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Inspiring Health SPRING 2014

Neighborhood Satisfaction Residents and family happy with new skilled nursing facility

Economic Impact How Brookings Health System effects our local economy

Health Care & Spirituality Helping the whole person heal

Outreach Specialty Clinic Completed

This winter the new outreach specialty clinic at Brookings Health System opened. Currently patients may see specialists for allergies, pain management, plastic surgery and ear, nose and throat conditions.

T he new 2,000 square foot clinic is

located on the east side of the hospital. It was remodeled from a portion of the former nursing home, Brookview Manor.

The clinic includes three exam rooms, a procedure room, office space for visiting physicians, and a waiting room and reception area. Specialists hosted at the clinic include those out-of-town physicians who formerly conducted regular outreach at the hospital’s emergency department.

Because of the limited capacity to host outreach specialists in the emergency department, the new area allows Brookings Health System to increase the number of specialists who establish outreach in Brookings. To learn more about outreach services at Brookings Health System, please visit

Hand Hygiene for the Home The best way to prevent spreading disease is hand washing. And nothing works better than good old soap and water to clean hands. According to the CDC, the proper way to wash hands includes:

Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.


Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. NOTE: the FDA states antimicrobial soap offers no extra health benefits over using regular soap. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end twice to time yourself.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. If soap and water are not available, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, BUT it will not eliminate all germ types. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. Hand washing is still the best sanitization method.

We Want to Hear From You! Did you have an outstanding experience with Brookings Health System? Don’t just keep it to yourself! By liking us on Facebook®, following us on Twitter®, or viewing us on YouTube®, not only can you learn about upcoming health system events and technology advances, but you can also leave your feedback and learn about the experiences of others. Find us on Facebook at, on Twitter at, or on YouTube at

Family & Resident Satisfaction at The Neighborhoods

The Neighborhoods at Brookview’s latest family/resident survey indicates the new skilled nursing home has seen an improvement in overall satisfaction and recommendations to others since incorporating the new household model of long-term care.

The household model of care aims to create a homelike, social setting for

The smaller households, home living spaces and private rooms for autonomy are delivering the quality of life our residents deserve.

—Jason Merkley

residents. This social model of care, which is revolutionizing the longterm care industry, was chosen for the new facility based on several evidence-based benefits for residents. These include improved physical and mental health outcomes, improved resident and staff relationships, and improved overall resident and family satisfaction scores. “We have noticed significant changes in some of the residents who were in the previous facility with us,” said Administrator Jason Hanssen. “Residents are coming out of their rooms more often to socialize and join in activities. We’re also seeing stronger resident and staff friendships forming, and families are visiting their loved ones more frequently.” In the latest family/resident survey conducted by independent research firm My Innerview, 96% of those interviewed indicated they would recommend The Neighborhoods to others, a 5% increase from the previous survey at Brookview Manor. In addition, overall satisfaction jumped 4% to 96%. Since transitioning to the new facility and care model, The Neighborhoods has also seen a 40.7% improvement in mood severity scores, an assessment mandated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that measures resident depression levels. “These quality indicators validate that Brookings Health System made the right choice in building a new facility that supports this new long-term care philosophy,” said CEO Jason Merkley. “The smaller households, home living spaces and private rooms for autonomy are delivering the quality of life our residents deserve.” Last June, residents and staff moved from Brookings Health System’s old nursing home, Brookview Manor, to The Neighborhoods at Brookview. It is a pod-style facility with three distinct neighborhoods. Each neighborhood consists of two households, and each household accommodates 13 residents with a total of 26 residents per neighborhood. To learn more about The Neighborhoods at Brookview, please visit

spring 2014


Improving Quality of Life Cardiopulmonary rehab helps patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary disease return to an active, healthy lifestyle. John Cox’s experience proves how cardiopulmonary rehab can improve quality of life.

“I really needed it,” said John, a Brookings

Staff educated John on proper breathing techniques, diet and lifestyle changes. Gradually, he worked his way up to more strenuous exercises, improving his breathing and making tremendous health gains.

resident originally from Fayetteville, W.V. “I used a walker all the time and I couldn’t get out of the house. I was in pretty tough shape.”

“I haven’t seen my walker for three months,” said John. “If I hadn’t started rehab, I’d be sitting in a chair in a nursing home.”

John had difficulties with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). His physician, Dr. Kishore Elaprolu of the Avera Medical Clinic, recommended John participate in phase two of Brookings Health System’s cardiopulmonary rehab program.


Three times a week for 10 weeks, John attended rehab at Brookings Health System. The care providers started John out lightly with a variety of exercises, including walking, biking, and strengthening. They also monitored his vitals, such as cardiac rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation.

In addition to regaining his independence, his results made John a believer in the cardiopulmonary rehab program. “This is the place to come,” said John. “It’s not strenuous, and they let you gradually work up. You start up light, and they’re not critical. I was home bound, and now I get out and around. I know it works from my own experience.” John Cox

To learn more about cardiopulmonary rehab at Brookings Health System, please visit

Care After Discharge Patients recently discharged after a hospitalization at Brookings Health System have seen their care extend past their hospital stay. In September 2013, Brookings Health System’s nursing staff began making followup telephone calls to patients after their hospital stay.

The discharge process can be

overwhelming for some patients. Prior to hospital discharge, patients receive a great deal of education about managing their health when they return home. In addition to information about their medical condition, a pharmacist stops by to review medications and a nurse reviews details regarding follow-up appointments and care.

A simple phone call 24 to 72 hours after discharge provides an opportunity to check-in with the patient after they leave the hospital. “Our goal is to make sure patients have the education and information needed to maintain their health once they return home,” said Linda Gilbertson, RN, who

makes discharge calls for patients recently hospitalized. During a follow-up phone call, a nurse asks how the patient is feeling, revisits education items that were reviewed at discharge, and answers any questions. “Each follow-up call is unique and I help with whatever the patient needs, from questions about medication dose to transportation to their follow-up appointment,” Gilbertson said. A call helps ensure the patient understands information received at discharge and empowers patients to successfully manage their health at home. In addition to providing discharge calls to recently hospitalized patients, nurses also provide calls to patients after emergency department visits and same-day surgery.

Want to learn more about care at Brookings Health System? Please visit

The Spiritual Aspect of Care After a four-wheeler accident nearly ended Jerry Ellingson’s life, his spiritual beliefs helped him heal and recover. But what surprised him was the acknowledgment of spirituality by Brookings Health System’s care team in treating the whole person. Jerry’s initial injury: a collapsing lung. Dr. Rebecca VandeKop admitted Jerry immediately to the hospital and general surgeon Dr. Theresa Oey performed an emergency chest tube insertion. He spent three days in the hospital recovering. While there, Jerry was not only impressed by the high-quality care he received from staff, but that he could talk openly about his faith. “When I told the nurses about my experience and spoke with them about my testimony, they were so open to listening to it,” said Jerry. “I talked to the supervising nurse about it, and she told me that when she visits with people, she asks them if she can pray with them if she thinks they are open to it.”

Jerry Ellingson

“It was by the grace of God I could

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that integrating spirituality with patient care helps improve positive outcomes for patients and increases patient satisfaction. In addition, some research suggests positive beliefs, comfort and strength gained from spirituality contributes to healing. While spirituality alone may not cure an illness, it may help a patient feel better, prevent health problems and help cope with illness, stress or death.

reach my cell phone in my shirt pocket to call my wife,” said Jerry, a lifelong Lake Preston resident.

It was 4 p.m. and he was riding his four-wheeler out by the lake. He went up a steep slope and his four-wheeler tipped over, pinning his left arm and body down past his waist. He managed to reach for his cell phone in his left shirt pocket with his right hand and called his wife for help.

The acknowledgment by Brookings Health System’s care team of the whole person was important to Jerry, as it is to many other patients. For Jerry, it made him grateful to have high-quality care so close to home.

Within minutes, EMTs arrived at the scene and Jerry was rushed to the emergency room at Brookings Health System. He was admitted to the hospital and kept overnight for observation due to rib fractures and pain.

“We’re blessed to have the advanced facilities we do in Sioux Falls,” said Jerry, “but we still need these local hospitals like Brookings Health System.”

Two weeks later, he saw P.A. Karen Bumann at White Medical Clinic for follow up care. He was having reoccurring rib pain and started experiencing shortness of breath. Bumann ordered a chest X-ray and discovered a delayed response to

Want to learn more about Jerry’s experience at Brookings Health System? Visit www.brookingshealth. org/spiritual to watch a video.

spring 2014


Impacting Our Community What effect does our local health system have on our community? In addition to providing health care close to home, Brookings Health System also plays a role with jobs and wealth creation, generating $27 million per year for Brookings County.


of health care and social assistance related payroll in Brookings County depended either directly or indirectly on Brookings Health System. 6

$27 million generated by the primary and secondary impact of Brookings Health System.

A new study conducted by the South Dakota Census Data

Center shows the economic impact Brookings Health System has on our community in relation to wealth and jobs generated. The report is based on data from the 2010 census and labor data from 2011.

According to the report, 645 health care workers in Brookings County in 2011were employed either directly by Brookings Health System or indirectly by other health care related employers due to the health system’s presence. In addition, the study shows that 55% ($23.1 million) of health care and social assistance related payroll in Brookings County depended either directly or indirectly on Brookings Health System. “The economic impact of Brookings Health System is not just the direct effect of employment and income it provides Brookings County,” the report states. “There is also a secondary impact. The secondary impact is the relationship Brookings Health System and its employees have with other businesses in the county.” Due to this secondary business generated by the health system, an additional 118 non-health care jobs existed in the local workforce in 2011, resulting in $3.7 million in wages and salaries outside of the health care industry. With both primary and secondary impacts combined together, the report shows Brookings Health System’s economic impact to be $27 million per year in Brookings County. Interested in learning more about Brookings Health System’s economic impact? Read the full study at

Thank You for Being a Friend! F R I E N D S G I V E I N M A N Y D I F F E R E N T WAY S VOLUNTEER LOCAL > > > > >

Give your time to Brookings Health System Hospice. Contact Mavis Gehant: 696-7700. Become a doula helping parents at New Beginnings Birthing Center. Contact Emily Delbridge: 696-9000. Help out at The Neighborhoods at Brookview. Contact Amanda Uecker or Joyce Krein: 696-8700. Be a hospital patient companion or help with swing bed activities. Contact Amy Christensen: 696-8846. Join Brookings Health Care Auxiliary. Contact Nadine Pollman: 696-8827.

D O N AT E L O C A L > > >

Participate in local health care philanthropy. Perennial Club $100/yr+; Pioneer Club $1,000+; Prairie Nightingale Society members $10,000+ and Pathfinders $25,000+. Members are acknowledged in our newsletter, honored on the donor wall and are invited to social events each year. “Aiming to Inspire Health” event sponsorships or shooting teams. Over 100 shooters compete at sporting clays.


C R E AT E A L O C A L L E G A C Y > > >

Various options available through charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities can provide you with steady payments during retirement as well as tax advantages while also providing a gift to Brookings Health System Foundation. Name the Foundation as the beneficiary on your life insurance, IRA or 401(k). Talk to your financial advisor or tax consultant about these and other options today.

WA L K B E S I D E U S A N D B E O U R F R I E N D > > > > > >

Learn about Brookings Health System and its impact on local quality of life and economy. Visit the website,, or “Like” the Facebook page,, for current news, videos and testimonials. Watch for your Inspiring Health newsletter mailed direct to your home four times per year. Track Brookings Health System’s quality performance at Read the 2014 economic impact study at Come to know the current staff, services and efforts of Brookings Health System.

Sponsored by Brookings Health System Foundation, your local 501(c)3 health care charity. Email: Phone: (605) 696-8855 spring 2014

300 Twenty-Second Avenue Brookings, SD 57006

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Inspiring Health is published by Brookings Health System. This publication in no way seeks to serve as substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

New OB Grants In partnership with SDSU, two new grants aim to further the well-being of expectant mothers and babies in our community.

Brookings Health System is once again joining forces with SDSU to make an impact on maternal care. The Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant will focus on making Brookings a breastfeeding supportive community. In partnership with the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce and local breastfeeding advocates, Brookings Supports Breastfeeding will identify strengths, challenges and solutions for creating the state’s first community that actively supports breastfeeding women. The team has begun conducting focus groups with business leaders and breastfeeding mothers. In addition, an online survey released later this spring will allow parents to give input about their current breastfeeding practices. On Nov. 1 at the McCrory Gardens Visitors Center, Brookings Supports Breastfeeding will hold a community conversation on breastfeeding to generate ideas for supporting breastfeeding moms. In addition, Brookings Health System received a grant from the March of Dimes to offer childbirth education classes on campus at SDSU. By extending childbirth education classes to campus, Brookings Health System aims to increase knowledge of the risks associated with early term delivery. University students are often unaware of prenatal education opportunities offered at the hospital and may lack the transportation to attend classes. This project will bring the classes to domestic and international expectant parents alike at the university. Interested in learning how you can be involved with these projects? Please contact New Beginnings Birth Center at (605) 696-9000, ext. 7070.

Inspiring Health Spring 2014  
Inspiring Health Spring 2014