Based in Ord, Nebraska, Valley County Health System (VCHS) is a growing not-for-profit, county-owned health system that includes a 16-bed Critical Access Hospital, three rural health clinics, a specialty clinic, and home health and hospice care. Other services include emergency care/ambulance services, imaging, lab, surgical services, rehabilitation, acute and skilled care, wound care, diabetic education and public transportation. VCHS is dedicated to providing an extensive range of healthcare services to central Nebraskans, specifically to those residing in Valley County and neighboring counties, with compassionate care delivered by people our patients know and trust. VCHS provides advanced technology and services in a modern yet comfortable atmosphere, while supporting continued growth for our communities. VCHS is driven by its mission to “provide progressive healthcare services in a healing, patient-centered environment.” Guided by its values of integrity, compassion, ownership, respect, and trust, the organization’s vision is to “be the healthcare provider of choice and a symbol of strength, vitality, and caring in the region we serve.”
In the early 1960s, Valley County residents voted to establish Valley County Hospital, replacing a facility on S. 16th Street in Ord. Valley County Hospital was dedicated on August 2, 1964, and patients were transferred from the old facility on September 24, 1964. In both 1975 and 1991, the hospital expanded with building additions to accommodate Long-Term Care, Rehabilitation Services, Business, and Central Supply departments.
In 2001, Valley County Hospital became a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). This allows for a different method of Medicare payment to small rural hospitals, as well as more flexibility to operate more efficiently and better meet the needs of VCHS patients. In 2005, Valley County Hospital changed its name to Valley County Health System to better reflect the variety of services provided throughout the facility and area. In 2008, Valley County voters approved a bond issue to build a new hospital facility. The new hospital opened on October 3, 2010 and includes 16 acute care beds, two operating rooms, 12 medical clinic exam rooms, 6 specialty clinic exam rooms, an aqua therapy pool in the Rehabilitation Department, a state-of-the-art Imaging Department, and chapel. Other VCHS facilities include medical clinics in Burwell and Loup City. In 2015, Valley County Health System sold Valley View Living Center, its long-term care operation to LTC Midwest.
VCHS continually monitors evolving community needs and reviews its service offerings. As evident by the outlined history, VCHS has, and is, dedicated to responding to community health needs by expanding services, offering new services, increasing flexibility, etc. In the last year alone, VCHS has added services such as oncology, podiatry, aesthetics, in-house vascular ultrasounds, and medical clinic walk-ins, as well as welcomed additional professional and caring staff members, including members to the medical staff. Residents of Valley County and the surrounding communities increasingly choose VCHS for their healthcare needs. Over the past five years, the number of unique hospital patients from all of the communities VCHS serves has increased, leading to an overall increase in the number patients utilizing VCHS services.
VCHS isn’t just in the community but is truly a part of it. From raising money for local charitable causes to providing health education through health fairs, seminars, and other community outreach to offering opportunities for area youth to explore healthcare careers, VCHS’s efforts and work beyond providing medical care demonstrate the organization’s recognition of its role as a source and partner of strength, vitality, and caring in the region. Additionally, the VCHS Auxiliary operates Second Hand Rose Thrift Shop in downtown Ord – all on a volunteer basis – and donates proceeds back to VCHS. Since opening in 2005, the Auxiliary has donated more than $230,000 to VCHS, which the organization has used for purchases such as vital monitors, CPR manikins, and rehab exercise equipment.
Communities not only survive, but thrive when its community members, businesses, and organizations support each other and are invested in the success of the community. VCHS is not only the largest employer in Valley County, but in the region. Currently, VCHS employs 205 full-time and part-time employees and, through its work, is indirectly responsible for many other jobs in the region.