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Inspiring Health WINTER 2013

Light It Up A holiday light show that benefits babies in our community

Exceptional Quality & Service The Neighborhoods earns a 5-star rating and A.B.L.E. Award

Back on the Road to Recovery From imaging to surgery to physical therapy, learn how our comprehensive orthopedic care helps patients heal

Physical Therapist Jordan and Diagnostic Imaging Director Tim

New Professionals at Brookings Health System Two new professionals recently joined Brookings Health System.

Heather VanMeveren

Dr. Jill Kruse

H eather V an M everen , Brookings native, CPA, began in August as the new Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for the development and maintenance of accurate financial information for the general ledger and financial statements. She also establishes, updates and maintains financial policies, procedures, and records necessary to meet organizational goals. She holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Huron University and a MBA from Colorado Technical University.

D r . J ill K ruse , D.O., of Avera Medical Group-Brookings joined the medical staff in September. She has eight years of family medicine experience and serves patients of all ages. She received her doctorate from Des Moines University–College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in family medicine–rural track at the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine in Baraboo, Wis. She is certified by the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians.

Interested in careers at Brookings Health System? Visit

Winter Weather Safety Winter isn’t a time to just hibernate and wait for spring. From sledding to snowboarding to ice fishing, people can stay fit and remain active in winter. But as you go out and brave the cold, keep these safety tips in mind.

Winter Sports Safety: Dress appropriately for your sport and the


climate. Have the right equipment, including helmets, goggles, boots, cold weather gear and other safety equipment as needed.

Dressing for the Cold: Dress warmly using boots, hats and mittens. Layer clothing and make the outer layer water repellent to stay dry. Limit the length of exposure, especially in colder temperatures and windy conditions. Frostbite: Inadequate protection or prolonged exposure can result in frostbite. Frostbite occurs mainly on fingers, toes, ears, noses and cheeks. Areas become very cold and turns white or yellowish gray. If you notice frostbite, go immediately to the nearest ER.

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

Quality & Service Excellence at The Neighborhoods Within the first few months of opening, The Neighborhoods at Brookview has been recognized for exceptional quality and service to residents, earning a five-star rating from Nursing Home Compare and receiving the city’s A.B.L.E. Award.

Quality data issued on Nursing Home Compare,

nursinghomecompare, shows The Neighborhoods at Brookview has earned an overall five-star rating, the highest score possible for skilled nursing homes.

“Our dedicated staff has worked hard to earn this rating, both at our new facility and our old facility, Brookview Manor,” said Administrator Jason Hanssen. “We’ve setup teams to focus on quality enhancements, developed processes for interventions and are always prepared for the state health department survey. The new rating reflects our focus on providing high quality care to residents.” Nursing Home Compare allows consumers to compare quality of care information on every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. It provides residents and their families the ability to make informed decisions on where to seek care. Overall star rating is based on health inspections, quality measures and staffing. Star ratings are based on a one to five star scale, with more stars indicating better quality. Only 20 nursing homes in South Dakota are five-star facilities, putting The Neighborhoods in an elite group. In addition, The Neighborhoods received a 2013 A.B.L.E. (Ability, Belief, Leadership and Effort to Achieve Access for All) Award from the Brookings Committee for People who have Disabilities. The A.B.L.E. Award is an annual award program designed to recognize the outstanding commitment of a business or public entity in fulfilling the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The program highlights the efforts of an outstanding business or entity to motivate others to provide improved accessibility to goods and services. The Neighborhoods at Brookview received an A.B.L.E. Award for the fully accessible spaces and opportunities the facility provides residents. The award was presented to The Neighborhoods on September 12 by Mayor Tim Reed and Jessie Kuechenmeister, Vice Chair for the Brookings Committee for People who have Disabilities, at a ceremony held at Camelot Intermediate School. Both the five-star rating and the A.B.L.E. Award signal The Neighborhoods at Brookview is fulfilling its vision to love and care for residents, to enable them to live with dignity and respect, and to honor their lives. Interested in learning more about The Neighborhoods at Brookview and our unique care model? Visit www. or call (605) 696-8700 or (866) 945-2146. Jason Hanssen

winter 2013


Putting a Best Foot Forward “It costs a little more money, but they do a better job,” said Duane about why he comes to Brookings Health System every six weeks for foot care. “At the other hospital, they didn’t have a Dremel, and they never did as good of a job. They couldn’t get the thick toenails like I have trimmed down.”

While many common foot problems exist, Brookings Health System’s foot care clinic, led by a certified foot care nurse, can help people find relief. For only $30, nurses perform routine foot assessments involving foot inspection, nail trimming/grinding, buffing of corns and calluses, and moisturizing feet and legs. Nurses also perform sensation testing and look for color changes, foot/ankle swelling, temperature changes, cracks in the skin, bone formations, calluses, ulcers and ingrown toenails.

Before treatment

Brookings Health System offers several foot care clinics, including evening hours, at the hospital. Monthly clinics are held in White and Arlington. To schedule a foot care appointment, call (605) 696-8888.

“I have kind of big, ugly toe nails and I can’t trim them by myself like I want,” said Duane Hojer of Oldham. Duane has received foot care for years from different providers, including a foot care clinic at another local hospital. This past summer, he started receiving foot care from Brookings Health System.


For patients like Duane who need their nails ground, nurses run a HEPA filter to capture harmful particles. To maintain patient safety, nurses use sterilized equipment that is not reused from patient to patient.

After treatment

MY Health Matters for You After leaving the hospital, a patient can have several questions about their care. A new “MY Health Matters” binder given at discharge to hospitalized patients answers questions and creates an ongoing resource for patients to chart their health. Communication is important to patients’ care quality. After

patients go home, they may still have questions. That’s why this October Brookings Health System launched the “MY Health Matters” binder for patients admitted to the medical-surgical floor or OB unit.

“Our hope is people will carry the binder to clinic appointments, emergency room visits, or hospital visits so they have current information available and so it can be continually updated,” said Thompson. Care providers outside the hospital may add information. Patients and their family, who may use the binder to navigate their loved one’s care, may journal health notes to chart progress. Want to learn more about the “MY Health Matters” binder? Contact Lynne Thompson at (605) 696-8870.

“Brookings Health System must send our patients home with the information and resources needed to maintain their health to the highest level possible,” said Case Manager Lynne Thompson, who leads the patient communication initiative. “We give written information to our patients, and we decided to organize this information so people can continue to use it on a long-term basis.” Inside the binder, patients will find sections about their appointments, diagnosis and treatment, medications and other information critical to their health.


Orthopedic Care Close to Home

From imaging to surgery to occupational and physical therapy, Brookings Health System and our partners help orthopedic patients get back on the road to recovery.

Fractured bones. Hip or knee replacements. Sports injuries with strained muscles and tendons. Orthopedic conditions can strike at any moment of life. That’s why Brookings Health System offers comprehensive orthopedic care close to home. We partner with physicians at Avera Medical Group-Brookings, Orthopedic Institute, and Sanford Clinic Brookings to provide healing.

“I had my left knee replaced because of severe pain,” said Connie. “I had arthritis and had worn the knee out.”

After Connie left the hospital, she continued physical therapy on an outpatient basis with Brookings Health System Physical Therapist Gavin Weber.

You have to take some responsibility for yourself. You can’t leave it all up to the therapist. If you don’t take responsibility, you won’t show results.

To diagnose her condition, Dr. Looby sent Connie to Brookings Health System for x-rays and an MRI. When they decided surgery was the best option, Connie chose to have her procedure performed at Brookings Health System. “It was much easier for my husband. He didn’t have to drive back and forth to Sioux Falls,” said Connie. “I had been hospitalized at Brookings Health System a couple of times before and I had good experiences.” After her surgical procedure, Connie was cared for by nurses on the medical-surgical floor and occupation and physical therapists who helped prepare her to go home. “Whenever I needed anything, if I didn’t see the nurse right away, I’d just press the call light button and they’d be right there,” said Connie. “The staff was excellent about helping to control the pain. I had some difficulty with pain when

Connie Englund of Brookings recently experienced Brookings Health System’s orthopedic services when Dr. Peter Looby of the Orthopedic Institute performed her total knee replacement.

physical therapy arrived during my stay. The staff tended to that immediately and got it under control as soon as possible.”

“The one thing that still stands out to me is Gavin wanted me to be able to bend my knee to 120 degrees and bend my foot,” said Connie. “I reached that with no problem. I faithfully did the exercises he gave me for at home and went to physical therapy when they scheduled me. I reached 120 degrees in three and a half weeks and they released me after four. It usually takes six to eight weeks.”

Regarding her amazing progress, Connie says, “The patient’s attitude regarding healing plays a tremendous part in the healing process. You have to take some responsibility yourself. You can’t leave it all up to the therapist. If you don’t take responsibility, you won’t show results.”

Considering her successful outcome, Connie is pleased with the choices she made. “I would not consider going anywhere else. I’m glad I chose the health system,” said Connie. “I’m still amazed at how my knee is today. I know I’ve had surgery on it, but I still have way more flexibility with it than I did the weeks before surgery.” Want to learn more about orthopedic care? Visit

winter 2013


LIGHT IT UP! A Gift for Babies Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is spreading holiday joy through their animated light show set to music—and raising funds to help give babies the best start in life.

diseases like Type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, certain cancers and coronary artery disease, to name a few,” said OB Director Mary Schwaegerl who leads BFHI efforts at Brookings Health System. “To us, supporting BFHI just made sense,” said Moller. “When you look at all of the health benefits of breastfeeding, there really isn’t a better way to combat multiple diseases with one cause and make a direct, lasting impact on the health and well being of our community’s children.” A key in our community to healthier babies who grow into healthier children and adults is supporting nursing and non-nursing mothers alike. “Breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can give her baby, but it is not easy,” said Schwaegerl. “BFHI teaches care providers how to assist and encourage mothers through the challenges of breastfeeding, including supporting those mothers who are unable to breastfeed. It also aims to educate the community about breastfeeding’s benefits and how to support both breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding moms.”

6 People from throughout the Brookings area are invited to

come to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union’s parking lot and watch the organization’s 10-minute long holiday light show. Over 5,000 dazzling, LED lights currently cover the credit union’s front façade, a concept developed by Branch Manager Chad Moller.

Supporting those mothers can give our community’s children the gift of health.

LIGHT ’s d n a l Dakota ow runs h IT UP! s ning up ve every e ar’s Day Ye to New 10 p.m. from 6–

“I know of other organizations in different communities who have setup a similar light show for the holidays,” said Moller. “That’s where I got the idea. Those organizations accept free will donations from audience members after the light show and give it to a good cause. At Dakotaland, we wanted the post-show donations to benefit local kids in the Brookings area to leave a lasting impression.” Funds raised from Dakotaland’s light show will be donated to Brookings Health System Foundation, earmarked to help fund the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), which the health system announced it was pursuing Summer 2013 in an effort to improve breastfeeding outcomes within the community. Evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding include cost savings for families, fewer work absences by mothers, and improved long-range health outcomes for children as they grow and develop. “In addition to reducing babies risks for childhood diseases and conditions like SIDS, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, juvenile diabetes and childhood obesity, breastfeeding reduces risks for long-term chronic adult

Visit th Stree eir locati the s t in Broo on at 242 ki pe 3 th dona ctacular ngs to wa 6 t te to s give how and ch are he best start a babies lp the in lif e.

Dear Foundation Friends, As 2013 comes to a close, we look back upon a successful year and we are very grateful for your support.

You helped make a home for 79 people when The

Neighborhoods at Brookview opened in June. Thanks to your participation in our sporting clay event, a portion of the former Brookview Manor was repurposed and remodeled to establish an outreach specialty clinic allowing patients to see medical specialists here at home.

Together we launched PINKAP, the Tough Enough to

Wear Pink assistance program to help uninsured and underinsured patients purchase post-mastectomy products from the Brookings Health System/Avera Home Medical Equipment store. PINKAP funds may also be applied to the cost of breast biopsies and lymphedema therapy from Brookings Health System.

Foundation funds supported health and wellness education including training for Hospice and Home Health employees as well as a free program for area nurses featuring the author of Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul. Your donations provide full scholarships for children attending the Brookings Health System “Let’s Go 5-2-1-0” program to fight childhood obesity. This year, the program was expanded to the Brookings Boys and Girls Club, and to the communities of White and Arlington.


Brookings Health System is focused on providing superior health care for our community having a direct impact on our quality of life and economy. These efforts result in ratings above state and national performance averages as seen on Hospital Compare. In August, The Neighborhoods at Brookview earned the coveted 5-star rating via Nursing Home Compare.

Brookings Health System Foundation enables you to participate in healthcare philanthropy to rally round Brookings Health System. Next year, we will work to support expansion of the ambulance fleet as well as the next phase of the master campus plan including renovations to the existing hospital. As you prepare your giving plans for 2014, please remember to include Brookings Health System Foundation. For more information please call (605) 696-8855 or email

Thank You!

Sincerely, Roberta Olson—Foundation Board Chair Ardelle Roberts—Foundation Board Vice-chair Bruce Lushbough—Foundation Board Secretary/Treasurer David Kneip—Foundation Board member Jason Merkley—Foundation Board member Barb Anderson—Foundation Development Officer

winter 2013

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.

Navigating Health Care Changes When President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law in March 2010, he approved the most significant government change in health care since Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

PPACA can be confusing. The goal, however, is simple: to provide quality and affordable health care to more Americans and to reduce health care costs to individuals and the government. Health care reform requires most people to have health coverage in 2014 or pay a fee. Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace began October 1, 2013 and closes on March 31, 2014. Coverage may begin as soon as January 1, 2014. The Marketplace is a new way to find insurance coverage that meets individuals’ health care needs and their budget. It allows people to see their options and learn if they qualify for private insurance plans at lower costs or the Medicaid and CHIP programs. Brookings Health System urges patients to do their homework and be an active participant in their health care. We ask patients to find the plan that is right for them and read the fine print to ensure they receive the plan that best fits their needs. Rest assured, Brookings Health System will remain a trusted health care source for our regional community during and after PPACA changes. We remain dedicated to providing quality, patient-centered care to our friends and neighbors.

Do you need to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace? Apply by visiting or call (800) 318-2596 with questions.

Inspiring Health Winter 2013  
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