Tri Valley Health Systems builds on patient connections
CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska - If you were to look all across the nation - at all 50 states - it would be hard to find a town of 1,000 population with the scope and quality of the health care facilities in Cambridge, Nebraska.
In fact, many larger towns do not possess the impressive range of health care services available through the Tri Valley Health System.
Recognized not only locally and regionally, but nationally as well, the Tri Valley Health System has been acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as a model for the excellent integration of health care services and facilities.
Upon your arrival in Cambridge, it is apparent how extensively this town and this region are devoted to superior health care. Alongside U.S. Highways 6 & 34 on the western side of the community, the Tri Valley Health System campus is multi-dimensional, now highlighted by the state-of-the-art Cambridge Memorial Hospital and Cambridge Medical Clinic. Built at a cost of $21.8 million in 2011, the modern medical center is at the heart of a health care system which also includes the Cambridge Manor Nursing Home, Cambridge Assisted Living, Heritage Plaza retiree apartments, as well as a wide array of other amenities including the Tri Valley Healthy Living Center, the Cambridge Rehabilitation Center, the Cornerstone dining area, nutrition and diabetic services and education rooms.
The scope and success of the Tri Valley Health System is a credit to a long line of giving and caring citizens, going all the way back to the hardy and industrious folks who settled the connected valleys of the Medicine Creek, Beaver Creek and Republican River.
"Most especially," said Nate McCormick, the medical clinic executive for the Tri Valley Health System, "we want to shine the spotlight on the front line, by which I mean the health care team which serves the public at the Tri Valley medical clinics in Arapahoe, Cambridge and Indianola."
"It is at the clinics - now and in the past - that medical care professionals have forged the bond with patients that has led to the development of all the wonderful health care facilities and services we have at Tri Valley Health System," he said.
Not surprisingly - given the close connection between the patients and care providers at Tri Valley - the staff at the hospital and the clinics is dominated by medical professionals born and raised in Nebraska.
The list of hometowns of Tri Valley's three physicians and four physician assistants tell the story. Dr. Lennie Deaver is from Dalton, Dr. Shelly Kaspar-Cope is from Crete, and Dr. Shivaun Jaeger is from Chappell. The PA's also have Nebraska backgrounds, with Paul Shellabarger, PA-C, from Grant; Kyleen Klinkebeil, PA-C, from Ponca; Nicole Hoffmann, PA-C, from Axtell; and Alysia Mowry, PA-C, from Cambridge.
The life-long familiarity with the Good Life of Nebraska is at the core of the close connection between patients and care providers at Tri Valley health System.
"We know our patients on a personal level," said Alysia Mowry, who was born and raised in Cambridge and entered the health care profession because of the inspiration she received while "shadowing" Tri Valley doctors and PA's during her high school years. Echoing that thought, Nicole Hoffmann from near-by Axtell said "family practice" is an especially appropriate term in the Tri Valley area because the people we serve are our friends, our neighbors and our family. That's not only true in a real sense, but also in the sense of family feeling of community life.
The close connection begins at the clinics in Arapahoe, Cambridge and Indianola where the doctors, the PA's and support staffs attend to the needs of patients.
The Arapahoe Clinic, established in 1975, is located at 305 Nebraska Avenue, and the Indianola Clinic is located at 119 South Fourth Street. Both the Arapahoe and Indianola Clinics are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Cambridge Clinic is in the same building as the Cambridge Memorial Hospital. The Cambridge Clinic is open from 9 .m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and also from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Emergency services are available around the clock all year long at the hospital.
Gregg Magers, the interim CEO at Tri Valley health System, has served at health care facilities from California to the East Coast, with considerable time spent in the larger cities in Texas. But, in all his travels, he says he has never seen such extensive health care services and facilities in an area as thinly populated as the Tri Valley region.
Although here only a short time, Magers said the reason is already apparent to him. "It's the commitment the volunteers and staff have to quality health care. "Their hearts are in the right place. It is because of them - the board, the foundation and the staff -that Tri Valley not only has an outstanding hospital and great clinics but excellent facilities for seniors - a nursing home, assisted living and retirement apartments - as well."
While appreciative of the compliment, Tri Valley's current Chief of Staff, Dr. Sghivaun Jaeger, said the Tri Valley staff of more than 200 cannot rest on its laurels. "We're always looking for ways to improve. As a health care facility and as a regional community, we want the best for the people who are our patients as well as our friends and neighbors."
When people care, and connect, as they do in Cambridge and the Tri Valley region, it gives meaning and purpose to Nebraska's reputation for the Good Life. It also substantiates Tri Valley's slogan: "Better Health * Better Life."