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Hospital Lab Success

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Hamilton County Hospital is proud to announce the lab recently underwent a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) survey and received zero deficiencies. Hospital administrator, Kelly Hatcher said, “This is a huge win for us, we have struggled for over a year with staff and other factors in the lab and we could not be prouder of this team for coming in and doing what they did, It’s phenomenal!”
Hatcher said, “The lab needed a lot of work, number one, it requires certain certifications, and number two, people need to possibly live in Syracuse to work in the lab. We have had people come in and say absolutely not!” she said, “In this role as administrator, I have learned about lab more than I ever thought I would have had to, with our team, new lab manager, Dino Potato, Pat and Harriet Riley’s granddaughter Kayleigh Sharpe, and Assistant Lab Manager, Mike Hughes, who relocated to Syracuse from Pratt where he worked 21 years, I am thrilled we finally have a solid team in these three individuals.”
Potato, pronounced Po-tah-toe, medical scientist and clinical lab technician began working in November 2022. Originally from Brisbane Queensland, Australia, a town of around seven million people, he was tired of the large city, the high rises, traffic, and fast pace. “I always wanted to live in the countryside,” said Potato.
He began researching visas to work in America, “I now have an unlimited visa, I only have to renew it each year,” he explained. His first job in the United States was in Sioux City, IA. as a medial scientist. “I was working with my supervisor doing research, which is not a stable job, and we did not receive any grants, so I moved to Arkansas. His role was doing a lot of corrective actions, fixing deficiencies, basically the same job as a medical scientist, and then found an opportunity here in Syracuse. I thought it was a great small town, so I accepted the job.”
They told me the history of the lab and the many deficiencies to fix. “I have to be honest with you, this is the most challenging lab that I have worked in,” said Potato, “I’m so thankful I have a great team, Kayleigh Sharp, and especially Mike Hughes who has helped me a lot, he is good working at the bench, training lab personnel when it comes to competency, in addition to repairing machinery,” said Potato.
Potato was notified of the upcoming inspection and given four to six weeks to prepare. “That was not enough time to fix everything, it was a fast transition, but I did my best with a lot of help from Kayleigh and Mike.” 
The inspector reviewed everything, the equipment, procedures, and everything they were doing, “The inspector allowed the inspection from the time our team started, not the past, because we were unable to present documentation from the past, there was none available. I would guess the lack of personnel accounted for the deficiencies or failures in the past.” 
“I was not expecting a perfect score or zero deficiencies” said Potato, “It takes a great team to be successful and it’s not just us, even the business office and the rest of the facility helped us be successful.” 
Hatcher added proudly, “This was all of them, me along with other leaders, have tried to help keep the lab as functional as possible, finding those people who were willing to come into our situation and not run for the hill! People who are willing to say okay let’s do this. This hospital team has 150% done that!” 
The HCH lab is a moderately complex lab which means less extensive. Potato explains, “In layman’s terms, we are a small laboratory, doing basic lab tests, CBC, CMP blood chemistry, glucose, blood gas RSV, cholesterol, urinalysis, coagulation, pregnancy tests, COVID, mono, to name a few. “Soon we hope to do more such as A1C and TSH,” said Potato. 
Hughes wants the community to know that the lab is functioning well, and they no longer have to defer labs or patients to Tribune. Radiology technologist, Nikki Harris said, “It’s a win for all of us, we are so happy they’re here, if lab is on divert, we’re all on divert, we are really appreciative of all three of them.” 
Hughes adds, “We are not trying to bring in anything the doctors won’t use, we don’t want to waste money and their time and we are diligent when it comes to picking tests and procedures that only applies to the community.” As an outsider, he said, “I had no idea what you had ten, five, or even two years ago, I am striving to make it the best it has ever been.”
Although there were no citations, Potato said they still have some homework to do to keep the lab functioning efficiently. Mike added, “I have been very busy since moving to Syracuse, and now that the survey is done, we still have the bumps in the road, calibrating all the machinery to keep it functioning efficiently, striving to provide the best quality lab services we can.” 

 

NEWS

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A Trip of a Lifetime

On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, at 11:00 pm, 14 students and three sponsors boarded the yellow school bus bound for the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, destination, Washington, D.C.  Students making the trip this year were Reid Mathias, Charley Maune, Paige... [More]

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Mr. Z Says Goodbye

Retiring junior/senior high school principal Paul Zuzelski aka Mr. Z’s story begins when Z was at a meeting in central Kansas. He was given the phone and told he needed to talk to this person.  “It was Jerry Burch, superintendent here at USD 494 asking if we... [More]

Kansas Launches Summer EBT Program to Improve Food Access for Kids During Summer Break

The summer EBT program doesn't roll out until mid to late July. Summer in Hamilton County began this week. Questions or comments should be directed to Erin La Row at 785-220-8167. Food Pantry board member Lora Horton said, "The demand for food in Hamilton County is outpacing... [More]

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Summertime in Syracuse

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COUNTY LIBRARY RECEIVES DONATION FROM DREAM FIRST BANK

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Phillippy Joins Younger Law Firm

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Blue Sky Bookkeeping Open For Business

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SCOULAR DONATION HIGHLIGHTS COMMUNITY NEED

In the last year with food prices and inflation rising, food pantries are being strained more and more.  According to Lora Horton, the need outweighs the product.  "Right now we are okay but we could always use more. With COVID money, we received monthly boxes of commodities.... [More]

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OPINIONS

All that I have

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Right Where I'm Supposed To Be

It’s Sunday morning as I began writing this. We had a wonderful Saturday at a livestock show.   After the show we saw a tire on the trailer was ruined. We didn’t have a jack but my husband was going to try to make it home. I called someone I knew that had connections... [More]

Mob Mentality

Summer is well underway and busy as always. But I am surprised at the emotions coming from what seems like little changes.   For someone who grew up in dramatic fashion like moving in the middle of the night, police at your door,  never seeing people again, you would... [More]

Float

Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, months when life isn’t flowing very well? Little things start to unravel leading to bigger things and soon you are struggling to find which way is up?  Life moves faster and faster and you can’t catch your breath. ... [More]

Don't Wait Till It's Perfect

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Broken People

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It's Okay To Fall Apart Sometimes

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Reach down and lift someone up

I got out of my comfort zone last week and attended a publishing conference in Colorado Springs. I had anxiety going in wondering what it would be like. My fears fell apart and I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to have made the journey.  I learned a tremendous amount.... [More]

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SPORTS

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LEWIS HEADS TO STATE TRACK

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BULLDOGS TAKE SECOND AT REGIONALS - HEADED TO STATE

The Syracuse High School boys golf team battled breezy conditions on Monday May 13 competing in the 2-A Regional meet on their own Tamarisk Golf Course.  Adjusting to windy conditions and competing at home paid off for the Bulldogs Monday, placing second, qualifying... [More]

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STATE GOLF RESULTS

State golf on Monday had the Varsity Bulldogs miss playing in the finals as a team by one stroke. They finished seventh out of twelve teams.  On Day 1, Brody Keller shot a 92 missing day two by two strokes. Ian Brummett shot a 95, Mason Scott  and Johnny TeVelde shot... [More]

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JH BASKETBALL WINS

Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and  C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]

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LADY BULLDOGS BORDER WARS CHAMPIONS!!

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JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

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Senior Night Volleyball

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HS Track

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OBITUARIES

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Loren William Youngers

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Gene Wagner

 A graveside service for Gene Wagner will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 7, 2024 at the Holly, Cemetery with Deacon Allan Medina officiating. Ralph Eugene Wagner was born on September 23, 1942 in Syracuse, Kansas to Bernard and Kathryn (Boden) Wagner.  He passed... [More]

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Ronald Thompson

A graveside service will be held for Holly, Colorado resident, Ronald Thompson, at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado.  His family asks those wishing to attend to follow in procession from Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly to... [More]

Calvin Friesen

A memorial service for Calvin Friesen will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Lamar Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1811 S. 6th Street, Lamar, Colorado with Pastor Ted Williams.  Per Calvin’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.... [More]

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Eva Grace Phillips

A Funeral Service for Holly, Colorado resident, Eva Grace Phillips will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 10, 2024 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation for Eva Grace will be held from 4:00 p.m.... [More]

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Judy Crum

Judy Crum, 82, of Federal Heights, Colorado, went home to be with the Lord on April 26, 2024 at St. Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colorado. She passed in peace, surrounded by her loved ones.  Judy Kay (Matkin) Crum was born on March 17, 1942 in Flora, Illinois to... [More]

Ed Crum

Graveside services for Ed Crum will be held at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 13, 2024.  Per Ed's request there will be no visitation. Edward Dean Crum was born on July 31, 1949 in Lamar, Colorado to Clifford and Lucille (Frazer) Crum.... [More]

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Jimmy Ray Dowell

Jimmy Ray Dowell, 73, passed away peacefully on April 5th, 2024 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka Kansas with his family by his side. Jim was Born on September 2nd 1950 to Charlie and Gaylene (Schockey) Dowell of Syracuse Kansas. He married Loveta (Lindsey) on August 13, 1972... [More]

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