Heritage Program for Seniors at VCHS earns high patient satisfactory score; addresses geriatric issues

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Congratulations Heritage Program Outpatient Team at Valley County on Your Success!

ORD, Neb. – The Heritage Program for Seniors at Valley County Health System (VCHS) earned a 97 percent overall patient satisfaction rate during the most recent quarter, highlighting the organization’s continued efforts to address the mental health conditions of older adults in central Nebraska.

The Heritage Program for Seniors at VCHS is an individualized, outpatient behavioral health program for adults age 55-plus. The program offers confidential counseling services in both group and individual sessions for patients from throughout central Nebraska who are dealing with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The program satisfaction scores were taken from regular quarterly (April – June 2017) patient discharge surveys, which include questions ranging from understanding treatment plans to perceived progress during the program.

“Our focus at the Heritage Program is to help, and empower, our patients to get well – to restore optimal mental and emotional health. The strong patient satisfaction score reflects our continued success in creating a welcoming and comfortable therapeutic environment that enables them to do just that,” Heritage Program Mental Health Therapist Riley Smith, PLCSW, PLMHP said.

Nationwide, according to the American Psychological Association, rural areas traditionally lack in accessibility and availability of mental health services compared to urban areas, despite having populations with equal – if not greater – prevalence of mental illness.

“By offering geriatric mental health services through the Heritage Program, VCHS is once again demonstrating its leadership in rural healthcare and commitment to our patients’ overall wellbeing,” Smith said. Medical providers or any concerned individual may refer themselves or someone to the program. Heritage staff will meet with the referred individual to discuss program details and the admission process.

“After trying to deal with grief, anger and isolation issues on my own, I returned to the Heritage Program for assistance to get better,” a recent self-referred Heritage Program patient from Loup City, Neb., said. “There is nothing to be afraid of in asking for help. Focus on getting yourself well. I can’t say enough good things about the Heritage Program in helping me manage and get better […] everyone is here to support each other.”

Patient therapy groups meet every day, Monday through Friday, with most program participants attending two days a week. Hours are typically 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Individual and family appointments are scheduled as needed. Heritage also provides caregiver support and community education.

In addition to Smith, Mental Health Therapist Macaela Haas, PLMHP, and Mental Health Technician Kendra Mach and Mental Health Technician Amber Schulenberg work with Heritage Program patients.

For more information about the Heritage Program for Seniors at VCHS, call 308.728.4340 or visit www.valleycountyhealthsystem.org/medical-services/heritage-program-for-seniors.
Contact: Beth Knapinski
Phone: (308) 728-4397; (308) 730-1558
2707 L Street Ord, NE 68862

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