Influenza Rates Mandate Caution, Masking

Because of increased influenza activity in our area, Jefferson Community Health & Life and Cedarwood are requiring visitors, volunteers and staff who have not been immunized to wear masks when in the facilities. In addition, JCH&L reminds the public that anyone who has been exposed to influenza or has symptoms should not visit. This includes the hospital, Gardenside and Cedarwood assisted living, and includes all events, including holiday parties.

“We are taking this step in order to protect our patients and residents,” said Amber Brunow, infection preventionist.

Gardenside and Cedarwood do not have any active cases of influenza at this time. These precautions are being taken to keep residents and tenants healthy and prevent an outbreak.

Public health influenza surveillance systems are showing a marked increase in influenza activity throughout the state in the past week, including in and around Jefferson County.

Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that anyone with influenza symptoms stay home and avoid contact with others except to receive medical care. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at high risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms.  People at high risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

The CDC lists these steps to prevent influenza:
*Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
*While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

*Stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without medication).

*Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.

*Wash your hands often with soap and water.

*Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

*Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Another Session of Kids Cooking Set 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 Monday, Dec. 30, and Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, 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 is sponsored by Jefferson Community Health & Life and Nebraska Extension – Jefferson County. This is the same class being offered on two dates.

The Monday, Dec. 30, class will be offered from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Friday, Jan. 3, class will be offered from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The registration fee is $15 per team. Pre-registration with payment is required by Monday, Dec. 23.

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.

Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group Will Not Meet in December

The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group will not meet in December because of holiday schedules. Watch for details in early January about the January meeting!

The Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Support Group 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.

Parkinson’s Support Group will not meet in December

The Parkinson’s Support Group will not meet in December.

The group will meet again in January 2020.

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

Fall Prevention Camp Planned at JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center

More than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year—and those falls can bring serious injury. There are many ways you can learn to help reduce your risk of falling—and JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center’s Fall Prevention Camp is ready to teach you!

Fall Prevention Camp will be a 2-session class which will be held on Saturdays, Dec. 21 and Jan. 11 at JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center. Each class will meet from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The course will include exercises; information on exercise, balance and mobility; medications; posture; footwear; vision; sleep; and using walking sticks, canes and walkers; home hazards; and bone health. The course will be instructed by Charlie Partin, an experienced yoga and tai chi instructor.

The course is free to members of the Burkley Fitness Center. Non-members may participate by purchasing a guest pass (available at the fitness center main desk for $7 per visit) for each class.

Registration is needed by noon on Friday, Dec. 20.

For more information, contact the Burkley Fitness Center at 402-729-6139, or stop by at 2200 H St., Fairbury.

Jefferson Community Health & Life Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership

Honored for overall excellence in quality, outcomes and patient perspective

Jefferson Community Health & Life has been recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality, outcomes and patient perspective, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation. This is the third consecutive year for JCH&L to receive the Performance Leadership award in all three categories which are currently recognized.

“This recognition affirms the work and care of JCH&L’s staff, physicians and board, and the support of the community,” said Victor Lee, MHA, LFACHE, interim CEO. “JCH&L’s mission is to inspire healthy living by providing exceptional health and life services for every person, every time. This recognition shows it.”

JCH&L was among 51 Nebraska hospitals recognized for quality; 25 Nebraska hospitals recognized for patient perspective; and 13 Nebraska hospitals recognized for outcomes.

The rankings are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX captures performance metrics for all rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from more than 50 individual metrics into three major categories and eight pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.

“We are delighted to be recognizing these top quartile performers in partnership with NOSORH,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.

Jefferson Community Health & Life has previously been recognized with the NOSORH/iVantage Performance Leadership award for financial strength and patient satisfaction in 2016; named as a Top 100 critical access hospital for 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019; named as a Top 20 critical access hospital in 2018; and named a HEALTHSTRONG hospital in 2015.