured: Jeff Breitkreutz, PA-C (right) is pictured with Dale Gibbs, director of outreach and telehealth services for CHI Health Good Samaritan, (left) at the Nebraska Rural Health Conference on Sept. 21. 

VCHS to Offer Older Adult Fitness Class in Ord Beginning Oct. 4

September 12, 2016

ORD, Neb. – With a goal to help rural Nebraska’s aging population stay healthy, Valley County Health System (VCHS) will offer free Fitness Reaching Older Generations (FROG) classes every Tuesday and Friday from 9 – 10 a.m. beginning on Tues., Oct. 4. The classes will be held at the VCHS Old Rehab Department at 217 Westridge Dr., Ord.

FROG is an exercise program designed to help adults ages 55 and older improve their balance, mobility and strength to help prevent falls and improve their overall health. The program will be offered exclusively to VCHS Sterling Connection members.

“Members have been extremely enthusiastic about this exercise opportunity. These classes will assist VCHS in combining our mission and vision as we provide valuable health and wellness services to our 55 and older generations,” Sterling Connection Coordinator Becky Ries said.

The program combines yoga, tai-chi, resistance, low-impact aerobics and weight training into sessions that include warm-ups, stretches, endurance, strength, balance and flexibility work. Equipment for FROG includes chairs, resistance bands and medicine balls, and participants are encouraged to exercise at their own pace.

FROG was launched in 2008 by Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department and has expanded to now be offered in 10 communities within their health district. VCHS is the first to offer FROG in central Nebraska.

Becky Ries, Catie Larsen and Beth Knapinski – all VCHS employees and trained FROG instructors – and Shalee Hoevet– a Grandview Assisted and Independent Living employee and trained FROG instructor – will lead the class on a rotating basis.

VCHS will provide the resistance bands, but participants are asked to supply their own one- or two-pound hand weight ball. Participants may purchase a weight ball from VCHS for $10 if they contact VCHS before Sept. 28, and indicate their interest in purchasing one.

If not already a VCHS Sterling Connection member, which is required to participate in FROG, call Becky Ries at 308-728-4299, print an application form from, or stop by the VCHS hospital front desk. The Sterling Connection Program at VCHS is a free program designed to meet the whole-person wellness needs and concerns of people 50 years of age and older. Program offerings include monthly health-related seminars, regular trips and occasional health screenings.

An RSVP is required only for the first (Oct. 4) class, and individuals may RSVP to Becky Ries at 308-728-4299.

“As interest grows in the program, we would potentially increase our outreach by offering classes to other communities in the region we serve,” Ries said. “In addition, we have also discussed adding a day of walking as a group during the spring through fall months next year.”

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Pulmonologist Radu Neamu, MD, to join VCHS Specialty Clinic

September 4, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) welcomes the services of an additional pulmonologist – Radu Neamu, MD – to the VCHS Specialty Clinic in Ord. Dr. Neamu (of Good Samaritan Medical Group) will see patients in Ord the third Monday of every month, beginning on Sept. 19. 

As a pulmonologist, Dr. Neamu is specially trained to treat issues involving the respiratory tract and lungs, providing expert care for needs such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis and pneumonia. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine.

In addition to Dr. Neamu, pulmonologist George Kassis, MD, also sees patients at the VCHS Specialty Clinic.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Neamu at the VCHS Specialty Clinic, call 308-728-4249.  



Hughes Named VCHS Employee of the Year

August 23, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Arlene Hughes R.T. (R) was named the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Employee of the Year for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The VCHS Employee of the Year is awarded to a nominated employee who exemplifies the values of VCHS – integrity, compassion, ownership, respect and trust.

VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke presented the award to Hughes at an August 23rd ceremony at VCHS with more than one hundred coworkers, family and friends in attendance. Hughes was one of four VCHS Employee of the Quarter recipients during the last year, from which the VCHS Employee of the Year was voted on by VCHS employees and, ultimately, chosen. In addition to receiving gift cards, ChamberBucks and a certificate, Hughes will represent VCHS at the Nebraska Hospital Association Caring Kind Awards Luncheon in La Vista, Neb., in October.

Arlene’s nomination for the award read:

“Integrity, Compassion, Ownership, Respect and Trust are all words to describe the character of our Caring Kind nominee, Arlene Hughes. Arlene serves as an integral part of the VCHS team and family.

Arlene’s work ethic and compassion toward her patients are widely known not only by our employees but throughout our community. She closely monitors her patients’ reports and has everything ready for them when they need continued care. Compassion is Arlene’s middle name! She is overflowing with compassion and goes above and beyond for her patients – even coming in early and staying late. Arlene is also a team player and volunteers for countless internal committees, illustrating her support of the mission and vision of VCHS. She regularly sets up an educational booth on behalf of VCHS to promote women’s health at area events and fairs. Arlene treats her patients and coworkers with the utmost respect.  We can trust in her to help in any situation, and she lends a helping hand in any way she can. Congratulations, Arlene!”

Other VCHS Employee of the Quarter award recipients for the last year included Paula Sherburne, a VCHS insurance biller, Lindsey Oldaker, PT, and Debbie Graves, LPN.