Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GRMC Blue Jean Ball Set for Next Weekend

Get out your favorite jeans and plan to attend the Blue Jean Ball hosted by Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

The event will be Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8 p.m. to midnight at Grinnell Athletic and Recreation Center (GARC) at Ahrens Park. Advance tickets are $25 per person; $45 for two. Tickets can be purchased online at up to the date of the event or at The Glass Gift Box at GRMC. Tickets at the door will cost $30 each.

Ben Latimer and Mike Pearson are the masters of ceremonies for the evening. An array of more than 70 items is on offer for guests to bid on through a silent auction, live auction, and raffle. Silent auction items include artwork by local artists, an overnight stay at an area bed and breakfast, gift baskets, and gift certificates from local businesses. Live auction items include a week’s stay at a condo in Estes Park, Colo., a day of sailing on Lake Red Rock, and two refrigerators – one branded with Iowa Hawkeyes colors and logo and one with Iowa State University Cyclones. To see the full list of auction items, go to
The raffle offers the chance to win a Mini iPad or Beats by Dre headphones. Raffle tickets are six tickets for $5, 15 tickets for $10, and 30 tickets for $20.   

Warming up the crowd for the evening will be Grinnell’s own teen band, Broken Record, a group of seventh grade guys from Grinnell Middle School.

The Dweebs, a popular regional band from Wisconsin, are making their return trip to Grinnell and the Blue Jean Ball. They were a huge hit in 2011 with their range of cover tunes from the 70’s to today.

Proceeds from the event will go toward GRMC’s Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign.

“GRMC has been quietly raising funds this year for the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC’s director of communications and development. “The Blue Jean Ball marks the beginning of the next phase of the campaign. This event is really a celebration of the great relationship between GRMC and the community.”
Included in the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign are seven projects that will:
·      Modernize the GRMC emergency department.
·      Create an urgent care clinic.
·      Enhance the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Center.
·      Purchase state-of-the-art robotic surgery equipment and a new CT scanner.
·      Renovate Postels Community Health Park to accommodate GRMC’s growing wellness services program.
·      Establish an endowment for the Grinnell Regional Mental Health Center.

Sponsors for the Blue Jean Ball include: Designer Sponsor – Kintzinger Family Foundation; Boot Cut Sponsors – The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust, Grinnell College, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, and Oakland Acres Golf Club.

Stonewashed Sponsors – ASI Signage Innovations, Axmear Farm, LLC, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell Health Care Center, Denise Lamphier, and VanderLinden Construction; and Dark Blue Sponsors – Bikes to You- Craig Cooper, Burt Day and Jewel Kintzinger Day, Dr. Kevin and Mary Emge, Family Medicine, Wes Finch Auto Plaza, Dr. Matthew McKnight – Foot and Ankle of Iowa, Grinnell Herald-Register, Grandma’s House – Wendy Kadner, Dr. Nicholas and Stacy Kuiper, Ron and Sally Lang, Lincoln Savings Bank, Bernie Lowe and Associates, Drs. Sam and Michelle Rebelsky, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, and Joanne Yuska.          

A team of volunteers and GRMC staff have partnered with GRMC’s office of Communications and Development to plan this event. They include Nancy Agnew, Rachel Bly, Jennifer Collins, Arnie Finch, Kris Gilman, Heidi Knobloch, Stacy Kuiper, Sharon Lahn, Sally Lang, Ben Latimer, Heidi Pearson, Mike Pearson, and Carolyn Roudabush.

For more information about tickets call 641-236-2954 or email

Grinnell's Healthiest State Walk Set for October 9

Grinnell’s Healthiest State Walk Set for October 9
- Goals: Continue momentum, build on success of previous events -

Residents of Grinnell and surrounding area will join with thousands of other Iowans in a one-kilometer Healthiest State Walk on Wednesday, October 9. Local walkers will meet at Central Park, Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance campus, and Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Additional locations are still being confirmed. Students at the schools will also be participating.
“State organizers hope to continue the momentum of Iowa’s rise from 19th to 16th and now to the ninth healthiest state in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index,” said Jen Ness, local 1K Walk coordinator and GRMC wellness specialist. “By itself, of course, a one-kilometer walk is not enough to change the health of the state, but we’re encouraging even more residents of the Grinnell area to join in this year’s event and maintain our momentum toward becoming the healthiest state. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. ”  
A kilometer is about 7.5 city blocks, a 12-minute stroll for the average walker.  Walkers can sign up for the event at The goal is to increase participation. Iowans have demonstrated their extraordinary support of the Healthiest State Initiative with the first two Healthiest State walks, which attracted nearly 600,000 participants.
In 2011, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced the plan to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation within five years as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. In 2011, Iowa ranked 16th compared to all other states, up from the 19th position in 2010. The state moved up to ninth in 2012.
While progress has been made, there’s still work to do. Working with a team of experts, the Healthiest State Initiative has identified five priority areas most likely to improve the state’s ranking.
The Focus Five priorities include:
·        Decrease the number of Iowans who smoke,
·        Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to five or more servings daily at least four days a week,
·        Increase the number of Iowans who are learning or doing something interesting every day,
·        Increase the number of Iowans who have visited the dentist in the last 12 months, and
·        Increase the number of working Iowans who feel their boss treats them like a partner at work.
The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state. It involves individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits, and the public sector in a broad-based community-focused effort. For more information, visit

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hospice to Offer End-of-Life Training Class

Grinnell Regional Hospice will host a hospice volunteer training for residents in the GRMC service area. This class is intended for people who are interested in learning more about end of life issues and care. The training will be two days, Wednesdays, Oct. 23 and 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in GRMC’s Light Center for Community Health, 306 4th Street, Grinnell.

“Attendees of this training program learn key issues that a patient faces when nearing the end of life. Our intent is to help individuals who will be caregivers or support caregivers for these individuals,” says Sheena Huls, hospice volunteer coordinator.  “The education provided during the 12-hour training really has value for everyone. We all face death and many help friends and family through the process.”

Huls also notes that though there is no obligation to become an active volunteer after completion of the course, Grinnell Regional Hospice often has individuals who choose to volunteer with its program.

Training speakers include JR Paulson, MD, medical director; Sara Wray, RN patient care coordinator; Keith Morrison, chaplain, and Linda Romero, LISW, GRMC social worker.

There is no cost to attend this class. Lunch is provided to all participants. Hospice does need reservations to ensure enough materials and food. Please reserve a space by calling Sheena Huls at 641-236-2418 or email at

GRMC to Offer Advance Directive Seminar

GRMC to Offer Advance Directive Seminar

Grinnell Regional Medical Center will host an advance directive seminar for the public. This educational presentation will explain the value and need for advance directives in healthcare.
The program is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17, beginning at 7 p.m. at the GRMC Tomasek Conference Center. All adults are invited to learn about end-of-life wishes and how to put them in writing so that loved ones know what type of care you want in the event of life-threatening conditions.
Class participants will examine their wants and desires not only at end-of-life but also when a major health crisis occurs. The time to discuss these concerns is long before the crisis that calls families together outside of emergency departments or ICUs, a time when emotions are high and logical decisions seems to be difficult to determine.
“Participants will learn about options for documenting how they want their wishes carried out during a medical or healthcare crisis. Most people have opinions about the care they would receive when medical emergencies/crises occur. During a crisis decision making becomes even more complicated and strains family relationships when, in fact, they are all the more important,” explains Keith Morrison, program presenter and GRMC chaplain. “The time to discuss wishes for healthcare is when it can be addressed in a less stressful atmosphere and when you can take the time to respectfully navigate differences.”
In Iowa two documents are available to express wishes and plans for changes in health. These are the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions or the Medical Power of Attorney and the Declaration Relating to Life Sustaining Procedures or the Living Will. The Medical Power of Attorney assigns the responsibility to another person to make healthcare choices for someone when he/she cannot. The Living Will states a person’s wishes specifically for healthcare.  The Iowa State Bar offers these online at
Forms will be available at the program, as well as on the web at no cost. Forms are also available by contacting Grinnell Regional Hospice at 641-236-2418.  Many family practice physicians also distribute the forms so they know their patients’ expectations.

This seminar is free and open to the public. Please make a reservation by calling 641-236-2418. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

GRMC Auxiliary Fall Luncheon Date Set

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary invites everyone to the annual fall luncheon scheduled for noon on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Buckley Dining Room on Park Street in the Mayflower Community, Grinnell.

“The GRMC Auxiliary supports the medical center through financial donations as well as volunteer services. We invite all members and the public to our luncheons where we share our successes and goals for the upcoming year,” says Jennifer Cogley, who is organizing this year’s GRMC Auxiliary fall luncheon. “One of our many projects is the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite. We are very humbled it is named in honor of our organization and are dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the suite.”

At the upcoming luncheon, the auxiliary will recognize the late Shirley Broders, a long-time active member of the GRMC Auxiliary, and Carol Jordan, honored this year at the Iowa Hospital Association Auxilian and Volunteer Luncheon with a Shining Star Award.

The agenda for the meeting includes: the election of 2014 officers and board members, updates on projects at the hospital and auxiliary, and door prizes.

Tickets are $8 and available in The Glass Gift Box – the GRMC gift shop, from any GRMC Auxiliary Board member, or call the GRMC volunteer office at 641-236-2588.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Annual GRMC Auxiliary Fund Raiser Set

Yellow tags will flutter everywhere on Friday, Sept. 20, when the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary hosts its annual Tag Day. This 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 Shannon Reding, president, GRMC Auxiliary. “Tag Day, along with other fundraisers, allows us to make significant contributions to GRMC that positively influence patient care. This year, we are working toward our pledge of $150,000 for the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, including the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite. We hope the community will 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, Montezuma, Toledo, and Victor. Tags will be sold at GRMC clinics in Lynnville, in Toledo at Deer Creek Health Center, and in Victor. Patriot Bank in Brooklyn will have volunteers selling tags. 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. Funding for the Grinnell Regional Babies Room program for new mothers, hospital tours with area first-graders, and an extensive healthcare scholarship program are among the ongoing projects supported by the auxiliary. This is all done in addition to their 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.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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.

Grinnell Regional Public Health will again offer public vaccination clinics at location listed later in the article.

New for the 2013 – 2014 flu season is an improved vaccine called FluMist Quadrivalent. This vaccine is used to prevent seasonal influenza in people ages 2 years through 49 years and has been approved today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FluMist Quadrivalent is the first influenza vaccine to contain four strains of the influenza virus, two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.

GRMC will offer the mist form of Quadrivalent vaccine at the scheduled public health clinics.
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 washing 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.

The high dose vaccine will be available again 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.

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.

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

2013 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Clinics
Date          Time                                  Location

Sept. 23     2 to 6 p.m.                         Grinnell Athletic and Recreation Center,
                                                            1500 Penrose St, Grinnell
Sept. 26     10 to 11:30 a.m.                Mayflower Community, Carman Center
Oct. 2        3:45 to 6 p.m.                    Grinnell High School, media center
Oct. 3        10:30 to 11:30 a.m.           Brookside South, Grinnell
Oct. 7        10 to 11 a.m.                     Seeland Park, Tenplex lobby, Grinnell
Oct. 14      3:30 to 6 p.m.                    BGM School, Brooklyn
Oct. 21      3:30 to 6 p.m.                    Montezuma School, elementary library
Oct. 29      11 a.m. to 1 p.m.               Grinnell Regional Public Health

*Appointment necessary. Call 641-236-2385 to schedule.