BCH Welcomes New Pharmacy Manager, Brandon Boller!

Brandon Boller is the new Pharmacy Manager at BCH.

Brandon graduated from St. Maries High School in 2006 and just recently moved back to St. Maries with his family.

Brandon attended the University of Montana receiving his undergrad in pre-pharmacy, and completed Pharmacy School in 2013 at The University of Montana, Skaggs School of Pharmacy. Brandon started his Pharmacy career in Tacoma, Washington and then moved to Anchorage, Alaska for 5 years. Brandon is excited to be back in his home town, serving patients in the community!

Brandon joins our Pharmacy Tech, Melissa Offerman. BCH is excited for our new Pharmacy Team!

Please join us in welcoming Brandon!!

New Nurse Leadership at BCH

BCH has hired a new Director of Nursing Services, Rachel Ewert, RN, BSN, CNOR.

Rachel has worked at BCH for 7 years in all areas of nursing, to include OR, Med/Surg and ER. We are very excited to have Rachel as our new Nurse Leader at BCH!

Rachel received her RN degree from Southern Adventist University in 2007. She then received her Bachelors of Nursing in 2012 from the University of Phoenix.

Prior to moving to St. Maries, she worked as an Operating Room Nurse for several years.

Rachel and her family love living in St. Maries. She is very excited for the opportunity of serving and working alongside the nursing staff at BCH.

BCH Welcomes Dr. Ralph Sutherlin, D.O.

Please help us welcome our newest Medical Staff Provider Dr. Ralph Sutherlin, D.O. He will be joining the St. Maries Family Medicine Team August 4th!

Dr. Ralph Sutherlin is Family Medicine Physician whose specialty is promoting and protecting the health and well-being of your entire family! He is Board certified in Occupational and Preventative Medicine, which focuses on the promotion of health in the workplace, including the management of environmental injury, illness, and disability. Dr. Sutherlin and his wife have moved to the St. Maries community from Boise, Idaho and are excited to be a part of the community!

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sutherlin, please call St. Maries Family Medicine at 208-245-2591.

Benewah Community Hospital COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

If you have came into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, please call the Admitting Front desk at 208-245-5551.  They will ask for your information and you will receive a call back from a Registered Nurse to discuss further action. If you do meet criteria for testing, the RN will inform you of a time to present for testing.

BCH will be testing people from our community who are symptomatic or have had a direct exposure to a COVID positive person. For direct exposures, we want to wait at least 5 days after the exposure to test (If the viral load isn’t high enough, testing too early could result in a false-negative).

We will be referring people who do NOT live in our community to a testing center near them. We have to limit testing to those within our community due to number of test kits on hand, limited PPE as well as available staffing.

As explained in a recent Press Release from Panhandle Health District, Kootenai Health, and Bonner General Health on June 29, 2020 titled “Local Health Leaders Provider COVID-19 Guidance”

COVID-19 cases are spiking throughout our area and we are seeing community transmission in Kootenai, Bonner, and Benewah counties. The virus has not let up and we can’t either. Contract tracing has shown that many of the new cases are a result of social settings where no or very few precautions are being taken. The good news is we know what slows the spread; masking, physical distancing and handwashing work. Recent studies of masking efforts in New York, Wuhan and Italy show that wearing masks in public is the best way to lower community transmission rates when everyone participates.

As more people are exposed to someone with COVID-19, more people are seeking testing. A common misconception is that if you had close contact to a person with COVID-19, then you should immediately be tested. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than that. If you have had close contact with a positive case, you should begin to self-isolate from the general public and especially high-risk individuals. Stay home other than to seek medical treatment. If you do leave your home, wear a mask to prevent potential spread.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: • Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea 

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19 or call the Panhandle Health District Hotline Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at 877-415-5225.

BCH Welcomes New CEO!

Valley Vista Care CEO Chuck Lloyd has taken on the role of CEO at Benewah Community Hospital.  Mr. Lloyd has previously worked as a chief financial officer, chief operations officer and healthcare administrator.  He has also overseen operations and multiple healthcare facilities simultaneously.  According to Mr. Lloyd, it is not uncommon for healthcare facilities, particular in rural settings, to have shared executives.

While he will serve as CEO for both entities, VVC and BCH will remain separate.  The board presidents and Mr. Lloyd agreed that having the same CEO will be a benefit to their relationship.  “We have a great opportunity to improve healthcare for our community at both organizations,” Mr. Lloyd said “We are thinking outside the box which is what small communities need to do. I think this is in the best interest of VVC, BCH and the community.”

Mr. Lloyd signed a one year contract with BCH.  He has another two years under is contract with VVC.

COVID-19

BCH is Prepared for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19

Benewah Community Hospital has been working closely with Panhandle Health District on updates for Coronavirus (COVID-19). BCH is prepared for any cases that may present to the hospital. As of June 24, 2020, there have been 13 positive COVID-19 cases in Benewah County, most of these being on the CDA Reservation.

BCH has been providing information to the public to keep our community informed.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/, or Panhandle Health District’s website: http://panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19/

COVID-19 testing charge: $65 (may be covered by insurance). BCH will be testing only symptomatic or directly exposed individuals, to be determined by your healthcare provider.

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February is National Heart Month!

*Article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Heart Disease: It Can Happen at Any Age

Heart disease doesn’t happen just to older adults. It is happening to younger adults more and more often. This is partly because the conditions that lead to heart disease are happening at younger ages. February is Heart Month, the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and the steps you need to take now to help your heart.

Conditions/Behaviors that put people at risk of Heart Disease:

  • High blood pressure. Millions of Americans of all ages have high blood pressure, including millions of people in their 40s and 50s. About half of people with high blood pressure don’t have it under control. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions, such as stroke.
  • High blood cholesterol. High cholesterol can increase the risk for heart disease. Having diabetes and obesity, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, and not getting enough physical activity can all contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
  • Smoking. More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease.
  • Obesity. Carrying extra weight puts stress on the heart. More than 1 in 3 Americans—and nearly 1 in 6 children ages 2 to 19—has obesity.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood. This can damage blood vessels and nerves that help control the heart muscle. Nearly 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes.
  • Physical inactivity. Staying physically active helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Only 1 in 5 adults meets the physical activity guidelines of getting 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity.
  • Unhealthy eating patterns. Most Americans, including children, eat too much sodium (salt), which increases blood pressure. Replacing foods high in sodium with fresh fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure. But only 1 in 10 adults is getting enough fruits and vegetables each day. Diet high in trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugar increases the risk factor for heart disease.

If you are concerned that you or a loved ones may be at risk of heart disease, schedule an appointment with one of our Clinic providers today. St. Maries Family Medicine: 208-245-2591

 *Full article can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/index.html

BCH Supports Local Athletics!

BCH Employees participate in School Events to raise community support for St. Maries Lumberjack Pride! This year, for their homecoming week, BCH staff dressed up in the class colors each day to show support! Our staff also participate in the school’s food drive each year in efforts to fill the local food banks!

Each Spring, BCH provides Free Sports Physicals for middle school and high school students participating in athletics.

BCH is a proud supporter of our hometown Lumberjacks. Go Jacks!!

BCH will host our annual Fright Night on Friday, October 25th, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

This is a FREE Event for the community, sponsored by the Employees of BCH.

Please have your children dress up and come to enjoy a fun night of games, prizes, and candy!

FREE Hotdogs, chips, and water will be available in the Blue Spruce Café for the Kids.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from BCH!!!