Thorp Certified Nutritional Physical Therapist

Nichole Thorp, PT, DPT, is now a certified nutritional physical therapist. Thorp has been a therapist with JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services since 2015.

The certification allows Thorp to add nutrition education to therapy services to maximize patient rehabilitation with goals of increasing speed of recovery and enhancing outcomes. Thorp can assess patients’ diets and refer them on to additional nutritional counseling with more specific nutrition and dietary needs. The nutrition certification gives her the tools to provide evidence-based diet and food recommendations for select patients to optimize recovery, reduce pain, and alter inflammation. It also allows her to educate patients on the benefits and drawbacks to certain food choices and dietary plans.

“Quality nutrition is key to recovery and healing. I’m excited to be able to help patients with another level of healing through nutrition education,” Thorp said.

Those who are interested in seeing how nutrition can help their therapy needs should contact JCH&L Sports Medicine and Rehab Services at 402-729-6840.

Medicare Advantage is different than Traditional Medicare

Those who are Medicare age or close often have questions about the difference between traditional Medicare with a supplement (often called Medigap), and Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is a bundled plan that private companies administer. The plans vary based on which medical services are available in a certain area, and people typically need to receive treatment from an approved network of healthcare professionals. Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits, such as dental care or vision care.

Traditional Medicare is available in several parts that cover in-hospital treatments, medical care, and prescription drugs. However, out-of-pocket costs usually include deductibles and coinsurance. Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap plans, are available to help people fund these extra costs. People can enroll in them alongside traditional Medicare. Traditional Medicare with a supplement usually has fewer restrictions on what providers can be seen under the plan.

A person can’t be in Medicare Advantage and have a supplement plan.

When a person qualifies for Medicare at the age of 65 years and enrolls in Medicare Part B, they have a 6-month Medigap open enrollment period (OEP). During this time, an insurance company cannot deny a person Medigap coverage based on their age or any preexisting health conditions they have.

However, after this enrollment period ends, an insurance company does not have to sell a person a Medigap policy, and they may also charge more for a policy. For this reason, people may find that they can save money if they sign up for Medigap within the first 6 months of their Medicare benefits starting.

This also may make it more difficult for a person who decides Medicare Advantage isn’t working well for them to switch to traditional Medicare with a supplement.

If someone begins Original Medicare with a Supplement and decides to change to a Medicare Advantage Plan, they have 12 months to return to Original Medicare and still be able to get their original Supplement back.  After 12 months, they would need to be health screened and could be denied. In turn, if someone starts with Medicare Advantage and wants to get a supplement, they have 12 months to also get a supplement with no underwriting.  The 6-month window would apply to a beneficiary getting a Medigap the first time.

“If you have been on an Advantage plan and then switch to traditional Medicare, your chances may be less of getting covered by a supplemental plan. Supplement companies can deny coverage based on health status, age, and preexisting conditions,” said Kim Shadduck, business office manager at JCH&L.

When choosing a plan it’s important to look to the future, Shadduck said.

“Those looking at Medicare options need to consider not only their current health, but their future health. Look at family risk factors and possible future diagnoses, and consider what you may need in the future,” she said.

Those who need help considering possible plans can contact Nebraska SHIP at 1-800-234-7119. Nebraska SHIP educates people about Medicare and empowers them to make informed decisions about health insurance. SHIP does not sell insurance nor endorse any insurance company, product or agent.

Those with questions may also call Jefferson Community Health & Life.

“While we can’t tell you which plan is best for you, we can help you consider things to think about in selecting a plan,” Shadduck said. “Our goal is to provide our area residents with the highest quality health care, and to help answer their questions about insurance and financial assistance for health care.”

Nebraska Community Bloodbank Visits Jan. 31

FAIRBURY –The next Nebraska Community Bloodbank blood drive will be held on Monday, Jan. 31, 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.

Masks are required on the bloodmobile. Appointments are recommended. 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

Some Medicare Plans Offer Assistance with Fitness Center Costs

Those on Medicare might want to check on their eligibility for assistance with the cost of participating at a fitness center. JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center is a partner with Renew Active, Silver and Fit and Silver Sneakers. All are fitness plans which are part of Medicare or Medicare Supplement plans.

Most of these programs pay the fitness center directly for the participant’s use of the facility. The participant must simply check in with they come to the facility, either to use equipment or take classes.

It is important to note that many of the plans which offer these programs are Medicare Advantage plans, which are different than original Medicare. But a few of the plans which offer these fitness programs are Medicare supplement plans.

If you are curious whether your plan covers any of these programs, you can talk to the staff at the Burkley Fitness Center. With your name, birthdate and insurance care, the staff can check whether you are eligible for the program.

“There are many factors in choosing an insurance plan which is right for your needs, and we don’t recommend choosing based on whether the plan provides fitness center membership. However, if the insurance plan that best suits your needs does cover fitness center membership, we encourage you to take advantage of that feature,” said Jen Johnson, JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center manager.

You can also ask your insurance provider if you qualify for fitness center benefits.
The fitness center offers annual and monthly rates, as well as punch cards for those who use the facility fewer times per month. All fees include group fitness classes. (Martial arts is a separate class which meets at the fitness center, so has its own fees. Burkley Fitness Center members receive a discount on martial arts classes.)

If you have questions about membership, fees or insurance coverage, please contact the Burkley Fitness Center at 402-729-6139.

Blood Drives Earn Donation for Fairbury Rural Fire Department

The Fairbury Rural Fire Department was awarded $750 for the community’s participation in this year’s Nebraska Community Blood Bank Hometown Heroes blood drive campaign. With 61 units collected over the summer, the drives at JCH&L earned Hometown Heroes funds to support the departments rescue equipment.

The department averages about 30 rescue calls a year.

Nebraska Community Bloodbank is JCH&L’s blood supplier. A bloodmobile comes to JCH&L’s campus about every eight weeks. The next drive is set for Monday, Jan. 31.

Nebraska Community Bloodbank offers Hometown Heroes donation dollars to communities outside Lincoln and Omaha which host blood drives. Awards are allocated based on the total collections combined. Communities can direct up to $1,200 to a charity in their community.

Any community outside Lincoln and Omaha city limits is eligible to participate by hosting a blood drive in support of the Hometown Heroes campaign. There is no limit to the number of blood drives your community can hold. Awards will be allocated based on the total collections combined. • Based on the success of your community’s blood drive(s), you’ll have the opportunity to direct up to $1,200 toward funding a charity in your community. Awards may not be directed to the organization sponsoring the drive, nor used for a general fund. To get started, email us at or call 402-486-9414. Or visit NCBB.ORG/HEROES to learn more.

Learn more about our Hometown Heroes campaign at, email, or call 402-486-9414.

Cutline: Jami Kassebaum, assistant manager of donor recruitment with Nebraska Community Bloodbank presents a check for the Hometown Heroes program to the Fairbury Rural Fire Department. Receiving the donation are, from left, Jeff Bargar, rescue lieutenant; Barry Schwab, assistant chief personnel safety and equipment; and Judd Stewart, assistant chief operations. The funds will go to the rescue fund. The department averages about 30 rescue calls a year.