National Stroke & High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.  A stroke affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.

Did you know…

Someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S.

            -Each year, about as many Americans have a stroke as a heart attack.

-Stroke causes more than 133,000 deaths annually

Stroke is largely treatable and most strokes are preventable

            –The faster you are treated, the more likely you are to recover

-Stroke patients who receive the clot-busting drug alteplase (IV r-tPA) within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost 3 times more likely to recover with little or no disability.

-91 % of stroke patients who were treated with a stent retriever within 2.5 hours of symptom onset recovered with little or no disability.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most important controllable risk factor for stroke.

            -One in three American adults has high blood pressure

About three in four people who have a first stroke, have blood pressure greater than    140/90 mm Hg.  Normal blood pressure is 120/90 mm Hg.

-The American Heart Association says high blood pressure is usually preventable with simple steps*, yet it kills more people worldwide than any other condition.

World Hypertension Day is May 17th, and the American heart Association wants people to check their blood pressure by May 17, 2018.

*Steps to reduce high blood pressure

-Reduce sodium in your diet                         -Quit smoking

-Lost extra pounds                                         -Cut back on Caffeine

-Eat a healthy diet                                         -Reduce Stress

-Limit alcohol intake                                      -Exercise regularly

Top 100 in the Nation Two Years in a Row

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital in Montpelier, 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. This is the second year in a row the hospital has gotten this recognition. 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, Outpatient Share Ranking, 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.

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 states, “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.”

 

See data directly from Beckers Hospital Review at https://goo.gl/D28TN4

 

Fall Prevention

Falls are a common danger facing people as they age, and for seniors, a fall can be really bad news.  A new study shows the importance of avoiding that first fall. The findings, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, showed that more than half the seniors who went to the emergency room because of a fall either had additional falls, had to be hospitalized, or died within 6 months.

According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury.  However, by becoming educated and taking a few precautions, many falls are preventable. The National Council on Aging gives 6 basic tips for preventing falls:

 

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program

Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility.  Find a program you like through a local agency or through the internet, and enlist a friend.

 

  1. Talk to your health care provider

As for an assessment of your risk of falling.  Share your history of recent falls.

 

  1. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist

Make sure that one of the side effects of your medication isn’t an increased risk of falling.  Take medications only as prescribed.

 

  1. Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses

Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.

 

  1. Keep your home safe

Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.  It goes without saying that avoiding icy walkways, and wearing the right footwear is essential to preventing falls in the winter.

 

  1. Talk to family members

Enlist their support in taking simple steps and keeping your home safe. Falls are not just a Senior issue.

Flu Season in Full Swing

National Flu Awareness Week

Flu

  • The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
  • People of every age, including people in good health, are at risk of flu.
  • Influenza can cause illness & sometimes severe disease in persons of any age.
  • Flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of t1ospita1lzatlons and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.
  • Although a majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in people 65 years and older, even healthy young children and younger adults can have severe disease or even die from influenza.
  • Over 100 pediatric deaths from influenza were reported to CDC last season.

 

Flu Vaccinations

  • An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially
    serious disease.

– Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed work and
school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

– Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.

– Getting vaccinated yourself protects people around you, including those    who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young
children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

  • Despite the unpredictable nature of the flu, you should know:

– You need the 2017-2018 flu vaccine for optimal protection against the
flu this season because:

o Flu viruses are constantly changing, and this season’s vaccines
have been updated to protect against the viruses that
surveillance data indicate will be most common this flu season

o  A person’s immune protection from vaccine declines over time so
annual flu vaccination is needed for the best protection

  • It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protects against influenza virus infection.
  • While seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, flu activity is usually highest between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. As long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later.
  • With flu activity increasing & family & friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is the time to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t been vaccinated yet this season. A flu vaccine can protect you & your loved ones from the flu.

 

#GivingTuesday M-R-I for Y-O-U

Many may think an MRI machine is just a piece of equipment, but it’s so much more. It can be a LIFESAVER. An MRI scan can help diagnose cancer, strokes, aneurysms, spinal issues and other injuries.

“A patient came in for an MRI on her shoulder due to severe pain,” recalls an MRI technician. “I noticed an abnormal area in her lung and brought this to the radiologist’s attention. The patient was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was told by the radiologist I saved her life because we caught the cancer early.”

At Bear Lake Memorial Hospital we have access to a mobile MRI machine, however, it is a shared resource between several hospitals and is only here 1 to 2 times per week. There are often waiting lists to receive an MRI with our current setup, which forces urgent out of the area trips to get an MRI scan. This limited access makes it difficult for our community to receive the best care.

Purchasing an MRI is an investment in us.  It is an investment in our community. It is an investment that we cannot delay.  This is an M-R-I for Y-O-U.

Your generous contribution to purchase an MRI machine can be made as a one-time investment or it can be structured as a periodic, recurring donation that you can modify at any time. Because Bear Lake Valley Health Care Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, your gifts are tax deductible.

Please use the enclosed donation card and return envelope to send in your gift or go online to http://www.blmhospital.com/foundation/ and click “Donate Now”

Brake for Breakfast Success

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their annual Brake for Breakfast event on Wednesday, October 4th. Car after car proceeded through the nursing home driveway to receive their goodies. Brake for Breakfast is a regional event co-sponsored with The Hospital Cooperative in Pocatello.  With the help of hospital auxiliary volunteers, 1200 bags were given out containing information about mammograms and breast cancer along with a light breakfast. Some informational items were generously donated by the Susan G. Komen Affiliate of Idaho/Montana.

Another success to celebrate includes Bear Lake Valley Health Care Foundation and the Hospital Auxiliary purchasing a new bus for the Nursing Home and Assisted Living residents. An open house for the public will be held October 19th from 5– 6:30 pm to view the new bus and see the recently built employee/patient patio on the south end of the hospital. Donors will be recognized that evening.

Bear Lake Memorial wants to remind the people of Bear Lake Valley that prevention is the best protection and to get your mammogram. An appointment can be made by calling 208-847-1630.

BLMH named Top 100 Rural Hospitals in America

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital in Montpelier, 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, Outpatient Share Ranking, 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, the most prestigious accolade Medicare grants to nursing homes across the nation.  With this honor, Bear Lake Memorial’s Skilled Nursing Facility joins an elite status, 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 cry 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.
www.blmhospital.com/elderly-services/skilled-nursing-facility/

 

BLMH Hires New CEO

Dennis CarlsonWritten by Daniel Bishop

After Rod Jacobson announced his intentions to retire last year, 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 asset 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.”

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