Two New PAs Joining Jefferson Community Health & Life

Kelsey Cherry


For newly graduated Physician Assistants Tyler Maguire and Kelsey Cherry, the opportunity for positions at Jefferson Community Health & Life was a good fit. The two will both begin working as PAs at JCH&L on Feb. 12, seeing patients in JCH&L Fairbury Clinic and the emergency room.

Tyler Maguire

“It was the right time and the right opportunity. I felt like I was at home again,” said Cherry.

Both grew up in rural Nebraska communities – Maguire in Norfolk and Cherry in Monroe. Both have known they wanted to work in health care, and specifically in a small community, for some time.

“Fairbury fit in perfectly with that,” Maguire said.

Cherry said her community’s health provider was a Physician Assistant, and that demonstrated to her how important a PA’s role is.

“I saw how big of an impact they had on a small community,” she said.

Each finished their PA program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in December 2017 with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies, and will take their boards in January. Once they pass their boards, each will be a Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C.)

Both are proponents of preventative health. Helping people to learn to stay healthy and deal proactively with their health is something they are excited about. With bachelor’s degrees in nutrition, health and exercise, they are well equipped to help their patients with all aspects of health. Cherry said she is particularly interested in women’s health, and Maguire said he particularly enjoys the older population.

Maguire and Cherry were initially amazed that Fairbury had a facility like JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center. It is a great tool for people who are finding ways to become healthier and stay healthy.

JCH&L Chad Jurgens said he is pleased to have Maguire and Cherry coming on board soon.

“We’re excited to have two new health care providers coming to our community to join our team and help us inspire our community to a lifetime of health,” Jurgens said.

Outside of work, Maguire enjoys being outdoors, including hunting, fishing and camping. He enjoys running (he participated in cross country and track in high school) and anything competitive. He enjoys Husker football and fantasy football.

Cherry enjoys softball and Do It Yourself projects. She said she is excited to get a house and be able to do some projects.

Together, the two enjoy their Boston Terrier, and playing board games and card games.

Maguire and Cherry will begin work on Feb. 12.

JCH&L Offers Self-Defense for Women Class

Women: Learn the basics of defending yourself at a free class scheduled for Feb. 13 at Jefferson Community Health & Life Burkley Fitness Center.

Clayton Brandt, who teaches Kakuto Jiu Jitsu at JCH&L Burkey Fitness Center, will teach self-defense techniques in this one-hour class designed especially for women, and give participants a chance to practice.

Two different sessions of the class will be offered, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. The class is free and open to the public. You do not need to be a member of JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Burkley Fitness Center at 402-729-6139 by Friday, Feb. 9.

JCH&L to Donate to Wrestling Programs

Donation of $1 per pin will be made to Fairbury, Tri County and Meridian wrestling programs

Wrestlers are always happy to pin their opponent. This year, each pin will also add up to donations to the wrestling programs at Fairbury High School, Tri County High School and Meridian High School.

Jefferson Community Health & Life will be donating $1 per pin to each of these schools which serve Jefferson County students and have a wrestling program.

Though Jan. 15, the Fairbury Jeffs wrestling team has tallied 124 pins as a team, the Meridian Mustangs are at 75 and the Tri County Trojans are at 148. Jefferson Community Health & Life congratulates all of our area wrestlers on their hard work and dedication, and is excited to see the final tally of pins at the end of the season.

JCH&L Offers Next Session of Smart Moves

Lifestyle change program helps participants learn to live healthy

The sixth session of a successful lifestyle change program is being offered beginning in February at Jefferson Community Health & Life in Fairbury. The year-long program is designed for those who are at risk for diabetes and want to change their lifestyle to avoid getting diabetes. A free no-obligation introductory class will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Anyone who thinks they might be interested in Smart Moves is encouraged to attend this session. To sign up for the introductory class, call Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT, at 402-729-6846.

The full year-long program begins on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Classes will meet at 4 p.m.

Lifestyle coaches who lead the program are JCH&L Dietitian Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT; Bekah Kimberlin, PharmD; and Craig Bontrager, director of JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center.

“This program has been successful in helping participants to make lifestyle changes which positively impact their health,” Edeal said.

JCH&L’s program has received Full Recognition from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). This designation is reserved for programs that have effectively delivered a quality, evidence-based program that meets all the standards for CDC recognition.

Studies show that diabetes can be prevented. Diabetes risk can be lowered by losing weight, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking part in a lifestyle change program, such as Smart Moves. Smart Moves is a program of the National Diabetes Prevention Program. JCH&L is participating with the support of Public Health Solutions District Health Department.

For the first part of the program, participants meet in a small-group setting weekly for one-hour presentations. For the second portion of the program, participants will meet monthly.

The program provides lifestyle coaching and group support, promotes healthier eating and weight loss, explores ways to be physically active, creates strategies to overcome barriers, and teaches participants how to apply coping skills to stay successful.

The cost of the program is $150 for the full year. This fee includes not only the program, but also a six-month membership to the JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center (a $200 value.) Financial assistance is available for those who meet certain financial eligibility criteria.

Anyone interested in Smart Moves is encouraged to attend the free no-obligation introductory class. Class registration is needed by Feb. 13. Call Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT, at (402) 729-6846 or email to register or for more information.

JCH&L Welcomes New Year’s Baby 2018

Kyndall Lanae Kats First Baby of 2018

Kyndall Lanae Katz, born Jan. 7, is the 2018 New Year’s Baby at Jefferson Community Health & Life in Fairbury.

Kyndall, the daughter of Logan and Megan Kats, was born at 7:39 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7. She was 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long. Kyndall is the couple’s first child.

Grandparents are Monica and Jim Cole of Long Island, Kan., Debra and Ron Anderson of Norton, Kan. And Norman Kats of Norton, Kan.

Great-grandparents are Keith and Charlene Ross of Long Island, Kan., Bill Cole of Ness City, Kan., and Mary Reusink of Holdredge, NE.

As the first baby born in Jefferson County in 2018, Kyndall received a bag full of gifts compliments of area businesses, the Fairbury Journal-News and Jefferson Community Health & Life.

JCH&L Holds Annual Meeting

2017 was a busy and successful year

The Jefferson Community Health & Life board of directors held the organization’s annual membership meeting for fiscal 2017 on Monday, Jan. 8.

Two board members were elected to serve second terms: Linda Bauer and Brian Blobaum. Both are from Fairbury. Board members are elected from among members of the corporation and may serve up to two consecutive four-year terms.

Brian Scheele, board chairman, thanked the administration, medical staff, board members and staff for their efforts and excellent care.

“We will continue to strive to achieve our mission by ‘Inspiring healthy living by providing exceptional health and life services for every person, every time,’” Scheele said.

Chad Jurgens, CEO, sent a report to all members of the corporation highlighting major achievements of 2017. Highlights include a rebranding project and re-commitment to the community’s health; announcement of a future clinic in Plymouth; and development of community partnerships. JCH&L was recognized for several accomplishments during the year: In November of 2016 JCH&L was recognized by the Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of the State Office of Rural Health for overall excellence in financial strength and patient satisfaction. In 2017, JCH&L was name a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the United States. JCH&L Gardenside was recognized as a 2017 recipient of the Bronze-Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. Gardenside continues to be recognized as a 5-Star facility.

Chance Klasek, CFO, reported that both revenues and expenses were up in fiscal 2017, with the year ending on an operating margin of 3.14 percent. Patient days were down slightly.

Anyone who has donated $100 to Jefferson Community Health & Life is a member of the private not-for-profit corporation.

At the regular monthly board meeting which followed the annual meeting, officers were elected for 2018. Officers are: Brian Scheele, chairman; Mary Glenn, vice chairman; and Brian Blobaum, secretary-treasurer.

Parkinson’s Support Group to Meet Jan. 8

The Parkinson’s Support Group will meet on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at 10 a.m. in Jefferson Community Health & Life’s Small Conference Room.

The program will be a webinar, “Financial, Legal and Medical Planning Tips for Care  Partners,” by Martin M. Shenkman, founder of Shenkman Law. This session is designed to help families dealing with Parkinson’s Disease create a foundation for legal, financial and medical planning.

Easiest access will be by parking in the H Street parking and entering through the JCH&L Main Entrance. Follow the lobby signage to “Conference Room.” 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)-729-3351.