Registration Forms Now Available for Progressive Ag Safety Day

Safety Day Is a Fun Learning Event for Kids Entering Kindergarten through Seventh Grade

Registration forms are now available for Progressive Agriculture Safety Day set for Thursday, Aug. 3, from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Fairbury. This year’s Safety Day is the 20th annual event for the local chapter of Jefferson County Farm Safety 4 Just Kids.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is open to area children who will be entering Kindergarten through seventh grades in the fall. The registration deadline is July 27. Registration fee is $5 per child or $10 per family, and includes lunch, snacks, speakers, t-shirt and a goody bag. After the July 27 deadline, the registration will increase to $7 per child with no family discount.

Safety Day is not just for “farm kids,” organizers said. Safety Day is designed to provide safety information helpful to all children, whether or not they will ever be on a farm.

Through hands-on activities, participants learn to prevent incidents and reduce the extent of injuries if incidents do occur. Safety Day stresses the importance of children taking responsibility for their own safety, respecting parents’ safety rules, and sharing safety tips with their family and friends. Participants rotate through eight safety sessions and demos. Safety Day will include a lunch-time program and a special closing program featuring a mock accident.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is organized by Jefferson County Farm Safety 4 Just Kids. It is made possible by Progressive Agriculture, and the donations of area businesses and organizations.

Registration forms are available at Nebraska Extension-Jefferson County, 517 F St., Jefferson Community Health & Life Burkley Fitness Center, 2200 H St., Fairbury, and Jefferson Community Health & Life Fairbury Clinic, 825 22nd St., Fairbury. You can also download the registration form here: 2017 Safety Day registration form  Registration forms will also be available at the Jefferson County Fair. If your business or event would like to have registration forms available, please notify Lana Likens at 402-729-6855.

Registrations should be returned to the Extension office or Jefferson Community Health & Life with the registration fee.

Anyone who needs more information on Progressive Agriculture Safety Day should call the Nebraska Extension office in Jefferson County at 402-729-3487, or Coordinator Lana Likens at Jefferson Community Health & Life at 729-6855.

JCH&L Gardenside Earns 2017 Bronze National Quality Award

Gardenside is Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Residents Through Quality Care

FAIRBURY, NE – Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside has been recognized as a 2017 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The distinction is one of three progressive award levels through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the leading association for long term and post-acute care. The program honors association members across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality of care for seniors and persons with disabilities.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our commitment to delivering quality care,” said Deb Sutton RN, BS, NHA, Gardenside Administrator. “Going through the process of achieving the Bronze award has made our organization stronger.”

The National Quality Award Program, which AHCA/NCAL established in 1996, is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is also the foundation of the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldrige program helps organizations in different business sectors improve and achieve performance excellence.

The Award Program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Providers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision, mission statement, and key strengths and challenges. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained Examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. As a recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, JCH&L Gardenside may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award criteria.

Chad Jurgens, chief executive officer of Jefferson Community Health & Life, said quality is an important focus for all of the services offered by Jefferson Community Health & Life.

“Our vision is to be the most trusted partner for a lifetime of health, and our mission is inspiring healthy living by providing exceptional health and life services for every person, every time. In order to do this, we must strive to provide quality services at all levels,” Jurgens said. “I’m proud that Gardenside was able to earn this recognition, allowing us to continue our journey of continuous quality improvement.”

The awards will be presented during AHCA/NCAL’s 68th Annual Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 15-18, 2017.

“I commend JCH&L Gardenside for embarking on the journey to quality improvement,” said the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers Chair Alana Wolfe. “I encourage JCH&L Gardenside to continue to build on the strong foundation it has created.”

Blood Drive Set for June 12

FAIRBURY – 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.

The next blood drive will be held on Monday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Nebraska Community Bloodbank bloodmobile in the JCH&L parking lot (on the H street side of the building.) All types are needed.

To make an appointment, call Jean Smith at JCH&L at 402-729-6851, the Nebraska Community Bloodbank at 1-877-486-9414 or visit and use sponsor code JCHC.

Clinical Care Coordinator Added

Jenn Mau RN MSN Brings 13 Years of Healthcare Experience

Jenn Mau Clinical Care Coordinator

Jenn Mau RN MSN
Clinical Care Coordinator

FAIRBURY – Jenn Mau RN will be the new Clinical Care Coordinator at Jefferson Community Health & Life, starting May 22. In her new position, Mau will work with teams of providers to coordinate services and help patients who deal with chronic conditions.  She will have an office in JCH&L Fairbury Clinic, and will coordinate with all health coaches at JCH&L.


“As we considered the ways we can better help our area residents be healthier, we realized that a person with healthcare experience who can help make sure patients are receiving the services they need would be very valuable,” said Chad Jurgens, Jefferson Community Health & Life Chief Executive Officer.


The first area of major emphasis for the clinical care coordinator will be diabetes. JCH&L is working with an accountable care organization and a team of health care providers from area hospitals to try to help make a positive difference in the lives of those who have diabetes.


Diabetes is a major health concern in Jefferson County. NebraskaLifeExpectancy at shows Jefferson County as the 32nd county in the state for deaths from diabetes. In a separate ranking, Jefferson County was ranked 67th of 78 reporting Nebraska counties for overall health by County Health Rankings.


“We have a responsibility as a health organization to help our residents live healthier lives,” Jurgens said. “We believe the clinical care coordinator position is a key position to help everyone do that.”


Mau has been with Jefferson Community Health & Life since 2004. She has worked as a nurse aide, a licensed practical nurse, and an RN.  She received her Masters of Science in Nursing Administration and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Nebraska Wesleyan University; her Associate Degree in Nursing from Cloud County Community College, Concordia, Kan.; and her practical nursing diploma from Southeast Community College Beatrice.


“I’m excited to utilize all of my experiences and education to help coordinate services for our patients,” Mau said.


She is a member of the Go Red for Women planning team, has provided health services at the Jefferson County Spring Expo, and has been involved in the JCH&L Relay for Life team.

Celebrate Senior Health and Fitness Day

Sterling Connection offers program

FAIRBURY – Celebrate Senior Health and Fitness Day at Jefferson Community Health & Life Burkley Fitness Center on Wednesday, May 31.

The event, sponsored by JCH&L Sterling Connection includes “Live Your Life, Not Your Age,” by JoAnne Lamb of Empowering Lives NOW!, and opportunities to try Senior Yoga and Armchair Aerobics. Activities begin at 1:15 p.m. with a welcome, and close at 3:20 p.m. with refreshments.

The program is free. Sterling Connection members are welcome to bring guests.

Pre-registration is required. Please pre-register by calling 402-729-6855.

May Health Today Features Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection

FAIRBURY – The May Health Today Program will feature skin cancer prevention and detection by Dr. Craig Shumard, Jefferson Community Health & Life family medicine physician. Dr. Shumard will share information on different types of skin cancer, detection and prevention. May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.

The session will be held at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, in the Conference Room at Jefferson Community Health & Life.

Health Today is a free monthly health education session offered by Jefferson Community Health & Life in a lunch-time session. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch, or are welcome to purchase lunch in the JCHC cafeteria, which is located near the Conference Rooms.

JCH&L works with a wide variety of professionals who will be bringing educational programs on health-related topics each month. Please note that the day of the week for the session may change because of presenter schedules.

Reservations are not required. The program is FREE. The only cost for participants would be their lunch, if they choose to purchase it. Participants are also welcome to carry in their lunch.

Anyone who would like to be on a mailing list to directly receive notices about the monthly sessions or anyone with questions about the program should contact Likens at (402) 729-6855.

JCH&L Gardenside to Celebrate Nursing Home Week

May 14-20 to Celebrate the Spirit of America

FAIRBURY – Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside will celebrate Nursing Home Week May 14-20 with a variety of special activities and programs to help residents recognize the Spirit of America.

The public is invited to join Gardenside residents and staff for a special presentation on World War II clothing by Sue McLain  at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16. McLain is owner of Yesterday’s Lady, a vintage fashion museum/store in Beatrice. Humanities Nebraska provides major funding for this program. HN receives major support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and private donations.  There is no charge to attend.

There will also be programs by Helen Fegter on Orphan Grain Train at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, and by Jefferson County Commissioner Mark Schoenrock at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 18.

The families of residents have been invited to a family picnic on Thursday evening, May 18, and for entertainment by Fifth Sunday at 3 p.m.

The week will also include cookies and coffee provided for visitors and residents on Sunday, May 14, in honor of Mother’s Day; residents making kolaches with Mike Nespor on Wednesday morning, May 17; Mrs. Shinn’s third graders reading to residents on Thursday, May 18; current events by Mitch Zabokrtsky on Thursday afternoon, May 18; and staff recognition on Friday, May 19.

Annual Cycling Tour Set for May 20

Experience Jefferson County with a 12-, 25-, 48-, 60- or 70-mile cycling tour

FAIRBURY – It’s cycling season and once again time for the Fairbury Cycling Tour. This tour is a great way to get outdoors and experience Jefferson County while getting some exercise and having fun.  Join us on Saturday, May 20, for this fully supported ride. Registration is from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.  Ride will begin at 8 a.m. at Jefferson Community Health & Life Fitness Center.

Tour fee is $30 per single rider (for all distances) if postmarked by May 8 and will include the 9th annual cycling tour t-shirt.  Fee will be $35 per rider after May 8 and will not include a shirt.  All ages are encouraged to ride!  Riders under the age of 18 must ride with a parent or guardian.  Kids ages 12 and under ride free!  Sorry, no refunds or rain dates.  Sign-ups will be    accepted on tour day.

Distances are 12, 25, 48, 60, and 70 miles. There will be rest stops with water and snacks along all the routes with a roving SAG vehicle.  SAG  support will end at 2 p.m. Food and showers will be available to all riders in the Burkley Fitness Center after the ride.

Registration forms are available at the Burkley Fitness Center and the Fairbury Chamber. For additional information call Jackie Gregory at 402-239-3559 or the Burkley Fitness Center at 402-729-6139.

JCH&L Encourages Immunization to Protect Children

April 22-29 is National Infant Immunization Week

FAIRBURY – During National Infant Immunization Week April 22-29, Jefferson Community Health & Life encourages parents to make sure their childrens’ immunizations are up to date.

In Nebraska, 26.2 percent of children between 19 months and 35 months of age are not up to date on their immunization schedule, according to Those who are not fully immunized are at risk of contracting preventable diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children need immunization to protect them from many dangerous childhood diseases. Vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule is one of the best ways you can protect them from 16 serious diseases. To learn more about the diseases and the vaccines that prevent them, visit The website includes age-specific information about all recommended infant, child and teen vaccines.

In Jefferson County, an immunization clinic is offered twice a month by Blue Valley Community Action Partnership at Jefferson Community Health & Life’s Outpatient Services area. JCH&L nursing staff give immunizations, and BVCA staff coordinate the clinic. Clinics are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and the 4th Thursday of each month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Additional Back-to-School clinics are held in July and August. The schedule is available at or from Blue Valley Community Action Partnership.

Appointments are required by calling BVCA at 402-826-2141, extension 3. Most commercial insurances are accepted through BVCA’s private funding program. All Medicaid plans are accepted, and all uninsured clients are accepted through BVCA’s Vaccines For Children program. BVCA will verify insurance prior to the appointment time. All clients must bring insurance/Medicaid/managed care insurance card to each visit. Walk ins are not accepted.

The immunization clinic is most easily accessed through the Emergency/Outpatient Service entrance on the south side of Jefferson Community Health & Life.

For more information on the immunization clinic at Jefferson Community Health & Life, please contact Jamie Vynalek at Blue Valley Community Action Partnership at 402-826-2141.

Using ER Wisely Can Help Keep Costs Down

FAIRBURY – Increasing health care costs are a concern to many, and wise use of the health center emergency room is an important aspect of keeping health care costs down.

“The health center emergency room is not a cost-effective place to get routine health care,” said Judy McGee, chief nursing officer at Jefferson Community Health & Life in Fairbury. “Very ill and critical patients will be prioritized for care ahead of anyone with routine, non-life threatening problems. In addition, emergency room care is very expensive.”

It is important that a patient be seen in the emergency room if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain or signs of heart attack or stroke
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pain that is uncontrollable
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Allergic reaction to a sting or bite, or medication reaction
  • Poisoning
  • Unexplained stupor, drowsiness, or disorientation
  • A major injury, fall or possible broken bone
  • Trauma, such as a car accident
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • High temperature (over 103 degrees)
  • Laceration that needs stitches when the physician’s office is not open

“We provide the needed care for every patient who comes to our emergency room. It is important to understand that we also must prioritize care in the emergency room. If you come with something that is not life-threatening, and we have another patient whose concern is life-threatening, care will be prioritized to the patient with emergency needs,” McGee said.
There are also many medical needs which are not life threatening and can be handled appropriately at your physician’s office during regular office hours. Some of these might include:

  • Flu symptoms
  • Sore throat, cold, cough, fever
  • Rash, lumps, bumps, minor burns
  • Cuts where bleeding is controlled
  • Animal bites
  • Bee stings, insect bites
  • Sprains, strains
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Sores that don’t heal or changes in growths

For the safety of our customers and staff, the inner door of the ER vestibule is locked when the area is not staffed. If you need emergency assistance when the door is locked, please pick up the phone in the vestibule. It will automatically ring the nurses station and they will assist you.

If you are in doubt about whether you should come to the emergency room with any specific symptoms, please feel free to call Jefferson Community Health Center at (402) 729-3351. We are glad to help you determine the best place to receive care for your current health need.

Jefferson Community Health & Life Fairbury Clinic is a family medicine clinic offering all types of preventative care, care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, in addition to physicals, pre-natal care and regular followup visits. Four board certified family medicine physicians and two certified physician assistants provide quality care. Same day appointments are available Monday through Friday for urgent health needs. To make an appointment at the Fairbury Clinic, please call (402) 729-3361.