Check out our hospital newsletter and remain current on news, events and activities going on at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and Seneca Family Practice!
Dear Citizens of Northeast Kansas
Across the state, we are hearing calls of distress from our colleagues in healthcare. Hospital beds and intensive care units are filling to capacity. ER doctors and nurses are struggling to keep up with the patients coming through the doors, and staff members are spending hours on the phone looking for a bed to transfer patients who need higher levels of care for heart attacks, stroke, or other conditions. Hospitals and nursing homes are facing dire staffing shortages that endanger our ability to provide needed care.
We are also hearing cries of dismay and frustration from nursing home and assisted living residents who want and need contact with loved ones, and from family members who want and need to visit them.
We are hearing from worried parents who are seeing some schools in our area quarantine increasing numbers of students and even move to hybrid or remote instruction. Parents don’t know how to hold their jobs and care for their families if school isn’t in session. They are also worried about watching their students’ opportunities to participate and compete in activities and sports evaporate.
We are feeling the same dread as everyone else. We are just as deeply fatigued from COVID-19 as everyone else. But we know what we need to do to fight the pandemic, and we are asking for your help.
Until a safe and effective vaccine is approved and available in our area, we have limited tools to stop the spread of COVID-19. One is to wash or sanitize hands frequently. The second is to avoid gatherings and to maintain social distancing. The third is to wear a mask.
Flu season is here, and cold weather is approaching, so it’s time for everyone to act on the data and recommendations of infectious disease experts and healthcare professionals to use all three tools. Handwashing is simple enough, but the other two have proven more difficult. Data from around the state have shown that mask wearing does not stop transmission completely, but it does slow the rate of increase in COVID-19 cases. Wearing a mask protects others who may have underlying heart or lung conditions, who may be related to someone with a compromised immune system because of chemotherapy, or who may appear healthy but could require hospitalization and intensive care if infected with COVID-19. We can’t predict who will have a mild case of COVID-19 and who won’t, so protecting everyone by wearing a mask will avoid more severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in our area.
Avoiding gatherings is also a difficult but necessary action we must take. Official gatherings at which people are masked and distanced are generally not a huge problem, but more informal situations in which individuals do not take precautions have been a major source of spread in our area. Foregoing a few birthday parties and family gatherings now could literally save the lives of some of your family members, and it could ensure that children stay in school, winter sports seasons move forward, and healthcare facilities maintain their ability to provide the best possible care to patients. Slowing the spread could also mean that holiday visits could still happen with loved ones in nursing homes. If positivity rates remain high or continue to rise, regulatory authorities will require nursing homes to remain closed.
We ask all readers to please do all you can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in northeast Kansas. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Avoid gatherings. Protect the people and things you care about.
This joint message is supported by Nemaha Valley Community Hospital, Community HealthCare Systems and Holton Community Hospital.
NVCH Purchases RD UVC Systems
With chemical disinfectants in short supply, many healthcare facilities are turning to ultraviolet light. UV light disinfection is an additional tool to protect our patients, our staff and our community in the ongoing race to find ways to fight COVID-19. NVCH is excited to announce the purchase of two RD™UVC Robot Systems.
“This system administers a specific dose of ultraviolet light needed to eliminate harmful pathogens in our operating rooms, emergency room, patient rooms and other areas of our hospital” said Lynda Cross, NVCH Director of Nursing. “When paired with our manual cleaning and disinfection protocols, the technology significantly reduces the presence of patient exposure to hospital acquired infections (HAIs).
Studies have confirmed that UVC light is an effective addition to manual cleaning efforts and can kill harmful pathogens quickly and efficiently. Exposure to UVC light for a specific length of time and intensity kills dangerous microorganisms. The American Journal of Infection Control notes that combining UVC technology with manual cleaning is one of the most effective ways to significantly decrease the pool of harmful pathogens that cause HAIs.
UVC dosing works to reach all areas within a treated room, including those in shadowed or hard-to-reach places. By penetrating areas that manual cleaning and other technology cannot, the RD UVC system ensures disinfection is as complete as possible. Wireless, remote sensors help provide confirmation that the precise amount of UVC light needed to eradicate bacteria, viruses and spores is administered for optimal effectiveness. “We are able to track our treatment data on a secure portal. The equipment uses remote sensors that report comprehensive and measurable data. It also reports which rooms have been treated, by whom and how often, to assure proper treatment,” said Cross.
UV light devices should not be a substitute for hand washing, wearing a mask or social distancing. It’s important for our community to remain committed to helping decrease the spread of COVID-19. Please try to maintain proper social distancing, continue with proper hand hygiene and wear your mask. These actions are our best defense against the spread of the virus in our community.
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.
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.
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.