Friday, August 1, 2014

GRMC Becomes First in State to Offer New daVinci® XI Robotically Assisted Surgeries

Grinnell Regional Medical Center announced today that it is now using the latest Intuitive daVinci® Xi robotic surgical system – the only location in Iowa where this technology is available. In fact, GRMC is one of only 30 hospitals in the world to be using the newest robotic surgical system.

The new system offers three-dimensional, high definition visualization and allows for enhanced dexterity and greater precision and control for the surgeon.

“The daVinci manufacturer approached GRMC to be one of the first sites to have the new daVinci Xi because of the phenomenal work our surgeons are performing with the current daVinci,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “These surgeons have been far in front of other surgeons in the state with completing complex procedures while producing the excellent outcomes for patients.”

Surgeons performing procedures on the daVinci Xi robotic system include Monica Brito, MD, with Grinnell Regional Women’s Health Clinic; and David Coster, MD; Nicholas Kuiper, DO; Mathew Severidt, DO, and Aaron Smith, DO, all with Surgical Associates of Grinnell.

GRMC’s original daVinci, an SI unit, was installed in January 2013 thanks to a generous gift from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees. Throughout its first year in use, GRMC surgeons completed about 200 robotically assisted surgeries at GRMC, including two highly complicated Whipple surgeries to remove or repair bile duct and pancreatic tumors. Surgeons also completed single-site incision surgeries to repair or remove disease in the abdomen.

The SI was named Razer in a naming contest for area elementary students.

From the patient perspective, the new daVinci continues to offer the benefits of less pain, less blood loss, and faster recovery times. The new Xi unit expands the number of procedures that can be performed on the robotic in the abdomen and improves access within the abdomen for the surgeons.
“We can move between all quadrants of the abdomen during a procedure with this new unit,” Kuiper says. “We are able to do larger and more complex operations, moving within the abdomen and not having to change the arms of the unit. The camera on this new unit is exceptional.”

According to Intuitive Surgical, by enabling efficient access throughout the abdomen, the daVinci Xi System expands upon core daVinci System features, including wristed instruments, 3D-HD visualization, intuitive motion, and an ergonomic design. As with all daVinci surgical systems, the surgeon is 100 percent in control of the robotic-assisted daVinci system, which translates his/her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. The Xi system’s immersive 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient.

“GRMC is delighted to expand our advanced surgical capabilities and best of all, at no additional costs,” Linden says. “We were leasing the daVinci, so we are able to upgrade to the new Xi and keep our cash flow the same. In fact, in the first few years of the lease, our costs are reduced – but we have the ability to do more procedures. It’s a win-win.

“With national healthcare focusing on value, we have demonstrated again GRMC’s operational philosophy to be a great value and keep costs in check,’ he adds.

For more information on the daVinci unit and surgical procedures, visit the Surgical Associates website at: or GRMC’s website at

Photo: Nicholas Kuiper, DO, of Surgical Associates of Grinnell, and Deb Reding, RN, director of surgical services at Grinnell Regional Medical Center, greet the medical center’s newest surgical assistant, the Intuitive daVinci® Xi robotic surgical system. GRMC is the only location in Iowa where this technology is available. In fact, GRMC is one of only 30 hospitals in the world to be using the newest robotic surgical system.

Friday, March 14, 2014

GRMC Offers Class to Minimize Falls

A “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls” class will be offered in April through Grinnell Regional Public Health. This program is designed to reduce concerns about falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falls.

This program offers ways to improve balance, flexibility, and strength. After the six weekly sessions, participants will learn a combination of techniques to build their strength and confidence. The class will be offered on Wednesdays, from April 2 to May 21, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Mayflower Community, Montgomery Lounge, 616 Broad St, Grinnell. The program was developed through Boston University with support from the National Institute of Aging.  

“We will teach exercises to participants to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance,” says Patty Hinrichs, RN, director of public health and one of the instructors. “It also focuses on reducing the fear of falling. Participants will learn techniques for what to do if they do happen to fall. They will learn to set realistic goals, make changes to reduce fall risks, and how to view falls as controllable.”

After a fall, many older adults fear going out. This program identifies ways that adults can continue to get out socially and for physical activity in a safe manner.

“We want people safe without having to change their lifestyle or activity level,” Hinrichs says. “What we know about falls is that 30 percent of community dwelling adults fall each year and 20 percent of falls cause physical injury. A large portion of falls are preventable.”

For more information or to register call Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2385. A $15 fee is assessed.

Nominate an Exceptional Nurse for The DAISY Award

Grinnell Regional Medical Center invites members of the public to nominate an outstanding nurse for The DAISY Award. GRMC will honor all nursing staff during National Hospital Week with The DAISY Award. Nominations are due Friday, April 4.

The award was established by The DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of an auto-immune disease. DAISY stands for “diseases attacking the immune system.” The DAISY Award recognizes outstanding nurses for their compassion and care.

“At GRMC and our affiliated clinics, we have many DAISY nurses,” says Doris Rindels, GRMC vice-president. “They are the kind of nurse that other nurses want taking care of their mom. They are the nurses that go above-and-beyond for their patients. Their coworkers feel that working with them is a real gift because they care about all aspects of their job and teammates.”

GRMC is participating in this award program with Mercy Health Network of Central Iowa to honor outstanding nurses. All nurses (LPN, RN, and Advance Practice Nurses) who provide direct patient care in any GRMC department or clinic are eligible to be nominated for a DAISY Award.

Nomination forms are available at GRMC nurse’s stations, the nursing administration office, human resources, The Light Center for Public Health, and GRMC clinics in Lynnville, Victor, and Deer Creek Health Center in Toledo.

The Mercy Health Network of Central Iowa will also recognize a DAISY Award registered nurse in June. Those selected from Mercy Health Network of Central Iowa affiliate hospitals, such as GRMC, will be considered to be the DAISY Award recipient at the network level. They will attend a special presentation ceremony in Des Moines and one registered nurse will be chosen to be the DAISY Award recipient for the entire Mercy Health Network of Central Iowa.