Nebraska Community Bloodbank Visits March 25

FAIRBURY – Nebraska Community Bloodbank invites donors to “buddy up to save lives.” Bring a new donor with you to donate blood in March and you will both receive a free t-shirt. The next blood drive will be held on Monday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Nebraska Community Bloodbank bloodmobile in the JCH&L parking lot (on the H street side of the building.) All types are needed.

Giving blood is giving a gift of life. Nebraska Community Bloodbank is Jefferson Community Health & Life’s bloodbank, and the two organizations partner for blood drives in Fairbury to save lives.

To make an appointment, call Jean Smith at JCH&L at 402-729-6851, the Nebraska Community Bloodbank at 1-877-486-9414 or visit and use sponsor code JCHC.

Measles Vaccine Recommended

Measles – a disease previously declared eliminated from the United States in 2000 – is back, and on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, during the month of January, 79 cases of measles were confirmed in 10 states. These include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. While there are currently no cases in Nebraska, the CDC still recommends that anyone not vaccinated get vaccinated as soon as possible.

According to the CDC, measles spreads when a person that is infected breathes, coughs or sneezes. It is highly contagious, and can be spread just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, and up to 2 hours after they leave. Almost anyone who has not had the MMR vaccination will get measles if they are exposed, and once an unimmunized person gets measles, it is easily spread.

Measles can be serious in all age groups. However the CDC states, children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from measles complications such as ear infections leading to permanent hearing loss, pneumonia (infection of the lungs,) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain.)

Children typically receive their first MMR (which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella) dose between 12 and 15 months of age, and the second dose between the ages of 4 and 6. The CDC states that the MMR vaccine is very safe and about 97% effective at preventing measles.

The CDC recommends that teens and adults make sure they are up to date on their MMR vaccination, and if you do not have evidence of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella (such as vaccination records,) you should talk with your doctor about getting vaccinated.

More information can be found at:

Brush Up Driving Skills: AARP Smart Driver Course

AARP Smart Driver Course Set for April 24

Jefferson Community Health & Life Sterling Connection will offer the AARP Smart Driver Course on Wednesday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the JCH&L conference room. Participants may bring a sack lunch or purchase lunch in the JCH&L cafeteria.

Traffic statistics show that older adults overall are safe drivers with good driving records. However, medical conditions, certain medications and age-related changes in physical and mental function can increase the risk of crashes and injury among older drivers. It is critically important that older drivers make driving safely a personal priority. By completing this course, participants will learn research-based driving safety strategies that can reduce the likelihood of having an accident, understand the links between the driver, the vehicle and the road environment, and how this awareness encourages safer driving. Learn how aging, medications, alcohol and health-related issues affect driving ability and ways to allow for these changes. Increase confidence. Learn how to share the road safely with other drivers and learn the newest safety features in vehicles. AARP Driver Safety is committed to helping Americans 50 and older sustain mobility and safety as they age.

The four-hour research-based AARP Smart Driver Course is offered by JCH&L Sterling Connection. Membership is not required in Sterling Connection or AARP. AARP members get a discount and must bring their AARP card to class. All participants must bring their driver’s license to class. No tests, driving or examinations are involved. Course completion certificates are provided, and auto insurance discounts may apply (contact your auto insurance company for information.)

The cost of the class is $15 for AARP members or $20 for non-AARP members. Pre-registration is required by April 17. To register please call Lana Likens at 402-729-6855.

Pharmacy Service Now Available in Plymouth

Thanks to cooperation between Jefferson Community Health & Life, Globe Rexall Pharmacy in Fairbury, and the Country Store in Plymouth, patients of JCH&L Plymouth Clinic can pick up prescriptions at the Country Store in Plymouth.

JCH&L Plymouth Clinic opened in September, and offers family medical services on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Plymouth. If a patient is prescribed a medication, they will be asked if they would like to use Globe Rexall Pharmacy and have the prescription delivered to the Country Store later in the day. Prescriptions are typically delivered in the early evening.

“It is always the patient’s option to have a prescription filled at their pharmacy of choice. For many Plymouth area patients this is a convenient option and saves them travel time,” said Chad Jurgens, JCH&L CEO. “We are pleased at the cooperation between JHC&L, Globe Rexall and the Country Store which makes this possible.”

Appointments at JCH&L Plymouth Clinic can be made Monday through Friday by calling 402-729-6888. Appointments are available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Parkinson’s Support Group to Meet March 11

The Parkinson’s Support Group will meet on Monday, March 11, at 10 a.m. in Jefferson Community Health & Life’s Small Conference Room.

The program will be a webinar Program: The Effects of Exercise on Parkinson’s – a webinar by Margaret Schenkman, P.T., Ph.D., F.A.P.T.A., Associate Dean for Physical Therapy Education and Director of Physical Therapy Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Easiest access will be by parking in the H Street parking and entering through the JCH&L Main Entrance. Follow the lobby signage to “Hospital.” The meeting rooms will be to the left. The Small Conference Room is the second door.

The Parkinson’s Support Group generally meets on the second Monday of each month.

The group is designed to provide an opportunity for area residents to share their experiences with Parkinson’s disease. There is no cost for participants.

For more information, contact Lana Likens at Jefferson Community Health & Life at (402)-729-6855.

Another Session of Kids Cooking Set for March 8 at JHC&L

Children will have an opportunity to learn about healthy eating and the importance of working together to plan and prepare health meals during a Cooking Class for Kids to be offered Friday, March 8, at Jefferson Community Health & Life. The program is open to kids in grades 3-6 and their adult partners. During each class, participants will prepare a simple healthy meal together and then enjoy the meal as a group.

The class will be offered from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Participants will choose one session. The registration fee is $15 per team. Pre-registration with payment is required by Friday, March 1.

Aprons will be available for the children to wear during the class, and available for them to purchase after the class if they choose for an additional $5.

For more information or a registration form, call Lisa Edeal, RDN, LMNT, at 402-729-6846.

JCH&L Named Among Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals Again

iVantage Research Identifies Top Performing Hospitals

FAIRBURY, Neb. — For the fifth time, Jefferson Community Health & Life has been named a top 100 critical access hospital in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the best health care possible to Jefferson County and beyond, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility,” said Chad Jurgens, JCH&L CEO.

Jefferson Community Health & Life scored in the top 100 of critical access hospitals (CAHs) on the iVantage Strength INDEX™ in 2019, and previously made the Top 100 list in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. This is the fifth time in six years JCH&L has made the list of Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals. The annual Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals award is based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX ® from iVantage Health Analytics, and is regarded as one of the industry’s most significant designations of performance excellence.

Hospitals recognized as a Top 100 facility scored in the top 100 among all Critical Access Hospitals nationally. Now in its ninth year, the INDEX leverages 50 rural-relevant indicators across eight pillars of hospital strength (i.e. Inpatient Market Share, Outpatient Market Chare, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspective and Financial Stability) to determine an overall score for each hospital. Each of the INDEX’s 50 indicators is culled from publicly-available data sources.

 “In an era of increased complexity and uncertainty, Top 100 hospitals have established themselves as a bellwether for rural provider performance,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Top 100 status is a real indicator of how proactive these hospitals are when it comes to pushing for performance improvement in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient safety, market share and finance.”

The list of this year’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals, as well as the 2019 INDEX methodology, can be found at

JCH&L is among 9 Nebraska critical access hospitals to make the Top 100 list for 2019. Others are: Brostone Memorial Hospital; Community Medical Center, Seward; Howard County Medical Center; Johnson County Hospital; Memorial Health Care Systems, Falls City; Pender Community Hospital; Phelps Memorial Health Center; and Providence Medical Center.

In May 2018, JCH&L was recognized by The Chartis Center and the National Rural Health Association for being in the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation for 2018.

In November 2018, JCH&L was recognized for the second consecutive year with the Performance Leadership Award for overall excellence in quality, outcomes and patient perspective. The Performance Leadership Award is given by the Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH).

“These recognitions reaffirm that our emphasis on quality, performance and satisfaction are making a difference to the people we serve and to our health center. It is because of the work and care of our staff, physicians and board, and the support of the people of Jefferson County and beyond that we are able to meet and surpass these benchmarks and receive recognition,” Jurgens said.

Open House to Honor Dr. Richard Blatny Sr. Retirement

An open house on Wednesday, Feb. 27, will honor Richard Blatny Sr., MD, family medicine physician at Jefferson Community Health & Life Fairbury Clinic, for his retirement after more than 45 years of serving residents of Fairbury and the surrounding area.

The public is invited to join JCH&L in honoring Dr. Blatny Sr. with an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Conference Rooms at Jefferson Community Health & Life, 2200 H St. Refreshments will be served. No reservations are needed. Everyone is welcome.

Dr. Blatny Sr. has been an active part of the medical community locally and statewide. In September he semi-retired. In his retirement, he continues to provide some emergency room coverage at Jefferson Community Health & Life.

Dr. Blatny Sr. received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1969 from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, completed his internship in 1970 at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1970 to 1973. In 1973 he began serving Fairbury and the surrounding area as a family physician and partner at the Fairbury Clinic PC. For many years he provided clinic services at the Fairbury Clinic’s  Deshler clinic.

As an active part of the medical community – both locally and state wide, Dr. Blatny Sr. has been active in the Nebraska Medical Association. He served as president in 2014-2015.

Dr. Blatny Sr. is a past winner of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians Physician of the Year award and was a 2018 recipient of the Nebraska Hospital Association Meritorious Service award. He is a past chairman of the Nebraska Medical Association Legislative Committee, past president of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, past delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a past board member of CIMRO of Nebraska. He is a former board member of Jefferson Community Health & Life, and has served as medical director of Heritage Care Center. He is also a former board member of the St. Michael’s School.

Dr. Blatny Sr. is a member of the Nebraska Medical Association, the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association, and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Valentine Treat Bags Available from JCH&L Gardenside

Treat your Valentine this year! Residents of Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside have Valentine treat bags for sale for $3 each, with delivery available in the Fairbury city limits for an additional $1 donation.

Proceeds benefit the Eden project at JCH&L Gardenside. The Eden project is a philosophy that commits to creating a place where life revolves around contact with people of all ages, the wider community beyond JCH&L Gardenside, and an environment which includes plants and animals. Our Eden project funds help JCH&L Gardenside to continue to have birds and a resident dog, plants, entertainment and events.

To order a Valentine treat bag, contact JCH&L Gardenside at 402-729-5220.

Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group to Meet Feb. 25

The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group will meet on Monday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. in Jefferson Community Health & Life’s Small Conference Room.

The program will be “10 Ways to De-escalate a Crisis,” a video by Teepa Snow, dementia care and education specialist.

Easiest access will be by parking in the H Street parking and entering through the JCH&L Main Entrance. Follow the lobby signage to “Hospital.” The meeting rooms will be to the left. The Small Conference Room is the second door.

The Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Support Group is a program of the Alzheimer’s Association which typically meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Jefferson Community Health & Life. It is designed for those who are caregivers and family members of those who have Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias.

The group is designed to provide an opportunity anyone interested to share their experiences with Alzheimer’s Disease. There is no cost, and no pre-registration.

For more information, contact Lana Likens at Jefferson Community Health & Life at 402-729-6855.