JCH&L Gardenside Working on Roof Repairs

Roof work began at JCH&L Gardenside on Feb. 17. This project will involve some repairs above the ceiling inside and complete removal of the existing roof overlay and insulation and application of a new layer of insulation and a sealed roof overlay.

Residents, staff and visitors will experience some noise during this process while work is being done over head. The work will not begin before 9:00 a.m. and will be completed by 6:00-8:00 p.m. each evening so as not to disturb the residents’ sleep. The noise will vary from day to day and will be dependent upon what task is occurring and the location. Earplugs will be available for anyone who would like them during this process. Gardenside will make whatever accommodations possible on a day to day basis to keep residents comfortable.

Some interior work will also be completed above the ceilings. Most of this work will be in the north hallway and a section of the dayroom. Plastic containment walls will be in place for everyone’s safety during this portion of the project. Starting on Feb. 25, there will be a portion of the day room and the east courtyard inaccessible through Friday, Feb. 28. Beginning Friday, a few residents may be relocated and there will be a containment wall in part of the north hallway.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Deb Sutton RN, Administrator, at 402-729-5220.

JCH&L Named Among Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals Again

iVantage Research Identifies Top Performing Hospitals

FAIRBURY, Neb. — For the sixth 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.

“We are pleased to be recognized again for our daily commitment to providing the best health care possible to Jefferson County and beyond, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility,” said Victor Lee, MHA, LFACHE, interim CEO at Jefferson Community Health & Life.

Jefferson Community Health & Life scored in the top 100 of critical access hospitals (CAHs) on the iVantage Strength INDEX™ in 2020, and previously made the Top 100 list in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. This is the sixth time in seven 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. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this 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.  Hospitals recognized as a Top 100 facility had one of the 100 highest overall scores among all Critical Access Hospitals nationally.

“The Top 100 Critical Access Hospital award program reminds us that rural providers haven’t lost touch with their mission and are committed to delivering better quality, better outcomes and better patient satisfaction. It’s a pleasure to be able to not only recognize this year’s recipients, but our larger group of top 100 alumni as we celebrate 10 years of The Hospital Strength INDEX,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

The list of this year’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals, as well as the 2020 INDEX methodology, can be found at www.ivantageindex.com/top-performing-hospitals.

JCH&L is among 13 Nebraska critical access hospitals to make the Top 100 list for 2020. Others are: Boone County Health Center, Albion; Brodstone Memorial Hospital; Community Medical Center, Falls City; Howard County Medical Center, St. Paul; Memorial Health Care Systems, Seward; Memorial Hospital, Aurora; Merrick Medical Center, Central City; Nemaha County Hospital, Auburn; Pender Community Hospital, Pender; Phelps Memorial Health Center, Holdrege; Providence Medical Center, Wayne; and York General Hospital, York.

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 2019, JCH&L was recognized for the third 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,” Lee said.

February Health Today: Heart Health

The February Health Today Program will be “Heart Health” by Craig Shumard, MD, family medicine provider at JCH&L Fairbury Clinic. The session will be held at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Conference Rooms at Jefferson Community Health & Life.

February is National Heart Month, and it’s a great time to focus on heart health!

Health Today is a free monthly health education session offered by Jefferson Community Health & Life in a lunch-time session. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch, or are welcome to purchase lunch in the JCH&L cafeteria, which is located near the Conference Rooms.

JCH&L works with a wide variety of professionals who bring educational programs on health-related topics each month.

Reservations are not required. The program is FREE. The only cost for participants would be lunch, if they choose to purchase it. Participants are also welcome to carry in their lunch. Anyone who would like to be on a mailing list to directly receive notices about the monthly sessions or anyone with questions about the program should contact Likens at (402) 729-6855.

Nebraska Community Bloodbank Visits March 16

The next Nebraska Community Bloodbank blood drive will be held on Monday, March 16, from 9 a.m. to 1  p.m. in the 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 NCBB.org and use sponsor code JCHC.

With iDonate you can save time by completing your health history on line ahead of your bloodmobile visit. To get started, visit NCBB.org/iDonate

New Patient Experience Feedback Program at Jefferson Community Health and Life Clinics

Jefferson Community Health & Life has partnered with Real-time Feedback by NRC Health starting Feb. 3 for surveys about services at JCH&L Fairbury and Plymouth clinics.

Real-time Feedback is a patient experience program that allows JCH&L to work to improve the patient experience. A day or two after their visit, the patient will receive a telephone call between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The phone call will take about two minutes to complete. If the patient does not answer, the system will leave a voice mail message inviting the patient to call back. If they return the call, they will access the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey.

If the patient doesn’t answer or return the call, about a day later an email will be sent (if the patient has an email address included in their record.) The email has a link to a web-based assessment, which will take about 2 minutes to complete. If the patient does not have an email address in their record, they will receive a second phone call.

The system will make a third attempt to contact the patient another day later with a phone call, and if they don’t answer a voice mail will be left. The patient can return the call at their convenience and complete the Interactive Voice Response survey.

The surveys allow Jefferson Community Health & Life to improve the patient experience through addressing any concerns patients have. This partnership with NRC Health is an example of our continued dedication toward ensuring our patients have an excellent care experience, and transition back home safely into our community, using best practices established within the healthcare industry.

JCH&L Gardenside Earns 5 Star Rating Again

Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside has once again received a 5 Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Gardenside has been a 5-star facility since the program began in 2008.

Nursing Home Compare and the star rating system allow consumers to compare information about nursing homes. It contains quality of care, staffing and survey information for all 15,000 plus Medicare- and Medicaid-participating nursing homes. Facilities are assigned star ratings from a high of 5 stars to a low of 1 star based on health inspection surveys, staffing information and quality of care measures. The ratings are publicly available on the agency’s Nursing Home Compare website at  www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.

“We are pleased to remain a 5-Star facility, even though we know it has become more difficult to receive the top rating,” said Deb Sutton RN, administrator of JCH&L Gardenside. “All of our staff members work very hard to provide the best quality of care for our residents. We are pleased to know that our care for our residents is reflected in our ratings through Nursing Home Compare.”

For this reporting period, JCH&L Gardenside is 5 Star strong, Sutton said, meaning ratings in all three areas measured were five stars, in addition to the overall rating being five star.

JCH&L Gardenside has been providing long-term care to area residents since 1963. Currently, Gardenside is licensed for 40 beds, and has one Hospice room available. Gardenside has a resident dog, Tia; an aviary; and a variety of activities in which residents can participate including organized activities in the evenings and on weekends.

Gardenside prides itself on having a homelike environment, and being a small, family-oriented care facility. Three enclosed courtyards provide outdoor space for residents and their families to enjoy. Family members are invited to take part in activities, and special celebrations are planned periodically which include family members.

“What really sets us apart and makes our facility special is our wonderful staff,” Sutton said. “Their hard work, dedication and care for our residents truly makes us a five-star facility.”

The Nursing Home Compare statistics can be accessed by going to www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare and selecting Gardenside LTC-JCHC.

Kensly Williams PA-C Joins Jefferson Community Health & Life

Kensly Williams, PA-C, joins Jefferson Community Health & Life this month. In her new position she will see patients in the Fairbury Clinic and later in the year in the Plymouth Clinic,  and care for patients in the Emergency Room.

“I like family medicine because you see everything,” Williams said.

She said she has always known she wanted to work in health care. She decided to become a physician assistant because she liked the fact that PAs can spend more time with patients doing education.

As she begins her work as a PA, she is also excited to use her skills in speaking Spanish. It will be a benefit to JCH&L and area residents who speak Spanish that she can care for them in their own language.

She is a graduate of Waverly High School; Morningside College, Sioux City, with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in Spanish; and the University of Nebraska Medical Center Physician Assistant program. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

She said a rotation in Fairbury in 2019 as a part of her PA program education was a factor in deciding JCH&L was a good location to work. She said she could experience that everyone was friendly and helpful to her as a student, and felt the community and staff would be welcoming to a new health care provider. She was one of the presenters for the Women’s Health Fair in September. She and her husband Keegan decided Fairbury was a great location for them, with family in the Lincoln area and a family cabin at Lovewell. Keegan is now a nurse at JCH&L.

Williams begins seeing patients at the Fairbury Clinic Feb. 10. She will accept new and established patients. To make an appointment, call 402-729-3361.