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      Current Positive Cases in Kimball County Warrant Concern with Health Officials

      Panhandle Public Health District can confirm there is a total of six cases in Kimball County with the addition of three people confirmed positive for COVID-19 on April 2, a female in her 40s, and two males in their 60s.

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      Panhandle Public Health District can confirm there is a total of six cases in Kimball County with the addition of three people confirmed positive for COVID-19 on April 2, a female in her 40s, and two males in their 60s.

      The case investigations for the two Kimball County cases released on April 1 are continuing. Close contacts have been quarantined and are being actively monitored twice daily for fever and respiratory symptoms by public health officials. Contacts that are currently showing symptoms are being tested. The list of potential exposure sites are noted below.

      With guidance from Nebraska State Epidemiologists, the recommendation is that everyone in Kimball County check their temperature twice a day and monitor for sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, or diarrhea and, if possible, self-quarantine.

      If you have or develop any symptoms, please self-isolate away from other household members and contact your healthcare provider or public health to be tested. Please call before going to any healthcare facility.

      Kimball Health Services has announced that one of the cases is a health care administrative employee, not involved in direct patient care. KHS has been implementing strategies over the last month to mitigate the risk of possible exposures. This case does not change how they will be doing work, just enforces why they have been taking the precautions they have been.

       

      KHS will be adjusting their hours starting April 6.

      KHS clinics will be open as follows
      Pine: 8a-4p, Monday – Friday
      Kimball Clinic 9a-5p, Monday – Friday, and 7a-3p on Saturday
      Specialty Clinics are suspended at this time
      *Please remember that during Business hours (7a-5p) you will need to use the West Entrance to come into the building.
      *Anything after 5p should present to the ER doors for admittance.

      “We are working diligently to reduce the spread across the Panhandle and need your help to halt the spread in Kimball,” Kim Engel, Director, Panhandle Public Health District.  “Staying home is the only way to halt spread in the community.” 

      Exposure locations include and are not limited to, the following:

      Location Timeframe
      Good Times @ Chute # 7
      109 W 2nd St
      Kimball NE
      March 9 5:30p-12a
      March 10 6p-7p
      March 11 6p-2a
      March 12 6p-7p
      March 16 5:30p-6:30p, 10p-12p
      March 21 6:30p-8:30p
      Nebraska Coffee
      607 E 3rd St
      Kimball NE
      March 10 4:30p-5:30p
      Main Street Market
      815 E 3rd
      Kimball NE
      March 13 5p-6p
      March 23 5p-6p
      Vince’s Corner
      100 E 3rd St
      Kimball NE
      March 13 12:30p-1:30p
      March 17 6p-7p
      Beer and Loathing
      206 S Chestnut St
      Kimball, NE
      March 16 6:30p - 10 p
      Dollar General
      215 W 2nd St
      Kimball NE
      March 17 10a-11a
      March 18 5p-6p
      March 23 5p-6p

      Additional protective measures:
      • Practice good hand hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing and proper use of hand sanitizer
      • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth
      • Practice social distancing – no closer than 6 feet from others
      For all Panhandle community exposure sites visit: http://www.pphd.org/potential_community_exposure_sites.html.

      Panhandle Public Health District, Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Management, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department are working as a unified command on this evolving situation. Essential updates will be regularly communicated to the public and community partners.

      For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

      Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work, and play in the Panhandle.  Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community. Visit our website www.pphd.org.

       

      Panhandle COVID-19 Unified Command Announces Two More Positive Cases in Kimball County

      Panhandle Public Health District confirmed two people residing in Kimball County are confirmed positive for COVID-19, a female in her 40s and a male in his 50s.

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      Panhandle Public Health District confirmed two people residing in Kimball County are confirmed positive for COVID-19, a female in her 40s and a male in his 50s.

      Contact investigations are underway to identify people who may have come into close contact with the individual for the past 14 days to help prevent further spread. All identified close contacts will self-quarantine and be actively monitored twice daily by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms. More details will be released when available.

      The presence of one COVID-19 case in the community suggests the possibility that more patients will be diagnosed. For your health, please follow these guidelines:

      • Practice good hand hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing and proper use of hand sanitizer
      • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth
      • Be sure you have all needed medications and supplies on hand as if you were preparing for a severe snowstorm
      • Practice social distancing – no closer than 6 feet from others
      • Individuals that test positive for COVID-19 or who have a fever of 100.4 or above, or a sudden onset of a cough or sudden onset of shortness of breath, and individuals who live with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19, must home-quarantine for no less than 14 days from the date of positive test or onset of symptoms and isolation

      Panhandle Public Health District, Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Management, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department are working as a unified command on this evolving situation. Important updates will be regularly communicated to the public and community partners.

      For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

      Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work and play in the Panhandle.  Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community. Visit our website www.pphd.org.

      First Positive COVID-19 case in Kimball County - Preparation Continues

      Panhandle Public Health District has confirmed that a Kimball County man has tested positive for COVID-19. Click here for the complete press release.

      Meanwhile, the hospital continues to restrict visitors and is funneling patients and staff to the main west entrance, where all are screened for symptoms at the door. Access to the hospital’s north campus is limited to staff only.

      As a precaution, hospital staff erected a MASH-style screening tent on the east side of the hospital on Monday. “If we would get into having larger numbers of patients, we want to be able to screen them in the tent prior to them going into the hospital,” said hospital CEO Ken Hunter. “We’re watching it closely and I think we’re as prepared as we can be."

      Local health officials remain vigilant for Coronavirus

      Health providers and staff at Kimball Health Services and the Pine Bluffs Health Clinic remain vigilant for signs of COVID-19 and are taking precautionary measures should the virus make an appearance in the area.

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      Health providers and staff at Kimball Health Services and the Pine Bluffs Health Clinic remain vigilant for signs of COVID-19 and are taking precautionary measures should the virus make an appearance in the area.

      There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Kimball Health Services area, nor do we know of any person who has expressed concern about exposure,” Broomfield said. “But there has been much public speculation. We continue to follow the advice of public health officials to protect the health and well-being of our community. We encourage you to be cautious of rumors and speculation on social media or from other sources were factual information is not provided.&rdquo

      The best, most timely source of Coronavirus information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. This information is updated daily. Meanwhile, the hospital is taking precautionary measures against the virus should the need arise, including taking the temperature of everyone entering the facility.

      “Don’t be alarmed if you see people being screened at the doors,” said Jess Webb, clinic director and emergency preparedness coordinator at KHS. “We need to make sure we keep people in the hospital safe.”

      “If you feel you may have contracted the coronavirus or have symptoms that are similar to the coronavirus (shortness of breath, fever especially over 101 degrees and coughing), please call either the Kimball or our Pine Bluffs clinic before you come in,” added Ken Hunter, CEO at Kimball Health Services. “We will direct where and how to get tested. But please call first before coming in.”

      The Kimball clinic number is (308) 235-1966; the Pine Bluffs clinic number is (307) 245-3666.  Both facilities will continue to work closely with local and state officials to monitor COVID-19, Broomfield said.

      COVID-19 information specific to the Nebraska Panhandle is on the Panhandle Public Health District/Panhandle Regional Medical Response website or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website. Those with specific questions or concerns about COVID-19 should call Panhandle Public Health at 308-632-5764.

      Wyoming residents should refer to the Wyoming Department of Health website and CDC website for the most accurate and timely information.

      “We have received questions about upcoming surgeries, procedures, treatments and appointments,” Broomfield added. “Currently, because there are no cases of the virus at KHS, all are still being held as planned. However, we are closely monitoring this situation, which is constantly changing, and are looking at all upcoming interactions. We will communicate any cancellations as soon as we know them.”

      The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that there are no cases of COVID-19 in the Panhandle. The test result for the patient at Regional West has come back negative for COVID-19.

      Panhandle Public Health District continues to monitor the unfolding COVID-19 epidemic to anticipate its impact on the Panhandle. We are working as a unified command with Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Managers, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department on this evolving situation. We will continue to communicate important updates to the public and our partners. The CDC is putting out updated guidance daily; for the most up to date information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

      We recommend that you call public health (308-262-5764) if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Please call before seeking health care. Public health is working with health care providers, the state health department, and CDC to determine if there is a need to be tested for COVID-19.

      Residents are also encouraged to review their family preparedness plans in the event that coronavirus disease 2019 continues to spread in the United States.

      People can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by:

      • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick. Social distancing has been key in reducing spread.
      • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

      The CDC does NOT currently recommend the general public use facemasks.

      PPHD is working with state health officials to continue to take action to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Nebraskans, including:

      • Sharing the latest guidance and information with hospitals, health care providers, first responders, and local and state labs. We have been holding weekly updates with hospitals and clinics.
      • Assessing our health care system’s readiness to identify, monitor, and treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019.
      • Engaging in active and ongoing communication with state and federal partners as part of the overall national response to this emerging public health threat.
      • Reviewing and enhancing response plans with emergency management and partners to be ready for the detection of COVID-19 in the panhandle.
      • With the state and other local health department partners, we have a system in place to track and monitor cases in an effort to immediately detect secondary cases and minimize the potential for ongoing, undetected, person-to-person transmission. There are no cases in the Panhandle.

      To learn more about COVID-19, go to https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.

      PPHD will keep you posted in this quickly changing environment.

      Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work and play in the Panhandle. Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community. Visit our website www.pphd.org.

      Coronavirus Disease 2019 - COVID 19

      Dr. James Broomfield, medical director at Kimball Health Services had this to say about COVID 2019, the recent coronavirus outbreak "I think the main thing is, there’s been very few (coronavirus) infections of individuals in the United States. The CDC is monitoring this very closely because of the seriousness of this virus. Right now, there’s nothing to prepare for except for keeping an eye on what the CDC recommends."

      Show Your Heart Some Love this Month:
      Don’t let the weather keep you from being active

      February is known for being heart month so show your heart some love by staying active. There are a couple of free options in Kimball at the Main Street Market and Kimball Health Services’ North Campus.

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      February is known for being heart month so show your heart some love by staying active. There are a couple of free options in Kimball at the Main Street Market and Kimball Health Services’ North Campus.

      Both locations in Kimball offer space to walk when it’s windy, rainy, snowy, icy, or you just plain don’t want to walk outside! Many Kimball community members have been taking advantage of indoor walking at the hospital’s North Campus and Main Street Market.

      At North Campus, eight trips around gets you a little over one mile. At Main Street Market, twelve laps around will get you one mile. The journey to a happier and healthier “good life” begins with one step.

      Walking is the single most powerful thing you can do for yourself. We make time for the things that matter most – our families, their future, and our to-do list. Walking is an easy way to make sure you are healthy enough to keep it all together. And it’s simple. Just Step and Repeat.

      The Kimball Active Living Advisory Committee is coordinated by Panhandle Public Health District and comprised of community, local business, school, county, and city representatives. They’ve been meeting monthly to implement strategies identified from a planning meeting last spring.

      Indoor Walking Available

      Be sure to join the Activate Kimball Facebook group and any interested community members are welcome to attend the next monthly meeting on March 9 from 1:30-3:30 pm at the Kimball Elementary School. The committee will be discussing a sensory hallway at the elementary school and a grant funding opportunity to enhance the work.

      Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety and quality of life for all who live, learn, work and play in the Panhandle. Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community.

      Casino Night 2020 Coming Soon!

      Casino Night 2020 is coming soon!  Join us Saturday, Feb. 29, 6 to 11 pm at the Kimball Event Center for casino quality games, professional dealers, great food, prizes and fun!  A special event by the Kimball Hospital Foundation. Free admission, however a $50 donation per person is greatly appreciated! Must be 21 or over to attend.  For tickets - contact the Kimball Hospital Foundation Office at 308-235-1967 or get them at the door!!!!

      KHS Host Blood Drive January 17

      December 31, 2019 by Nicole Snyder

      Save lives by donating blood this New Year!  Kimball Health Services is hosting a blood drive on Friday, January 17 from 2:30 to 5:30 pm at the Kimball Hospital.  Appointments suggested, walk-ins always welcome.  Go online to bloodhero.com or call 307-638-3326 to make appointment.
      Save three lives in one hour by donating blood.  Invite a friend to make the most of a moment with you and give to your community!

      United Blood Service is now Vitalant. To learn more about out Vitalant, please visit www.vitalant.org/ourbrand

      Foundation 9-Pin No-Tap Bowling Tournament Set to Begin January 11

      Bowlers of all skill levels are invited to try their hand for a good cause the Kimball Hospital Foundation 9-Pin No-Tap Bowling Tournament, set to begin Jan. 11 at the Kim Bowl and continuing the following weekend.

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      Bowlers of all skill levels are invited to try their hand for a good cause the Kimball Hospital Foundation 9-Pin No-Tap Bowling Tournament, set to begin Jan. 11 at the Kim Bowl and continuing the following weekend.

      In the 9-pin no-tap format, the bowler gets credit for a strike even if he or she knocks down just nine pins.  This year’s tournament features a new prize format, not only awarding cash prizes on a 1 of 6 ratio, but adding a $50 bonus cash award for the high scoring man and woman in each session.  Sessions will be Saturday at 1, 3:30 and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m.  There will be 10 sessions altogether over the two weekends.

      Proceeds from the tournament will go toward a new heart defibrillator/monitor for use in the emergency room at Kimball Health Services.

      The $1,000 bonus cash prize fund is being sponsored by Regional West.  To enter, contact the Kim Bowl at (308) 235-4301.

      Bowling Flyer

      Brooke Daum is KHS Employee of the Year

      A talented physical therapist assistant who’s brought a new treatment aspect to Kimball Health Services is the KHS Employee of the Year for 2019.

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      Brooke Daum is KHS Employee of the Year

      Brooke Daum, KHS Employee of the Year for 2019

      A talented physical therapist assistant who’s brought a new treatment aspect to Kimball Health Services is the KHS Employee of the Year for 2019.

      Brooke Daum, PTA, CLT, is a physical therapist assistant and certified lymphedema therapist.   Her work in the hospital’s physical therapy department, particularly with its new lymphedema program, has won praise from her colleagues at KHS.

      “Brooke has done an amazing job with the new lymphedema program,” wrote KHS Clinic Nurse Dustin Brauer in nominating Daum for employee of the month last January. “She has increased her patient load and the patients are seeing great results.  She always has a smile on her face and great energy.  She is a great asset to our facility.”

      The hospital’s Employee Outreach Committee reviews employee of the month nominations submitted by staff throughout the year and selects the employee of the year by secret ballot.  This year’s results were announced at the hospital’s recent Christmas party and recognition dinner. 

      As Daum explains it, there’s no cure for lymphedema--the swelling of a body part, most often an extremity such an arm or leg.  The condition causes one or more of a patient’s arms or legs to become swollen due to a buildup of lymph fluid. This often occurs in people who’ve had a surgery during which their lymph nodes were damaged or removed.

      Daum’s treatments aim at reducing the swelling and controlling the pain associated with it. 

      “Bringing the lymphedema program to Kimball is very exciting, as there is only a small number of practicing therapists in the greater area,” Daum said. “A typical therapy session consists of manual lymph drainage, followed by compression bandaging. A patient’s first group of treatments may last a few weeks or months until as much fluid as possible is drained. From there, a patient will do follow-up treatments as they feel they need.”

      Daum’s employee of the year award includes an award certificate, $50 in gift certificates from a local business, eight hours of paid time off, an employee of the year pin and a framed photo in the hospital. 

      Pine Bluffs Health Clinic Open House - January 10

      The Pine Bluffs Health Clinic is 3 years old! Come help us celebrate on Friday, Jauary 10th from 3 to 5 pm at the Pine Bluffs Health Clinic.  Meet our providers and staff, join us for hors d'oeuvres and birthday cake, check out our facility and see what the Pine Bluffs Health Clinic is all about... from the inside-out!  The Pine Bluffs Health Clinic is located at 117 E 4th St., Pine Bluffs, WY 82082.  Call (307) 245-3666 for more information.
       

      Kimball nurse graduates quality improvement program, shares a local perspective

      A Kimball Health Services nurse is among the first 20 graduates of a new program focusing on improving the quality of care delivered by Nebraska’s hospitals.

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      Kimball nurse graduates quality improvement program, shares a local perspective

      KHS Director of Quality and Case Management Laura Bateman of Kimball (center) was one of 20 graduates of the Nebraska Hospital Association’s new Quality Improvement Residency Program. 

      A Kimball Health Services nurse is among the first 20 graduates of a new program focusing on improving the quality of care delivered by Nebraska’s hospitals.

      Laura Bateman, RN-BSN, director of quality and case management at KHS, says the year-long residency program by the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) helps hospital quality leaders in the state better understand the role of quality and performance management.  According to NHA, the Quality Improvement (QI) Residency Program provides a collaborative learning environment focused on mentoring and networking for hospital quality personnel to develop empowered statewide leaders. For her part, Bateman says the course gave her the chance to learn from others and in turn share quality improvement projects in Kimball with her counterparts across the state. For example, during Bateman’s eight-year tenure as director of quality improvement at KHS, she and other hospital leaders have worked hard to expand patient services and improve patient care by heading off diseases and conditions before they become more serious. “We’ve moved preventative care – vaccinations, use of medications, testing – to a wider range of patients by addressing it in the clinic setting,” Bateman said.  “We’re touching more patients sooner in the disease process and hopefully helping them avoid an acute admission to the hospital.”   

      Offering additional services and expanding the clinic’s hours from 7 am to 6 pm are other examples of quality improvement KHS has made in the last several years, Bateman said.  Others include increasing the availability of general surgery, dermatology, dietary services and cardiac care.  More recently, the hospital has grown its “swing bed” transitional care program, invested in improved digital imaging equipment and expanded its outpatient treatment room services, including Dr. Timo Quickert’s non-narcotic pain clinic and new reconstructive plastic and hand surgery services by Dr. Bill Wyatt. 

      “Each service line that we provide requires a team approach from admissions, billing, purchasing, nursing, medical staff and ancillary services to happen,” Bateman said.  “The safety of our patients and staff are of utmost importance, and I look forward to continuing to help foster a safe, effective environment for patient care.”

      Kimball Health Services Receives 2019 Performance Leadership Award in Quality

      As part of National Rural Health Day, Kimball Health Services today announced it has been recognized by The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality. Based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX from iVantage Health Analytics, the Performance Leadership Awards reflect top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the United States in the areas of quality, outcomes or patient perspective.

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      As part of National Rural Health Day, Kimball Health Services today announced it has been recognized by The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality. Based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX from iVantage Health Analytics, the Performance Leadership Awards reflect top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the United States in the areas of quality, outcomes or patient perspective.

      “To be recognized in the top 25 percent in the nation for quality is indeed an honor,” said Ken Hunter, CEO at Kimball Health Services. “Every day, our staff demonstrates our commitment to delivering quality care and it’s nice to see them be recognized for their work.”  

      The Hospital Strength INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging data from publicly available data sources, the INDEX aggregates data from 50 rural-relevant metrics across eight pillars of performance. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, the INDEX serves as the data foundation for a number of industry-leading rural recognition programs and legislative initiatives.

      “National Rural Health Day has come to symbolize not just the vital role healthcare providers play in rural communities, but the dedication and hard work that goes into overcoming the unique healthcare challenges that exist across rural America,” said Teryl Eisinger, Chief Executive Officer, NOSORH. “We are proud of the work of the State Offices of Rural Health, their partners and rural hospitals do to improve care across the nation.”

      Kimball Health Services is a non-profit rural Nebraska hospital, owned by the citizens of Kimball County and committed to providing quality, patient-centered care. The hospital and on-campus clinic in Kimball and the clinic in Pine Bluffs, Wyo. offer state-of-the-art technology, access to specialty referral sources and a warm, caring environment. Services include hospital outpatient care, inpatient care, surgery, a 24-hour emergency room, multiple specialty clinics and service to the local nursing home.

       

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