All Posts tagged Victor Clinic

Pay attention to attention deficit

Anna Giemza-Palmer, NP

I was watching a film with my husband the other day and before I knew it, I was on my phone checking out Facebook even though I really enjoyed the show. I lost track of the plot and we had to rewind so I could catch up. I thought to myself, why can’t I just concentrate on the movie?

A report from Pew Research Center shows that a third of our society believes cell phones make it more difficult to focus on a single task. Well, that sounds like me, I thought. But is it a habit or a distraction, or perhaps neither?

Although frequent cell phone use is a habit that I can control, some people struggle to maintain control over their ability to stay on task. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that around 6 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), or ADD (attention deficit disorder, a subset of ADHD). Unfortunately, CDC also indicates that in Idaho, not many children receive medical management or behavioral therapies for this brain disorder.

Children, adolescents, or even adults who suffer with ADHD or ADD present with several symptoms, such as daydreaming or zoning out, forgetting appointments or assignments, making frequent mistakes, having difficulty waiting for their turn and many other symptoms. Patients may appear to be overly active or inattentive or a mixture of both. Many times, causes of such behaviors can be identified. Sometimes, we don’t really know what causes these symptoms but we can identify risk factors that may predispose people to have problems managing these types of behaviors.

Diagnosis can consist of several steps and it is very important to rule out other factors that may contribute to either a child or adolescent not paying attention in school such as bad vision, problems with hearing, or other causes. When physical problems are ruled out, the probability of ADHD is somewhat high. Then, we can use therapy and medications to help manage the symptoms. Often, we see noticeable improvement in kids, adolescents, or adults who have begun treatment and therapy for ADHD. They’re able to pay attention in class, at home, and while playing sports, and their academic performance improves.

If you or a loved one seems to have symptoms of attention deficit disorder, I encourage a visit with your medical provider. Together, you can decide what steps to take to better manage your life.

Anna is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in psychiatrics. She works closely with mental health professionals and physicians to support patients living with mental health disorders. Anna is available to meet with patients 12 and older. Call (208) 354-2302 or follow our patient portal link here to schedule a visit.


TVHC receives national recognition for quality excellence

Teton Valley Health Care has been recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

“Of course, this level of recognition is very significant for TVHC. More importantly, such stellar results should further strengthen community confidence in the excellent care you receive at TVHC. We’re one of two Idaho rural hospitals to achieve this status, and I can assure you that every single member of the TVHC team has worked very hard to bring home the NOSORH Award,” says Keith Gnagey, CEO.

NOSORH awardThe rankings are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. The Hospital Strength INDEX captures performance metrics for all rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from more than 50 individual metrics into three major categories and eight pillars to arrive at a single, measurable score.

TVHC Quality Manager Susan Kay, R.N., notes that hospital leadership has chosen to use the 90th percentile of U.S. hospital quality metrics as an operational goal. Many hospitals publicize comparisons based on the 70th or 80th percentile.

“We’ve set a high standard for quality care. We want people to know that our community hospital believes that what we do today should be better than yesterday, and what we do tomorrow should be better than today. TVHC is truly redefining common perceptions about small, rural hospitals,” says Kay.

Michael Topchik, National Leader of the Chartis Center for Rural Health adds, “These leaders serve as a benchmark for other rural facilities as they strive to achieve similar results and provide a blueprint for how to successfully run a hospital and serve their communities amidst today’s uncertainty and mounting pressures.”

More information about the Hospital Strength INDEX can be found at

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities.

About The Chartis Group
The Chartis Group (Chartis) is a comprehensive advisory and analytics services dedicated to the healthcare industry. Chartis provides strategic planning, value-based care, advanced performance, informatics and technology consulting services as well as leading-edge decision support tools to the country’s leading healthcare providers. The Chartis Center for Rural Health (CCRH) was formed in 2016 to offer tailored services, performance management solutions, research and education to rural hospitals and facilities. Learn more at

About iVantage Health Analytics, a subsidiary of The Chartis Group
A subsidiary of The Chartis Group, iVantage Health Analytics (iVantage) is a leading provider of healthcare analytic and performance management analytic tools. Health system and hospital leadership teams across the country rely on the company’s software and services to deliver customized insights on clinical and financial performance, strategic planning, market assessment and payment optimization. iVantage’s analytics are the basis of continuing thought leadership and insight in the areas of healthcare policy and research.


Doc Talk: Who needs a mammo?

Kristen CoburnBy Kristen Coburn, FNP

First, let’s acknowledge that men can get breast cancer. The risk for males is significantly lower than the risk for females, but that doesn’t matter if you’re the man who receives this diagnosis. For the sake of simplicity, the rest of this article will refer to a female audience.

Who needs a mammogram? It seems like a simple question, but the answer isn’t the same for all.

Before we wade into the controversy, it’s important to know that a screening mammogram is different than a diagnostic mammo.

In Idaho, you can request a screening exam without a doctor’s order. If you don’t have any risk factors (age, family history, symptoms) your medical provider may recommend that you don’t need this screening. Screenings take less time, use a lower dose of radiation and provide general images of your breasts. Diagnostic mammos are prescribed by a medical provider, use a higher dose of radiation, and usually focus on specific areas of your breast(s).  Your provider may order a diagnostic mammo based on your risk factors and other indicators, or you may be asked to get a diagnostic follow-up if the results from your screening mammogram indicate the need.  Under current insurance mandates through the Affordable Care Act, screening mammos are covered by insurance, at no cost to the patient, for women 40 and over. Diagnostic mammos may or may not be covered 100% by insurance. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurer before you get a mammo or any type of medical care.

Resources on the internet offer a confusing mix of opinions on preventive mammogram screenings based on factors such as you’re under 55, over 40, overweight, underweight, a wine-drinker, vegetarian, under 25 with a family history, or menopausal. Of course, internet resources vary widely in the degree of science and research that went into the answer.

Most of us have heard the recommendation that every woman should have an initial screening at the age of 40, and every year or two after that. Over time, different medical research organizations have come forward with other studies and recommendations, not to mention all of the online experts sharing research from unsubstantiated sources. We’re frightened to hear about false-positives, false-negatives, overtreatment, under-treatment, and radiation exposure, and yes, all of these problems can occur. As with nearly every choice in life, we need to weigh potential benefits against possible harms. 

What’s a woman to do?

At Teton Valley Health Care, we agree with the position of the National Cancer Institute: Talk to your provider. Together, come up with an informed plan that fits your preventive care needs based on proven outcomes. Ask questions and share information that concerns you. Choose what’s best for you: your body, your history, and your well-being.

Through donations from Teton Valley Hospital Foundation, our community hospital offers free screening mammograms for anyone who cannot afford them. The request form is one-page, requires no financial documents, and is simple to fill-out. Funding is also available to pay toward biopsies, ultrasounds, follow-up clinic visits, surgery, and travel costs related to breast cancer prevention and diagnosis. Call (208) 354-6331 for more information about this program.

For good health, prevention is the best route to take. Make sure you’ve had your vaccinations, and take advantage of screening opportunities that are recommended for you and your family. When in doubt, talk it out with an appropriate medical provider.

Kristen Coburn is a Family Nurse Practitioner serving clients at the Teton Valley Hospital Aesthetics Clinic, and Driggs and Victor Health Clinics.