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Check out our hospital newsletter and remain current on news, events and activities going on at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and Seneca Family Practice!

YOUR Mental Health Matters

Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people are talking about mental health. An increasing number of folks are starting to see it for what it is: one important component of your overall health and well-being, just like your physical health. But mental health conditions, resources, and conversations can still feel complicated and out of reach.

Are there common warning signs for mental health conditions or crises? Are there specific factors that can lead to mental health conditions or even crises? What resources are out there – and how do I know if they’re right for me?

Many people are learning about mental health topics for the first time. Having a widespread understanding of the topic can help you be more informed if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health condition or crisis.

Around half of people in the U.S. will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life, so everyone should know what to look out for.

Everyone should have the support needed to thrive. There’s often no one single cause for a mental health condition. Instead, there are many possible risk factors that can influence how likely a person is to experience a mental health condition or how serious the symptoms may be.

Some risk factors for mental health conditions include: trauma, which can be a one-time event or ongoing; your environment and how it impacts your health and quality of life (also known as social determinants of health like financial stability and health care access); genetics; brain chemistry; and your habits and lifestyle such as a lack of sleep.

Of course, understanding the risk factors for a mental health condition can be more difficult when it’s your own mental health. Take time to ask yourself about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to see if this is part of a pattern that may be caused by a mental health condition. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Have things that used to feel easy started feeling difficult?
  • Does the idea of doing daily tasks like making your bed now feel really, really hard?
  • Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy?
  • Do you feel irritated, possibly to the point of lashing out at people you care about?

Our society focuses much more on physical health than mental health, but both are equally important. If you are concerned about your mental health, there are several options available. You are not alone – help is out there, and recovery is possible. It may be hard to talk about your concerns, but simply acknowledging to yourself that you’re struggling is a really big step. 

Please contact your SFP physician at 785-336-6107 for additional information. If you’re struggling with your mental health we are here to provide support and help you find the right tools to improve you mental health and increase your resiliency.

Our Friends, Our Family, Our Patients

Duane and Lois Crosier planned to ring in 2022 by hosting a card party with friends. Now December 31, 2021, will be a day to remember for a completely different reason. It was mid-afternoon and Duane was helping set up tables and chairs in the basement for their card party. During that time Duane began to feel very uncomfortable. “I just remember not being able to breath,” said Crosier. “I went right to Lois and asked her to bring me to the hospital.” 

 

Shortly after arriving in the emergency room at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital (NVCH) Dr. Angela Stueve, a team of nurses, Dawn Osterhaus, RRT and the Avera eCare system were all hands-on-deck to evaluate Duane’s medical situation. It was determined that he was experiencing Aortic Valve Stenosis. “This occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows and is unable to fully open,” said Dr. Stueve. “When the valve doesn’t fully open it reduces or can block the blood flow from the heart to the main artery of the body, the aorta.”

 

The medical team was able to keep Duane in stable condition while Dr. Stueve arranged to transfer him to an acute care facility. The transfer request presented a challenge due to many hospitals being at patient capacity because of the COVID-19 surge at that time. Dr. Stueve was persistent and found a bed for Duane at the Nebraska Heart Institute, but the bed wasn’t available until the following day. Duane was admitted to NVCH to be cared for throughout the evening. Dr. Stueve and the nursing staff monitored Duane closely during his stay. “Dr. Stueve was very professional while I was in her care. She kept us informed and was always making sure that I was comfortable,” said Crosier. “The nursing staff was outstanding as well.”

 

Duane was transferred to Nebraska Heart Institute where he was cared for by their medical team and scheduled to have a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). After his procedure Duane was then referred to enroll in the NVCH Cardiac Rehab program. “I started Phase ll Cardiac Rehab at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital shortly after I returned home from my TAVR procedure,” said Crosier. “I met with Kylee Feldkamp, NVCH Cardiac Rehab supervisor, to complete my evaluation.”

 

The NVCH Cardiac Rehab program has two phases. Phase II Cardiac Rehab is a medically monitored exercise program designed for those who have recently had heart illness or surgery/procedure. NVCH staff will develop a personalized program with a focus on exercise and education. 

 

In Phase III Cardiac Rehab our staff will develop a maintenance program for you. This program provides a supportive environment for you to continue your wellness efforts. This is a self-pay program. 

 

“The Cardiac Rehab program at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital is designed to provide cardiac patients and their families with education about cardiac fitness and guidance toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Kylee Feldkamp, RN. “Our emphasis is on education and progressive exercise.”

 

Now, four months after his TAVR procedure, Duane has comfortably settled into the Cardiac Rehab program and is beyond grateful for the services and care provided by NVCH staff during the last four months and beyond. “I have been so impressed with the entire process,” said Crosier. “We are so lucky to have the outstanding quality of healthcare in our community that we do.”

Progress Continues for NVCH Building Project

The Nemaha Valley Community Hospital’s building and expansion project is edging closer to reality as the team wraps up the design phase and is now working to establish a construction phasing plan for the 22-million-dollar expansion and remodel to the current hospital. “We are excited to report that we have had a couple of very effective meetings with AHRS and Health Facilities Group to work through details of the initial design,” said Kiley Floyd NVCH CEO. “The USDA loan application has been a work in progress as well.  Our Finance Department staff is working diligently to ensure we have all the information required for the final loan application.” 

The expansion and remodel project will strengthen our capabilities and provide the infrastructure necessary to continue the level of service and quality of care vital for our rural hospital. “There will always be change in the world of healthcare and adapting to that constant change is essential for us to continue to provide the level of service and high quality of care our patients and their families deserve,” stated Floyd. “This is an essential investment in our healthcare team and the success of our organization.”

The design will integrate new technology, create an environment that improves the patient experience and efficiency for staff, and ensure a sustainable future for health care in our area. Additions and upgrades to critical improvement areas throughout the facility including:

  • New nursing wing with 14 patient rooms, private family room and direct access to the Emergency Department.
  • Expanding and upgrading of the Emergency Department to meet the needs of today’s technology in addition to privacy and security requirements. It is also critical ‘safe’ areas are created for our staff, patients and visitors.
  • Enhancing the surgical and radiology wings to meet regulatory and equipment standards. 
  • New services including Oncology and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. 
  • Updating mechanical systems facility wide. The air handling units, medical air system, boilers and hot water heaters, and our electrical system have all outlived their life expectancy and are not suitable for meeting regulatory demands. 

These enhancements ensure that our patients can stay close to home when seeking the best medical care available. “We are always looking for ways to improve the patient experience while delivering the highest quality of care possible,” said Lynda Cross, NVCH Director of Nursing. “This new design will help us centralize patient care as well as enhance patient safety, privacy and comfort—all very important when it comes to delivering first-rate nursing and emergency care service.” 

The hospital expansion will be paid for through community support, grants, and loans from the USDA. The Nemaha Valley Health Care Foundation is proud to sponsor the Investing in Our Families and Future Capital Campaign to support the NVCH building and expansion project. “Nearly 200 hospital staff, community donors and local businesses have supported the campaign so far, and now, NVHCF is asking for additional support from the public,” said Courtney Schmelzle, NVHC Foundation Director. “It’s important that we continue to invest and support our hospital because medicine never stops growing. It’s always changing and have immediate access to health care in our community is vital.”

For more information about the Hospital expansion please contact Kiley Floyd at 785-336-6181. To learn more about the current Capital Campaign contact Courtney Schmelzle at 785-336-0426

Nemaha Valley Community Hospital Announces Expansion Plans

Nemaha Valley Community Hospital unveils plans to build a 22-million-dollar expansion and remodel to the current hospital. This project will address many critical improvement areas throughout the facility.

“The constant change in the needs of our communities, standards of care, new governmental regulations, and advances in medical technology require us to continuously evaluate our services, equipment, physical plant and staff. These evaluations are essential for us to continue to provide the level of service and high quality of care our patients and their families deserve,” said Kiley Floyd, NVCH CEO. “We have a beautiful building and have been blessed to have been able to maintain the infrastructure for such a long period. However, we now need to address some critical issues and expand to meet emerging services.”

• Critical issues include but are not limited to: The Emergency Room is too small to meet the needs of today’s technological advances in addition to privacy and security concerns.
• Decontamination facilities in our ER do not meet the state or national standards.
• Updated Radiology equipment needs a much larger space to meet patient comfort and regulatory standards.
• Respiratory Therapy currently works out of an area designed to be a storage closet.
• The ability to advance technologies in our laboratory are hindered by a lack of space for additional equipment.
• Surgery staff has had to take space away from other functions to meet standards. A larger space is needed to meet regulatory demands as well as our growing surgery services.
• Patient room bathrooms are too small and could create safety issues for patients and staff.
• Many of our mechanical systems are original equipment that are over 32 years old. They have outlived their life expectancy and are not suitable for meeting regulatory demands. One way or another these will have to be replaced.

“We believe the time is now to invest in the continued success of our organization and the infrastructure needed,” said Fred Henry, NVCH Board of Trustees Chairperson. “A great hospital is essential for our personal health and the strength of our community. The hospital expansion will be paid for through community support, grants and loans from the USDA. This expansion will not result in increased property taxes.”

According to T.J. Haverkamp, Chairperson of Nemaha Valley Health Care Foundation, “We are in the early stages of a Capital Campaign to raise $2.5 million dollars to support the hospital expansion project. We will be announcing the formal kickoff of the campaign in the next few weeks. We ask everyone to support this project because it is essential to the survival of the quality health care we have come to expect at NVCH.”

CEO Floyd added, “We are currently in the design phase. We are working with HFG Architects out of Wichita. The request for proposals for a Construction Manager have been published. That award will be made by the end of October. Our timeline for construction is then dependent on a number of things including the USDA loan process. We approached this project from the standpoint of ‘here is what we need’ and ‘here is what we can afford’.

We recognize this is a long process but want to do it right the first time. It is hard not to be excited about the hospital’s growth potential and opportunities with some additional space. The key is to set this organization up for at least another 30 years of continued success.

For more information about the Hospital expansion please contact Kiley Floyd at 785-336-6181. To learn more about the upcoming Capital Campaign contact Courtney Schmelzle at 785-336-0426.

Are you wanting to make some healthy changes in your diet and physical activity? Here are some of the best places to start!

  • What are you drinking? Take inventory of any beverage that contains calories and see where you are for the day, this includes adding anything to your coffee. That is one of the easiest ways to decrease calories and sugar. Drink primarily water (1/2 your body weight in pounds is the amount of ounces you should aim for). Tip: Alcohol has 7 calories per gram!
  • What are you snacking on? If you are eating 3 meals per day, aim for a 200 calorie or less snack. We tend to way over do it on snacks these days – 1 pop and candy bar = 400 calories! Find something with good protein and some fiber to keep you satisfied.
    How many fruits and vegetables daily do you take in? 5 servings per day is the minimum recommendation but we tend to fall well short of even that. Don’t like many vegetables or fruits? Double up on the ones you do like, limit or omit any added fats during cooking. Fresh, frozen, canned all count. A good variety helps fight many cancers.
  • How often are you eating out? Grabbing something from Casey’s counts! It has been well studied that the more we eat out the more calories we tend to take in. Pack your meals for work, save eating out for special occasions.
  • What is your activity status? For weight maintenance 225 minutes per week is required. That is 45 minutes 5 days per week. If you are nowhere near that, start slow with some form of activity you like and work your way up each week. Grab a friend or family member to walk or play hoops with. If you have young children get out and play/practice a sport with them.

All the diet advice can sometimes be overwhelming, begin by tracking your intake and activity on paper or by using a phone app to evaluate your current eating and exercise patterns. From there you can pick up on some areas that need work and make some goals on how you are going to change that behavior. Of course that can be a challenge as well so if further help is needed feel free to contact our Dietitian Leah Heinen, RD, LD at 785-336-6181 ext. 0322.

Positive Experience is Key

Sharing your recent experience with us is vital in helping us continue to improve our services for you and your family!

We value our relationship with our community and the surrounding communities. We are proud to be a trusted part of your family and look forward to providing personalized, compassionate care for many years to come. We are always exploring ways to improve our services for you and your family. For us to continue to improve these services we need your input! After your visit to the clinic or any of our ancillary services you may receive a survey via email. Click here to read what your friends, family and neighbors are saying about Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and Seneca Family Practice.

COVID-19 Message

The identification of Coronavirus has created anxieties throughout the world. Rest assured Nemaha Valley Community Hospital staff is staying updated on the latest protocols and practices for response. We are confident we will be able to respond to the needs of our community.

We are working with public health, county emergency management, EMS and Sabetha Community Hospital to make sure we maximize our resources should the need arise.

Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and Seneca Family Practice patients can call our hotline at 785-336-0399 between 9am-5pm or 785-336-6181 after hours if you have concerns about your current symptoms. If you feel you have Coronavirus symptoms or if you have concerns about exposure, please call the hotline before you come to the hospital or clinic.

Click here for information regarding testing process and pricing.

For updates and additional resources on COVID-19 please visit the KDHE or CDC websites. You can also visit the Nemaha Valley Community Hospital Facebook page for additional and current updates.

Please review our updated Hospital Visiting Hours in response to COVID-19.

Improving Mental Health In Nemaha County - A Top Priority

Behavioral health needs are growing in our small rural communities. In fact, this need was reflected in the 2018 county-wide Community Health Needs Assessment. Response to mental health illnesses and preventional tactics for behavioral health has been a priority for Nemaha County for many years.

Nemaha Valley Community Hospital has approached behavioral health needs in multiple ways. Front lines staff members have attended Mental Health First Aide Certification Classes including a class specifically focused on youth. They have access to crisis intervention via telepsych services in the emergency room. They are also working with 16 area peer organizations on a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to provide more inpatient and outpatient resources to the region.

“The gap in the plan is in our rural health clinic. There is a growing need to be able to address behavioral health issues in the primary care setting first,” said Kiley Floyd, NVCH CEO. “Treatment should start with patients with new chronic disease diagnosis or patients in a mental health crisis at the time of their primary care appointment. We cannot wait until these issues become emergent.”

We are excited to announce the addition of Mental Health Therapy to Seneca Family Practice. Kailey Patton, LCMFT, LCAC is providing therapy to patients of Seneca Family Practice. To continue reading click here.