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Memorial Community Hospital & Health System Staff Attended the Studer Leadership Conference

Members of the MCH&HS team attended a leadership conference on June 6th in York, NE. The conference was geared towards medical staffs and focused on leadership, engagement, quality, and patient safety.

Shown above are Dr. Jill Reel, Patty Smith, Jamie Kellogg, Keala Roy, Marilyn Appleby, and Laura Fisher.



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MCH&HS President and CEO, Manny Wolf, Receives FACHE Credentials

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Board of Governors has granted Manny Wolf, President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Community Hospital and Health System Fellowship of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

ACHE is the leading professional society for healthcare leaders. Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. The credentialing system is multifaceted and involves academic preparation, healthcare management experience, ACHE tenure, passing the Board of Governors Examination in Healthcare Management, continuing education, references, and community and civic involvement. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.

Manny Wolf 336x427 Ms. Wolf, who has been a member of ACHE for four years, is now privileged to use the FACHE credential, which signifies board certification in healthcare management and ACHE Fellow status. The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. ACHE is known for its prestigious credentialing and educational programs.


pdfDownload the Press Release »

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West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito transmitted disease that can infect humans, birds, horses and other mammals. In humans WNV can cause a mild flu-like illness, or may cause no symptoms at all. In some cases, especially among the elderly, WNV can cause serious neurological diseases like encephalitis or meningitis.

The Culex tarsalis mosquito is found throughout Nebraska and more prevalent in western Nebraska .Larvae of Culex mosquitoes develop in standing water, especially in rural locations and adult mosquitoes will fly several miles in search of a blood meal.

Since its arrival in Nebraska in 2002, Nebraska has reported a total of 3,736 persons with WNV (68 in 2017) placing our state's rate in the top five nationally. For the current 2018 WNV season, through a well-established protocol of trapping and testing mosquito pools, surveillance will begin the last weekend in May and go through the end of September.

Most people who are infected with WNV either have no symptoms or experience mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering. Some persons may develop a mild rash or swollen lymph glands. Most people who become infected will get better on their own. If illness does occur, symptoms generally appear within 3 to 15 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Spooner Annette

According to Annette Spooner, BSN, RN, Infection Prevention at MCH&HS, "Prevention strategies are key to avoiding West Nile Virus and its complications that could adversely affect our elderly population especially."

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), and acute flaccid paralysis (a polio-like syndrome) in which muscles become very weak or paralyzed. Symptoms may include: headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, and muscle weakness or paralysis. Intensive supportive therapy includes hospitalization, IV therapy, airway management and prevention of secondary infections. At its most serious, WNV can cause permanent neurological damage and death.

Those over age 50 (especially those over 65) are at the greatest risk for complications and should take precautions from June through October:

  • Use insect repellant containing DEET when spending time outdoors. This is an important action to reduce the chances of getting bitten by an infected mosquito
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active
  • Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes rest
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially at dusk when mosquitoes are most active

Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing or slow moving water. Standing water can accumulate in unused tires, cans, unused pools and pool covers and other receptacles that collect water. Dump water from containers after it rains to eliminate breeding areas. Mosquitoes will also enter homes through broken screens and open windows and doors. Keep mosquitoes out of the house by fixing broken screens.

"Taking preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate pools of standing water around your home is much easier and cost effective than dealing with the Illness caused by the virus and its complications", said Spooner.

Contact your health care provider if you have concerns. If symptoms of high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, and severe headaches occur, see your doctor immediately.

pdfDownload a printable version of this article »

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MCH&HS Emergency Department Receives Nebraska's First Air Medical Transport Button

The Emergency Room at Memorial Community Hospital and Health System recently received the first Air Medical Transport button in Nebraska.

This button allows ER staff to dispatch a helicopter when staff are too busy to call due to patient care. It works via a phone line, notifying the helicopter dispatch center that a helicopter is needed. Dispatch then has the helicopter take off; during flight they call for pertinent patient information. This new process frees up staff to continue with patient care.

The button is located in the nurses' station and is simple to use. "This new technology allows us to make the patient experience even safer, especially when seconds count," said ER Manager, Keala Roy.

Nebraska is the second state in the nation to have this equipment. MCH&HS was chosen due to the proximity to two helicopter bases; one in Fremont and the other in Omaha. The first hospital to receive one in the country was a facility in Idaho. "We are very excited to trial this new technology in our ER," said Roy.

Keala Roy
Shown above near the Air Medical Transport button
is Keala Roy, Emergency Department Lead at MCH&HS.

pdfDownload a copy of this release.




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Read the Latest Issue of Aspire Magazine, Spring 2018

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.

 AspireThumbnail spring2018

In This Issue:

Employee Spotlight: Keeping Care in the Family
Featuring Katie Petersen, RN on the MCH&HS Med-Surg Floor

Community Spotlight:  All About The PEOPLE
Honoring Dee Sylvis and Her Commitment to the Washington County Community

Feature Articles:

  • How Better Mammography Became A Reality At MCH&HS
  • MCH&HS Patients and Staff Enjoy New Equipment in State-of-the-Art Operating Room
  • Colonoscopies Save Lives: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk for Colon Cancer

pdfDownload the Spring 2018 Issue

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Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and the No. 1 cause of adult disability. However, 80% of strokes are preventable; you can prevent a stroke!

What is a stroke?

A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happens brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.

When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.
For example, someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

Stroke Risk Factors

Anyone can have a stroke. But your chances for having a stroke increase if you meet certain criteria. Some of these criteria, called risk factors, are beyond your control and include things such as being over age 55, male, African American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander, or having a family history of stroke.

Other stroke risk factors are controllable. High blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol use (more than 2 drinks per day for men, one drink a day for women), and obesity are the risk factors over which you can exert control.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and, since brain tissue cannot be regenerated, prevention of a stroke is by far the best treatment.

1. Know your blood pressure. Ideal blood pressure for most people is less than 140/90 less for certain high-risk patients.
2. Find out if you have atrial fibrillation.
3. If you smoke, stop.
4. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
5. Find out if you have high cholesterol
6. If you are diabetic, make sure your diabetes is controlled.
7. Exercise.
8. Enjoy a lower sodium (salt), lower fat diet.
9. Know the Symptoms of Stroke.

The National Stroke Association received the Presidential Proclamation recognizing May as National Stroke Awareness Month in 1989. The goal of this annual campaign is to ensure that all Americans understand they can save a life by knowing about stroke risk factors, prevention, symptom recognition and acting F.A.S.T. to treat stroke.

To know the symptoms of stroke, think F.A.S.T.:

F = FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = ARM Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = TIME If you observe any of these signs, it's time to call 9-1-1.

pdfDownload a copy of this article »


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Ticks bother Nebraskans every spring and summer largely due to the increase in outdoor activities such as trail running, hiking, camping and Morel mushroom hunting that take place in prime tick habitat. Ticks are blood feeders and have the potential to cause some serious diseases in both people and pets. Ticks can be active all year round, but May and June are regarded as high tick season in Nebraska. Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services receives reports of tick borne disease every year.

pdfDownload a Printable Version

The two most common ticks found in eastern Nebraska this time of year are the American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the Lone Star Tick, Amblyomma americanum.

The American Dog Tick, also known as the Wood Tick, is the most common tick in Nebraska and is found throughout the state. The American Dog Tick can transmit Rickettsia a bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and Francisella tularensis the agent responsible for Tularemia.

The symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are a dark rash and a fever appearing 5 to 10 days after a tick bite. It can lead to severe illness and hospitalization. RMSF can be cured with antibiotics, but only if treatment begins immediately. "Symptoms of RMSF are severe headache and high fever and a few days later a rash begins on the wrists and ankles," says Dr. Jill S. Reel, Pediatrician in the Blair Clinic.

The symptoms of Tularemia include high fever and/or skin ulcer at site of bite. An ulcer may be accompanied by swelling of regional lymph glands in armpit or groin. Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics in the first few days of symptoms.

The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum) is a smaller tick found in southeastern Nebraska and can be a carrier of Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia chaffeensis). Symptoms generally appear five to 10 days after a tick bite and include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, nausea and occasionally a rash. If left untreated symptoms progress and may lead to hemorrhage of internal organs and renal failure.

Ticks have the ability to feed and remain embedded for several days (7–10) if undisturbed. The longer the tick remains attached, the more likely it will transmit pathogens, if infected. Scientists believe that no infection will occur if the tick is removed within 24 hours. "So after being outdoors check for ticks daily," Dr. Reel says.

Lyme disease is a rarity in Nebraska, and contracting the disease in Nebraska is highly unlikely. Most reported cases of Lyme occur when patients have been traveling in the northeast and upper Midwest, but cases have been reported all along the coastal areas of the United States.


  • Perform regular, full body, tick checks on your person and children, and if possible, shower within two hours of coming in from outdoors. On people, American Dog Ticks are most often found on the head and around the ears. In addition to these areas, Lone Star Ticks can be found under armpits, around waist, behind knee and in groin area.
  • Remove ticks before they get a chance to transmit disease.
  • Wear long pants, tucked into white socks for quick detection and removal.
  • Put outdoor clothes in the dryer on high for 30 minutes to kill ticks on clothing. Ticks will survive the wash cycle and can easily escape the laundry hamper and seek out a host.
  • Protect your pets with a flea guard and perform regular tick checks. Ticks are most often found on the dog's head, in and around the ears, neck, armpits and between the toes. Use pointy tweezers to remove them, collect and discard ticks in a way they cannot escape.
  • Remove embedded ticks as soon as possible using pointy tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin's surface and pulling straight outward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this may cause its mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. After removing the tick, disinfect affected skin with rubbing alcohol and keep the tick for iden¬tification.
  • Right now, the most effective insect repellent on the market is still DEET. Depending on the situation, DEET provides 2-8 hours of protection. It has broad spectrum activity and is effective against mosquitoes, biting flies, midges, chigger, fleas and ticks. Products with higher percentages of DEET will protect for a longer period of time, but anything over 30 percent does not offer greater protection and is unnecessary. "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using over 30% DEET in children and I recommend washing off the DEET before bed," Dr. Reel says.

If you have symptoms or concerns related to tick borne illness don't hesitate to make an appointment with your Healthcare provider.

Spooner Annette Jill Reel MD
Annette Spooner, BSN, RN CIC
Infection Prevention
Jill S. Reel, M.D.
Blair Clinic
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Congratulations to the 2018 MCH Auxiliary Scholarship Recipients 

Memorial Community Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors, Blair, is pleased to announce seven college scholarship recipients for the 2018-2019 academic year.

All recipients of an MCH Auxiliary Scholarship are pursuing a career in a health related field offered at MCH. Five 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 Sydney Andreasen, Sydney Shaffar, Jacob Sorenson, Jordan Thoene and Devon Zurek all of Blair High School. Natalie Uhing 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. Rachel Kraemer of Arlington received the Ardis Grace Service Award Scholarship valued at $1,000 for her dedication and volunteerism in her community.

The Dorena Walker Nursing Scholarship, awarded to Natalie, 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 Rachel, 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 2018-2019 school year. The MCH Auxiliary Board of Directors initiated the scholarship program in 1992, and has since contributed more than $95,000 toward the education of area residents.

Pictured left to right: Sydney Shaffar, Jordan Thoene, Devon Zurek, Rachel Kraemer, Jacob Sorensen, Sydney Andreasen. Not pictured: Natalie Uhing

pdfDownload the Press Release »


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Annual Report Features MCH&HS Accomplishments of 2017

Providing high-quality care has long been the hallmark of MCH&HS, with respect and understanding for the individual patient, their dignity and his or her unique needs. You will find the staff at Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS) is committed to service excellence: we pledge to provide exceptional customer service to you and your family members. Our goal is to be the very best community hospital in the area. 

The MCH&HS Annual Report features an overview of 2017 financials, along with information about our accomplishments, events, patient services, and community engagement during the past year.


Download the 2017 MCH&HS Annual Report

We offer a wide range of services to our community, delivered by competent and caring professionals, working with the providers of the MCH&HS medical staff. MCH&HS is a not-for-profit corporation. Our mission is to partner with our community to heal, nurture and promote wellness. Our vision is to be the first choice and the community leader in healthcare.

pdfDownload the 2017 Annual Report »

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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.

wolf 4873

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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