Ruth and 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.
After Wilbert had a heart attack, the Reinkes visited Antelope Memorial Hospital, where he participated in the cardiac rehabilitation program. The care Wilbert received following his heart attack was the start of the Reinkes' relationship with AMH. Here, nurses quickly formed a special bond with the Reinke couple as Ruth would come with Wilbert to his exercise sessions. 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 InFaith Community Foundation.
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 InFaith Community Foundation granted $50,000 to help build a new AMH Family Practice Clinic in Neligh. In earlier years, funds had been granted to help remodel the AMH Cardiac Rehab Center and purchase state-of-the-art telemetry system and exercise equipment. Last year, $40,000 was gifted to purchase new beds and mattresses for hospitalized patients.
Photo 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. They 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 addition 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 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. Over the years, the Reinkes’ generosity has supported the Neligh Senior Citizen Program, Antelope County Historical Society and Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools. By establishing funds through InFaith Community Foundation that aligned with the 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 the healthcare excellence that we deliver.”