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Community / Healthy Living


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  • Be Protected From Severe Illness This Winter by Staying Current on Recommended Vaccines

    Oct 13, 2022

    Influenza (flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work, school, or family events, or it can result in more serious illness. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help reduce the risk of getting flu and any of its potentially serious complications. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death. While some people who get...

  • Omicron Variant ID'd in Nebraska

    Dec 8, 2021

    LINCOLN –The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Nebraska Public Health Solutions (PHS) District, and the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) have detected six cases of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 among Nebraska residents. The first case was likely exposed during international travel to Nigeria, returned on November 23rd, and became symptomatic on November 24th. The five remaining cases were likely exposed through household contact with the first case. Only one of the six cases were vaccinated. None have required...

  • SRMC CEO Shares Hospitalization and Transfer Experiences for COVID Patients

    Nov 24, 2021

    Jason Petik, CEO of Sidney Regional Medical Center (SRMC) based in Sidney, Nebraska, joined the November 17 briefing to discuss what hospital care and patient needs have looked like for them with the fall Panhandle COVID wave. Petik began with sharing while the numbers have slowly declined, two to three weeks ago, this was a different story. Before the current surge, they were seeing one to two COVID patients in the hospital at a time. With the surge, COVID patients increased to about eight but...

  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    Oct 27, 2021

    Lincoln – According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (after lung cancer.) October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, provides an ideal opportunity to promote healthy habits that can lessen the chances of developing the condition, and teach warning signs that may indicate breast cancer. While heredity can play a part in having breast cancer, about 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer...

  • CDC, FDA Authorize Pfizer-BioNTech Booster

    Oct 6, 2021

    Lincoln – On Thursday, September 23, 2021, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a recommendation for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in populations who are at highest risk for COVID-19. The CDC announcement follows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization of the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine on September 22, 2021. Vaccine booster doses are to be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary Pfizer vaccine series.  The FDA authorization and the CDC...

  • Jul 28, 2021

    Lincoln – The first human case of West Nile virus for the 2021 season has been found in the Elkhorn-Logan Valley Health Department area (Burt, Cuming, Madison, and Stanton Counties). The person who tested positive was not hospitalized, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  West Nile virus is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. with Nebraska having one of the highest rates of disease in the country. Last year, DHHS detected West Nile in 21 mosquito samples and reported 15 human cases (10...  Website

  • Celebrating Moms and Working Mothers Around the Panhandle with World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7

    Jul 28, 2021

    The World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2021. Join us in celebrating this week by supporting moms and working mothers around the Panhandle. Breastfeeding is one of the best investments for healthier moms, babies, families, organizations, and communities. Breastfeeding babies have: • Stronger immune systems • Fewer colds and respiratory illnesses • Fewer ear infections • Fewer cases of bacterial meningitis • Better vision • Lower rates of infant mortality • Lower rates of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) • Less illness...

  • COVID Risk Dial Sees Slight Regression

    Forrest Hershberger, Publisher Sun-Telegraph|Apr 14, 2021

    The COVID-19 Risk Dial shows steady improvement for the Panhandle region. As of April 5, the Risk Dial was at 1.38, down from 1.53 the week before. The Risk Dial is a summary of conditions for the Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) jurisdiction. It is divided into four levels from low to severe. PPHD stresses the Risk Dial is only a guide. It does not replace federal, state or locally directed health measures. The PPHD continues to advise at-risk and vulnerable individuals to practice strin...

  • COVID Variant Found in Panhandle

    Apr 7, 2021

    The B117 COVID variant has been confirmed in the Panhandle. Confirmation was received late today of a teen male, teen female, and female in her 30s from the Nebraska Public Health Lab testing and notification from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Any close contacts identified will be quarantined to slow the spread. This variant was initially detected in the UK and in the US this past December. This variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants which may lead to more COVID cases with the potential for...

  • Good Angler Stewardship Means Picking Up Shoreline Little, Recycling Line

    Apr 7, 2021

    LINCOLN – As anglers, we mean to be good stewards of our environment. Sometimes, though, we leave something behind. It could be a bait container lid that blew off or a small wad of fishing line in a snag. It all adds up, is a direct reflection on anglers, and is an environmental hazard. The problem with shoreline litter is twofold. Litter is just plain ugly and embarrassing. The view of a lake scene is never improved by a misplaced drink container. But the big issue is that litter damages the...

  • State Announces Launch of Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Website

    Feb 3, 2021

    LINCOLN – On Monday, Feb. 1, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced that the State has launched an online portal where Nebraskans can register for coronavirus vaccinations (vaccinate.nebraska.gov).   While Nebraskans are encouraged to register in a timely manner, the State is not administering vaccines on a first come, first serve basis.  Nebraska’s vaccination plan (dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/COVID-19-Vaccination-Plan.pdf) is proceeding in phases, with priority groups receiving initial doses.  Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)...

  • COVID Dial Sees Slight Improvement

    Forrest Hershberger, Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph|Dec 9, 2020

    The Panhandle Public Health District reported three more COVID-related deaths as of Monday afternoon, Dec. 7. Two were females from Dawes County; one in her 80s and one in her 90s, and a Sheridan County woman in her 80s. As of December 4, 27,015 COVID-19 tests have been administered in the Panhandle area, according to the Panhandle Public Health District. That number is cumulative since March. Of the 27,015 tested, 6,272 were returned positive. The PPHD reported 2,235 active cases from the...

  • It's Time to Review Your Medicare Coverage

    Seena Verna, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services|Nov 11, 2020

    Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment season is underway, and I want to encourage all people with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage. Under President Trump’s leadership, Medicare Advantage Plan premiums have fallen to historic lows, dropping an average of 34 percent over the last three years (and even more in some states). Many plans are offering a new insulin benefit that limits the maximum cost to $35 for a 30-day supply. By shopping around, you may be able...

  • SRMC to Expand TestNE

    Nov 4, 2020

    Sidney Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in a partnership with TestNebraska has increased the availability of the program from two days to three. TestNE is a State of Nebraska program that provides free COVID-19 testing to eligible residents. To determine eligibility, residents of Nebraska must take the online assessment through the TestNebraska portal. If eligible, participant will receive a free test from the TestNE program available at the SRMC Walk-in Clinic. “We are seeing a surge in the utilization of this program and felt it is crucial...

  • Rainbow Trout Stockings Schedule This Fall

    Oct 7, 2020

    LINCOLN – Rainbow trout are being stocked in city ponds and state park and recreation area lakes across the state by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These stockings will enhance fishing opportunities this fall and winter. Stocking schedules can change on short notice for a variety of reasons. The following is a tentative stocking schedule, including quantities: Week of Oct. 5 – East Verdigre Creek, Royal – 200 trout; Grabel Pond No. 1, Fort Robinson SP – 1,200; Grabel Pond No. 3, Fort Robinson SP – 400; Laing Lake, Alliance...

  • Eight More COVID Cases Confirmed

    Forrest Hershberger, Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph|Sep 2, 2020

    The Panhandle Public Health District and Unified Command reported Aug. 27 eight new positive COVID-19 cases. All close contacts will be quarantined and actively monitored for symptoms by public health officials. The new cases include one child under 19 years of age in Dawes County by close contact. Seven adults were also tested positive: one in Box Butte County of unknown origin, one in Dawes County of Community Spread, two in Dawes County by close contact, one in Dawes County by unknown...

  • Creek Valley Hosting Blood Drive

    Jul 15, 2020

    OMAHA — Beginning today and for a limited time, the American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. At the same time, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donations as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments that require blood products. Creek Valley High School is hosting a scholarship blood drive on Monday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fire Hall. To schedule an appointment, call or text Nolan...

  • Disability Advocates Call on Insurance Companies to Protect Autism Services

    Jul 15, 2020

    Lincoln – Families of individuals with disabilities were informed in May that many would no longer receive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) at the Munroe-Meyer Institute that is vital for children with disabilities starting in September. ABA is an evidence-based practice that helps children with disabilities address deficits in social skills or self-care skills, or other behavioral concerns. This elimination of services came because of low reimbursement rates from Amerigroup, and Optum/UBH’s Commercial Plan (they are continuing with their...

  • Project Investigation Fever-Related Data as Early Indicateor of COVID-19 Outbreaks

    Jun 10, 2020

    Lincoln — Putting a smart thermometer to the ear could mean putting an ear to the ground for future COVID-19 outbreaks and the consequences of relaxing social distancing, says a University of Nebraska–Lincoln engineer. Alongside colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Kearney, Fadi Alsaleem is exploring how data from Bluetooth-connected Kinsa thermometers may help forecast COVID-19 hotspots in Nebraska up to weeks before new outbreaks are officially reported. With a boost from that data and...

  • DHHS COVID-19 Update

    Jun 10, 2020

    LINCOLN – During the past seven days, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the state increased by 16 to 186, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) data dashboard. The state case total, as of 5:45 p.m. Central Daylight Time today, is 15,193, marking an increase of 1,539 from last Friday. Local health departments are reporting deaths and cases in their jurisdictions. In the event of a discrepancy between DHHS dashboard data and deaths or cases reported by local public health officials, data reported...

  • Physical Therapy Today: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy

    Casey Cortney, Licensed Physical Therapist|May 3, 2016

    The loss of any of the five senses is especially distressing, and one of the most frightening for any individual is the loss of balance and equilibrium due to a vestibular disorder. The condition occurs when there's a disruption of the vestibular system that encompasses the inner ear and brain that controls eye movement and balance. When the vestibular organs are damaged from disease or injury, the brain can no longer rely on them for accurate information about equilibrium and motion, often...

  • Physical Therapy Today: Physical therapy for post hysterectomy adhesions and pain

    Casey Cortney, Licensed Physical Therapist|Apr 5, 2016

    Abdominal adhesions are bands of scar tissue that form in the abdomen between organs. They can develop following any type of pelvic surgery, from a C-section or cyst removal to exploratory laparoscopic procedures. The bands of fibrous tissues typically act as a scab and dissolve when they’re no longer needed. If they don’t, physical therapy can be used to alleviate pain and improve quality of life. The condition is common in women who have undergone a hysterectomy. The body’s immune system tries to repair the damage, but the process...

  • Physical Therapy Today: A new year, a new you - Final tips

    Casey Cortney, Licensed Physical Therapist|Mar 1, 2016

    I hope you are well on your way to achieving a healthier, happier and longer life by the lifestyle changes you have made so far in this New Year. If you have yet to start, you still have time. In this final “New Year, New You” article I would like to leave you with some final tips: • Nutrition – Forget about all the fad diets and dieting. Instead, follow the USDA’s new Food Guide Pyramid and monitor your caloric intake. Replace simple carbohydrates like those found in white bread and sweets with complex carbohydrates like 100 percent...

  • Physical Therapy Today: A new year, a new you - Part II - Exercise for life

    Casey Cortney, For The Sun-Telegraph|Feb 2, 2016

    In the last Physical Therapy Today article, "A new year, a new you - Part I - Lifestyle changes," I wrote about how to accomplish permanent lifestyle changes so you can have a healthier, happier, and longer life. Today, we will consider one important factor, your exercise habit, when taking inventory of your current lifestyle and what changes need to be made. I can hear you all groaning. Exercise, for some, is not enjoyable. There are certain barriers to overcome to make exercise a part of your...

  • Physical Therapy Today: A new year, a new you – Part I

    Casey Cortney, Licensed Physical Therapist|Jan 12, 2016

    We all want to live a healthier, happier, and longer life. What better time to renew our motivation than in the New Year 2015. Now, I am not talking about New Year’s resolutions, I am talking about true motivation to make the changes in your life that will cause permanent lifestyle changes leading you to that healthier, happier, and longer life. Many of you will be tempted to stop reading this article after the word “change” bounces around your brain a few times. Change can be a scary concept. After all, we are “creatures of habit.” B...

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