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Read the Latest Issue of Aspire Magazine, Fall 2018

Aspire is the free community magazine of Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS).  

Each issue highlights select services and members of the MCH&HS team, introduces new initiatives, celebrates our community, and offers you some helpful health tips.

 aspire fall 2018 thumbnail

In This Issue 

Continuing Growth: Strategic planning process, new Tekamah Cottonwood Clinic, and addition of medical staff leads growth efforts

Community Spotlight: New Tekamah Clinic Coming Soon 

Employee Spotlight: New Faces Joining MCH&HS Staff 

Feature Articles: 
Flu Vaccination Is Important, pg. 4
Oncology Locally, pg. 4
Save our Antibiotics: Prevent Unnecessary Use, pg. 5

Events & Updates:
Rummage Sale Success
Tree of Life Campaign
2nd Annual Baby Expo
MCH&HS Holiday Celebration Thursday, December 13th, 4-7pm

pdfDownload the Fall 2018 Issue

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UNMC's Simulation in Motion Nebraska Program Provides Free Training to Local EMS, Critical Access Hospitals

Emergency medical service providers and nurses from the local area working with the University of Nebraska Medical Center Simulation in Motion Nebraska program (SIM-NE) conducted emergency medical training on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at Memorial Community Hospital and Health System in Blair, NE which is hosting the training.

SIM-NE truck 1

The free training is conducted with a 44-foot-long, customized truck that provides a mobile, real-life training experience designed to enhance life-saving skills for those in rural areas. The trucks were launched in June 2017 to be stationed in Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Kearney and Lincoln with training taking place in surrounding rural communities. The idea is about bringing training to those associated with rural emergency medical service agencies and rural critical access hospitals in their home location rather than having learners travel to larger cities for training. This allows the simulations to be team-based as learners train side-by-side with the people they normally work with during a response.

The customized trucks, funded by a $5.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, feature dual slide-out room extensions, a simulated emergency room and ambulance, as well as high-tech, computerized mannequins that talk, breathe, have heartbeats, and can react to medications and other actions of the learners.

Each mobile unit is outfitted with supplies to recreate a realistic environment for learners including supplies, pre-programmed computerized medical and trauma scenarios; monitors that display vital signs of patient simulators; audio and video recording/playback capabilities and mock drugs.

The grant has funded the program operation for three years with 100 percent funding in the first year, 66 percent funding in the second year and 33 percent funding in the third year. Private funding, partnerships, fee for services, and state and federal grants will be sought to sustain the project during and after the grant funding period ends in November 2018.

pdfDownload a copy of this article »

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Congratulations to Lori Titus, Patient Access Rep, Therapy Services

MCH caringkind2018

MCH&HS has awarded Lorilee Titus the "Caring Kind" Award.

Lori consistently goes "above and beyond" to provide excellent customer service with a personal touch. She makes all patients that stop at her desk feel cared for and "part of the rehab family." She makes extra calls to patients, will assist patients to their cars, hold an umbrella during pouring rains, and gives extra attention to all our patients.

Thank you, Lori, for your dedication to MCH&HS!

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Memorial Community Hospital and Health System in Blair, NE announced a new physician will be joining their health system.

Thielen  photo

Dr. Paula Thielen will join MCH&HS in September 2018. She is currently practicing at Banner Medical Group in Ogallala, NE.

Dr. Thielen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH and her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine (UNMC).
She completed her residency at UNMC in Family Medicine. Dr. Thielen is Board certified in Family Medicine and has a strong interest in and focus on women's health and maternity care. She is experienced in C-Sections and minor office procedures.

In her free time, Dr. Thielen enjoys cooking, reading, spending time on physical fitness and with her dog, Indy. She also enjoys musicals, plays and the ballet. One of her favorite things to do is visit the Henry Doorly Zoo. Upon her arrival, Dr. Thielen will reside in Blair.

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Blair Pediatrician Busting Vaccine Myths

JillReelMD web

By Jill Reel, MD
MCH&HS Blair Clinic Pediatrician


Immunizations are an incredible innovation to prevent deaths.

I almost died from the measles when I was a baby before the vaccine was available. I had measles and developed pneumonia. Luckily, I survived because I had an excellent pediatrician who recognized the complications. There are still measles outbreaks and recently 17 children died from a measles outbreak. This can happen easily when vaccine rates go down. Annually, 1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are encouraged, but myths surrounding vaccine discourage parents from getting their children vaccinated. I practice scientifically proven and evidence-based medicine and I push hard for parents to get their children vaccinated on time because I know it could save their child's life.

During my pediatric intern year Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HIB) meningitis was an epidemic. We weren't vaccinating children until 15 months, at that time, but the majority of children getting HIB were under 15 months. We did spinal taps, several every night, in the winter months. The following year we started vaccinating at 2, 4, and 6 months and now we rarely see HIB meningitis. I also had a big beautiful 4 month old baby with Streptococcus Pneumonia Meningitis and he had pus pockets in his brain and was thought that he would be deaf, blind and mentally handicapped.

It is not a good idea to delay vaccines as many of the things that we vaccinate for are even more deadly to babies and younger children. Also, everyone should have a Tdap as an adult. The Tdap is a vaccine that prevents tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). We still have deaths every year from whooping cough, especially in babies. Lastly, everyone should get their Flu vaccine every year as soon as they come out, usually in September. Influenza kills 100-200 children a year and it can kill very healthy children and adults as well as the young and the old.

Here are five key facts about immunizations:

1) Immunization with vaccination is the safest way to prevent disease. (Vaccines produce immunity similar to natural infection without the serious risk of death or disability related to natural infection.)

2) It is always best to get vaccinated even if you think the risk of infection is low. (Deadly diseases that seem to have been eradicated have a way of coming back when vaccine rates drop.)

3) Combined vaccines are safe. (Giving vaccines in combination and several at the same time have been proven to boost the immunity to each component of the vaccine and reduce the number of shots and discomfort for the child.)

4) There is no link with vaccines and autism. (There is no scientific evidence to link the MMR vaccine and autism. This has been proved repeatedly in multiple studies.)

5) If we don't vaccinate, deadly diseases will return.

I strongly encourage vaccinations as they help save lives. It is a proven fact!

For further information: or

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