Latest News

Johanna Spencer, APRN-NP, FNP-BC, to Join VCHS Medical Staff

April 21, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) is excited to announce the addition of Johanna Spencer, APRN-NP, FNP-BC, to the VCHS medical staff. Spencer will begin at VCHS on May 2, primarily providing care to VCHS Medical Clinic walk-in patients and emergency department patients. 

“I am very excited to join the team at Valley County Health System and be a part of the excellent care delivered here,” Spencer said. “Having grown up in the area, I know how important rural healthcare is, and I look forward to serving patients in the surrounding communities.”

A Burwell Junior-Senior High School class of 2001 graduate, Spencer went on to earn her bachelor’s of science in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in 2006. In 2015, she completed her master’s of science in nursing – family nurse practitioner track – through the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Spencer has more than eight years of nursing experience, including previously working in the VCHS acute, emergency and surgical departments for two years. Most recently, Spencer worked as a family nurse practitioner at Greater Sandhills Family Healthcare in Basset, Neb. She provided care for patients of all ages in the family practice clinic and critical access emergency department. 

Pictured: Johanna Spencer, APRN-NP, FNP-BC

VCHS Now Offers In-Home Sleep Studies

April 18, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) recently began offering in-home sleep studies – an addition that reflects industry trends and provides patients a more comfortable, convenient and cost-effective testing option. Sleep studies are used to diagnose certain sleep disorders – most notably, sleep apnea – which affects more than 18 million Americans.

“Our goal is to provide patients with a really good experience while obtaining the necessary data to make an accurate diagnosis,” VCHS Respiratory Therapist Mark Deaton said. “With the addition of in-home sleep studies, patients have another choice in how to receive their medical care from VCHS to best meet their financial, scheduling and environmental preferences.”

Traditional sleep studies require a patient to spend overnight at the hospital; whereas, VCHS provides a patient with the Philips Alice NightOne to take home with them for the overnight study. This home sleep testing system includes a palm-sized monitoring device that belts around a patient’s chest while they sleep.

Additionally, in-home sleep studies offer savings to patients – sometimes 80% or more – compared to traditional sleep studies.

Individuals who are interested in participating in an in-home sleep study will briefly meet with Deaton at VCHS to discuss how to setup the test and how it works. The patient will take the device home and complete the test overnight. In the following days, the results will be read and a diagnosis will be made or follow-up testing completed.

For more information, or to schedule an in-home sleep study, contact the VCHS Respiratory Therapy Department at 308-728-4309. 

Pictured: VCHS Respiratory Therapist Mark Deaton holds the Philips Alice NightOne. 

Healthcare Decisions Day Highlights Importance of Advance Medical Directives

April 17, 2016

Valley County Health System, along with other national, state and community organizations, is working to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making —an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of Sat., April 16, 2016, as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

VCHS encourages area residents to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (living will, power of attorney for healthcare, Five Wishes and Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment [POLST]) in accordance with Nebraska state laws.

The Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association devotes much of its time educating Nebraskans on the importance of completing advance directives. Initiatives like the formation of community end-of-life coalitions across the state, outreach campaigns, and the placement of articles in consumer and professional publications have contributed to growth in the number of Nebraskans with an advance directive. Thirty-seven percent of Nebraskans report having an advance directive.

Talking with family members and others in your life about your end-of-life wishes, coupled with an advance directive, can significantly ease the burden on those who must make health care decisions for you. Regardless of your age, we hope you will use the tools we provide you to have these important conversations with the people in your life and formally document your wishes in an advance directive.

“Advance Directive” is a general term that describes two types of legal documents – living wills and health care powers of attorney.  These documents allow a person to give instructions about future medical care, should he or she be unable to participate in health care decisions due to serious illness or incapacity. 

A living will is a written statement that describes the type of care a person wishes to receive in the event he or she is suffering from a terminal illness or is in a persistent vegetative state.  

A power of attorney for health care is a document through which one person (the principal) authorizes another person (the agent) to make health care decisions on his or her behalf.

For more information about advance directives, call Marilyn Winkelbauer at VCHS at 308-728-4315, or visit www.nhdd.org or www.nehospice.org.

Annual Celebration Recognizes VCHS Volunteers

April 15, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) recognized nearly 150 volunteers at its annual volunteer celebration on April 12 at The Golden Husk in Ord. The Valley County Ministerial Association, VCHS Board of Trustees, VCHS Foundation Board of Directors, VCHS Child Development Committee, VCHS Auxiliary and VCHS Home Health and Hospice volunteers were celebrated at the event.

 “This annual volunteer event provides an opportunity to bring together, and celebrate, the many individuals who donate their time and talents to VCHS every year,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said. “They are invaluable members of our VCHS team, providing care, friendship and assistance to patients, families and employees.”

The celebration included a short program during which representatives from each of the VCHS volunteer groups spoke, explaining how their group supports VCHS and thanking attendees for their continued commitment.

VCHS is always seeking individuals who are committed to helping advance progressive, compassionate healthcare in central Nebraska to volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering at VCHS, or to learn more, call 308.728.4347. 

VCHS Celebrates Doctors' Day

April 7, 2016

Ord - In celebration of National Doctors' Day on Wed., March 30, VCHS doctors were honored at an employee reception and gifted VCHS jackets.

Dr. Hilary Miller, Dr. Daniel Schneider, and Dr. Jennifer Bengston serve patients primarily at the VCHS medical clinics (located in Ord, Burwell, and Loup City) and provide some care in the VCHS emergency department.

VCHS is fortunate to have three outstanding doctors who provide remarkable medical care to VCHS patients and their families. 

VCHS Trustees Earn NHA Education Certification

March 28, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Members of the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Board of Trustees recently earned Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) hospital governance community education certification.

The NHA Hospital Trustee Community Accountability Education Certification Program enables hospitals to utilize governance best practices; promote the coordination of care and best use of resources; and demonstrate to others that Nebraska hospitals are dedicated to the well-being of its citizens. Through certification, the VCHS board is better prepared to address the health needs of special populations; create consistent standards and communicate compliance with those standards; and improve leadership potential.   

All of the VCHS board trustees – Gary Garnick, chair; Carl Streeter, vice chair; Michelle Zangger, secretary; Roger Lansman, treasurer; Nathan Flessner; Dr. Chuck Blaha; and Morely Koll – earned the certification. The VCHS trustees were seven of less than 80 trustees statewide to earn this certification.

Additionally, the VCHS Board of Trustees became an NHA Board-Certified Organization, one of only three in Nebraska to earn this certification during this educational session.

To become an NHA Board-Certified Organization, the VCHS board adhered to specific, predefined governance standards that exemplify community accountability and outreach, responsibility for the quality and safety of care to address identified needs, and the characteristics of a high-performance board. 

VCHS Hospice Chaplain Earns Statewide Recognition

March 24, 2016

ORD, Neb. –  Rev. Scott Hausrath, a volunteer chaplain for the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Hospice, was honored as an outstanding volunteer at the annual Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association (NHPCA) banquet on March 22 in Lincoln, Neb. He is the pastor at North Loup Seventh Day Baptist Church in North Loup, Neb.

“Rev. Hausrath has been a volunteer with VCHS Hospice for more than two years and has a gift of relating and connecting with every patient and family he visits,” VCHS Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Marilyn Winkelbauer said. “He provides much needed spiritual support, caring and compassion, and he is always willing to take time to be with the patients during their final hours.”

Each hospice program in the state can nominate an outstanding volunteer to be recognized and honored at the banquet, which took place during the 2016 NHPCA Conference.

Rev. Hausrath is one of dozens of VCHS Hospice volunteers, who donated more than a combined 1,019 hours to volunteering with the program last year.

To learn more about VCHS Hospice or to learn about how to become a volunteer, call 308-728-4355. 

Two VCHS Board Members Reappointed for Six-Year Terms

March 9, 2016

ORD, Neb. – The Valley County Board of Supervisors recently reappointed two Valley County Health System (VCHS) Board of Trustees members.

Nathan Flessner and Dr. Chuck Blaha – both with terms set to expire at the end of April 2016 – were reappointed for the next six years.

This will be the first full term they both serve, as both joined the board three years ago following resignations.

In addition to Flessner and Blaha, the board includes five other members: Gary Garnick, chair; Carl Streeter, vice chair; Michelle Zangger, secretary; Roger Lansman, treasurer; and Morely Koll.

The board holds monthly meetings and plays an integral role in healthcare decisions for VCHS. 

(Pictured: VCHS Board of Trustees members Dr. Chuck Blaha, left, and Nathan Flessner, right)

VCHS Provides Hands-Only CPR Training to Area Boy Scouts

March 9, 2016

ORD, Neb. – On Feb. 25, Valley County Health System (VCHS) Paramedic Dan Scott provided hands-only CPR training to Troop 194 (Ord) Boy Scouts. The training was part of the Scouts' requirements for their first aid merit badge.

The Boy Scouts watched a short informational video and practiced hands-only CPR on dummies. Scott also demonstrated how an AED worked. The American Heart Association reports that effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim's chance of survival, so training allows individuals to effectively administer hands-only CPR.

(Pictured: VCHS Paramedic Dan Scott desmontrates how an AED is used to members of Troop 194 Boy Scouts.)  

McBride to Lead VCHS Foundation

March 3, 2016

ORD, Neb. - The Valley County Health System (VCHS) Foundation welcomes Rhe’Ann McBride as the new VCHS Foundation executive director. McBride will begin her new position mid-March.

McBride is originally from Ainsworth, Neb., and received her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has since been working at OneWorld Community Health Centers, where she has gained valuable fundraising and community outreach experience.

The VCHS Foundation’s mission is to seek, receive and administer donations and gifts for the sole benefit of VCHS. For more information about the VCHS Foundation, visit http://valleycountyhealthfund.org/.