Kidney Specialist Returns to JCH&L

Jeffrey T. Marple, MD, Nephrologist Returns Via Telehealth

Jeffrey T. Marple, MD, nephrologist and internal medicine specialist, will begin seeing patients at Jefferson Community Health & Life Outpatient Services through telemedicine on Tuesday, July 7. This service is a partnership between JCH&L and Bryan Telemedicine.

“We see a need among our area residents to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist,)” said Erin Starr RN, Chief Nursing Officer at JCH&L. “Patients have been pleased with utilizing telehealth for the mental health clinic, and we are excited to expand the use of telehealth to other areas where we see community needs.”

Dr. Marple will see patients at JCH&L Outpatient Services monthly through the telehealth system. Dr. Marple attended the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, completed his residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and completed a fellowship through the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He is board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine, with Nephrology as his subspeciality. He contracts with Bryan Telemedicine to provide telehealth services to patients.

Patients with an appointment will come to JCH&L Outpatient Services and check in as usual. A nurse will be with them throughout their appointment, and will take care of getting biometric information the physician needs – such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, etc. The patient and physician will talk through two-way video. Other services which might be needed – such as laboratory, ultrasound, or xray, for example, are also available through JCH&L Outpatient Services.

“Telehealth is becoming a very popular way to be able to access needed health care, and JCH&L is pleased to be able to partner with Bryan Telemedicine to continue to expand this service to our area residents,” said Dr. Burke Kline, JCH&L CEO. “We continue to seek ways to better serve our community.”

All outpatients who visit the clinic are screened and will be asked to wear a mask. For an appointment or more information, call JCH&L Outpatient Services at 402-729-6851.

Deadline Nears for Historic Trail Walk Challenge

Historic Walk Encourages Activity, and Share Community Historic Sites

Complete the Historic Trail Walk Challenge by July 6 for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

JeffCo On the Move introduced the Historic Trail Walk in May. The concept is simple: provide information at various historic sites around the community, and let walkers or bikers know where other signs are and how far it is from place to place.

“The goal is to encourage healthy activity in our community,” said Lana Likens, president of JeffCo On the Move. “We want to encourage walking, biking, and connecting our community.”

Sites included on the Fairbury Historic Trail Walk are: Rock Island Railroad Depot Museum, Fairbury Public Library; McNish Park; Fairbury City Museum; Fairbury City Park; and Jefferson County Courthouse/Historic Downtown Fairbury. Each sign includes a brief history of the location, photos, a map of the community with other Historic Trail Walk locations marked, and distances to the other locations on the trail. Each map has a QR code which allows participants to go to the map on their mobile device. The map can also be accessed on line at the City of Fairbury site. Go to, then parks, then JeffCo On the Move Historic Trail.

The Kickoff Challenge for the Historic Trail Walk runs through July 6. Individuals or families are invited to walk or bike to each of the six locations on the Historic Trail Walk and take a selfie with the sign at each location. (The visits don’t all have to be the same day.) We encourage individuals and families to post their selfies on the JeffCo On the Move Facebook page with the hashtag #historictrailwalk. Each participant is then encouraged to show their six selfies to staff at the Fairbury Public Library (during regular library open hours) prior to closing time on Monday, July 6, and fill out a form to register for the drawing. There is no cost to compete in the challenge. One entry per family is allowed. From all eligible entries, one winner will be drawn for a Kindle Fire.

Full contest details and map can be found on the JeffCo On the Move Facebook page.

“We are very grateful to our sign sponsors for their part in making this project possible, and to the city of Fairbury for their support for the project and installing the signs this spring,” Likens said.

Sponsors are: Westin Packaged Meats-Fairbury Operations; Heartland Bank; PVI; Rooted in Relationships; Fairbury Public Library Foundation; and Jefferson Community Health & Life.

The goal of JeffCo on the Move is to encourage and facilitate healthy lifestyles.

“We also encourage families to check out the locations that the signs recognize,” Likens said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Fairbury Historic Trail project or JeffCo on the Move may check out the Facebook Page (JeffCo On the Move) or contact Likens at 402-729-6855.

JCH&L Gardenside, Cedarwood Work Toward Re-Opening to Visitors

JCH&L Gardenside and Cedarwood staff are working diligently to put all plans in place which are required to re-open to visitors.

“We are thrilled to have the blessing of the governor and the Department of Health and Human Services to work toward re-opening Gardenside and Cedarwood to visitors,” said Deb Sutton, RN, Gardenside and Cedarwood administrator. “There are many requirements that each nursing home must work through in order to be able to re-open to visitors, and nursing homes will not all work through that process at the same pace.”

Because of the plans and steps required, Gardenside and Cedarwood do not yet have a date set to begin re-opening to visitors. Before re-opening to visitors, nursing homes are required to:

*Complete COVID-19 testing on all staff. Gardenside and Cedarwood have applied to have staff testing done, and is awaiting approval from Test Nebraska. More than 500 nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be applying for this testing.

*Have a plan to have enough staff to screen all visitors and supervise all visitation to ensure that visitation requirements are followed. Gardenside and Cedarwood are working on this plan.

*The facility must have the ability to test all staff and residents at any time if a COVID-19 case is suspected. Gardenside and Cedarwood have a plan in place for this if necessary.

*The facility’s public health district must be in Phase 3 of the Directed Health Measures. Public Health Solutions, the five-county public health district which includes Jefferson County, is scheduled to move to Phase 3 on June 22.

*There can’t be a large number of COVID-19 cases within the county. There have been 9 people in Jefferson County test positive for COVID-19. Only two of those have been within the last 14 days, according to Department of Health and Human Services data.

“Our administration and staff understand completely the desire of family members to visit their loved ones, and the need of our residents to have visits from their family members,” Sutton said. “We are doing everything in our power to complete all the steps required as efficiently as possible to allow this next step.”

Gardenside is currently able to allow residents to dine in controlled group settings with only 2 residents per table and a plexiglass divider between them. Cedarwood is in the process of making the same type of controlled group dining available to tenants.

Group activities were not allowed so a new wireless speaker system was purchased, which has allowed Gardenside and Cedarwood to offer some live entertainment performing outside, with residents and tenants able to watch out the window and hear through the speaker system. Guidance was received June 15 that small group activities of 10 or fewer residents or tenants can be resumed with appropriate distancing and cloth face masks in use by all participants.

“We are trying to be creative and innovative in helping our residents find some joy during this situation,” Sutton said.

Gardenside and Cedarwood have been totally closed to all non-essential personnel, including family members of the residents, since March 14. Prior to that, visitation had been discouraged since March 11, and those who didn’t meet screening criteria were not allowed to visit.

“We thank the community for the support during this time. We have received many cards, drawings, cloth masks, flowers and other donations which have helped the residents feel loved and appreciated,” Sutton said. “We ask for continued support from families and the community as we navigate the many requirements and work toward safely re-opening to visitors.”

New Oncologist to See Patients at JCH&L

Dr. Joni Tilford, Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center (SNCC) Medical Oncologist, will begin seeing patients at JCH&L Outpatient Services on Wednesday, June 17. Dr. Alan Berg, SNCC Medical Oncologist, who had been serving patients at JCH&L since 2005, retired earlier this month.

“Oncology is an important specialty to continue to offer our community,” said Dr. Burke Kline, JCH&L CEO. “It is one of the many specialties which are very important to offer locally so that patients don’t have to travel as far. We are pleased to have Dr. Tilford join us in providing exceptional service for our patients.”

Dr. Tilford is board certified in medical oncology and practices at SNCC in Lincoln. She earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She then completed a three-year residency in internal medicine and a two-year fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

JCH&L outpatient services also offers chemotherapy services. Carol Blobaum and Carly Berkenmeier, both chemotherapy certified, work with oncologists who order chemotherapy, and the JCH&L pharmacy which mixes and prepares chemotherapy drugs for administration. JCH&L outpatient services also offers lab tests and radiology services such as PET scans and CT scans which may be needed by patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. Medical orders can be accepted from any oncologist.

JCH&L outpatient services offers two dedicated chemotherapy rooms. The rooms are located near the outpatient entrance and are easily accessible for patients and their family member who may come with them. Each room has its own flat screen television, recliner and guest chair. The rooms have windows for natural light, as well.

Dr. Tilford is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the Nebraska Oncology Society and the Lancaster County Medical Society. Other professional activities include Nebraska Oncology Society; Lancaster County Medical Society; former chairperson of Bryan Health Cancer Committee, former Physician Liaison for Bryan Health Cancer Committee, Doctors for Science at Nebraska Wesleyan University and an investigator with the Nebraska Lymphoma Study Group.

Dr. Tilford has a broad background in both clinical and laboratory medicine and has authored scientific articles in molecular genetics, thrombosis and leukemia.

A Nebraska native, Dr. Tilford, is from Wauneta, Nebraska and is married with three children.

New Ear Nose and Throat Specialist Comes to JCH&L

Dr. Rebecca Bowen, otolaryngology-head and neck surgery specialist, will begin visiting Jefferson Community Health & Life Outpatient Services on Monday, June 8. Dr. H. Russell Semm, who had been serving patients at JCH&L for 25 years retired earlier this year.

Specialists are now returning to JCH&L Outpatient Services. All who come to the clinic will continue to be screened. Patients are asked to bring no more than one companion with them.

“We are pleased to continue to provide ear, nose and throat services to our area residents,” said Dr. Burke Kline, JCH&L CEO. “Having a wide array of visiting specialists will help us better serve our community’s needs. JCH&L is committed to being our community’s most trusted partner for a lifetime of health.”

Dr. Bowen is board certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and joined ENT Specialties, P.C., in 2017.  She received her Bachelor of Science with high distinction in Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and then completed her doctorate of medicine from the University of Nebraska-College of Medicine in Omaha in 2007.

After medical school, she completed her residency training at Louisiana State University-Health Science Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she served as Chief Resident and spent additional time researching nasal airflow effects on eustachian tube dysfunction and post-surgical flap reperfusion.  Dr. Bowen then practiced for five years in Texas at ENT Clinics of San Antonio prior to returning to Nebraska.

Throughout her undergraduate and medical education, Dr. Bowen has received many academic honors including Women in Science Recognition, membership in Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.

Dr. Bowen holds membership in the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, the Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, Nebraska Medical Association and Lancaster County Medical Society.

Dr. Bowen treats the full spectrum of pediatric and adult ear, nose and throat disorders.  She has a special interest in chronic sinusitis, nasal airway obstruction, allergies, and thyroid/parathyroid disease.

She is a rural Nebraska native and was happy to return to “the good life.”  She enjoys running and cycling, cooking with her husband and  three young daughters, and spending time outdoors hiking and camping.