JCH&L Encourages Those 65 and Older to Call for Vaccinations

Jefferson Community Health & Life continues holding weekly COVID vaccination clinics.

If you are a resident of Jefferson County or a Fairbury Clinic patient who is 65 and older and would like the COVID vaccination, please call JCH&L at 402-587-5188. Please leave us a message with your name, birthdate and telephone number. JCH&L will call those interested in order of age 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.

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 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.

Blood Profiles to be Offered at JCH&L

Know Your Numbers by Getting a Complete Blood Profile for a Discounted Rate

Complete blood profiles will be offered by Jefferson Community Health & Life at a discounted rate weekday mornings March 29-April 9.

Blood profiles appointments will be offered weekdays at the outpatient clinic area at Jefferson Community Health Center, 2200 H St; and Thursday, April 8,  at JCH&L Plymouth Clinic, 316 N. Madison Ave., Suite 200, Plymouth.

The screening will be available by appointment only. A limited number of appointments will be available. Please make your appointment early! Fasting is required prior to the blood screening. All participants will be provided their confidential screening results.

The complete blood profile will cost $45 and includes:

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Profile and Lipid Profile – This group of tests tells about heart, liver, kidney and sugar levels in the blood. The cholesterol is fractionated into low- and high-density levels, and gives the person’s coronary heart disease risk.
  • T4 — Basic screen for thyroid function.
  • Hemagram – This is a blood count telling the number of white blood cells and red blood cells. It also tells the hemoglobin level.

This year there are also two optional additions to the test: a PSA (prostate-specific antigen test) for men for $10; and Hemoglobin A1C, which measures average blood sugar over the past 2-3 months, for $10.

The profile report includes explanations of each factor which may be considered higher or lower than normal. Anyone with concerns about their screening results is encouraged to schedule an appointment with their personal family physician to discuss the results.

Since this is not a physician-ordered exam, it is not covered by Medicare or other insurance, and results are not sent to a physician. Payment will be collected at time of service. Cash and checks will be accepted for payment.

This screening is private pay only. If you want a complete blood profile which would be covered under an insurance preventative care option, you must have a physician-ordered screening, separate from this event.

The $45 rate is a considerable savings to patients compared to the regular costs of this type of complete blood profile, said Lab Manager Dan Reikofski.

To make an appointment for the blood profile, call Jefferson Community Health & Life Outpatient Services at (402) 729-6851.

JCH&L COVID Vaccination Clinics Continue Weekly

Jefferson Community Health & Life is holding weekly COVID vaccination clinics, and is currently scheduling area residents who are age 80 and older for vaccinations.

If you are a resident of Jefferson County who is 75 and older and would like the COVID vaccination and have not yet been called to schedule OR if you are a Fairbury clinic patient who is 75 or older who did not receive a flyer or who hasn’t been called yet, please call JCH&L at 402-587-5188. Please leave us a message with your name, birthdate and telephone number. JCH&L will call those interested in order of age 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 is limited to 100 vaccinations per week, and vaccinations will be given by appointment only. JCH&L is following the guidelines from Public Health Solutions and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are grateful for the partnership of the Fairbury Presbyterian Church which is allowing us to use their location for our weekly vaccine clinics,” said Amber Brunow, infection preventionist. “The church gives us excellent accessibility, and a place for those receiving vaccinations to be dropped off and picked up.”

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 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.

Vaccine clinics will be scheduled in the future for those who are 65 -74 and for those who have underlying health conditions.

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

JCH&L Holds Annual Meeting

2020 was an unusual year, but successful in spite of COVID-19

The Jefferson Community Health & Life board of directors held the organization’s annual membership meeting for fiscal 2020 on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Two board members were elected to serve on the board: Trevor Steinmeyer, for his second term; and Glenda Austin, for her first term, taking the spot left by Brian Scheele. Steinmeyer is employed by Flood Communications at Ol’ Red 99.5 radio in Fairbury. Glenda is an owner and agent of Shelter Insurance in Fairbury. Board members are elected from among members of the corporation and may serve up to two consecutive four-year terms.

Linda Bauer, board chairman, thanked the administration, medical staff, board members and staff for their efforts and excellent care. She gave a number of highlights of the year, as listed for the membership in a report from Dr. Burke Kline, DHA, chief executive officer. Dr. Kline has been CEO since June.

Highlights included JCH&L being named a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital for Quality; being named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the sixth time in six years; being recognized for a Performance Leadership award; and having Gardenside recognized as a 5-Star facility. In staff news, Kensly Williams PA-C joined the staff in February 2020. Rebecca Stroklund, D.O., joined the staff in January 2021. Ashley Norden was named clinic administrator in May and earned her Rural Health Clinic professional certification in November. Doug Ruzicka, PA-C, retired in January after 40 years in Fairbury. New services included the addition of nephrologist Jeffrey T. Marple, MD, by telehealth; Casey Bowen, MD, dermatologist; Wendy Reeves, OB-GYN; Aaron Ward, MD, diabetes specialist by telehealth; and Lauren Cox, ODT, OTR/L, with JCH&L Sport Medicine and Rehab Services adding pediatric occupational therapy services.  Rebecca Bowen, MD, otolaryngology, head and neck surgery specialist, replaced Dr. H. Russell Semm, who retired; and Joni Tilford, MD, medical oncologist, replaced Dr. Alan Berg, who retired.

Chance Klasek, CFO, reported that both revenues and expenses were up in fiscal 2020, with the year ending on a total margin of 14.1 percent. It was one of JCH&L’s best years financially.

Anyone who has donated $100 or more to Jefferson Community Health & Life is a member of the private not-for-profit corporation.

At the regular monthly board meeting which followed the annual meeting, officers were elected for 2020. Officers are: Trevor Steinmeyer, chairman; Brian Blobaum, vice chairman; and Sheri Schultis, secretary-treasurer.

JCH&L Vaccination Clinics Begin on Friday, Feb. 5

Jefferson Community Health & Life has begun calling patients to schedule COVID vaccinations, starting with Fairbury Clinic patients who are over 90. JCH&L is limited to 100 vaccinations per week, and vaccinations will be given by appointment only. 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.

Fairbury Clinic patients who are 75 and older have been mailed flyers with information about the clinics and the vaccine. 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. The scheduler will schedule first and second doses of the vaccine, which are 28 days apart.

Fairbury Clinic patients who did not receive a flyer or other Jefferson County residents who are 90 or older and are interested in receiving the vaccine may call 402-587-5188. This special vaccination line will be answered by a voice mail. Please leave your name, phone number and birth date if you are interested in receiving the vaccine. You will receive a return call to determine eligibility and schedule.

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 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.

Vaccine clinics will be scheduled in the future for those who are 65 -74 and for those who have underlying health conditions.

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

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.