Wednesday, December 31, 2014

We're Celebrating a Great 2014! Check Out CH-F's Year in Review!

Roger Steinkruger Named CEO of Community Hospital-Fairfax

Fairfax, December, 2014: The Community Hospital-Fairfax (CH-F) Board of Directors is extremely pleased to announce that Roger Steinkruger has accepted the permanent CEO position. Roger joined CH-F in August as an Interim CEO after the resignation of Myra Evans.

“The Board of Directors and staff have been very impressed with Roger since he joined us in August. He brings strong leadership and many years of experience to the hospital and community. We couldn’t be more pleased that he accepted our offer to become the permanent CEO. ” Bob Jackson, Board Chair, explained.

Roger brings 40 years of healthcare experience to CH-F. Originally from rural Nebraska, he began his career with Bryan Medical Center first serving as a respiratory therapist and then in many additional leadership positions. After twenty years with the Bryan system, he returned to rural Nebraska and South Dakota serving as CEO of several different hospitals. Most recently, Roger was the CEO at Tri-Valley Health System in Cambridge, Nebraska, where he oversaw the construction of a new critical access facility.

Since joining CH-F as interim CEO in August, Roger has already been instrumental in many positive initiatives at Community Hospital-Fairfax. Under his leadership, CH-F has implemented a new quality program initiated with a survey by DNV in 2015. He has also formed a leadership team and restructured the organization. His goals for the future include growing services CH-F offers, developing a robust quality program and increasing community outreach.

“I have been very grateful for the warm welcome that I have received from staff and the communities within our service area. It is my honor to serve Community Hospital-Fairfax as CEO,” commented Roger.

About Community Hospital-Fairfax

Community Hospital-Fairfax (CH-F) is a non-profit, critical access hospital serving acute, skilled and obstetrical patients since 1949. In addition to inpatient services, CH-F is proud to provide therapy, radiology, lab, respiratory therapy, specialty clinics and surgery to Northwest Missouri. More information can be found at

Friday, November 7, 2014

65 Years of Birthdays at Community Hospital-Fairfax!

In a day where most critical access hospitals have eliminated obstetrical care, Community Hospital-Fairfax (CH-F) is celebrating 65 years of birthdays! For many families, three  or even four generations now proudly call their place of birth Fairfax.
OB Suite in the Old Hospital

Obstetrical care has changed a great deal since the hospital's opening on November 7, 1949. In the 1980 version of the CH-F newsletter, The Pulse, the Community Hospital Association Visiting Hours and Regulations were published:
·         Siblings of newborns may visit the nursery window one time, for fifteen minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
·         Fathers may visit in obstetric department any time between 12 noon and 8:30 p.m.
·         Children under 12 are not allowed in second floor waiting areas.

Dr. Burke gives Markie Lou a
 squeeze at her appointment.

Despite the changes in medical care and traditions, the joy of welcoming a new baby into the world remains the same. So does the personal care that families receive at CH-F. Just recently, Stephen, Tiffanie and Stevie Gaines welcomed a Markie Lou into their family. Tiffany and Stephen are both life time residents of Northwest Missouri. When time came for them to grow their family, choosing to stay local was an easy decision.

“I truly don’t think that there is a better place than CH-F to have a baby; the doctors, nurses, facilities and food are top of the line. Thank you again for the great care we received during our stay.”

Tiffanie and Stephen feel very comfortable with their decision to have Markie in Fairfax.

“In a bigger hospital, you might end up with whatever doctor is on call instead of the doctor that you are most comfortable with. I felt at ease knowing that Dr. Burke would be there when I delivered,” Tiffanie explained.
Drs. Burke, Carpenter and Luem celebrate with the
CH-F Nursing Staff after being acknowledged by
the March of Dimes for zero elective deliveries before 39 weeks.

Aron Burke M.D. and Dustin Carpenter M.D. continue the tradition of obstetrical care at CH-F. Both physicians spent their first day on earth at Community Hospital-Fairfax and both are now delivering the next generation of Atchison and Holt County residents!

For more information about CH-F obstetrical services contact Dina Ridley, RN or Marcee Dougan, RN at (660) 686-2211 or visit

Today's Obstetrical Suite

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We are turning 65 this week!

-Front page news regarding an outbreak of polio. A Ball is held in Fairfax to raise funds for the children’s polio fund.
-The Sunday school lessons are printed in the local paper.
-Local residents receive care at St. Francis or St. Joseph. Appendectomies and infections make the front page.
-Bread at B.P. Hunters costs 8 cents a loaf.
-Rock Port Theater shows “Mom and Dad” Advertised as “many parents are making the same mistakes as Mr. And Mrs. Blake-trying to keep their boys and girls innocent thru ignorance. This story was ripped from the pages of everyday life. It will awaken you” Segregated audiences only. Show times for men and women listed.
-Dr. Templeton dies. He was born in Atchison County in a 2 room log house in 1854. Obituary reads “probably the life of no person has fully exemplified the character and admirable qualities of the pioneer country doctor than Templeton.” One 6 week period he made all calls by horse, foot and boat during floods. Delivered hundreds of babies. Obituary “only one mother died of causes not related to childbirth.”
-In March of 1946, a local Kiwanis club was formed.
-Sims Printing advertises the “little giant” the latest and best small automatic printing press.
-SJ Peterson, Mayor of Fairfax, recommends civic improvements for newly form Kiwanis Club.
-The Local Kiwanis Club received its charter. 220 were present including the governor of Missouri.
-Health concerns include high blood pressure due to stress and hard work.
-Small pox immunization clinics are held. All children are encouraged to attend.
-Army releases list of dead and missing of local soldiers.
-Dr. Wilson joins Dr. McDonald in Fairfax due to business of Dr. McDonald’s practice.
-Fairfax Kiwanis Club promoted the idea of building a hospital in Fairfax.  Twenty people attended a meeting on November 22.  By December 20, $115,000 was raised through selling stock.
-L.R. Sims, F.C. Whitford and Jack Pearce who were members of the public affairs committee of the Fairfax Kiwanis Club initiate meetings.
-Blue Cross first visits area to promote hospital benefits insurance plan.
-November 29, 1946. Announcement on front page: local group seeking $110,000 to build a hospital in Fairfax. Shares will sell for $110 a share. Volunteers canvas city and county asking for subscribers and promising 8% return. Subscribers are asked not to consider just financial gains, but to consider it an investment in the health of the county. A meeting is held at the school on November 29 where $83,600 was raised. By December 13, 112,530 had been raised. On the local committee were S.J. Peterson, John Sly, FC Whitford, Jack Pearce, L. Roy Sims. Article reads “so popular was the idea of building hospital in Fairfax, that many subscribers invited solicitors to call back if more money was needed. Petty differences were forgotten and all worked for the success of the drive.” By December 20, more than $115,000 was raised. By Dec. 27, an attorney was hired, articles of incorporation and bylaws were drafted.

1947        Little progress was made, but late in 1947 the lot was selected for the new hospital. Mrs.                     Anna Taylor, widow of a local physician, donated the land.

1948         -Site work begins. A Peterson drag line is used.
-A Mobile Chest X-Ray unit is brought to Tarkio. X-Rays are free to students and .75 for others. X-Rays are encouraged to detect TB.
-A Maytag washer is advertised by Nickersons in Rock Port for $114.50.
-Citizens enjoy city band concerts.
-Footings are poured in July of 1948.
-An Artist’s rendering is published in August of 1948 with details of a 132 ft. frontage, 42 ft. wide and a south wing. 16 double occupancy rooms with 1 4 bed ward, a nursery for 12 babies. The building was built to accommodate a 3rd floor.
-In August, the local Kiwanis organized a cornerstone celebration. The local Masonic Lodge officiated the August 21 ceremony.
-Glenn Carson was the architect. He was a Fairfax native.
-The operating room and nursery were to be air conditioned.
-Clinton Allen made the original cornerstone.
-The structural steel was completed in September of 1948.
-The roof was poured on a portion of the building in October.
-Atchison County elects Truman over Dewey by 318 votes.
-The walls were finished by November of 1949.
- Second stock issue raised an additional $70,000. 

1949        –The plumbing and heating were finished in Feb. of 1949.
-In 1949, consolidation of all Atchison County schools was considered on the ballot. It was handily defeated.
-The public was invited to view sample rooms in July of 1949. 200 came.
-Community groups furnish rooms.
-In September, equipment begins to arrive.
-In Rock Port, a heifer was sold at a cattle auction. Proceeds were donated to the hospital in the amount of $220.
-4 Nurses were hired. 3 were from KC. They boarded with a local woman.10 women began nurses aid training.
-In a letter to administration in 1983, “In 1949 Pauline Rhea, Doris Collins and I (Jean Bennett) went to Fairfax to open your community hospital. It was an unforgettable and challenging experience. I Have many wonderful memories of the town, the people and the countryside. I went from there to California and have since made my home here.”- Jean Bennett
-The open house was November 5 and 6 in 1949. The TB Assoc. purchased the first x-ray machine for $1000. The building took 6 cars of cement, 12 cars of sand and gravel and 1 car of plaster.
-Paul Musgrave was the first medical staff member.
-Robert Jones was the admin.
-The BOD was SJ Peterson, president, John Sly, FC Whitford, Weaver Walker, Cline Hawkins, Jack Pearce, L Roy Sims and Ralph Seymour.
-Billy Lee Smith, first baby, was born on November 9, 6:45 p.m. 8 lbs 1 oz.
-Fairfax Community Hospital, a 34 bed facility, opened for service November 7.  Some twenty-five persons and organizations furnished rooms with donations.  Three thousand people attended the Open House.  Medical staff was Drs. Wempe, Settle, Reuter, Musgrave, and Niedermeyer.  The three Registered Nurses were Doris Collins, Jean Bennett (Liles), and Pauline Rhea (McConnell).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Me Market Coming November 8!

The 2014 Community Hospital-Fairfax (CH-F) Me Market is finally here! Vendors, health booths, fantastic demonstrations and gourmet food will combine for a great outing for women on Saturday, November 8, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Tarkio High School Gym. Women are encouraged to enjoy a delicious menu of homemade soups, sandwiches and breakfast items prepared by Jim and Michelle Navin of Hy-Vee while participating in a day of shopping and good health.

In addition to traditional health booths like body composition, blood pressure and blood sugar, Community Hospital-Fairfax is proud to offer booths on ergonomics, good sleep habits and healthy eating. Women can also have their blood cholesterol checked between 9 and 10:30 a.m. (fasting required for 12 hours). Bone Densitometry is also offered for $20.00 all day long. The Northwest Area Agency on Aging will also have information about health insurance exchanges and Medicare Part D.

Over 40 booths will be on display with handmade gifts, health products and apparel. In addition to these shopping opportunities, CH-F is proud to offer a variety of demonstrations for women to learn from and enjoy. Tammy Askamit will be doing a Body Pump Boot Camp demonstration at 9:30 a.m., followed by Zumba by Tiffany Rhine at 10 a.m., Safe Stretching by Shannon Pruitt, CH-F PT at 10:30 a.m., a makeup demo by Haley Merriweather, A Perfect 10, at 11 a.m. and a scene from the play First Baptist of Ivy Gap, currently playing at The Liberty Theater, will be shown at 12 p.m.

For more information about the Me Market, visit or call (660) 686-2211.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sports Injuries on the Rise. CH-F Therapy Staff Visits High Schools to Talk Safe Stretching.

Community Hospital-Fairfax (CH-F) Physical Therapy staff is hitting the road this October to visit area high schools. Throughout the month, CH-F physical therapists and assistants will be visiting schools in Tarkio, Fairfax, Rock Port and Mound City to discuss safe stretching techniques.

“We are seeing more and more sports injuries in our therapy program among jr. high and high school athletes. As former athletes ourselves, we know the frustration of sitting out a game or a season to recover from an injury. We want to help kids avoid injury and stay in the game,” explained Shannon Pruitt, Director of Rehab Services.

Therapy staff are showing students how to use dynamic stretching instead of traditional static techniques. This kind of stretching has been proven to better prepare the muscles for the upcoming workout. Extending the range of motion through safe stretching makes it less likely that a sports injury will occur.

Shannon Pruitt, PT, demonstrates some of the dynamic stretching techniques that will be shown to students:

CH-F Therapy Staff will also be demonstrating safe stretching at the upcoming CH-F Me Market on November 8 at the Tarkio High School Gym. To learn more about these techniques or other services offered by the Rehab Department, visit or call (660) 686-2211.