Monday, September 17, 2012

Annual GRMC Auxiliary Fund Raiser Set

Yellow tags will flutter everywhere on Friday, Sept. 28, when the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary hosts its Tag Day blitz. This annual event has been a GRMC auxiliary tradition for nearly 90 years where area residents are asked to make a donation in exchange for the bright yellow tags.

“Our auxiliary and the hospital continue to be strong because of the exceptional support from the communities we serve,” says Carol Jordan, GRMC Auxiliary Tag Day chair. “Tag Day, along with other fundraisers, allows the auxiliary to make significant contributions to GRMC that positively influence patient care. We hope the community again chooses to support the auxiliary and our work for GRMC.”

Area residents from all the communities in the GRMC service area are encouraged to stop at participating businesses or collection places to make a donation. Tables will be set up in Brooklyn, Grinnell, Toledo, and Victor. In Grinnell look for auxiliary members at GRMC, Beckman's Gallery, Brown’s Shoe-Fit, Comeback Café, Fareway, Frontier Café, Grinnell State Bank, HyVee, McNally’s, Pioneer Bookstore, Post Office, Saints Rest, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo Bank, and Yumi’s.

Tag Day supports the auxiliary’s projects every year as they have for generations. This year’s goals include supporting the GRMC campaign to buy new beds for the medical/surgical unit at GRMC, providing $5,000 in healthcare-related scholarships, supporting The Poweshiek Nest program for new mothers with $3,000, and providing outreach education through the annual Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair. This is all done in addition to their ongoing goal to be a positive influence on the patient experience at GRMC through patient and volunteer services.

For more information or to be an auxiliary Tag Day volunteer, call 641-236-2588.

Name Change for Stork’s Nest

The Stork’s Nest, a program of Grinnell Regional Public Health, has undergone a name change to the Poweshiek Nest.

“Only the name has changed,” says Patty Hinrichs, Grinnell Regional Public Health director. “We continue to provide incentives and educational programs to women who are pregnant or who have a child less than 18 months of age. Our intent is to provide support for women to care for themselves and as they raise healthy children.”

In 2001 public health worked with other groups to establish the Stork’s Nest in Grinnell, serving all of Poweshiek County. At that time Poweshiek County came under the Midwest Nest Coalition and took the name of the Stork’s Nest.  Recently that coalition disbanded. Grinnell Regional Public Health chose to continue programming but under the new name of Poweshiek Nest. 

Low-income mothers who are expecting or have a child less than 18 months can enroll.  The mothers earn points for healthy behaviors and continuing education. They use those points to redeem for child care items such as clothing, diapers, car seats, etc. 

“The Poweshiek community has consistently and generously supported the program through financial donations, direct donations of child care items, and hand crafted items such as baby comforters. We look forward to the coming years of support to our mothers and babies and the cooperation of the community that makes this program possible,” Hinrichs says.

The Poweshiek Nest is housed in the Light Center for Community Health at 306 4th Avenue, in Grinnell. The hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 641-236-2385. 

Community Meets Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust Challenge Grant for GRMC New Bed Campaign

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s new bed campaign has collected $109,627 so far thanks to the successful completion of a $25,000 challenge grant from the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust. The challenge was issued on Aug. 1, 2012, and was quickly met by the community in just one month.

“We are so thrilled the challenge we set forth has been met by area communities,” says Susan Witt, trustee of the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust and a member of the GRMC board of directors and foundation board. “It was our goal to raise funds and awareness for the bed campaign and to keep the patient’s needs in the forefront of people’s minds.” 

George Drake, GRMC foundation board president, adds, “I’ve been on the board for several years now and each time the hospital has had a need, the community has stepped up and met it. It shows how much our community cares about the well-being of others. We are grateful to the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust for their challenge gift and to the community for meeting this challenge.” 

 Donations continue to be accepted for this year’s bed campaign. GRMC seeks to raise $253,000 to purchase 23 new beds. To date, GRMC has purchased eight beds with donations received thus far.

“Hospital beds provide many benefits for medical staff, patients, and caregivers. The importance of a good night’s sleep can aid in a patient’s recovery and we want their experience at GRMC to be as positive as possible,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development.

There is still time to make a gift or pledge to the 2012 bed campaign and the annual fund. To earn naming rights, a $10,000 donation is requested but gifts of all sizes make a difference.  Go and click the link “Make a Donation” or call Lamphier at 641-236-2589. Donations may also be mailed to the Office of Communications and Development, GRMC, 210 4th Ave., Grinnell, IA 50112.

Victor Health Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Residents in the Victor area embarked on a campaign in 2000 to create a health center to serve the community’s health needs. The Victor Health Center now celebrates its 10th anniversary in Victor and the public is invited to celebrate this milestone.

“Although the healthcare industry continually changes and shifts in light of the economy, population shifts, government policies, and dynamics of providers, the Victor Health Center has continued to provide excellent healthcare services to area residents,” says Bill Lynch, Victor Health Center board president. “This anchor in our community has helped Victor retain its vibrancy and sense of community. The clinic truly fills a vital need and service to the residents who live in the community.”
Another key element is the re-opening of a pharmacy in Victor. Victor Health Center, an affiliate of Grinnell Regional Medical Center, and the pharmacy work together to meet the needs of patients. GRMC welcomes the new Victor Pharmacy to the community and this event. 

The Victor Health Center will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a free brunch to the community and patients. The public is welcome to join the clinic and GRMC, on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the American Legion Center in Victor.

The menu will feature made-to-order fresh omelets, sausage from the Victor Locker, fresh fruit bar, mini pastries, and beverages. GRMC employees will be serving the meal along with clinic providers Roy Doorenbos, MD; Wendi Beck, PA-C; Michelle Rozmus, RN; and Shannon Nowotny, receptionist.

“We want to demonstrate our appreciation for all Victor residents who have supported us through the past 10 years,” says Michelle Rozmus, clinic nurse who has been with the clinic since it opened in 2002. “This menu provides fresh, healthy foods with much provided by local sources. We’re committed to supporting local businesses and producers while bringing a healthy alternative to the breakfast scene in Victor. It should be a great time and I hope everyone can join us.”

The clinic welcomes new patients, so any individuals seeking a quality healthcare provider are invited to meet Victor Health Center staff at the breakfast. Casie Olson, GRMC massage therapist who provides massages in Victor, will also be available for questions.

For more information, call the clinic at 319-647-7511. 

Preparing for the Seasonal Flu

Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. Although epidemics of flu happen every year, the timing, severity, and length of the epidemic depends on many factors, including what influenza viruses are spreading, whether they match the viruses in the vaccine, and how many people get the vaccine.

Area residents can protect themselves from the negative effects of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend several precautionary steps.

• Take time to receive the flu vaccination. It helps protect you and those who cannot have the vaccination.
• Take everyday prevention steps to avoid exposure to the virus. These include wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They require a prescription from your healthcare provider. If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Grinnell Regional Public Health will provide vaccination clinics throughout the county during October and November. These are open to the public. See the complete list of locations below.
New this year, a high dose vaccine will be available to individuals over 65. The CDC reports multiple studies conducted have shown that the body’s ability to build an antibody response to a vaccine declines with age.  Therefore, the high dose is recommended and will be available to all individuals 65 and older.

The vaccination is a covered benefit of Medicare and many insurance carriers. Please bring your insurance card at the time of the clinic.

As for predictions on the 2012-2013 season, manufacturers have projected that they will produce between 146 million and 149 million doses of flu vaccine. This should cover needs, based on normal demand. No shortages have been reported. The Flu Vaccine will contain the H1N1 virus which is the same as the 2011-2012. New coverage in the influenza vaccine in 2012/13 includes H3N2 and B viruses.

The CDC recommends that influenza vaccination begin as soon as vaccine becomes available in the community and continue throughout the flu season. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza, and influenza seasons can begin as early as October.

For more information contact Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2385 or check the CDC website at

2012 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Clinics
Date          Time                               Location
Oct. 1        2 to 6 p.m.                      Grinnell Athletic and Recreation Center, 1500 Penrose St, Grinnell
Oct. 11      10:30 to 11:30 a.m.        Brookside South, Grinnell
Oct. 15      3 to 6 p.m.                      BGM School, Brooklyn
Oct. 22      3:45 to 6 p.m.                 Grinnell High School, media center
Oct. 25      10 to 11:30 a.m.             Mayflower Community, Carmen Center
Oct. 29      3 to 6 p.m.                      Montezuma School, elementary library
Nov. 1       10 to 11 a.m.                  Seeland Park, Tenplex lobby, Grinnell
Nov. 8       11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.     Grinnell United Methodist Church