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Congratulations to Dawn Velasquez, winner of the Nebraska Nurses Association Positive Image of Nursing Award for MCH&HS!

The Positive Image of Nursing Award is a recognition and award program facilitated by the Nebraska Nurses Association to commemorate National Nurses Week. She will be recognized at a NNA Celebrate Nursing breakfast in Omaha on April 29th.

mch news

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In the early fall of 2017, a campaign began to raise funds for a 3D mammography machine for the Diagnostics Department.

Under the direction of Amy Hansen, MCH Foundation Chair, and Molly Dahlgren, the Foundation's Director, a small committee was assembled to put a plan in place to raise money for this equipment. The Foundation kicked off the campaign with a $43,000 donation. Through fundraising efforts such as t-shirt and handbag raffle ticket sales, an Ugly Sweater 5K Walk/Run, Dining to Donate, and many other activities, the group worked hard not only to raise money, but also to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer and the enhanced technology of 3D mammography.

Proceeds from annual hospital events, such as the Auxiliary's Rummage Sale, the Tree of Life campaign, and the Auxiliary's Winter Gala, were all given to this fundraising campaign as were private donations from community members, businesses and organizations, and the hospital medical staff. Hospital employees also saved receipts from a local grocery store who in return donated back to the campaign. Nearly half of the cost of the 3D machine was raised through these efforts, with the remaining amount being donated by the hospital and the Foundation.

The 3D mammography machine was ordered at the end of March and is expected to arrive in July. Upon its arrival, training will begin. The diagnostic team hopes to be ready and prepared to use the enhanced technology just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System, located at 810 North 22 Street, has been serving the residents of Burt and Washington Counties for 60 years. The hospital, and its network of outreach clinics, continues to heal, nurture and promote health by proactively identifying and meeting the needs of these communities. 

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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Memorial Community Hospital & Health System welcomes its first baby of the new year, Xavier Patrick Dickes.

Xavier was born February 5, 2018 to proud parents Courtney and Eugene Dickes of Arlington. Xavier was delivered by MCH&HS Labor and Delivery physician, Dr. Alisha Scott.

Thank you to the Blair Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD) which donates a baby basket annually to the first baby born in the new year. Gifts were also donated by MCH&HS.

Congratulations to the Dickes family!

First Baby of the Year 2018

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Many signs and symptoms of cold and flu illness can seem similar. How do you know if it's just a cold, or the flu?CDC Cold or Flu 2 6 18

pdfDownload a copy.

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Download the Latest Issue of Aspire Magazine, Winter 2017

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

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

 Aspire winter2017

In This Issue:

Employee Spotlight: A journey from military physician to the ED

Featuring Dr. Maurice Birdwell of the MCH&HS Emergency Department.

Community Spotlight: It runs in the family

Honoring Emily Petersen's service to the MCH&HS Board, and her community.

Feature Articles:

A Better Look at Breast Cancer: How MCH&HS is Working to Bring 3D Mammography to Blair

Enjoy Guilt-Free Shopping: About the MCH&HS Auxiliary Closet

Breaking Ground for a Healthy Future: New MCH&HS Clinic Coming to Tekamah

pdfDownload the Winter 2017 Issue

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Memorial Community Hospital & Health System Hires New CEO

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System is pleased to introduce its new President and CEO, Manuela "Manny" Wolf.

Manny's first day at MCH&HS will be March 7, 2018.

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A native of Augsburg, Germany, Manny immigrated to the Republican City, NE area in 1994. Starting her healthcare career in 2000 as a Licensed Practical Nurse, she then received her RN diploma from the Bryan School of Nursing in Lincoln in 2003. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2011, and her Master in Healthcare Administration from Bellevue University in 2014. Manny began her career in healthcare leadership as the Chief Nursing Officer at Harlan County Health System in Alma, NE in 2008. From 2013 until the present time, she has led Harlan County Health System in Alma, NE as the Chief Executive Officer.

Manny serves as the Region 4 Chair of the Nebraska Hospital Association and is a member of the American Hospital Association Advisory Council for Small and Rural Hospitals. She is a board member of the Nebraska Rural Health Association and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

In her free time, Manny enjoys spending time with her two grown children, David Bolte (23) and Rachael Bolte (22), both of Omaha. She also enjoys the outdoors, water sports, horseback riding, and winter sports. She will reside in Blair.

pdfDownload the Press Release

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Memorial Community Hospital & Health System's 2017 Annual Tree of Life campaign is underway!

The Tree of Life campaign gives others an opportunity to sponsor the "Holiday Tree," located in the MCH&HS main lobby, in honor of a close friend or relative, or someone special that is gone but not forgotten.


2017Tree optThe funds raised through this year's Tree of Life campaign will be used to purchase a 3D Mammography machine. Similar to traditional mammography, 3D mammography uses X-rays to produce images of breast tissue in order to detect lumps, tumors or other abnormalities. 3D mammography is capable of producing multiple sliced images of the breast, all at different angles, that allow the Radiologist to examine the tissues one layer at a time. Fine details are more visible and less likely to be hidden due to shadows from overlapping tissue. 3D mammography can also reduce false alarms.

The tree is decorated in pink this year and names of donors and those we are honoring will be displayed on pick ribbons near the tree. The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. 

The support of the hospital's many donors plays an important role in ensuring that MCH&HS exceeds the needs of their patients and families. MCH&HS continues its commitment to making a difference by leading with innovation, delivering quality service, and serving with compassion. To sponsor the "Holiday Tree" or to learn more about this year's Tree of Life campaign, contact Molly Dahlgren at 402-426-1464.

pdfDownload the Press Release »


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(This article was originally featured in the Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise, September 26, 2017)

By Katie Rohman

Fundraising is underway to purchase a 3D mammography machine for Memorial Community Hospital & Health System.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 1,450 new cases of breast cancer in Nebraska this year. From 2009 to 2013, the average annual incident rate of breast cancer in Nebraskan women was 120.7 per 100,000 people.

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS) is striving to improve its breast cancer detection capabilities with the purchase of a 3D mammography machine. The MCH Foundation and MCH Auxiliary are planning several fundraisers to generate donations for the machine — priced at more than $400,000. This is the largest campaign effort ever for a piece of equipment at MCH&HS.

The Blair Clinic completes about 1,500 mammograms per year. Its radiology department currently uses a 2D mammography machine for cancer detection.

With 3D mammography, image "slices" of a breast can be analyzed one by one. The technology may help detect cancers earlier than conventional mammography. Dense breast tissue, often found in younger women, can cause shadows due to overlapping tissue, which hides tumors from traditional 2D mammography. The 3D machine can also help reduce "false alarms."

"It can reduce callbacks and can detect things that may not be seen in normal imaging," Angie Hodson, radiology lead, said. Women should get baseline screens at age 35 and start yearly mammographs at age 40, Hodson said. She recommends, however, that women talk with their doctor first for a recommendation.

Raffle, T-shirts sales begin

The Foundation and the Auxiliary are kicking off some fundraisers in October, which is Breast Cancer Prevention Month. They will be raffling a pink Dooney & Bourke handbag and a pink Coach handbag. Tickets may be purchased at the MCH&HS radiology department.

They will also be selling T-shirts that read "3D Mammography Saves Lives," available in pink or gray. T-shirt order forms are available at the front desk at MCH&HS.

For questions, call Molly Dahlgren at 402-426-1464 or Amy Hansen at 402-639-4820.

 Where to buy T-shirts and raffle tickets

Available now

  • T-shirt order forms, MCH&HS front desk
  • Raffle tickets for purchase, MCH&HS radiology department

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m.

  • Blair High School volleyball game, main gym

Thursday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.

  • BHS softball game, Blair Youth Sports Complex

Oct. 2, 11 a.m.-noon

  • Blair Clinic lobby
  • Cookies and beverages served; campaign info available

Oct. 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

  • Hospital lobby
  • Cookies and beverages served; campaign info available

Oct. 6 and Oct. 20, 7 p.m.

  • BHS football game, Krantz Field
  • Raffle tickets and T-shirts will be available for purchase during the Blair High School volleyball game at 6:30 p.m. today at the school, as well as at the home softball game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Blair Youth Sports Complex.
  • Blair freshman, junior varsity and varsity football players will wear pink socks for home games Oct. 6 and 20 in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 Other events to benefit campaign

  • Some proceeds from the recent MCH Auxiliary Rummage Sale, as well as from the upcoming annual gala in February, will also go toward the purchase of the 3D mammography machine.
  • The Christmas tree standing in the hospital lobby for its annual "Tree of Life" fundraiser will be decorated in pink. Proceeds from the Tree of Life will also go toward the campaign.
  • As the campaign continues, more activities will be planned.
  • Organizers are also working with local restaurants to see if they are willing to support the campaign by donating a percentage of sales on a particular day.
  • An 8-foot-tall white ribbon will be displayed at MCH&HS as a fundraising gauge. As money is raised, the ribbon will be painted pink.
  • Donors who make large contributions to the campaign will be recognized on a plaque to be displayed in the radiology department.
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Medical Staff at Memorial Community and Health System Cautions Community

According to medical staff at Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS), influenza season is quickly approaching and it is time to think about being vaccinated to help prevent this highly contagious respiratory illness.

Vaccination protects against influenza by stimulating an immune response against the influenza virus. It takes about two weeks post vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body to provide protection. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination as soon as the vaccine is available to you.

Depending on the severity of circulating strains of the flu, it kills between 3,000 and 49,000 individuals in the United States annually. Influenza can cause serious complications in people with chronic illness, and in the worst cases can be fatal. There is no easy way to predict the severity of the circulating virus from year to year and vaccination offers the best protection available for yourself and for those around you.

"If we as a community choose vaccination as our first defense against influenza, we can reach a level called population or social immunity which is a form of indirect protection from influenza. This occurs when a large percentage of our population has become immune to influenza through vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not able to be vaccinated due to contraindications," said Annette Spooner, BSN, RN, CIC, who specializes in Infection Prevention and Control at MCH&HS.

MCH&HS and its three clinics, the Blair Clinic, Fort Calhoun Clinic, and Tekamah Cottonwood Clinic, are ready to serve the communities and will begin offering the influenza vaccination on September 5th.

More information about influenza may be found on the CDC's web site at or at

pdfDownload this Article »

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Download the Summer 2017 issue of Aspire, the community magazine of Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS).

In each issue, we highlight some of our services and people, introduce new initiatives, celebrate a valued member of the community, and bring you helpful health tips.

Aspire Summer17 thumb

In This Issue:

Letter from the CEO

Tim Plante, President & CEO, MCH&HS

Employee Spotlight

Jessica Haselhorst, RN at Blair Walk-In Clinic
Putting the "CARE" in Walk-In Care

Community Spotlight

Showing She Cares: Mindy Rump's Commitment to the Community 

Feature Articles

Growing Family Practice

Good Health From The Start: The importance of
pediatric primary care

When care is personal: Women's Care at MCH&HS

pdfDownload the Summer 2017 Issue

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Chele works in the Specialty Clinic and has been selected as the Caring Kind recipient because of her dedication to her profession as a Registered Nurse. Her compassion and caring for patients is witnessed by the smile on her face, a tender touch, and the respect and courtesy she gives them with each appointment.

Chele Garder pic

Chele is shown above with Laura Stawniak, CNE, Lana Thompson, Specialty Clinic Lead, and Tim Plante, President & CEO.

Chele's knowledge of extensive chemo preparation, infusion medications, and the ability to teach patients is excellent. She makes patients feel comfortable during procedures as well as having the respect of her peers and medical providers. Chele is the epitome of what qualities a nurse should possess for her patients, co-workers and the institution she works for. 

For many years, the Nebraska Hospital Association has been honored to bestow awards to Nebraska health care employees that have risen to the top by providing service excellence and dedication to their profession. Chele will be recognized at the annual NHA conference in October.

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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Visiting Nurse Association and Memorial Community Hospital & Health System to join forces to provide home health and hospice care in Washington and Burt Counties

Omaha and Blair, Neb., [July 31, 2017] – Together with similar missions and commitment to providing high-quality patient care to the communities they serve, Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) will join Memorial Community Hospital & Health System's (MCH&HS) operations to provide home health and hospice care.

MCH&HS recently selected VNA, a not-for-profit mission-based organization headquartered in Omaha with services throughout the metropolitan area. VNA has a long-standing history of high-quality home health and hospice care and other services, including VNA Companion Care, home health technology and infusion pharmacy. VNA will expand its services to Washington and Burt Counties through this partnership with MCH&HS.

All MCH&HS home health employees were given the opportunity to transition to VNA. Of those employees, eight have elected employment with VNA. Current patients of MCH&HS Home Health are being contacted directly and notified of the change to ensure a seamless transition. Both organizations have completed a service agreement and services provided by MCH&HS Home Health and Hospice is transitioning to VNA on August 9.

MCH&HS, located in Blair, Neb., has been caring for residents of Washington and Burt Counties of Nebraska for more than 60 years. MCH&HS has been searching for a home health and hospice care partner that is a natural fit for patients, staff, and the community. "Healthcare in our country is changing," said Tim Plante, MCH&HS President and CEO. "Our partnership with VNA will ensure home health and hospice is available to our community for years to come." Plante indicates trends in the healthcare industry include the formation of strategic partnerships with organizations that specialize in certain areas. VNA, according to Plante, is this type of organization.

"We are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with MCH&HS," said VNA President and CEO Jamie Summerfelt. "We look forward to working together to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of the community."

For more information about each organization, visit and


About Memorial Community Hospital & Health System
Memorial Community Hospital & Health System, located at 810 North 22 Street, has been serving the residents of Burt and Washington Counties for more than 50 years. The hospital, and its network of outreach clinics, continues to heal, nurture and promote health by proactively identifying and meeting the needs of these communities. 

About Visiting Nurse Association
For more than a century, VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) has led the way in the delivery of in-home and community health care services. Today, VNA is a team of more than 400 expert health professionals and caregivers dedicated to providing the highest quality in-home care to the residents of Omaha and Council Bluffs—regardless of their ability to pay—along with a wide range of services for and in the community. Backed by a tradition of nursing, VNA offers a complete line of home care services, including Companion Care, Skilled Home Care, IV Therapy, Home Health Technology, and Hospice and Palliative Care. To learn more about VNA's unique commitment to quality in-home care and the services we provide, please visit or call 402-342-5566.

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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MCH&HS Welcomes Oncologist to the Specialty Clinic

Blair, Neb. - Memorial Community Hospital & Health System is pleased to welcome Dr. Irina Popa to its staff. Dr. Popa specializes in Oncology and Hematology care and will see patients at the MCH&HS Specialty Clinic beginning August 17, 2017. Dr. Popa is part of Oncology Associates in Omaha.

Dr. Popa attended medical school at M.D. Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. She completed a Hematology Fellowship at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System, located at 810 North 22 Street, has been serving the residents of Burt and Washington Counties for more than 50 years. The hospital, and its network of outreach clinics, continues to heal, nurture and promote health by proactively identifying and meeting the needs of these communities.

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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Plans Being Finalized for a New MCH&HS Clinic in Tekamah

Blair, Neb. - Tim Plante, President and CEO of Memorial Community Hospital & Health System, said earlier this week that plans are being finalized to begin building a new multi-million dollar clinic in Tekamah. The new medical facility will be 6,000 square foot and will be located on the south side of Highway 32, just west of town. Plans to build this new clinic began more than two years ago.

For now, the facility will include a medical clinic. Original plans included spaces for a dentist and eye doctor, but the cost of new construction has kept other partners from joining the project. However, the facility is being built so that it may be expanded if there is interest at a later date. The clinic will look very similar to the Fort Calhoun Clinic with six exam rooms and space for radiology and lab services. There will also be office space for three providers, a conference room, and a separated waiting area for sick and well patients.

Currently, MCH&HS is in the process of selecting a general contractor. Once that is done, bids will be sought from subcontractors. The tentative start date will be late fall and the construction period is estimated at 10 months. "We are anxious to begin this project and deliver a top notch medical facility for the residents of Tekamah," said Plante. "We are committed to this community. It has been a long process, but we are confident our patients will be pleased once the new clinic is complete."

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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Blair, Neb. - Memorial Community Hospital & Health System is pleased to announce it welcomed Sue Miller-Harsin to its Blair Specialty Clinic team earlier in the year. A licensed marriage and family therapist since 1983, Miller-Harsin, CMSW, LMHP, is well known and respected in the Omaha and Blair area. She specializes in a wide array of counseling services including women's issues, depression, anxiety, grief, divorce, post abortion, addictions, and spirituality. Individual, marriage, family, and group counseling sessions are also available.

In addition to offices in Blair and Omaha, Miller-Harsin also operates Unbridled Acres, established in 2011. Unbridled Acres is used for Equine Therapy, marriage, individual and family counseling, retreats and corporate team building.

Miller-Harsin graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Kearney State College, and obtained a Masters degree in Education (Guidance and Counseling) from Kearney State and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Miller-Harsin has been an active member of the Blair community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Blair Family YMCA for more than 10 years, and starting the Blair Football Moms and Dads 13 years ago. Her husband Darren is a school teacher and coach with Blair Community Schools. They have three children and one grandchild.

pdfDownload the Press Release

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This report identifies and assesses the health needs of the service area served by Memorial Community Hospital and Health System. Submitted in fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 to comply with federal tax law requirements set forth in Internal Revenue Code section 501(r) and to satisfy the requirements set forth in IRS Notice 2011-52 and the Affordable Care Act for hospital facilities owned and operated by an organization described in Code section 501(c)(3).

docxDownload 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment

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The purpose of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is to identify how to strategically and collaboratively address community priority areas to improve the health and well-being of the community. Employees from Memorial Community Hospital and Health System (MCH&HS) utilized the assessment process to formulate a community health improvement plan aimed at striving to provide effective, quality health services, and an environment that enables community members to reach their full health potential through assessment, leadership, and partnerships.

MCH&HS works to Heal, Nurture and Promote Wellness to members in our community. The information and figures below highlight the demographics of Washington County, Three Rivers Public Health District (3RPHD), and the State of Nebraska. Where applicable, Burt County data is presented to display our connection to the Rural Health Clinic in Tekamah, NE.

docxDownload 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan

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MCH Auxiliary Scholarship Recipients Announced

Memorial Community Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors, Blair, is pleased to announce six college scholarship recipients for the 2017-2018 academic year. All recipients of an MCH Auxiliary Scholarship, are pursuing a career in a health related field offered at MCH.

Four scholarships are valued at $500 and two are valued at $1,000. The first $1,000 scholarship, named the Dorena Walker Scholarship, is designated for a student entering the Nursing field. A second $1,000 scholarship, the Ardis Grace Service Award Scholarship, is for a student that has shown exemplary community service throughout high school.

The Scholarship recipients receiving $500 are Ben Ward of Oakland-Craig High School, Makendra Kellogg of Tekamah-Herman High School, Hannah Thompson of Arlington High School, and Olivia Frost of Blair High School. Alexandra Eggers is a non-traditional recipient and current employee of MCH working on her nursing degree. She received the Dorena Walker Nursing Scholarship for $1,000. Anna Gepsen of Fort Calhoun received the Ardis Grace Service Award Scholarship valued at $1,000 for her dedication and volunteerism in her community.

Winners 2017

The Dorena Walker Nursing Scholarship, awarded to Alexandra, is presented to one student entering the nursing profession. Dorena Walker served as a longtime member of the Memorial Community Hospital nursing staff and Board of Directors. She was instrumental in coordinating the 1952 fundraising campaign to build the existing hospital, which opened in 1956. The Ardis Grace Service Award Scholarship, awarded to Anna, is named after the longtime Auxiliary Member who was instrumental in starting the Annual Auxiliary Rummage Sale. Ardis has volunteered for the hospital for hundreds, if not thousands of hours over the years and was a key figure in making it successful.

According to MCH Auxiliary Manager, Kim Dutton, it is important to encourage students to enter the medical profession. "We award these scholarships to local students from our surrounding communities to help further their education in the medical field," Dutton said. "We hope that someday they will return to serve our community in their chosen profession."

The scholarships will be distributed at the beginning of the fall semester of the 2017-2018 school year. The MCH Auxiliary Board of Directors initiated the scholarship program in 1992, and has since contributed more than $90,000 toward the education of area residents.

pdfDownload the Press Release

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It has been a great year for Memorial Community Hospital and Health System.

We continue to excel from a quality and patient satisfaction perspective, we are solid financially, and we continue to develop ways for people to access health services in Burt and Washington Counties. A key piece of our work this past year was a focus on developing a new MCH&HS Mission statement: To Partner With Our Community to Heal, Nurture, and Promote Wellness.

2016 thumbnail

Read the full annual report. 
(PDF Download)

Highlights from the past year include:

Service – Our outpatient satisfaction survey results for surgery and Emergency Department continue to be very high! Our clinics, diagnostics and inpatient scores continue to be well above national averages as well. We very much appreciate those who take the time to answer the phone surveys and especially value the comments to help us recognize our high performers and identify opportunities to improve.

Quality – Our communities should be very proud of our MCH&HS providers and staff! MCH&HS was honored by the Nebraska Hospital Association with the 2014 Quest for Quality Award for our work on reducing readmissions with our patient call back program for pneumonia and CHF patients, making MCH&HS the first hospital ever in Nebraska to receive this honor two years in a row.

People – We continue to work every day to make this a great place for providers to practice and our staff to work. Key additions to our provider team in 2014 include Cindy Reed, D.O. in our Emergency Department, Sandra Baumberger, MD in our Blair Clinic, and Carla Schneider, PA-C and RaeAnn Meyer, PA-C in our Walk-In Clinic. Stewardship (or Finance) – We continue to have strong financial performance. Challenges we continue to face include the number of patients without insurance or insufficient coverage, bad debt, and the rising costs associated with operating a small health system for personnel and materials.

Growth – Our future is based on developing strong relationships with our patients, getting new people to access our services, and retaining patients during their life journey. During 2014 we had the additional challenge of agreeing to payment reductions in return for staying "in-network" with a major insurer. We began 2015 back in-network, but we are working to provide services with fewer resources and staff support this year.

Community – Impacting the community goes beyond providing great health services in our clinics, at the hospital or in your homes. Hopefully you have seen us making a greater effort to be involved in community activities, like the MCH Foundation sponsored Dash & Splash as well as health fairs and screenings. We know we need to keep reaching out if we want people to be healthier and making good health decisions.

Download the Annual Report PDF



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The Blair Area Law Enforcement Trust (BALET) has reached its $7,500 fundraising goal to purchase trauma kits for police officers' vehicles.

The BALET, established in 2016, is a designated agency fund, managed and administered by the Blair Area Community Foundation (BACF). The trauma kits are the trust's first fundraising project. Using funds from the BALET, the Blair Police Department (BPD) will purchase a total of 12 small kits will be placed in patrol officers' vehicles. Police leadership will carry a total of five large kits. Donations to the BALET for the trauma kits came from individuals, a Walmart grant and from Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS), which presented $1,340. The BACF also donated $1,275.

MCH&HS invited Lt. Aaron Barrow of the BPD to attend its armed intruder/active shooter training because police officers would be one of the first to respond to the scene of a shooting incident. According to the MCH&HS Foundation, employees learned that many of the victims in shooting incidents "might have survived had the first on the scene and into the 'hot zone' could have administered quick and simple first aid while the scene was being secured."

"When looking at each entity's response, we quickly learned if the Blair Police Department were to respond to an incident of active shooter/armed intruder in our community, not just the hospital, they did not have the appropriate tools to help prepare victims for rescue and transport to the medical center," the Foundation stated in a release.

The MCH&HS trauma coordinator obtained a few donations of supplies from the Nebraska Medicine trauma team, and the BPD requested grant dollars to obtain the balance of supplies: 12 thigh rigs, four sling packs and four litters (portable stretchers). The thigh rigs contain quick-use medical supplies, like gloves, trauma sheers and tourniquets. The litters attach to the sling packs and provide a quick way to move victims out of a "hot zone" and to a safer location for emergency medical technicians to treat them.

mchfoundation police 

Shown above are members of the MCH Foundation, Blair Police Department, and the Blair Area Community Foundation.

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