News Articles

  • Foundation Fund Drive Tops $60,000

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation Fund Drive Tops $60,000

    West Point – Larry Kampschneider, St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation Fund Drive Chairman, was pleased to announce this week the foundation raised $60,062 during their 2015-16 Annual Fund Drive.

    “Our area hospital supporters step up every year to ensure we have quality care and cutting-edge equipment,” said Kampschneider. “We can’t thank you enough. Your support continues to keep St. Francis Memorial Hospital one of the best equipped and best staffed rural hospitals anywhere.”

    The funds will be used to help furnish a brand new trauma level x-ray room in the hospital, giving St. Francis Memorial two such rooms. The x-ray equipment alone will cost approximately $80,000.

    Having two trauma level rooms a tremendous benefit for regularly scheduled patients and when accidents occur with numerous victims brought to the facility at once.

    Kampschneider noted that 382 donors supported the foundation, an amazing number.

    “We are very blessed so many area residents support the hospital and help us continue our legacy of giving. These donations are put to work enhancing our hospital and its’ ability to care for those we love.”

    Since the foundation was formed in 1962 it has raised almost five million dollars through the generous support of donors.

    Members of the foundation in 2015/16:

    Jean Guenther – Chairman, West Point

    Rick Wimer – Vice Chairman, West Point

    Jerome Steffen – Treasurer, West Point

    Jerry Wordekemper – Secretary, West Point

    Larry Kampschneider – Fund Drive Chairman, West Point

    Ed Kaup – West Point

    Robert Moodie – West Point

    John Prenzlow – Snyder

    Doug Steffensmeier – Beemer

    Chad Ortmeier, DDS – Dodge

    Sr. Joy Rose – West Point

    Gary Baumert – Howells

    Diane Knobbe – West Point

    Sarah Miller – Oakland

    Laurie Soll – Bancroft

    Shelly Bacon – Lyons

    Abby Dinklage – Wisner

    Joe Franzluebbers – West Point


  • Pastor Hoden’s Parkinsons Presentation

    Presentation given on 3/31/2016.


  • Driving a Healthy Business!

    We can be your Health and Compliance Solution to making your business run and let you and your employees concentrate on business, not rules and regulations. We know you want the best health for your business and employees and that the regulations are sometimes overwhelming. We also offer a drug and alcohol free work place program for any size business— small or large. Both employers and employees suffer when there is alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace.

    Let our team help!

    • We offer a DOT Testing Consortium, a mandatory rule
    • We can bring testing into your facility or provide testing here at St. Francis Memorial Hospital
    • Assistance with DOT Training and Compliance
    • Medical Review Officer — requirement of DOT testing
    • Lower Costs and Convenient Billing
    • LOCAL Service that cares about YOU
    • Pre & Post Job Offer Screens
    • Post-Accident Screens
    • Vaccinations, Health Screenings and Health Coaching

    See Flyer Here

  • Sr. Laura Wolf steps down


    MANITOWOC, WIS. — Sister Laura Wolf, president of the Manitowoc, Wis.-based Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries, Inc. (FSCCM), recently announced that she will step down from the role she’s held since 1985. Following the recommendation of the FSCCM Board of Directors, congregational leadership of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity named Daniel McGinty as Sister Laura’s successor. McGinty, the first lay president of FSCCM, will officially assume this role June 1, 2016. Sister Laura will serve as senior executive advisor to the president of FSCCM.
    “After 31 years of leadership, it’s time for me to step aside and allow room for some fresh ideas,” Sister Laura said. “I’ve given our ministry all I have to give in this role and look forward to working with Dan through the transition. He’s been a part of our organization in one way or another for a number of years. He understands the Franciscan Sisters, he’s committed to our mission, vision and values, and he has broad experience that would be valuable to any organization. I believe he’s just what we need for our first lay president.”
    McGinty, who has served on the FSCCM Board of Directors since 2009, said he is excited about becoming the first lay president of FSCCM. “The sisters have such a rich heritage of taking care of people’s needs. Whether it be health care, long-term care, or education, they demand that the services provided in their name be done with compassion and the highest level of quality,” McGinty said. “In every town where their ministries are located they are respected and trusted. I take that very seriously and will make it my mission to continue their important work in all of our communities. I look forward to being part of extending these vital ministries into the future in a way that reflects the Franciscan Sisters’ mission and values.”
    McGinty most recently served as executive vice president of hospital and specialty services at Allina Health, an integrated health system in the Twin Cities. Prior to Allina, he worked in various capacities at Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health, including having responsibility for several acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, and physician clinics. He also served as
    administrator of Essentia’s St. Mary’s Medical Center, a 400-bed Catholic tertiary hospital in Duluth. From 1995 to 2001, he was president and CEO of Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc, part of the FSCCM system. McGinty has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., and a master’s in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota. McGinty and his wife, Lynn, have three children.
    Sister Natalie Binversie, community director of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, said she looks forward to working with McGinty. “I am confident that Dan is going to lead our system in a way that honors our fidelity to the healing and educational ministries of Jesus,” she said. “His experience and commitment to our ministries are going to ensure that our Franciscan presence will remain strong in the communities where we serve.” Sister Natalie added that she is grateful for Sister Laura’s dedication to FSCCM. “For more than 30 years, we have entrusted the care of our sponsored ministries to Sister Laura. I don’t know where our health care and higher education ministries would be without her skillful leadership and unyielding insistence that the communities we serve are better off by having us there. We honor her decision to step down as president and we remain ever grateful for all she’s done for the church, our congregation and the people who have been served by our ministries.”
    Sister Laura, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity since 1967, is widely recognized by bishops, fellow women and men religious, and lay leaders throughout Catholic health care and higher education for her consistency and courage in calling to the table the hard, vexing questions that face the church’s ministries. She has demonstrated a gift for framing these questions in a way which brings people together around the common goal of service to these ministries and the people who depend upon them. She holds a joint degree in law and health administration from St. Louis University. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. She is also actively involved in congregational and church organizations and projects as well as family and civic activities.
    The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1985 to monitor and manage the health care and higher education ministries of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. The health care ministry spans three states: Wisconsin, Nebraska and Ohio. Silver Lake College of the Holy Family is located in Manitowoc, Wis. For more information, visit

  • Comfort dog visits St. Joe’s

    St. Joseph’s Retirement Community residents were recently treated to a visit by Katie, a trained K-9 Comfort Dog.  Katie belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church, Fremont, and makes visits to area nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, day cares and schools.  She has also helped in disaster situations.

    “In addition to our area visits, Katie has provided comfort at recent tragic situations in Oregon and Oklahoma.  Her job is to provide comfort and calm people,” said Deb Heur, one of 13 trained handlers for Katie.  Glen Mueller, another Katie handler, explained that Katie has had 2,000 hours of training.  Katie is very docile and has been trained to let people she is not familiar with pet her over and over again.  “When she is wearing her  halter and vest she knows she is working,” said Mueller.

    He demonstrated several commands Katie is trained to respond to, such as “stay” and “up.”  When she is commanded “up” she gently puts her paws on a person’s lap and sits up so she is more easily petted and hugged.  “I thought she was great!  I wasn’t feeling very well today and she laid her head on my lap like she knew something was wrong. I felt a real connection to her,” said St. Joseph’s resident Elaine Throener.

    Katie is an 18-month-old Golden Retriever and was selected to be trained by Lutheran Church Charities when she was just six weeks-old. Trinity Lutheran Church, Fremont,  had to apply to adopt Katie and provides for care.  All of her expenses are supported by donations.  When she is not working, Katie lives with two primary caregivers in Fremont.

  • Nursing Home Plans Moving Forward

    Franciscan Care Services (FCS) is moving forward with plans to construct a new nursing home in West Point.

    Jerry Wordekemper, President/CEO, said the board and administrative team have made a great deal of progress since the announcement to construct a new nursing home was made last April.

    “Our staff has been hard at work. We have toured nursing homes, visited with experts in the nursing home field and have selected our general contractors and architect,” said Wordekemper.  “We’ve made sure we have the best information available so we can design a facility that truly meets the needs of our area seniors now and into the future.”

    “We have come to a consensus to build the new nursing home on the property we own north of the hospital,” said Wordekemper. “The area is more than adequate in size, allows ample parking, and will be very convenient for the residents and visitors. A trip to the doctor’s office will be right across the street.”

    Wordekemper said the board has approved the purchase of nursing home bed licenses needed to operate the facility. The plan is to open in 2017 with approximately 50 beds.

    Sister Laura Wolf, President of Franciscan Sponsored Ministries said, “For well over a century, we have been providing quality, compassionate health care to people in and around West Point. We are proud to be a part of this community and are excited about extending our services to those needing long-term nursing home care. In 1905 we addressed a critical need by opening St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged. It’s gratifying to think that 110 years later we remain committed to meeting the community’s needs.”

    Bill Kreikemeier, Chairman of the Board of FCS, believes this project deserves and needs the financial support of our community.  Kreikemeier said, “Both the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation and St. Joseph’s Retirement Community Foundation have agreed to work cooperatively to raise funds for the construction of the facility.  This is a very mission driven project to give our area seniors the care and home they deserve. There will be a fundraising event during 2016.

    Holland Basham Architects (HBA) from Omaha has been selected as the architect firm. MS Construction from West Point and Beckenhauer Construction from Norfolk will be the general contractors for the project. They jointly built the recently completed St. Francis Memorial Hospital south tower addition.

    Wordekemper concluded by adding, “We want to let the public know we are working diligently to meet the goal of providing a senior care facility the community wants and deserves. There has been a lot of interest in this project and how we can best care for our seniors for years to come.”

  • We’ll help you fight Parkinson’s!

    Did you know Nebraska has the highest prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease in the United States?

    While there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease there is hope because treatments can help control the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Our team of professionals at Wimmer Rehabilitation can help you regain your voice, improve balance, endurance, flexibility and strength with a specific program designed to reverse the progression of this debilitating disease. Recent research has shown that this program helps restore lost functions and helps patients improve quality of life.

    We want to get the word out that we have treatments available to delay the effects of Parkinson’s and keep those affected independent and involved far longer than without treatment.

    Parkinson’s Disease

    (PD) is a chronic and progressive motor disease which could cause difficulty with walking, balance, stability, muscle stiffness, voice quality, swallowing and eating capability, slowness of movement, and ability to participate or complete Activities of Daily Living (ADL). It is the 2nd most common neurodegenerative disease in the U.S. and Nebraska has the highest prevalence.

    • It is more common in men than women.
    • As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease.
    • The causes of Parkinson’s remain unknown. many experts think that
    • the disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, which may vary from person to person.

    Franciscan Care Parkinson’s Flyer

    2015-05-28 08_03_25-FranciscanCare_Parkinsons










    2015-05-28 08_04_48-FranciscanCare_Parkinsons-a


    “I enjoy just meeting with guys, we have fun!”

    “If you have Parkinson’s, I would recommend both the
    voice treatment and the exercise group. These girls do a good job.”

    -Clarence Eikmeier








  • Franciscan Care Services committed to adding a nursing home to group of health services

    Franciscan Care Services (FCS) announced this week they are committed to adding a nursing home to complete their group of health services in West Point.

    The West Point Living Center, owned by Sava Senior Care, a for-profit company based in Atlanta, is currently the only nursing home in the community.

    Ron Briggs, President/CEO of Franciscan Care Services said the board, administration and sponsor, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, did not come to this decision lightly. The decision was reached after much deliberation and sharing information from reputable long-term care consultants. The board also considered the effect on all the area communities with long-term care and the effect on the West Point Living Center itself.

    “We have been asked repeatedly by our community members to buy the West Point Living Center or start our own nursing home,” said Briggs. “We have reached out to Mariner, the previous owner, and Sava Senior Care, the current owner, about purchasing the facility without any substantive responses.  Our board felt the time for action was now.”

    The board had also considered partnering with other firms involved in operating nursing homes but felt that the best fit for the organization and community was to retain local control.

    The facility, as yet unnamed would be built on the existing campus or property FCS owns. One possibility is the land north of St. Francis Memorial Hospital that FCS currently uses as parking.

    Briggs added that over the years community members have approached him, others in administration, the medical staff and board members to express frustration about numerous West Point residents having to move into facilities outside of West Point.

    Bill Kreikemeier, current board chairman, and Dave Wimmer, past board chairman of FCS, both echoed Briggs’ comments.

    “Our board has carefully examined this idea and we feel we have an obligation to provide the care the community wants and is seeking elsewhere. This decision is completely mission driven,” said Kreikemeier.

    “Building a nursing home because of community need is something our board has considered for a very long time,” said Wimmer.

    Briggs said he has continually been told during his 20-year career at FCS that a nursing home opened by FCS and operated to our standard of mission to the community is needed. Recently, that call has been much louder and stronger, and rather than just act independently, we’ve reached out to others such as the city of West Point to gauge the support, interest and opportunities.”

    Briggs wanted to make very clear that FCS compliments the local nursing home staff and knows they do all they can do to care for their patients the best possible way they can.

    Jerry Wordekemper, Chief Operating Officer, and CEO as of May 2, has a long history of operating long-term care facilities and has a unique perspective, as he was once the administrator at the West Point Living Center.

    “Our board is responding to the community that tells us West Point deserves a high-quality nursing home facility and a level of care to match,” said Wordekemper. “Fortunately, we have land available on our campus and we believe loved ones of those who need long-term care will choose our facility.”

    FCS has not set a bed size for the facility but has engaged architects to look at a variety of options with 40 beds probably a minimum. The nursing home facility will likely include a dementia care unit because of the need for specialized memory care in the area. St. Joseph’s Retirement Community has a memory care area but provides a less intense level of care.

    Sister Laura Wolf, president of Franciscan Sponsored Ministries, the system of which FCS is a member, said “We know we can operate a nursing home the community will be proud of, support and choose when it comes time for their loved ones to enter long-term care. We will have the full continuum of health care available locally, including clinics, rehab, hospital, home health, assisted living and nursing home. We can finally fulfill the expressed wishes of those we serve and further the healing mission of the Franciscan Sisters who have been a part of this wonderful community for well over 100 years.”

    Wordekemper went on to say that starting a nursing home is not an easy decision. The current financial climate is not very good and that homes across Nebraska are closing, not starting, except for larger communities.

    “We are doing this because our board feels we are not serving our mission if we do not provide the health services this community wants, desires and deserves. We are not doing this because we see a profitable market to tap. We are doing this strictly based on our mission, ‘to live and promote the healing mission of Jesus Christ’.”

  • New President/CEO – News Release by Franciscan Care Services, Inc.

    Jerry WThe Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries Board of Directors in Manitowoc, Wis., is pleased to appoint Jerry Wordekemper, MHA, ACHE, as the new president/CEO of Franciscan Care Services (FCS), effective May 2. The appointment of Wordekemper is at the recommendation of the FCS Board of Directors. Wordekemper will succeed Ron Briggs, current president/CEO, who will lead the organization through May 1.

    Sister Laura Wolf, president of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries, said she’s very pleased to have Wordekemper named as the next leader of FCS. “It is vitally important to me and our sponsor, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, that Franciscan Care Services continues to provide quality, compassionate care to the West Point community. We have every reason to believe that under Jerry’s leadership, FCS will continue bringing such care and will remain a cornerstone to the vibrancy of West Point,” Sister Wolf said. “While we are sad to see Ron retiring, we know Jerry is the right person to lead FCS into the future.”

    Franciscan Care Services is one of five institutions that make up the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries which are present in Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin. Other entities in the system include two hospitals, a nursing home, and a liberal arts college.

    Wordekemper will lead St. Francis Memorial Hospital, the Dinklage Medical Clinic and St. Joseph’s Retirement Community along with a staff of approximately 265 employees.

    “I’m very pleased Jerry has been selected by the board as our new CEO,” said Ron Briggs, current President/CEO. “Jerry has worked here since 2008 when he was hired to lead St. Joseph’s Retirement Community. Jerry took on ever-expanding duties including leading our recent hospital tower and clinic addition before being named chief operating officer in the fall of 2013. I think Jerry is an excellent leader and the organization will be in capable hands.”

    Wordekemper, a native of West Point, began his healthcare career as a nursing home administrator before joining FCS as administrator at St. Joseph’s Retirement Community. He was the project manager for the $25 million hospital expansion project, and has led numerous other efforts to improve healthcare locally since being promoted to chief operating officer.

    “Jerry is an excellent leader and he’s demonstrated to the board that he’s capable of being the next leader of this organization,” said FCS Board Chairman Bill Kreikemeier. “We think this transition will be seamless and we look forward to Jerry continuing to build and grow the health system. He has an excellent medical staff, administrative team and our employees are second to none.”

    “I’m very blessed to have been offered this job and I look forward to seeing our mission grow,” said Wordekemper. “Healthcare is very challenging, but I know when we give great care we’ll continue to be successful. I’ve learned from a great leader in Ron Briggs and I’m fortunate to have him as a mentor.”

  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s President and CEO Announces Retirement


    St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s President and CEO Announces Retirement West Point, NE – Ronald O. Briggs, MHA, FACHE, President and CEO of St. Francis Memorial Hospital since 1995, announced his retirement effective May 1.

    Briggs is wrapping up a 44 year career in healthcare. He began as a respiratory therapist before entering health administration as a career. In 2011 he was awarded the “Excellence in Service” award by the Nebraska Hospital Association, their most prestigious award.

    “Ron has been an outstanding CEO and leader for 20 years here at St. Francis Memorial Hospital,” said Bill Kreikemeier, chairman of the board of directors. “He has led us to recognition by Becker Review as one of the Top 100 Community Hospitals and by iVantage as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the United States. During Ron’s tenure we have opened our new hospital addition, surgical suites, Wimmer Rehab, six medical clinics and the local medical staff has grown from five members to twelve.”

    “We will miss Ron’s leadership and the example he set for all. He’s been a valuable community leader and presided over two decades of growth and prosperity for the Franciscan Care Services health system,” said Sister Laura Wolf, OSF, JD/MHA, president and chief executive officer of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries. “We are confident the medical staff, administration and employees will continue to carry out the mission forward.”

    Sister Laura Wolf added she believes Briggs’s greatest legacy is his commitment to Servant Leadership in concept and in practice. He has been able to engage his total organization in service to the patient and resident that reflects the mission of the organization and that of its Sponsor.

    “This area should be very proud of the quality healthcare, foundations, facilities and people that care for us,” said Briggs. I’ve enjoyed watching the amazing success and growth we’ve nurtured here because of the support and patronage of our entire area. I know that can and will continue.”

    The board of directors has begun the selection process of a new CEO and expects a seamless transition of leadership.

  • St. Francis Memorial and Dinklage Medical Clinic remain “In Network” with BCBS of Nebraska Despite Confusion Over Recent Letter

    Area patients with BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska health insurance received a letter recently implying the local hospital was owned by Catholic Health Initiatives, commonly known as CHI. CHI owns Bergan Mercy in Omaha, St. Elizabeth’s in Lincoln, the hospitals in Schuyler, Missouri Valley and other facilities in the region.

    This is NOT true. St. Francis Memorial Hospital is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity just like we have always been since the hospital first opened in 1923. We are not in any way owned by CHI though we do use Uninet, their insurance contract negotiating arm, for some of our insurance contract negotiation.

    BCBS and CHI have been in a contract dispute since September 1, 2014 when BCBS terminated their contracts with CHI.

    The recent letter said it would cost BlueCross BlueShield subscribers much more to use the local hospital. This is not true! We are in network!

    What does all this mean? If you are a BCBS subscriber, you are in network with St. Francis Memorial, the Dinklage Medical Clinic, Wimmer Rehab, satellite medical clinics and all our locally based services.

    We hope this clarifies the issue, rest easy knowing your BCBS insurance has all your benefits possible at our hospital and clinics!

  • News Release 1-14-2015

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital officials and physicians were in shock this week when BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska (BCBS) sent letters to area subscribers implying the hospital is owned by CHI.

    The hospital, sponsored since 1923 by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, is in no way owned by CHI.

    The hospital and area clinics do participate in many CHI contracts with insurers through UniNET, their contracting organization, but the hospital and clinics are “in network” with BCBS.

    This recent letter is another piece of the ongoing struggle between CHI and BCBS who have been without a contract since September of 2014.

    “We are not part of this issue and we have no idea why BCBS sent a letter like this to subscribers in our area. We have a long proud history as sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters and consider ourselves a community hospital, serving all those who seek our care,” said Ron Briggs, President/CEO. “Our hospital, clinics and physicians are all in network with BCBS.”


  • Dinklage Medical Clinic In Network with Blue Cross Blue Shield

    It’s good news for area BlueCross Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBS) subscribers, the Dinklage Medical Clinic, all five satellite offices and the twelve member local medical staff team are now “in network”.

    The new contract also protects patients that were seen in September. The new agreement covers any care received since September 1 from the doctors and clinics as “in network”.

    Ron Briggs, President/CEO said, “Putting a new contract in place so we are ‘in network” is the best thing we can do for our patients. While our patients and area businesses were extremely loyal, we felt we couldn’t let the dispute linger and had to move forward. 90% of our BCBS patients kept their appointments, we were amazed and I think this speaks to the quality of our medical staff. Simply put, we heard over and over that patients were not going to leave their doctor. Yet, we didn’t want to put them in a position to have to choose us but face financial pressures not of their choosing.”

    Briggs hopes this new agreement helps patients first and foremost.

    “Financial considerations should not stop patients from accessing needed care, that has been our number one concern throughout this stalemate.”

    The issue came about when BCBS notified UniNet they were terminating their physician contract on August 31. UniNET is a physician and hospital organization comprised of Alegent hospitals and clinics, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and numerous independent physician practices such as the Dinklage Medical Clinic.

    Over 2,220 physicians participate in UniNet contracting. UniNet that handles most of the insurance contracting for the clinics and St Francis Memorial. UniNet and BCBS have been unable to negotiate a new contract after BCBS said in June of 2014 they would drop UniNet from their list of participating providers. Intense negotiations followed but an agreement was not reached.

    No other insurers have been involved in the dispute.

    The local medical clinics now have a stand-alone contract with BCBS but continue to participate in UniNet.

    What does all this mean? It means that all patients with BCBS insurance will be covered as they were before September 1. Unfortunately, many of the 2,200 physicians are still not in network with BCBS.

  • FCS agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield

    Franciscan Care Services is pleased to announce that we have negotiated an agreement for our physicians with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Our physicians are in network effective immediately. The change will be retroactive to Sept. 1st.

  • Flu Shot Vaccine Clinic 2014

    St. Francis Home Health
    West Point, NE 68788

    Will Provide Public Flu Vaccine Clinic 2014

    Cost is paid by medicare – bring your Medicare Card.

    All Persons with a Medicare Advantage Plan must go to their Doctor’s clinic for their shot.

    Cost is $30.00 to any non-medicare person age 3 and older. Minors must be accompanied by a Parent/Guardian.

    September 16
    Wisner Senior Center
    12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

    September 18
    West Point Sunshine Center
    12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

    September 22
    St. Joseph’s Retirement
    Residents 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

    Cummunity, West Point
    Public 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

    September 24
    Snyder Senior Center
    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

    September 25
    Dodge Senior Center
    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

    October 24
    Beemer Senior Center
    8:30 AM – 11:00 AM



  • Sports and Recreation-related Concussions

    Each year, as many as 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the U.S. Athletes of all ages, participating across the spectrum of sports, are susceptible. A traumatic brain injury concussion include:

    • Balance difficulty
    • Headache
    • Blurry vision
    • Nausea / Dizziness
    • Difficulty thinking clearly (cloudy)
    • Feeling Slow
    • Difficulty remembering new information
    • Light/noise sensitivity
    • Tired/sleep issues
    • Irritable
    • Sad/emotional
    • Nervous/anxious


  • News Release BCBS

    News Release BCBS

    For more information please also go to UniNET for more information

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital and the Dinklage Medical Clinic want to share information about the contract impasse with BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska (BCBS) and UniNet (Alegent & Other Private Providers in the region). We are truly sorry this dispute may affect our patients and their health. We are here to serve our patients and the area to the best of our ability and that will not change.

    IF the two parties do not come to an agreement on or before August 31:

    1. St. Francis Memorial Hospital remains IN NETWORK for benefits.
    2. This does NOT affect Medicare patients with supplement plans through BCBS at the clinics and hospital.
    3. The Dinklage Medical Clinic, all five satellites and all of the local medical staff members will be OUT OF NETWORK on September 1.
    4. Specialist Outpatient Physicians that see patients at our hospital may or may not be in network on an individual basis.  Please ask them prior to receiving service.
    5. BCBS still provides coverage to their insured members past September 1 at out of network providers, but at out of network terms – typically higher co-pays, deductibles and out of pocket costs
    6. For continuing care, BCBS may work with the patient to continue to receive in network benefits – it’s up to the patient and BCBS to arrange this.
    7. When patients go to out of network providers, BCBS will pay benefits directly to the patient, not to the provider, so patients will be responsible for their bill
    8. In an emergency, Emergency Room Visits are always covered as IN NETWORK.
    9. All BCBS commercial health plan members, from all states, are affected by these negotiations.

    Have you considered?

    i.      How will BCBS provide inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services without  Alegent Creighton Health, Lasting Hope and Richard Young in its network?

    ii.      Are these “savings” just for Blue Cross?  Will my coinsurance, deductibles and premiums decrease?

    iii.      Why does BCBS believe it has the right to disrupt my relationship with my physician.

    If you have BCBS, and are in an employer sponsored health plan, talk to your employer.  There are other health plan options that will preserve your right to choose your own physician.

    We will continue to stand up for and represent our patients, regardless of what happens with BCBS.

    We do not want to lose a single patient and have always had an excellent working relationship with BCBS. Our charges here at St. Francis Memorial Hospital and the Dinklage Medical Clinic are generally lower than our competitors and other facilities in eastern Nebraska.  BCBS has stated that the fees charged by rural hospitals and physicians are not the problem.

    BCBS is terminating the contract that they agreed to in February, not UniNet. Our facilities and physicians participate in UniNet because we aren’t a large enough organization to stand alone to negotiate with BCBS.  UniNet has offered BCBS proposals that would result in $55 million in savings over 2 years and they have not accepted.

    Would you or your business have even purchased BCBS coverage had you known they were going to kick out your favorite physicians and hospitals from their network?

    We did not cause this dispute and BCBS is betting that you will choose them over your doctors, therapists and hospital! If you have BCBS you may want to ask your insurance agent for an alternative insurance plan.  We participate in most other plans.  Please call us if you are not sure.

    Negotiations will continue past the deadline if resolution is not reached before September 1st.  There is no need to panic and find a new physician as BCBS is asking you to do.  On behalf of our entire medical staff, board members and 265 employees we sincerely hope this dispute is resolved amicably as soon as possible so we can continue to care for you and your family with the BCBS benefits you purchased and you have the peace of mind insurance is supposed to provide!


  • Need Surgery? St. Francis Memorial Hospital – Dr. Bittles

    If you need surgery or are in an accident, rest assured you will get the finest surgical care available from Dr. Micheal Bittles and our surgery staff at St. Francis Memorial Hospital. Dr. Bittles is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and performs both scheduled and emergency surgeries right her in our high-tech surgery rooms featuring the new iSuite surgery technology. Why travel out of twon when you can get the care you need right here and stay in tough with both your surgeon and family physician!

    Common Surgical Care we offer:

    • Gall bladder disease
    • Hernia Repair
    • Breast lump removal
    • Skin Cancer Removal
    • Colon Cancer / Bowel Surgery
    • Varicose Vein Laser Removal
    • Appendectomy
    • Other Minor and Major Surgeries

    To schedule an appointment contact your family physician for a referral or contact the Dinklage Medical Clinic.

    Click here for the Surgery Brochure



    Fellow in the American College of Surgeons

    Michael J. Bittles, M.D F.A.C.S Fellow in the American College of Surgeons

  • Another Prestigious Ranking Award For West Point Hospital

    West Point – In the July edition of Becker’s Hospital Review, a national respected health publication, St. Francis Memorial Hospital was named one of America’s “100 Great Community Hospitals”.

    “Wow, what a testament to our great staff and the communities we serve,” said Ron Briggs, President/CEO of St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

    Click here to Read on KTIC Radio Website

  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital named America’s “100 Great Community Hospitals” 2014

    Becker’s Hospital Review has named its 2014 edition of “100 Great Community Hospitals,” a list based on community hospitals’ accolades, quality and service to their communities.

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital (West Point, Neb.). St. Francis Memorial Hospital opened its doors in 1923. Today the hospital’s medical staff includes five family physicians, and one will join the staff in August. St. Francis Memorial has been named one of iVantage’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals for three times in the last 10 years


  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Now Performing 3D Mammography!

    3D Mammography boasts a more comprehensive breast exam. With a traditional mammogram, a radiologist is viewing all of your breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes normal breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of an abnormal area. Having the 3D mammogram, we are able to look at the 1 millimeter slices, and can scroll through the images in more detail. This also means there is a lesser chance your doctor will call you back for a second look because they can see the breast tissue more clearly.

    “3D is the newest technology for breast cancer detection, and it’s done right along with your traditional 2D exam. You won’t even notice the difference in exams! The X Ray arm will sweep over your breast, taking multiple images in 1 millimeter slices. For each compression, that sweep will only take an extra 4 seconds and there is no additional radiation dose!” Danelle Ehrisman, Radiology Manager, explains.

  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation Fund Drive

    428 Donors Raise $67,575 for

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation Fund Drive


    West Point – “We are so proud of the community,” said Larry Kampschneider, Annual Fund Drive Chairman for the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation. “$67,575 was raised during the annual fund drive. All the proceeds will go towards the purchase of the iSuite surgical room system that cost $95,000.”

    Kampschneider added he and the foundation members are very proud of the level of contributions, but they are also impressed that 428 donors supported the drive this year.

    “We hope to see the number of donors increase every year,” said Kampschneider.” The more support our hospital has, the more technology and life-saving procedures we can offer right here.”

    The iSuite operating room technology, now in place, is a cutting edge system than enhances surgical care with the latest lighting, camera, monitor, imaging, information and surgical assist devices all combined in a comprehensive system.

    “This equipment is making a difference in the quality of our surgical care, said Michael Bittles, MD., General Surgeon at St. Francis Memorial. “Speaking for me and the other physicians, this equipment puts us on par with any surgical rooms even in much larger hospitals.”

    Mr. Kampschneider added that he and the other foundation members are amazed at the support of the hospital through the foundation.

    “We are so fortunate residents of the area bless us with their financial support. We take that support and use it to help the hospital improve and expand the cutting edge services we can provide here at home.”

    Members of the foundation are:

    Ed Kaup, Chairman

    Larry Kampschneider, Vice Chairman

    Jerome Steffen, Treasurer

    Ronald Briggs, President/CEO, Secretary

    Robert “Dick” Moodie, Trustee

    Chad Ortmeier, DDS, Trustee

    Jean Guenther, Trustee

    Doug Steffensmeier, Trustee

    John Prenzlow, Trustee

    Sarah Miller, Trustee

    Diane Knobbe, Trustee

    Valetta Klahn, Trustee

    Sr. Joy Rose, Trustee

    Gary Baumert, Trustee

    Tim Spoenemann, Trustee

    Theresa Spader, Trustee

    Ron Kvols, Trustee

    Jeff Pribnow, Trustee

  • Newsletter Winter 2014

    Inside the Winter 2014 Newsletter (click the link below to view the newsletter)

    • New Family Medicine Physician
    • Jerry Wordekemper Promoted
    • President’s Report…
    • Hernia Surgey
    • Hospital Foundation Raising Money for new “iSuite” Operating System
    • St. Joe’s 25th Jubilee Dinner
    • New Clinic Opening in Hooper

    Click here for the Newsletter Winter 2014

  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital cracks ‘Top 100’ list

    News Article from West Point News

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital has been named to the list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in the nation for the third time in the last four years.
    St. Francis Memorial ranked in the top 100 of more than 1,300 CAHs in the United States. It was one of six hospitals in Nebraska to earn a “Top 100” recognition. Continue reading →

  • Incentives available for rural communities

    News Article from Norfolk Daily News

    West Point-- Dr. Tom Cohee, Karen Meiergerd, Dr. Brian Hass

    DR. TOM Cohee (left) and Dr. Brian Hass (right), both physicians at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point, look over paperwork with nurse Karen Meiergerd. The West Point hospital is fortunate to be one of the rural hospitals in the state with a full medical staff.


    WEST POINT — First-time visitors to St. Francis Memorial Hospital sometimes forget they’re in a rural facility.

    It’s not hard to do.

    Completed in 2009, the 52,000-square-foot addition — with its creative use of natural light in the main lobby and its patient-friendly entrance — gives the hospital the feel of a larger, modern metro facility. Continue reading →

  • “Top 100” Critical Access Hospital in the Nation

    St. Francis Memorial Hospital Named a “Top 100”

    Critical Access Hospital in the Nation for Third Time in Past Four Years


    West Point – St. Francis Memorial Hospital was named to the list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in the nation for the third time in the last four years. St. Francis Memorial ranked in the top 100 of over 1,300 CAHs in the United States.

    “It is a very distinct honor to again be named a “Top 100” critical access hospital in the United States, said Ron Briggs, President and CEO of St. Francis Memorial.  “This honor belongs to our 260 dedicated, professional and caring staff members. All of us are very proud of this achievement and the area should be too.”

    The list is created by iVantage Health Analytics using their Hospital Strength Index, a comprehensive scorecard that evaluates: market conditions, clinical and operational performance, financial and qualitative outcomes, using 56 different performance metrics that are critical to the success in the new healthcare marketplace.

    Top 100 CAHs perform as well or better than three-fourths of all U.S. general acute care hospitals (not just Critical Access Hospitals). Top 100 hospitals also see fewer patients for healthcare services while their Quality is in the Top Quartile when compared to all 4,400 U.S. general acute care hospitals.

    Small and rural hospitals play a critical role in providing efficient and effective healthcare that is equal to or better than their suburban and urban counterparts.

    “Rural hospitals have new and difficult demands that can only be managed with better information,” said John Morrow, executive vice president of iVantage Health Analytics, Inc.  The Index offers healthcare executives and boards of directors an objective way to measure their relative performance internally and among their peers.



Administrative Office
430 N Monitor
West Point, NE 68788
Phone: (402) 372-2404
Fax: (402) 372-2360

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