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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.

Let's Talk COVID-19 Vaccine

According to an on-going study conducted by John Hopkins University & Medicine, Kansas is among the top 10 states currently experiencing the highest increase in Coronovirus cases. In recent CDC data, the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the U.S., is believed to be responsible for nearly 80% of new cases in the Midwest. This virus is trending in areas of low vaccination coverage.

We understand that getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to resurface, getting the vaccine is a powerful step in taking charge of your health.

To help support you as you make your decision we want to talk about how the mRNA vaccine really works.

The Messenger RNA also called mRNA vaccines are a new, but not unknown, type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. The vaccines were made using processes that have been developed and tested over many years, and which are designed to make and thoroughly test vaccines quickly in case of an infectious disease pandemic like we are seeing with COVID-19.

To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines instructs our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein”. The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

  1. First, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.
  2. Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.
  3. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

It is recommended that everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help combat the pandemic.

If you have additional concerns or questions about the vaccine please reach out to your primary care physician for guidance. If you are interested in becoming vaccinated please contact our Immunization Clinic at 785-336-6181 to schedule an appointment today.

Fall is the Perfect Time to Make Simple & Healthy Lifestyle Changes

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.