JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center Re-Opening Wednesday, Dec. 23

JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center will re-open on Wednesday, Dec. 23, after being closed as a precaution against furthering the spread of COVID when Jefferson County’s COVID cases were climbing quickly.

The fitness center will be open 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23; 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24; Closed Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas; Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26; and Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27. Normal hours are expected to resume on Monday, Dec. 28.

There will be a number of precautions in place:

  • Fitness Center staff will wear masks and eye protection (goggles or shield.)
  • Fitness Center participants must pass a screening before entering.
  • Fitness Center participants are asked to mask when they enter the fitness center, when they are walking from place to place in the center, when they are checking in or when they are visiting with others. Masking is encouraged when exercising, but not required. Masks are required in locker rooms, except for when showering.
  • Participants are required to maintain 10 feet of distance when exercising, and 6 feet of distance when socializing.
  • All participants are required to use hand sanitizer before and after using equipment and are asked to wipe down equipment after use.
  • There will be occupancy limits on the pool (2 family groups, separated by at least 10 feet) and the weight room (4 at a time, with 10 feet of distancing required.)
  • Staff will clean machines regularly.
  • There will be no group fitness classes offered at this time.

“We are working hard to keep our members and staff safe,” said Craig Bontrager, fitness center director. “We are happy to be reopening again.”

Jefferson Community Health & Life will continue to watch the county numbers and risk dial.

“If our county COVID risk becomes severe again, we will make every effort to find ways to put additional precautions in place. Our goal is to make wise decisions to help keep our county residents and our customers and staff safe,” said Burke Kline, DHA, JCH&L CEO.

JCH&L Christmas Project Raises Funds for New Clinic

Each year Jefferson Community Health & Life asks the community’s help in completing a special project for patients, residents, and visitors. This year, JCH&L seeks the community’s help for a special project that will benefit the community—a new Fairbury Clinic attached to the health center. For this year’s project JCH&L seeks $50,000, because funding partner Heartland Bank has pledged a $50,000 matching grant.

“We are pleased with Heartland Bank’s generous matching grant,” said Burke Kline, DHA, JCH&L CEO. “The project will benefit healthcare in our community for generations to come, and we are grateful for our community’s support.”

The clinic addition project, for which bids have recently come in at $8 million, will provide the community a new, modern, handicapped accessible building equipped for today’s technology and allowing for additional infection prevention accommodations when needed. As an attached facility, it will provide easier access for clinic patients who need to seek hospital services, and easier access for staff who need to access both clinic and health center services.

The new location will feature wider hallways, larger exam rooms, and handicapped accessible restrooms. It will also allow for one-way traffic and treatment or testing in negative air flow areas, which are both infection prevention tools.

Donations of all amounts are welcome and will make our project successful. All contributions will be recognized in the fiscal 2021 annual report for Jefferson Community Health & Life and the Jefferson Health Care Fund. Contributions may be made in honor of someone living or in memory of someone who has passed away.  Memorial gifts are recognized each year in a newspaper ad prior to Memorial Day. All donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized with a plaque on the Wall of Honor, and contributions of any amount are counted toward cumulative recognition.

Those who would like more information should contact Lana Likens at 402-729-6855, or by emailing lana.likens@jchealthandlife.org.

JCH&L Billing Process Changes

With the transition to a new electronic health record, Jefferson Community Health & Life has made some changes in its billing process.

Patients who have received clinic services will see new statements in January, with services from the health center and clinic now together on one bill. Patients began seeing new bills for health center services last spring.  Med-Plan/Hauge Group will manage accounts and receive payments on behalf of JCH&L.

JCH&L has been partnering with Med-Plan since March for health center services. Clinic services are now being added.

“Our priority is to offer you the same excellent customer relations, care and financial service,” said Chance Klasek, JCH&L Chief Financial Officer.

Med-Plan is an extension of our business office. For the convenience of our patients, Med-Plan Payment Processing offers online bill payment. Med-Plan Payment Processing is also happy to work with you to provide payment plans. JCH&L encourages payments to be sent to Med-Plan Payment Processing, PO Box 88520, Sioux Falls, SD, 57109-8520 or online by clicking “Pay my bill – Med-Plan” on the JCHealthandlife.org website. Patients may also make payments at JCH&L or JCH&L Fairbury Clinic to be forwarded to Med-Plan.

Because our previous partner for health center services was Avadyne, patients may still receive statements from Avadyne, and should continue to work with Avadyne on these bills. Avadyne will also continue to work with patients on previously established payment plans.

If you have questions about your bill for hospital or outpatient services, please call Jefferson Community Health & Life at 402.729.3351. If you have questions about your Fairbury Clinic bill, please call 402-729-3361, extension 7124.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage patients to take advantage of making payments by mail or on-line directly to Med-Plan.

Norden Receives Certification

Clinic Administrator Ashley Norden LPN is now a Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional. To attain certification, Norden successfully completed the Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course and passed an exam. The course is designed to help clinic administrators learn to operate a successful Rural Health Clinic.

Norden, who has been clinic administrator for  six months, has been with JCH&L for 11 years.

Blobaum Recertified as Oncology Nurse

Carol Blobaum RN has extended her Oncology Certified Nurse status for another 4 years. Blobaum has been with JCH&L since 1993, and has been a chemotherapy nurse since 1994. She first became an Oncology Certified Nurse in 1999.

The program requires levels of nursing and oncology nursing experience be maintained, continuing education, and coursework concluding with a 3-hour test.

Jefferson Community Health & Life Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership

Honored for excellence in 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 Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for excellence in patient perspective, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

“This recognition affirms the work and care of JCH&L’s staff, physicians and board, and the support of the community,” said Burke Kline, DHA, JCH&L CEO. “JCH&L’s mission is to inspire healthy living by providing exceptional health and life services for every person, every time. This recognition recognizes our commitment to our patients.”

JCH&L was among 28 Nebraska hospitals recognized for patient perspective.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Based entirely on publicly available data sources, the INDEX methodology is the data foundation for a number of industry-leading rural recognition programs, rural health safety net-related research, and legislative initiatives. Performance Leadership Award recipients are rural hospitals ranking in the 75th percentile or above in the INDEX performance pillars for Quality, Outcomes, or Patient Perspective.

“Despite the fact that COVID-19 has created greater instability across the rural health safety net, we continue to see countless examples of rural hospitals rising to the challenge to serve their communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “I believe this dedication to mission and drive to overcome unexpected challenges echoes the long-standing commitment among rural hospitals to deliver high-quality care. We are thrilled to honor this year’s top quartile performers.”

“Across the nation, rural hospitals have been working exceptionally hard to adjust to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has not been an easy year, I believe the perseverance displayed by rural hospitals and their partners at the State Offices of Rural Health exemplifies the true spirit of National Rural Health,” said Teryl Eisinger, Chief Executive Officer, NOSORH. “We are delighted to join The Chartis Center for Rural Health in honoring the 2020 Performance Leadership Award winners.”

Jefferson Community Health & Life has previously been recognized with the NOSORH/iVantage Performance Leadership award for quality, outcomes and patient perspective in 2017, 2018 and 2019; the Performance Leadership award for financial strength and patient satisfaction in 2016; named as a Top 100 critical access hospital for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, and 2014; named as a Top 20 critical access hospital for quality in 2020 and Top 20 overall in 2018; and named a HEALTHSTRONG hospital in 2015.

Dr. Rebecca Stroklund to Join JCH&L Fairbury Clinic

Rebecca Stroklund, DO, will join JCH&L Fairbury Clinic in early January.

Dr. Stroklund has a passion for family medicine, emergency medicine and nursing home care. She understands rural communities. She has 11 years of experience providing medical and emergency care in clinics in Alaska, Wyoming and Minnesota, including rural and remote clinics.

She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency Program. She earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO. Osteopathic medicine treats the whole person—and has an emphasis on preventive health care.

“I’m excited to be a part of the JCH&L medical staff, and look forward to helping our area residents stay healthy,” Dr. Stroklund stated.

Dr. Stroklund has family who live in Fairbury, and she’s thrilled to join them in calling this community her home.

With the addition of Dr. Stroklund, JCH&L’s medical providers will include four board-certified family medicine physicians and four certified physician assistants with one shared goal: supporting you and your family’s health for life. Our team includes: Dr. Richard Blatny Jr., Dr. Craig Shumard, Dr. Rebecca Stroklund, Dr. Brett Wergin (all board-certified family medicine providers); and certified physician assistants Jessica Borrenpohl PA-C, Kelsey Maguire PA-C, Tyler Maguire PA-C, and Kensly Williams PA-C. Doug Ruzicka PA-C, is retiring at the end of the year.

JCH&L Fairbury Clinic is accepting new patients.

For appointments with Dr. Stroklund or the other JCH&L Fairbury Clinical family medicine providers, call 402-729-3361, option 1.

Nebraska Community Bloodbank Cancels Dec. 21 Visit

The Nebraska Community Bloodbank blood drive has cancelled its visit originally scheduled for Dec. 21 in Fairbury because of COVID-19 concerns.

Dates for 2021 will be announced once they are scheduled.