National Rural Health Day, celebrated on Thursday, November 16, is an opportunity to highlight the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face – and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers to address those challenges. For over 70 years, Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital has provided emergency care and local access to specialized health care. The only critical access hospital in the Northwestern Medicine system, Valley West Hospital extends the reach of academic medicine to the residents of Sandwich and the surrounding Fox Valley community.
“Our role within Northwestern Medicine enables Valley West Hospital to offer much more than the essential services required of critical access hospitals,” said Jay Anderson, president, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital. “Valley West Hospital is the region’s treatment and diagnostic doorway to nationally-ranked health care and leading-edge clinical trials throughout the Northwestern Medicine system.”
According to the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, rural communities face health care accessibility issues, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens.
Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital’s emergency department provides access to board-certified emergency medicine physicians 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Additionally, the hospital offers local patients a variety of specialized services including surgical services, maternity, cancer care, cardiology, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, orthopedics, laboratory, respiratory services, diabetes education and nutrition counseling.
In recent years, new construction and upgrades have included a new joint replacement rehabilitation suite and the addition of an MRI suite that is home to one of the only large bore MRI machines in the area. And most recently, the Imaging Services department added 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis).
To meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community, Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital established the Community Health Network and the MyHealth Matters worksite wellness program, initiatives that connect outside organizations and the health system, empowering those organizations to serve a larger role in the health of their community. These community partners have access to a wealth of support including preventative medicine, follow-up care, wellness education, health awareness and support during illness or hospitalization. In addition, Valley West Hospital’s Community Wellness department offers free and low-cost classes and programs to all residents, including children in area schools.
“Meeting the acute and chronic health care needs of the community is just one facet of the Valley West Hospital mission,” said Dawn Roznowski, director of Community Health Services, Community Services, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare. “We also want to inspire and help community members stay healthy with a focus on wellness and prevention.”
About National Rural Health Day
In 2010, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) created National Rural Health Day (NRHD) as a way to applaud the ongoing efforts, contributions, and collaborations occurring in rural communities to address unique challenges in accessing and delivering health care services. State Offices of Rural Health are anchors of information and support for rural communities, health professionals, hospitals and clinics across the nation. They are dedicated to collaboration, education, communication and innovation to improve health in small towns around the country. Learn more at https://nosorh.org/.
About Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital
Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital is a not-for-profit, short term, critical access community hospital located in Sandwich, Illinois. The Emergency Department is staffed around the clock with board-certified emergency medicine physicians. A dedicated patient wing provides 21 beds in spacious, private rooms with enhanced features for safety and comfort. More than 150 physicians on the voluntary, community-based medical staff represent most every specialty.