Nebraska Hospital Offers Quality Care, Close to Home

When two Helmsley Rural Healthcare Program initiatives combine to help a patient, the benefits to the grant recipient, the community—and most of all the patient—are compounded. That happened recently at Niobrara Valley Hospital in Lynch, NE. The hospital had installed a new 64-slice CT scanner with support from Helmsley. The facility had already received a grant to implement Avera eEmergency telemedicine services, another Helmsley initiative.

“We had a gentleman brought in by our local ambulance squad. He had fallen about 12 feet off a ladder,” recalls Kelly Kalkowski, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “He was unconscious at the scene for about 15 minutes and upon waking he kept asking the same questions over and over.”

The physician on call intended to transfer the patient to another hospital, but after reviewing the case online with the eEmergency physician, he felt comfortable waiting until all the CT scan reports were back and ultimately kept the patient at Niobrara Valley Hospital, close to his home and family.

With the new CT scanner, the hospital has now expanded its scope of services, bringing quality care close to home, Kalkowski said. Various community organizations have increased their support for their local healthcare facility.

Niobrara Valley Hospital’s new scanner is one of 78 new, 32-slice or higher CT scanners awarded to hospitals across the upper Midwest, totaling more than $30 million in Helmsley funding.