BLMH named Top 100 Rural Hospitals in America

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital in Montpelier, malady ID was recently named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States by iVantage Health Analytics and The Chartis Center for Rural Health. BLMH is one of only three hospitals in Idaho that have received this ranking. Bear Lake Memorial scored in the top 100 of Critical Access Hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive rating of rural providers. Each hospital is measured across eight pillars of strength: Inpatient Share Ranking, adiposity Outpatient Share Ranking, pilule Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspectives, and Financial Stability. “It’s more important than ever that rural hospitals proactively understand and address performance in the areas of cost, quality, outcomes and patient perspective. iVantage’s INDEX was designed to serve as this industry model,” said Michael Topchik, national leader of the Chartis Center for Rural Health. Bear Lake Memorial Hospital and its Skilled Nursing Facility have also been recognized as Five Star Facilities by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Recognitions like these reinforce the high standard of quality healthcare the hospital provides and will continue to provide to the citizens of the Bear Lake Valley. Hospital Administrator, Dennis Carlson boasts, “This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the best health care possible to our community while maintaining an efficient and effective facility.”  

FIVE STAR – Nursing Home

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital has given another reason for the community to celebrate.   The hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility was presented with a “Five Star” status, pilule the most prestigious accolade Medicare grants to nursing homes across the nation.  With this honor, sales Bear Lake Memorial’s Skilled Nursing Facility joins an elite status, ed a standing only one in ten nursing homes receive throughout the country. The nursing home is managed by Darin Dransfield, Administrator, and Director of Nursing, Shelly Phelps.  Together, they explain that the Five Star ranking is comprised of three components: staffing, quality measures, and the state survey process.   Darin Dransfield expounds, “Medicare scrutinizes the quality of our staffing and the delivery of our care.  Every nine to fifteen months, state officials inspect our facility during a thorough, week long process.  Our outcomes compare to the best in the country”. Leadership at the Skilled Nursing Home consist of care provided is in harmony with the hospital’s vision to be “The Most Caring Hospital on Earth”.   In order to do so, Dransfield explains, “We strive to create cherished experiences for our co-workers, residents, and the Bear Lake area.  We are unyielding in our belief that the quality of resident care is dependent upon the quality of care we provide our employees and community.  By hiring the most caring employees, we naturally provide five star services to our residents and to the members of the Bear Lake Valley.” It is not uncommon to find the nursing home employees painting a neighbors house, serving hamburgers at a football game, or writing thank you cards.  In the facility, one experiences this five- star service through warm greetings from every employee.  Most importantly our staff members comfort our residents with hugs or will cries with someone who is sad.  Bear Lake Memorial is unique by offering in-house dialysis services to their residents.  Unlike large urban areas, this nursing home feels like family because of this five star status. To tour this gem call Darin Dransfield at 208 847 4380.  

Importance of Brain Health

  The only constant about your brain is that it’s always changing.  Even after we have reached maturity, here our brain continues to change.  These changes are sometimes referred to as “brain plasticity.”    Our experiences, habits, and the information we receive all have a part in the changes taking place in our brain.  New experiences and knowledge greatly contribute to keeping our brains working, developing, and learning. Sometimes we become concerned by changes in our brain.  We lose our keys and forget people’s names.  While some of this is attributed to changes in our brain, lapses in memory can also be caused by certain medications, lack of sleep, and other factors such as excessive alcohol. The brain is like a muscle and when we use it, we feel better. There are lifestyle habits that are not only good for our body, but also our brain.  Here are some suggested activities that are good for the aging brain:
  •  Get Moving---A daily walk is one of the easiest ways to keep moving.  However, any activity that gets your heart pumping for 30 minutes most days is good for your body, and your brain. Being active is associated with lower risk of brain issues.
  • Know your blood pressure---High blood pressure can have serious side-effects on your brain health.  If your blood pressure is high, make necessary lifestyle changes, including medication if recommended, to get it under control
  • Get adequate sleep---Inadequate sleep affects the memory center of the brain.  A good 7 or 8 hours of sleep is recommended for good health.
  • Discover a new talent----When you learn new things, you engage your brain.  Picking up a new hobby, learning a new language, reading, word puzzles, and a plethora of other activities keep the brain in good shape.
  • Pick up the phone----Stay connected with your family and friends.  Science has shown that engaging in social activities is good for the brain.  Cook dinner and invite someone over.  Volunteer or join a group.  Find ways to associate with other people.
  • Eat up----Eating a healthy diet is extremely beneficial not only to our bodies, but also our brains.  Some foods, like strawberries, blueberries, and broccoli are considered power foods for the brain. 
 Information provided by

Do You Suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Portrait of businessman closing eyes while working late at night on black background with copy space As the seasons change from fall to winter, find many people find themselves experiencing symptoms of the “winter blues.”  Prone to simply brush these symptoms off as just being in a “funk”, recipe many people think they just have to “tough it out” and wait for the sun to shine more brightly again.  What these people may be experiencing is a form of depression called “seasonal affective disorder“(SAD).  In most cases, more about seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses. Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression include:
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping or having trouble sleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
Experts believe that a drop in serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood, might play a role in SAD.  Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may  depression. Some of the factors that increase your risk of SAD include: Being female    Women experience SAD more than men, but the symptoms tend to be more severe in men. Family History  People with family members who suffer from depressive disorders are more likely to be affected by SAD. Having previously been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms may get worse during the winter months. Living far from the equator  SAD appears to be more common in people who live far from the equator Treatment can help prevent complications, especially if you seek treatment before your symptoms get bad.   You can seek help from your family care provider.  In addition, you can try the following: Make your environment sunnier and brighter  Open blinds and trim heavy tree branches away from windows. Get Outside  Even if you’re worried about the slick roads and sidewalks, you can sit on a bench at the park or on your porch. Exercise regularly  Exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety and it helps raise serotonin levels. Take a trip  Even if it’s not a trip to a sunnier climate, getting out of the house seems to help many people who suffer from SAD.      

BLMH Hires New CEO

Dennis CarlsonWritten by Daniel Bishop After Rod Jacobson announced his intentions to retire last year, viagra 100mg the Hospital Board of Directors has been looking for a replacement. They received lots of applications, with many being very qualified for the job. Last month it was announced to the hospital staff who the board had selected and now they have passed the announcement on to the general public. Starting in December, Dennis Carlson from Portneuf Medical Center will take over the position. In a letter to BLMH staff, Carlson introduced himself saying, “My family and I express sincere appreciation and gratitude for the privilege of working with each of you. Together, we will continue to deliver the highest, most heartfelt medical care possible to those who find themselves in need of services that they cannot provide for themselves.” Carlson is coming to Bear Lake with his wife, Saunja, who is a speech language pathologist and two of their four children. The older two are attending BYU-I. “My working career has been spent in management rolls for the past 20 years,” said Carlson. “I love the health-care industry. My passion lies in developing and implementing processes and services, that truly reduce the pain and suffering of people. I have always been proud of the success achieved by the teams I’ve been associated with.” Carlson is also continuing his education and is working on two masters programs, Business Administration (MBA), and Health-care Administration (MHA) which he will complete in the next couple of years. The BLMH board believes Carlson will not only be an assest to the hospital but to the Bear Lake community as well. Carlson is familiar with the area as he and his family have been vacationing here for the past six years. They love the outdoors and believe in the community. “The valley, rivers, mountains, and lakes are beautiful,” Carlson said. “However, it is the kindness of the genuine individuals who call this place home, who make those who visit feel welcome and desire to return.” Carlson live by the motto. “Leave it better than you found it.” He said, “Working with Bear Lake Memorial Hospital providers and staff has been a pleasure for me for six years now. I have looked up to your extremely talented, long-time and amazing leader, Rod Jacobson, during this time. He is a legendary health-care leader and has built such a legacy at BLMH.  I am honored by the trust of the Hospital Board, providers, and staff, who have shown confidence in me to help take an already successful operation and further the mission of providing world class care in the most compassionate way possible.”

BLMH CEO Receives Star Garnet Award

RodJacobsonThe Idaho Hospital Association presents Rod Jacobson with the Steven A. Miller Star Garnet Award on October 10, troche 2016 at their Annual Conference in Sun Valley.

Rod has exemplified outstanding leadership in the pursuit of healthcare excellence throughout his career at Bear Lake Memorial Hospital (BLMH). He began his career at the facility in December of 1978 as a lab technician. Throughout his career at BLMH, physician he has been a visionary and progressive leader, look always striving to improve himself, the organization, and the community; thus greatly impacting the health of this Idaho community in countless ways. He obtained his master’s degree in human resources management in August 1980 and resigned from his duties as a lab technician to take on the mantle of CEO in 1983. From day one, Mr. Jacobson has conveyed a leadership style of vision, excellence, compassion, and integrity. Under his direction, a staff of 254 employees and 1o4 volunteers has developed the “count on us to care” culture whose vision going forward is to be “The Most Caring Hospital on Earth.” Bear Lake Memorial Hospital is a 21-bed critical access hospital in southeast Idaho that serves Bear Lake County and the surrounding areas. A small-town facility has become “The Little Hospital that Can,” offering state-of-the-art equipment, skilled and dedicated physicians and staff, a friendly and caring environment, and the center of health for the community. Throughout his career as CEO he has always looked for ways to exceed expectations, strive for excellence, and meet the needs of the patients, their families, and the community in a compassionate and professional manner. His personal mission statement is “I will only promise what I can deliver and I’ll always deliver more than I promise.” He has been a man of his word in living up to that statement as he always delivers more than he promises. Numerous projects and advancements have been initiated throughout Mr. Jacobson’s career as CEO. Expansion and growth has been a mainstay of his vision, including a major remodel project in 1997 which allowed for an updated lab, cafeteria, and a new physical therapy department. In 2006 the 35-bed skilled nursing facility was remodeled to include 10 new private patient rooms. The following year, an assisted living center was acquired and remodeled to accommodate 24 more of the aging population in the valley in a beautiful, home-like setting. In 2015 this same assisted living center was remodeled to accommodate 30 resident rooms and a large activity room. Programs and facilities have been added to meet the needs of the community, such as home health, mental health, dialysis, orthopaedics, a sleep lab, women’s health, and fitness and weight management. Another hospital remodel was initiated in 2012 with a HIPAA compliant entry/reception area, expanded physical therapy department, and the addition of the Auxiliary’s gift shop “The Sunshine Corner.” This was not the end of his vision. In April 2014, hospital construction began again...beautiful modern, state-of-the-art, new private patient rooms that have the ability to allow family members to stay with the patient in a private setting, a nurses’s station that includes private physician portals, two ICU rooms in a private area, one new OR room, a new labor & delivery room with a jetted tub, a nursery, ample storage, a private med room, and a comfortable private waiting room for patient families. Mr. Jacobson’s vision of growth continues as the hospital is now implementing chemotherapy and mammography services. The hospital received awards and recognition for EHR compliance in 2012 under his direction and has since successfully adopted EHR in the nursing home as well as the hospital. Due to his sound fiscal planning, revenues of nearly one million in 1978 have increased to over 32 million as of the end of 2015. The ability to grow with the needs of the community involves two vital arms of Mr. Jacobson’s visionary leadership. One, the development and encouragement of both the hospital Auxiliary and the Bear Lake Valley Health Care Foundation. These entities provide the fund raising and volunteer support that allows for expansion projects, new equipment, and health fairs and screenings for the community. A population that is very poor monetarily has caught the vision of giving back in so many ways for the betterment of all. One example would be the Auxiliary’s Thrift Store which was established in 1998 under the somewhat skeptical direction of the CEO. Always willing to think outside the box, he gave the go-ahead to a project he was not sure was a winner. Today the volunteer run thrift store nets an average of $5,000 per month, provides a means for even the least affluent members of the community to contribute to the growth of the hospital (either through donations of goods or shopping) and has become a key hub of goodwill for the Bear Lake Valley. The Health Care Foundation and the Auxiliary have funded over five million dollars of hospital growth and continue to thrive under caring and progressive leadership at Bear Lake Memorial Hospital. The second arm of Mr. Jacobson’s visionary leadership is the development of his “Grow Your Own” program. This is an education opportunity program for advancing the healthcare careers of individuals in the community and keeping them with the organization after their training is completed. Long-time employees now include former dairy farmers, a car salesman, an insurance agent, a science teacher, housekeepers, CNAs, and students from the high school’s medical careers class, all who have obtained their education and training and now serve in such capacities as radiologists, physical therapists, director of nursing, ultrasound technician, and a respiratory therapist. Recruitment and education of qualified and caring staff has resulted in an environment of dedication and loyalty to each other and to the community. Thanks to the dedicated leadership of Mr. Jacobson, Bear Lake Memorial provides outstanding, big-league healthcare in a small-town “treat you like family” environment. He has lent his visionary leadership skills to numerous other boards and projects during the course of his career at the hospital. He served as chairman of the Idaho Hospital Association Board of Directors. He has been instrumental in developing a healthy community through his service in the Lions Club, Rotary Club, the Mosquito Abatement Board, and also assisted in the establishment of the National Oregon/Californian Trail Center in Montpelier. Because of his love for youth and his desire to see them succeed, he has donated countless hours working with Bear Lake Little League baseball for years. He organized and oversaw 24 years of the biggest All-Stars Baseball Tournament in Idaho. He was influential in growing the Allinger Parks organization to improve and expand city parks (while personally and proudly serving as maintenance man and chief sprinkler repairman). Probably the most notable, he served for 10 years as a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America graduating 21 Eagle Scouts under his leadership. Mr. Jacobson is an administrator who has demonstrated vision and determination without end. He has spent countless hours preparing to leave this latest expansion as a legacy of the most caring hospital in the world, and patient rooms that reflect that goal in every detail. Not only has he been a leader for those at Bear Lake Memorial Hospital, but he’s been a leader in the healthcare field. He is an inspiration and role model to his peers. He has made an impact on anyone who has come in contact with him through his strong leadership abilities. This father of four, grandfather of 10, avid fly-fisherman, advocates for the betterment of mankind, makes a difference every day in the lives he touches and will do so for years to come thanks to his insightful, caring and progressive leadership.

3-D Mammography Coming Soon

Mammography-back2The Bear Lake Valley Health Care Foundation and the Bear Lake Memorial Hospital Auxiliary have started fundraising for a mammography suite at Bear Lake Memorial Hospital. It is estimated that a new digital 3D mammography machine and suite renovations will cost just over $400, visit this site 000. We will be one of two 3-D machines in Idaho. Plans are to secure the equipment in the Fall of 2016 and take appointments in November. Currently, website the only mammography services available to the residents of Bear Lake Valley is a mobile unit that comes once each month. For the past twenty years, this service has been provided by Portneuf Medical Center. While Portneuf Medical Center has been good to work with and very accommodating, the fact is that one day per month does not fit all schedules. The mobile unit that we have been using has equipment that is outdated and will be discontinued in the near future. This will leave Bear Lake Valley with no local mammography services. Idaho women are among the Nation’s lowest obtaining annual mammography screenings. Bear Lake County is ranked 34th out of the 44 counties in Idaho. Bear Lake Memorial Hospital feels confident that making this service available on a full-time basis could significantly increase the number of women getting their annual scans performed. History shows when a neighboring hospital opened their in-house mammography unit their utilization more than doubled. Let’s work together to catch breast cancer early!

Just Keep Swimming . . . Water Safety

Water Safety In a recent survey conducted by the Red Cross Organization, website almost half of the adults surveyed say that they have had an experience where they nearly drowned, physician and one in four know someone who has drowned.  Over 90% of families with young children will be in the water at some pint this summer, and 48% of those plan to swim in a place with no lifeguard. With so many planning to be near or in the water, it is important to follow basic water safety rules and become informed.  Here are some common guidelines: PRACTICE WATER SAFETY
  • Always swim with a buddy: do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well by enrolling in certified courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not leave them with another child. Avoid distractions when supervising young children and always stay within arm’s reach.
  • Have young children wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets.  Staying safe around water doesn’t mean having kids wear water wings!_
  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.  Seconds count in preventing death or injury.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, and life jacket.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.  Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine
  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF factor of at least 15. This should be higher for young kids.
  • Be weatherwise!  Always check local weather conditions before departure.  If you notice dark clouds, rough or changing winds, or a sudden drop in temperature, get off the water! Getting caught in rough waters can quickly become a dangerous situation.  Pay attention and use common sense when deciding whether or not to go out.
  • If caught in a thunderstorm on open water, stay low in the middle of the vessel.  If there is lightening, disconnect all electrical systems and stay clear of all metal objects.
  • Always tell someone of your travel plans.  Tell them where you will be and give them a time frame for when you will be back.
  • Make sure ALL passengers are wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved life-vests. The majority of drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets.
  • Operate at safe speed at all times and be courteous to other recreationists.
  • Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat. If the primary handler is injured or incapacitated in any way, it‘s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone back to shore.
Using common sense and following a few safety rules can help insure that your summer is fun and disaster free.