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NVCH Recognized as a 2024 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

Nemaha Valley Community Hospital recently announced they have been recognized as a 2024 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. Chartis’ annual Top 100 award program recognizes outstanding performance among the nation’s rural hospitals based on the results of the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX®.

“I am proud of the work we have done to ensure that the communities we serve are given the opportunity to have access to quality, compassionate and professional health care,” said NVCH CEO Kiley Floyd. “This recognition, along with our recent American’s Best Hospital under 25 beds and Performance Leaders for Quality and Patient Perspective awards are a reflection of our commitment to our community, our patients and our colleagues.”

“During an era of profound uncertainty for rural healthcare, the Top 100 rural hospitals continue to provide a unique lens through which we can identify innovation and inspiration for how to deliver high quality care to increasingly vulnerable populations,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “We’re delighted to be able to recognize all this year’s Top 100 but especially the more than 40 first-time recipients across both categories. It’s wonderful to see so many new facilities join the ranks of our Top 100 alumni.”

Now in its 14th year, the INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Featuring a methodology utilizing publicly available data, the INDEX is leveraged nationwide by rural hospitals, health systems with rural affiliates, hospital associations, and state offices of rural health to measure and monitor performance across a variety of areas impacting hospital operations and finance.

NVCH Receives Performance Leadership Award

Nemaha Valley Community Hospital announced it has been recognized with a 2023 Performance Leadership Award for excellence in Quality and Patient Perspectives. Compiled by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, the Performance Leadership Awards honor top quartile performance (i.e., 75th percentile or above) among rural hospitals in Quality, Outcomes and/or Patient Perspective.

“This award, along with our recent recognition as one of American’s Best Hospital under 25 beds is recognition of our commitment to patient care in Nemaha County and the surrounding communities.  We are proud to share the successes of our staff and celebrate their continued focus on our Mission, Vision, and Values,” said Kiley Floyd, NVCH CEO. “I am incredibly proud of the work we have done to ensure that the communities we serve are given the opportunity to have access to quality, compassionate and professional health care.”

The Performance Leadership Awards are based on the results of the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. INDEX data is relied upon by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints, hospital associations and state offices of rural health around the country to measure and monitor performance across several areas impacting hospital operations and finance.

“Wherever we go in rural America, we witness first-hand the commitment, determination, and compassion with which rural hospitals serve their communities. Rural healthcare truly is mission-driven,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “This National Rural Health Day, let us recognize the efforts of this year’s Performance Leadership Award winners and all those driven to deliver high quality care throughout rural communities.”

In-Lab Sleep Study: What’s in it for YOU?

A lot goes on in your brain and in your body while you sleep. Tracking this activity during a sleep study can help your doctor diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and nighttime behaviors like sleepwalking and REM sleep behavior disorder.

A sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows a sleep lab technician to monitor you while you sleep to see what’s happening in your brain and body. Sleep studies can be done in-lab or in-home. In-home sleep studies allow you to do the testing in the comfort of your own bed, but in-lab sleep studies provide a more detailed study and diagnose a broader range and severity of sleep disorders.

“An in-lab sleep study permits more detailed monitoring of the patient’s brainwaves, oxygen saturation, leg motion, heart rate, respiratory effort and airflow and other critical benchmarks for diagnosing many sleep disorders such as REM sleep disorders and insomnia,” said NVCH Respiratory Therapy Director Dawn Osterhaus, RRT. “In-home studies are limited to the diagnosis of only obstructive sleep apnea and cannot detect other sleep disorders.”

Sleep studies at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital (NVCH) are completed by one of our trained sleep lab technicians. The studies are usually scheduled for evening and night hours (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in one of our private sleep study rooms. “I arrived for my sleep study and Dawn got me set up for the evening, she explained everything in detail before I settled in for the night,” said Mark Studer who recently had a sleep study at NVCH. “I was comfortable and fell asleep right away.”

If the sleep technician suspects that you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine during the second half of the night in the sleep lab. The technician will adjust the machine and monitor to see if it improves your sleep. “Within the first couple of hours Dawn noticed my oxygen levels dropping so she woke me up and fitted me for a CPAP, I slept great the rest of the night,” said Studer.

Studer also mentioned that after his sleep study Dawn reviewed his results with him in detail, helped get him fitted with the proper face mask for his CPAP machine and continues to check in with him frequently to make sure that everything is going well, and he is continuing to feel good. “Dawn and Danielle are incredibly helpful, caring and very knowledgeable,” commented Studer.

When asked about what symptoms prompted the need for Studer’s sleep study he mentioned waking up exhausted with a dry throat and continuing to feel tired throughout the day. He also remembers struggling to stay awake behind the wheel. Studer was aware that these symptoms were not normal, so he scheduled an appointment with his SFP primary care physician to discuss his options to improve his health and wellbeing. After meeting with Dr. Bartkoski, it was determined that a sleep study was necessary, so Dr. Bartkoski made the referral, and it was scheduled shorty after that. “It was an incredibly easy process,” said Studer.

If you are experiencing sleep issues or daytime symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, depression, or difficulty concentrating, schedule an appointment with your doctor today. These symptoms often have an underlying issue, and your doctor can help you determine whether a sleep study is right for your health and wellbeing. For additional information about in-lab or in-home steep studies at NVCH please contact Dawn or Danielle at 785-336-0589.

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.