Hospital News

Webster County Community Hospital and Clinic Embrace Change with Positive Outlook

At a special meeting of the WCCH Board of Trustees last month, the resignation notice of current administrator, Marianna Harris, was regretfully accepted. Marianna has served in the leadership role for five years and has made significant changes in the operations from enhancing the quality of care received by the patients, updating the facilities and improving the operating margin and cash flow. Marianna and her husband, Bill, are moving to Iowa in close proximity to where they both grew up. Marianna is excited to begin an "early" retirement process and enjoy spending more time with her husband and family.

Although WCCH has faced many challenges including changes in health care regulations, a recent 2% sequestration in reimbursement, decline in inpatient admissions and migration to a complete electronic health record, adjustments were easily made by the staff at WCCH as they worked together to develop a successful strategic plan leaving them in a financially sound position as well as remaining fully staffed. WCCH is very fortunate to have Amy Springer, MD, and Abby Hansen, PA, covering all the appointments during the week at the Webster County Community Hospital and Clinic to meet the needs of the community and patients for providing patient care. WCCH is also utilizing locum tenens for weekend on-call coverage including Douglas Morin, MD, A.J. Strickland, MD, and Dominic Robine, DO. Dr. Springer also covers one weekend per month to complete the on-call schedule. In addition, Dr. Springer will be adjusting her schedule to work five days a week beginning sometime in August to cover the gap while Abby Hansen, PA, is on maternity leave. The physician recruitment efforts have been ongoing since last summer for another provider to join the WCCH team and the search will continue to be a high priority. This is yet another challenge that is faced by WCCH as well as numerous rural communities throughout Nebraska.

The WCCH Board of Trustees has secured Rural Health Development to provide an "interim" administrator until a permanent administrator is hired. Rural Health Development served in this position before and assisted in the recruitment of Marianna Harris. They are very familiar with the hospital operations and have a consulting staff with a wide-based knowledge of rural health care. Rural Health Development has assigned Mike Harris to serve in the interim Administrator role for WCCH beginning on May 6, 2014.

Even though some changes are occurring, WCCH is committed to providing quality care in a professional and caring manner for the residents of Webster County and surrounding areas for many years to come!

New Specialists Coming to WCCH

The Webster County Community Hospital (WCCH) is pleased to announce the addition of three new specialists who will be providing outpatient services at WCCH beginning in 2014. George Kassis, M.D. and Radu Neamu, M.D., pulmonologists, from the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE, and Daniel Brailita, M. D., Infectious Disease Specialist, from Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings, NE.

Dr. George Kassis earned his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan. He completed an internship at King Hussein Hospital in Al-Salt, Jordan, and a residency in internal medicine at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey. Kassis completed fellowships in pulmonary/critical care at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York, and at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is board certified in internal medicine and in pulmonary disease.

Dr. Radu Neamu earned his medical degree from Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Timisora, Romania. He completed an internship at County Hospital Valcea and a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at County Hospital Timis, both in Romania. He completed an internal medicine residency at Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Conn., and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He is board certified in internal medicine.

Dr. Daniel Brailita is Board Certified in both Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine. He received his Medical Degree from the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University in Odessa, TX. Dr. Brailita completed his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas Texas where he served as Chief Fellow. He has been practicing at the Central Nebraska Infectious Disease Clinic since 2007. Dr. Brailita speaks English, Romanian, French and basic medical Spanish. Some of his hobbies include computer hardware, chess, basketball, tennis and photography. Dr. Brailita and his wife, Dora, have two children.

Check out the monthly WCCH Outpatient Schedule in the Red Cloud Chief for more information on their upcoming clinics or follow our physician schedules online at

WCCH will also be offering an Integrated Behavioral Health Clinic beginning Monday, February 3rd, 2014 and every Monday thereafter. Funding secured through South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) of Hastings is allowing for the participation of WCCH and surrounding facilities to partake in this great opportunity. Cindy McDowell, LMHP, from South Central Behavioral Services will be providing this service. The goal of the clinic will be to increase access to behavioral health services by integrating into the primary care setting. Services will include comprehensive counseling with the availability of telehealth for diagnostic purposes and medication management, when appropriate. WCCH is excited to offer this opportunity to the community!

A heartwarming story about how the small things do make a difference in patient care

Judy Ord was no stranger to hospitals; with two knee replacement surgeries and a recent breast cancer diagnosis, she had visited many healthcare facilities in the area searching for the right place for treatment. Naturally, Judy found herself starting to compare the facilities on aspects like quality of care and staff responsiveness. And even patient gowns.

While a patient at Lincoln Surgical Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, Judy noticed the gown she was given was different than others she had worn. The quality of the fabric was heavier than most, and didn't feel like it was "see-through" or could fall apart at any given second. It was brightly colored and cheery, a welcome alternative to the dull gowns she was used to. It tied at the sides, helping her to feel less exposed. Perhaps most surprising of all, it was comfortable.

Judy's unusual experience with the nice patient gowns at Lincoln Surgical Hospital made her keenly aware of the gowns at other hospitals thereafter, like those given to her ailing mother, Ruth Bernhardt, at the rural Webster County Community Hospital. When her mother passed away at the end of May, Judy decided she wanted to do something special to both honor the memory of her mother and show her appreciation to Webster County Community Hospital, the facility that had taken wonderful care of her mother and had shown her so much kindness.

A creative idea sparked. Judy remembered the lovely gowns at Lincoln Surgical, so she contacted the hospital to figure out where, exactly, those special linens came from. And that's when we, Spin Linen, got the call. Judy told us her story and explained how she wanted to donate 48 Spin Linen patient gowns to the Webster County Community Hospital so that future patients would have a little something extra to warm and comfort them. To say we were touched is not a powerful enough statement. We were deeply moved and inspired, and we immediately knew that we wanted to be a part of Judy's project. We brainstormed some ideas of how we could contribute, and then had the pleasure of proposing to Judy that Spin Linen add special embroidery to each gown donated to say, "In Memory of Ruth Bernhardt." Judy loved the idea.

We had the special PerforMax gowns by Medline embroidered and delivered them to Judy's home so she could donate them to the rural hospital in person. Together, it's our hope that the comfy gowns help brighten the patients' spirits.

We are sharing this story with our customers and friends, because as each new day brings us new tasks to conquer, problems to solve, and things to accomplish, it's a warm reminder that the small things do matter and can make a difference in patient perception.

This article is being transmitted with permission from Spin Linen

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