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Oswego Community Hospital
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Hospital:795-2921  Oswego Clinic: 795-2119   Chetopa Clinic: 236-7351   Altamont Clinic: 784-5784

Physical Therapy can lower your back pain

Alex Kuhlman, DPT is the Director of Rehabilitation & Occupational Health at Oswego Community Hospital. 

Today he shares about lower back pain. Specifically if you are 50 years old and have lower back pain that may increase with activity as you walk then this video will help you to learn about what we can do to prevent it. This is a easy solution for people 50 years old and who have back pain that increases with activity. Probably the cause is degeneration in your lower back disc in between your vertebrae. 

Alex uses a slinky to explain how the pain is generated. When you walk or when you lay flat your spine is compressed. The older we get the less cushion a person will  have in your discs. This causes compression. It can cause your nerves to be  pinched. This could result in pain or numbness or tingling in your toes and your ankles and your knees. 

What we do at the physical therapy clinic in at Oswego Community Hospital stretches this. The therapy department will develop a custom and tailor made Physical Therapy program that can help decompress the spine. This can allow you to do more activities without having some of that pain as you get older. 

No referral is needed. To learn more about all the therapy programs at Oswego Community Hospital call 620-795-2921 


Speech-language Pathologist

Gail Billman has recently joined Oswego Community Hospital as a part-time/as needed speech-language pathologist.  Gail is a resident of rural Altamont with over 24 years experience in a variety of settings and roles.  She received her Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders and Sciences from Wichita State University in May 1992.  Gail worked as a traveling speech-language pathologist (SLP) for approximately 4 years early in her career and feels this added much value to her professional experience.  “Working in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and clinics with all age ranges gave me not only professional experience, it also gave me an opportunity to work with many other therapists and medical staff”, said Ms. Billman.  “My experience early in my career working across all areas professionally let me determine if there is anything I really don’t like to do as a speech-language pathologist, and I enjoy all areas of it.  I am blessed with this career choice.”

Speech-language pathologists are trained to work with articulation (speech sounds), language disorders (understanding and using words), cognitive (thinking skills), chewing and swallowing disabilities, and alternative modes of communication for persons who are unable to verbalize.  While in the hospital setting, speech-language pathologists work closely with other therapy staff as well as the nursing and nutrition staff to assist patients in gaining the highest level of independence possible.

Ms. Billman’s resume includes a full time position working through SEK Interlocal #637 as a school-based SLP.  She works with children ages 3 to 21 with diagnoses such as articulation deficits, language impairment, and autism spectrum disorder.  She has previously worked as the assistant director of rehab at Labette Health where she had the chief responsibility of program development and implementation of The Center of Rehabilitation Excellence (CORE).  Gail also has a contract at Wilson County Medical Center as a part-time/as needed SLP.  “I enjoy all areas of my profession, and working as a part-time/as needed SLP allows me to continue working in the medical setting as well as school-based setting.”

Gail likes to be actively involved in her community.  She is a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Parsons, a local school board member in USD 506 Labette County and the Region 3 Vice President of the Kansas Association of School Boards.  She is happily married to Phillip Billman.  They have two children, Kyle Billman who was a 2013 graduate of LCHS and Maggie Billman who is a sophomore at LCHS.

Gail is available to provide speech-language services to those wishing to seek therapy on an outpatient basis through Oswego Community Hospital.  For more information, please call 620-795-2921.
Oswego Community Hospital Participates in Labette County Disaster Exercise

On March 31, 2016 Oswego Community Hospital participated in Labette County's simulated Full-Scale Regional Disaster Exercise - titled "Wicked Winter". In addition to Oswego Community Hospital, the drill involved Labette Health, Labette Community College, the Southeast Kansas Healthcare Coalition, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Labette County Emergency Management, Labette County Public Health, and several other county public health departments and agencies.

During the exercise, Oswego Community Hospital used foam board cutouts as patients - each labeled with specific medical conditions and injuries. Four mock-victims, of a mock disaster involving a winter storm, arrived at the Hospital to be triaged, assessed, and treated. The exercise included mock-press releases to area radio and TV stations, and mock-reports to the Labette County Command Center. Hospital staff performed various roles for disaster management: Incident Commander, Triage Unit Leader, Security Safety Officer, Medical Care Director, and Public Information Officer. Hospital nurses and physicians provided medical care.

The goals for the Hospital were to participate in a fun learning experience, to learn on new thing, and to work as team and use their NIMS training (National Incident Management System). Incident Commander, Tom Pryor, stated “our staff did an excellent job, everything ran smoothly, we worked well as a team, and we provided the best possible care to our mock-disaster patients.” According to Hospital CEO, Dan Hiben, normal operations of Oswego Community Hospital were not affected by the drill. Oswego Community Hospital continued to receive and provide health services to in-patients and out-patients. The last event of the day was the “Hot Wash,” during which all involved gathered to discuss and analyze the day’s events, and complete all required paperwork. Participants were also asked to identify strengths discovered during this exercise, areas for improvement, additional planning efforts or needs, and additional training needs.

The Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) with authority from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requires hospitals to participate in two disaster drills per year.  
Director of Rehabilitation and Occupational Health at Oswego Community Hospital

Alex Kuhlman, DPT has recently joined the staff at Oswego Community Hospital as the Director of Rehabilitation and Occupational Health. Alex’s duties include overseeing the Rehabilitation Department at Oswego Community Hospital, as well as providing out-patient and in-patient physical therapy. As the Director of Occupational Health, Alex will work with area businesses and schools to arrange health services for employees and students.  

A native of Ness City, Kansas, Alex completed his Bachelor’s in Biology at Pittsburg State University where he played football, as a free safety, and also competed on the track team, horizontal jumping. Alex earned his Doctorate in physical therapy at Missouri State University, where he was trained in the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine, regarding manual “hands on” physical therapy. 

Alex is married to Bailey (Waugh) Kuhlman, formerly of Altamont, and they have two sons: Joseph, age 20 months, and Andrew, age 6 months. Bailey is attending Pittsburg State University, working on her Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Alex first learned about Physical Therapy due to a football injury in high school that required rehabilitation, and his interest grew out of that experience. While he no longer plays football, Alex enjoys staying active through many hobbies such as golfing, bird hunting, fishing, and other sports. To relax and unwind, Alex prefers fishing and sitting on his back deck. Between work, school and two small boys, Alex and Bailey find ways to take mini-vacations together.

Because Alex has an advanced degree in physical therapy, patients do not need their physician’s permission (or an order) to see Alex for the initial evaluation. If a patient has a problem they think physical therapy might improve, they may call Alex to set up an appointment. 
Once Alex completes the evaluation of the patient, and if the patient’s condition could be improved by physical therapy, Alex will contact the patient’s doctor to request an order to begin treating the patient.

Alex stated, “As a Physical Therapist, I provide skilled services to all ages in order to restore function, improve mobility, and relieve pain for all types of injuries, disorders, disease, and general aches and pains. I invite patients to contact me to discuss how Physical Therapy might improve their lives and help them stay active in the years to come. In my role as Director of Occupational Health, I invite business owners and school districts, to contact me to discuss occupational health services available to our surrounding communities. I encourage them to contact me by calling Oswego Community Hospital at (620) 795-2921; my work cell phone: (620)778-2507; or my e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

“Take 3” Actions to Fight The Flu

Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Health Care experts urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu): 

Step One: Take time to get a flu vaccine.
It is recommended that people get a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season's vaccines are available. Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them. Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.

Step Two: Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs like taking time to wash hands. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

While you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you are sick with flu-like illness stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. 

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Step Three: Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high risk factors[702 KB, 2 pages], treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay. 

Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug. Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Diabetes Superfoods

Ever see the top 10 lists for foods everyone should eat to superpower your diet? Ever wonder which will mesh with your diabetes meal plan? 

Beans - Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans, you can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. They are very high in fiber, giving you about 1/3 of your daily requirement in just a ½ cup, and are also good sources of magnesium and potassium.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables - Spinach, collards, kale – these powerhouse foods are so low in calories and carbohydrate. You can’t eat too much.

Citrus Fruit - Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes. Pick your favorites and get part of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C.

Sweet Potatoes - A starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber. Try in place of regular potatoes for a lower GI alternative.

Berries - Which are your favorites: blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Make a parfait alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt for a new favorite dessert. Try our Superfood Smoothie recipe.

Tomatoes - An old standby where everyone can find a favorite. The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.

Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Salmon is a favorite in this category. Stay away from the breaded and deep fat fried variety... they don’t count in your goal of 6-9 ounces of fish per week.

Whole Grains - It’s the germ and bran of the whole grain you’re after.  It contains all the nutrients a grain product has to offer. When you purchase processed grains like bread made from enriched wheat flour, you don’t get these. A few more of the nutrients these foods offer are magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate. Pearled barley and oatmeal are a source of fiber and potassium.

Nuts - An ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Other benefits are a dose of magnesium and fiber. Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Fat-free Milk and Yogurt - Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.
Call any of the clinics to learn more about diabetes and diet.  
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   Oswego Community Hospital, Oswego Community Clinic, and the Chetopa Community Clinic does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or age in admission, treatment, or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment.

   Oswego Community Hospital, Oswego Community Clinic, and the Chetopa Community Clinic and all of its programs and activities are accessible to and useable by persons with a disability.  Please let the receptionist or your nurse know if you require any aids.