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.”


In Memoriam, Dr. Fahrenholtz

Andy and Bailey Patton and Dr. Fahrenholtz

February 24, 2014

Tribune, KS, Feb. 24, 2014—Dr. Randall Fahrenholtz, a beloved physician and team member of Greeley County Health Services passed away Saturday night when he was flying his personal airplane and crashed just outside of Tribune.

“Dr. Randy,” as he was known by his co-workers and community members, was well loved by his patients, colleagues, and community member. He was an avid musician, gifted in playing the piano and singing. He was also a pilot, and loved to fly. He kept his personal plane at the Tribune Air Hangar and would fly often.

“We are very fortunate to have the kind of physicians we have here at Greeley County Health Services. Dr. Fahrenholtz cared greatly for his patients and was very invested in providing excellent care to all he came into contact with,” Henry Garvin, Interim CEO, said.


Dr. Moser Appointed Head of KDHE

Greeley County Health Services is pleased to congratulate Dr. Robert Moser who was recently named as Secretary of Health for the state of Kansas by Governor Elect Sam Brownback.  Dr. Moser has most recently served as the director of rural health and outreach for the University of Kansas.  Prior to that, Dr. Moser was the chief of staff at Greeley County Health Services for more than twenty years.  Dr. Moser’s experience in rural and primary health care will be a valuable asset to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.


A Community Center of Excellence in Women's Health

Greeley County Health Services was designated as a National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health in October of 2004.  Click on the images below to learn more about this honored distinction.

    Greeley County Health Services was designated as a National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health in October of 2004. This five year program will bring new benefits and services to women, young girls and their families in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. GCHS is proud to participate in this outstanding program and looks forward to many new opportunities to care for our patients and communities. The National Community Center of Excellence is often known locally as the CCOE program. Components of the Greeley County CCOE program include behavioral, educational, financial and social resources.

    The Patient Education program is staffed by Laura Schumacher, RN. Laura helped to develop the program through HCAP funding and is now the Program Coordinator for the CCOE. Laura works with patients with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She helps individuals develop improved health and wellness, diet and exercise habits. Self management goal setting and empowering patients to become partners in their health care are important components of the patient education program. Laura also provides prenatal education to patients and their families. Laura and the CCOE team frequently participate in community education events such as the county health fairs, group education sessions, and informative lectures.

    Patient Education

    services include:

    • Chronic Disease Education
    • Prenatal Education
    • Diet and Exercise Modification
    • Self-Management Goal Setting
    • Patient Health Advocacy

    The Community Health Resource program brings many valuable benefits to CCOE patients. These financial and social resources are available through a variety of programs such as Healthwave, Medicaid, SOBRA, Medicare and pharmaceutical assistance programs. Additionally, Greeley County Health Services offers Health Cost Assistance to eligible participants. This program reduces fees on a sliding schedule for uninsured and underinsured patients. Yudith Yanez and Jamie Elder staff the CHRS positions and serve patients at the Tribune and Sharon Springs clinic locations.

    Community Health Resources

    • Pharmaceutical assistance programs
    • Eligibility assistance for Medicaid, SOBRA, and Healthwave
    • Health Cost Assistance Program
    • Connection to other community resources

    whi_1The fall weather arrived in full force in Tribune on October 11th bringing a slight change of plans to the 2008 Community Wellness Conference. With a low cloud cover and forecast for storms on track for later in the day, the University of Kansas plane was not able to land with scheduled speakers. Fortunately with the help of high school principal Ken Bockwinkel and four amazing students, the conference agenda was not negatively impacted.

    Leann Thieman, RN began the day with a phenomenal keynote address on Balancing Life. She spoke to the crowd of mostly healthcare workers and shared stories of her experiences in the Vietnam baby lift operation and years of work in healthcare. Following the keynote, the morning breakout sessions featured a local physician, Dr. Robyn Liu with a presentation on pregnancy related health concerns and a teleconference lecture from Denise Curtis, M.P.H.

    A delicious and healthy lunch was next on the agenda and it featured the top three winning health-based media presentations created by area high school students. The first place topic of Teen Drug Addiction was created by Tanya Tankersley and Ross Trejo. Second place featured Self Concepts by Madison Moser and Kelli Crittendon. Leah Houston and Haley Myers created a great presentation on Depression. The award winners for the poster contest were also announced. Area high school students created posters on health topics. In first place were Gabrielle Kuhlman and Taylor Weinland, second place were Kinsey Bellamy and Jena Eder.


    Audrey Rupp took home the third place check. Brianna Sharp and Sierra Collins were the fourth place winners and Audrey Mote and Caitlyn Elder placed in fifth place. Grade school students also participated to win healthy activity prizes. Grace Hammer was the first place winner in the grade school contest with Callahan Grund in second, Cassidy Hild in third, Clay Schemm in fourth and Jordan Compton in fifth place.

    Following the lunch, conference goers reconvened to experience the Hospital Evacuation: The Gustav Experience with local doctor, Dr. Robert Moser who was involved in the Louisiana hurricane evacuation. Matt Reese, PhD presented on Autism via teleconference. Dr. Robyn Liu also repeated her session on pregnancy concerns. The Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care were discussed by Thao Bui, MA. The final session featured a discussion of HPV Information and Updates by Mary Ryan, ARNP and Program Development in Healthcare by Chrysanne Grund. whi_3

    Four outstanding student facilitators were very helpful in conference management. Despite a very late football game the evening before, these students showed up bright and early and handled the change in schedule with great professionalism. They are Chip Schneider, Taylor Harris, Brian Hampel and Audrey Rupp. Conference goers reported a positive evaluation of the conference with more than 90% reporting having gained information to improve the delivery of healthcare. Breakout sessions consistently received high marks as did the overall content of the conference. This is the fourth year for the Community Wellness Conference co-hosted by Greeley County Health Services and the University of Kansas Area Health Education Centers and Departments of Family Medicine and Nursing.

    Evaluation Results

    • Conference attendees reporting “excellent or very good” = 86%
    • I will use this information to improve my healthcare delivery = 90%
    • Audience members who will change their lifestyle = 76%
    • 86% reported the conference was “worth their time” and 90% will recommend the conference to others.
    • Breakout sessions averaged 2.16 on a scale of 1-5 with 1 as excellent and 5 as poor.
    • Leann Thieman, the keynote speaker was a highlight of the day. She was described as “phenomenal” and one participant said, “she changed my whole outlook on today”.