Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Pathologist Joins GRMC

Grinnell Regional Medical Center welcomes Soraya Rodriguez, MD, pathologist with Des Moines-based Pathology Associates of Central Iowa, PLC. Rodriguez began with Pathology Associates in early August and will begin providing clinical and anatomical pathology services in Grinnell in early September.

Rodriguez joins Dale Andres, DO, as pathologists at GRMC. Both provide anatomic and clinical pathology services. Clinical pathology includes the diagnosis of disease through the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids. Anatomical pathology involves the diagnosis of disease based on the microscopic evaluation of tissue specimens.

For the past 13 years Rodriguez has been working in the pathology field in the Miami area, with 11 of the 13 years at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, Fla. She earned her medical degree from the Higher Institute of Medical Science in La Habana, Cuba.

Rodriguez is board certified in clinical and anatomic pathology. She completed a cytopathology fellowship at Jackson Memorial in June. Cytopathology is a branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses diseases on the cellular level. A common application of cytopathology is the Pap smear, used as a screening tool, to detect precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancer. Cytopathology is also commonly used to investigate thyroid lesions, lymph nodes, and salivary gland lesions and to find diseases in sterile body cavities, and a wide range of other body sites, including the deep organs such as liver, pancreas, lung, and kidney.

“The addition of Dr. Rodriguez to our pathology staff will bring expanded capabilities, especially in the area of surgical pathology and cytopathology,” says Gregg Hawkins, director of GRMC’s laboratory. “The addition of Dr. Rodriguez will allow rapid in-house testing of tissue samples by frozen section and fine needle aspiration biopsies. GRMC will now have expanded capabilities to perform rapid diagnostic tests on tissue while a patient may still be in surgery or through outpatient fine needle aspiration procedures. This will give all our physicians greater ability to triage patients, make diagnosis, and treat medical conditions.”

“Our relationship with Mercy connected GRMC with Pathology Associates of Central Iowa. Now we’re able to bring additional expertise to provide greater services for our patients,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC President and CEO. “We’re very pleased to welcome Dr. Rodriguez and her diagnostic skills and experience.”

Rodriguez moved to Grinnell this summer to start a new chapter in her life.

“Working in this smaller community will allow me to have a better relationship with the referring physicians and patients,” Rodriguez says. “Grinnell and the quality care performed at the medical center seem like a great fit for me.”

Rodriguez is married to Jerome Wehr, MD, Grinnell Family Care. She has one grown son. She enjoys biking and rode in her first RAGBRAI this summer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

GRMC Auxiliary to Host Tag Day

Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary will raise funds in a one-day blitz on Friday, Aug. 26. This annual Tag Day event has been a GRMC auxiliary tradition for more than 85 years where area residents are asked to make a donation in exchange for the bright yellow tags.

This year funds raised will go toward a second epidural pump for obstetrical patients in the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center. This specialized pump provides OB patients with a pain relief option that is safe and effective during labor. With the addition of OB/GYN specialist Seanna Thompson, MD, and more babies being delivered at GRMC, the OB unit needs two pumps available for patients.

Local residents may support the GRMC Auxiliary and this equipment purchase by making a donation on Tag Day. Watch for volunteers at tables throughout the GRMC service area communities. Or for more information call the volunteer office at 641-236-2588.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Untangle Life at Women’s Event

In the busy lives that women lead, they might forget to take care of themselves. “You: Untangled,” this year’s Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair, brings together education, humor, and social time to help de-tangle life. Guest speaker Pat Wynn Brown will share her Hair Theater Beauty School perspective to find your inner beauty.

The fifth Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair sponsored by Grinnell Regional Medical Center and the GRMC Auxiliary will be Wednesday, Oct. 5. The event will be held in the Grinnell Newburg Community High School beginning at 4 p.m. with educational exhibits and retail therapy vendors.

“New this year, we will have several hair salons providing 10-minute hair style ‘up dos’ to participants,” explains Jennifer Cogley, past president of the GRMC Auxiliary. “We’re very excited to be able to offer several makeovers to individuals who register to attend the Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair.”

When individuals purchase a ticket they will indicate if they would be interested in receiving the makeover. To be considered for the makeover, please purchase tickets before Sept. 21, when individuals will be selected for the free makeovers. This could include hair, makeup, nails, all depending on each salon.

This will be a night focusing on inner beauty.

“Hair Theater Beauty School is a laughter and story-telling ‘conditioner’ for the tangles of life’s stresses and frets. Humor is an age-defier and a good giggle can erase years off our face,” Brown says. “The phases of our hair and lives share a common message for all women.”

Exhibitors and Retailers
The evening will begin at 4 p.m. with 40 educational booths covering everything from breast health, obstetrical services, childcare resources, sleep medicine, foot care, public health, hospice care, community resources, nutrition, wellness, and more. Participants will also have the opportunity to have five-minute chair massages, hand paraffin dips, and meet GRMC’s obstetrician/gynecologist —while also enjoying a girl’s night out.

Childcare will be provided for a small fee. Happy breastfeeding babies under six months of age may remain with their mothers. Due to the increased number of exhibitors, stroller access will be limited.

The GRMC Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair is a relaxed night out with the girls. The Mayflower Community chef and catering staff will do all the cooking. This year’s menu includes: angel hair pasta with Alfredo chicken or marinara and sausage, chicken breast with mango and pineapple salsa, steakhouse salad, vegetable stir-fry over rice, fresh vegetable salad, fresh fruit salad, cheese tray, bread basket, and a wonderful dessert table.

In addition to door prizes tailored to new and expecting mothers, the Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair will give away body wraps and massages from Postels Community Health Park, a three-month membership at GRMC Wellness Services, a Flip camera, gift certificates to The Glass Gift Box, and gift baskets from salons – Visions, Marcia’s Trim U, 1st Impressions, and Expressions. All women who attend will have their names entered for these drawings. In addition, many vendors and exhibitors will offer drawings for prizes.

The Retail Therapy area will be open with area vendors as part of the evening’s fun. Scheduled for the event are: Cory Hall Photography, Flower Connection, Jo Jones Photography, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and The Glass Gift Box. Salons include Expressions, Shear Delight, and Visions.

Ticket Information
Tickets to the event are $18 and financial assistance is available. On-site childcare is also available for $3 per child, which includes a meal for children over 2. Register for childcare at the time of ticket purchase. To purchase tickets, go online to Tickets are also available at The Glass Gift Box located inside GRMC, Dori’s Fine Fashion and Shoes, and Postels Community Health Park. Women who cannot afford tickets may inquire with Amanda Bergman at 641-236-2567 or Jesse Johnson at or 641-236-2326.

This year’s Women’s Health Focus is co-sponsored by GRMC and the Grinnell Regional Auxiliary. Many other partners play a significant role in bringing this event to the community, including Grinnell College, Mayflower Community, Grinnell Eye Care, Grinnell Family Care, Iowa Radiology, Maytag Laundry and Tanning, Medela, and KGRN 1410 AM.

Fun with Fitness Youth Program

Teaching youth about health and wellness at an early age can be easier with the Fun with Fitness program for area youth. The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Wellness Services department will offer this program for students in kindergarten to 8th grade.

The program will meet once a month on early-out Wednesdays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Postels Community Health Park, in the activity room. This area has youth sized equipment, kid friendly nutrition activities, fitness education, and local field trips. The program runs from September 7 to May 2.

Free transportation is available from Grinnell elementary and middle schools.

“We developed the content to be a unique after-school option for kids and parents who want their children active and making healthy choices,” explains Jen Ness, GRMC Wellness Services and program coordinator. “We educate the students on why certain exercises work, how foods nourish our bodies, and why we want to make our bodies healthy – all in a fun, youth focused way.”

For families who have family membership to the GRMC Wellness Services, the program is free.

For more information or to register, call the GRMC Wellness Center at 641-236-2999.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

GRMC Posts Its 2010 Annual Report Online

Grinnell Regional Medical Center released its annual report, “Recognized. Renowned. Remarkable. Why Choose GRMC?” that summarizes the hospital’s activities and finances during 2010. The annual report can be found online at

The past year welcomed several huge successes for the community hospital. Topping the list are the Leapfrog Group Top Hospital Award and the Bariatric Center of Excellence re-accreditation. Both awards earned GRMC national recognition for quality care.

“Success came in different forms this year. We welcomed seven healthcare providers and secured four others who began work in 2011. These providers filled specialty areas such as OB/GYN and internal medicine and increased our capabilities in anesthesia, family practice, general surgery urology, and orthopedics,” says Ed Hatcher, president of the GRMC Board of Directors. “We also enjoyed two TV news segments on Des Moines area stations.”

Another significant advancement was the installation of a new MRI inside the radiology department. GRMC also added high definition endoscopes and monitors, a Turis urology laser for stones, new beds in intensive care and the medical/surgical units, upgraded wireless network and IT security, and new testing units for advanced lab tests.

“Community support is so critical to the medical center’s success and in 2010 we’re very pleased to report broad community support for GRMC and our many programs,” Hatcher says. “I’m amazed and proud of the community we live and work in because of the commitment to support GRMC. The economy was difficult in 2010 and yet giving to support GRMC increased. We see perseverance to support our local non-profit hospital. We try to be transparent about what is happening financially and where donated money goes. I think our supporters appreciate that and understand the difficult situation we face.”

GRMC’s 2010 annual fund drive raised almost $264,000 from 765 donors. Simultaneously, 430 donors contributed $322,000 to upgrade the hospital’s magnetic resonance imaging unit (MRI) services. Giving to both efforts totaled $586,113—topping last year’s annual fund drive.

This support helps fund the operations of GRMC. In 2010, GRMC reduced its costs significantly over 2009. Total operating revenue from all sources totaled more than $70 million – this includes patient charges, grants, and other revenue. However, the medical center is not able to collect all the patient charges, primarily due to Medicare and Medicaid policy. Because of the size and location of the hospital, GRMC is severely disadvantaged compared to other rural hospitals. In 2010, GRMC had total deductions of $33.5 million, which allowed GRMC to end the year with a net revenue of $36.7 million. Total expenses were $39 million, leaving a total operating loss of $2.2 million. GRMC received other contributions and gain on investments so the overall loss in 2010 was slightly more than $1 million.

“In 2010, GRMC reduced its costs significantly over 2009, through expanded group purchasing, shifts in costs for services using our Mercy Health Network relationship, and personal sacrifices by staff with the hopes that a short-term forfeit of benefits provides a long-term benefit of the hospital,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “These cost reductions of nearly $1.4 million helped in reducing the expenses over revenues and the overall loss for the year.

“The past several years have been financially difficult primarily due to poor government reimbursement and patient volume decline resulting from the economic downturn and fewer physicians in a couple specialties. Fortunately, the future looks much better given the improvements to GRMC Medicare payment starting in 2012 as part of the healthcare reform legislation and our wonderful success recruiting physicians and mid-level providers. With more than a 20 percent reduction in our expenses the past several years and these improvements which will enhance revenues, I am confident we have turned the corner financially,” Linden says.

For the complete financial report, the lists of donors, and all the successes in 2010, go to Click on the “About Us” link, then the “Annual Reports” link.

For more information or a list of donors, please contact Jan Veach, GRMC office of communications and development, at or 641-236-2946.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Locations to Purchase Blue Jean Ball Tickets

Tickets may be purchased at the following locations:
  • Seaton’s Grocery, Brooklyn
  • Postels Community Health Park   
  • Lynnville Medical Clinic
  • The Glass Gift Box           
  • Victor Market
  • New Sharon Memorial Clinic   
  • Victor Health Center
  • Deer Creek Health Center
  • Montezuma State Bank
  • Peoples Savings Bank, Montezuma

$25/person; $45/couple; or $30/person at the door

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Orthopedic Surgeon at GRMC

Capital Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine announces William R. Boulden, MD, FAOSS, will begin providing general orthopedic services at Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Boulden will see patients on Tuesday each week in the Ahrens Medical Arts Building beginning August 9.

Boulden is a general orthopedic surgeon with special interest in lumbar spine surgery, total knee replacement surgery, and total hip replacement surgery. Boulden was raised in Southwest Iowa. After graduating from high school in Lenox, Iowa, Boulden attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a B.S. in pharmacy. He went on to graduate from the University of Iowa Medical School. Boulden spent two years in general surgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed an Orthopedic Residency Program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

He has provided orthopedic care in the Des Moines area since 1977. He is board certified in orthopedic surgery and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“We’re extremely pleased to expand the orthopedic surgery options at GRMC,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “Dr. Boulden’s reputation for providing excellent orthopedic surgery to thousands of Iowans precedes his arrival to Grinnell.”

Both Capital Orthopeadics and Iowa Orthropeadics, groups based in Des Moines, have strong ties to Mercy Health Network.

“Our goal is to continue working with these groups to recruit a full-time orthopedic surgeon to Grinnell. Adding Capital Ortho at this time expands both our coverage currently and our opportunity to recruit a physician permanently to Grinnell,” Linden says.

Area residents may schedule consultations for surgeries through their primary care providers.