Gardenside, Cedarwood Update Visitation Guidelines

While news reports are that restrictions on visitation for residents living in nursing home and assisted livings have been lessened, many precautions remain in place. Gardenside and Cedarwood have updated visitation guidelines to reflect current federal guidelines.

Visitation restrictions are based on the vaccination rate of residents and tenants, as well as our county transmission rate (which is updated weekly by CMS.)

Gardenside and Cedarwood currently have 100 percent of residents and tenants vaccinated. Our county transmission rate currently classifies Jefferson County in the yellow risk category, according to

“Our county transmission rate has unfortunately risen in the past month. In late March our rate was less than 5 percent and CMS designated Jefferson as a ‘green’ county. We have increased and are now in the ‘yellow’ designation,” said Deb Sutton, RN, administrator of Gardenside and Cedarwood. “We are hopeful that this recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County will not continue. If our positivity rate gets back into the ‘red’ zone, we will have additional federal restrictons.”

Each Nursing Home and Assisted Living facility is to establish its own guidelines for visitation in the facility and for residents leaving the facility with family, based upon federal guidelines, and their staffing and ability to monitor and isolate residents as needed.

Guidelines for Visitation at Gardenside at this time:

  • Visits by family, friends and clergy are allowed for any resident not currently in quarantine.
  • Visits are allowed by those who are 6 and older.
  • All visits must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance using SignUp Genius. There is a link to SignUp Genius on the webpage –, locations, Gardenside.
  • All visitors will be screened for temperature, symptoms of COVID or potential exposures. Individuals not passing the screening will NOT be allowed entry.
  • Hand hygiene will be performed upon entry, as needed throughout visit, and upon leaving facility.
  • Outdoor visits are always preferred over indoor visits if weather allows and if tolerated by our residents. Staff will determine designated area for visitation. Visitors must remain in designated area for visit and avoid contact with other residents.
  • Visitors must remain masked for ENTIRE visit. Visitors who do not comply will be instructed to leave immediately.
  • Visits will be limited to 1 hour each, with no more than 2 visitors per resident per visit.
  • There is no eating or drinking during visits. If you bring treats for a resident, the nursing staff will assist by taking them and provide them to the resident after the visit.
  • 6 foot distancing should be maintained throughout the visit. Fully vaccinated residents (those 2 weeks past their completed vaccine series) may choose to allow close contact with visitors but masks must be in place for close contact (and entire visit.)
  • Visits must be monitored by staff to ensure all precautions are followed
  • Visitors who fail to follow the guidelines will be required to leave immediately. Any visitor who repeatedly fails to follow guidelines and masking requirement will be allowed closed window visits only.

In some cases, residents and tenants may be allowed to leave the facility with their loved ones. Requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Requests for family outings must be made Monday through Thursday and at least 48 hours in advance. Families must provide all details of the event to Gardenside or Cedarwood staff for consideration. A low-risk outing (such as a car ride without any stops or a physician visit) may be allowed without any quarantine or testing. A moderate-risk outing (such as a small gathering with controlled attendance and full mask use) may be allowed with the resident/tenant being tested twice weekly for two weeks following the outing. A high-risk outing (such as a public event, dining, etc.) requires the resident to be re-admitted into a private room for quarantine for 14 days, and the resident will be tested prior to the discontinuation of isolation. For a high-risk outing, the facility will take into consideration its supply of Personal Protective Equipment, availability of private room upon return of the resident/tenant, and staffing.

“Gardenside and Cedarwood are among a very small group of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state of Nebraska who have had no cases of COVID-19 diagnosed among residents or tenants,” Sutton said. “We have worked very hard throughout the pandemic to keep our residents and tenants safe, and we will continue to follow the guidelines that have made this possible.”

Those with questions about the guidelines may contact:

  • Deb Sutton RN – Administrator of Gardenside and Cedarwood — 402-729-6843
  • Laura DeBoer RN – Gardenside Director of Nursing Services — 402-587-5228
  • Raven Gerths – Gardenside Social Services Coordinator — 402-729-6849
  • Becky Bruce, LPN, Cedarwood Director of Nursing – 402-729-6883

JCH&L Offers Next Session of Smart Moves

Lifestyle change program helps participants learn to live healthy

FAIRBURY — The next session of a successful lifestyle change program will be offered beginning in May at Jefferson Community Health & Life in Fairbury. The year-long program is designed for those who are at risk for diabetes and want to change their lifestyle to avoid getting diabetes. A free no-obligation introductory class will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4. Anyone who thinks they might be interested in Smart Moves is encouraged to attend this session. To sign up for the introductory class, call Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT, at 402-729-6846.

The year-long program will begin May 18. Classes will meet on Tuesdays at 4 p.m.

Lifestyle coaches who lead the program are JCH&L Dietitian Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT; Bekah Kimberlin, PharmD; and Craig Bontrager, director of JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center.

“This program has been successful in helping participants to make lifestyle changes which positively impact their health,” Edeal said.

JCH&L’s program has received Full Recognition from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). This designation is reserved for programs that have effectively delivered a quality, evidence-based program that meets all the standards for CDC recognition.


Studies show that diabetes can be prevented. Diabetes risk can be lowered by losing weight, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking part in a lifestyle change program, such as Smart Moves. Smart Moves is a program of the National Diabetes Prevention Program. JCH&L is participating with the support of Public Health Solutions District Health Department.

For the first part of the program, participants meet in a small-group setting weekly for one-hour presentations. For the second portion of the program, participants will meet twice a month.

The program provides lifestyle coaching and group support, promotes healthier eating and weight loss, explores ways to be physically active, creates strategies to overcome barriers, and teaches participants how to apply coping skills to stay successful.

The cost of the program is $225 for the full year. This fee includes not only the program, but also a six-month membership to the JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center (a $200 value.) Financial assistance is available for those who meet certain financial eligibility criteria.

Anyone interested in Smart Moves or the May 4 free introductory session is encouraged to contact Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT, at (402) 729-6846 or email to register or for more information.

Kline Earns Designation as Certified Healthcare Financial Professional

Burke Kline, DHA, CHFP, FACHE, has earned designation as a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP®) from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA.)

To be awarded the CHFP distinction, applicants must be an HFMA member and have completed HFMA’s Business of Health Cares® and HFMA’s Operational Excellence programs.

Dr. Kline earned this certification by demonstrating a high level of healthcare financial management knowledge and expertise.

“We recognize Dr. Kline as a healthcare leader who has demonstrated an impressive depth of knowledge in healthcare financial management and business skills,” said HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA. “Earning this certification signifies a commitment to professional excellence.”

The CHFP program provides a broad range of business and financial skills essential for succeeding in today’s high-value healthcare environment. A wide variety of financial professionals enroll in the CHFP program, including clinical and nonclinical leaders, financial professionals, and health plan leaders, among others.

Dr. Kline has been chief executive officer of JCH&L since June 2020.

Kline Advances to Fellow in ACHE

Burke Kline, DHA, FACHE, chief executive officer at Jefferson Community Health & Life, has advanced to become a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

An advance to the Fellow designation is a reflection of service to the healthcare industry, healthcare management experience, completion of at least 36 continuing education hours in healthcare management and administration in the past three years, doing civic and healthcare volunteer activities, and passing an exam covering a core body of knowledge in health care management. Before applying for Fellow status in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the ACHE must have a master’s degree or other post-baccalaureate degree, have a minimum of five years of health care management experience, and provide two references.

Dr. Kline will be recognized along with all new Fellows at the Convocation Ceremony at the next Congress on Healthcare Leadership.

Dr. Kline has been chief executive officer of JCH&L since June 2020.