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Recent blog posts

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System welcomes its first baby of the new year, Kaylee Victoria Allen.

Kaylee was born January 9, 2017. Congratulations to the proud mom, Katherine Allen, of Blair. The Blair Volunteer Fire Department donates a baby basket annually to the first baby born in the new year and the family. Gifts were also donated by the MCH Auxiliary and MCH&HS.


MCH&HS Labor & Delivery Physician, Dr. Amber Beckenhauer (pictured right), holds Kaylee Victoria Allen, born to Katherine Allen (pictured left). Kaylee was born on January 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm weighing 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 19" long. 

pdfDownload the press release for more pictures of baby Kaylee!

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The Tree of Life campaign was a huge success this year, setting a record of donations received!

tree of life$15,220 was raised through the generosity of others. This year, money will be used to purchase a new ultrasound table for the Radiology Department. The tree was decorated with ornaments given in memory or honor of someone special, and decorated in purple in honor of MCH&HS's 60th anniversary.

Thank you to all those who contributed to this year's campaign!

pdfDownload the Press Release

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Memorial Community Hospital & Health System would like to introduce its newest board member, Neil Smith.

Smith, current Vice President and General Manager at Concrete Equipment Company (CON-E-CO), has been a resident of Blair for 24 years. Neil is a graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a MBA from the University of Nebraska - Omaha. He is a registered Professional Engineer with the State of Nebraska.

Neil currently also serves on the Board of Directors of the Blair YMCA in which he's been a two term past president. He has also been on the Blair Chamber of Commerce Board, and a member and past president of Blair Rotary.

His wife, Lynn, is a retired school teacher with Blair Community Schools. They have four children and three grandchildren.

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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MCH Health System's 2016 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.

This year, the tree will be decorated with ornaments displaying the names of everyone being honored or remembered. Once the tree is taken down, ornaments will be available as a keepsake for those who donated to the campaign.

The funds raised through this year's Tree of Life campaign will be used to purchase a new ultrasound patient bed. The ergonomic imaging exam bed offers features and options to provide maximum comfort and safety for both patient and sonographer.

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 the 2016 Annual Tree of Life Campaign, contact Molly Dahlgren at 402-426-1464.

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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The Memorial Community Hospital Foundation recently donated $250,000 to MCH&HS for improvements to its facilities.

The money donated will be used for two projects, including a remodel to the Blair Clinic and a new clinic in Tekamah, Nebraska that will replace the existing Cottonwood Clinic. Foundation Board members voted unanimously to approve $200,000 for the new clinic construction in Tekamah, which is scheduled to begin in 2017. The remaining $50,000 will be used for the Blair Clinic remodel which is planned to begin by the end of the year.

Donation 11 22 16

Shown in the photo are MCH Foundation officers and members of the MCH&HS provider staff and leadership team.

From left to right are Tim Plante, MCH&HS President and CEO, Lana Pleak, MCH&HS Clinics Director, Becky Guzinski, PA-C, Tekamah Clinic, Emily Petersen, Foundation Vice Chairman, Amy Hansen, Foundation Chairman, Jill Connealy, PA-C, Tekamah Clinic and Fort Calhoun Clinic, John Simonson, MD, Blair Clinic and Medical Staff President, and Jason Fowler, Foundation Treasurer.

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Dr. Carol Weckmuller will be leaving Memorial Community Hospital & Health System.

After 29 years of practicing in Blair, Dr. Weckmuller's last day will be February 17, 2017. She will continue her practice at the Veterans Administration in Omaha, Nebraska, caring for those who have served our country.

A farewell reception for the public is being planned for Dr. Weckmuller. More details will be publicized as they are available.

pdfDownload the Press Release »

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Effective November 1, 2016, Memorial Community Hospital, the Blair Clinic, Fort Calhoun Clinic, and Tekamah Cottonwood Clinic will be in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska's NEtwork BLUE and Premier Select BlueChoice plans.

We are pleased to make this announcement and look forward to meeting your healthcare needs.


BCBS notice


Please feel free to contact our Patient Financial Services office at 402-426-1255 if you have any questions.

Download a copy of this notice »


Memorial Community Hospital & Health System

810 N. 22nd Street, Blair, NE

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For Immediate Release Date: June 9, 2016
Contact: Molly Dahlgren - 402-426- 1464


Tim Plante, RN, MSN, MHA, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS) in Blair which serves Washington and Burt Counties. The MCH Board of Directors made its decision earlier in the week after interviewing several candidates to fill the vacancy. Bob Copple, former President and CEO of MCH&HS, left his position in May.

Plante has worked in health care since 2003, holding various positions. Most recently, he has served as Associate Vice President of Patient Care Services at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, Washington. He spent four years in the United States Navy as an electrician, and after this attended nursing school. In 2003, he graduated and began his career as a registered nurse. He has also held the positions of ICU nurse, Critical Care Clinical Manager, and Emergency Department Director.

“We are excited to have Tim joining us at MCH&HS. His experience is broad and his enthusiasm will fit well into the culture of our facility. His commitment to quality and community will build on the work of his predecessors and help MCH&HS grow as our industry advances,” said Dan Hunt, Chairman, MCH&HS Board of Directors.

Plante’s most recent responsibilities include leadership of hospital operations, nursing services, as well as operational oversight of ancillary and support departments. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a Masters of Nursing Science, and Masters of Health Care Administration. Tim is married with four children, and enjoys spending time with family, church activities, and sports. His first day at MCH&HS will be August 1st .

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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.


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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April 8, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Molly Dahlgren 402-426-1464

MCH&HS President & CEO, Bob Copple, Announces his Resignation

BLAIR, Neb. – Bob Copple, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS) in Blair, Nebraska has submitted his resignation effective May 18, 2016. Copple has been in his current role since June 2013, and served as Interim President & CEO of MCH&HS for six months. Prior to joining MCH&HS, Copple served as Operations Leader for campus and system diagnostics at CHI and Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha.

Copple has accepted a position as Senior Administrator for Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, where he will begin his new position May 23. Via Christi is a 100+ bed hospital, serving Riley/Pottawatomie County communities, the students and faculty of Kansas State University, and many families from the Fort Riley Army community. Copple worked for Via Christi after completing graduate school until 2001. "This move is like going home in a way. I am excited to have the opportunity to return to Manhattan, to be closer to a couple of my siblings and their families, and to be part of the University community. My children will be in Manhattan for a few years attending KSU which is a benefit as well," said Copple.

Copple has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and holds a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in Industrial Engineering. He is also a licensed professional engineer.

"Bob has been instrumental in building relationships within MCH&HS and with the community. He is a strong leader and is valued highly by members of his staff and peers. Bob has been extremely devoted to MCH&HS and achieved strong hospital performance during his time here. He will be greatly missed," said Dan Hunt, President, MCH&HS Board of Directors.

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In 2015, Memorial Community Hospital & Health System's (MCH&HS) surgical team performed 418 surgeries. The MCH&HS Infection prevention surveillance program has identified MCH&HS as having zero surgical site infections in 2015.

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are an infection that happens after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. A surgical wound infection occurs when micro -organisms from the skin or the environment enter the incision that the surgeon makes through the skin in order to carry out the operation. SSIs are known as a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) that can occur in the hospital or home settings. Some averages reported nationally are that 1 in 24 patients who undergo inpatient surgery in the United States has a postoperative SSI.

The MCH&HS Healthcare team follows evidence based practices to keep its patients safe and infection free on a continuing basis. Infection prevention strategies are initiated at the first patient encounter and followed throughout the patients' journey as MCH&HS partners with them to heal and promote health.

MCH&HS is pleased to report this success to our community and proud to serve our community members. "It is so important for our patients and community that we have a team so committed to ensuring patient safety and quality of care especially within the surgical realm. We are excited to attain the status of a Zero Surgical Site Infection facility and proud to offer this high level of service to our Burt and Washington County patients."

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For Immediate Release
Date: December 4, 2016
Contact: Molly Dahlgren-402-426-1464

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in Patient Perspectives and Financial Strength

Blair, NE, September 2015 – Memorial Community Hospital & Health System today announced it has been recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in Patient Perspectives and Financial Strength, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation.

“We are extremely proud of this achievement and all of the work from our staff, physicians, physician assistants and leaders. Our team at MCH&HS is a group of very talented and dedicated individuals who continually strive for excellence in patient care. We are grateful for the ongoing commitment to excellence from our volunteer Board members and our sponsors. It is an honor to receive this recognition,” said Bob Copple, president and chief executive officer of MCH&HS.

The rankings have been designated by the Hospital Strength INDEX™, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX™ captures performance metrics for more than 4,000 acute care hospitals, including over 1,300 rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from 66 individual metrics into three major categories and
9 pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.

“These top quartile performers should take great pride in this recognition. It showcases their commitment to continuous performance analysis and improvement. On this occasion of National Rural Health Day, it’s an honor to celebrate their achievement as they continue to serve their communities despite the many market, regulatory and financial pressures they face,” said Michael Topchik, senior vice president of iVantage Health Analytics.

About MCH&HS

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System has been serving the residents of Burt and Washington Counties for nearly 60 years. The hospital, and its network of outreach clinics and home healthcare services, continues to heal, nurture and promote health by proactively identifying and meeting the needs of these communities. For more information, visit


The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities

About iVantage Health Analytics

iVantage is a leading business analytic and advisory services company a unique combination of technology, content, and expert advisory services accelerates decision making for the new healthcare. For more information please visit

For more details about iVantage Health Analytics or to schedule an interview, please call Amy Weickert, at 207-245-6769 or email More information about the Hospital Strength INDEX™ can be found at

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For Immediate Release
Date: November 17, 2015
Contact: Molly Dahlgren - 402-426-1464

MCH&HS Tree of Life Campaign Underway

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System’s 2015 Annual Tree of Life Campaign will soon be 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. This year, decorative bulbs with names of donors and those being remembered will be displayed on the tree. The funds raised through this year’s Tree of Life campaign will be used to purchase a Zimmer Tourniquet ATS 4000, which is used during surgeries that need decreased blood flow to an area in order to decrease bleeding. This tourniquet can also help decrease postoperative pain. 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 the 2015 Annual Tree of Life Campaign, contact Molly Dahlgren at 402-426-1464.


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For release
October 19, 2015
Contact: Molly Dahlgren – 402-426-1464

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System Receives Trauma Designation

(Blair, NE) – Memorial Community Hospital & Health System in Blair recently received a Basic Level Trauma Center designation from the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). This designation requires certification, and all nurses and providers must obtain additional education and training leading to a higher quality of care.

The Basic Level Trauma Center designation is valid for four years. During the four year period, the DHHS will monitor MCH&HS’s compliance by requiring the facility to report data to the Trauma Registry and participate in regional trauma care performance improvement meetings.

Many MCH&HS staff members were recognized as playing an integral role in receiving this designation, including Dr. Amber Beckenhauer, Trauma Medical Director, Keala Roy, Trauma Nurse Coordinator, Dr. Jim Jordan, past Chief of Staff, Dr. Jon Simonson, present Chief of Staff, the Emergency Department Staff, Bob Copple, MCH&HS President & CEO, Laura Stawniak, Chief Nurse Executive, and Judy Sonderup, Quality & Compliance Lead. The local EMS volunteers and MCH Board of Directors were also commended for their efforts.

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For Immediate Release
February 25, 2015
Contact: Molly Dahlgren – 402-426-1464

MCH&HS and Blair Family YMCA to Host First Annual Community Health Fair

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System and the Blair Family YMCA are teaming up for the 1st Annual Community Health Fair on Tuesday, April 7th, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at the YMCA, located at1278 Wilbur Street in Blair. Through this health fair, MCH&HS and the YMCA hope to encourage individuals and families to take control of their health by making smart, healthy choices. Community members of all ages are welcome to attend this event.

Informational booths will be present and health screenings will also be available. For those wishing to have a booth, the event is free to non-profit groups, and $25 will be charged to for-profit organizations. If a free health screening is provided, the fee will be waived. The event is free to guests; however, there will be a minimal fee for certain screenings being offered. Biometric screenings including total cholesterol, HDL, blood glucose, blood pressure, and body fat will be available. Blood screenings will require fasting. The first 100 people to get their blood drawn will get the cost partially subsidized by the MCH Foundation.

If you have questions or would like to participate in this year's Community Health Fair, please contact Laura Willey at 402-426-1494 or Molly Dahlgren at 402-426-1464.

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Press Release
October 27, 2014
Contact: Molly Dahlgren – 402-426-1464

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System Receives Award

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System (MCH&HS) was recently named the recipient of the National Hospital Association's (NHA) 2014 Quest for Excellence Award in the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) category. MCH&HS also received the award in 2013.
The Quest for Excellence award is designed to recognize Nebraska hospitals for their outstanding quality improvement activities. It is jointly sponsored by the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA), CIMRO of Nebraska, the Nebraska Association of Healthcare Quality (NEAHQ), and the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services System (DHHS) Office of Public Health. There is an award for two different categories, Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and Non-Critical Access Hospital.
Representatives from MCH&HS were presented with the award Caring Kind Luncheon at the NHA annual convention on October 24th in Lincoln.


Shown above receiving NHA's 2014 Quest for Excellence Award are MCH&HS employees Lisha Webster, RN and Quality Lead, Molly Luedtke, RRT and Cardiopulmonary Lead, and Laura Stawniak, RN and Chief Nurse Executive.

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MCH&Health System Community Pulse

Top 20 Critical Access Hospital

After being named a Top 100 Rural Hospital last year, MCH&HS was recently named one of the top 20 critical access hospitals (CAHs) in
the country for its quality performance rating. The Top 20 critical access hospitals, including Memorial Community Hospital & Health System, scored best among critical access hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics' Hospital Strength Index for quality. The list was
announced Sept. 28 during the National Rural Health Association's Critical Access Hospital Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Read More


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Community Needs Health Assessment

Recent Survey Results


The results from our recent Community Needs Health Assessment are in.

View Summary »

View Implementation Plan »



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Find the Food!

Inside this newsletter you will find the fruits and vegetables shown here
hidden in various places. Find all eight fruits and vegetables for your
chance to win a prize! Send your name, address and phone number
as well as this newsletter with the hidden items boldly circled to

MCH&HS Marketing

PO Box 250
Blair, NE 68008

Volume 8 | Issue 2 | September 2014


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It is hard to decide where to start when talking about 2013 at Memorial Community Hospital & Health System! We experienced so many changes, received a number of national recognitions for our services, had a very solid year from a financial perspective, and have renewed our focus on serving our communities in Washington and Burt counties. Below, I have highlighted key accomplishments in
a number of areas in 2013. We are truly blessed to provide health services to so many people – I hope you enjoy reading through our Annual MCH&HS Report!

2013 Annual Report

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