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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 www.valleycountyhealthsystem.org, 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.

 

VCHS Home Health Exceeds State, National Patient Satisfaction Scores, Earns Five-Star Rating

August 15, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Patients rated Valley County Health System (VCHS) Home Health services above state and national averages, earning the organization a five-star rating with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“The home health and hospice patient satisfaction scores are another great example of how VCHS is meeting its mission to provide progressive healthcare services in a healing, patient-centered environment,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said. “Of significant note is that 90 percent of patients would recommend VCHS Home Health services to friends and family – a measure VCHS exceeded both Nebraska and national averages.”

The data was from more than 150 patients who received VCHS Home Health services between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015, and completed the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The data is reported annually on CMS’s Home Health Compare website.

“Our Home Health staff work collaboratively as nurses, therapists, social worker and aides to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care,” VCHS Director of Home Health and Hospice Carol Schroeder said. “They exhibit genuine compassion and professionalism to meet the needs of their patients and families.”

In addition to that overall recommendation question, the survey included the following measures:

-       How often the home health team gave care in a professional way

-       How well did the home health team communicate with patients

-       Did the home health team discuss medicines, pain, and home safety with patients

-       How do patients rate the overall care from the home health agency

Home health offers a less expensive alternative to hospitalization or long-term care for patients needing occasional intermittent healthcare, including nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapies; and social work. VCHS provides home health services to people across 11 central Nebraska counties.

For more information about VCHS Home Health services, call 308-728-4355.

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Pictured (l to r): VCHS Home Health Manager Donna Streeter and VCHS Director of Home Health and Hospice Carol Schroeder 

 

 

VCHS Arcadia Medical Clinic to Open Sept. 7

August 15, 2016

ORD, Neb. – After announcing its expansion plans in May, Valley County Health System (VCHS) will open the VCHS Arcadia Medical Clinic (at 110 W. Bridge St., Arcadia) on Sept. 7. Bob Reilly, PA-C, will see patients at the VCHS Arcadia Medical Clinic on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. – noon.

VCHS currently operates medical clinics in Burwell, Loup City and Ord, making the Arcadia location the organization’s fourth clinic location. With the support of local public officials, community members and VCHS staff, the VCHS Board of Trustees approved the Arcadia clinic location, in part, to help meet increased demand for healthcare services in the area and improve patient convenience.

To schedule an appointment at the VCHS Arcadia Medical Clinic, or for more information, call 308-728-4202.

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Pictured: VCHS Arcadia Medical Clinic at the Village of Arcadia office (110 W. Bridge St., Arcadia)

 

 

Revamped VCHS Sterling Connection Program Offers Seniors Whole-Person Wellness Opportunities

August 3, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) recently revamped its Sterling Connection Program to offer enhanced and expanded wellness opportunities to its members.

In line with VCHS’s mission to “provide progressive healthcare services in a healing, patient-centered environment,” the Sterling Connection Program at VCHS is designed to meet the whole-person wellness needs and concerns of people 50 years of age and older. This free membership program provides benefits to members both when they’re well and sick.

“Adults today lead very busy lives, and they look to VCHS to help stay active. VCHS, in conjunction with BryanLGH Medical Center, brings our members reliable information, assistance and extra benefits through the Sterling Connection Program,” Becky Ries, VCHS Sterling Connection Program coordinator, said. “The free program’s array of benefits provides members with resources to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and offers additional help in the event you need healthcare services.”

Program offerings include monthly health-related seminars, regular trips and occasional health screenings. Past seminar topics have included skin care, blood pressure and heart health. The group also recently took a trip to Lincoln for a showing of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline” at the Tada Theater, and in May, the group celebrated National Senior Health and Fitness Day with a group exercise and informational session at Auble’s Pond in Ord.

“As we continue to progress, we hope to offer a weekly fitness program in Ord and eventually grow that to the other communities we serve,” Ries said. “Whether physical, mental, emotional or social wellness, we’re always looking for ways to enhance and expand opportunities that meet the needs and interests of our members.”

For more information, or to become a Sterling Connection member at VCHS, contact Becky Ries at 308-728-4299 or bries@valleycountyhealthsystem.org.

(Pictured: Sterling Connection members participated in a walk and fitness informational session in May to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day.) 

VCHS Loup City Medical Clinic Sees Continued Growth, Additional MD Joins Practice

July 26, 2016

LOUP CITY, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) Loup City Medical Clinic continues to have significant growth, serving hundreds of new patients during the last year alone. To meet the growing demand for healthcare services in Loup City and the surrounding communities, VCHS’s newest provider, Dr. Greg McClanahan, will begin seeing patients in Loup City next month.

“Residents of Loup City and the surrounding communities continue to make VCHS their healthcare provider of choice,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said. “We’re proud of the relationships we’ve established in the community and look forward to continuing to serve this area.  Dr. McClanahan is excited to meet everyone and start providing care to his new patients.”

Dr. McClanahan, who joined VCHS in July 2016, will begin seeing patients at the VCHS Loup City Medical Clinic every Tuesday beginning in August 2016.

An Atkinson, Neb. native, Dr. McClanahan earned his bachelor’s degree in 2006 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In 2013, he earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College Of Medicine and recently completed his residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine Rural Track in Grand Island. His interests are in endoscopy, preventative medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics. Dr. McClanahan will see patients in both Loup City and Ord.

The VCHS Loup City Medical Clinic is open Monday through Friday. In addition to Dr. McClanahan soon seeing patients on Tuesdays, Bob Reilly, PA-C, currently sees patients in Loup City on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Dr. Hilary Miller sees patients in Loup City on Thursdays.

Call 308.745.0324 for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

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Pictured: Beginning in August 2016, Dr. Greg McClanahan will see patients on Tuesdays at the VCHS Loup City Medical Clinic.  

 

Hughes Recognized as VCHS Employee of the Quarter

July 19, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Arlene Hughes R.T. (R) has been named the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The VCHS Employee of the Quarter 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 a July 15th ceremony at VCHS with coworkers, family and friends in attendance.

“Arlene treats her patients with the utmost respect along with coworkers and employees from other departments,” the nomination, in part, read. “Arlene is overflowing with compassion. She will do anything for her patients. Come early, stay late, come on her day off, she goes above and beyond for her patients here and for her hospice patients as well.”

Hughes joins previous VCHS Employee of the Quarter award recipients Paula Sherburne, a VCHS insurance biller, Lindsey Oldaker, PT, and Debbie Graves, LPN, for consideration for the VCHS Employee of the Year award.

Pictured: VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke (left) with VCHS Employee of the Quarter recipient Arlene Hughes R.T. (R) (right)

 

VCHS to Host Meet and Greet with Dr. McClanahan

July 14, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System will host a welcome reception for its newest provider, Greg McClanahan, MD, on Tues., July 19 from 5-6 p.m at VCHS in Ord. Members of the public are encouraged to attend this casual meet and greet, welcome Dr. McClanahan and enjoy beverages and hors d'oeuvres.

An Atkinson, Neb., native, Dr. McClanahan earned his bachelor’s degree in 2006 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In 2013, he earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine and recently completed his residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine Rural Track in Grand Island. His interests are in endoscopy, preventative medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics.

In addition to seeing patients in Ord, Dr. McClanahan will see patients at the VCHS Medical Clinic in Loup City.