JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center Classes Resume

JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center will begin offering some classes again the week of Sept. 28, with some changes. Classes resuming include Body Pump, Armchair Aerobics, Circuit Training, Senior Yoga, and Tai Chi.

For all classes, social distancing will be a requirement, class sizes will be limited, instructors will wear masks (optional for participants), and staff will do extra cleaning. In some cases, reservations may be required. All participants will enter through the alternate entrance (north side of the basketball court), and will be screened. Please do not come if you are ill or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The basketball court remains closed to activities, and there will be no access for members or guests to the health center from the fitness center.

For details on the classes, please call the Burkley Fitness Center at 402-729-6139.

Members are encouraged to watch JCH&L’s Facebook, Twitter and website for updates, or call 402-729-6139 for more information.

Brunow Honored As JCH&L’s Caring Kind for 2020

Amber Brunow, infection preventionist, was recognized as Jefferson Community Health & Life’s Caring Kind employee for 2020.

Brunow has been employed at JCH&L for 5 years. She has been the infection preventionist for three years, and previously worked in the laboratory. She strives diligently to keep patients, residents, customers and the community safe and healthy. She was nominated by many fellow staff members for her work in keeping everyone healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic – all while showing everyone the utmost in care and consideration.

Nominators said Brunow takes great pride in keeping our community safe, and does so in a positive way with a smile on her face. She has been amazing and shown positive actions and kindness through it all. She has demonstrated strong leadership, dedication and teamwork during a time of chaos and uncertainty.  She is humble and shows she cares for each and every one of us. She is quick to respond when she is needed, answers every question to the best of her ability, keeps everyone informed, always makes time for you, and has kept her poise and grace even with the stress of the situation.  She steps up to help anytime and anywhere. Besides leading JCH&L’s response, she has called patients with results, helped with testing (even in other communities), and got JCH&L set up for TestNebraska. Not all infection preventionists go to these lengths.

“We are so proud of Amber’s leadership and care. She is one of so many JCH&L employees who show the teamwork, dedication and spirit that enhance patient care which is recognized by this award,” said Burke Kline, DHA, JCH&L CEO. “We are proud to have her represent us this year as our ‘Caring Kind’ employee.”

Annually, the Nebraska Association of Hospitals and Health Systems encourages each health center to select one employee to represent their hospital or health center as the Caring Kind employee. Although there will be no Nebraska Hospital Association convention this year, each hospital’s Caring Kind employee will be honored with an award plaque and booklet listing all recipients for this year. NHA will create a web-based slide show of the Caring Kind recipients that will run on the NHA website, nebraskahospitals.org, in November.

The Caring Kind recognizes employees who “exemplify the teamwork, dedication and spirit that create a positive work environment and enhance patient care.”

Brunow was honored by her facility with a “walk-through open house,” allowing her fellow co-workers to congratulate her and celebrate with her in COVID-appropriate fashion.

The Caring Kind Award has truly become a rich tradition for the NHA and our members. The recipients demonstrate a level of kindness, caring, dedication and commitment to their patients that goes above and beyond,” said NHA President Laura J. Redoutey, FACHE.

JCH&L Among Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals for Quality

During the National Rural Health Association Conference held Sept. 23-25, Jefferson Community Health & Life was named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) for quality in the country.

The Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals scored best among critical access hospitals as determined by The Chartis Center for Rural Health for quality. The rankings were announced in the spring by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). An awards ceremony was held on Wednesday, Sept. 23, during the NRHA’s Critical Access Hospital Conference held virtually.

Those hospitals that have been recognized as Top 20 Critical Access Hospital “best practice recipients” have achieved success one of two key areas of performance:

Quality index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across the indicators of Hospital Compare Process of Care measures.

Patient perspective index: A rating of hospital performance aggregated and ranked across 10  domains of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

They were selected from The Chartis Center for Rural Health’s 2020 Top 100 CAH list, which was released earlier this yea

“Jefferson Community Health & Life is proud of the efforts of its physicians and staff who have contributed to our hospital achieving this designation,” said Burke Kline, DHA, JCH&L CEO.  “Our results as a top 20 hospital in quality means our community can count on us to deliver the services they need now and in the future.”

Jefferson Community Health & Life has a history of nationwide recognition as a critical access hospital. In February JCH&L was named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the United States for the sixth time in seven years. JCH&L scored in the top 100 of critical access hospitals (CAHs) on the iVantage Strength INDEX™ in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015 and 2014

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,” Kline said.

Influenza Vaccination Clinics Scheduled at JCH&L

Influenza vaccinations will be available at Jefferson Community Health & Life in October. This year, vaccinations will be available at clinics scheduled for the health center conference rooms, as well as at both the Fairbury and Plymouth clinics. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments will be required at all locations.

Call today to  make your appointment for:

  • Thursday, Oct. 15, or Friday, Oct. 16, at the health center. Appointments will be available from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For appointment time at either of these flu shot clinic days, please call 402-729-6889. When arriving, please use the main entrance (accessed from H Street parking.)
  • JCH&L Plymouth Clinic, Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 20. To make an appointment, call 402-729-6888.
  • JCH&L Fairbury Clinic, appointments may be made for regular clinic hours beginning Oct. 19. (Flu shots may also be given during previously scheduled appointments, if desired.) To make an appointment, call 402-729-3361 (option 1.)

When coming for influenza vaccination appointments this year, please:

  • Wear clothing which allows easy access to your arm
  • Bring your health insurance card and photo ID. Most health insurances cover the influenza vaccine. There will be a fee payable that day if it will be private pay.
  • Bring a completed Health History form (available on our website at JCHealthandLife.org) if you have not had an appointment since we started our new Electronic Health Record on Aug. 17

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months of age or older. The CDC recommends that vaccination be during October, if possible. Earlier vaccination could mean suboptimal immunity by the end of influenza season. Once the vaccine is administered, it takes about 2 weeks for peak immunity to develop. The flu season typically starts in about November, so October is optimal timing for most flu seasons.

The influenza virus can cause mild to severe symptoms, and can lead to death, especially among those who have additional risk factors: age (65 and older or 2 and younger), immune compromised, chronic health conditions or pregnancy.

Please note some information specific to children.

*Children 8 and under will need two doses of the influenza vaccination one month apart if they have not had the influenza vaccine before.

*Children 18 and under who are covered by Medicaid can’t get their flu vaccines at these special influenza clinics or at the Fairbury or Plymouth Clinic. They must use a clinic which participates in the Vaccines for Children program. The Blue Valley Community Action Immunization Clinic which holds clinics twice a month at JCH&L offers Vaccines for Children immunizations. For an appointment call 402-826-2141, extension 3.

If you have questions about influenza vaccinations or the JCH&L influenza clinics, please call 402-729-3361, and select option 2 for patient services.

Support Groups Remain on Hold Because of COVID-19

Jefferson Community Health & Life has been offering support groups for those with Parkinson’s and for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease for many years. Both groups were put on hold in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both support groups currently remain on hold indefinitely,  said Lana Likens, director of public relations, marketing and development at JCH&L.

“Neither the Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s associations are hosting or recommending in-person support group meetings at this time,”  Likens said. “Jefferson Community Health & Life is also not promoting public group activities or events in its facilities at this time.”

While JCH&L has been hosting blood drives and Electronic Health Record reservation events in its facilities, they are events which are geared to reservations and small numbers of participants present at a time. Flu shot clinics are also being planned for October, and will be on an appointment basis to prevent crowded conditions.

“We do plan to resume support groups in the future, and will continue to monitor community, area and state COVID-19 conditions, as well as recommendations from the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s associations who we partner with for support groups, in making those decisions,” Likens said. “The safety our community and participants is of utmost importance.”

Both associations are offering a variety of virtual support groups.  For information on Nebraska Parkinson’s virtual support groups, call 402-559-8600. For information on Alzheimer’s virtual support groups, go to alz.org, or call the 24-hour helpline at 800-272-3900.

A support group is a gathering of people with common problems, needs and interests which allows them to share their feelings, thoughts and experiences in a combined effort to survive the shared problems. It may include family members, caregivers, friends and other individuals interested in sharing information and giving and receiving support.

Anyone who would like further information in either of these support groups should contact Lana Likens at (402) 729-6855 or email lana.likens@jchealthandlife.org.

Influenza Immunization Important – Recommended in October

Influenza immunizations are important every year. But this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccinations are more important than ever, said Amber Brunow, infection preventionist with Jefferson Community Health & Life.

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months of age or older. The CDC recommends that vaccination be during October, if possible. Earlier vaccination could mean suboptimal immunity by the end of influenza season. Once the vaccine is administered, it takes about 2 weeks for peak immunity to develop. The flu season typically starts in about November, so October is optimal timing for most flu seasons.

The influenza virus can cause mild to severe symptoms, and can lead to death, especially among those who have additional risk factors: age (65 and older or 2 and younger), immune compromised, chronic  health conditions or pregnancy.

Influenza and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Some symptoms are similar, so testing will typically be needed to determine whether a person has influenza or COVID-19. The CDC says it is possible for a person to have influenza and COVID-19 at the same time.

“The same measures which can protect us against COVID-19 can also protect us against influenza,” Brunow said. “Masking, social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, staying home when you are ill, and avoiding crowds are all great preventative measures from spreading influenza and COVID-19.”

Influenza vaccination clinics are being planned for Jefferson Community Health & Life for October. This year appointments will be required, and vaccinations can be billed to insurance or be private pay. Watch for flu shot clinic details in late September.

Influenza vaccinations will also be available during any health care appointments at Fairbury or Plymouth clinics.

Please note some information specific to children.

*Children 8 and under will need two doses of the influenza vaccination one month apart if they have not had the influenza vaccine before.

*Children 18 and under who are covered by Medicaid can’t get their flu vaccines at these special influenza clinics or at the Fairbury or Plymouth Clinic. They must use a clinic which participates in the Vaccines for Children program. The Blue Valley Community Action Immunization Clinic which holds clinics twice a month at JCH&L offers Vaccines for Children immunizations.