NHS Introduces Advanced Therapy for Dysphagia

NHS Introduces Advanced Therapy for Dysphagia

Patients with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, can now receive advanced help thanks to the certification of NHS’s Speech Pathologist, Rose Janzen, in VitalStim Therapy. VitalStim Therapy is an FDA cleared method to treat dysphagia, which often leads to aspiration. “It is estimated that dysphagia affects between six and 15 million adults and an unknown number of children in the United States,” said Janzen. Dysphagia is a common issue for patients who have had a stroke, have neurological diseases, or head and neck cancer. It is often part of the body’s aging process as well. The primary concern for patients suffering from dysphagia is that they will aspirate, which can lead to aspiration pneumonia, posing a serious risk to the patient’s overall health and recovery. “VitalStim Therapy is important for NHS patients because it provides a new approach to patients with swallowing disorders that can be combined with traditional speech treatment which will allow for faster and more optimal results,” said NHS Outpatient Therapy Director Rachel Atkinson. VitalStim Therapy is designed to promote safe swallowing through the application of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) to the swallowing muscles in conjunction with conventional swallowing exercises. “The goal is to strengthen and re-educate the muscular system and improve motor control of the swallowing mechanism,” said Janzen. Electrical impulses are administered to the swallowing muscles in the throat via electrodes attached to the skin overlaying the musculature. Once current intensity has been increased to a satisfactory level, the patient is directed in traditional exercise therapy. When electrical stimulation is applied in this manner, it accelerates muscle strengthening and cortical reorganization, and increases the effectiveness of the exercise...
An NHS Family Story – Donna Dallis

An NHS Family Story – Donna Dallis

Overcoming the Odds to Lead a Blessed Life   Donna Dallis currently serves as the VP of Patient Care, one of the highest positions at Northeastern Health System. She is arguably one of the busiest people at the hospital, overseeing all clinical departments as well as the hospital’s Risk Management and Quality teams. Donna has defied the odds, learned to lean on the Lord, and worked extremely hard to get where she is today. “Admittedly, my childhood was not ideal,” says Donna. “There were many trials along the way. I was the child of an alcoholic father, and a mom that had her own struggles, and in all reality, even though they divorced after I was married and had a 2 year old, it was long overdue. At fourteen, I was pregnant, but by the grace of God he was working in my life even then by placing a supportive husband in my life. It led me down a path that I couldn’t have imagined.” Donna was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and moved houses and schools every year. Her family lived in Tulsa until she was ten and then moved to Northern California for one year. “During that year we moved twice and I went to school in a small four-room class with hot lunches once a week,” remembers Donna. “Going from Tulsa to Corning, California, with a total of nine students in the fifth grade, and the fourth and fifth grades combined, was quite a culture shock.” Her father’s drinking and frequent job hopping, unsurprisingly created a chaotic environment for Donna and her four younger siblings, though they...
Northeastern Health System Volunteers have Ribbon Cutting

Northeastern Health System Volunteers have Ribbon Cutting

Northeastern Health System employees and volunteers were honored to greet Chamber and community members for a ribbon cutting, celebrating the re-opening of Remarkables Thrift Store. Remarkables, operated by the Northeastern Health System volunteers, recently underwent a floor-to-ceiling remodel. “I am so happy with the turnout,” said Remarkables Manager, Pam Coonce. “The ladies have worked so hard getting the store ready. I think it offers such a great shopping experience now.” Remarkables takes a variety of housewares and clothing donations. All profits are used to provide scholarships to NHS employees who are seeking to further their education, and to purchase equipment, supplies and facilities for Northeastern Health System. “I knew even before I retired that Northeastern Health System is one of the places I wanted to volunteer,” said Sueann Freeman, Volunteer President. “I love getting up and coming into the hospital. I can’t wait to see everyone.” Remarkables is run strictly by volunteers, and they are always looking for more help. Those interested in volunteering at Remarkables or at Northeastern Health System should contact the Hospital Gift Shop or Remarkables for an application. Share...
An NHS Family Story – Ruth Stell

An NHS Family Story – Ruth Stell

From Germany to Okie Ruth Stell is NHS’s self-proclaimed “Cafeteria Lady.” If you’ve ever eaten in the NHS Cafeteria, you can’t miss her. She’s tall, speaks with an accent, and seems to never meet a stranger. Not only does she serve food, and bring joy to the eating experience, but she raises money to help feed hungry children in Cherokee County, a service close to her heart. Ruth was raised as a child in Bad Kissingen, Germany. Her Father was an engineer and her mother was the supervisor of housekeeping at the high-brow, Steinberger hotel. “It was a five-star hotel which was very picky,” said Ruth. “Can you imagine how she was at home? I have a little bit of that. I drive people crazy.” Her childhood was filled with family and travel, fishing with her dad or picking mushrooms and blueberries with her grandmother. “Because of dad’s job, he was always gone all over,” said Ruth. “Through him, I got to see Europe pretty good. We went to Paris and Italy and other places. I still have a friend I keep in touch with to this day that I met on the beach in Italy in the 60’s.” When Ruth completed school, at age 15, (the common age of school completion in Germany at the time), she wasn’t quite sure what to do with her life. When she turned 16, she was hired by the American Military as a Civilian employee and worked as a Candy Striper. “I was shy and they wanted me to go work in a different culture,” remembered Ruth. “I saw all those soldiers...