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GCHS Blog Mashup

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Use this page to access all of our various blogs and postings.  All posts are tagged with at least a topic and the author.  You can use this information to focus in on certain posts.  For example, look at the “Categories” section on the left to find your favorite topic or author.  Or just spend some time scrolling through the latest entries.  Whatever the case, we’re just glad you’ve spent some time getting to know us.

Thank You, from Adam Zuzelski

First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Ellis, Dr. Scheffe, and all the providers at Greeley County Health Services for letting me shadow and gain a vast amount of knowledge from them. I also appreciate the opportunity of getting involved in grant work that will help Greeley County Hospital become PCMH certified. But most of all, I take extreme pleasure in being in such an incredible social atmosphere. After spending a few months here in Greeley County, it will be hard to appreciate the medical experiences I receive anywhere else. It is especially enlightening for me wanting to practice rural medicine and knowing that there are outstanding medical practices, such as this one, in the state of Kansas.

Dr. Wendel Ellis announced as Rural Health Practitioner of the Year

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) recently announced its 2015 National Rural Health Award recipients, and Dr. Wendel Ellis, D.O. of Greeley County Health Services was selected as NRHA’s 2015 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year. Ellis, along with other winners around the nation will be honored on April 16 during NRHA’s 38th Annual Rural Health Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“In my 30 years of working in healthcare organizations, I’ve worked with many physicians. Dr. Ellis is the most dedicated and positive provider that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. He is very deserving of this recognition. He is so dedicated to our local communities and has such a positive influence on patients and the people he works with,” Lee Rhodes, CEO said, “In addition to his excellent clinical skills, Dr. Ellis is very knowledgeable about how the entire healthcare system works, from Medicare reimbursement to the hands-on patient care, his scope of understanding is very rare for physicians in today’s world.”

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Prevent Recent Measles Outbreak from Spreading

Centers for Disease Control urges vaccination and awareness to prevent recent measles outbreak from spreading
February 11, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported 84 cases of measles since Jan. 1 in 14 states, most of which are part of a large outbreak linked to a California amusement park. Measles was declared eliminated (absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months) from the United States in 2000. This was possible thanks to a highly effective vaccination program and better measles control in the Americas region. However, with the recent outbreak throughout the U.S., the CDC recommends that health care providers consider measles as a diagnosis in anyone with a fever, rash and other compatible symptoms who recently traveled abroad or had contact with someone with similar illness.

Patients with suspected measles should be isolated and suspected cases immediately reported to the local health department, according to a recent CDC advisory. Providers also should ensure that patients are up to date on the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, the agency said. Most of this year’s cases involve children or adults who were not vaccinated or were not sure of their vaccination status. The U.S. last year reported 644 measles cases in 27 states, the most since endemic measles cases were eliminated in 2000. Many of the 2014 cases were linked to travelers to the Philippines, where a large outbreak was occurring.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Complications are more common in adults and young children.

For more information, or if you notice similar symptoms, please contact the Greeley County Family Practice Clinic at 620-376-4251 or the Wallace County Family Practice Clinic at 785-852-4230. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has photos and information about measles at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about.html

Greeley County Health Services introduces Patient Portal Technology

Greeley County Health Services has announced the installation of a new technological program that will help patients access their own personal health information via technology from the privacy of their own home. The InteliChart Patient Portal allows patients to create a username and login so that they can view their health records on an electronic device such as a tablet, a computer, or a smart phone.

The InteliChart Patient Portal technology streamlines the communication process between patients and their providers. Patients will be able to login to their patient portal and access information such as viewing their medication list and instructions and viewing the results from their latest laboratory test.

The Patient Portal is not a substitute for seeing a physician in an office visit setting, but is merely a more convenient way for patients to access their own health information. The Patient Portal is also an easier way for them to stay current with their healthcare provider. For instance, if insurance or other information has changed, patients can simply login to their portal and verify their information.

Other features of the InteliChart PHR include accessing current medication lists, verifying demographic or insurance information, viewing medical summaries, and leaving notes and other communications for the healthcare staff. Additionally, patients can receive alerts such as new medications and appointment reminders as text messages or emails, as they prefer.

“Hopefully the new patient portal technology will allow patients to become more involved in their personal health care by making it more convenient to access their information and communicate through the technology they are already using in their daily lives,” Drew Zerr, Clinic Manager, said.

Helping patients to understand and use this new technology is a goal that GCHS has set and is already working to achieve. Several patients have already been trained in how to utilize their own patient portals from home.

“We want patients to know that we are here to help make their lives easier and to help them fit a better quality of health care into their busy lives. We feel that helping patients use the Patient Portal technology will do just that,” Katy Reynolds, HR and Marketing Director, said.

If you would like to learn more about the Patient Portal technology and how to create your own account to access your health information, please contact the Greeley County Family Practice Clinic by calling 620-376-4251 or by emailing clinicmgr@mygchs.com.

GCHS thanks 2014 donors and highlights giving opportunities

Greeley County Health Services would like to thank all of the generous donors that contributed to purchasing equipment, repairs and other generous giving to our community’s hospital this last year. We would like to recap a great year of giving from many of our community members.

Several community members joined with the Greeley-Wallace County Healthcare Foundation during 2014 to give charitable contributions towards two hospital beds, a brand new Dexa Scan machine,  two new ice machines for dietary and Long Term Care, a waffle-maker for LTC,  a steam table for the Long Term Care, a Nu-Step machine for Physical Therapy and other physical therapy equipment that was much needed.

“We would like to sincerely thank the donors who have contributed to fund equipment that was needed and has enhanced the service we provide to our patients and long-term care residents. The community support we receive is a greatly appreciated and is a wonderful gift to GCHS,” Lee Rhodes, CEO said.

The Greeley-Wallace County Foundation works with residents from the neighboring communities to build awareness for the needs that the hospital, clinics and Long Term Care have in order to provide quality healthcare to both Greeley and Wallace County. The Healthcare Foundation is a 501 c 3 organization and donations to the Foundation may be tax deductible.

“The Greeley-Wallace County Healthcare Foundation was formed to benefit the healthcare systems in both communities.  We were very pleased to host the successful community service tax credit program in 2013 which provided a new telephone system for the hospital, both clinics and long term care facility.  We are also very grateful for a number of contributions to our Legacy Society fund to build a permanent long term endowment and private donations which have helped to improve or replace equipment for several departments in Greeley County Health Services,” Chrysanne Grund said, “We tremendously appreciate the support of our community and patrons.”

GCHS would like to extend the opportunity for community members to continue to support their local hospital through tax-deductible giving at this year’s end. GCHS has established a list of equipment and updates that are needed to keep our hospital functioning properly:

  • Replace the walk-in freezer for Dietary
  • Replace the C-Arm in Radiology
  • Replace an old washer and dryer for Hospital and LTC laundry
  • Replace the Zoll Debribillator in the Hospital
  • Replace 9 hospital beds
  • Replace the convection oven for Dietary
  • A sprinkler system for the Clinics

Greeley County Health Services strives to operate efficiently and to use capital equipment wisely. The capital items on the list are much needed due to old age and usage over the years. As GCHS works on the 2015 budget, capital remains a high priority for replacing outdated and inefficient equipment.

“Greeley County Health Services’ vision is to provide trusted care, close to home. GCHS is dedicated to accomplishing this vision, and is thankful that to partner with our generous community in achieving this purpose and providing quality care to our patients,” Katy Reynolds, Marketing Director said.

If you are interested in giving towards capital equipment updates or would like more information on other giving options this year, please contact Chrysanne Grund,Greeley-Wallace County Foundation Secretary/Treasurer at 785-821-1104.

Holidays for the Caregiver by Shauna Foster

Are you exhausted from being up all night with your wandering parent or are you in a tizzy since  being up at dawn for Grandma to catch the school bus because she thinks she is 15 again. Do you have a young child in pain that longs to be held and a boat load of dirty laundry waiting to be done? Have you been neglecting yourself so that you can care for someone you love?
Our vision of a Hallmark Christmas is not always the reality of what we may be facing as a caregiver during the Holiday Season. How will all the gifts become beautifully wrapped, the table wonderfully set, and the feast of all feasts be prepared?
I hope the following tips will be helpful to you so that you and your loved one can both enjoy this special time of year.
Pick a tradition – Families usually have many traditions through the years but this year you might need to just pick 1 or 2 that you truly enjoy.
Smaller gatherings – Many people with dementia become overwhelmed with larger groups of people and a large amount of noise can confuse them even more.
You could try hosting finger foods and desserts Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, while having another group of family over on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day with a potluck type dinner.
Ask for help – This is a huge barrier to many caregivers that want to do it all but just don’t have the time and resources. Family and friends will be happy to help in many different ways. Perhaps sitting with your loved one while you shop for a couple of hours. Have someone come eat lunch with your loved one while you go into the other room to wrap presents. If the weather permits you might have your loved one go for a car ride while you rest or nap for an hour. Talk to your local nursing home about care for your loved one some morning, afternoon, or all day.
Inform family and friends – Let people that are coming to your home know how your mutually loved one is doing and how much they can tolerate.
Gift giving – Feel okay with telling family and friends that your loved one needs soft, easy to put on and take off clothing, slippers, or velcro shoes, soft blankets, bird feeders, and CD’s of their favorite music.
Make new memories – As we all age and life’s circumstances change our surroundings be open to making new memories. In the future you may hear, “do you remember when we went to Aunt Joy’s house to see Grandpa in 2014, it was the best time ever”!
Above all that you already do and try to do, please take care of yourself so you can continue to be the “sunshine” in your special loved one’s day.

Patient Financial Assistance Application

Attached to this post is the Greeley County Health Services Patient Financial Assistance Application. Please complete and return to:

PATIENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
PO Box 640
Tribune, Kansas 67879
Fax: (620) 376-2800

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, PLEASE CONTACT THE PATIENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AT: Tribune 620-376-4251 or Sharon Springs 785-852-4230.

Financial Assistance Application-Current Oct 2014

Burlay Parks receives Innovations in Healthcare Award

Greeley County Health Services is pleased to announce that Burlay Parks, R.N. recently received a Healthcare Transformation Award from the Communities Joined in Action organization.  Parks was awarded this prestigious award at the annual meeting held in Detroit, Michigan.  This award was received in recognition of her work as a Patient Care Coordinator at Greeley County Health Services.  Mrs. Parks provides support and coordination for seriously and chronically ill patients who must seek specialty care outside of our local healthcare system.  Her work includes coordination of appointments and health information, individual consultations with patients to review recommendations and many other duties.  “Mrs. Parks met every criterion for this award as she performs her daily work in the Patient Care Coordination program connecting patients to care and succeeding in providing value in community safety net care,” says Lindy Vincent with Communities Joined in Action.

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