Latest News from October 2009

McIlravy Selected as Employee of the Quarter

October 29, 2009

ORD - Joanie McIlravy has been named Employee of the Quarter at Valley County Health System.

In a letter nominating McIlravy for the honor, a co-worker wrote, "I could use a million words to describe this wonderful lady.  Everything about her is positive.   Every time I see her I always have a smile on my face because she makes people happy by always smiling at them first.  They way she stays so optimistic and always stays on task while working is so awesome.  She goes above and beyond with the great respect she has for each and every individual she comes face to face with."

McIlravy is a Materials Management Technician in the Materials Management Department.  She has worked at VCHS since November 1, 1978.


New Facility Update #11

October 21, 2009

During the first three weeks of October, the brick work on the new building was finished and stone work continued on the pillars of the drive up canopy and chapel.  Most of the remaining concrete work at the front of the building was finished, leaving only small miscellaneous areas of concrete to be poured.  The installation of the six roof top HVAC units occurred on October 19th.  Flashing and gutter work on the roof will begin as soon as the weather cooperates.

Sheet rocking, duct work, medical gas, fire sprinkler, electrical and plumbing rough-in work continued inside the building. Window framing was completed in the acute care department and the medical clinics.  Window installation will begin next week. 

The project remains ahead of schedule and will be completed by September 2010.  For more information contact the Public Relations office at 728-4347.


Dahlsten Honored at Caring Kind Luncheon

October 20, 2009

Lincoln - Broc Dahlsten, Maintenance Technician at Valley County Health System, was honored at the Nebraska Hospital Association's Caring Kind Luncheon on October 16th.  The luncheon, held during the NHA Annual Convention was held at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln with more than 500 people in attendance.

The NHA has 85 member hospitals and each year these hospitals recognize their finest employees at this annual celebration of caring. Each year, Valley County Health System nominates their Employee of the Year for this honor. 


Celebrate Being a Woman

October 19, 2009

The 2009 Celebrate Being a Woman drew a crowd of more than 275 women to the Ord Veteran's Club on Tuesday, October 13, despite the icy road conditions.  The event is sponsored annually by Valley County Health System and is held for women of all ages.

There were a total of 40 vendors that participated in this year's event.  Kara Fischer, chair of the VCHS Board of Trustees welcomed everyone to the event.  Katie Davis and Deb Grubl-Fuhrer with the North Loup Scotia Community Theater acted out an entertaining skit for the crowd while they finished their meal.  Jane Meyer, Nurse Practitioner at VCHS gave the group an update on H1N1.  Amy Vore, registered dietician at VCHS, provided a fun game show about nutrition.

The evening ended with drawings for the raffle and door prizes.  The raffle items included 16 items donated by VCHS departments and employees. The raffle generated $842, which will be used to buy grocery gift certificates from to be used for Christmas dinners for area families in need.  The forty vendors also provided door prizes.


Valley View Living Center To Be Remodeled

October 13, 2009

The Board of Trustees for Valley County Health System has approved a construction and renovation plan for Valley View Living Center, the intermediate long term care facility.  This plan includes renovation of all common areas and resident rooms including new furniture and amenities.  The plan also includes convenient and expanded dining services for residents.

In addition, the Board will consider a proposal at their next board meeting to pave the parking lot adjacent Valley View Living Center which currently is a compacted rock surface.

The project cost is estimated at $750,000 and will be funded largely in part by the generous gift of the late Angelene Koelling as well as VCHS operational savings.

According to Larry Schrage, CEO of VCHS, "The action taken by the Board solidifies our commitment to the community to offer quality, convenient, accessible healthcare to the residents of this area that are in need of long term nursing care.  These renovations will provide an at-home atmosphere for the residents and their families.  It is our intention to not only modernize the existing long term care facility but to expand our capacity upon completion of the new hospital project in 2010."


Auxiliary Donations Exceed $50,000

October 13, 2009

Since the Valley County Health System Auxiliary opened the Second Hand Rose Thrift Shop in 2005, their contributions to VCHS have totaled $51,636!

Contributions have been used to purchase new signage for the facility as well as provide equipment and furniture for multiple departments.    These contributions have included patio furniture, radio intercoms and a grill for the Valley View Living Center, signs for the hospital, Christmas decorations, fluidotherapy machine for Rehab department, NU Step Machine for cardiac rehab, lab equipment, refrigerator for Hospice room, community education provided by the Hospice Program, a meal delivery cart, patient recliners, GPS systems for transportation vans, television for wellness center, salt spreader for snow removal and opthalmoscopes and an otoscope for Ord Family Health Center, ice machine for Long Term Care, television for Long Term Care, CADD pump for Hospice, blood bank refrigerator for Lab, air splints for Emergency Room, total gym for Rehab Services, digital camera for Public Relations, catering dishes for Dietary, wireless headsets for Patient Financial Services, easy lift for Long Term Care and mobile blood pressure units with pulse oximeters for Medical Clinics.

The Auxiliary is an organization operated solely by volunteers.  The Second Hand Rose is open Tuesday through Friday each week from 9 am - 5 pm and Saturday 9 am - 3 pm.  It is located at 1537 M Street in Ord.


Depression Screening Offered

October 13, 2009

According to a survey of 3,307 adults, demand for psychiatric and mental health services nearly doubled in the first quarter of this year-from 4 percent in January to 7 percent in April.

Negative feelings are normal, appropriate, and even necessary during life's difficult moments, but when worry, anger, or stress prevent you from performing your daily activities or interacting with friends and loved ones, it might be time to seek help.

If you can't remember the last time you felt optimistic or hopeful, take advantage of Valley County C.A.R.E.'s National Depression Screening Day event on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.  As part of the program you will have the opportunity to complete a brief, written questionnaire; learn about the symptoms of depression, and how to help a friend or family member who may be at risk. You will also have the option of talking to a health care professional about any concerns you may have. Free screenings will be offered from 5 to 7 pm at the First United Methodist Church, 304 S. 16th in Ord.  All screenings will be anonymous.

Some facts about depression:

  • Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
  • Trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Subsequent depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.
  • Depressive disorders cost employers more than $51 billion per year in absenteeism and lost productivity, not including high medical and pharmaceutical bills.
  • More than 80 percent of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated. With early recognition, intervention, and support, most individuals can lead productive lives.

Valley County C.A.R.E. (Community Advocates Reaching Everyone) is a newly formed group working together with area residents to identify current mental health/substance abuse needs and treatment in Valley County and initiate solutions to address these needs.  For more information, call 308-728-4312.


New Facility Update #10

October 2, 2009

During the weeks of September 21 and 28, brick and stone work continued on the exterior of the building.  Interior stud work was finished in the administration, rehabilitation and dietary departments. The roof was completed and flashing and gutter work will begin soon.

Sheet rocking, duct work, medical gas, fire sprinkler, electrical and plumbing rough-in work continued inside the building.  The installation of the six roof top HVAC units will take place the week of October 5th.  Window installation will also begin within the next few weeks.  Paving at the front entrance to the building will take place this week.

The project remains ahead of schedule and will be completed by September 2010.  For more information contact the Public Relations office at 728-4347.



Critical Care Paramedics

October 1, 2009

Tammi Knutson and Darcy Jeffres, paramedics at Valley County Health System, have successfully completed Critical Care Paramedic Certification (CCP-C) exam.  The exam is sponsored by the Board for Critical Care Transport Certification.

This certification process is focused on the knowledge level of accomplished, experienced paramedics currently associated with a Critical Care Transport Team. The questions on the exam are based in sound paramedicine.  The paramedic is expected to maintain a significant knowledge of current ACLS, PALS, NRP, & BTLS/PHTLS standards.

In addition, Tammi and Darcy must complete 36 hours of clinical experience in an Intensive Care Unit.  They are completing this requirement at the VCHS tertiary care partner, Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

Valley County Health System takes a proactive approach in supporting a high standard for our paramedics.  Congratulations to Tammi and Darcy on this achievement!