Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grinnell Regional Auxiliary Donates $22,000 to Support MRI Project at GRMC

Throughout 2010, Grinnell Regional Medical Center has received $22,000 in donations from the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary to help fund an upgrade to the hospital’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services.

“We appreciate everything the auxiliary does for us,” says Gina Fuller, RT (R)(M), director of radiology at GRMC. “Auxiliary members do so much for GRMC every single day. They are our partners.”

The new MRI will perform several exams not available with the current mobile unit. The new unit will also take less time to complete an exam, making it more convenient for patients. The new location of the unit inside GRMC’s radiology department will add to the patient experience.

“The auxiliary exists to support GRMC,” says Carol Jordan, GRMC auxiliary president. “Every year, we sit down with GRMC administration to determine where the funds are needed most, and then the auxiliary chooses the projects we would like to support. Auxiliary members want a new MRI to become a reality at GRMC. The convenience and accessibility is so important for patients.”

Since 2005, the GRMC auxiliary has raised $163,000 for capital campaigns, services, programs, and equipment purchases at GRMC. They also support scholarships for students pursuing healthcare careers and continuing education.

Construction is underway within the radiology department to ready the space for the installation of the new MRI unit, projected to be ready in late January.

Grinnell College recently announced it would match dollar for dollar any new or additional gifts to the MRI project up to $25,000. This follows the successful community challenge issued by Iowa Radiology and the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust. A portion of the auxiliary’s gift was matched by Iowa Radiology and the Ahrens Charitable Trust.

Anyone interested in more details about the MRI campaign may call Denise Lamphier, director of communication and development for GRMC, at 641-236-2589 or visit http://tinyurl.com/grmcmri.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Healing Music Workshops Offered

The power of music transcends all ages. Grinnell Regional Medical Center offers healing music as part of its optimal healing environment. To broaden the program, GRMC will welcome Robert Bluestone, classical guitarist, to Grinnell for workshops on healing music.

The workshops will be geared toward musicians to begin or expand sharing their talents with individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and those who find it hard to leave their homes. Bluestone will offer tips and techniques about performing for individuals facing times of distress or discomfort.

GRMC’s healing music currently features Grinnell College’s Chloe Yates, a first-year work-study student. She can be heard singing healing music throughout patient care areas. Bluestone will join her in the medical center on Tuesday, Dec. 7. They will make the rounds and take requests from patients.

Healing music workshops will also be held over the three days to reach different target groups. Bluestone will focus a program for college students, on Monday, Dec. 6, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 152 of Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on Grinnell College campus.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 3:15 p.m. Bluestone will work with Grinnell High School students at the high school. In the evening, the Grinnell Ministerial Association along with area church choirs will have the opportunity to attend a workshop targeted at sharing music for healing and spiritual enrichment. It will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the First Presbyterian Church, 1025 5th Ave., in Grinnell. The public is welcome to this event.

The public is also invited to attend a session with GRMC employees on Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to noon, in the Tomasek Conference Room, at GRMC.

Bluestone, and his wife, Rebecca, performed in Grinnell in late April 2010. When Robert planned to return to Iowa for other business, he offered to come back to Grinnell to lead small workshops to support the optimal healing environment.

The Bluestones have worked in hospitals and healthcare settings across the country giving audiences their message of hope in difficult times. Robert and Rebecca share a profound and inspiring story of how they faced Rebecca’s ovarian cancer. Robert will work with area residents during the workshops pulling techniques from his experiences as a professional musician and as a caregiver.

The workshops are free thanks to support from community sponsor Grinnell College. For more information, call 641-236-2998.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GRMC Announces OB/GYN Specialist

Grinnell Regional Medical Center announces the addition of its first OB/GYN specialist serving the area. Seanna (pronounced Shaw-na) Thompson, MD, FACOG, joins the GRMC staff in early December.

Thompson will practice medicine in the Grinnell Regional Women’s Health Clinic, located on the second floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building. As an obstetrician/gynecologist, Thompson provides medical and surgical care to women. Her medical practice will focus on pre-conception, obstetrical care, gynecology, and women’s wellness from adolescents to seniors.

Thompson received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her obstetrics and gynecological residency was completed at New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, N.Y.

Thompson will provide outpatient, inpatient, and surgical obstetrical and gynecological care. She works with women prior to conception through delivery and back to contraception. She also focuses her practice on family planning and menopause as well as diseases and conditions of the female reproductive system.

Residents in the GRMC service area have in the past and will continue to receive obstetrical and gynecological care from family practice physicians. Adding the OB/GYN specialty broadens the services and options for women in the area.

“I am excited and fortunate to work with a group of family practitioners that are dedicated to providing the community with excellent comprehensive care. I see our roles as collaborative in providing the women of Grinnell and the surrounding area with comprehensive care at all stages of life,” explains Thompson.

Thompson is conversant in Spanish and can meet an underserved need with Hispanic residents.

“We know that some women have left our area to seek an OB/GYN specialist for their care,” says Suzanne Cooner, GRMC vice-president. “Dr. Thompson will help us meet this niche. She will perform the routine as well as high-risk medical procedures related to women’s health in all ages and stages of life for patients.”

Thompson and her husband, Timothy Niewold, an MD in rheumatology, have two children. She spends her free time with her children and enjoys classical ballet.

Grinnell Regional Women’s Health Clinic staff are accepting appointments for Thompson. Area residents may call 641-236-2905 for more information on Thompson or to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Emergency Physician, Ellestad, Joins GRMC Team

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center emergency department welcomes Stephen M. Ellestad, DO, in December. Ellestad will join the emergency department as the fifth full-time physician, who rotates with the other emergency medicine physicians providing 365-day coverage for emergencies. He replaces Philip D. Sundquist, MD, who left in August.

Ellestad has more than 20 years of experience in emergency medicine and family practice care. He most recently worked with Ankeny-based Acute Care, Inc., in hospital emergency department contract coverage. Before moving to Iowa, he was in family practice in Plainsville, Kan., for seven years. Prior to that, he was a contract emergency department physician in various locations in Kansas.

After high school graduation, Ellestad enlisted in the Navy where he originally planned to become a physical or occupational therapist. However, in the service, he met several doctors of osteopathy who encouraged him to consider medical school. Ellestad enrolled in Coe College, Cedar Rapids, after the Navy to earn his bachelor’s degree. He then attended the Des Moines University – Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences to earn his medical degree. His internship residency was at Womack Army Community Hospital in Ft. Bragg, N.C. Following his training, he took a position as the general medical officer in the outpatient and emergency room at Munson Army Community Hospital in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan, where he also served as a flight surgeon.

Ellestad has spent the majority of his career in emergency medicine and he enjoys that environment.

“I like the variety of patients. Every shift has new patients and challenging diseases or injuries coming through the door,” Ellestad says.

This fervor for high intensity work environment like an ER is why GRMC recruited Ellestad.

“The volume of patients who use the GRMC emergency department continues to grow each year,” explains John Bambara, MD, director of the GRMC emergency department. “With our proximity to the interstate and the agricultural industry of the county, we see a wide spectrum of accidents and emergency health conditions. Dr. Ellestad will be an excellent provider for GRMC patients. His compassion and bedside manner is great. He has a calm demeanor to confidently comfort our patients in an emergency and with many years of medical experience and expertise.”

Ellestad and his wife of 36 years, Stephanie, have two grown children. Emergency departments typically work 12-hour shifts so his free time is limited. To relax, Ellestad enjoys weight training and reading.

Annual GRMC Auxiliary Wreath Raffle Sales Begin

Welcome the holiday season with the annual holiday wreath raffle sponsored by the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary. The auxiliary will sell raffle tickets for more than 30 holiday and winter wreaths, decorated by area businesses and volunteers. Wreaths measure 24 inches in diameter and will fashion a wide variety of themes – from traditional, whimsical and contemporary.

Beginning November 29, wreaths will be displayed at GRMC in the entrance hallways by The Glass Gift Box and laboratory waiting area. The drawing for wreaths will be Monday, Dec. 13.

This fundraiser for the GRMC Auxiliary supports its various medical center and health education programs, including $10,000 in scholarships, major equipment gifts to the medical center, books and gifts to newborns at the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center, and health education such as the Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair.

“This year we've had a tremendous response from talented individuals who have donated their time to create festive wreaths,” says Sheila Latcham, auxiliary wreath raffle committee chair. “This wreath display inside GRMC will be a cheerful addition during this holiday season.”

Raffle tickets may be purchased at The Glass Gift Box, the auxiliary’s gift shop inside the medical center, for $1 each or 6 for $5, beginning Monday, Nov. 29.

For more information call the auxiliary wreath raffle chair, Sheila Latcham, at 236-4481 or the GRMC volunteer coordinator at 236-2588.

Brownell Family Foundation Issues Challenge Grant for GRMC Annual Fund Drive

Grinnell Regional Medical Center has received a $25,000 challenge grant from the Brownell Family Foundation that will allow gifts to the annual fund drive to be matched dollar for dollar. New and additional donations made through Dec. 31, 2010, are eligible for the match.

“Great things are happening at GRMC right now,” says Pete Brownell, president of Brownells, Inc., in Montezuma. “Several new physicians are joining the talented medical staff, new services and specialties are being added, and renovations are underway to bring in a new MRI. We want to be a part of all of this because we see it as a good investment.”

Gifts to the annual fund drive support the everyday operation of running a hospital, for things such as services, programs, and medical equipment at GRMC. Over the years, annual fund drive donations have helped purchase an infant security system and infant warmers, comfortable chairs for patients receiving chemotherapy, surgical equipment, and more.

“There’s no question that the annual fund drive makes a difference for GRMC patients,” says Todd L. Reding, chair of GRMC’s Foundation Board. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Brownell Family Foundation with this challenge grant. Every gift is important and this match doubles the impact of donor support. This is especially helpful this year with the hospital’s campaign for a new MRI occurring simultaneously. It is important for donors to support both of these campaigns. The support from the Brownell family encourages that.”

To make a gift or pledge to the 2010 annual fund drive, go to the website at www.grmc.us and click the link “Make a Donation” or call Denise Lamphier at 641-236-2589. Donations may also be mailed to the Office of Communications and Development, GRMC, 210 4th Ave., Grinnell, IA 50112.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cogley Named to IHA Auxiliary Board

Jennifer Cogley, Grinnell, has been invited to serve on the Iowa Hospital Association Auxiliary/Volunteer Board. The board is comprised of volunteers and auxilians from hospitals across the state of Iowa. Members are selected for their leadership roles, abilities, and service to a hospital auxiliary or volunteer program.

Cogley recently served a two-year term as president of the Grinnell Regional Auxiliary and is an active volunteer at Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

The IHA Auxiliary/Volunteer Board plans and facilitates educational programs for hospital auxilians/volunteers and mobilizes support for IHA legislative initiatives through the annual Legislative Day. Additionally, the board recruits applicants and seeks support and donations for the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation Healthcare Career Scholarship Fund. They also help auxilians /volunteers and their organizations to succeed with changes in Iowa’s healthcare environment.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Grinnell College Awards GRMC Challenge for MRI

Grinnell College has awarded Grinnell Regional Medical Center a $25,000 community challenge to upgrade the hospital’s magnetic resonance imaging unit (MRI) services.

Under the stipulations of the challenge, the college will match all new gifts to the MRI project dollar for dollar. Approximately $250,000 has been raised so far toward the $300,000 project. Completion of the challenge from the college will fully close the funding gap needed to bring first-rate diagnostic equipment to GRMC.

“The MRI project fits well with the college’s core value of social responsibility by expanding access to quality healthcare in our rural area,” says Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, and president of Grinnell College. “It’s a credit to the medical center and the community that the campaign has progressed so quickly. The college is pleased to assist in bringing this new level of service to the greater Grinnell community.”

The medical center is remodeling an area inside the hospital to accommodate a new, permanent MRI and the specialized construction needed to house the sensitive equipment. The new MRI will bring with it reduced exam times for patients, a convenient location within the radiology department, and a patient-friendly design.

“Grinnell College’s generosity leads GRMC’s MRI campaign into its final leg,” says Ed Hatcher, a member of the medical center’s Foundation Board and chair elect of the GRMC Board of Directors. “Technology is key to maintaining quality care for future generations of Grinnell area residents and students alike. We are grateful to the college for this special challenge and making every dollar count for quality patient care.”

Anyone interested in more details about the MRI campaign is encouraged to call the GRMC Office of Communications and Development at 641-236-2589 or visit http://tinyurl.com/grmcmri. Gifts may be made online by visiting www.grmc.us and clicking on “Make a Gift Online” under Quick Links.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Community Rises to Challenge for New MRI at GRMC

Area residents accepted and met the challenge from Iowa Radiology and the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust and have raised $100,000 toward the goal of $300,000 to upgrade a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit for Grinnell Regional Medical Center. A total of $250,000 has been raised so far toward the $300,000 goal.

The original challenge from Iowa Radiology and the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust was to match dollar for dollar any new contributions up to $50,000.

“As a trustee of the Ahrens Charitable Trust and chair of the GRMC Board of Trustees, I am delighted that this matching campaign has been successful,” says Susan Witt. “We are grateful to our partners, Iowa Radiology, and to the community for working together on this project.”

In addition to wide community support of the challenge, 100 percent of GRMC’s radiology department participated in the challenge in some form.

“I felt very good about giving to the MRI project,” says Monica Kellogg, GRMC radiology technologist. “The new MRI magnet will benefit our staff, our physicians, but most importantly our patients. Keeping up with current technology is another way of providing great patient care.”

Iowa Radiology provides radiology physicians to GRMC for diagnostic imaging services for physicians and healthcare providers.

“Our organization is proud to be in Grinnell and to partner with the Ahrens Charitable Trust to provide these matching funds for the new MRI,” says Rick Portel, chief operating officer of Iowa Radiology.

Remodeling is underway on an area inside the hospital to accommodate a new, permanent MRI and to create the specialized construction needed to house the sensitive equipment. The new unit is scheduled to be operational by mid-January.

“GRMC is truly a community hospital and projects like this reinforce the importance of this medical center to our area,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “This is important to keeping needed medical services here in Grinnell. We are grateful to the community, to Iowa Radiology, and the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust for their generous support.”

Anyone interested in more details about the MRI campaign is encouraged to call the Office of Development at 641-236-2589 or visit http://tinyurl.com/grmcmri.