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Dr. Richard Blatny, Fairbury, Nebraska

Open House to Honor Dr. Richard Blatny Sr. Retirement

An open house on Wednesday, Feb. 27, will honor Richard Blatny Sr., MD, family medicine physician at Jefferson Community Health & Life Fairbury Clinic, for his retirement after more than 45 years of serving residents of Fairbury and the surrounding area.

The public is invited to join JCH&L in honoring Dr. Blatny Sr. with an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Conference Rooms at Jefferson Community Health & Life, 2200 H St. Refreshments will be served. No reservations are needed. Everyone is welcome.

Dr. Blatny Sr. has been an active part of the medical community locally and statewide. In September he semi-retired. In his retirement, he continues to provide some emergency room coverage at Jefferson Community Health & Life.

Dr. Blatny Sr. received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1969 from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, completed his internship in 1970 at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1970 to 1973. In 1973 he began serving Fairbury and the surrounding area as a family physician and partner at the Fairbury Clinic PC. For many years he provided clinic services at the Fairbury Clinic’s  Deshler clinic.

As an active part of the medical community – both locally and state wide, Dr. Blatny Sr. has been active in the Nebraska Medical Association. He served as president in 2014-2015.

Dr. Blatny Sr. is a past winner of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians Physician of the Year award and was a 2018 recipient of the Nebraska Hospital Association Meritorious Service award. He is a past chairman of the Nebraska Medical Association Legislative Committee, past president of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, past delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a past board member of CIMRO of Nebraska. He is a former board member of Jefferson Community Health & Life, and has served as medical director of Heritage Care Center. He is also a former board member of the St. Michael’s School.

Dr. Blatny Sr. is a member of the Nebraska Medical Association, the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association, and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians.

JCH&L Seeks Funding for Christmas Project

Each year Jefferson Community Health & Life asks the community’s help in completing a special project for our patients, residents and visitors. This year, we’re asking for everyone’s help once again for three special projects which would benefit Gardenside residents, fitness center members, and our area women. A mailing went out to many friends and donors in mid-December, and almost $16,000 has already been donated, nearly half of our $32,000 goal.

JCH&L Gardenside residents exercise to regain and maintain strength and mobility. The NU Step exercise machine in the rehab room is a popular machine which offers great low-impact exercise. It is particularly helpful for those who struggle with balance, have weak muscles or have joint problems. It is the most recommended machine in health care. Our NU Step has been serving Gardenside residents for many years, and is in need of replacement, at a cost of about $8,000.

JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center offers a wide variety of equipment to its members. The most popular machines year after year are the treadmills. We have five treadmills and replace them at intervals to keep our machines serving our members dependably, and to keep up with new features. A new replacement treadmill will cost about $10,000.

Mammography is a proven way to catch breast cancer early, and we want to help women follow the guidelines and recommendations for screenings for their best health. We are seeking to add a new mammography tracking system which will help our staff to give women timely reminders and follow-up on their mammograms. The software costs an approximate $14,000.

Donations of all amounts are welcome and will help our project be successful.  All contributions will be recognized in the fiscal 2019 annual report for Jefferson Community Health & Life and the Jefferson Health Care Fund! If you would like, you may make a contribution in honor of someone living or in memory of someone who has passed away.  Memorial gifts are recognized each year in a newspaper ad prior to Memorial Day. All donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized with a plaque on the Wall of Honor, and contributions of any amount are counted toward cumulative recognition on the Wall of Honor.

 If you would like to donate or need more information, please contact Lana Likens, extension 4479.

Brandt Certified as Personal Trainer

Jefferson Community Health & Life Burkley Fitness Center staff member Clayton Brandt has achieved his
personal training certification. Brandt was certified through the International Sports Science Association
(ISSA,) and is available to schedule personal training session with clients.
“JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center is excited to enhance our personal training services,” said Craig
Bontrager, fitness center director. “Personal training is a proven method to help people of all ages and
ability levels to attain better physical fitness and wellness through one-on-one training.”
A certified personal trainer can set up a custom, personalized exercise program, instruct a client on how
to do exercises properly, provide motivation, track progress and be a resource as a client advances on
their fitness path.
Please contact JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center at 402-729-6139 or check out for more
information about personal training.

JCH&L Offers Next Session of Smart Moves

The seventh session of a successful lifestyle change program is being offered beginning in January 2019 at Jefferson Community Health & Life in Fairbury. The year-long program is designed for those who are at risk for diabetes and want to change their lifestyle to avoid getting diabetes. A free no-obligation introductory class will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Anyone who thinks they might be interested in Smart Moves is encouraged to attend this session. To sign up for the introductory class, call Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT, at 402-729-6846.

The full year-long program begins on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Classes will meet at 4 p.m.

Lifestyle coaches who lead the program are JCH&L Dietitian Lisa Edeal RD, LMNT; Bekah Kimberlin, PharmD; and Craig Bontrager, director of JCH&L Burkley Fitness Center.

“This program has been successful in helping participants to make lifestyle changes which positively impact their health,” Edeal said.

JCH&L’s program has received Full Recognition from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). This designation is reserved for programs that have effectively delivered a quality, evidence-based program that meets all the standards for CDC recognition.

JCH&L To Celebrate National Rural Health Day Nov. 15

Jefferson Community Health & Life will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 15, with refreshments at its Fairbury Clinic and Plymouth Clinic.

NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. National Rural Health Day is an annual day of recognition which occurs on the third Thursday of November and was awarded the 2018 “Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year” by the National Rural Health Association.

Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” are being planned throughout the nation. Refreshments will be available in the lobbies of JCH&L Fairbury Clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Plymouth Clinic from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 60 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” said NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”

These communities also face unique health care needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of health care providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” Eisinger said. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”

State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.

Gardenside Recognized as ‘High Performer’ by the Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center

Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside in Fairbury hosted the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network and team members of the National Coordinating Center on Oct. 17, 2018. The National Coordinating Center is the CMS-designated Quality Innovation Network-National Coordinating Center which supports the nation’s quality improvement organizations, like Great Plains QIN, in their efforts to achieve CMS goals for better health, better care and lower costs.

The purpose of the visit was to identify innovative practices that contribute to success and or improvement. Similar site visits are occurring in healthcare organizations across the country. The intent is to spread innovative healthcare practices with other facilities and quality improvement organizations.

As a way to improve resident-centered care, the quality assurance team at Gardenside implemented ‘natural awakening’ as a way to improve the overall sleep hygiene and the health and safety of their residents while promoting a more ‘home-like’ environment.

“Natural Awakening enhances sleep hygiene and proves how a good night of undisturbed sleep is one of the most important services we can give residents. By eliminating or minimizing night-time interruptions the resident receives more restorative sleep that is needed to maintain and enhance their quality of life,” said Deb Sutton, RN, Gardenside Administrator.

The Gardenside team outlined several elements of their success. First, it is imperative to partner with the pharmacy team to decrease and alter medication times to reduce the frequency of medication passes and avoid having to wake residents to dispense medications. Second, visiting with residents and their family members prior to implementing the natural awakening program is necessary. This conversation allows the resident to share his/her preferred sleep environment and whether they have a preference for their wake-up time. The Gardenside team also adjusted the dining room schedule to adjust for residents having an expanded timeframe to eat breakfast.


“As a result of this effort to facilitate natural awakening, Gardenside has experienced a decrease in falls, antipsychotic medication use and infection rates. This information has been shared with other nursing homes through a number of educational sessions and the Gardenside team has willingly mentored homes who wish to implement natural awakening. The commitment to improving resident care is impressive. Gardenside sets the bar high in their continued quest for quality improvement. We are pleased to be able to help share their story with the NCC team and others,” said Krystal Hays, DNP, RN, RAC-CT; Quality Improvement Advisor with the Great Plains QIN.

“Improving the quality of care in our facility is and will continue to be a priority,” said Deb Sutton, Administrator. “Studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to a dramatic decline in a person’s ability to perform even simple tasks. Individuals who are sleep-deprived may experience drowsiness, irritability, lack of concentration and impaired performance. Furthermore, sleep deprivation compromises the immune system and persistent sleep deprivation can result in significant mood swings and erratic behavior. We believe in the power of natural awakening for improved health and quality of life. We enjoyed the opportunity to share our story; and will continue to do all we can to provide exceptional care at Gardenside and share what we have learned.”

“The Natural Awakening Program needs to be shared and spread throughout all nursing facilities; the NCC views this program as a best practice. The NCC has requested that Gardenside provide their knowledge on a future National Learning and Action Event,” said Jane Brock, MD, MSHP; Medical Director for the NCC.

Great Plains QIN is the Quality Improvement Organization for Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The GPQIN team works with healthcare providers and communities to implement data-driven quality initiatives to improve healthcare. Great Plains QIN offers technical assistance, tailored education, best practices, tools and resources. Through these efforts, we intend to improve patient safety, reduce harm and improve clinical care at the local and regional levels.

Story Walk to be Introduced to Community Thursday

A new feature in the Fairbury City Park will be introduced to the community on Thursday: the StoryWalk. Second graders from Fairbury’s Central School will go to the City Park around
11 a.m. that day to walk through the new StoryWalk and read the story “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves,” by by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke.

The StoryWalk has been a project of JeffCo on the Move initiated by Fairbury Public Library Director Debbie Aden. A StoryWalk is a series of signs featuring sequential spreads from a children’s picture book. The signs are spread through the south side of the Fairbury City Park (around the horseshoe pit area,) allowing readers to follow along with a story by walking.

“We see this as a great way for families with children to encourage both activity and reading,” Aden said.

Books will be changed out frequently to encourage children and families to come back regularly.

This is just one project of JeffCo On the Move, a coalition which began nearly two years ago as a part of a Walk-Bike Summit in Fairbury. JeffCo on the Move partners include the City of Fairbury, Fairbury Public Library, Jefferson Community Health & Life, Fairbury Public Schools and Public Health Solutions.

The coalition is also working on possible extension of city trails, events to encourage kids to be active, Safe Routes to School, and a historic trail walk.

Anyone interested in being part of the JeffCo On the Move team is invited to contact Lana Likens at 402-729-6855.  We need your ideas and participation to move forward and make Jefferson County a place where we encourage everyone to stay “on the move” to build a healthier community.

2018 JCH&L Golf Tourney Raises Record $13,000

The 22nd annual golf tournament to benefit Jefferson Community Health & Life was successful, raising a record $13,000.

“We are very pleased with the success of this annual event. It’s a great way for JCH&L supporters to have a good time and help provide quality health care for our community,” said Chad Jurgens, JCH&L Chief Executive Officer. “This year’s event was a record-setter, with 32 teams, 18 hole sponsors, and raising a record $13,000.”

The golf tournament, held Friday, Aug. 10 at the Fairbury Country Club, was a fund-raiser for Jefferson Community Health & Life, a 17-bed critical access hospital located in Fairbury.

Winning teams were:

Champions of the championship flight were High Plains Anesthesia—Marci Gillham, Penni Mitchell, Nate Koch; second place: ConvergeOne—Dennis Ahl, Dan Reikofski, Mike Bonham; third place: The Olson Group—BJ Davis, Jeff Wallace, Stacy Albert.

In the First Flight, winners were Rural Sleep—Stacy Shumard, Brooke Schwab, Marty Paget; second place: The Three Gs—Joy Gaston, Nichole Grummert, Darin Grummert; third place: West Gate Bank—Joe Dahir, Kevin Wilhelm, Garrett Krause.

In the second Flight, winners were Barber furniture—Terry Barber, Bob Endorf, Paul Dunekacke; second place: Glen Blobaum—Glen Blobaum, Tom Beachler, Tim Diller; third place: Globe Rexall—Bob Atkins, Doug Ruzicka, Doyle Buchmeier

This year’s sponsors include:

Hole sponsors: American National Bank, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, Brown’s Medical Imaging, Bryan Health, Cerner Corporation, CHI Health—St. Elizabeth, ConvergeOne, Davis Design, High Plains Anesthesia Service, Lottman Concrete Construction, Marcotte, M&B 2 Cylinder, MedHost, Nebraska Medicine, Pathology Medical Services PC, Seim Johnson, The Olson Group, Westin Packaged Meats/Fairbury Operations.

Breakfast Sponsor: Collection Associates

Lunch Sponsors: Gill Insurance Services, Inc., Plymouth Electric, Concordance/Kreiser

Contributing Sponsors: Beckenhauer Construction, HCIS MediBill, MedHost, Prairie Health Ventures, Stewart Lawn Care, Thrivent, UNICO

Raffle Prize Sponsors: The Olson Group, Golf bag; Barber Furniture Company —Rustic Clock; Nebraska Healthcare Association, Moscow Mule Basket; Casey’s General Store, $50 gift card; Don Sutton Club Repair, Driver; Sims Florist and Gifts, Decorative sign; JCH&L, Garden tool

Other Sponsors: Precision Signs & Graphics LLC, signage; Ray’s Applemarket, treats on the course; Fairbury Country Club; Kettlehut Real Estate, sound system

Flag Prize and Door Prize Sponsors: ByteSpeed; Cerner Corporation; Credit Management; Directions EAP; Eakes; First National Bank of Fairbury; Jefferson Community Health & Life; Nebraska Community Bloodbank; Nebraska Hospital Association; Schwarz Paper; Walmart #418—Fairbury

Teams: American National Bank, Avadyne, Barber Furniture Co., Glen Blobaum, Blobaum & Busboom PC, Cerner Community Works, CHI—St. Elizabeth’s, ConvergeOne, Davis Design, Den’s Meat Distributing, Diode Technologies, Edward Jones, Fairbury Dental Associates/Dr. Jack Wesch, Gerdes Meyer, Globe Rexall, High Plains Anesthesia Associates, Lottman Concrete Construction (2 teams), M & B 2 Cylinder, MCA, Marcotte, MedHost, Nebraska Hospital Association, PVI, Rural Sleep Solutions, Ron Sasse, The Olson Group, The 3 Gs , Bill Welch, West Gate Bank, Westin Packaged Meats (2 teams)  

JCH&L Opens Clinic In Plymouth

Grand Opening— Plymouth Chairperson Fred Meyer, right, poses for a picture with Jefferson Community Health & Life employee Kelsey Cherry outside of their Plymouth location, which opened for the first time on Thursday. The clinic will be open 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Providers will be certified physician assistants Jessica Borrenpohl, PA-C; Kelsey Cherry, PA-C and Tyler Maguire, PA-C. Appointments can be made Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 402-729-6888. When the Plymouth Clinic is not open, calls will be answered by JCH&L Fairbury Clinic. The clinic accepts new and established patients. JCH&L announced the new clinic at an announcement celebration and press conference held in July 2017.