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Republic County Hospital News

Thank You from the Kansas Hospital Association

Dietitian Day

Jillian Tuma celebrated for National Nutrition Month

RCH: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
JILLIAN: I was born & raised in Republic County and attended Belleville schools. I also attended Kansas State University. I had no idea what I wanted to go into, so I took general education classes hoping something would spark my interest. I originally thought about majoring in business. I took a "general business" class and dropped it that first day.

I eventually enrolled in the "basic nutrition" class and that was when the light bulb went off! I had no idea at the time how you make nutrition a job, but my mind was made up and there was no changing it! I eventually decided Dietetics would be my major and I would take on the task of a horrible national exam to become a Registered Dietitian.

I graduated from KSU in December 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics. In August 2019, I passed my Certified Diabetes Educator exam.

RCH: What is your history with Republic County Hospital?
JILLIAN: I started working here in November 2016.

RCH: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
JILLIAN: When something clicks and the patient "gets it."

I think when people hear "dietitian" they automatically think "food police" or "oh great, she's gonna tell me all the things I'm doing wrong or pick apart my eating habits."

Unfortunately, dietitians aren't always super popular! But my main goal is to work with patients on a level they are comfortable with. I want to know their main concern and help them with that. I don't want to flip their entire world upside down and give them a strict diet plan to follow. I know that won't work.

If snacks are a concern, we'll talk about snacks. If portions are a problem, we'll go that route. We are all so different, so it's really getting to know the patient and what's important to them, not what's important to me.

RCH: What is some sound advice you can offer on nutrition?
JILLIAN: You have to find what works for you and stick with it.

If someone told me I had to avoid/limit carbs in order to be healthy or to lose weight, I would laugh in their face. Trust me, no one would want to be around me if I couldn't have carbohydrates. I wouldn't even want to be around myself. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't work for someone else.

The point is, what works for your neighbor down the street, your best friend, or your favorite celebrity...likely won't also work for you.

Our bodies are amazing and it blows my mind how the human body works but we differ so much - Everything from our taste preferences, to our genetics, and even our gut bacteria, and hundreds of other things vary so much from person to person. So it makes sense that there isn't a "one size fits all" when it comes to nutrition.

I'm a big believer in "all foods fit." You can enjoy all foods, though moderation may be a better approach to some. I will never tell someone "you should cut out all dessert" or " you can never have Cheetos again." I believe ALL foods can be enjoyed.

At the same time, I understand if you've tried this and need more structure/discipline. And there's nothing wrong with that either! Again, we are all so different and there isn't a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to health or nutrition.

RCH: You really know your business and all of your information sounds helpful. It's almost like you're a health cheerleader. If someone would like to have you as their Dietitian, what are the steps involved in making that happen?
JILLIAN: Call me! You can reach me at 785-527-6008. I will need a physician referral for an in-depth assessment/counseling, but I'd be happy to help you through that on the phone! Or, call your physician (doesn't have to be local) and tell them you'd like to see me and why.

THANK YOU, JILLIAN! Republic County Hospital and all of your patients are incredibly lucky to have you.

Republic County Hospital is excited to announce that our employee Shelby Gallion has received her Activity Director certification.

Shelby works in the ISB department and helps take care of our residents. Shelby has a vibrant, bubbly personality and is always seen with a smile on her face and a pep in her step.

That smile is contagious and all of those around her end up smiling, too!

RCH: What is your history with the hospital?
SHELBY: I started working at RCH my senior year of high school and a little into college as a CNA. I started back here in October 2018 as a CNA and got the position of Activity Director in January 2020.

RCH: What do you love about your job?
SHELBY: I love my job because of the residents, the atmosphere, and my co-workers.

RCH: How did you receive your certification?
SHELBY: I got my certificate online at

RCH: What plans do you have up your sleeve in your future as Activity Director?
SHELBY: My favorite part of being the AD is being able to try new activities with the residents. They are pretty open to trying most things. My future plans with the department is to get more volunteers to assist with leading group activities, for example a yoga session, or dance therapy (of sorts). My purpose is to brighten the days of each resident and make them feel special, as they are very special to me.

CONGRATULATIONS, Shelby! The hospital and the residents of ISB are very lucky to have you as their new Activity Director.


Dr. Ken Baxa, Rheumatology Specialist

Dr. Baxa will be providing services here at Republic County Hospital in the near future.
He treats patients with a variety and joint and muscle pain, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune disorders.

Rheumatologists treat more than 120 different diseases. Don't let the "rheum" in the name fool you. Besides rheumatoid arthritis (RA), these doctors treat a wide variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that may affect the joints (such as gout and lupus), as well as other muscle or bone problems or injuries that can make your joints hurt and limit your function.

Various forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic Back Pain
Plus other diseases of the joints, soft tissue, and connective tissue

Republic County Hospital is proud to include Dr. Ken Baxa as one of our many specialists. We know that he will be a valuable asset to our community.
No referral necessary, unless required by your insurance.
Call Melanie at 785-527-2254 for appointment information.

Stevie Swiercinsky was celebrated for her many years serving as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

On Friday, February 21st, Stevie attended the NCK Healthcare Coalition meeting at the Saline County Public Health Department. While there, they surprised her with a bouquet of flowers and a bracelet.

Stevie was hired in 1973 to work at Republic County Hospital and has been here for almost 47 years! We thank you for the service and dedication you've contributed throughout your career at the hospital. We are so very grateful to you.

Jillian Tuma Receives Certified Diabetic Education Certification

RCH is proud to announce that Jillian Tuma, RCH Dietitian, is now a Certified Diabetic Educator. Obtaining CDE credentials takes a lot of hard work and dedication, including one THOUSAND hours of education and training. This certification will allow Jillian to better serve Republic County.

Congratulations on your accomplishment Jillian!

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