Douglas County Health Center – Empowering Residents & Providing Outstanding Results

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Douglas County Health Center – Empowering Residents & Providing Outstanding Results

While the 1930’s historic art-deco exterior of the Douglas County Health Center (dchc.douglascounty-ne.gov) might be a bit deceiving to passersby, the only thing that’s old in the entire Midtown building is the bricks. It’s a state-of-the-art facility, and Douglas County Health Center’s values – safety, quality and patient satisfaction – are timeless. Atop a long and quite impressive list of credentials and accolades, the Douglas County Health Center has been awarded a 5-Star rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a designation they’ve received for 8 consecutive years now. It’s truly a testament to the quality of care that’s provided and the caliber of professionals who provide it.

The services provided by Douglas County Rehab, an arm of the Douglas County Health Center, meet a diverse set of needs for those in the Omaha Metro area. As the Skilled Unit’s Clinical Director, Dr. Rebecca Wester is charged with ensuring that all patients receive an enhanced level of personalized medical care that’s customized to their individual needs.

Skilled nursing and rehabilitation services are necessary when a person needs experts in nursing and rehabilitation to manage their recovery after a hospital stay, decline in health or a surgery. As Dr. Wester explains it, “Rehabilitative therapy is given for a short period of time, typically for a few weeks; but can continue up to 100 days.

At Douglas County Rehab, individuals stay in one of our 20 modern private rooms on the short-term unit. All short-term stay individuals at Douglas County Rehab enjoy complimentary transportation to medical appointments, customized meals, recreational services, rehabilitative services –such as speech, physical and occupational therapy, and individual’s care planning initiated within 24-hours of admission.

Speech Therapy is much more than communication; it’s swallowing and complex problem-solving strategies.

Physical Therapy is much more than strengthening; it promotes cardiac and respiratory wellness, pain modalities, balance training, and overcoming walking (gait) problems.

Occupational Therapy is much more than adaptive equipment instruction; it’s grooming, dressing, toileting, bathing, range of motion, edema management, and everything else to get you functionally ready to get home safe and as quick as possible.

At Douglas County Rehab, we assess an individual’s knowledge, skill, and confidence for managing one’s own health and healthcare. Every team member is proactive and fosters the skills required for the patient to successfully return home and helps build his or her confidence to do so. Douglas County Health Center focuses on the needs of our community, especially individuals who might fall through the cracks of today’s fragmented healthcare system. Often Douglas County Rehab is the only facility equipped to say ‘yes.’

As a Certified Medical Director and Geriatric-Palliative specialist, I strive to deliver interdisciplinary care in all areas of my practice. I go directly to where they live; whether in their home or in a skilled rehabilitation or long-term care facility. In caring for individuals with serious illness, I strive to effectively harmonize their care to align with their values, goals and preferences.”

As for what the future will look like at Douglas County Rehab, Dr. Wester reflects on how far the specialized area of skilled care and rehabilitation services has already come. “Douglas County Rehab draws upon its strong history to build a bold future in today’s always-changing healthcare system. Hospital patients of yester-years are now the skilled nursing patients of today. With that said, Douglas County Rehab plans to expand on our current capabilities. Douglas County Rehab is posed to move forward and adapt to these challenges in order to maintain high quality of care provided. We will continue to surpass our patients’ and their family’s expectations and be a leader of excellence in skilled rehabilitation services.”

In partnership with the Douglas County Health Center, Dr. Wester has also taken on a new project with Methodist Health System, which has a strong presence in the Omaha Metro as well.

“It’s so exciting. Methodist Hospital is launching an innovative house calls program that will boost quality of life by adding an extra, personalized layer of support. This new partnership will provide individuals at Methodist Physicians Clinic who are facing serious illness like CHF, COPD, or advanced dementia access to specially trained clinicians who will visit individuals in their homes. I have the great honor of leading the program. The house calls team specializes in improving quality of life and measures to avoid unnecessary or unwanted emergency room and hospital visits. These professionals are experts in providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness. We are focused on providing an extra layer of support to these individuals so they can have the highest quality of care possible, including the ability to be seen in their home and have access 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Our clinicians guide patients and caregivers through difficult and complex treatment choices.”

For more information about Douglas County Health Center visit dchc.douglascounty-ne.gov or call 402-444-7000.