Latest News

VCHS Specialty Clinic Expands Services, Welcomes Nephrologist Abhisekh Sinha Ray, MD

November 25, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) has expanded its growing list of services to include nephrology. Beginning Dec. 5, Nephrologist Abhisekh Sinha Ray, MD, of Good Samaritan Medical Group in Kearney will see patients at the VCHS Specialty Clinic in Ord the first Monday of every month.

As a nephrologist, Dr. Sinha Ray is specially trained to treat patients with a variety of kidney conditions and abnormalities, including chronic kidney disease, polycystic kidney disease, acute renal failure, kidney stones and kidney transplantation.

“The addition of nephrology services at the VCHS Specialty Clinic means patients have another opportunity to receive quality, compassionate care close to home – saving travel time, money and stress,” VCHS Specialty Clinic Manager Jessica DeGroff, RN, said. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Sinha Ray to the team and to provide nephrology services to patients locally.”

More than a dozen other visiting specialists see patients in the VCHS Specialty Clinic every month for services including aesthetics, audiology, cardiology, ENT, general surgery, psychiatry, neurosurgery, OB/GYN, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, pulmonology and urology. 8.252.3874 · fax: 308.728.7809

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sinha Ray at the VCHS Specialty Clinic, or for more information, call 308-728-4249. 

# # #

Pictured: Nephrologist Abhisekh Sinha Ray, MD

A Mindful Approach to the Holidays

November 24, 2016

As we begin to see the snow fall, watch lights go up on porches and roofs, and sip hot chocolate by the fireplace, we are often overwhelmed with joyful expectations of the holiday season. The excitement of seeing parents, siblings, and other family consumes us.

Amidst that excitement, though, it’s easy to stumble  -- feeling out of control, burned out, and robbed of time. Holidays are meant to be spent enjoying delicious food, conversing with family, and making memories. However, the ability to spread holiday cheer can be debilitated by the stresses of gift buying, transportation issues, unpredictable weather, hectic schedules, or missing loved ones. The key to making the holidays as enjoyable as possible is to practice mindfulness.

Here are some suggestions to remain unplugged and engaged:

Mindfulness begins with living in the moment. Make a commitment to yourself to stay engaged in the here and now. Use tips such as planting both feet on the floor, placing your back against the chair, or noticing your breath going in and out. These tips will help you focus your attention on the present moment.

Try to notice if you are pushing yourself to hard. Be kind to yourself and even give yourself extra attention. Take a break with a good book, spend some time in nature, get a massage, or start a conversation with a close friend or even someone you’ve just met. This will allow you to enter this holiday season refreshed and rebalanced. Remember to be grateful and count your blessings. By focusing on positive thinking you can quickly uplift your mood and you feel more appreciative. Try spending ten minutes each night reflecting on the positive things that happened that day and the true spirit of the season. These tips will help you to feel more peaceful and calm, and focus your enjoyment on the holidays – in a more meaningful, fulfilling, and memorable way.

At Valley County Health System’s Heritage Program for Seniors, we continually work with our patients on staying grounded and adjusting to the many changes that accompany the holiday season. We understand holidays are often difficult for many, and we are here to help ease that transition. Give yourself or your loved one the gift of a less stressful, more enjoyable holiday season this year. We’re a simple, confidential phone call away at 308-728-4340.  Happy Holidays from the VCHS Heritage Program for Seniors!

~ Riley Smith, VCHS Mental Health Therapist, PLCSW, PLMHP and Amber Schulenberg, VCHS Mental Health Technician


(Reference: Stephan Bodian, 5 ways to infuse the holidays with mindfulness, November 2, 2015.)

New Manual Therapy Technique Introduced at VCHS Rehabilitation Services

November 23, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Sara Smedra, PT, of the VCHS Rehabilitation Services Department recently completed Graston Technique (GT) M1 Basic Training, allowing VCHS to use this new manual therapy technique to help treat patients.

Graston Technique® is an instrument-assisted, soft tissue mobilization therapy. It addresses soft tissue lesions, breaks up fascial restrictions and detects areas of chronic inflammation. The technique uses specially-designed stainless steel instruments with unique treatment edges and angles to deliver an effective means of manual therapy. The use of the GT instruments, when combined with appropriate therapeutic exercise, leads to the restoration of pain-free movement and function.

This technique helps treat conditions such as tennis elbow, back pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.  

Graston Technique® has also been shown to improve diagnostic treatment; increase patient satisfaction by achieving notably faster and better outcomes; speed rehabilitation and recovery; reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication; and allow the patient to continue to engage in everyday activities.

“Graston Technique® can be used to treat any movement system dysfunction that has been determined to have a soft tissue component,” Smedra said. “We use the instruments not as a replacement, but as a complement our other hand-centric therapy techniques.” 

More than 21,750 clinicians, 2,540 outpatient facilities, 73 industrial sites and 366 professional and amateur sports organizations worldwide offer the Graston Technique®.  GT is part of the curriculum at more than 42 respected colleges and universities. Trainers and clinicians at these organizations are treating elite athletes, patients and employees every day to get them injury free to function at the highest level.

For further information, contact VCHS Rehabilitation Services at 308-728-4247. 

 

VCHS Amongst Top 25 Percent of Rural Hospitals Nationwide for Patient Outcomes, Financial Strength

November 17, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) was recognized in the top quartile of all rural acute care hospitals nationwide for “Excellence in Outcomes” and “Excellence in Financial Strength” by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH).

“Our entire healthcare team is dedicated to providing outstanding patient care, and we are pleased to be recognized for these accomplishments,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said.

The rankings were determined through the Hospital Strength INDEX, the industry’s most objective and comprehensive assessment of rural hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics developed this data-driven program to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care.

 “Excellence in Outcomes” measures patient safety indicators, readmissions and mortality rates. Various factors contribute to each measure and, ultimately, the overall score. For example, when measuring for readmissions, iVantage reviews whether heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and hip and knee surgery patients have been readmitted within 30 days of their discharge from VCHS. When a patient receives the necessary care initially following their illness, injury or surgery, he or she is less likely to be readmitted to the hospital; this is measured as a favorable outcome.

The “Excellence in Financial Strength” measure recognizes the country’s top rural quartile performers in financial stability, including measures such as leverage, liquidity, capital efficiency and resource availability. A strong financial stability performance measure signals a stable organization and allows an organization to invest in state-of-the-art medical equipment and technological advancements. One such recent investment at VCHS was 3D mammography technology, which provides clearer, more accurate imaging, leading to earlier detection of cancer and fewer callbacks.

“We thank the thousands of local residents who continue to make VCHS their healthcare provider of choice,” VCHS CFO Ashley Woodward. “We always strive to provide progressive, patient-centered care while continuing to be prudent users of our resources and cost-containment efforts, so we can continue to improve our strong financial position. This recognition illustrates we are not only meeting those expectations, but exceeding national industry standards.”

In addition to recognizing these top performance ratings, VCHS joins with NOSORH partners from across the United States to celebrate National Rural Health Day on Thurs., Nov. 17. 

VCHS Amongst Top 25 Percent of Rural Hospitals Nationwide for Patient Outcomes, Financial Strength

November 16, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) was recognized in the top quartile of all rural acute care hospitals nationwide for “Excellence in Outcomes” and “Excellence in Financial Strength” by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH).

“Our entire healthcare team is dedicated to providing outstanding patient care, and we are pleased to be recognized for these accomplishments,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said.

The rankings were determined through the Hospital Strength INDEX, the industry’s most objective and comprehensive assessment of rural hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics developed this data-driven program to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care.

 “Excellence in Outcomes” measures patient safety indicators, readmissions and mortality rates. Various factors contribute to each measure and, ultimately, the overall score. For example, when measuring for readmissions, iVantage reviews whether heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and hip and knee surgery patients have been readmitted within 30 days of their discharge from VCHS. When a patient receives the necessary care initially following their illness, injury or surgery, he or she is less likely to be readmitted to the hospital; this is measured as a favorable outcome.

The “Excellence in Financial Strength” measure recognizes the country’s top rural quartile performers in financial stability, including measures such as leverage, liquidity, capital efficiency and resource availability. A strong financial stability performance measure signals a stable organization and allows an organization to invest in state-of-the-art medical equipment and technological advancements. One such recent investment at VCHS was 3D mammography technology, which provides clearer, more accurate imaging, leading to earlier detection of cancer and fewer callbacks.

“We thank the thousands of local residents who continue to make VCHS their healthcare provider of choice,” VCHS CFO Ashley Woodward. “We always strive to provide progressive, patient-centered care while continuing to be prudent users of our resources and cost-containment efforts, so we can continue to improve our strong financial position. This recognition illustrates we are not only meeting those expectations, but exceeding national industry standards.”

In addition to recognizing these top performance ratings, VCHS joins with NOSORH partners from across the United States to celebrate National Rural Health Day on Thurs., Nov. 17. 

All Aboard! VCHS's Second Annual Ord North Pole Express Scheduled for Dec. 14 & 15

November 15, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Aimed at providing local families an opportunity to celebrate the Christmas season, the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Child Development Committee will host the second annual Ord North Pole Express on Dec. 14 and 15.

“Due to last year’s overwhelming interest, the committee decided to expand the Ord North Pole Express to two nights to accommodate more riders,” committee member Beth Knapinski said. “With the support of the community, local businesses and volunteers, we are excited to bring this magical Christmas event to even more local children and families this year.”

The Ord North Pole Express will depart from Ord Elementary School, where “The Polar Express” will be read. Ticket holders will then ride around Ord to look at Christmas lights en route to the North Pole. At the North Pole, riders will meet Santa and his elves, as well as take photos with live reindeer. Riders will also be treated to hot chocolate and cookies during the ride, and they are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring blankets.

There will be seven departure times each evening – 5:40 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 6:20 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. Each departure will accommodate up to 26 riders, with each ride being approximately 40-45 minutes.

The more than 300 available tickets will be distributed through a lottery system. All Ord, Vinton, St. Mary’s – Ord and Arcadia elementary student families will receive a ticket lottery form on Nov. 15 at their respective school. The Ord Township Library and VCHS PR/Marketing office will also have forms available for pickup for other interested community members. The forms must be completed and returned to Ord Elementary School, Arcadia Elementary School, St. Mary’s - Ord, Ord Township Library or VCHS PR/Marketing (207 S. 26th St., Ord) by end of the day on Nov. 18 to be included in the lottery drawing.

Children’s tickets are free with a paying adult(s). Adult tickets are $3. Money will not be collected from entrants unless they are drawn from the lottery. Names will be randomly drawn and recipients notified on November 28. Tickets must then be picked up and paid for by Dec 2. Details about pickup location are forthcoming. Additional information about entering the lottery for tickets is available on the entry form.

Proceeds from the Ord North Pole Express help cover costs of the event, as well as benefit other VCHS Child Development Committee projects. The committee hosts numerous events throughout the year, including Family Literacy Night, Family Entertainment Night, Storytime at the Ord Public Library and an annual kid’s fair. They also provide free baby bags with educational materials, growth charts, books, music and developmental toys to all new mothers and babies in Valley County.

For more information about the Ord North Pole Express, or if you or your business would like to be a sponsor of the event, please contact Michelle Weber at (308) 430-2443 or Beth Knapinski at (308) 730-1558.

VCHS Home Health and Hospice Celebrates Decades of Providing Care

November 14, 2016

ORD, Neb. – During this National Home Health and Hospice Month, Valley County Health System (VCHS) Home Health and Hospice celebrates 27years of providing home health care and 10 years of providing hospice care in central Nebraska.

VCHS became a Medicare-certified, licensed home health agency in 1989. The goal of home health is to help patients recover from injury or illness, or to assist them to manage their disease process and limit their need for hospitalization. Under the direction of a patient’s physician, the VCHS Home Health team of nurses, therapists, home health aides and a social worker give patients personalized, compassionate and professional care in their homes.

“Similar to trends nationwide, there is an increased demand for home health services, especially in rural areas. We continue to meet that need competently and compassionately in an increasingly regulated industry,” VCHS Home Health Manager Donna Streeter said.

Expanding services to meet additional needs of patients, in 2006 the organization became licensed to provide hospice care too. The VCHS Hospice team works to provide exceptional end-of-life care for patients and provide support for their families.

“Hospice is about redefining hope,” Streeter said. “A cure may not be possible, but we help each patient make his or her remaining time as comfortable, peaceful and fulfilling as possible.”

While the organization provides two distinct services, its staff is cross-trained to care for both home health and hospice patients. They are all also familiar with regulations that govern both the home health and hospice industries.

VCHS Home Health and Hospice serves patients in 11 central Nebraska counties, with a primary service area of Valley, Garfield, Loup, Custer, Wheeler, Greeley, Sherman and Howard counties. The care team of nurses, therapists, home health aides and a social worker travel more than 30,000 miles every month to meet the healthcare needs of our patients in the comfort of their homes. The VCHS Home Health and Hospice clinical staff has more than 158 years of combined experience, and Home Health and Hospice Director Carol Schroeder, who has more than 30 years of in-home care experience, has been with the organization for more than 15 years.

To celebrate its many years of service, VCHS Home Health and Hospice will host its annual open house on Wed., Nov. 16 from 2-4 p.m. The open house will be at the VCHS Home Health and Hospice building – 400 S. 23rd St., Ord, lower level. All are invited to attend to meet staff, enjoy snacks, enter for door prizes and learn about available services. The department will also be collecting scarves, hats and mittens for “Make Christmas Happen” at the open house.

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

# # #

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

 

VCHS Hospice Honors Veterans as Partner of National Program

November 7, 2016

ORD, Neb. – With 25 percent of all deaths annually in the United States as veterans, Valley County Health System (VCHS) Hospice continues to honor servicemen and women through participating in the national “We Honor Veterans” program.

“We Honor Veterans” is a collaborative effort of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and hospice organizations, such as VCHS Hospice. The goal is to ensure excellent care of veterans and support for their families at the end of a veteran’s life.

As a “We Honor Veterans” level two partner, VCHS Hospice visits with patients and their families about the patient’s experience in the Armed Services and thanks patients for their service. Additionally, VCHS Hospice staff and volunteers honor each veteran with a VA-Hospice lapel pin and a certificate of appreciation for their service. VCHS Hospice has been involved with the “We Honor Veterans” program since January 2012.

“VCHS Hospice is committed to serving those who have served us, and recognizing our patients’ service to our country at the end of life is especially appreciated,” VCHS Social Worker Marilyn Winkelbauer said. “Sometimes patients say that no one has thanked them for their service, and many times I have noticed tears when presenting them with the VA-Hospice lapel pin and certificate of appreciation.” 

Through “We Honor Veterans,” VCHS Hospice also has access to additional resources and support in providing care to veterans.

To learn more about VCHS Hospice or the “We Honor Veterans” program at VCHS, contact VCHS Hospice Social Worker Marilyn Winkelbauer at 308-728-4315.

 

 

Keefe Named VCHS Employee of the Quarter

November 7, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Stephanie Keefe of the Social Services Department at Valley County Health System (VCHS) was named the VCHS Employee of the Quarter on Nov. 4. The VCHS Employee of the Quarter is awarded to a nominated employee who exemplifies the values of VCHS – integrity, compassion, ownership, respect and trust.

“Steph truly cares for the best outcome of each of our patients. She is constantly communicating with staff, family, providers and the patients about their plan of care,” the nomination, in part, read. “From nursing to the patients, we all have respect for her. She is amazing at what she does and truly cares for everyone she encounters.”

Keefe, along with the next three VCHS Employee of the Quarter recipients, is up for consideration for the VCHS Employee of the Year award to be given in late summer 2017.

“Receiving Employee of the Quarter on Friday was a great honor,” Keefe said. “I can’t thank my amazing coworkers enough for nominating me for this award and making it so easy to come to work every day. It is such a pleasure to work with these great people and great facility at Valley County Health System.” 

# # #

Pictured: VCHS Employee of the Quarter Stephanie Keefe (third from left) is pictured with (l to r) VCHS Director of Nursing Vicki Bredthauer; Nurse Manager Amy Jackson; Judy Pelster, RN; Julie Gabriel, RN; and CEO Nancy Glaubke following the surprise Employee of the Quarter announcement on Nov. 4.  

 

 

VCHS Medical Clinic – Loup City Celebrates 10 Years, Welcomes Additional Provider

October 26, 2016

ORD, Neb. – Valley County Health System (VCHS) Medical Clinic – Loup City celebrated its 10-year anniversary and welcomed Greg McClanahan, MD, to the staff at a community open house on Oct. 25. The celebration was held at the VCHS Medical Clinic at 130 N. 6th St., Ste. B, Loup City.

Based in Ord, VCHS has four medical clinic locations – Loup City, Ord, Burwell and Arcadia – to offer patients convenient access to general medical services. VCHS has seen growth at all its clinic locations, with significant growth in Loup City over the years.

The VCHS Medical Clinic – Loup City is open five days a week with Hilary Miller, MD; Greg McClanahan, MD; and Bob Reilly, PA-C providing care to patients at that clinic location. 

VCHS’s newest provider, Dr. McClanahan, has been seeing patients in Loup City since 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 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.

Call 308-745-0324 for more information or to schedule an appointment at the VCHS Medical Clinic – Loup City.

###

Pictured (l to r):
VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke; Stacy Streff, LPN; VCHS Board of Trustees Treasurer Roger Lansman; VCHS Medical Clinic Receptionist Carollee Krahulik; Bob Reilly, PA-C; VCHS Medical Clinics Manager Gary Satchell; Greg McClanahan, MD; and Brittany Myers, LPN.
Not pictured: Hilary Miller, MD