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Hats off to the hat makers

Two volunteers knit hats to give to patients at Horizon’s James Valley Community Health Center

(L/R) Carol Whitted and Terrie Lynne Kjetland (Lynne) with several of the hats that they have made for the James Valley CHC patients.

(L/R) Carol Whitted and Terrie Lynne Kjetland (Lynne) with several of the hats that they have made for the James Valley CHC patients.

Recently, two local ladies began making a difference for the patients at the Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) James Valley Community Health Center (CHC), one hat at a time.

Terrie Lynne Kjetland (Lynne) of Wessington and Carol Whitted of Huron recently began knitting hats from donated yarn to give to all patients at Horizon that came to the clinic without a hat.

It all began when the clinic began receiving yarn for another lady who decided to make stocking hats for patients; however, when they lost contact with the individual, they were left with a large box of yarn just sitting in their clinic.

One day, Lynne came in for an appointment and saw the box of yarn and asked an employee what they were doing with it. Upon learning that it was no longer being utilized, Lynne offered to make hats for any patients in need of a hat, at no cost.

This is when Lynne decided to ask her new friend Carol if she would like to help with the project, even though Carol had tried knitting before and wasn’t successful. However, with a teacher like Lynne, Carol quickly learned and began to enjoy the busy work.

The knitting is not only benefitting the patients, but Carol as well. Since Carol began knitting hats for the patients, her smoking habit has decreased from a pack a day to two cigarettes a day!

“We are killing two birds with one stone!” said Lynne.

The two ladies both agree that the job is rewarding and fulfilling.

“We came into the clinic one day and noticed that there was a teenage boy without a hat. We offered him a hat assuming he would say no, but he readily took it.” said Lynne. “It is so fulfilling to see the look on the kids’ and parents’ faces when they get a new hat.”

In just a month’s time, the two ladies have made over 50 hats for the patients, and are planning on continuing as more yarn is donated.

With the yarn, they make hats for newborns and up. They leave the bottom of the hat unhemmed so that the individual can style it anyway they want and so that it stretches to fit any size. As more yarn gets donated, the women plan on making scarves so the patient can choose if they would like a scarf or a hat.

­Anyone can come to the clinic to receive a hat, regardless of income.

“We want to give any patient a hat that needs one” said Carol. “If you come to the clinic not wearing one, we want you to leave with one on.”

Anyone interested in donating yarn to help Carol and Lynne continue making hats and scarves for patients may take their donation to the James Valley CHC at 1000 18th Street SW, Suite 27 (in the Huron Mall). The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

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Horizon’s Growth Leads to Appointment of Director of Operations

Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) today announces the appointment of Christina Konechne to the role of Director of Operations. Having experienced significant growth in the past year, the network of community health centers hired Konechne for primary oversight of all areas of the medical health center operations, including assuring the successful flow of patient care, as well as developing, reviewing, analyzing and controlling the medical facilities budgets. She will also be charged with the management of programs and support staff plus development of new service opportunities for the rural, community-based network that provides affordable, high-quality primary healthcare throughout 18 medical and dental clinics in South Dakota.

“I am extremely excited to have Christina join Horizon’s leadership team, where we will benefit immensely from her experience,” said Jeff Mengenhausen, COO of Horizon. “More than ever, Horizon’s growth opportunities abound as a result of our effective delivery and support of community health care services. Christina’s leadership will help ensure we harness this potential and fully realize the opportunities before us.”

Konechne most recently served as the Executive Director at Golden Living, where she lead and directed the overall operations of the facility in accordance with customer needs, government regulations and Company policies. Other experience includes being the Social Services Director, developing social histories, social assessments and care plans for each individual within her facility to help reach and maintain the facility’s business objectives.

With a Masters in Health Care Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Long Term Care Management, long-term care employment and health care employment, Konechne is well suited for her responsibilities at Horizon, including:

  • Monitor day-to-day clinical operations, development, management and oversight of all clinic sites assigned.
  • Ensures provision of safe, high quality patient care by the clinic staff and that all functional areas are effective, efficient and monitored for continuous improvement to meet the changing needs.
  • Create and implement goals for clinics and ensure that these goals are in line with organizational goals and objectives.
  • Leads review and implementation of industry best practices.​
  • Ensures strict confidentiality of all organizational information.
  • Compose, prepare, and review memorandums, correspondence, reports, public notices and documents as assigned; complete various forms; prepare and distribute reports for review and use; prepare and maintain a variety of forms used by an assigned department.
  • Prepare materials and correspondence for distribution internally and for other related external businesses and governmental agencies.
  • Oversee daily clinical operations, hold staff meetings and inform staff of organizational information and change.
  • Monitor and assist in the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process for clinical support and provider level staff to ensure clinics are properly staffed
  • Assist in developing goals and objectives for the department’s function; evaluate policies and procedures; implement new policies and procedures.

A South Dakota Native originally from Brookings, Konechne currently resides right outside of Madison, SD on an acreage with her husband, Marty Konechne and 7 month old son, Oliver Joseph. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.

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