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      Kimball, NE 69145

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      COVID-19 Information

      Image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)Click here for the latest information from the CDC on COVID-19.

      Hospital to Receive USDA Loan for New Facility

      At their meeting on Monday, the Kimball Health Services Board of Trustees announced receiving approval of a $23.4 million direct loan through the US Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loan Program, a crucial first stage in securing financing for the estimated $32 million facility. At their meeting on Monday, the Kimball Health Services Board of Trustees announced receiving approval of a $23.4 million direct loan through the US Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loan Program, a crucial first stage in securing financing for the estimated $32 million facility.

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      At their meeting on Monday, the Kimball Health Services Board of Trustees announced receiving approval of a $23.4 million direct loan through the US Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loan Program, a crucial first stage in securing financing for the estimated $32 million facility. At their meeting on Monday, the Kimball Health Services Board of Trustees announced receiving approval of a $23.4 million direct loan through the US Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loan Program, a crucial first stage in securing financing for the estimated $32 million facility.

      “We were thrilled to get that phone call from the USDA office in North Platte that the national office in Washington had approved.” said Ken Hunter, CEO at Kimball Health Services. “The most important step was the USDA loan approval and we are very confident that construction will begin in early fall.”

      “We’re on the verge of being able to not only replace a 70-year-old hospital that has served us well, but allows us virtually no space to grow to meet current demand or meet an ever increasing standard of care,” he added.

      Over the last five years, demand for services has been on the rise, Hunter explained. “During that time, hospital discharges increased 24 percent, specialty clinic visits increased 65 percent, imaging services increased by 50 percent and surgeries increased from 16 in 2016 to 303 in 2019. Our 1950s facility wasn’t designed for today’s volumes or patient care needs.”

      The new facility will be located at the current KHS North Campus. It will include an 18,157 square foot renovation of the former West Elementary School building, an 1,811 square foot basement renovation and the construction of a new single-story, 40,358 square foot hospital attached just east of the current structure.

      “We are delighted to have completed the rigorous USDA testing and review process and qualify for a long-term fixed interest rate USDA loan,” said Jim Cederburg, chairman of the KHS Board of Trustees. “We are proud that we have not required any taxpayer support in the past 30 years, and endeavor to continue to provide healthcare independently. The new hospital will provide the physical space needed to offer additional high-tech services in a more private environment to enhance healthcare for the communities we serve.”

      While the USDA loan approval is an important first step, the project’s finance package also includes a $6.4 million general obligation revenue bond that must be approved by the county commissioners and a $2.2 million capital fundraising campaign by the Kimball Hospital Foundation.

      An independent financial feasibility study, termed as “exhaustive” by Hunter, determined that “sufficient funds could be generated to meet Kimball Health Services’ operating expenses, working capital needs and debt service requirements associated with the new facility.”

      Central to the project’s success is the fact that critical access hospitals such as KHS are reimbursed by Medicare for costs incurred for both inpatient and outpatient services, including allowable costs such as depreciation and interest related to building projects. “This means Medicare can be expected to reimburse KHS for more than half of the project cost,” Hunter said.

      Key improvements to the new hospital will include larger inpatient rooms and bathrooms to meet current federal standards; widened major corridors; the addition of in-house MRI and CT scanner services; additional patient services such as mammography, cardiac rehabilitation, chemotherapy infusions, orthopedic procedures and expanded surgical options; an updated surgical suite and more space for preoperative and postoperative procedures; an expanded physical therapy department including a walking track and kitchen for home-based activity therapy; an expanded ER department, additional exam room and a covered ambulance bay; a helipad and numerous other improvements.

      At their regular meeting in April, the board of trustees selected Haselden Construction of Centennial, Colo. from among three competing general contractors. Their prior work includes expansion and renovation projects for UC Health in Fort Collins, Poudre Valley Hospital, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, Pioneer Medical Center in Meeker, Colo. and many others. Haselden Construction is hosting a meet and greet event for prospective area subcontractors this Friday, 4 to 6 pm at the Sage Brush in Kimball.

      For more information on the project click HERE

      Photo - Ken Hunter, CEO and members of the KHS Senior Staff review plans for a new hospital facility.

      Meeting of the Minds

      Todd Dill, preconstruction manager with Haselden Construction of Centennial, Colo., reviews construction details and timelines for the proposed new hospital facility in Kimball with architect Shane Labenz of CMBA Architects of Grand Island and the KHS Board of Trustees.

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      Todd Dill, preconstruction manager with Haselden Construction of Centennial, Colo., reviews construction details and timelines for the proposed new hospital facility in Kimball with architect Shane Labenz of CMBA Architects of Grand Island and the KHS Board of Trustees. Pending approval of a $23.4 million direct loan from USDA now under review, construction of the new hospital on the former West Elementary School playground could begin as early as March, 2022. It would include a new single-story, 40,358 square foot hospital, an 18,157 square foot renovation of the former school building and a 1,811 square foot renovation of its basement. At their regular meeting in April, the board of trustees selected Haselden Construction from among three competing general contractors. KHS officials expect answer on its USDA loan application within a few weeks. ​

      Trauma Team DevelopmentRefreshing & Learning New Skills

      Refreshing and learning new skills! Several members of the Kimball Health Services clinical staff took part in a Rural Trauma Team Development Training course presented by UCHealth on Thursday, March 11 at Kimball Health Services. We are proud to have such a highly trained and dedicated staff!

      Rasha Riad FNPRiad Earns Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification

      Kimball Health Services presented Rasha Riad, FNP with flowers in recognition for receiving her certification as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)!!!!! Rash will continue to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner in our Pine Bluffs & Kimball Clinics as well as an ENP in our hospital emergency department. Congratulations Rasha!!!!

      Employee or the month Jess WebbCOVID Response Manager is KHS Employee of the Year

      It’s often said that stressful situations can bring out either the best or the worst in people. For Kimball Health Services Clinic Director Jessica Webb, it’s been a case of the best

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      It’s often said that stressful situations can bring out either the best or the worst in people. For Kimball Health Services Clinic Director Jessica Webb, it’s been a case of the best.

      Webb, who wears multiple hats at KHS including clinic director and outpatient services manager, had the title of emergency preparedness coordinator added to her duties in March. That was about the time the first cases of COVID-19 began popping up in Kimball.

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      Early on, about the only change the public noticed with hospital operations was the addition of a US Army tent for processing COVID tests. But inside the building, Webb and many other KHS staff were busily gearing up for a challenge they’d trained for, but never really experienced first-hand.

      Those challenges included setting up a negative pressure rooms to evaluate suspected COVID patients, requiring PPE (personal protective equipment) training for the medical staff to safely care for patients, increasing the emphasis on infection prevention, managing medical supply shortages, establishing a COVID hotline to discuss possible symptoms, and setting up a new telehealth service so patients could talk to their health provider from home for visits that don’t require in-office care, and offering COVID swab testing just east of the hospital to those in a line of cars that sometimes stretched down the street.

      “It has definitely been a busy and challenging year, especially with the multitude of changes that happen almost daily,” Webb said.

      So busy and challenging, in fact, that one day KHS tested 40 patients and over half of them were COVID positive.

      Many times it was Webb or fellow nurse Laura Bateman who called those patients with their test results and advice on how to proceed, whether it was self-quarantining, managing mild symptoms or in rare cases, returning to the hospital to be transferred to a COVID unit at another facility.

      Webb’s work was recently recognized by her peers and the members of the hospital’s Employee Outreach Committee, who voted for her to receive the KHS Employee of the Year award. The committee gives the award after comparing employee of the month nominations submitted by staff throughout the year.

      “I am nominating Jess for her leadership and dedication to making sure that everything is being taken care of during this crazy time with COVID-19,” read the award nomination from Donovan Cashler, a member of the hospital’s Information Systems Department. “She has had a lot dropped onto her plate but continues to make sure KHS is prepared and things are handled.”

      With a modesty that’s typical of her personality, she deflects credit for the award to others who are a part of the COVID response team at KHS.

      “I feel multiple people have stepped up to make it work throughout the year especially Mike Downey (purchasing), Troy Kurz (facilities), Jen Greenwood (laboratory), Cheryl Delaplane (nursing) and the other department heads that have been willing to change processes as we go. It feels good to be recognized for all the hard work we’ve done this year,” Webb said.

      But at the same time, Webb recognizes there’s more to do.

      “Even as the cases begin to slow, we will continue to test patients,” Webb said. “We’re working our way down the age groups with scheduling vaccination appointments as more vaccine becomes available.”

      “Although the COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against the virus, it’s just one layer of protection,” she added. “Please keep wearing a mask, washing your hands and staying socially distant to help put this thing behind us.”

      KHS Ramping Up COVID Vaccinations

      COVID-19 Vaccination

      ​A stream of cars will be a common sight on Friday mornings at the Kimball Health Services North Campus as patients line up for new COVID-19 vaccinations as they arrive from the state.

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      ​A stream of cars will be a common sight on Friday mornings at the Kimball Health Services North Campus as patients line up for new COVID-19 vaccinations as they arrive from the state.

      The drive-thru clinics will continue every Friday morning for the foreseeable future, according to Jess Webb, emergency preparedness coordinator and clinic manager at KHS.

      Vaccinations so far have focused on the state’s designated Phase 1A group—health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities and staff. With those mostly completed, KHS is now focusing on Phase 1B, starting with those 75 and older.

      “Right now we are getting shipments of vaccine weekly but the numbers vary,” Webb said. “We will be calling patients at the beginning of each week when we know how many doses we’ll be getting.”

      The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is free to the public and is to be given in two doses, 28 days apart. A total of 90 initial doses were given in two drive-thru clinics in Kimball December 31 and January 5. Those 90 people will receive their second dose on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

      Another 60 initial doses will be given the following Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

      The drive-thru approach has worked well, as long as people call either Panhandle Public Health or the KHS Clinic for a vaccination appointment.

      “So far it’s been a very efficient way to vaccinate patients,” Webb said. “We received really positive feedback about how smoothly our first two drive-thru clinics went and how happy they were with the experience.”

      Anyone who wants vaccinated can call Panhandle Public Health District office at 308-262-5764 or the KHS COVID Hotline at (308) 235-1951 to be added to the list. When vaccines are available, appointments will be scheduled and people will get a phone call days ahead.

      Patients use main door (west) & visitor access restricted

      Kimball Health Services continues to take measures to keep our patients and staff safe.  With concerns over COVID-19 we have updated our visitation policies.  Patients are limited to having one designated visitor for the full length of their stay at the hospital.  

      Guidelines for visitors include:

      • Wearing a mask at all times while in the Kimball Health Services building. 
      • Visitors must be over the age of 18 years
      • No pets/animals will be allowed
      • Visitation will be limited to one of the following time periods each day 9am-11am, 2pm-4pm, 7pm-9pm.
      • Visitors will be asked to self-quarantine when they are not at the hospital and to follow current CDC and Public Health directives (including restricting travel, avoiding groups larger than 10 people).
      • If the patient is receiving outpatient services, it is expected that their visitor will arrive and leave with the patient, and stay in the treatment area while in the building.
      • Visitors will be screened on entry to Kimball Health Services.  

      Visitors will be asked to sign an agreement to wear a mask when possible, wash their hands frequently, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and follow other safety guidelines when outside of the hospital.

      We also ask that all patients enter the hospital and clinic through the main door on the west side of the building.  All other entrances are locked and visitors are not allowed at this time.  If you need to go to the emergency room - you may ring the bell at the ER door for admission.   Our North Campus location is also restricting access to visitors at this time.  If you need assistance with your bills, please call the Patient Accounting Office at 308-235-1990.  For assistance with medical records, please call Medical Records department at 308-235-1968.   Thank you for your cooperation. 

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