JCH&L Women’s Health Days Set for Feb. 23 and March 8

Wellness Experience Offers Women a Convenient Way to Take Control of Their Health

In just about three hours women from Jefferson County and beyond can complete their annual health checks and receive a well-deserved indulgence at the same time. Women’s Health Day is a complete wellness experience designed to make women’s health easy. Jefferson Community Health & Life is now scheduling women for the experience on Mondays, Feb. 23 and March 8.

The program is available at the Jefferson Community Health & Life Health Center and Fairbury Clinic on select days every month, and includes:

* Personalized guidance from an on-site Women’s Health Day navigator

* Important health screenings, including fasting lab tests, a screening mammogram and a routine annual exam to assess overall and gynecological health (lab test and mammogram results will be available before participants leave for the day, while Pap test results will be provided later by mail)

* Complimentary breakfast and a relaxing indulgence—such as an express manicure or hand massage, for example. Offerings may vary.

* Reserved parking

“It’s so important for women to make time for their own health, but we know life sometimes gets in the way,” said Erin Starr, Chief Nursing Officer. “That’s why we created Women’s Health Day—to provide a convenient way for women to get their essential health screenings all at once, while also taking time to unwind.”

All major insurance plans are accepted for screening and exams (coverage is subject to individual policy terms). JCH&L Fairbury Clinic accepts new patients.

Appointments for the Women’s Health Day experience start as early as 6:30 a.m. To schedule, call 402.729.6841.

Nebraska Community Bloodbank Visits Feb. 15

FAIRBURY –The next Nebraska Community Bloodbank blood drive will be held on Monday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2  p.m. in the mobile unit in the parking lot of JCH&L Fairbury Clinic, 825 22nd St.

All  donations at this blood drive will be tested for COVID antibodies.

All types are needed. Giving blood is giving a gift of life. Nebraska Community Bloodbank is Jefferson Community Health & Life’s blood supplier, and the two organizations partner for blood drives in Fairbury to save lives.

To make an appointment, call JCH&L Outpatient Services at 402-729-6851, 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

JCH&L Vaccination Plan Begins with Oldest Patients

Jefferson Community Health & Life Fairbury Clinic will begin calling patients soon to schedule vaccinations, and will be making calls starting from the oldest patients. JCH&L is following the guidelines from Public Health Solutions and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

“We will receive a limited number of vaccinations each week, and will need to make sure we have the right number of patients scheduled each week to utilize all vaccine available to us,” said Amber Brunow, infection preventionist.

JCH&L Fairbury Clinic will be mailing flyers with information about the clinics and the vaccine to all patients who are 75 and older. Patients will be called in order of age. Each patient will be asked questions about their health status and will be given vaccine clinic information. We ask that patients not call us asking to set up appointments.

*Fairbury Clinic physicians support vaccination of their patients. They have instructed schedulers to ask health questions, and if any concerns arise they will provide further instructions.

Online registration is not required for those who are 75 and older. We are working on additional plans for those who are 65 and older or those who have underlying health conditions.

Some vaccine information:
*This will be the Moderna vaccine. It requires 2 doses 28 days apart.

*The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. More people experience these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.

*A full fact sheet on the vaccine is available at https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/recipients/


*You should not get this vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine, or to a previous dose of this vaccine

*You may not have had any other vaccination of any type for the 14 days prior to receiving this vaccine.


Public Health Solutions will offer community clinics at a later date.

Everhart Celebrates 50 Years as JCH&L Employee

Much has changed in 50 years of health care

There have been a lot of changes in health care since Gloria Everhart began her employment at what was then known as Jefferson County Memorial Hospital in 1970. She reflected on the many changes as she celebrated a 50-year anniversary of her employment late last fall.

“Things we did back then don’t happen now,” Everhart said.

Nearly all health care facilities are tobacco free today, she said – and JCH&L has had a tobacco free campus for a number of years. But in 1970, there was a cigarette machine in the main lobby and many staff members could smoke in their departments.

In her early years, she  worked in medical records and the business office – and the business office worked 7 days a week, including holidays. Business office staff had to transmit information to Omaha at the end of each day for billing purposes, and retrieve reports promptly at 8 a.m. each morning so that bills could be generated on site. In current times, there are medical personnel in the facility 7 days a week every day of the year, but business office staff get weekends and holidays off.

Computers weren’t available on site when Everhart began her career. Patient information was kept on index cards. Medications were looked up in a black book for proper billing.

“It was not automated,” she remembers. “Back in the day you did a lot of handwork.”

She remembers typing forms and papers with carbon paper for extra copies – and what a headache it was if you made a mistake to correct all those carbon copies. She wondered if there was even still a typewriter in the building.

“You didn’t want to make a mistake typing,” she said.

She remembers a time in her early years where there was a computer system which had discs about 16 inches in diameter that had to be rotated, so the newest disc was kept in the safe. Even when computers were more prevalent, there was no dedicated Information Technology (IT) staff to assist. That department – which now has 4 staff members and is involved in every area of the facility – came later. And with no computer in her early years, there were also no passwords.

The number of employees has steadily grown over the years. Everhart couldn’t remember an exact number of employees in 1970. Records show that when the facility opened in 1963, there were 60 employees. By 2000, Everhart has records to show JCH&L had 155 employees. In 2021, there are currently 255 employees. Payroll for those employees has changed from paper checks once a month, to paper checks every two weeks, to electronic deposit every two weeks.

Back when she was first in the business office everyone dressed up for work. Business office staff wore dresses, hose and dress shoes. She even remembers one staff member getting sent home for not wearing hose. Today’s dress is much more “business casual,” she said. In her early years nurses wore white dresses, white hose, white caps and of course white shoes. At one time, different departments that wore scrubs wore specific colors. Today’s nurses and other ancillary staff typically wear scrubs in a variety of colors.

The facility itself has changed a lot in 50 years, Everhart said. There have been many renovations and additions over the years, and the addition of the Fairbury Clinic as an attached facility will be a great step, she said. The fitness center was added in 1996, along with a new therapy area and new front lobby. A new surgery area was added in 2009. Cedarwood assisted living (a joint project of JCH&L and Bryan Health) was added in 2004. And a major renovation converted the hospital to all private patient rooms and made a number of changes in ancillary services in 2015.

Even the facility’s name has changed. When Everhart started her career it was Jefferson County Memorial Hospital. In the late 1990s it became Jefferson Community Health Center. And today it is known as Jefferson Community Health & Life.

Health care itself has changed. In her early years, there were 49 hospital beds, and patients stayed much longer than they do now. She remembers some patients who came every year for a stay, maybe for a physical, maybe just to get something checked out. Insurance companies didn’t have the criteria they do today which are required to be met for a hospital stay.

Everhart started her career as a part-time business office staff member, then began also working part time in medical records when that department needed help. She even remembers attempting to do transcription – but “that wasn’t for me,” she said. She later became a full-time business office staff member and worked on payroll and on accounts payable. She served as business office manager at one time in her career. Today, she works in human resources, and still has a major part in payroll.

“I like doing what I do,” Everhart said. “It’s been a good 50 years.”

She said there have been lots of challenges with changes over the years, but she has adapted as she needed to.

“It’s always good to learn new stuff,” she said.

She’s been glad to help out with community events and activities through the years – parades, county fairs, health fairs and such.

She remembers some humorous incidents over the years. Like when a Medicare claim went out for a patient who lived in Western, Nebraska, and the Medicare office told the JCH&L business office they needed a town, not a region. She remembers when fax technology came along she wondered what she would ever use that for. And not so many months later she was asking people “do you have a fax machine? You could just fax that to me.” She remembers the years that JCH&L paid $5 a month for employees for their health insurance. It’s much more than that now – and employees pay a portion of the cost, as well.

Her 50th year of employment was marked by a global COVID-19 pandemic. She said she had never in her 50 years seen anything like it. She said she was proud of her facility and her coworkers for all that they have done to help patients and the community.

“I have never seen anything like it,” she said.

She wonders how much different JCH&L and healthcare will look in the future. She doesn’t have a goal set for retirement just yet.

“I still enjoy what I do and enjoy my coworkers,” she said.

JCH&L Sleep Study Services Re-Accredited

Jefferson Community Health & Life has been re-accredited for sleep lab services and home sleep studies by the Accrediting Commission for Health Care. The accreditation is through October 2023.


Sleep studies, also known as polysomnography, are a non-invasive overnight exam that allows trained technicians to monitor the patient during sleep to determine if treatment is necessary for sleep disordered breathing. During a study, sensors measure sleep stages, heart and breathing rates, blood oxygen, snoring, body movements and eye movements. The study is interpreted by a board-certified sleep medicine physician and results are shared with the ordering physician. Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance companies will cover sleep studies.


Sleep studies can be ordered by family medicine providers or specialists, and will be coordinated at JCH&L by Respiratory Therapist Stacy Shumard. Stacy sets up all in-home studies, and technicians from Rural Sleep Solutions do studies that are done in the facility.


Jefferson Community Health & Life has been offering sleep studies locally since 2003, and in 2018 was accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. The Medicare and Medicaid programs began requiring accreditation in 2017.

JCH&L to Donate to Wrestling Programs

Donation of $1 per pin will be made to Fairbury, Tri County and Meridian wrestling programs

Wrestlers are always happy to pin their opponent. For the 2021 season, each pin will again add up to donations to the wrestling programs at Fairbury High School, Tri County High School and Meridian High School.

Jefferson Community Health & Life will be donating $1 per pin to each of these schools which serve Jefferson County students and have a wrestling program.

As of Jan. 11, the Tri County team had 93 varsity pins for the season, the Fairbury team had 48, and the Meridian team had 30.

Jefferson Community Health & Life supports all of our area wrestlers on their hard work and dedication, and is excited to see the final tally of pins at the end of the season.

Vascular Services Return to JCH&L

Sara Hargreaves, MD, vascular surgeon, to begin seeing patients Jan. 19

Sara Hargreaves, MD, vascular surgeon, will begin seeing patients at Jefferson Community Health & Life Outpatient Services on Monday, Jan. 19. This service is a partnership between JCH&L and Bryan Heart.

“Area residents often have a need to see a vascular surgeon,” said Erin Starr RN, Chief Nursing Officer at JCH&L. “It has been about three years since we’ve had specialty clinic visits by a vascular surgeon, so we are excited to add this service once again.”

Dr. Hargreaves will see patients at JCH&L Outpatient Services monthly, and if there is a greater need in the community services could be expanded.

Dr. Hargreaves graduated from medical school from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio; completed a residency in general surgery at Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore; and completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Dr. Hargreaves is board certified through the American Board of Surgery in Vascular Surgery. She joined Bryan Heart in 2016 as a member of the Bryan Heart Vascular Surgery Team. Dr. Hargreaves works to educate her patients on their condition and/or disease process so they are informed of the treatment options available to them.

Dr. Hargreaves was raised in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. When Dr. Hargreaves is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family.

“JCH&L is excited to continue to grow in the services we offer to our community,” said Burke Kline, DHA, JCH&L chief executive officer. “Our mission is to inspire our community to a lifetime of health, and offer as many of the services they need to do that as we are able.”

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.

Virtual Topping Out Ceremony Planned for JCH&L Fairbury Clinic

As the new JCH&L Fairbury Clinic project progresses, a virtual Topping Out Ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15.

A Topping Out Ceremony will celebrate the placing of the last beam in the structure, which will have been signed by JCH&L staff and project contractors and subcontractors.

The community is invited to watch the ceremony through Facebook Live.

The $8 million project is adding a 21,300-square-foot addition to the health center to house the operations of the Fairbury Clinic, new Health Information Services and Business Office areas, and an updated main entrance. The new clinic will provide more space, better handicapped accessibility and is designed with infection prevention in mind.

The project is being funded by bonds issued by the Hospital Authority through funding partner Heartland Bank. JCH&L is working to raise $50,000 in community contributions toward the cost of the project, and Heartland Bank has pledged to match up to $50,000.

Construction began in October and is expected to be complete in late 2021.

Jefferson Community Health & Life is a private not-for-profit corporation which is governed by an 8-member board of directors elected from its membership. To be a lifetime member, a person must donate $100 or more to JCH&L. Jefferson Community Health & Life operates a 17-bed, acute-care Critical Access Hospital in Fairbury, Neb., offering inpatient and outpatient services, including surgery, therapy, screenings, and emergency services. Jefferson Community Health & Life offers additional health and life services, including Fairbury Clinic (primary and family care), Burkley Fitness Center, Gardenside (long-term care), and Home Health services. In addition, Jefferson Community Health & Life supports numerous education programs and support groups. JCH&L and Bryan Health are joint owners of Cedarwood Assisted Living, which is its own private not for profit organization located on the JCH&L campus.

U.S. News Again Names JCH&L Gardenside One of Best Nursing Homes

US News has again named JCH&L Gardenside as one of the best nursing homes in the United States for long-term care. Gardenside was one of 1,139 nursing homes in the United States receiving a rating of “High Performing” by U.S. News, of 13,433 facilities rated for long-term care.

U.S. News ratings are based on staffing, inspections and quality. U.S. News gives ratings of High Performing, Better than Average, Average, Worse than Average or Poor. JCH&L Gardenside also received a rating of High Performing from U.S. News for 2018-2019.

“JCH&L Gardenside staff members work very hard to ensure the best quality of care for our residents,” said Deb Sutton RN, BS, NHA, administrator. “We are pleased to see our care reflected in ratings through U.S. News Best Nursing Home Report and the Nursing Home Compare star ratings.”

JCH&L Gardenside has been providing long-term care to area residents since 1963. Currently, JCH&L Gardenside is licensed for 40 beds and has one Hospice room. In the past few years, JCH&L Gardenside has been nationally recognized for its work on natural awakening, improving the sleep of residents. JCH&L Gardenside was also recognized as a 2017 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. Gardenside has been a 5-Star facility since CMS began giving star ratings to the nation’s nursing homes in 2009.

“What 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 ‘best nursing home.’ “

The U.S. News Best Nursing Home ratings and nursing home finder can be accessed at http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes. The Nursing Home Compare statistics can be accessed by going to www.Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare and searching by zip code and/or name.

JCH&L Adds Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Lauren Cox, OTD, OTR/L, joins staff of Sports Medicine and Rehab Services

Lauren Cox, OTD, OTR/L, a pediatric occupational therapist, has joined the staff of JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services. Cox works with children and adolescents of all ages while collaborating with other therapists to treat each patient’s specific needs and diagnosis.

“The need for pediatric therapy has grown substantially within the community over the last four years,” states Amy Martin, MPT, director of JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services. “We are working to expand our pediatric services to better serve our community and meet those needs.”

As a pediatric occupational therapist, Cox can address all areas with children and adolescents, including interactive play and engagement in functional tasks.

While she will work with and cooperate with the schools, in-school therapy typically focuses on helping children engage within the school environment.

Outpatient therapy focuses on activities within the home and community. Outpatient pediatric occupational therapy may include working with children on sensory integration, developmental delays, proper positioning, transitional movements, grasp, coordination of both arms, integrating reflexes, sensory-based feeding, and parent education. Cox collaborates with the Speech Therapist Amanda Carlson. Carlson works with children on swallowing and language development.

“Occupational therapy services are tailored to each child’s specific needs, which can vary greatly from patient to patient,” Cox said.

Cox encourages parent and/or caregiver involvement and is motivated to find answers for each individual child.

Cox says, “Working together as a healthcare team allows for an open line of communication that is beneficial when caring for each child.”

She said her schedule is flexible, and she will work with parents to find appointment times that work for their needs.

Cox and her husband are Omaha natives, who returned to Nebraska in 2020. Cox previously worked at KidsCare Home Health in Colorado. Clinical rotations were completed at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in the pediatric department and KidsCare Home Health in Texas. She’s known she wanted to be an occupational therapist since her brother planted the idea in high school. She also has experience being a nanny and caregiver for children with specific needs.

Pediatric occupational therapy is covered by Medicaid and most private insurance companies. In some cases, preauthorization may be required. Cox and the team at JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services will communicate with insurance companies as needed.

For additional information on pediatric occupational therapy, call JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services at 402-729-6841.