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Changing Lives: Antelope Memorial Hospital

Ruth Reinke and her spouse, Wilbert Reinke, were deeply devoted to their local community of Neligh, Neb. - a town of roughly 1,500, that holds the slogan: "Not too small to have it all." Together the Reinkes raised livestock on their farm.

As Wilbert’s health declined, Ruth stayed by her husband’s side at Antelope Memorial Hospital, where he was a cardiac rehabilitation patient. Here, AMH nurses quickly formed a special bond with the Reinke couple. In his last days, the nurses moved another bed into his room, so that Ruth could stay with him throughout the night.

This care reinforced the Reinkes commitment to the Neligh community and it has continued since Ruth’s passing in 2007 through The Wilbert and Ruth Reinke Community Endowment Fund at Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing (Thrivent Charitable).

Healthcare Excellence, Compassion & Empathy

With the support of the Reinkes, AMH has been able to grow and serve the community in transformational ways.

In 2018, The Wilbert and Ruth Reinke Community Endowment Fund at Thrivent Charitable granted $50,000 to build a new AMH Family Practice Clinic and expand the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy centers. This addition was followed by $48,000 to purchase new beds and mattresses.

Photo of the AMH Family Practice Clinic, courtesy of L. Anderson, The Neligh News & Leader

“The Reinkes have helped us help others,” said AMH Director of Public Relations, Tammy Struebing. “They had a vision for our hospital – the vision to support our patients and families. The have helped empower us to create a legacy in service to others that truly blesses this community with healthcare excellence,” Struebing said.

Through the new AMH Family Practice Clinic, the staff has the space to better accommodate and enhance the patient experience. This has also allowed for AMH to remain competitive as a critical access hospital, offering quality medical care to 8,000 area residents, located in 15 rural communities in seven counties. Struebing says that AMH’s location is critical to Neligh residents and surrounding communities.

“Patients depend on us,” Struebing said. “Some can get here within a few minutes, or, depending on where they live, they can arrive within 20 to 30 minutes. If we didn’t exist, patients would have to travel much farther. The presence of AMH here really does make a difference between life and death.”

The Reinkes gift also made it possible for AMH to purchase new beds and mattresses to improve patients’ comfort and safety. Each bed has built-in electric plug-ins that helps prevent falls. The new equipment also includes built-in bed alarms, which alert nurses if their patients get up on their own without calling a staff member for help first.

The Reinke family also established The Wilbert and Ruth Reinke Memorial Fund that supports Grace Lutheran Church and The Wilbert and Ruth Reinke Missions Fund that supports Mission Central – LCMS World Mission.

By establishing funds through Thrivent Charitable that aligned with their charitable giving interests, Ruth and Wilbert’s generous impact will continue to grow in the years to come.

“When any facility receives a gift like this from the Reinkes, it makes a difference,” Struebing said. “In a community like ours, it is even more vital to support what we do and to maintain our healthcare excellence.”