Friday, December 13, 2013

GRMC Adopts Community Health Needs Action Plan

Following months of data collection, town hall meetings, and combing through data by staff, recommendations from a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to address local health needs were presented and adopted by the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees.

The primary areas of focus following the assessment are: mental health, obesity/nutrition needs, preventive care, wellness education, access to care, urgent care, insurance quality of care and transportation. Key elements include increasing access and providers at the mental health center, offering preventive care education and literature, and expanding collaboration with community partners to offer services such as health education and transportation.

“From a quality of life and public health perspective as well as with healthcare reform changes coming, we need a solid understanding of the current status of health for the communities and individuals we serve,” says Todd Linden, GRMC CEO and president. “The top 10 list didn’t reveal any surprises to us; however, it validates our decisions to move forward with programs such as our mental health center and the urgent care clinic. Other areas such as transportation remain a community need that we’ll be looking to other community partners to help address.”

The CHNA task force collected data from a variety of local, state, national, private, and government sources to evaluate the current health of the GRMC service area. A survey was completed in April, a town hall meeting was held in May, and a second town hall meeting to discuss results was help in August. CNHAs are required by the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under this act, all nonprofit hospitals are mandated to conduct a CHNA survey at least once every three years and create an action plan to address community needs and concerns.

To view the entire report, action plan and data collected, go Under the About Us tab you’ll find the Poweshiek CHNA report. You may also call Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2588.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Local Group to Assess County Food System

The Grinnell Area Local Food Alliance (GALFA) began working with the Poweshiek County Transformation Grant team to get a snap shot of various aspects of our county’s food system. A food system encompasses production, processing, distribution, retail, access and consumption, and waste management. 

The purpose is to take an objective look at the current food situation as it relates to human health and wellbeing, environmental health, social and cultural health, and economic health. GALFA volunteers will assist community transformation grant staff in researching and gathering data such as percent of children and adults who have food insecurities; number of grocery stores versus convenience stores; number of fast food restaurants vs. traditional restaurants; number of acres of orchards, farms and berry farms with harvested vegetables and fruits; number of farms marketing product through community supported agriculture; as well as many other statistics to create the snap shot.

Nearly 20 GALFA volunteers participated in the initial meetings to help define the priorities for the county. After the assessment, the team will define interventions, and explore ways to make system level changes that impact the health of the county.

“The Community Transformation Grant aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” says Jennifer Ness, Poweshiek County Transformation Grant coordinator. “A major portion of a healthy environment is easy access to local, sustainable food, which is why the partnership with GALFA makes sense.”
GALFA will use the data to help determine how easily area residents can access locally grown foods and how to expand the access. They can use this food assessment to help them achieve their goal.

“We believe the members of GALFA, who have a strong interest in supporting local sustainable products, will bring an excellent perspective and resources to the assessment process,” says Ness. “These local producers, growers, restaurant operators, concerned residents and Grinnell College students are working toward a sustainable food system and the transformation grant has a similar goal. It funds outreach to build healthier communities.”

The workgroup of GALFA members and Grinnell College students has been formed to help with the assessment process. Lily Taylor, GRMC dietitian, and Ness will work with the GALFA group to complete the assessment by the end of February and develop an action plan.

To learn more about the Poweshiek County food systems assessment or about the community transformation grant please contact Ness at 236-2999

The Community Transformation Grant is administered through the Iowa Department of Public Health and funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poweshiek County is one of 25 counties in the state to receive funding to make environmental and system changes that support healthier living.

GRMC's Annual Fund Meets Challenge

GRMC’s Annual Fund Meets Challenge

Area residents have taken and met the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust challenge to Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s annual fund drive. With two weeks left to the year, residents still have time to make a contribution to the fund drive and support their local community hospital.
 Under the challenge, the Ahrens Charitable Trust matched gift to the annual fund, up to $10,000.
“We are delighted that community members have given to GRMC and doubled those funds with the Claude W. Ahrens Charitable Trust challenge,” says George Drake, chair of the GRMC Foundation Board. “Sustaining our local hospital takes the support of the entire community and service area. I want to thank all to donors so far for the commitment of this challenge. We will continue to accept donations for the 2013 annual fund appeal right up to December 31.” 
Donations to the annual fund support the ongoing general operations and programs of GRMC. Typically, donations to the annual fund are unrestricted, but they may also be designated to specific programs. Gifts may also be made in honor of a caregiver or loved one. To make a gift or pledge to the 2013 annual fund at GRMC, go to and click the link “Make a Donation” or call Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589. Donations may also be mailed to the Office of Communications and Development, GRMC, 210 4th Ave., Grinnell, IA 50112.


Friday, December 6, 2013

GRMC Welcomes New Pharmacists

Grinnell Regional Medical Center welcomed two new pharmacists to the medical team caring for inpatients. George A. Papineau, PharmD, and Lisa Hart, PharmD, join Rick Van Cleve, PharmD, this fall to complete the staff of full-time pharmacists.  

Papineau received his doctor of pharmacy degree, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is also board certified in nuclear pharmacy, by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. He holds active pharmacy licensure in multiple states including: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota.
Papineau comes to GRMC from Adair County Memorial Hospital in Greenfield, Iowa, where he served as the pharmacist-in-charge since June 2009. Previously he worked in urban and rural hospital pharmacies, nuclear pharmacy, short-term contract relief pharmacy, and multi-state telepharmacy.
Through his unique experiences and education, Papineau has developed a thorough understanding of the challenges faced in many different medical disciplines. He is continually searching for improved methods for fostering staff development and enhancing patient safety.

Papineau’s interest in chemistry and human physiology goes back to his high school days. He admits, “I was fascinated by the ability of medications to alter human physiology and treat disease. I still find chemistry interesting but now my passion is quality evidence-based care and patient safety. I really enjoy working with technology to maximize quality care, safety, and efficiency.”

Papineau is married to Julie, also a pharmacist. Together they have a son and live in Des Moines.
Hart earned her doctor of pharmacy from Drake University College of Pharmacy. She previously served as a pharmacist at the Wal-Mart pharmacy for the past seven years.

She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with Bachelor’s degrees in both in biology and chemistry.

Hart explains her path to her career as a pharmacist. “When I was in high school, I wanted to be in the medical field, but I wasn't sure where the right fit would be. When I started at UNI, I found I enjoyed and excelled at chemistry and biology. I started working at a pharmacy and was intrigued by drugs and how they worked in the body to produce desired effects. I knew then that becoming a pharmacist was the right career for me.”

Hart lives in Grinnell with her husband, Shane, and four children.

Pharmacists in GRMC’s internal pharmacy work with physicians and the medical team to ensure the right medication is being dispensed in the right dose to the right patient. GRMC uses a double safe dispensing system to reduce potential for errors in medications. The pharmacists also educate patients while at GRMC on their medications, side effects, and any possible interactions with other drugs and diet.

“We are so pleased to have George and Lisa in the GRMC pharmacy and as part of the GRMC care team for patients,” says Doris Rindels, GRMC vice president. “Both bring exceptional skills in pharmacology and technology that will benefit our patients.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hatcher to Serve on American Hospital Association Committee on Governance

Grinnell resident Ed Hatcher will begin serving on the American Hospital Association Committee on Governance on Jan. 1, 2014.

The committee meets three times a year in locations across the United States. It consists of 28 members that includes nine regional members and up to 16 at-large members. Hatcher is serving as a regional member and will represent members in the upper central states of the Midwest.

Hatcher was nominated by the AHA Board of Trustees to serve on its Committee on Governance. This committee is a specialty committee of the board of trustees and is responsible for providing input into AHA policy development, leading effective involvement of hospital trustees in grassroots advocacy, providing advice on AHA’s trustee initiatives, and enhancing communication with and involvement of trustees in the AHA.

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations, and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends.

Better Health Class Offered in January

Grinnell Regional Medical Center will offer the “Better Choices, Better Health” workshop, beginning January 6. This six-week program provides individuals who have chronic conditions, as well as their caregivers, the tools to better manage their health and symptoms. This session will be held in the Tomasek Conference Room, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., running on Mondays, from January 6 to February 10.

The program developed by Stanford University focuses on ways to improve self-management of chronic diseases. Examples of chronic conditions include arthritis, breathing problems or lung disease, stroke, depression or anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, chronic pain, and cancer.

Over the course of these workshops, individuals will learn techniques and practical methods to deal with pain, fatigue, and isolation; decision-making skills; exercise options and establish action plans and goals for physical activity; better nutrition planning and eating choices for better health; communication techniques to begin conversations with physicians and family members about health concerns; tools to manage medications and symptoms; and self-management skills to lead a more productive life.

The class is taught by peer leaders who guide participants as they create their own action plans for improved health. The $20 fee covers the cost of the book and materials. Scholarships are available. For information and to register, call the Grinnell Regional Public Health office at 641-236-2385.