2015 News Releases

2015 News Releases

2015 Employee of the Year - Christina Hardy, RN, BSN

Christina Hardy

Culbertson Memorial Hospital recently announced Christina Hardy, RN, BSN as the 2015 Employee of the Year. Christina has worked at Culbertson Memorial Hospital for 14 years, with eight of those years as a Registered Nurse. She is the Nurse Supervisor of the Satellite Wound Clinic but also works, MedSurg, ER and the Cardiac Clinic when needed.

When asked what she likes best about working at Culbertson Christiana stated, “I enjoy the people as well as the small town atmosphere. It's not every day you can wake up and go to work at a place you enjoy. The hospitality of the staff at Culbertson, as well as the drive to help others, is ultimately what keeps me as a part of the Culbertson team. Having worked at Culbertson since I was 16 years old, I have seen a lot of changes and I am grateful this facility has been able to adapt and to overcome the challenges that come with serving rural healthcare. I feel I have followed in my mother Rita's footsteps by receiving this award. She received this honor when I was a child and has shown me what true care and dedication is all about.”

Christina lives in Rushville with her husband Michael Hardy, their daughter Makenzie, age 4, and her dog Jasmine and cat Precious.  She is the daughter of Ken and Rita Gray.

2016 Changes to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Choice PPO Plan

Culbertson Memorial Hospital is urging area residents to evaluate their individual insurance plans, checking to see that their preferred hospital and physician(s) will remain in-network providers in 2016. Major changes were made by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), dropping its broadest plan offered on the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2016. According to Michael Deering, a Blue Cross spokesman quoted in a September Crain’s Chicago Business article, The Blue PPO plan being taken off the market for 2016 had a network that included every hospital in Illinois. The new plan, Blue Choice Preferred PPO, which many participants are automatically being enrolled in, only includes half of the hospitals in Illinois. Beginning January 1, 2016 Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital and our Family Practice Clinics will not be in-network hospitals with the BCBSIL Blue Choice Preferred PPO plan. There are no anticipated changes to the other BCBSIL PPO or HMO plans, including group plans, and both hospitals will remain in-network for such plans.

Individuals who are currently using Culbertson Memorial Hospital for their services, and are covered under BCBSIL individual insurance plans for 2015 could be affected. Culbertson Memorial Hospital was not offered the option by BCBSIL to participate in the Blue Choice Preferred PPO plan in 2016.

Get Covered Illinois, the Health Insurance Marketplace is currently open for enrollment. Culbertson Memorial Hospital and our Family Practice Clinics are in-network providers for a number of other insurance plans offered to participants. Residents should carefully research their options and preferred providers before choosing their 2016 coverage as individuals and families. Any questions should be directed to your insurance agent.

Patient Safety Efforts Save 87,000 Lives, $20 billion

A new report released December 1st by the Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) indicates that an estimated 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2010 to 2014. The report also shows that, in total, hospital patients experienced 2.1 million fewer HACs from 2010 to 2014, a 17% decline over that period.

“Patients in America’s hospitals are safer today as a result of this partnership with hospitals and health care providers,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “The Affordable Care Act has given us tools to build a better health care system that protects patients, improves quality, and makes the most of our health care dollars.”

Hospital-acquired conditions include adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers, and surgical site infections, among others. HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality analyzed the incidence of a number of avoidable HACs compared to 2010 rates, using as a baseline estimate of deaths and excess health care costs that were developed when the national Partnership for Patients initiative was launched.  

“Hospitals work diligently every day to provide the best possible care for the patients they serve. These new numbers are impressive and show the great progress hospitals continue to make,” said Rick Pollack, president, and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “While there is always more work to be done to improve patient safety, the collaborative efforts of hospitals and HHS have delivered great results that will continue to help the field on the quality improvement journey.”

As part of the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) 1.0, Culbertson Memorial Hospital and other hospitals participating through IHA’s Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality avoided almost 16,000 instances of patient harm for a savings of $161.8 million between January 2012 and March 2014. Results of Illinois’ HEN 1.0 are outlined in IHA’s Raising the Bar, A Call to Action Progress Report.

IHA and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association have joined together in a unique partnership for HEN 2.0, with more than 200 hospitals in Illinois and Michigan committing to the year-long program to reduce HACs by 40% and preventable readmissions by 20%.

Therapy and Counseling Services at Taylor Clinic Has Expanded

cathy rigg

Everyone needs a friendly shoulder to lean on at times. That’s why the Elmer Hugh Taylor Clinic now offers Therapy and Counseling Services every Thursday and  Friday with Cathy Rigg, LCSW. We work with individuals, families and children to provide guidance and support as they set new goals on their journey to happiness.We help those dealing with depression and anxiety as well as those who are having a difficult time coping with life’s many changes and challenges. Imagine happiness. Imagine a new friend at Taylor Clinic. Schedule your appointment with Cathy today!

Therapy & Counseling Services for Individuals, Families and Children every Thursday and Friday from 9 to 4.


New Nurse Practitioners At Elmer Hugh Taylor Clinic courtney elliot

Courtney Elliott is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with over 11 years of experience caring for the pediatric population. She truly loves caring for children and adolescents and will be treating patients from newborn through 21 years of age. Courtney supports the health and development of her pediatric patients through a family-centered approach. This approach combines her medical expertise with the experience and knowledge of the caregivers, while also allowing the patients to have a voice in their care.



Edgel Lagarnia Selected at Employee of the Third Quarter

edgel lagarnia

Obstetrician Dr. Tamara Smith to Provide Outpatient Services in Rushville

Dr. Tamara Smith, D.O., F.A.C.O.O.G., a member of the McDonough Medical Group, will begin providing outpatient services at Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville on Tuesday, July 21 and the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Dr. Smith will provide comprehensive obstetrical/prenatal care for routine and high-risk pregnancies including routine tests and ultrasounds throughout pregnancy in Rushville. Patients will then deliver their babies at McDonough District Hospital with the help of the exceptional highly trained labor and delivery staff using the most up-to-date clinical protocols. MDH also offers free labor and deliver classes and education.

She offers an array of general, preventive and specialized gynecological care including minimally invasive surgery, outpatient hysterectomies, latest laparoscopic/hysteroscopic techniques, family planning services, annual exams and more.

Dr. Smith is a Board Certified Obstetrician – Gynecologist. She graduated the Obstetrics & Gynecology residency program as Chief Resident of her class from St. Johns-Macomb Hospital / Michigan State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her medical degree was granted from the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine in southern Maine.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith at Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville please contact MMG Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic at (309) 836-6937.

Cindy Smith 2015 Spirit of Nursing Recipient

cindy smith

Culbertson Memorial Hospital Welcomes Dr. Harsha Polavarupa

Dr. Harsha is a Colorectal and General Surgeon and his goal is to individualize treatment to the needs of each patient and support their unique medical and personal needs every step of the way. He believes everyone deserves quality care provided with skill, compassion, and dedication and strives to educate patients about their condition, provide treatment options and support them as they make crucial decisions. Dr. Harsha specializes in minimally invasive surgery for colon and rectal cancer, diverticulitis, screening colonoscopy and treatment for hemorrhoids. To learn more about Dr. Harsha and his medical philosophy visit www.BlessingPhysicianServices.org. Dr. Harsha sees patients at Culbertson Memorial Hospital on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. To schedule an appointment please call 217-322-5271.

Joyce Briggs Chosen as Employee of the 2nd Quarter

joyce briggs

Christina Hardy Selected as Employee of the 1st Quarter

christina hardy

Culbertson Memorial Hospital Partners with Passavant Area Hospital To Offer Obstetrics & Gynecology Outreach Clinic

Jacksonville, Illinois- Passavant Area Hospital is pleased to announce the opening of the Passavant Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB/GYN) Outreach Clinic in Beardstown. This new outreach service is being initiated to improve access to local women’s healthcare.

Alexander Hrynewych, MD, Peter Trace, MD , and Neelam Verma, MD will begin seeing patients in the Elmer Hugh Taylor Clinic, located at 100 West 15th Street, in Beardstown, starting February 3. New patients are being accepted at either the Beardstown or Jacksonville locations.

To schedule an appointment, please call the Taylor Clinic at  217-323-2245.

Heart Disease Takes the Lives of 1 in 4 People Each Year

Learn the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease during American Heart Month

SPRINGFIELD – February is American Heart Month and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. encourages everyone to reduce their risk of heart disease and learn the warning signs of a heart attack.

“Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Illinois and the United States.  Every year, approximately 600,000 individuals die in the United States from heart disease.  That amounts to 1 in every 4 deaths,” said Director Shah.  “But there are things you can do to reduce your risk – even small steps like using spices instead of salt to season your food.  Use American Heart Month as an opportunity to make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease.”

The risk of developing heart disease depends on overall health, family history, and health behaviors.  While family history can’t be changed, even modest changes to diet and lifestyle can improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent.

Actions:  Basic actions to lower your risk of heart disease include:

  • Get active and eat healthily
  • Watch your weight
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Don't smoke
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation

Symptoms: Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.  Signs of a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort (arms, back, neck, jaw)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Cold sweats

If someone shows signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Even though heart disease is traditionally thought of as a “man’s disease,” approximately the same number of women, as men, die from it each year.  Despite increases in the past decade, just over half of women recognize heart disease as the leading killer of women.  To continue raising awareness of the significant role that heart disease plays in women’s health, IDPH is encouraging Illinoisans to celebrate National Wear Red Day with Go Red For Women on Friday, February 6, 2015.

For more information about heart disease, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/heart-stroke

Health Profession Scholarships Available

The Culbertson Memorial Hospital Foundation is announcing that applications are now available for six $800 scholarships from the Elmer Taylor Health Profession Scholarship fund. These scholarships are open to area high school seniors or college students who reside in the Culbertson Memorial Hospital service area of Schuyler, Brown, Cass, and South Fulton Counties and who are entering a health-related field of study.

The Culbertson Memorial Hospital Foundation will also be giving three additional $500 scholarships from the Regina Erhardt Scholarship Fund. These scholarships will be awarded to any Rushville-Industry High School or Brown County High School graduate attending school for a health-related field of study.

Applications are available from the offices of career counselors in area high schools or can be accessed online at http://www.cmhospital.com/foundation/scholarship-program.

Completed applications must be returned by April 13, 2015. 

Culbertson Memorial Hospital Announces Employee of the Year

andy ebey

Culbertson Memorial Hospital recently announced Andy Ebey as the 2014 Employee of the Year. Andy works in the Maintenance Department and has been a staff member at Culbertson’s for almost 7 years.

Andy was selected as Employee of the 1st 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.


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.