Friday, October 7, 2016

New Physician at GRMC Emergency Department

Stephanie R. Koos, DO, family and emergency medicine physician, began practicing part time at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center emergency department on September 1, 2016. Koos joined Patrick Cogley, MD; Clayton Francis, MD; and Stephen Ellestad, MD.
“Dr. Koos is a wealth of knowledge,” Francis says. “Her enthusiasm for excellence and the variety of her experience make her a welcome and necessary addition to the emergency team.”

Koos completed her residency at Siouxland Medical Education Foundation in Sioux City. She earned her medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to entering medical school, Koos had earned a BS in microbiology from the University of Iowa. She is board certified in family medicine.

“I find that people often come to the emergency room when they feel like they have no place else to go,” Koos says. “I am trained in family medicine, so I try to go beyond just emergency care to teach people on what they can do to improve their health. Just a little extra effort can go a long way with someone who may not see a doctor often.”

Koos has been providing care in emergency medicine since 2012 at Waverly Health Center. She spent two years at Rohlf Memorial Clinic, where she practiced family medicine with obstetrics. Koos also served as an urgent care physician for two years at Family Health Care of Siouxland.

“I worked at GRMC in the past through a staffing agency and I came to love the emergency room staff,” Koos says. “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and everyone works together as a team. It’s really encouraging to see emergency staff have such great comradery.”

Koos, along with her husband, Dan, and their four children, Quinton, Owen, Harper, and Nora, recently moved to the Ankeny area to be closer to family. The Koos family is expecting another baby girl in October. When she’s not at GRMC, Koos enjoys running, biking, and being outdoors, as well as reading, baking, and crafting. Most of all, she likes to spend time with her family. However, Koos is excited to get to know the people of Grinnell and explore the “wonderful relationship that the city of Grinnell and its people have with the hospital.”

Please call 641-236-2380 for more information.

GRMC Launches Annual Fund Drive

It’s all about the patients at Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

“The patients are the heart and soul of the medical center,” says Sally Lang, chair of the GRMC foundation board. “Being able to meet their healthcare needs is of the utmost importance. We wouldn’t be able to do that without philanthropic contributions from the communities we serve.” October heralds in the beginning of the medical center’s annual effort to raise funds to support its ongoing programs. Every year, GRMC’s annual fund works to establish strong partnerships with community members, businesses, patients, and families.

“As a nonprofit organization, GRMC uses annual fund donations to make important investments in technology, offset the rising costs of healthcare, and to increase access to medical care for those who need it,” Lang says.   

The medical center is frequently recognized for its achievements in providing exceptional patient care. This spring, GRMC received an “A” quality safety rating from the Leapfrog Group®, a national patient safety initiative comprised of employers and other large consumers of healthcare. The name, Leapfrog Group, sets the intent that it will help hospitals show “leaps of improvement.” Each year, the hospital completes a voluntary safety survey, providing statistics on patient safety and hospital performance. The safest hospitals – those who score at least .6 standard deviations above the mean – are given an A rating, which less than a third of all hospitals that complete the survey receive.
 In addition to GRMC’s achievements in safety, it has also been recognized for its accomplishments in quality of care. For example, in 2015, the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center earned the Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for delivering quality, affordable maternity care as part of the Blue Distinction for Specialty Care program from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Blue Distinction Centers+ are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes.

Donations to GRMC can be given as “unrestricted,” meaning the organization can determine the greatest need at a given time. Donors can also designate a gift to a specific service, department, or program at GRMC.         

“Some of the new projects to support this year are the installation of energy efficient windows in patient rooms and an innovative telemedicine project,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development.

Several projects receive support from donations to the annual fund. Projects include underwriting trainings for clinical staff, the Grinnell Regional Community Care Clinic, and distributing bike helmets to all area third graders. Contributions also go to support local healthcare needs, such as to helping those who are uninsured or underinsured and to fund health services like Grinnell Regional Hospice, Grinnell Regional Home Care, and Grinnell Regional Public Health. Donations also offset the costs of programs like the Babies Room, the Loan Closet, and the Senior Education Program.

“Please join me in supporting GRMC’s annual fund drive to help ensure compassionate care for everyone locally, regardless of their ability to pay,” Lang says.

Donations may be sent to GRMC Annual Fund, 210 4th Ave., Grinnell, IA 50112. Or, go online to . For additional information about supporting GRMC, contact Denise Lamphier at 641-236-2589 or

Preparing Students Today for Their Tomorrows

Education and educating our young people will determine much of the future. Janet Stutz, EdD, will share her plans to move the Grinnell Newburg Community School District into the future, at the Oct. 17 Senior Education Program, hosted by Grinnell Regional Medical Center. She will unveil district plans so far as well as gather feedback from community members during program about the future of the district.

Stutz became the new superintendent for the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District in July. She has served as a teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent for the last 30 years in Ill. She is married and has two grown children. She is married to Kevin, who is a retired LT. from Kane County Sheriff's Police. 

This program is free and open to the public. It will be held at 10 a.m. in the Drake Community Library, with refreshments beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Parking is available at the Drake Community Library, along Park Street, on Fifth Avenue, and in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot. Seniors needing transportation may call GRMC Communications and Development at 641-236-2593 by the Thursday before the program.

Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Grow Old Gracefully

The recipe for aging well is a blend of many factors. Margaret Christenson, a retired RN with an EdD from Oklahoma State University, will address this topic on Monday, Oct. 10, during the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program. Christensen’s presentation focuses about what we can and cannot control that affects how we age.  She will review the role of genetics, environment, and life style.

Christensen, a native of Fonda, Iowa, taught Health Services Administration for about 20 years at Ohio University. She is also certified as a dementia practitioner helping families and caregivers understand and cope with dementia issues. Currently she is serving as office manager at her niece’s new geriatric clinic, Renfrow Senior Care, PC.  

This program is free and open to the public. It will be held at 10 a.m. in the Drake Community Library, with refreshments beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Parking is available at the Drake Community Library, along Park Street, on Fifth Avenue, and in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot. Seniors needing transportation may call GRMC Communications and Development at 641-236-2593 by the Thursday before the program.

Friday, September 23, 2016

SE*ED: Don’t Get Scammed

Imagine you get an email saying that a Nigerian Prince needs your help. He’s transferring money out of Nigeria and needs access to someone’s bank account to help store the funds. Whatever you do, don’t agree! It’s a scam. Scams against seniors are increasingly common, and are being called “the crime of the twenty-first century.” Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program will be presenting on crime targeting seniors and how to avoid it, on Monday, Oct. 3.

Sergeant Chris Wray will be presenting on various kinds of scams and tips on how to avoid them. He will share a checklist regarding likely scams. A Grinnell native, Wray has been a sergeant with the Grinnell police department for 15 years, and in law enforcement for 28.

How do you keep this from happening to you? There are a variety of ways. The most important is to never give anyone your bank information, social security number, or Medicare information without being sure that they are who they say that are, and that it’s necessary to give such information to them. Be suspicious of total strangers offering large sums of money or any official mailing that you are not anticipating. Remember: anything that sounds too good to be true probably is.

This program is free and open to the public. It will be held at 10 a.m. in the Drake Community Library, with refreshments beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Parking is available at the Drake Community Library, along Park Street, on Fifth Avenue, and in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot. Seniors needing transportation may call GRMC Communications and Development at 641-236-2593 by the Thursday before the program. 

Time to Review Medicare Plan Options

Only 13 percent of people with Medicare Part D plans change their drug plans each year (on average). Relatively few people on Medicare have used the annual open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 to switch Part D prescription drug plans. Yet in Iowa, 50 percent of the people who received help from the state of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) changed plans for 2016 and had combined savings over $16 million. If you’re not doing an annual check of your Part D coverage, you could be missing big savings.

Every year by September 30, people with Part D plans receive the “Annual Notice of Change,” sent out by plans to explain changes to the formulary (drugs covered), benefits, and costs. This is your first chance to review your coverage. You should also do a comparison of Part D plans to see if another plan would provide you better coverage at a lower cost for 2017.

If you would like help doing a comparison of plans, contact SHIIP. In one hour or less a SHIIP counselor can complete a review, let you know if you can save money, and make sure you have access to the drugs you need in 2017. In the GRMC service area, you may call 641-236-2588, or the state office at 1-800-351-4664, to find the SHIIP site nearest you. SHIIP’s services are free, confidential, and objective. Any change you make will be effective January 1, 2017.

Kris Gross from SHIIP, says, “We’re asking everyone to remind family, friends, and neighbors about these important dates. We don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to make their choice of plans for 2017.”

The 2017 Medicare drug plans will be available on the Medicare website,, on October 1. Plans not renewing their contract with Medicare for 2017 must notify their members by October 2. “Notices of Creditable Coverage” are also due October 15. This is a notice from employer/union and other group health plans which tell Medicare eligible enrollees if their drug coverage will be “as good as or better than Medicare’s coverage” in 2017.

If you have questions about Medicare Part D contact SHIIP at 1-800-351-4664 (TTY1-800-735-2942), go to or e-mail

GRMC to Offer Advance Directive Seminar

Do you have your final wishes written down for family members? What would your family do if you became incapacitated in an accident or illness? An advance directive is a valuable tool during these times. Grinnell Regional Medical Center will host an advance directive seminar for the public to explain the value and need for advance directives in healthcare.

The program is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the GRMC Tomasek Conference Center – East. All adults are invited to learn about end-of-life wishes; and, how to put those in writing so that loved ones know what type of care you want in the event of life-threatening conditions.

Class participants will examine their wants and desires not only at end-of-life but also when a major health crisis occurs. The class will be led by Sheree Andrews, LBSW, M.Ed., GRMC hospice social worker.

In Iowa, two documents are available to express wishes and plans for changes in health. These are the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions or the Medical Power of Attorney and the Declaration Relating to Life-Sustaining Procedures or the Living Will. The Medical Power of Attorney assigns the responsibility to another person to make healthcare choices for someone when he/she cannot. The Living Will states a person’s wishes specifically for healthcare.  The Iowa State Bar offers these online at

Forms will be available at the program. Forms are also available by contacting Grinnell Regional Hospice at 641-236-2418.  Many family practice physicians also distribute the forms so they know their patients’ expectations.

This seminar is free and open to the public. Please make a reservation by calling 641-236-2418 by October 7.