Men’s Health Presentation Set for April 7

Dr. Don Henslee, urologist, will present a Men’s Health seminar at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, on Jefferson Community Health & Life’s Facebook page (@JCHealthandLife).

During the presentation, you will learn more about benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also often known as prostate gland enlargement. It is a common condition as men get older. It can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, as well as bladder and kidney problems. Dr. Henslee will discuss treatment options, including the UroLift System, that can help relieve symptoms and restore quality of life.

Dr. Henslee is a urologist with Urology PC. He provides monthly services at JCH&L Outpatient Services.

Nebraska Community Bloodbank Visits April 19

FAIRBURY –The next Nebraska Community Bloodbank blood drive will be held on Monday, April 19, 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 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 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

JCH&L Women’s Health Day Scheduled for April 14

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 for the experience on Wednesday, April 14.

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.

JCH&L Christmas Project Reaches Goal, Receives Matching Funds

From left, Aaron Schardt, Heartland Bank Senior Vice President/CFO; Dick Hoppe, Heartland Bank Vice President/Relationship Manager; Dr. Burke Kline, JCH&L CEO; Barry Schweer, Heartland Bank Branch President.

Jefferson Community Health & Life’s annual Christmas project has reached its goal of $50,000 in donations – and because of that, will receive $50,000 in matching funds donated from Heartland Bank. This year’s project is helping to fund the $8 million Fairbury Clinic construction project, which is anticipated to be finished by late this year.

“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, which is well underway 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 are still being accepted, even though the Christmas project goal has been met. 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

Gardenside, Cedarwood Update Visiting Regulations

As many have seen in the media, new guidelines for long-term care visitation were released this week by CMS and CDC. JCH&L Gardenside and Cedarwood assisted living will be phasing in these new regulations.

The biggest change in the regulations is that fully vaccinated residents can choose to have close-contact visits, including touch. Fully vaccinated means they are at least 2 weeks past their second dose of the vaccine. Family members must still schedule their visits through SignUp Genius (there is a link Family members must still call staff to let them know they have arrived, be screened to enter the facility and must mask for their entire visit. The family member and the resident must all hand sanitize before and after, and all must be wearing properly fitting masks.

Visiting family members must still distance from other residents and staff.

Outdoor visits are still preferred, and visits will be scheduled for outside if weather permits. Indoor visits will continue to be held in designated areas, not in the resident’s room.

Family members will not be allowed to visit if they have any current COVID-19 symptoms, or any recent exposure to a COVID-19 case (within 2 weeks.) Even vaccinated family members will not be allowed to visit if they have had an exposure.

Anyone with questions about the new regulations should contact Gardenside at 402-729-5220 or Cedarwood at 402-729-6100.

JCH&L Continues Scheduling Vaccines for Those 65 and Older

Jefferson Community Health & Life continues scheduling COVID vaccination clinics for those 65 and older, and encourages anyone 65 and older who is interested in a vaccine to call our COVID vaccine line at 402-587-5188.

If you are 65 or older live, work or have your primary health care in Jefferson County, please call JCH&L at 402-587-5188 to let us know you would like to receive the COVID vaccine. Please leave us a message with your name, birthdate and telephone number. JCH&L will call as vaccine is available.

When calling for scheduling, each patient will be asked questions about their health status and will be given vaccine clinic information. The scheduler will schedule first and second doses of the vaccine, which are 28 days apart. JCH&L receives a limited number of vaccinations each week, and vaccinations will be given by appointment only. When an appointment is made for a first dose, the appointment is also made for the second dose. JCH&L is following the guidelines from Public Health Solutions and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Vaccine clinics are being held every Friday at the Fairbury Presbyterian Church. Those who are receiving vaccines are usually at the site for about 30 minutes, including a 15-minute time of monitoring for vaccine side effects.

There is no charge for the vaccine. If participants have health insurance, insurance will be billed for an administration fee. Insurance is not a requirement to receive the vaccine.

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.

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

*The most commonly reported side effects are 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

 *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.

Gardenside, Cedarwood Beginning Essential Caregiver Program

JCH&L Gardenside and Cedarwood assisted living are excited to implement a new program called the Essential Caregiver Program.

“This is a first step toward providing our residents and tenants the additional family support they need,” said Deb Sutton RN, BSN, Gardenside and Cedarwood administrator. “Now that most of our residents, tenants and staff are vaccinated, we can begin to look forward to our next steps toward normalcy.”

The Department of Health and Human Services in Nebraska have approved an optional program for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to help high-risk residents and tenants receive individualized, person-centered care from family members that previously actively engaged with the resident. The individuals designated as Essential Caregivers would provide companionship and assistance with basic activities of daily living.

Gardenside and Cedarwood have established policies to allow for Essential Caregivers at the facilities. Criteria to participate in the program are:

  • An Essential Caregiver (EC) must be the individual who previously regularly actively engaged with the resident or who was previously committed to providing psychosocial health support and/or assistance with activities of daily living. Family members who did not provide consistent support or assistance prior to the pandemic would not be eligible for this program.
  • To participate in the EC Program, both the resident and family member must be 2 weeks past completion of their second COVID-19 vaccine. If the resident or family member do not receive the COVID-19 vaccine, they are not eligible for the program.
  • Family members designated as an EC must consent to routine COVID-19 testing at the same frequency as staff. Testing frequency is based on county positivity rate.
  • Family members designated as an EC will be required to complete facility training and must agree to comply with all policies and procedures regarding Infection Control measures while visiting Gardenside or Cedarwood. Failure to comply with Gardenside or Cedarwood policies and procedures will result in suspension and/or revocation of EC program.

The Essential Caregiver program will allow for the following:

  • Prescheduled visits for up to 3 hours/day
  • EC will be required to wear a procedure mask while in the facility but will be allowed to be closer to their own loved one than the 6 foot social distancing required with standard visits. They will not be able to visit or be within 6 feet of other Gardenside residents.
  • Enable the EC to provide assistance to the resident with personal needs in the resident’s room
  • Enable the EC to accompany their family member to medical appointments.

The Essential Caregiver program will not allow the EC to take the resident out into the community or for visits in the EC’s home.

Anyone interested in learning more about the EC program or eligibility should call Deb Sutton at 402-729-6843 (Gardenside or Cedarwood), Laura DeBoer at 402-587-5228 (Gardenside), or Becky Bruce at 402-729-6100 (Cedarwood.)

Scheele Honored for Service

Brian Scheele of Plymouth was honored with a plaque in honor of his years of service to the JCH&L Board of Directors.

Brian began serving on the board in 2013. He served as vice chairman of the board from 2014 through 2016, and board chairman from 2017-2019. During his final year on the board he served on the executive committee as past president.

Brian served on the board with four CEOs—Bill Welch, Chad Jurgens, interim CEO Vic Lee and Dr. Burke Kline. During his tenure, JCH&L completed a major renovation of patient rooms and ancillary services; opened a clinic in Plymouth; rebranded; added many new services; and began a major building project of a new Fairbury Clinic attached to the health center.

Bentley Certified in Lymphatic Therapy

Occupational Therapist Cassidy Bentley Adds Certification

Cassidy Bentley, MOT, OTR/L, CLT, with Jefferson Community Health & Life Sports Medicine and Rehab Services has been certified by the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy in Atlanta, GA, in the technique of complete decongestive therapy including manual lymph drainage and compression therapy. She is now a certified lymphedema therapist.

Lymphedema is a chronic accumulation of protein-rich fluid under the skin. It can impact quality of life and functional ability. It can be congenital or hereditary, or can be caused by surgery, radiation therapy, trauma, infection or chronic venous insufficiency.

“Treating lymphedema can improve quality of life and functional ability, which is what occupational therapy is all about,” Bentley said.

Bentley is a Bruning native. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a minor in health science from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in 2017. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Nebraska Methodist College in 2019. Bentley is also trained and certified in women’s health, and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She has been with JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services since 2019.

If you have lymphedema,  ask your primary health care provider if treatment is right for you. Those interested in more information can contact JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services at 402-729-6840.

JCH&L Named Among Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals Again

iVantage Research Identifies Top Performing Hospitals

FAIRBURY, Neb. — For the seventh time, Jefferson Community Health & Life has been named a top 100 critical access hospital in the Unit

ed States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“We are proud to be recognized again for our daily commitment to providing quality, professional health care to residents of Jefferson County and beyond, while maintaining an efficient facility,” said Burke Kline, DHA, CEO of Jefferson Community Health & Life.


Jefferson Community Health & Life scored in the top 100 of critical access hospitals (CAHs) on the iVantage Strength INDEX™ in 2021, and previously made the Top 100 list in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. This is the seventh time in eight 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 program continues to illuminate strategies and innovation for delivering higher quality care and better outcomes within rural communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “We are delighted to be able to spotlight the efforts of these facilities through the INDEX framework.”

The list of this year’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals, as well as the 2021 INDEX methodology, can be found at

JCH&L is among 15 Nebraska critical access hospitals to make the Top 100 list for 2021. Others are: Boone County Health Center, Albion; Brodstone Memorial Hospital; CHI Health St. Mary’s, Nebraska City; Community Medical Center, Falls City; Fillmore County Hospital, Geneva; Howard County Medical Center, St. Paul; Johnson County Hospital, Tecumseh; Memorial Health Care Systems, Seward; Memorial Hospital, Aurora; Pender Community Hospital, Pender; Phelps Memorial Health Center, Holdrege; St. Francis Memorial Hospital, West Point; Thayer County Health Services, Hebron; and York General Hospital, York.

In May 2020, JCH&L was recognized by the Chartis Center and the National Rural Health Association for being one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation for quality. In 2018, JCH&L received an overall Top 20 Critical Access Hospital Award.

In November 2020, JCH&L was recognized as a Performance Leader for the fifth consecutive year, this time for patient perspective.  In 2017, 2018 and 2019, JCH&L received the Performance Leadership Award for overall excellence in quality, outcomes and patient perspective. In 2016, the award was for finance and patient satisfaction. 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. 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,” Kline said.