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Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital receives ESRH designation

Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital has received designation as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“This designation ensures that all stroke patients, regardless of where they live, have access to rapid care within the narrow treatment window,” said CEO Lynn Stambaugh. “Prior to receiving this designation, patients would have had to travel a long distance to receive assistance, losing precious time. Stroke designation for Culbertson Memorial Hospital now allows local access to the care needed beginning the moment they enter the hospital to the time the lifesaving drug is administered within the recommended 60 minute treatment window. ”

In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed MB2244, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs EMS to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. If, however, the closest hospital  has not received its Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital designation, EMS personnel may divert that patient to the next closest designated hospital.  With our local hospital designated, it now means stroke patients can receive high quality treatment right here in their own community.

In response, the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) created its Stroke Initiative in March of 2010 to increase the number of small and rural hospitals achieving the designation.  The initiative has received international attention for its success in treating stroke patients in the rural areas of Illinois.

“In order to gain the ESRH designation, the hospital must meet specific criteria, and Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital has worked for three years to achieve this,” said Peggy Jones, ICAHN Stroke Consultant. “Now that our hospitals are prepared, it is our ongoing challenge to educate the community on the signs of stroke and to immediately call 911.

 “With stroke, time is brain…Each second a patient waits to be treated denies the brain of much needed blood and oxygen. The cells and tissues in the brain begin to die, causing what can be irreversible damage resulting in disabilities like paralysis on one side of the body, loss of speech, and many other deficits,” added Jones. “Getting to an emergent stroke ready hospital via ambulance allows the EMS to pre-notify the hospital of an incoming stroke patient, resulting in the fastest treatment possible upon arrival. It is not recommended that a patient having a stroke arrive by car or private vehicle.”

Each Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital has a telehealth connection with a neurologist at one or more larger Primary Stroke Hospitals within the state. Rural areas do not staff a neurologist due to a shortage of this specialty, but the telehealth connection allows the specialist to evaluate the patient and make treatment recommendations.  To receive designation, hospitals must measure their outcomes and times to treatment and are subject to random inspections by the state.

For updates on new emergent stroke ready hospital designations, visit the IDPH website at http://www.idph.state.il.us/ems/StrokeCenterListing.pdf.


ICAHN is a network of 53 small rural Illinois hospitals dedicated to strengthening the operations of its member hospitals through collaboration. The organization is composed of Illinois hospitals who have earned critical access hospital designation by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ICAHN is recognized nationally for its work with rural healthcare and administers several state, federal, and private healthcare programs.


Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

Culbertson Memorial receives ‘Innovation of the Year’ honors for health literacy program

Culbertson Memorial Hospital, received honorable mention honors in Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s hospital “Innovation of the Year” competition for its health literacy program.

Participants were encouraged to submit innovations implemented at their respective hospitals which initiated a new approach to improve patient relationships, implemented a new process flow or life-safety improvement, found a creative way to motivate and inspire staff, or fostered a successful community project. Robin Jones Allen, Clinic Operations Manager, Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital, accepted the honor during a ceremony held November 18th at the Crowne Plaza, Springfield, and attended by hospital personnel from throughout the state.

The project was implemented at Elmer Hugh Taylor Clinic, a department of Culbertson Memorial Hospital, for the English, Spanish, and French-speaking communities in its service area. The project goal was to familiarize the clinic’s unique patient population with medical terminology and healthcare-related topics that were deemed important to potential patients and community members. Hospital/clinic staff focused on a different health topic every week, setting up a table containing literature in English, Spanish, and French, along with give-aways and the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of various nursing staff.

The team felt it was important that their patients know Taylor Clinic was available as a resource to obtain information and also to act as a conduit in helping them locate other resources they may need as part of their healthcare experience. Taylor Clinic has a very unusual opportunity in its rural setting to interact with people of very different cultures, and this project was necessary to fully embrace that culture. Staff researched all cultures and focused its topics on subject matter that was of greatest importance to its underserved populations. To date, the clinic has seen an increase in the amount of walk-ins asking for information or advice on services that clinic staff may not necessarily be able to provide, but that they can definitely help coordinate.

Molly Sorrell to Serve as At-Large Board Member for ISHMPR

Molly Sorrell, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital, will serve as an at large board member for the Illinois Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations (ISHMPR). The announcement was made as part of the organization’s annual conference in Oak Brook, Ill.

“I am looking forward to being a voice for the state’s Rural and Critical Access Hospitals,” Sorrell said. “Although I’ve been a member of ISHMPR since 2011, this is my first year on the board.”

A graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky, Sorrell holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in advertising and public relations. She has worked with Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital since January, 2011, and currently lives in Rushville with her husband, Brian, and two daughters, Aubrey (9) and Gabby (7).

As an affiliate of the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA), ISHMPR is a group of healthcare marketing and communications professionals dedicated to offering networking, recognition and educational opportunities for professionals in the fields of healthcare public and community relations, marketing and affiliated services. 

Pam Tavernier Selected as Employee of the 4th Quarter

Culbertson Memorial Hospital recently announced Pam Tavernier, RN, OCN as the 2014 Employee of the Fourth Quarter. Pam has worked at Culbertson Memorial Hospital as a Registered Nurse for 26 years, and this is the second time she has been selected for Employee of the Quarter. Pam is a Certified Oncology Nurse (OCN) and serves as the Patient Care Coordinator at Culbertson. As the coordinator she is responsible for Utilization Review, the Swing Bed Program, Discharge Planning and she runs the hospital’s weekly Hematology/Oncology clinic.

Oncology is a very interesting field to Pam, and she feels it is a privilege to get to know her patients and their families. “To be by my patients’ side, in such a difficult time in their lives, is such an honor. We rejoice together at the small triumphs, and I am their guide when they have setbacks. Each of my patients will always have a special place in my heart” says Tavernier. “With the other aspects of my job I am proud that Culbertson offers the ability to keep patients close to home. It is so exhausting for families to have to make trips every day, or several times a week to visit loved ones. We care about our patients like they were our own families, and make sure that when they are ready to return home, their transition is smooth.” If Pam has learned anything over the years as a nurse, it is to enjoy life why she can.

Pam is married to John Tavernier, and together they have three children and four grandchildren: Brittany Heinz-Amborne, husband Tyler, Jennifer Banks, sons Mason and Ryan and Sean Tavernier, wife Erin and sons Joe and Sam. Pam enjoys traveling the world with her husband John.

 As Employee of the Quarter, Sue received a cash gift, Employee of the Quarter certificate, flower bouquet and entry in the Employee of the Year award in December. 


Sue Settles Selected as Employee of the 3rd Quarter

Culbertson Memorial Hospital recently announced Sue Settles as the 2014 Employee of the Third Quarter. Sue has worked at Culbertson Memorial Hospital for 8 years, and this is the second time she has been selected for Employee of the Quarter. Sue serves at the Imaging Secretary in the mornings, and after lunch she reports to the Medical Records Department where she serves as a HIM (Health Information Management) Clerk.

Imaging Director Christy Sims knows Sue is someone she can always count on. Says Sims, “Sue is professional, reliable, outgoing and friendly not only to her co-workers, but the patient she serves every day. Taking care of the patient is Sue’s top priority. Susan Lux, Director of Medical Records believes “Sue consistently goes above and beyond for this facility, our patients and her fellow employees. She does exemplary work performing her daily duties and any that fall her way. She is always ready with a smile, a great attitude and she is a joy to work with.”

When Settles was asked what she liked most about working at Culbertson she stated, “I enjoy coming to my job everyday because of the variety of things I get to do every day and I enjoys the people I works with.”

Sue is married to married to Barry Settles of Rushville. Together they have two children Shannon Hickey, husband Mark, and Ryan Settles, wife Jenna.

Beth Oser, RN Selected as 2014 Spirit of Nursing and Employee of the 2nd Quarter

Oeser, started at Culbertson Memorial Hospital in 1997 where she worked as an LPN until 2001 in the OB, MedSurg and Emergency Departments. In 2003, Oeser returned to Culbertson as an RN, and has been working in the Emergency Department ever since. She enjoys working the night shift in the ER, saying that "every day is a challenge. I learn something new everyday, and get to meet lots of new people". When asked what she liked best about being an RN, Oeser stated, "I like being able to make a difference in other people's lives. They might be people I know, or they could be complete strangers."

Oeser was born and raised in Browning, IL and was a 1989 graduate of Rushville High School. She is married to Michael Oeser of Mt. Sterling. Beth is mother to 4 girls, and has 5 step-children.


10th Annual Dr. Russel Dohner Golf Outing to benefit CMH Foundation raises over $35,000

The 10th Annual Dr. Russell Dohner Golf Outing was held Friday, June 6, 2014. 32 teams participated in this year's outing, and were able to enjoy a beautiful day of golf. Thank you to all of our sponsors, golfers, and volunteers who helped make this year's outing a huge success. The monies raised will be used to purchase an new covered awning for the mobile MRI unit.


Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital Expands Teleneurology Partnership with Memorial Medical Center

Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital has expanded its partnership with Memorial Medical Center to offer teleneurology services, which uses two-way audio and video teleconferencing to provide patients with immediate access to stroke-trained neurologists.

The two hospitals partnered together in 2012 to provide telestroke technology to Rushville and the surrounding communities. This latest alliance expands the care to include emergent telehealth care for other acute neurological conditions, including seizures, head bleeds, aneurysms, epilepsy, acute onset confusion and altered mental status.

 “Our partnership with Memorial Medical Center gives our community around-the-clock access to experienced neurologists who will work with us to evaluate and administer the most effective and appropriate treatments for people suffering from acute stroke or other neurological conditions,” Lisa Downs, Chief Nursing Officer at  Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital, said.

“This means more people in our community will have access to stroke-trained neurologists and will receive the life-saving care they need close to home,” Down said. “Any patients who may need a higher level of care can be quickly identified and transferred to receive additional treatments including minimally invasive neurointerventional procedures.”

The Memorial Teleneurology Network uses real-time two-way audiovisual conferencing to provide community hospitals 24-hour access to stroke-trained neurologists. Physicians connect through a secure web camera so a patient can be examined remotely, allowing a board-certified neurologist to perform a rapid assessment of the patient.

Neuroimaging performed at Culbertson can be accessed remotely to allow for quick interpretation for accurate diagnosis. The neurologist and Culbertson’s clinical team can discuss, order, implement and monitor treatment options, with the goal of keeping patients in their own community and close to home.

If a higher level of care is required, the patient can be transferred to a larger facility, such as, Memorial Medical Center, which offers neurointerventional radiology services. The neurologist and Culbertson’s clinical team work together to identify acute stroke patients and treat any acute neurologic emergency.

 “Culbertson Memorial Hospital’s clinical team and the neurologist work together and carry out the best treatment option for the patient,” said Sajjad Mueed, MD, Memorial Stroke Center medical director and a neurologist with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Memorial Medical Center is certified as a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission. The certification recognizes Memorial for “exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care,” according to The Joint Commission. Primary stroke centers tailor treatment to individual needs, adhere to national stroke guidelines and continually assess and improve how care is delivered.

Memorial offers a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to stroke care with an integrated program that addresses the complete spectrum of care from prevention to rehabilitation.

Memorial’s rehabilitation facilities are among only a handful of others worldwide to hold a fivefold accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, including accreditation for its stroke specialty program.

Once the patient is released from inpatient care, they can return to Culbertson Memorial Hospital for either our Swing Bed Program for extensive rehabilitative care or outpatient therapy services.

4th Annual Health Fair 

Join us on Saturday, April 26th from 9am until noon at the Schuyler Industry Middle School Gym for our Spring Into A New You, Family Fun Health Fair.

Culbertson Memorial Hospital Announces Employee of the Quarter

Culbertson Memorial Hospital recently announced Andy Ebey as the 2014 Employee of the First Quarter. Andy works in the Maintenance Department and has been a staff member at Culbertson’s for almost 6 years.

Andy was selected as Employee of the Quarter from nominations submitted by his fellow co-workers and for his dedication to Culbertson Memorial Hospital. His attitude demonstrates he is here to serve our patients and community. Andy appreciates that his job allows him to do something a little different every day and the ability to work in his hometown.

Andy is a lifelong resident of Rushville and lives with his significant other Kala Peacock, and their daughter Annika. If you are looking for Andy during the nights or weekends, chances are you will find him on the golf course at Scripps Park or watching a movie with his family

As Employee of the Quarter, Andy received a cash gift, Employee of the Quarter certificate, candy bouquet and entry in the Employee of the Year award in December. 

Imaging Services Awarded The ACR Gold Seal

In this day and age it seems as if everything is “going digital”. Digital breast cancer screenings provide a tremendous health benefit because they can detect cancer at the earliest and most treatable stages. In fact, the five-year survival rate is 97% when breast cancer is caught early. Most important, digital mammography can improve accuracy in annual mammography screenings.

The Imaging Department at Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital has been recognized again by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for their outstanding performance and were awarded a three-year term of accreditation in mammography. The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR practice guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed.

Digital Mammography is a powerful new tool for early detection of breast cancer. However, it's only natural to feel anxious when it's time to have a mammogram. At Culbertson Memorial Hospital, we understand the emotions that go along with getting a mammogram, waiting for results and, if needed, determining treatment. “The technology and expertise at Culbertson sets us apart from most screening centers,” says Director of Imaging Services, Christy Sims, R.T. (R). “Our highly skilled team of specialists provides the most comprehensive and compassionate care in the area, which helps us give our patients confidence and comfort.”

Brittney Taylor, FNP-C Is Currently Accepting New Patients at Rushville Family Practice

Brittney’s primary goal is to help her patients prevent illness and believes  the key to leading a healthy lifestyle is through preventative care. She will work together with every patient, as a team, to create healthcare plans specific to their needs. Brittney also recognizes that even with preventative care, patients may become ill along the way, and she is prepared to aid her patients in restoring their health appropriately and quickly. To schedule an appointment please call 217/322-3345.



Cindy Kunkel Named 2013 Culbertson Memorial Hospital Employee Of The Year







For more information on any of the press releases above, please contact: Molly Sorrell, Director of Community Relations and Marketing at 217/322-5269 or msorrell@sdcmh.org


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