News

Information and Updates Concerning the Coronavirus

March, 31, 2020

In an effort to address questions and concerns about the Coronavirus and its potential impact at Bluestem Communities, this webpage will be updated to provide information to family members, volunteers, visitors and others. This is an evolving situation that we will closely monitor. Promoting a safe and healthy environment for those we serve is our greatest concern. In an effort to continue informing resident family contacts about COVID-19 and any future updates impacting our campuses, please subscribe to notifications. Thank you for considering! 

 

March 31, 2020
There are no known cases of Coronavirus at Bluestem Communities. 

“Social distancing and now a stay-at-home directive is a common practice not only in our Bluestem communities but around the world. As we forego group gatherings and outings at this time, I have continually been amazed to hear the stories of how residents and staff are continuing to support and encourage one another through phone calls, emails and other creative outlets. I believe this event will ultimately draw us closer together and strengthen our community and love for one another. 

I realize that during this time it can be a little scary to think about the potential of contracting COVID-19. This is why we implemented strong precautionary measures to promote the safety of our residents and our staff weeks ago. Continuing to be diligent in using standard precautions like handwashing, using PPE, social distancing and following CDC, CMS and KDHE guidelines for infection control are vital. We deeply appreciate that you’re taking this very seriously too. Your families and loved ones greatly benefit from you adhering to these precautions, as well as your neighbors and Bluestem staff. Thank you for choosing to be a part of our community! We are grateful for you and we are here to support you during this time.” 

With gratitude, James Krehbiel President/CEO of Bluestem Communities

To learn more about the Kansas Stay-at-Home order click here.

 

 

March 24, 2020
There are no known cases of Coronavirus at Bluestem Communities. 

To date, there are no known COVID-19 cases at any of our Bluestem Communities locations. We are taking every precaution to keep our residents and staff safe which includes following the guidelines and directives from CMS, KDHE and the CDC. We are thankful to our caring staff and amazing residents for their support.

Prepare Your Home

The CDC recommends creating a household plan to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. To help you prepare, you should base the details of your plan on the needs and daily routine of your household members. For a checklist of what should be included in your plan visit the CDC’s website.

Send a BLUESTEM BOOST!

Let’s all continue to live well! Thanks to those who have sent letters, poems, fun photos, words of encouragement, videos and drawings to share with residents! Please keep them coming by sending them to: livewell@bluestemks.org

Your message will be shared with all residents who need an extra boost, however if you have a specific resident you want your encouragement to go to please type their name and campus in the subject line. (Example: John Smith – Kidron Bethel Village)

Thanks for sharing connection, creativity and love with residents during this challenging time. We appreciate your support and encouragement!

 

 

March 19, 2020
There are no cases of Coronavirus at Bluestem Communities, but we have closed our Bluestem Wellness Centers. 

View a video message from James Krehbiel, CEO/President of Bluestem Communities. 

On this first day of Spring we want to take a moment to enjoy the sunshine, the flowers blooming and the birds singing. Our communities aren’t the same without all the visitors seeing their loved ones and bustling action at our restaurants or wellness centers. No matter how strange things seem right now, remember we’re all in this together.   

As we hear more about the continuation of social distancing, we believe connection is an integral part of living well so we ask that you continue to call your loved one, send them photos, video chat, or get creative with staying connected. Our life enrichment teams are also accepting messages to residents and participants. Send an email with words of encouragement, photos, poems, or others to livewell@bluestemks.org to help boost someone’s day.

 

March 17, 2020
There are no cases of Coronavirus at Bluestem Communities, but we have closed our Bluestem Wellness Centers. 

As we continue to promote wellness amongst our community, we believe it is in the best interest of the public’s health for us to temporarily close our Bluestem Wellness Centers in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective 3/18/20 our centers will be closed. This includes both the North Newton and Hesston locations. The equipment rooms, pool, continued cancellation of classes, locker rooms, walking path. We thank you for being a valued member of the Bluestem Wellness Centers. We will update you when we reopen. 

With gratitude,

Jason Jones
Director of Bluestem Wellness

 

 

March 13, 2020
There are no cases of Coronavirus at Bluestem Communities, but we are now restricting visitors.

As we continue to stay up to date with the recent news of a positive case of Coronavirus in an adjacent county (Sedgwick), we must make some difficult decisions in regards to visitation, activities, events and other services offered at our communities.

At this time, we must restrict all non-essential visitors, including family members, to Bluestem Communities. We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, but as we follow CMS and CDC guidelines and recommendations we must put into place the precautions and protocols that are in the best interest of the at-risk elders we serve, as well as our staff who provide the around-the-clock care necessary in keeping those we serve healthy and safe.

We are actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to come into the building. Limiting the traffic in our buildings may prevent or slow the spread of the virus.

We need your support and cooperation as we focus all efforts on the safety and well-being of residents, participants, staff and the community at large. Please assist us with notifying other family members and friends about these important measures, and stay tuned here or our Facebook or Twitter page for the latest updates.

Changes to our programs/service lines in effect until further notice:

  • Bluestem Wellness Centers: All classes are canceled until further notice. At North Newton the pool/hot tub is closed but the equipment room remains open. At Hesston pool and equipment room remain open. For updates follow Facebook or Twitter
  • Hesston Bakery & Cafe: Offering call ahead orders for drive up only. No dining in at this time. To place an order, call 620-327-3570 or fax 620-327-3810 during regular business hours Monday-Saturday 7am-7pm Sunday 7am-5pm. For updates follow Facebook (We will not take orders through Facebook messaging as it will be difficult to fulfill requests.) Outside catering is still taking place.
  • Water’s Edge Restaurant & Catering: Offering call ahead orders for drive up only. No dining in at this time. Call 620-327-4099 to place your order during regular business hours Monday-Saturday 7am-2pm Sunday 11am-2pm. Thursday evening meals have been canceled until further notice. For updates follow Facebook (We will not take orders through Facebook messaging as it will be difficult to fulfill requests.) Outside catering is still taking place.
  • Main Street Gifts: Closed until further notice

For more information on the Coronavirus, including what you can do to help lower the risks, visit www.cdc.gov.

Members of the media should contact: Morgan Redding, Director of Communications, morganr@bluestemks.org 316-641-7266.

 

March 10, 2020:

As a reminder, we care for many at-risk elders, and we need the community’s help in following the guidelines below to ensure the safety of those we serve:

  • Do not visit Bluestem Communities (Schowalter Villa, Kidron Bethel Village or Bluestem PACE) if you have a fever, symptoms of a respiratory infection, have traveled outside of the country in the last two weeks, or have been exposed to a person with Coronavirus or being tested for Coronavirus.
  • If you are at all concerned that you may have—or could have—an infectious disease, do not visit. Your best course of action is to seek care at your primary care physician’s office.
  • If a visitor is exhibiting symptoms, he or she may be advised to leave and come back when they are well.
  • As with any respiratory virus, the best way to prevent infection is to use the strategies normally used to prevent the spread of illnesses, including washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when experiencing symptoms of illness. Additionally, all surfaces should be routinely cleaned with disinfectants to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Frequently wash your hands if you visit and use hand sanitizers located throughout the building.
  • There is still flu activity in the U.S. which is more likely to cause serious illness than the Coronavirus. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it is not too late and is still being recommended by the CDC.
  • Follow guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC, Harvey County Health Department and other federal, state and local officials.

As a skilled nursing organization, preparation is not new for us. The people we serve are more susceptible to illness, and in this situation we are implementing similar measures that we would implement if we were preparing for a flu outbreak.

In addition to our rigorous infection prevention and control practices, we are:

  • Continuing to follow the guidance and recommendations from several key officials and organizations not limited to the Governor’s Office, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the CDC and the Harvey County Health Department.
  • Increasing communication and signage throughout our buildings that promote good infection prevention and control procedures.
  • On a day-by-day and case-by-case basis we are evaluating planned activities, meetings and visits within our communities, and we are limiting the scheduling of future group visits within our homes. 
  • Holding frequent meetings with staff and communicating regularly with our stakeholders and partners to ensure that we are prepared to adapt to this evolving situation.

For more information about the Coronavirus, visit www.cdc.gov.

 

In an effort to continue informing resident family contacts about COVID-19 and any future updates impacting our campuses, please subscribe to notifications. Thank you for considering!