Geary County receives community grant from BCBS KS

Geary County is one of eight Kansas communities recently selected as a grantee in the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The Pathways to a Healthy Kansas program provides community coalitions like Live Well Geary County with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage the community in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life. The funding for Geary County includes a coordination grant of $100,000, with the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation and achievements grants amounting to $400,000, for a total of $500,000, during the next three years.

“We envision Kansans living in healthy communities that provide the highest possible quality of life and well-being. As the state’s largest health insurer, we are well-positioned to understand the barriers to good health that Kansans face,” said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. “The Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative is an outgrowth of our commitment to more strategically invest our expertise, time and dollars in helping remove those barriers and build healthy communities in Kansas.”

In addition to the grant dollars, Blue Cross is providing Geary County with technical assistance for planning, evaluation, communications and measurement through partnerships with Kansas Health Institute and the Community Engagement Institute at Wichita State University. Additional technical partners include WorkWell Kansas, The Public Health Law Center and Thrive Allen County.

Also, elementary schools in Geary County will have free access to GoNoodle Plus for the duration of the funding period. GoNoodle is a website with interactive games and videos that get children moving throughout the day. The activities are designed to help children channel their physical and emotional energy for good, improving behavior, focus and achievement.

“The intent of Pathways is to help communities create environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice to make, now and for generations to come” said Virginia Barnes, MPH, director of Blue Health Initiatives and developer of the grant program. “We look forward to working closely with Live Well Geary County to inspire long-lasting, community-wide well-being by focusing on strategies that build community engagement and transform the way residents of Geary County stay healthy as they live, work and interact socially.”

Geary Community Hospital’s Radiology Department Achieves MRI Accreditation  

Rago Radiology at GCH has been awarded accreditation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the largest and oldest imaging accrediting body in the U.S. and a professional organization of 34,000 physicians.

“ACR Accreditation is recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging said Dr Landes, Chief . Every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging.

To achieve the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, Geary Community Hospital’s personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance, and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. “This is the type of goal my department strives to meet – to show that we want to provide our patients the safest and best quality possible,” said Pat Small, Director of Radiology. “Daniel Vallenavedo, who was instrumental in the MRI accreditation process, began the application in . Since then we’ve implemented additional protocols and standards required by the American College of Radiology. We are currently working on achieving accreditation in our Ultrasound and CT (Computerized Tomography) departments as well. Our mammography department is also ACR accredited.”

“This achievement is another example of our commitment to deliver high quality care to our patients,” said Joe Stratton, GCH . “It’s especially important to note this accreditation achievement is a voluntary effort on behalf of the GCH Radiology Department. We are proud they have gone above and beyond to ensure our patients are receiving the nationally-accepted standards of care.”

Image: (l-r) Pat Small, Director of Radiology, Dr. Pat Landes, Chief , Daniel Vallenavedo,  and Eric Loeb.

LaVerne Allen Nursing 2017 Scholarships Awarded

The GCH LaVerne Allen Memorial Scholarship committee is pleased to announce Ryan Coffman and Madisyn Riffel as the recipients of the 2017 LaVerne Allen Memorial Nursing Scholarship!

Madisyn Riffel, a 2017 graduate of Abilene High School, plans to attend Fort Hays State University in the fall to pursue a nursing degree. Madisyn currently works as a  and a  for Memorial Hospital in Abilene. “For as long as I can remember, I have always had a concern for others and tend to put their needs before my own,” said Madisyn. “I really took an interest into nursing a few years ago when I began taking biology courses. I researched the pathway and discussed my options with several family-friends who are nurses. I continue to fall in love with the rewarding task of being a caretaker, an assistant and a friend to patients.”

Ryan Coffman, a 2017 graduate of Junction City High School, plans to attend Washburn University in the fall to attain her nursing degree and eventually become a  . Ryan currently works for Geary Community Hospital as a  in the Women’s Center. Ryan stated “I was born with the desire to become a nurse. I believe it is in my genes since both of my parents have served and protected the public for  25 years each. Perhaps nursing is my way to feel the joy of public service in my heart. I looked up to LaVerne Allen, being her neighbor throughout my childhood was a learning experience. Mrs. Allen showed me compassion, love and responsibility while she was frequently looking after me. When she passed, I knew I wanted to put as much love and compassion into everything just like her.”

LaVerne Allen was a dedicated  who worked at Geary Community Hospital for 61 years. The LaVerne Allen Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established by LaVerne’s granddaughter, Amy, to honor her grandmother’s contribution to the nursing profession with the thought of helping individuals achieve their goal of becoming a  and giving back to their community.

Each recipient will receive $500 for the 2017-18 school year. Donations to the LaVerne Allen Memorial Nursing Scholarship can be made to the Geary Community  Foundation, P.O. Box 3015,

Junction City, Kansas 66441.

Geary Community Hospital Announces Agreement with Children’s Mercy Kansas City 

Geary Community Hospital is pleased to announce it will be working with Children’s Mercy Kansas City to establish a pediatric specialty clinic on the GCH campus.

“We are excited to take another step forward by formally announcing our plans to establish a pediatric specialty clinic at GCH,” said Dr. Joe Stratton, Chief Executive Officer. “This collaborative project will benefit the children and families of Geary County and the surrounding Flint Hills region.”

The 7,000 square foot clinic space will be located in the lower lever area at GCH and include twelve exam rooms, three dictation pods, two treatment rooms, height/weight rooms, restrooms, a nurses station and reception area.

Children’s Mercy physicians have seen cardiology and endocrine/diabetes patients in Junction City for several years.

“Growing in Junction City has been a priority for Children’s Mercy. Thanks to the generous support of donors, we are able to begin growing sooner than anticipated. Some of the new services we will be adding first through telemedicine potentially include developmental and behavioral services, gastroenterology, neurology and rheumatology,” said Dr. Stacy Doyle, Vice President, Ambulatory Services at Children’s Mercy.

“Children’s Mercy specialists have traveled to the Junction City area for many years and the need for a more substantial and permanent presence has become clear,” said Stratton. “Our population of children has grown and the demand for services has increased the last few years. The establishment of additional clinics here at GCH will elevate the level of pediatric specialty expertise and enhance the continuum of pediatric healthcare available to children locally and in this region of the state.”

The four major project partners are Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Geary Community Hospital, the R2B4 Bramlage Family Foundation and the Geary Community Healthcare Foundation. “The R2B4 Bramlage Family Foundation and the Geary Community Healthcare Foundation have been committed to making lives better for kids and families in Junction City for many years,” said Stratton. “Their support brings an opportunity for us to really move forward and provide new services to the area that are not available anywhere in this region.”

Construction on the project will begin in the next few weeks with a projected completion date of spring 2018.

Rago Radiology Department at GCH Earns CT Accreditation

The Rago Radiology Department at GCH was recently awarded accreditation in Computed Tomography (CT) by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the largest and oldest imaging accrediting body in the U.S. and a professional organization of 34,000 physicians.

“This achievement is another example of our commitment to deliver high quality care to our patients,” said Dr. Joe Stratton, GCH Chief Executive Officer. “It’s especially important to note this accreditation achievement is a voluntary effort on behalf of the GCH Radiology Department. We are proud they have gone above and beyond to ensure our patients are receiving the nationally-accepted standards of care.”

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. “This accreditation tells our patients and families they can expect to receive the best standard of care at GCH,” said Pat Small, RT and Director of Radiology. “Every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiologists and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging. There are several requirements and standards that have to be met before accreditation is awarded.”

“Roanna Fultz, one of our Radiology Technologists, was instrumental in getting us accredited in CT,” said Small. To achieve the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, Geary Community Hospital’s personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance, and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. “It’s a pretty extensive procedure to be accredited,” said Roanna Fultz RT. “We began the application in November, 2016 and throughout the process we’ve implemented additional protocols and standards required by the American College of Radiology.”

Image: From Left: Pat Small, Director of Radiology; Roanna Fultz, RT; Dr. Joe Stratton, GCH Chief Executive Officer.

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