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Virtual, In-Person Options Open to All

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6.6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million.

Each person with the disease inevitably needs some type of help. Whether you provide daily caregiving, participate in decision making, or simply care about a person with Alzheimer’s disease – caring for someone with dementia demands a lot.

Get to know other people who truly understand.

Pender Caregiver Support Group
Pender Community Hospital has partnered with the Nebraska chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to create the Pender Caregiver Support Group for local friends, families and caregivers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

“PCH saw the need for support and education for our families who are helping their loved ones through their journey with dementia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s,” said PCH therapist Krista Roeber, PLMHP/PLMSW.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic; the disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to atrophy, which results in the decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that affect a person’s ability to function independently.

At this time, there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which is believed to have contributed to the deaths of more than 120,000 people in 2019, according to the association. Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association is considered the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

PCH’s support group, which is facilitated by trained staff, is designed to provide dementia caregivers, including friends or family, with a support system that allows for:

  • the exchange of practical information and possible solutions
  • learning about available resources
  • a discussion of issues, concerns, and coping methods
  • sharing feelings and needs from the caregiver’s perspective

“We hope that those who attend the group meetings are able to leave with some education and support through the disease process,” said Roeber. “For anyone who is thinking about joining us, please feel comfortable and know that we are all learning together.”

Support Group Dates and Times
Virtual Meetings
Second Wednesday of each month
4:30-5:30 p.m.

In-person Meetings
Second Friday of each month at Pender Community Hospital
9:00-10:30 a.m.

To register, contact Krista Roeber at (402) 385-1897 or krista.roeber@pchne.org.

If you need assistance in finding respite for your loved one while attending the support group, please reach out to Krista Roeber at (402) 385-1897 or krista.roeber@pchne.org.

Additional Resources

Visit alz.org/nebraska to learn more about caregiver programs and resources.

To further extend your network of support, visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s online community ALZConnected at alzconnected.org. It’s a free online community for everyone affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Pender Community Hospital is pleased to welcome Josh Ridder, PA-C, to its outpatient specialty clinic, where he will see pulmonology patients twice a month.

Ridder earned his degree as a physician’s assistant at Pennsylvania College of Technology, a Penn State affiliate located in Williamsport, Pa. and earned his certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Ridder is particularly interested in pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine, which focuses on the diagnosis and therapy of sleep disorders. As a former respiratory therapist, Ridder worked in the intensive care unit at Creighton University Medical Center, where he had the opportunity to work with pulmonology and critical care patients; this experience led Ridder to pursue a degree as a certified physician assistant.

“My favorite part about medicine is interacting with patients,” said Ridder. “Being able to build a rapport with people and helping them understand their disease process is a rewarding experience for me. “    

The Pender Community Hospital Outpatient Specialty Clinic is staffed with caring, well-trained healthcare providers who are prepared to meet the medical needs of patients. Call the Pender Community Hospital Respiratory Department at 402-385-4059 to schedule an appointment with Josh Ridder.

Josh Ridder PA-C
Josh Ridder, PA-C

Get back to what moves you

Dr. Justin Deans adds to our orthopedic team, specializing in anterior hip replacement procedures

Hip replacements are the most common and long-lasting joint replacement, often with life-changing results that help people move better, feel better and get back to doing the things they enjoy.

At Pender Community Hospital, our skilled orthopedic teams provide customized treatments and solutions to help people relieve pain and regain mobility. To add to our full range of orthopedic services, PCH is pleased to welcome Dr. Justin Deans who specializes in anterior hip replacement procedures—an innovative alternative to traditional, or posterior, hip replacement.

Why a hip replacement?

As people age and accumulate more mileage on their hips, it’s common for arthritis to develop and become more painful—and even debilitating. Pain while walking, severe limping and avoiding activities they once enjoyed are common reasons why people choose to have a hip replacement procedure. When joints are replaced with a synthetic counterpart, functionality returns without the pain, and people can reclaim their mobility and quality of life.

Dr. Justin Deans

Welcome Dr. Justin Deans

Pender Community Hospital is excited to welcome Dr. Justin Deans, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in adult reconstruction and joint replacement surgery. After completing a fellowship in New York City, Dr. Deans returned to the Midwest and now provides customized treatments and orthopedic solutions to patients at PCH.

“As a physician, I want to help people,” Dr. Deans shared. “As an orthopedic surgeon, I get an incredible opportunity to see the results of treatments or procedures that we determine as provider and patient. I’m motivated every day seeing patients move in ways they didn’t think were possible and return to the lives they love.”  

Anterior hip replacement procedures

Unlike a posterior hip replacement, anterior hip replacement procedures are done from the front of the body. Dr. Deans offers this innovative procedure to patients at PCH where it’s closer for them and their families. Advantages of the minimally invasive procedure can include:

• Faster recovery time and less pain
• No need to cut tissues or detach tendons
• More immediate support and joint functionality
• Fewer restrictions after procedures
• Lower risk of hip dislocation after surgery

Patients who carry excess weight or have pelvic or femur issues may not be good candidates for an anterior hip replacement.

“Hip replacement procedures can change lives,” Dr. Deans shared. “When I see a patient walk in effortlessly for a follow-up appointment, and they could barely get around when I met them, it reinforces my decision to practice orthopedic medicine. I’m humbled to be able to help people regain not only their ability to move, but also their confidence. And it’s rewarding to see them with a renewed approach toward life.”

Get back to what moves you

Over 300,000 people in the United States have hip replacement procedures annually. Dr. Deans and our skilled orthopedic teams provide comprehensive, customized care—from consultation to complete recovery—right here where it’s closer for patients and families. To learn more joint replacement procedures or other orthopedic solutions, call 402-385-4090 or visit pchne.org/movebetter.

Pender Community Hospital is pleased to welcome interventional cardiologist Mir Rauf Subla, MD, FACC, FSCAI to its outpatient specialty clinic.

Dr. Subla is quadruple board-certified in internal medicine, critical care medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology. Dr. Subla completed a Heart Failure Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, as well as a Cardiovascular disease Fellowship at Mayo Clinic, where he also served as an assistant professor of medicine in the College of Medicine and Science in the Division of Cardiology and Critical Care.

“Every patient I see is a new book: a unique person with symptoms or needs as individualized as the person themselves,” Subla said, according to Siouxland Heart and Vascular Center. “I want to work with my patients to find just the right course of treatment for their lives. When I can help my patients and see that huge relief for them and their families, that’s really satisfying.”

In addition, Dr. Subla performs all major interventional procedures including TAVR, Mitra Clip, Watchmen, CardioMEMS and EKOS.

At Pender Community Hospital, we’re committed to providing high-quality heart and vascular care close to home for our patients. To provide this care, we utilize state-of-the-art technology and have a qualified cardiology team at our Outpatient Specialty Clinic. To make an appointment with Dr. Subla, call 402-385-4090.

Dr. Subla
Mir Rauf Subla, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Pender Community Hospital is pleased to welcome orthopedic surgeon Dr. Justin Deans to its skilled surgical team. Dr. Deans specializes in hip and knee replacement procedures.

Dr. Deans earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a master’s degree in physiology from Georgetown University before completing his medical degree at Touro University Nevada. He then finished his orthopedic surgery internship at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, followed by a residency at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, Calif.

In addition, Dr. Deans is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and joint replacement surgery following his studies at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Dr. Deans is board-eligible with the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery, and is licensed in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Among the services PCH’s orthopedic department offers are state-of-the-art CT and MRI imaging, knee pain management, knee scopes, carpal tunnel surgeries, minimally invasive shoulder procedures, and hip and knee joint replacement. Call 402-385-4090 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Deans, or learn more at pchne.org/GetMoving.

Justin Deans, D.O.

Legacy Garden Rehabilitation & Living Center in Pender, Nebraska has announced their planned closure of May 14th, 2022, after exhausting all efforts to keep the facility open.

“We are extremely saddened to be closing the doors of our long-term rehabilitation and living center, operated by the Pender Community Hospital District,” said Mike Minert, chairman of the board for the Pender Community Hospital District and Pender Care Centre District Board of Directors. “The staffing crisis of healthcare workers has deeply affected our organization. We have reached a point that we are at risk of being unable to provide the quality of care our residents deserve with the number of staff we have. Our resident safety is our number one concern and will continue to be as we work through this transition.”

Legacy Garden Rehabilitation and Living Center has provided care to those in the community for over 50 years in its current facility. This closure is one of many across the nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next 60 days, staff will be assisting 18 residents and their families transition to area skilled care facilities of their choice, as part of the closure plan with the State of Nebraska.

“We cannot thank our Legacy Garden staff enough for the sacrifice they have made and the commitment that they have shown to our organization and our residents. They have made such a lasting impact on our residents and their quality of life,” said Minert. “All 15 full-time and part-time Legacy Garden staff are being asked to continue to work and receive their current pay through the transition period. Legacy Garden staff are encouraged to review and apply for current job openings at Pender Community Hospital. Staff that continue to successfully perform their duties throughout the transition will be supported in a number of ways, including a stay/severance package.”

Pender Community Hospital welcomes wound care specialist Janis Harrison, RN, BSN, CWOCN, CFCN, to our Outpatient Specialty Clinic in Pender. Harrison, owner of Harrison W.O.C. Services is now seeing patients at the outpatient specialty clinic each Wednesday.

In addition to operating her own wound care business, Harrison works as an independent contractor for medical entities throughout northeast Nebraska, caring for patients with wounds, ostomies, continence, and foot and nail needs. Harrison is a graduate of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and has more than 30 years of experience as a nurse, including 12 years as a certified wound, ostomy, continence nurse (CWOCH) and certified foot care nurse (CFCN).

Harrison is also involved in the educational aspect of wound care: Along with acting as a consultant, she writes case studies, poster abstracts, and newsletters, and is the chief clinical consultant for WoundRight, a mobile application for wound care management.

Harrison looks forward to providing comprehensive and effective care to patients with all types of wounds. To schedule an appointment, please call the Outpatient Specialty Clinic at 402-385-4090.

Janis Harrison, RN, BSN, CWOCN, CFCN

Recovery can be a long and winding road after an accident, illness or injury. Sometimes patients need specialized care to reclaim skills they once used in day-to-day living. At Pender Community Hospital, occupational therapists customize care and utilize a wide range of treatments to help people of all ages live more complete, productive and independent lives. PCH occupational therapist Haley Haymart explained the importance of this lesser-understood therapy—and how occupational therapists, patients and providers partner to establish goals that give patients the tools they need to live confidently at home, work or at school.

What is occupational therapy and how does it work?
“Occupational therapy is a holistic approach to healthcare,” Haley explained. “Therapists address clinical conditions, habits, routines and access each individuals’ occupation and activities.” After a thorough evaluation, occupational therapists customize treatments and draw from a number of resources, from finding interventions or making home modifications to utilizing technology advancements, that help patients reach their goals.

Goal getters
Therapists and patients establish goals—and no goal is too small—to help individuals live more successfully and independently. Tasks may include relearning life skills including how to eat, get dressed, use the restroom or pay bills. Therapists may also recommend modifications in the home or workplace so patients can live easier and return to their jobs.

Occupational therapy is for all ages
Older adults may receive occupational therapy services to restore balance, help prevent falls or learn how to adapt to using a wheelchair. OT is also common for people with joint and mobility issues or for those experiencing cognitive challenges. Younger patients may see an occupational therapist to learn how to hold a pencil or respond more confidently in social situations. Using innovative treatments, advanced technologies and modification techniques, therapists customize care to help patients live happier, healthier lives.

Occupational therapy is different than physical therapy
Haley illustrates the difference between occupational and physical therapies by using a favorite saying. “Physical therapy helps a ballerina learn to walk again. Occupational therapy teaches the ballerina to dance again.” Beyond the physical demands of recovery—where strengthening and exercising the body helps its function—occupational therapies help people master everyday tasks and activities that often make life more meaningful.

Why Pender Community Hospital?
According to Haley, the real benefit to occupational therapy at PCH is the continuum of care. “If we see you as an inpatient, the same therapist will transition care and see you as an outpatient to further assist you with meeting important goals,” she shared. Haley is especially proud of the compassion the PCH therapy team shows to each patient they partner with for care. “Everyone here is treated like family.”

Call for care or learn more
If you or someone you love needs help to recover daily skills—or rediscover a more confident and independent life—talk to the occupational therapy team at Pender Community Hospital. Call 402-385-2026 with questions or contact Haley directly at 402-385-1853.

Haley Haymart, OTD/OTR/L

Pender Community Hospital is pleased to welcome Dr. Hemantha Koduri to our Outpatient Specialty Clinic in Pender.

Dr. Koduri completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois’ St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, and then worked as an assistant professor of medicine and teaching hospitalist in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Chicago. He completed fellowship training in vascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic; he then finished fellowship training in general cardiovascular medicine at Creighton University, Omaha, NE. Following his general cardiology training, he joined Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center, where he graduated in interventional vascular, cardiology and structural heart diseases.

Dr. Koduri is board certified in internal medicine, vascular medicine, vascular imaging, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, general cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiovascular medicine.
Dr. Koduri has expertise in treating patients with thrombosis, hypertension, lipid disorders, heart rhythm abnormalities, heart attacks, heart valve and structural disorders, heart failure, and blockages in blood vessels of the neck, arms, legs, abdomen including aorta, kidney arteries and varicose veins. He performs high-risk coronary and peripheral arterial interventions including chronic total occlusions (CTO) for revascularization, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, venous ablation and stenting.

Dr. Koduri will see patients on the 1st Friday of every month. He looks forward to providing comprehensive and effective care to patients with all types of vascular disease. To schedule an appointment, please call 402-385-4090.

Pender Community Hospital is pleased to welcome Dr. Steve Henao to our Hospital Outpatient Specialty Clinic in Pender.

Dr. Henao obtained his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch and was a Southern Medical Association scholar. He completed his residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and subsequently completed his fellowship in vascular and endovascular surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr Henao is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, Vascular Surgery. He is highly respected in his field, providing minimally invasive vascular surgery utilizing cutting-edge technology.

As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Henao treats all veins and arteries outside of the brain and heart. Common conditions include abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, peripheral arteriole disease, thoracic outlet syndrome, varicose veins and spider veins, limb preservation and wound treatment, pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, dialysis access and hyperhidrosis.

Dr. Henao looks forward to providing comprehensive and effective care to patients with all types of vascular disease. To schedule an appointment, please call 402-385-4090.

Dr. Steve Henao

Pender Medical Clinics today announced it has been named a 2021 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey, the national leader in healthcare consumer and workforce engagement. Press Ganey recognizes Pender Medical Clinics as a top-performing healthcare organization achieving the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award® is a preeminent, competitive achievement for leading healthcare organizations. Presented annually, the award applauds hospitals and health systems that consistently sustained performance in the top 5% of all Press Ganey clients.

“Press Ganey is honored to recognize Pender Medical Clinics as one of the nation’s leaders in patient experience,” said Patrick T. Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer, Press Ganey. “This award reflects an unwavering commitment to earn the trust and loyalty of patients throughout unimaginable challenges. We are humbled by Pender Medical Clinics’ incredible efforts, and their ability to adapt to imperatives of COVID-19 on top of the increasing demand for consumerism in healthcare.”

“We are so pleased to receive this prestigious award that recognizes the steadfast commitment our providers, nurses and staff have to our patients and our community,” said Shane Shuster, Pender Community Hospital interim CEO. “It’s a true honor to be chosen and we are grateful to receive this award recognizing our efforts.”

Director of Rural Health Clinics Lori Minert added: “Our team cares deeply about every patient, so it’s wonderful that their hard work and talent has been recognized with this patient experience award. We are fortunate to have such excellent staff and providers at Pender Medical Clinic and its satellites.”

To learn more about Pender Medical Clinics, including locations in Bancroft, Beemer and Emerson, visit www.pchne.org/facilities/medical-clinics/

About Press Ganey Press Ganey pioneered the health care performance improvement movement 35 years ago. Today Press Ganey offers an integrated suite of solutions that enable enterprise transformation across the patient journey. Delivered through a cutting-edge digital platform built on a foundation of data security, Press Ganey solutions address safety, clinical excellence, patient experience, and workforce engagement. The
company works with more than 41,000 health care facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality, and experience of care.

About Pender Community Hospital District Pender’s hospital dates back to 1913. Over the years, the Pender Community Medical System has become a model of an effective Rural Health System. Through the loyalty and generous support of everyone making up the hospital district, plus the dedication of the medical staff, board of directors, and hospital staff, we continue to deliver top quality health care. Visit pchne.org to learn more.

Pender Community Hospital is pleased to welcome a new dermatology provider, Deb Baker, DNP, FNP-BC, to the outpatient specialty clinic in Pender.

Baker will offer a wide variety of dermatological services. She will treat skin conditions of the body including eczema, acne, mole removal, skin cancer and also help patients with concerns involving the hair, feet and nails. The licensed and board-certified nurse practitioner runs a practice in Fremont that specializes in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatological services.

While dermatology has always been Deb Baker’s main interest, she has also worked in emergency medicine, intensive care and pediatric medicine. Baker has continued her education throughout her career and has earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Midland University, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Creighton University, national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is also a member of the Dermatology Nurses Association.

Deb Baker will see patients every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month starting on November 1st. For an appointment call, Baker’s office at 402-936-6198 or to learn more about PCH’s dermatology services, call 402-385-4090 or visit pchne.org.

Deb Baker Headshot
Deb Baker, DNP, FNP-BC

Regular mammograms are the best defense against breast cancer.

About one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and nearly 85% of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women with no family history of the disease.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, and in 2021, it’s estimated that around 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers. Also this year, an estimated 43,600 women nationally are expected to die from the disease. Yet even with such alarming statistics, many women delay—or avoid entirely—regular mammogram screenings that could protect their health and save their lives.

Why mammograms
Mammograms are imaging tests used to screen for breast cancer and in short, they are women’s best defense to detect breast cancer early. 63% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed before they spread, thanks largely to mammography and in these instances, there is a 99% survival rate. While the threat is very real, early detection means there is a greater likelihood to beat breast cancer, and an increased probability that the treatment used to fight cancer will be less radical and painful.

Life begins at age 40—so do mammograms
The American Cancer Society recommends women start getting mammogram screenings at age 40, with yearly mammograms ages 45 to 55. After age 55, women may switch to having the screening every two years or continue getting mammograms annually. Talk to your provider at regular wellness exams to determine what is right for you. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, tell your primary care provider; he or she may recommend you start routine mammograms at a younger age.

It’s easier than many expect
The test is simple. During a mammogram, the breasts are gently compressed, one at a time, so the mammographer technician can capture clear, accurate x-ray images that would show indications of cancer or other concerns. During the short process, you will need to change positions from time to time, and while the pressure is uncomfortable for some, many have no issues at all. Even for those who are a bit more sensitive, technicians are very accommodating, understanding and frankly, really good at their jobs. They use techniques to customize the process so women of all shapes, sizes and comfort levels—both physical and psychological—can get the important imaging necessary to protect their health.

Approximately 20 minutes and you’re done
While mammograms aren’t often at the top of people’s favorites lists, the screening doesn’t take long and is practically over before it begins. A mammogram usually takes about 20 minutes—a small time investment to protect something as valuable as your health—and maybe even your life.

Early detection can win the race against cancer
While the statistics and seriousness of cancer diagnoses are rather overwhelming, there is encouraging news. The overall death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 1% per year from 2013 to 2018. This decline is very optimistic and is thought to be a direct correlation to both the advancements of treatments and earlier detection of cancers through mammogram screenings.

  • If you’ve already blown out 40 candles – or more – on your birthday cake, give yourself an important gift: Schedule your annual mammogram. Early detection is critical to beat against breast cancer. Please visit our calendar to see when our healthcare providers are available to see patients.

Help Keep Pender Community Hospital & Medical Clinics Healthy

As we continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important we all do our part to keep our community safe and healthy – and one way we can do that is through masking.

While masks are no longer required in all establishments, Pender Community Hospital & Medical Clinics still requires everyone to wear a mask while inside our facilities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses. We ask that patients and visitors bring their own mask to wear as we are once again experiencing shortages of essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Masks are a proven strategy to reduce the spread of illness, along with other measures such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, covering coughs/sneezes, and vaccinations. For illnesses like COVID-19 that are spread through airborne droplets from your mouth and nose, a mask reduces the dispersion of these droplets—and as a result reduces the spread of infectious diseases.

Masks are a proven strategy to reduce the spread of illness, along with other measures such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, covering coughs/sneezes, and vaccinations. For illnesses like COVID-19 that are spread through airborne droplets from your mouth and nose, a mask reduces the dispersion of these droplets—and as a result reduces the spread of infectious diseases.

And while it’s important to take precautions in all settings, it’s especially essential in healthcare facilities where this is a higher risk of spread – both from people who are sick with these illnesses and to people who are more vulnerable to them because they are immunocompromised. By requiring masks in Pender Community Hospital & Medical Clinics, we are helping protect our patients and our staff to ensure the best and safest possible care. Masking, while it may seem inconvenient, is an easy yet effective way to protect those around you. So next time you arrive at Pender Community Hospital & Medical Clinics, please remember to mask up – it’s for the health of our community.