Wednesday, August 28, 2013

GRMC Introduces New OB/GYN

Grinnell Regional Medical Center welcomes Monica Brito, MD, FACOG, obstetrician and gynecologist to the Grinnell Regional Women’s Health Clinic. Brito will begin on Monday, Sept. 16, in the clinic located on the second floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building.

Brito earned her medical degree from Central University of Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador. She completed two residencies in internal medicine and obstetrics/gynecology at New York University Medical Center – Bellevue Hospital, in New York.

Brito comes to Grinnell from Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she has been an attending physician caring for patients in labor and delivery. She also provided comprehensive perinatal and gynecologic women’s health care and surgeries. Brito brings exceptional skills with her to Grinnell. She has clinical OB/GYN diagnostic skills along with specialty skills in surgery and ultrasound.

While providing patient care at Woodhull, Brito served as an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York Medical College, Valhalla, N.Y. Brito has also completed an advanced obstetrical gynecological ultrasound fellowship at New York University Medical Center. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare, and is bilingual in English and Spanish.

“My practice focuses on providing care to patients with compassion and sensitivity to their problems,” says Brito. “I see each patient as an individual and not as a disease. My goal is to give each patient the care I would like a loved one to get. ”

When asked why she became an OB/GYN specialist, Brito responded with, “I am a mother, woman, and wife. I can empathize with them. I care for individuals to bring the whole woman together over all ages. I love surgery and with my internal medicine training, I like the pathology of disease and helping solve problems.”

“I always just knew I wanted to be a physician. I didn’t have to decide because I just knew. Surgery just feels so natural – like a musical prodigy who picks up a musical instrument and they know it just feels right – I’ve always felt that way about surgery and being a surgeon,” Brito says.

Brito learned about Grinnell’s medical center and the practice culture here from Seanna Thompson, MD, GRMC’s former OB/GYN who recently moved to Minnesota to be near her husband.
Brito trained in New York City hospitals that handled some of the sickest, most critical patients – often caring for patients referred by other OB/GYN doctors. This training provided Brito with exposure to vast cultures and perceptions of medical care.

“I developed a real sensitivity to cultural views and how each individual experiences disease differently. This training allowed me to understand that the disease process for one person may not be same for another patient. Each person is unique and sees the disease in their own way,” Brito explains.
Though Brito moves to Iowa from New York City, she feels moving to Grinnell is a natural place for her practice.

“In my South American background, we take care of the family members, elders, and children. I think this is refreshing to come back to a practice location where I’m part of the community, schools, and the lives of people. My medical practice is based on treating patients like family members. I’d offer patients the recommendations that are in the best interest of the individual, just like I’d tell my sister or mother,” Brito says.

Grinnell Regional Women’s Health Clinic is located on the second floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 641-236-2905.

Yuska Retires from GRMC Board of Directors

Yuska Retires from GRMC Board of Directors

Joanne Yuska, of Toledo, has decided to step off of the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s board of directors for health reasons.
Since 2004, Yuska has joined 12 other area community members on this volunteer board that provides oversight and direction to the nonprofit, private medical center.
“Joanne’s personal commitment to GRMC and to the board has been incredible and her impact will be felt for a long time. At the same time, her love for the Tama-Toledo area and willingness to represent the residents there have provided an important bridge for GRMC to that community,” says Bill Menner, current chair of the GRMC board.
During her nine-year tenure on the board, Yuska served on the board’s finance committee.
When she joined the board, Yuska said: “I want to give my time to a most wonderful hospital. I am dedicated to the hospital and have so much faith in it. I’m honored to serve on the board and I hope to help in any way possible to maintain the high level of quality at GRMC.”
The full board is responsible for overall governance of GRMC. 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.

“Joanne has been a tireless champion and advocate for the patient her entire time on the board. Since her husband, Melvin, spent a great deal of time at GRMC as a patient, both prior to her board service and after she started, Joanne has been uniquely qualified to bring that patient and family perspective,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stroke Robot Added at GRMC

Grinnell Regional Medical Center has partnered with the University of Iowa Stroke Center to launch a mobile stroke detection robotic unit in GRMC’s emergency department for faster diagnosis of strokes.  GRMC staff completed the training on the stroke robot and took the unit live on Wednesday, Aug. 28. This is the second unit that the University of Iowa Health Care has placed in Iowa rural hospitals.

During a stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or hemorrhage, every second matters. When a patient comes to GRMC now with symptoms of a stroke, the wireless remote presence robot will be rolled into the emergency bay to assess the patient. This immediately connects the patients with a neurologist and neurological diagnostic equipment at UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City to examine and diagnose a stroke within minutes.

 “The ability of GRMC to connect patients to the University of Iowa stroke team enhances the quality of care that we can bring to our residents,” says Doris Rindels, GRMC assistant vice president. “Recovery from a stroke greatly improves when medical attention can be administered at early onset. Minutes really do matter.”

“Accurate diagnosis of a stroke and timely treatment is paramount to improved patient outcomes, but rural communities in Iowa often lack neurology specialty care in the emergency department, especially 24-7, to treat a stroke,” says Harold Adams, MD, UI professor of neurology and director of the UI Comprehensive Stroke Center. “The stroke robot allows us to conduct a full diagnostic exam on the patient and gather all the clinical information we need to more accurately advise our emergency room colleagues in Grinnell and provide excellent care for the patient.”

GRMC’s emergency department is staffed 24-7 with a physician and trauma certified staff. Once a patient is connected to the stroke robot, a UI neurology specialist controls the wireless robot and communicates with the patient and GRMC’s emergency staff through a two-way video conferencing unit. Using the robot’s advanced monitors, camera, and microphones, the patient speaks directly to the UI neurologist. The neurologist gathers information about the symptoms, and the patient’s physical movements and responses.

Based on the information gathered, the UI neurologist and the GRMC physician discuss a treatment plan. If the symptoms indicate that the individual is having a stroke, then a clot-busting medication, called t-PA, can be given within three to four hours from the beginning of the stroke symptoms. Depending on the timing and severity of the stroke, the patient may be admitted to GRMC or may be transferred to UI Hospitals and Clinics or another tertiary hospital for further advanced care. The UI Stroke Center was recently named Iowa's first Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The center was one of only 35 such centers nationwide to receive the designation.

“This is a wonderful technological advancement at GRMC that will benefit patients, yet doesn’t add cost,” Rindels says. “We’re very excited to be working with the University of Iowa Stroke Center to bring this diagnostic capability to our patients.”

GRMC currently utilizes telemedicine in the intensive care unit, with an eICU monitoring unit that connects GRMC’s critical care unit with physicians at Saint Luke’s Health System – eICU Center in Kansas City. It works similar to the UI Health Care stroke robot, allowing advanced specialists to directly interact with patients in GRMC.

Monday, August 26, 2013

GRMC Offering Cooling Station This Week to Shelter from the Heat

Update: Poweshiek Emergency Management will also open a cooling station in Montezuma at the Montezuma Family Center, 300 East Washington. It will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, the week of August 26.

Previously released
Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s cafeteria is open as a cooling station for people seeking shelter from the heat, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. this week. 

Excessive heat and humidity can be dangerous to those who live with a chronic disease without access to air conditioning. 

Heat-related illnesses can come on suddenly. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, body aches, fainting, dizziness, and confusion or anxiety. All persons are advised to take precautions from the heat, limiting time outdoors or in spaces without air conditioning, and drinking plenty of fluids.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

GRMC Anesthesia Team Welcomes Lacey Nicol, CRNA

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s surgical department has expanded the anesthesia team with the addition of Lacey Nicol, certified registered nurse anesthetist. Nicol will begin working in the surgical suites August 19, in rotation with the three other anesthesia providers at GRMC: Alexzandra Anderson, CRNA; Troy Anderson, CRNA; and Kevin Emge, DO. She will also provide anesthesia services for obstetrics, the emergency department, and the intensive care unit.

Nicol earned her master’s degree in nurse anesthesia from the Mayo School for Health Sciences College of Medicine in Rochester. Her bachelor of science in nursing was completed at Allen College.

“As a practitioner, I strive to make each patient’s surgical experience the best it can be. Each patient can expect to receive a safe, effective, and individualized anesthesia plan. I utilize open communication and education to allow each patient to be a partner in their care,” Nicol says.

Originally from Cedar Falls, Nicol moved to Grinnell with her husband, Scott, and their two daughters. They look forward to Grinnell’s small community, excellent schools, and access to big city amenities.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

GRMC Welcomes New Internist

Grinnell Regional Medical Center welcomes Lauren E. Graham, MD, MPH, to the Grinnell Regional Internal Medicine Clinic. Graham will begin in mid-August, joining Drs. Ronald Collins and Todd Janicki in the clinic, located on the second floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building. 

Graham comes to Grinnell from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Internal Medicine residency program, Baltimore, Md., where she also earned her medical degree. She also completed a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health while working on her medical degree. Her undergraduate degree is from Earlham College, in Richmond, Ind. She replaces Christine Lindgren, DO, who accepted a position at the Veteran’s Administration’s Hospital in Marshalltown.

Graham grew up in a small Ohio town and is familiar with Midwestern values and communities. She is looking forward to working with and knowing patients to manage their health conditions.

“With my training in public health, I’ll strive to improve the health of the greater service area and build a healthier community,” Graham says. “Patients can expect me to work with them as a partner on their path to restore health. I want to empower people to take care of their health.”

Graham comes from a service-oriented family and has always enjoyed the combination of using science to help people. She chose an internal medicine specialty to allow her the opportunity to get to know people and address complex adult health conditions.

“I’m excited to be practicing in the Midwest after working in Baltimore. I wanted to be part of a vibrant small community providing comprehensive compassionate care to all adults in all sectors,” Graham says. “The practice where I worked at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center was very big. I cared for many very ill patients and experienced a broad caseload with difficult conditions.  I’m looking forward to putting that knowledge in work here in Grinnell.”

“We’re extremely pleased to have Dr. Graham join our internal medicine team for adult specialty medical care. Her training at Johns Hopkins and her warm, compassionate personality will work well with our medical staff and will be appreciated by our patients,” says Todd C. Linden, CEO and president of GRMC. “Her public health training and commitment to patient health makes her an excellent fit as we look at the future of healthcare.”

Graham moved to Grinnell in July to join her husband, Andrew Graham, who is a professor in the Grinnell College chemistry department. When not busy with her practice, Graham likes to travel, bake, and write poetry.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Romance in the Vegetable Garden

Amongst the green beans and tomato plants of Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s community garden, Lily Taylor, GRMC dietitian, said “yes” when Andy Swedenhjelm proposed marriage. Swedenhjelm is a high school physical education and health teacher for the Newton school district and the head high school wrestling coach at Newton.

Taylor has been involved in GRMC’s community garden for employees. Employees who help work in the garden enjoy the produce it generates. Taylor had wanted to show Swedenhjelm how well it was doing. So a few days prior to their Friday evening out for dinner and a movie, Swedenhjelm planned the big moment.

“She talks about this garden and how neat this hospital project is. Lily takes pride in the garden so it was a natural place to ask her,” Swedenhjelm says.

The couple has not set a date yet but plan for summer of 2014.