Monday, June 17, 2013

GRMC Board of Directors Welcomes New Members

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s governing board elected two new members to fill vacancies on the 12-member volunteer leadership team. The GRMC board also announces the election of officers for the year.

Rachelle L.K. Johnson, JD, Montezuma, and Allan F. Maly, Grinnell, began serving three-year terms on the GRMC Board of Directors in June. These new members join 10 area residents in providing direction, vision, and strategic planning for GRMC’s future.

Johnson is an attorney and owns Johnson Law Firm, P.C. in Montezuma, and has served the community for the past 18 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wartburg College, and earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law. Her professional experience also includes an adjunct instructor position at Iowa Valley Community College, Grinnell, for the paralegal program focusing on real estate law. She is also president and general counsel for Security Title & Escrow Services, Inc., Montezuma.

“As a long-time resident of Poweshiek County, I see our hospital as an important resource for our community,” Johnson says on why she accepted this board position. “Both of my children were born at GRMC.  Serving on the GRMC Board is a way for me to assist in keeping this resource here and help maintain GRMC’s standard of excellence.”

She added, “Though I’m new to the GRMC board, I can already tell that the people who serve on this board are not only steller members of their communities, but are also a great deal of fun to spend time with. In addition to continuing to learn about the hospital, its operations, and the board as a whole, I plan to earn the trustee education certificate recently awarded to fellow board members Ed Hatcher and Stanley Greenwald.  They have set the bar high and it is my hope to earn this certification as well, to continue our board’s history of strong leadership, accountability and governance.”

Johnson is married to Vince and they have two children. She’s involved in their activities and events. She also enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and photography. She adds that one of her favorite words of wisdom is a Thomas Edison quote, “Opportunity is so often missed, because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Also joining the GRMC Board of Trustees is Maly.  He is a retired mechanical engineer. Maly worked for AT&T/Bell Laboratories in various management positions, from 1963 to 1997.

“I spent my work life in technical management positions within American Telephone and & Telegraph Company, AT&T,” says Maly. “After working in the Midwest for 11 years we moved the family to New Jersey.  I spent an additional 24 years there working in many different departments (sales/marketing, rates/tariffs, engineering, operations, new business development) and on several occasions for Bell Laboratories.  AT&T tried several intrapreneurial start-up ventures and I was involved with two of them.  After the fourth or fifth corporate reorganization, I elected an early retirement option from AT&T in 1997 and then worked part-time for a not-for-profit international school organization for about seven years.”

Maly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Drake University.  Maly married Nancy Schmulbach in 1961 following her graduation from Grinnell College.  Together they have four married children and thirteen grandchildren, who reside in New Jersey, Virginia near Washington, DC, Florida, and Germany.  

“We had never expected to remain on the east coast for so long, but in 1974 Grinnell College asked Nancy to open a recruitment field office covering New England, the middle Atlantic states, and, a bit later, international recruitment.  It was her Grinnell College connection that ultimately led to our decision to move to Grinnell in 2007,” Maly says.

He added that when they relocated to Grinnell they had to start over with new medical relationships. 
“Frankly, it was not as easy as I thought it should have been.  As an incoming community member, I soon recognized the importance of GRMC both as a medical services anchor and an important economic engine for Grinnell and the surrounding area,” Maly says. “I was approached about serving on the board by a current member whose opinions I respect.  After learning from others in the community about how GRMC administrators and the board are working together on the many challenges of promoting community wellness and running a successful community hospital, I thought I might be able to contribute.”

He says his goals while serving on the board are straightforward, “I think supporting the GRMC management team’s ideas and efforts to operate with a positive bottom line, given the challenging Medicare and Medicaid payment levels, is a good place to focus.  I also think there is a great deal of accessible intellectual capital in the greater Grinnell community.  I wonder if there are even more ways to engage that resource in addressing community healthcare needs.”

Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO, adds, “Each member of the GRMC Board of Trustees brings an important leadership and relationship perspective to the medical center board. The medical center has greatly benefited over the years by so many gifted and bright community leaders and I appreciate their input into the oversight of GRMC.”

Current Trustee Leadership Team and Members

Leading the board in 2013 is Bill Menner, Grinnell, the Iowa State Director for Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture; past chair – Ed Hatcher, Grinnell, area farmer;  chair elect – Todd Reding, Grinnell, chief marketing officer, Spindustry; treasurer – Dan Agnew, Grinnell, retired president of Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company; and secretary – Stan Greenwald, MD, Grinnell, retired physician.

The GRMC Board of Trustees includes the officers and new members listed above as well as Karla Erickson, Brooklyn; Laura Ferguson, MD; Wendy Kadner; and Nicholas Kuiper, DO, all of Grinnell; and Joanne Yuska, Tama. Ex officio members of the board include Todd Linden, GRMC President and CEO; Ryan Dahlby Albright, MD, medical staff president; and Sally Lang, GRMC Foundation Board chair elect. Stepping off the GRMC board are Frank Brownell, Montezuma, who began serving the board in 2001; Susan Witt, Grinnell, who began serving in 1999; both hitting term limits. JoAnn Manatt, Brooklyn, who began serving on the GRMC board in 2004, choose to leave after moving to Des Moines.

The board is responsible for overall governance of GRMC, a nonprofit, private medical center. Its primary roles include maintaining the mission and vision; strategic planning; appointing members of the medical and allied health staff; approving the annual budget and providing financial oversight; monitoring overall quality of services; and appointing the chief executive.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

GRMC Launches Comprehensive Campaign

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is launching a comprehensive campaign to raise between $5 million and $8 million by the year 2017, when the medical center will celebrate its 50th anniversary of service.

The campaign, entitled “Moving at the Speed of Life,” will enhance services, facilities, and technology at GRMC to meet the healthcare needs of the community today and in the future while also supporting annual needs of the medical center.

The campaign will raise funds for seven important projects, including:
§  Extensive renovations to the emergency department to modernize it.
§  The creation of an after-hours walk-in clinic.
§  The creation of a new chemotherapy and infusion department.
§  The purchase of a state-of-the-art daVinci® surgical robotic system and new CT scanner.
§  Renovations to Postels Community Health Park to accommodate GRMC’s growing wellness program.
§  An endowment for the new Grinnell Regional Mental Health Center.
The campaign is being called a comprehensive campaign because it focuses on three types of giving that help underwrite three areas of programming at the medical center. In addition to the large projects listed above, the campaign also seeks annual support for the ongoing expenses of the medical center and also asks donors to support the long-term needs of the medical center by considering a planned gift, such as a bequest or estate gift.

 “Many of us in the community don’t fully appreciate that GRMC is a nonprofit hospital,” says Dan Agnew, a member of the GRMC board of directors and campaign committee co-chair. “As such, we are best able to serve the greater Grinnell community structured this way. But that means when upgrades are necessary, we are dependent on our community to make them a reality. We are blessed to have a hospital of the highest caliber. This campaign will make certain that GRMC will stay that way for future generations.”

The Projects
Emergency Room & Walk-In Clinic: “The ER renovation is a project that has been talked about for a very long time,” says Debby Pohlson, a past chair of the GRMC board of directors who currently sits on the GRMC Foundation Board and campaign committee co-chair. “In the previous capital campaign we raised $450,000 toward the emergency department, but this was not enough to complete the renovation. Our goal now is to raise the additional funding needed and move this important upgrade forward.”

 “This is a much-needed renovation and upgrade of our emergency department,” says John Bambara, MD, GRMC director of emergency services. “The new design will expand our space and increase treatment capacity, flexibility, and patient privacy.”

Additionally, an after-hours walk-in clinic is being developed for the first floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building. Patients would use this for conditions that require medical attention but not emergency care.

Computed Tomography Scanner:  A CT scanner uses x-rays to image the body’s internal organs. Radiologists use this technology to diagnose acute strokes as well as abnormalities in the body such as abscesses, kidney stones, and cancer. It can also detect spinal fractures and determine the amount of damage to bone and soft tissue in trauma patients. GRMC’s current 16-slice scanner was purchased in 2004. Today, scanners can provide upwards of 64 slices for greater detail, faster scan times for patients, and increased capability for interpretation by the radiologist.

Postels Community Health Park: Beginning this year, the goal of having all wellness and fitness services under one roof will become a reality.

The Postels building currently houses acupuncture, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, outpatient physical therapy, and is home to GRMC’s fitness classes such as Spinning®, yoga, Pilates, and Bootcamp. Renovations to the space will accommodate the move of the Paul W. Ahrens Wellness and Fitness Center to the facility. The space will include a new entrance to the building on Commercial Street, an indoor walking path, a dedicated Spinning® room, individual weight training and cardio equipment, lighting, showers, and changing facilities. Improvements are also needed to the exterior of the building.

Grinnell Regional Mental Health Center: Funding raised toward an endowment for the new Grinnell Regional Mental Health Center will ensure that mental health services are available in the area for years to come. An endowment will help cover the annual operating costs of the new service at GRMC.
 “Our goal with this clinic is to make sure that services for people with mental health needs are integrated with primary care. This service allows people to receive the counseling and medical management they need right here, close to home,” says Suzanne Cooner, GRMC vice-president of operations and executive director of the clinic.

Chemotherapy and Infusion Services: GRMC is creating a new chemotherapy area on the first floor of the medical center. This new location will be easily accessible for patients from the main entrance, admissions, and the lab. Features of the new chemotherapy department include greater patient comforts, state-of-the-art design, and a unique art installation by Lee Emma Running, associate professor of art at Grinnell College. 

daVinci Surgical System: The daVinci system is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand a surgeon’s capabilities and offer a minimally invasive option for major surgery. In January 2013, GRMC had the opportunity to begin leasing a daVinci. GRMC would like to purchase the system, which is less expensive than leasing over the long term.

“The daVinci is already making a difference in the lives of our patients,” says Nick Kuiper, DO, a general surgeon with Surgical Associates of Grinnell and a member of the GRMC board of directors. “Since we began using the robot to assist us with surgeries, we have seen wonderful patient outcomes, including shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.”

The Process
The Moving at the Speed of Life fund-raising campaign is in the very early stages, and funding is being pursued from various private and public sources.

“GRMC’s financial situation has had its ups and downs over the past five years due primarily to the poor Medicare payment system,” says Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development for GRMC. “We continue to rely heavily on financial donations for projects such as these. All of us at GRMC are honored to have such extraordinary community support. It is certainly one of the many things that makes us one of the best community hospitals in the country.”

“The ultimate goal for this campaign is to raise $5 million to $8 million over the next three to five years for projects totaling about $8 million. When the medical center celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017 we will be able to celebrate a half century of forward thinking to benefit the health and wellbeing of the people in the greater Poweshiek County area. Seeing all these projects completed over that time span will reaffirm our commitment to innovative and quality patient care for the next 50 years,” Lamphier says. 

For more information about Moving at the Speed of Life: A Comprehensive Campaign for GRMC, please contact Lamphier at 641-236-2589 or, or contact a volunteer on the steering committee.