Wamego Health Center administrator to leave organization

Wamego Health Center administrator to leave organization

Steve Land, Wamego Health Center’s senior administrator, has announced plans to leave the role that he has held since 2016.

Land, a licensed physical therapist who served as Wamego Health Center’s Heartland Rehabilitation director for four years prior to his current role, is returning to working in patient care as the Director of Rehab with Community HealthCare System in Onaga. 

“I am extremely proud of the team at Wamego Health Center for the growth that we have accomplished over these last five years and how they have met the challenges with COVID-19, most recently,” Land said. “I am very appreciative of the opportunities that have been offered to me over these past years at Wamego Health Center.” 

“This new opportunity to return to treating patients in need of physical therapy is something that I am really looking forward to,” he continued. “I am grateful for the experiences at Wamego Health Center and I am blessed to be able to return to something that I love to do.” 

During Land’s time leading the Wamego team, he has played a pivotal role in helping to ensure the residents of Wamego and the surrounding area have access to the care they need, said Bob Copple, president of Ascension Via Christi in Manhattan.

“Under his leadership, Steve and the Wamego team have made quality and service improvements, facilitated equipment upgrades and managed an extensive construction project that has positively impacted the patients and associates who work and live in and around Wamego,” he said.

Copple says he will be working with the team to develop and implement a transition plan as the search for a new hospital administrator takes place. In the interim, Copple will manage the facility until a replacement is found.

Mary Jane Damme earns hand therapy certification

Mary Jane Damme, an occupational therapist at Wamego Health Center’s Heartland Rehabilitation, earned her Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) credential. The CHT credential is the highest recognition of competency in upper limb rehabilitation.

Damme, who grew up in Blaine, has been an occupational therapist at Wamego Health Center for 7 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree from North Dakota State University.

Damme said she began preparing for the certification in January 2018 and after her May 2020 exam was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, she took her exam in November.

“Mary Jane has been committed to patient care and quality for the entirety of her career,” said Steve Land, a physical therapist and administrator of Wamego Health Center. “Her willingness to expand on her education and therefore expand on the services provided to our community is greatly appreciated. The opportunity to offer a Certified Hand Therapist to the Wamego community is a specialty area that should be celebrated.”

In order to receive the certification, therapists must have at least three years of clinical experience as an occupational therapist, a minimum of 4,000 hours in direct practice in hand therapy, and successful completion of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper limb rehabilitation. There are approximately 6,200 individuals worldwide hold this marked designation. 

With Damme’s certification, she can now provide advanced therapy care to patients with injuries, work-related conditions, inflammation disorders, nerve injuries and compressions, tendon injuries/repairs, disorders and more. 

For more information about Heartland Rehabilitation, call 785-458-7211.

Dwight Faulkner recognized as ‘Exemplary Trustee’ by Kansas Hospital Association

On Oct. 28, the Kansas Hospital Association recognized Dwight Faulkner as one of six “Exemplary Trustees” who provided exemplary contributions through leadership and governance. Trustees from across the state were nominated by their respective local hospitals. Those selected routinely went above and beyond the call of duty.

Dwight Faulkner has provided a combined 18 years of leadership on multiple Wamego Health Center (WHC) Board of Directors. Mr. Faulkner actively serves within the Wamego City Hospital (WCH) Board (8 years) that works with building related costs and the Wamego Hospital Association (WHA) Board (6 years) that is tasked with the operations of the organization.

Most recently, Mr. Faulkner has completed a four-year tenure on the Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan Board as a representative of Wamego Health Center within the larger organization board with our association with Ascension.

Dwight is recognized as a leader in our community as the Vice President of loans at Bank of the Flint Hills. His financial background has proven to be a valuable resource to each Board over his many years of committed service. Dwight’s ability to engage with appropriate financial questions provides needed oversight from an engaged board member.

Dwight served as WHA chair for three years overseeing the completion of an 11 million dollar renovation project during his tenure. Mr. Faulkner navigated many building related concerns over this 18 month project as well multiple organizational changes that occurred during this time frame.

May Mental Health Minute from Heritage Senior Behavioral Health

Building resilience in uncertain times:

  1. Adaptation and growth happens over time. There is no “one size fits all” way to cope.
  2. Resist judging yourself. Life has changed and your response to that change is not going to be the “normal” one right now.
  3. Realize that humans are built to be resilient. We are able to adapt and change, even when we think we may not be able to make it through. We figure out a way.
  4. Coping strategies that worked before may need to be updated. Get creative. Add to your emotional toolbox.
  5. Make small changes. They are easier to achieve and maintain, especially when so much outside of ourselves has shifted.
  6. Advocate for yourself. Everyone’s responses to stress and traumatic events are different. Allow yourself the space to cope however you need.
  7. Practice acknowledging you are doing the best you can in the moment.

Patients should continue seeing providers for chronic health concerns, emergencies

If you have a chronic health condition and have regular appointments with your primary care physician, please be sure to keep any scheduled appointments. For patients with ongoing health issues like heart problems, COPD, diabetes or other conditions, maintaining your scheduled appointments is really important.

As we practice social distancing and while many of us are under “stay at home” orders, you may be wondering how to handle routine doctor appointments. Wamego Family Clinic providers are still seeing some patients in-person and also have virtual appointments available. If your health condition is stable, a virtual visit may be all you need at this time. You may even be able to handle new prescriptions, medication renewals, medication adjustments, and arrange follow up visits and cardiac testing, this way.

Virtual visits are a great way for our providers to check in with you. These visits are available through your cell phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. For our patients who do not have access to these devices, we have additional options. Patients may report to the back parking lot where an associate will bring them an iPad with appointments login instructions. They can then chat with their provider from their vehicle. Medicare and Medicaid, along with many private insurance companies now pay for this type of visit.

For more urgent care, or if your heart condition is not stable, you may need an in-person visit. We have taken action to minimize your risk of exposure to COVID-19 if you do need to come into the clinic or emergency room. Our facility is checking patients for symptoms at the door and screening patients who are ill with COVID-19-like symptoms to ensure we take the proper precautions to isolate them from other patients.

Please do not forgo care for important health issues, as doing so might result in a hospitalization. Unfortunately, there have been many examples during the COVID-19 pandemic where patients have remained at home with a worsening serious condition out of fear of calling the doctor or going to the Emergency Room, only to experience a bad outcome by delaying care. Stay in contact with your doctor so you are still able to get the care you need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, call Wamego Family Clinic at 785-456-6288. As always, if you are experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room for care. Thank you for continuing to allow our team of healthcare professionals to care for you and your family.

An update from Steve Land, Administrator of Wamego Health Center

I wanted to give our community an update on how Wamego Health Center was keeping up with the recent changes. We knew long before this coronavirus outbreak that we had an extraordinary staff. That has been reaffirmed daily with this recent outbreak. The Staff at WHC is holding up tremendously well. Their ability to prepare and adapt to these changes has been impressive. It is truly an honor to work alongside these heroes.

WHC has partnered with Wamego Telecom to have the ability to provide our patients and visitors the ability to visit “virtually” with facetime. This allows our patients the chance to see their families and hear their voices, which is so important in their healing. We have also established a platform for virtual visits for you to see your doctor. This allows you to have a clinic visit without leaving your home or your car. We are blessed to have such a generous team at WTC to work with during these times.

The question of Personal Protective Equipment (gowns, gloves, masks etc.) has come up frequently. Do we have enough? Can we get more? The answer is we are adequately prepared for the current status of the outbreak. We are following the CDC guidelines for PPE usage to protect our patients and our staff but also conserve where appropriate. We are praying for a quick resolution to this outbreak along with our community. If it lasts for a longer period of time we want to be prepared with appropriate protection.

There have been volunteers asking to sew homemade masks within the community. This is such a generous offer of your time and talents to donate to our community. We don’t know yet how these donations will fit into our PPE usage, they may be used by patients at their home or as covers for staff masks to preserve the integrity. We are aware that other non-medical facilities or individuals may have a need for these items. If you have another source which can make use of these, please donate to them there.

Finally, we want to thank you. We understand that your sacrifices within your own homes are very real and very important to this fight. Social distancing while extremely uncomfortable provides our community the best opportunity to reduce exposure. Your diligence to safety and keeping your family healthy is an action that has already reduced the impact of this virus. Continue to be a pillar of strength to your family and let them know that they are also heroes in this battle.

Wamego Health Center is here for you with any needs that you have. If you have questions regarding Cornavirus please contact your primary care physician office. If you need care please know that we are here for you and always will be. May God bless you and your family.

A message from Steve Land, Administrator of Wamego Health Center

We are proud of our community and our associates here in Wamego. I want to thank our associates who are still working in our hospital and clinic to keep our community healthy and prepared.

Please note that we are not allowing any visitors in our inpatient unit at this time. Effective immediately, the hospital is no longer allowing any visitors except in end-of-life situations, where only one visitor per patient will be allowed. All other visitation is limited to virtual visitation.

It is going to take all of us adhering to the CDC and KDHE guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19 infection. While most people who are exposed to COVID-19 will recover with no issues, there are community members who have a high risk of developing life threatening complications. These are the people we need to protect.

  • Stay home with your family members, especially if you’re sick.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Only leave your home if you need to – to get medications, groceries, or other essentials.
  • Call your older family members or neighbors to check in with them and see if they have what they need (they are members of our vulnerable population).

If you think you are sick and are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever of 100.3 F or higher, shortness of breath and cough), you can call a local hotline – 785-323-6400. A health care representative will be available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. In addition, Ascension Kansas has a 24/7 call center for anyone needing COVID-19 information. That toll-free number, 1-855-782-1039, is staffed 24/7, seven days a week.

We encourage people to call either of those numbers or their primary care physician before making the decision to leave their homes. In most cases, people infected with COVID-19 can successfully – and safely – recover at home. Only in very serious cases will people require hospital treatment or hospitalization.

Updated March 17: Wamego Health Center, Ascension Via Christi announce additional screening, visitation measures

Ascension Via Christi and Wamego Health Center continue to aggressively respond to the evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, announced additional measures today designed to protect patients, visitors, caregivers and associates.

Those measures, effective today, include:

  • Revising visitor guidelines to request no more than one visitor per patient and no visitors under age 18. Implementing screening for everyone entering its hospitals and outpatient clinics through limited entrances at each site.
    • Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan – Patient Entrance and Emergency Room entrances should be used
    • Wamego Health Center – Main Entrance, Emergency Room and Rehabilitation Gym entrances should be used
  • Anyone who affirms that they have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing will be asked not to visit and return when he or she is no longer symptomatic. They also will be advised to consider a virtual visit through Facebook, Skype or other online platforms. Those who are approved to visit will be asked to limit their movement within the hospital to and from the patient’s room.

“These steps are being taken proactively to protect our patients and associates, while still respecting the

rights of our patients to receive visitors,” said Bob Copple, President of Ascension Via Christi Hospital in

Manhattan. “We continue to be committed to the health and safety of our patients, their guests and our associates.”

Leaders at Ascension Via Christi and Wamego Health Center are in close communication with community physicians and the Riley County & Pottawatomie County Health Departments to help coordinate activities and share knowledge, he added.

“This is a time to stay informed and look for official sources of information, including the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Riley County Health Department,” Copple said. “For the time being, we encourage the community stay home and practice social distancing, and especially individuals who feel unwell, have a fever or have travelled recently. It will take all of us to help reduce the spread of this illness.”




More COVID-19 news:

5 Things to know about Novel Coronavirus



5 Things You Need to Know About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

By Joseph Cacchione, MD, FACC, Executive Vice President, Clinical & Network Services, Ascension

Joseph Cacchione
  1. What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is a virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms in the majority of patients, but could lead to more serious illness including pneumonia in elderly individuals and those who have chronic medical conditions. Thus, elderly individuals and patients with chronic medical conditions should take greater precautions to avoid exposure.
  2. What precautions should you take? Everyone is encouraged to take precautions to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 – regardless of age or precondition. Stay away from crowds and others who are sick, wash your hands often and for about 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face. It’s also a good idea to clean and disinfect surfaces you touch.

  3. What should you do if you think you have cold-like symptoms? If you develop cold-like symptoms, stay home, rest, and avoid exposing others until you feel better. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away. Call your Ascension doctor if your symptoms worsen or you develop shortness of breath.

  4. What should you do if you have traveled recently? Be sure to call your Ascension doctor if you have traveled to a country with widespread COVID-19 within the last two weeks and have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. Call ahead and let a healthcare provider know your symptoms and travel history before you visit a doctor’s office or emergency room, so we can help keep everyone safe from any potential spread.

  5. Consider virtual care to help reduce your risk of exposure. For easy access to a doctor for urgent care visits without leaving home, use online care from your phone or mobile device. Ascension Online Care offers visits with a doctor 24/7 from work, travel or home. Use code HOME for a discounted $20 visit. Download the app today at www.ascension.org/onlinecare. Available in all 50 states. No insurance required.

Ascension is working to keep our community healthy during this time and prevent further infection, while also offering options for easier access to care. Contact your Ascension doctor with questions. For ongoing updates visit the Centers for Disease Control’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary website.