Monday, December 29, 2014

GRMC Limits Visitors to Prevent Widespread Disease

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is asking for help in the effort to protect patients from multiple widespread viruses: If you are sick, please don’t come for a visit.
Effective immediately, GRMC is asking visitors for their help in protecting patients and staff by not coming to the hospital with a sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. This includes those who are visiting inpatient and obstetrical areas.
“These limits on hospital visitors will help us protect our most vulnerable population from exposure to multiple, severe viruses,” says Terri Kelling, RN, GRMC infection prevention coordinator. “This is important for GRMC’s commitment to patient safety. If you feel unwell, please don’t come to the hospital unless you are coming for medical treatment. Help out your family, friends and co-workers by staying home to avoid spreading the virus. Please don’t go to school, work, or any public places if you are sick.”
“Both the influenza and norovirus are prevalent in the GRMC service area. In our area, 94 percent of the influenza is the A strain, H3N2. We anticipate an upswing of influenza in Poweshiek County and the State of Iowa in the next week,” says Patty Hinrichs, Poweshiek County Public Health Coordinator.
In the last reporting week, the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network indicated 130 influenza-related hospitalizations statewide, mostly among those aged 64 or greater. Several flu outbreaks have been reported in long-term care facilities, especially in central and western Iowa. The most common flu virus circulating is the influenza A(H3N2) strain, although four different strains have been identified. In years when A(H3N2) viruses dominate, the flu season tends to be more severe with more hospitalizations and deaths. Based upon CDC’s national estimates, an average of 300,000 Iowans get the flu every year and together, flu and its complication of pneumonia cause an average of 1,000 deaths yearly in Iowa.
 “We’ve also had a significant number of norovirus-like illnesses reported, with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea,” Hinrichs says. “Individuals with the norovirus can remain contagious for more than a week after symptoms stop. To avoid sharing this illness, please practice good hygiene practices all the time.”
Hand sanitizer is not effective on norovirus, Kelling says. “Only good, old-fashioned soap and water can kill a norovirus.”
Hospital Restrictions
In GRMC’s inpatient rooms and the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center, no more than two visitors 18 years and older (grandparents, other family member, friends, co-worker, etc.) are allowed at a time. Children under 12 will be screened for symptoms before being allowed to visit.
Visitors should refrain from visiting if they have had any of the following symptoms in the past seven days: headaches, nausea, fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills, diarrhea, or vomiting. All visitors are required to wash their hands with soap or sanitizing gel when going into a patient’s room. In some cases, individuals will be required to wear masks if coming to the medical center for medical care.
“If you are ill or not feeling well, please stay home. Don’t go to school, work, or public places if you are sick,” Kelling emphasizes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend influenza vaccination for people who have not yet been vaccinated this season. It is not too late, especially for children. Grinnell Regional Public Health is still offering flu vaccines. For an appointment, please call 641-236-2385.
Remember the 3Cs: Cover your coughs and sneezes; Clean your hands frequently; and Contain germs by staying home when ill.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014- $15k Gifts

Area Businesses and Individuals Pledge $15,000 to
Support GRMC Campaign

      Grinnell businesses ASI Signage Innovations, Family Dentistry, and Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association have each made gifts of $15,000 to the Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign for Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Additional gifts of $15,000 have also been received from Ron and Sally Lang of Grinnell and an anonymous donor.
      “We are grateful for individuals and business partners for their ongoing support of GRMC,” says Debby Pohlson, co-chair of the GRMC Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign. “It takes all of us working together to affect change. We appreciate their investment in the overall health of our entire area.”
      According to the Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are a strong force in any local economy, having as much as a $4.1 billion impact on the state’s economy overall. In Poweshiek County, it is estimated that GRMC and its 440 employees have a $32 million impact on the local economy.
      “There’s no question that the hospital is an anchor of the community,” says Tom Latimer, president and CEO of ASI Signage Innovations. “It plays a very large role in economic development.”
      Tom and Dianne Latimer, owners of ASI Signage Innovations have been ardent supporters of GRMC for many years. Tom has served as a co-chair of a previous capital campaign, Building on Excellence.  Dianne served as chair of the GRMC Board of Directors in 1999 and also on the GRMC Foundation Board.
      “Grinnell has created a great medical community,” says Dianne Latimer. “Our family, our employees, and our friends have all relied on GRMC through the years. It needs our financial support to continue to remain strong.”
      ASI Signage Innovations employs 100 individuals in Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa City, Denver, Omaha, and here at their headquarters in Grinnell. The company manufactures a wide range of signs and graphics for institutions of higher education, healthcare facilities, and financial institutions.
      Ron and Sally Lang of Grinnell have been active supporters of GRMC for many years. Ron is a farmer and entrepreneur and Sally is a retired marketing executive with Deere and Company. Sally is currently the chair of the GRMC Foundation and serves as a special events volunteer.
      “We know that a strong medical center is vital to our local economy,” says Sally Lang. “We support GRMC because it’s good for our community and because our own family has received extraordinary care when we’ve needed it. The hospital is important to us in so many ways.”
      Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association has been in business and serving Grinnell and the surrounding area for almost 140 years.
      “Providing excellent service to our policyholder members is our primary focus, just like Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s primary focus is providing excellent health care to the residents of Grinnell and the surrounding area,” says Mary S. Stepanek, president, Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association.
      Grinnell Regional Medical Center serves portions of several east central Iowa counties and their communities. Approximately 19,000 households in the area rely on GRMC for their medical care.
      “Insurance is a partnership between the company and the policyholder and we realize the value and importance of that partnership, not only in our business, but in all walks of life,” Stepanek says. “Our support, through a financial donation to the GMRC Moving at the Speed of Life campaign is one more way that we can partner with the community and people we serve.”
      Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association and ASI Signage Innovations designated their $15,000 donations toward the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite.
      “What’s good for our hospital is good for Grinnell,” says David Smith, DDS of Family Dentistry.
      Family Dentistry, with associated clinics in Montezuma, Sully, and Victor has provided dental care and been a member of the Grinnell community for more than 50 years.  “As a part of the healthcare team for our community and the surrounding area, my partners David Cunningham, DDS, Chris Roudabush, DDS, Matthew Miller, DDS, and Jeff Millet, DDS join me in supporting the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign for GRMC,” Smith says.
      “The financial support we have received keeps the campaign moving forward,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development. “As funds have been donated, we have used them to begin and finish a number of projects. It has been exciting for donors to see their generosity in action. We want to turn our attention now to the renovation of the emergency department and to building our endowment for Grinnell Regional Mental Health. GRMC is very grateful for the support of area businesses, industry, organizations, and individuals who are investing in this effort to improve the medical center for our entire area.”
      Lamphier also reports that the $150,000 dollar-for-dollar challenge grant from Grinnell State Bank for all new gifts to the campaign is going very well and will continue until all $150,000 is matched. This is in addition to a specific challenge from an anonymous donor to match all new gifts to refurbish the exterior of Postels Community Health Park. This challenge will match all gifts to the Postels exterior fund up to $25,000.
      For more information about making a gift to the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, please contact Lamphier at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.
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Kintzinger Family Gifts $50,000 to GRMC

Grinnell Regional Medical Center reports it received a gift of $50,000 toward its Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign from the Kintzinger family in memory and in honor of their friend, Marion A. Jones.
Jewel Kintzinger Day, Doug Kintzinger, Stuart Kintzinger, Rachel Kintzinger Harpham, and Wendy Kintzinger Lentz and their families, made the gift to GRMC as tribute to Jones as a close family friend and as a community leader.
Quote from Jewel?
 In December, GRMC dedicated the first floor south patient wing as the Marion A. Jones Patient Care Wing. As the first female president of the hospital’s board of directors, Jones ably led the organization through several difficult challenges during her term.  Under her leadership, hospital administrators, medical staff, and the community moved toward increasing the hospital’s outpatient care services.
“I followed in Marion’s footsteps as I also served as the chair of GRMC’s Board of Directors,” says Debby Pohlson, co-chair of GRMC’s Moving at the Speed of Life campaign. “I know how challenging that role is. But, as much as anything else, this gift is certainly a celebration of a strong friendship between two extraordinary women, Marion and Jewel. The work they did together is a wonderful legacy for the entire area.”
In addition to her eight years of service to the Grinnell General Hospital board of directors, Jones and Kintzinger Day were active members of the auxiliary and fund-raisers for the hospital. They are well-known for their work over the years organizing hospital charity balls and transforming the gift shop into a successful venture.
(Quote from Addison? Austin?)
 “This gift from Jewel and the entire Kintzinger family is greatly appreciated,” says Todd Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “This family has always been vital supporters, volunteers, and promoters of the hospital and the entire region. We are very grateful for all they have done.”
Gifts to the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign are making possible:
§  Extensive renovations to the emergency department to modernize it.
§  The creation of an urgent care 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.
§  The replacement of equipment for obstetrics and radiology departments, patient rooms, and nutrition services.
For more information about making a gift to the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign and to participate in the challenge, please contact Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.

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GRMC Welcomes Four to the Board of Directors

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s board of directors added four new trustees in October. The new directors are Jodi Cahalan, PhD, West Des Moines; Sarah Smith, Grinnell; Dave Stoakes, EdD, Grinnell; and Brian Watson, Montezuma.
“The diverse work backgrounds and connections to GRMC expand the perspectives and strength of the board as we make decisions to sustain and grow GRMC,” says Bill Menner, GRMC Board president. “I’m looking forward to working with these individuals who are committed to the future of our local hospital.”
Jodi Cahalan, PhD, currently serves as the Dean of the College of Health Sciences at Des Moines University. She began her role in 2006, overseeing the doctorate degree programs for physical therapy and the Master’s Degree programs for physician assistants, public health, and healthcare administration.
Cahalan received her Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant from Des Moines University where she subsequently also earned a Master of Science in Health Care Administration and a Master of Public Health.  She was awarded a PhD in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
Cahalan was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in 2012. She is currently serving as President of the Alpha Eta National Honor Society. Cahalan is a member of the Health Cabinet for United Way of Central Iowa and is an Honorary Board Member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Iowa.
She was recruited to the board because of her training as a mid-level provider and her role as a dean at the Des Moines University.
“I have experience as a PA in the clinic; and, as dean at the college, I understand the education and healthcare administration side of the industry,” Cahalan says. “I met with Bill Menner and feel strongly about what he is doing on the board. All the board members are very passionate about quality care at GRMC. Their dedication to GRMC and improvement comes through clearly. I want to be a part of this organization.”
Cahalan and her husband, Don, have two children. They reside in Des Moines.
Sarah Smith joins the GRMC board continuing the family legacy of hospital supporters and board members. Smith is the daughter of past GRMC board president Debbie Pohlson, and granddaughter of Don Howig, also a past hospital board member and president.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in psycho biology. This blended degree of biology and psychology looks at the mind’s influence on health. Prior to moving to Grinnell she worked at Lincoln Financial Group for five years. She was a full time mom for three years when her children were young.
Smith has served as the executive director for Imagine Grinnell for three years. In this role, she supports the Imagine Grinnell board and keeps ideas moving forward to improve quality of life issues in Grinnell. This role has prepared Smith for her duties on the GRMC board.
She believes serving on the GRMC board is a huge honor.
“I watched my mother on the board and remember my grandfather serving on this board. They taught me the importantimportance and honor of serving on the board,” Smith says. “It requires creative thinking and problem solving. I want to help sustain this medical center so that it’s here for my grandchildren someday.”
Smith and her family have demonstrated their support of the hospital as patients as well as through service, from birth to end of life. Smith delivered one of her children at GRMC. She remembers the experience as being very comfortable and the staff were very loving. She has been admitted for pneumonia as a child and influenza as an adult. She was with her grandmother during an emergency department visit and felt Dr. Knobloch and the staff were doing the best possible for her grandmother. The family recently experienced the hospice care team with her grandfather. She is so appreciative of the care by hospice.
In addition to the GRMC board, Smith has served on the Grinnell Newburg Education Excellence board and the Dollars for Scholars board for the past six years. She’s also well known in Grinnell as a youth swimming co-coach and as the Grinnell high school swim team coach.
She and her husband, Dustin, have two children. She loves the outdoors whether it’s biking, walking, or just being outside. Her other favorite pass time is being a mom and watching her children experience the world.
David Stoakes, EdD, joins the board as a way to give back to the community. He spent 13 years in Grinnell as a principal and superintendent for the Grinnell Newburg School District from 1993 to 2006. He left to become the superintendent from the Cedar Falls school district for six years. He also serves as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Northern Iowa as the supervisor of the internship program for aspiring superintendents.  For the past three years, he has been semi-retired and works as an education consultant assisting Iowa school districts with issues such as restructuring elementary attendance center boundaries, enrollment projections, and facilities planning.
When he was working fulltime, he didn’t feel it was possible to serve on local boards but now he believes it’s the time in his life to get involved.
Stoakes earned his bachelor’s degree from Central College and a masters and doctorate degree in education from the University of Northern Iowa. In total he has served 22 years as a principal and 9 years as a superintendent.
“The people on the hospital board, administration and staff are highly committed to the medical center. They strive for excellence in all phases,” Stoakes says. “I personally want to be a team member and be positive and productive while supporting the mission. Healthcare faces tremendous changes and more are ahead. I want to have a positive impact on GRMC and its future.”
Stoakes and his wife Jackie live in Grinnell. They have two adult children and now in retirement can enjoy time with their three grandsons.
Montezuma resident Brian Watson also joins the GRMC board of directors. He steps into the trustee position with a goal to help the hospital as it faces many challenges. Watson currently serves as the chief financial officer for Oldcastle Materials, a large supplier of aggregates and paving materials, based in Atlanta, Ga.
Watson works out of offices in Des Moines and Austin, Tex. He recently closed an office in Overland Park, Kan., and moved back to rural Montezuma to the farm where he grew up. His parents are Raymond and Mary Jo Watson. He travels often for his work but loves coming back to the farm. He and his wife Dawn have two adult daughters, a son at Iowa State University, and a son in the Montezuma School district.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central College and began his working career at Vermeer. After 9 years in Pella, he switched industries to aggregates and asphalts at Oldcastle Materials for the past 12 years.
When approached about serving on the board, he initially felt he was too busy, but realized he could contribute to the board.
“I had skills that could be used at the hospital. We all feel like we’re too busy but having just moved back to Montezuma, I wanted to become plugged into the community again,” Watson says. “So after serious consideration, I felt this could be beneficial to me and the board. I can bring in experience and get involved in local programs that have a big impact on the community.”
Watson’s commitment to GRMC may also stem from the fact he was born at GRMC. As a typical kid, he spent a little time in the emergency department with a broken foot and a few other mishaps of childhood.
Like the other new board members, Watson attended GRMC’s Board Advance day-long strategic planning session in October. He says, “This is a whole new industry and a challenging environment with governmental and industry regulations. It’s going to be interesting, in a good way.”
The GRMC Board of Trustees includes officers: president – 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, Listra Company; treasurer – Dan Agnew, Grinnell, retired president of Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company; and secretary – Rachelle Johnson, JD, West Liberty, University of Iowa. 
Other members of the board are Karla Erickson, Brooklyn; and Laura Ferguson, MD; Wendy Kadner; Nicholas Kuiper, DO, and Al Maly, all of Grinnell. Ex officio members of the board include Todd Linden, GRMC President and CEO; Ron Collins, MD, medical staff president; Sally Lang, GRMC Foundation Board chair; and Rusty Jones.

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, December 10, 2014

Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Open for Enrollment

Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace began Nov. 15, 2014, and runs through Feb. 15, 2015. Consumers should visit HealthCare.gov to review and compare health plan options and find out if they are eligible for financial assistance. Some consumers may qualify for help with monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs for services. All consumers shopping for health insurance coverage for 2015— even those who currently have coverage through the Marketplace — should enroll or re-enroll between November 15 and December 15 in order to have coverage effective on Jan. 1, 2015.
To assist consumers, Grinnell Regional Medical Center has a certified application counselor available to anyone wanting assistance during the enrollment time. Amanda Bergmann, Certified Application Counselor (CAC), Grinnell Regional Public Health, is available for questions. To schedule an appointment with Bergmann about insurance, call 641-236-2567. GRMC does not sell insurance. The application counselor assists individuals as they review and complete the application online. Independent insurance agencies may sell insurance options available on the Marketplace in Iowa.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working to improve the consumer experience by making the shopping experience easier. Last year, a consumer had to answer nine questions before being able to view their plan options. This year, consumers can start looking at plans after entering just their zip code. Consumers can answer a few simple questions relevant to them to get an estimate on how much financial assistance they may qualify for when shopping for coverage. The window shopping tool can be accessed through a smart phone or tablet. Consumers can also review their options at a more convenient time by emailing or sharing a link to a plan’s information. Premium estimates are more accurate this year due to more robust data in HealthCare.gov, such as rates adjusted for tobacco use, which are being included in the estimates provided by the tool.
For more information, individuals may contact the federally-facilitated Marketplace Call Center at 800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Translation services are available. The call is free.  
To preview plans in your area, visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Hospital Wing Dedication Planned

A family legacy will be honored as Grinnell Regional Medical Center hosts a dedication for the Marion A. Jones Patient Care Wing on Thursday, Dec. 18. The public is invited to the celebration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in GRMC’s Tomasek Conference Center.
            The first floor, south wing in the medical surgical unit at GRMC will become the Marion A. Jones Patient Care Wing. The naming dedication honors Marion Jones posthumously for her life-long support of GRMC.
“All of us at GRMC are grateful for the many wonderful acts of generosity by the Jones family,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “It is also an understatement when I say how thrilled we all are to be naming one of our first floor patient wings after Marion, who has played such a vital role in the medical center’s history.”
As the first female chair of the hospital’s board of directors, Jones led the organization through many tough decisions. She helped hospital administrators move toward increasing the hospital’s outpatient care services.
“There is no question that Marion had a profound and lasting effect on GRMC,” Linden adds. “She served as board chair through a very difficult period. Her excellent leadership during this time with the board, the medical staff, and the community as a whole was pivotal to keeping the hospital open.”
In addition to her eight years of service to the Grinnell General Hospital board of directors, she was a tireless member of the auxiliary and an active fund-raiser for the hospital. She and Jewel Kintzinger Day organized several successful hospital charity balls and together they turned the gift shop into a profitable money maker for the auxiliary.
For four generations, Grinnell State Bank and the Jones family have been dedicated community leaders and supporters of Grinnell Regional Medical Center. The legacy began with F.A. Jones’s service on the Grinnell Community Hospital board as it merged with St. Francis Hospital. Marion A. Jones served on GRMC’s board in the 1980s. F. Austin Jones recently completed a term on the GRMC foundation board. Fitzpatrick A. “Rusty” Jones currently serves on the GRMC’s board of directors.
The first floor, south wing primarily houses surgical patients. Because the wing is an active patient care wing, the dedication and celebration will be in the Tomasek Conference Center. Directly above the Marion A. Jones wing on the second floor is the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center, named in honor of the Kintzinger family and its support of GRMC. The second floor, east wing is named in memory of Lucille “Sid” Potts.
For more information about supporting GRMC philanthropically, please contact Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.

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Area Business and Individuals Pledge $15,000 to Support GRMC Campaign

Grinnell businesses ASI Signage Innovations, Family Dentistry, and Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association have each made gifts of $15,000 to the Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign for Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Additional gifts of $15,000 have also been received from Ron and Sally Lang of Grinnell and an anonymous donor.
“We are grateful for individuals and business partners for their ongoing support of GRMC,” says Debby Pohlson, co-chair of the GRMC Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign. “It takes all of us working together to affect change. We appreciate their investment in the overall health of our entire area.”
According to the Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are a strong force in any local economy, having as much as a $4.1 billion impact on the state’s economy overall. In Poweshiek County, it is estimated that GRMC and its 440 employees have a $32 million impact on the local economy.
“There’s no question that the hospital is an anchor of the community,” says Tom Latimer, president and CEO of ASI Signage Innovations. “It plays a very large role in economic development.”
Tom and Dianne Latimer, owners of ASI Signage Innovations have been ardent supporters of GRMC for many years. Tom has served as a co-chair of a previous capital campaign, Building on Excellence.  Dianne served as chair of the GRMC Board of Directors in 1999 and also on the GRMC Foundation Board.
“Grinnell has created a great medical community,” says Dianne Latimer. “Our family, our employees, and our friends have all relied on GRMC through the years. It needs our financial support to continue to remain strong.”
ASI Signage Innovations employs 100 individuals in Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa City, Denver, Omaha, and here at their headquarters in Grinnell. The company manufactures a wide range of signs and graphics for institutions of higher education, healthcare facilities, and financial institutions.
Ron and Sally Lang of Grinnell have been active supporters of GRMC for many years. Ron is a farmer and entrepreneur and Sally is a retired marketing executive with Deere and Company. Sally is currently the chair of the GRMC Foundation and serves as a special events volunteer.
“We know that a strong medical center is vital to our local economy,” says Sally Lang. “We support GRMC because it’s good for our community and because our own family has received extraordinary care when we’ve needed it. The hospital is important to us in so many ways.”
Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association has been in business and serving Grinnell and the surrounding area for almost 140 years.
“Providing excellent service to our policyholder members is our primary focus, just like Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s primary focus is providing excellent health care to the residents of Grinnell and the surrounding area,” says Mary S. Stepanek, president, Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association.
Grinnell Regional Medical Center serves portions of several east central Iowa counties and their communities. Approximately 19,000 households in the area rely on GRMC for their medical care.
“Insurance is a partnership between the company and the policyholder and we realize the value and importance of that partnership, not only in our business, but in all walks of life,” Stepanek says. “Our support, through a financial donation to the GMRC Moving at the Speed of Life campaign is one more way that we can partner with the community and people we serve.”
Poweshiek Mutual Insurance Association and ASI Signage Innovations designated their $15,000 donations toward the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite.
“What’s good for our hospital is good for Grinnell,” says David Smith, DDS of Family Dentistry.
Family Dentistry, with associated clinics in Montezuma, Sully, and Victor has provided dental care and been a member of the Grinnell community for more than 50 years.  “As a part of the healthcare team for our community and the surrounding area, my partners David Cunningham, DDS, Chris Roudabush, DDS, Matthew Miller, DDS, and Jeff Millet, DDS join me in supporting the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign for GRMC,” Smith says.
“The financial support we have received keeps the campaign moving forward,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development. “As funds have been donated, we have used them to begin and finish a number of projects. It has been exciting for donors to see their generosity in action. We want to turn our attention now to the renovation of the emergency department and to building our endowment for Grinnell Regional Mental Health. GRMC is very grateful for the support of area businesses, industry, organizations, and individuals who are investing in this effort to improve the medical center for our entire area.”
Lamphier also reports that the $150,000 dollar-for-dollar challenge grant from Grinnell State Bank for all new gifts to the campaign is going very well and will continue until all $150,000 is matched. This is in addition to a specific challenge from an anonymous donor to match all new gifts to refurbish the exterior of Postels Community Health Park. This challenge will match all gifts to the Postels exterior fund up to $25,000.
For more information about making a gift to the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, please contact Lamphier at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

GRMC and Knoxville Knock it Out of the Park

Grinnell Regional Medical Center and Knoxville Hospital and Clinics have entered a new agreement to share leadership for radiology services. Matthew M. Byrd, CNMT, RT (N)(CT), has joined the staff at both hospitals as the director of radiology/diagnostic imaging. GRMC employs Byrd and then contracts his services to the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics.
Byrd joined the Iowa hospitals after serving 12 years as the director of imaging at National Diagnostic Services, based in Novi, Mich. He also worked at Universal Imaging in Auburn Hills, Mich.; and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Prior to following his medical career, Byrd enjoyed playing America’s favorite pastime, baseball. He played minor league baseball for the Danville Braves (Virginia), Durham Bulls (North Carolina), and the Greenville Braves (South Carolina) from 1993 to 1998.
Byrd earned his bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences at Oakland University, Rochester Hills, Mich., and his radiology certification from William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich. Byrd has been married 17 years with four children, ages 2, 7, 10, and 12.
He explains how he arrived in central Iowa, “I’ve been in the mobile medical imaging environment for 12 years and I was looking to shift into a hospital setting. My wife and I wanted a family-focused community with a small-town feeling. Central Iowa was very attractive. I feel I can bring experience to both Grinnell and Knoxville.”
The shared director position saves GRMC and Knoxville money while still meeting the oversight and supervisory needs at each hospital.
“This sharing agreement is a first for GRMC but it is a good business decision for both hospitals,” says David Ness, vice president. “We have a solid radiology team at GRMC and we wanted someone who has experience in oversight and who can help guide us in the future with changes in diagnostic imaging. Sharing costs to be more efficient benefits both of our hospitals.” 
Christine Buttell, FACHE, chief operating officer at Knoxville Hospital and Clinics, adds, “We are looking forward to this collaboration with Matt and GRMC. Due to the workload and needs of each hospital, this opportunity to share resources makes sense financially. He can bring in the leadership skills to support the staff at Knoxville.”
For more information on radiology service at Grinnell Regional Medical Center, call 641-236-2355 or go towww.grmc.us.
For more information on radiology services at Knoxville Hospital and Clinics, call 641- 842-1466 or go to knoxvillehospital.org.



GRMC Turns Attention to Renovating Emergency Department

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is seeking funds to update and upgrade its emergency department. More than 10,000 patient visits happen annually in this certified Level III/Area trauma center. Significant improvements are needed and planned for GRMC’s emergency services to continue to meet the needs of area residents and all who come to the emergency department for medical care.
A hospital’s emergency department is the front line for the community in times of crisis - from hazardous material spills, trauma, and life's everyday accidents.
            “For a medical center of our size, we see a higher than usual number of patients who have serious and involved medical needs in our ER,” says John Bambara, MD, GRMC emergency department medical director. “We’re close to the interstate and we are the only Level III trauma center within 35 miles. To get a higher level of trauma care, you have to go to Des Moines or Iowa City. Minutes matter in these situations.”
The proposed renovation to upgrade the emergency department will improve flow, efficiency, and privacy for patients. Plans include a new entrance and nursing station will be created. Upgrades in the emergency department will include monitors, beds, lighting, HVAC/automated controls, safety features, and upgrades in the cable.
Plans for the new emergency department design also include:
•           Two new trauma bays with sliding partition walls and doors to increase patient privacy. Current trauma bays only have curtains to provide any level of privacy. The sliding walls will allow the trauma bays to open and expand if more space is needed for a particular patient. New trauma bays will increase treatment capacity and flexibility by providing more room for medical staff and equipment.

•           A total of five exam rooms and a triage room, in addition to the two trauma bays. Currently, the GRMC emergency department has two exam rooms, a triage room, and two trauma bays. Two of the new exam rooms will be designated for gynecological care and ENT (ear/nose/throat) treatments, but would be suitable for most any emergency situation. Three general exam rooms are included in the design along with a triage room for basic and preliminary exams.
•           Creating a centrally located nurses’ station for greater access and monitoring capability along with a new call system.  
•           Creating a new decontamination suite to treat patients who have been exposed to hazardous materials. Plans are to locate this outside and adjacent to the emergency department within a new ambulance bay. Currently, GRMC has temporary shower stalls to use in the decontamination process.  This is not an ideal approach, especially during the winter. The proposed decontamination suite will be 270 square feet featuring two rooms with a shower and accessible directly from the ambulance bay. Treating patients outside of the hospital facility in a suite that has its own ventilation and drainage systems greatly reduces the risk of further exposure to others. Patients would be treated immediately in the decontamination suite and then brought into the emergency department when it is safe to do so. This new suite would be able to handle several patients at once. It will create greater patient comfort and a much more efficient manner of treating patients exposed to hazardous materials.
With an estimated 19,000 households relying on the GRMC emergency department, there must be a fully-functioning emergency department during the construction and renovation process. Included in the estimated $2.3 million needed for this project is the cost to create a temporary emergency department during this time.
GRMC leadership evaluated the possibility of continuing to operate emergency services in the existing area during construction and renovation. It was determined that temporarily moving the emergency department during this time would be the better approach and could help keep construction progress moving forward more smoothly. One of our second floor medical/surgical patient wings was decommissioned a few years ago and currently houses our pain clinic, rheumatology clinic,  and sleep lab. It is within steps of the radiology department, surgery, obstetrics, and the existing emergency department. GRMC will continue to use the existing ER ramp and has plans in place for redirecting patients to this temporary area when needed.

This emergency department project is part of a $7,500,000, three-year comprehensive campaign that the medical center is currently conducting. Volunteers and staff have just completed one year of this fund-raising effort. They have raised a total of $845,000 for the emergency department renovation and need to raise another $665,500 for this project.

For more information about making a gift to the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, please contact Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.
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Donor Issues Challenge for Postels Building

An anonymous donor is challenging community supporters to help renovate the exterior of the building that houses all of Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s wellness programs. Every donation designated for the exterior renovation project at Postels Community Health Park will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000.
Located on the corner of Broad Street and Commercial Avenue, the health park is a popular destination on the south side of the downtown business district. The facility was donated to GRMC by Joanie Heimsoth and Dick Postels and opened for patient care in 2001.
“The exterior of the building needs to be replaced,” says Dan Agnew, co-chair of GRMC’s Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign. “The Postels building is a long-standing landmark in downtown Grinnell and GRMC has done a tremendous job in renovating the entire building for the benefit of the community.”
Plans are to remove and replace the external stucco from the fa├žade of the building, add windows on the Commercial Street side, and replace awnings. GRMC has made many structural and aesthetic improvements to the facility over the years. Most recently, the roof has been replaced, a new heating and cooling system has been installed, and the space previously used by The Galaxy Youth Center has been completely transformed into the new home of the Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center.
“The outside of the building needs to match the quality of the interior design and the services offered within,” Agnew says. “This helps us tremendously and we hope that many donors will meet this challenge.”
For more information about making a gift to this challenge for the Postels Community Health Park or the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, please contact Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Imagine Grinnell Supports GRMC with New Lighting

Imagine Grinnell, a community improvement foundation, has made a grant to Grinnell Regional Medical Center to upgrade GRMC’s lighting to be more energy-efficient. New LED light fixtures in the main first floor east-west hallway in the hospital and in the glass tower of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building were paid for through this $5,000 grant.
“We are truly grateful for this grant from Imagine Grinnell,” says Mark Doll, director of facilities management at GRMC. “Over the years, we have made energy efficiency a priority through many projects. Any cost savings we can achieve overall helps GRMC keep our healthcare costs low.”
It’s a very public showcase of the latest in energy efficient commercial lighting. Imagine Grinnell board members want business owners and members of the public to see the quality of the lighting used at GRMC as a way of encouraging the use of these fixtures in other locations.
“Imagine Grinnell is proud to be a community partner with Grinnell Regional Medical Center,” says Sarah Smith, Imagine Grinnell executive director. “We are pleased with this investment in helping GRMC reach greater energy efficiency while also making it a bit of a showcase for other businesses.”
 Since 1985 Imagine Grinnell has been a catalyst for change in Grinnell. Their mission is to improve the quality of life in Grinnell while complementing economic development efforts and promoting a healthy environment. Imagine Grinnell uses its non-profit status and the strength of the Grinnell community to harness donations, government and private grants, and volunteers for a wide variety of community projects.
For more information about Imagine Grinnell, contact Sarah Smith at 641-236-5518 or info@imaginegrinnell.org.  To learn more about making a gift to the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, please contact Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

GRMC Auxiliary Decks the Halls with Annual Wreath Raffle

The halls will be decked Monday, November 24 by members of the GRMC Auxiliary. More than 40 wreaths decorated by area businesses and volunteers in a wide variety of themes–traditional, whimsical, and contemporary – will be raffled off in the annual wreath raffle. Ticket sales begin Monday, November 24, at The Glass Gift Box at GRMC. Wreaths will be displayed in the hospital hallways by The Glass Gift Box, laboratory waiting, and physical therapy. The drawing for wreaths will be Thursday. December 11, at 1 p.m.
“This is such a fun event,” says Jennifer Collins, committee chair. “It’s wonderful to see all the creative wreath designs that decorate the halls at GRMC. The Auxiliary is thrilled with the support for this great holiday tradition.”
Proceeds for this fundraiser will go toward the GRMC Auxiliary’s $150,000 pledge to the hospital’s Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign, with $100,000 committed to the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite. The auxiliary’s lead gift for this new area was the catalyst for GRMC to move forward and complete this project.
Additionally, the GRMC Auxiliary supports various medical center and health education programs, including $5,000 in scholarships, books and gifts to newborns at the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center, and health education.
Raffle tickets may be purchased at The Glass Gift Box, the Auxiliary’s gift shop inside the medical center, for $1 each or 6 for $5, beginning Monday, Nov. 25. While at The Glass Gift Box, shoppers can also purchase angels for the hospital angel tree in honor or memory of a loved one.
For more information on any of these events or to support the GRMC Auxiliary, call the GRMC volunteer coordinator at 236-2588. 


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Signage at Ahrens Park

Ahrens Park added four large directional maps and eight distance markers to its walking path this fall. The purpose for the signage was to enhance the walking and exercising path and encourage physical activity by park users. Funding for the signage came from the Poweshiek County Transformation Grant (CTG), which was administered through Grinnell Regional Public Health (GRPH).
“The Ahrens Park Foundation seeks ways to improve accessibility and value for all individuals who use our park,” says Julie Gosselink, Ahrens Park Foundation board member. “So when the community transformation grant offered to fund signage, we agreed it was a great fit. The signs help individuals see the entire path and measure the distance they are traveling. This fit well with the goals of the CTG to encourage individuals to exercise more.”
Maps are located at the north end by the soccer fields, near the entrance to the softball and baseball complex and at the south end by the sledding slope. Markers are placed throughout the entire park along the walking path.
The Poweshiek County Transformation Grant funded the promotion of system level and community design changes, worksite wellness, community complete-street initiatives, community-based food environment projects, and smoke-free multi-unit housing initiatives to improve the health of residents in the county. It was administered locally through GRMC, and ended in the fall of 2014.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monsanto Plants the Seeds to Harvest a Cure

More than 140 Monsanto employees and business associates teamed up during harvest to show support in the fight against breast cancer. They raised more than $3,400 through the sale of pink t-shirts that read: “Plant the Seed, Harvest the Cure.”
Monsanto employees are shown here at the end of October presenting the check to Grinnell Regional Medical Center representatives Kyle Wilcox, assistant vice-president of finance, and Matt Byrd, radiology director.
“In a company that is predominantly male, we were delighted at how many people purchased and wore the shirts. Many shirts were bought in memory or in honor of a loved one who has or had breast cancer,” says Teresa Gifford, RN, Monsanto Occupational Health Nurse. “Our employees rallied behind this cause. We sold the shirts to employees in our other Monsanto plants, too. It’s a great way to get our employees supporting breast cancer awareness.”  
John Hillier, Seed Technician, promoted breast cancer awareness to Monsanto’s contracted harvest truckers.
The t-shirt design was created by Gifford and Darcy Hall, Monsanto Seed Technician, shown center giving the donation to Wilcox. 
Gifford and Al Henderson, production site manager at the Grinnell Monsanto plant, have also submitted a request to the Monsanto Fund Matching Gifts Program, which will double the amount of the donation.
The funds raised will be used at GRMC to educate women in the GRMC service area about the need for annual mammograms. An estimated 5,000 women aged 40 and up in the greater Poweshiek County area have not had a screening mammogram in the past two years. According to County Health Rankings, only 64 percent of eligible women in Poweshiek County have had an annual mammogram; this is below the state average of 67 percent and the national average of 72 percent. Current statistics show one in eight women will have breast cancer.
“This gift will have a lot of impact by raising awareness about the importance of mammography screening,” Byrd says. “The key to successfully treating breast cancer is early detection and treatment.”

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is Recognizing and Celebrating Home Health and Hospice Month

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is recognizing November as Home Health and Hospice Month. The goal of both Grinnell Regional Home Care and Hospice is to provide care and support to patients and their families so that they can live life as fully as possible during times of recovery or despite serious and life limiting illness. During the month of November, Grinnell Regional Home Health and Hospice is reaching out to thank its partners and the community for their roles in supporting and making services possible.
The motto of Grinnell Regional Home Care reads “Home is where the heart is.” Grinnell Regional Home Care provides in-home care for people who need assistance while recovering at home. Grinnell Regional’s staff understand the importance of recovering from an illness, injury, or debilitating condition in the comforts of home. It’s easier than ever with the wide range of services, technology, and most importantly, the caring professional staff of Grinnell Regional Home Care.  
Grinnell Regional Hospice provides caring compassionate support to individuals and families experiencing terminal illness. The philosophy of hospice is that death is a normal and natural part of living. It seeks to reduce suffering and to increase the ability of individuals and their families to live life fully as they approach the end of life. Grinnell Regional Hospice is a non-profit, Medicare certified program of Grinnell Regional Medical Center.
Thank you to the community for your support of our programs. For more information regarding home health services please call 641-236-2542. For more information regarding hospice please call 641-236-2418.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Grinnell Regional Hospice Recognized as a We Honor Veterans Partner

It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the United States are veterans. To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, Grinnell Regional Hospice has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As a We Honor Veterans Partner, Grinnell Regional Hospice will implement ongoing veteran-centered education for their staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to the veterans they proudly serve.  The nation is seeing many of the veterans who served in World War II and Korean pass away—and the number of deaths of Vietnam Veterans is beginning to rise.
The We Honor Veterans campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for veterans. “Partners” can assess their ability to serve veterans and, using resources provided as part of the campaign, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans into their organization. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, Grinnell Regional Hospice is better able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending. And in cases where there might be some specific needs related to the veteran’s  military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, Grinnell Regional Hospice will find tools to help support those they are caring for.
“All hospices are serving veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.”
“VA shares a common goal with our nation’s hospices, and that is to provide the best possible care specifically tailored for veterans, meeting their goals of care in their preferred setting.  As we focus on working together and unite our services and skills, We Honor Veterans will channel our combined strengths directly to veterans - wherever they are receiving care,” Schumacher says.

The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with veteran-centric education of healthcare staff caring for veterans. To learn more about We Honor Veterans, call Grinnell Regional Hospice at 641-236-2418.  

Countrywide Response Preparations for Ebola Continue

Response preparations for a West African Ebola case are underway in Poweshiek County, even though no cases of Ebola have been reported to date in Poweshiek County or the rest of Iowa.
Grinnell Regional Public Health continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC), Grinnell College and local and county first-response teams.
The teams that would respond to a potential case of Ebola report that they are trained and have measures in place to respond safely if the need should arise.  
The Ebola outbreak is widely affecting the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel warning and is discouraging travel to these countries. Reliable information about Ebola and public efforts to control can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.
Many of the initial symptoms of Ebola resemble the flu, which is common this time of year. Health officials recommend that individuals who have not received a flu vaccine obtain one at a local physician’s office, the public health department or local pharmacies.
“The key point to remember is that Ebola is a very serious illness, and we need to follow the same contact precautions as with many other contagious illnesses, such as influenza, malaria, H1N1 and HIV,” said Michelle Rebelsky, MD, GRMC’s medical staff epidemiologist. “Proper protection while caring for patients who may or may not have the virus is the first step.”
“As a rural Iowa community, our overall risk is low for an Ebola infection,” said Trisha Rooda, Poweshiek County emergency management coordinator. “However, with our location along Interstate 80 and the two colleges in the community, we know we need to be prepared.”

Protocols and Resources
Protocols and resources for helping individuals who may show symptoms and have risk factors were discussed during last week’s Ebola response planning meeting in Grinnell. Participants represented the Poweshiek County Board of Health, Emergency Preparedness Office and Sheriff’s Office, the Deep River Fire/First responders, the  Grinnell police and fire departments, Grinnell College, Grinnell Family Care, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell Regional Public Health, Mayflower Community, Midwest Ambulance Co., and Montezuma First Responders.
“Thankfully, our community has been discussing and planning for a while, so we ordered and have received protective gear,” said Grinnell Fire Chief Dan Sicard.
“First responders, like the medical clinic front office staff, face the risk of the unknown in every encounter,” he added. “We want to protect staff and avoid further spread of the virus. We really need people to be honest about their risks. This means telling the 911 dispatcher if you are a high risk. This information protects the EMTs and first responders as they assess the situation.”
“Grinnell College is working with local, state and national officials to monitor the situation and keep the campus safe,” said Deb Shill, RN, director of Student Health and Counseling Services. “We have no students abroad in the widely affected countries of Africa.  We don’t anticipate any cases of Ebola at Grinnell College, but we have screening processes and protocols in place to help manage a case if one should arise.”
 “We want individuals who have a potential Ebola exposure risk and symptoms to call their healthcare provider before they travel to a clinic or an emergency facility,” said Patty Hinrichs, GRPH manager.
“At that point,” she added, “if the individual says he or she has traveled and may have a high risk of contracting Ebola, that person will be instructed to stay home so as not to spread the virus. We will take the individual’s contact information and call the Iowa Department of Public Health, which will follow up and provide the person with instructions about where to receive evaluation and treatment.”
The healthcare protocol is to determine whether an individual has a fever and other symptoms such as severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal/stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. If so, then the healthcare provider will ask whether the individual has recently traveled to or been in contact with someone who has traveled to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone.

At the National and State Level
Screening of all travelers flying to the United States after visiting West Africa is being conducted at five major U.S. airports. These individuals are asked about things such as current symptoms and possible exposures to patients with Ebola while in West Africa. Anyone who has been in contact with a sick Ebola patient is to self-quarantine, and will be tracked for 21 days.
If needed, appropriate action is taken at that time; for example, travelers with symptoms consistent with Ebola are not being allowed to continue traveling until they are medically assessed. If they are well, they are given information about what to do once they arrive at their final destination, such as Iowa.
If, for example, that patient is traveling to Poweshiek County, local public health officials would be notified of the arrival of the traveler. The traveler would be re-interviewed to confirm health status and risk of exposure to Ebola. Appropriate action would then be taken in Iowa. This might result in the traveler staying at home and away from others for 21 days, or requiring the traveler to take temperature readings and report the results to public health officials for 21 days. 
This will lower the risk of Ebola spreading in Iowa, and help reassure the public that extraordinary action is being taken to protect Iowa residents.



Monday, November 3, 2014

Grant Funds Curbs Crosswalks, and Bike Racks in County

Sharing of grant results leads to improvements for Poweshiek County residents. The Poweshiek County Transformation Grant conducted Walking and Biking Suitability Assessments (WASBAs) in the county. It along with the Iowans Walking Assessment Logistics Kit (IWALK) implemented in 2013 by community volunteers and committee members of the Poweshiek County Transformation Grant found numerous opportunities throughout the county to improve healthy lifestyles through greater sidewalk and bike path accessibility. 
Results of the survey and assessment were are intended to be used “to create environments that encourage community residents to walk or bike safely”  . . . and “to improve health outcomes by providing additional opportunities to reach the recommended weekly 150 minutes of physical activity.” 
The results from WABSA were shared with Brooklyn, Grinnell, and Montezuma city managers for evaluation and implementation when city projects involve sidewalks. The CDC grant provided funding for bike racks and improve crosswalks and curb cuts for greater accessibility.
In Grinnell, the IWalk assessment with the WABSA results had an influence in last summer’s Fourth Ave. construction project in downtown Grinnell as well as painting crosswalks and adding bike racks in downtown Grinnell and worksites.   
Public Works Director Dave Popp reports, “The installation or upgrading of curb ramps that serve the city sidewalk system can be time consuming and expensive, but a necessity for citizens that use them. This grant money has aided Grinnell in the installation of curb ramps on corners that are heavily used by walkers.”
In total the CDC’s Community Transformation Grant funded 17 curb cuts in city sidewalks, paint for 23 crosswalks, and installation of 20 new bike racks in communities.
The county transformation grant, which ended Sept. 29, 2014, was administered by Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell Regional Public Health and the county’s Healthy Choices Coalition. The IWALK assessment kit was funded by the Iowa Department of Transportation and provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health “to promote improved access to exercise and wellness resources” and to reduce obesity.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

GRMC Adds Rheumatologist to Specialty Services

Rheumatologist Eman R. Boulis, MD, will open Central Iowa Rheumatology Clinic at Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Visiting Specialty Clinic, adding expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic illnesses such as arthritis and osteoporosis. The field of rheumatology involves diseases of the joints, muscles and bones, as well as disorders of the immune system.
Boulis [pronounced boo-lis], who is certified by the American Boards of Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, attended medical school in Cairo, Egypt, where she practiced until 1999. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine in Pennsylvania and a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Mississippi, Jackson, where she was an affiliated staff.
Most recently, Boulis practiced rheumatology at East Coast Rheumatology PLLC, in Plainview, NY, and served as a physician reviewer for Advanced Medical Reviews. She has published research on lupus and osteoporosis and has experience in the diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, carpal tunnel, and joint and muscle pain, among other conditions and treatments. 
“Rheumatology is a new specialty offering for GRMC, and we are pleased to be able to add Dr. Boulis’ expertise to our on-site services,” said CEO Todd Linden. “Rheumatologists are often considered medical detectives, working with other physicians to determine the source of unexplained symptoms and treatment for joint and muscle pain.” 

Boulis will see patients 16 years of age and older, beginning November 14. A physician’s referral is not required; however, insurance carriers may require a referral for payment. Her office will be located on the second floor, east wing of the medical center, 210 4th Avenue, Grinnell; phone number is 641-236-2338.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Youth Tobacco Awareness Group Launched

I-STEP (Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention) is a youth-led organization working to change the tobacco world in Iowa.  An I-STEP chapter has been started at the Grinnell middle schools and one is planned for the Grinnell high school.
To kick off the I-STEP program, coordinator Lisa Leris, GRMC Public Health nurse, held a rally for the middle school football team on Monday. Students made statements against tobacco in Grinnell Middle School fences. The plan is to coordinate other fun activities throughout the year.  Parents of 5th through 12 grade students may contact Lisa Leris at Grinnell Regional Public Health, 641-236-2385, to get their students involved.
 Tobacco is the leading cause of death in the United States. If current rates continue, 5.6 million Americans under 18 years old are alive today are projected to die prematurely from smoke-related diseases. 
The I-STEP mission is to change the general social attitude toward all tobacco use; raise awareness through education; counter-market the tobacco industry’s efforts; inspire and support cessation among the tobacco users; and progress into a new age of informed decisions.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

GHS Grad Joins Local Medical Clinic

Emily R. Wagner, PA-C, joined the Brooklyn Medical Clinic’s staff this summer. She joins Brian Heineman, DO, and Kenna Willey, PA-C, in the Brooklyn clinic.
Wagner graduated from Des Moines University in June with a physician assistant degree. She earned her bachelor of science degree from Simpson College. She received the certified nursing assistant from Iowa Valley Community College.
Wagner is a 2008 graduate of Grinnell Community High School. She also earned the GRMC Auxiliary scholarship for two years.
“I like Grinnell as a place to live so I began seeking a job in the area. I interviewed with Dr. Heineman and Kenna and really like the practice and people,” Wagner says. “I went to school with the Heineman children so I already had a comfort with the staff.”
Wagner attended Des Moines University with a Rural Health Scholarship so she knew she would practice in a rural setting. She added, “Brooklyn’s clinic felt like the right place to be.”
Wagner is the daughter of Lori and Brian Van Roekel and is married to Nick Wagner, another GHS alum.

To schedule with Wagner, contact the Brooklyn Medical Clinic at 641-522-7221.

Fran Davis Honored as IHA Shining Star

The Iowa Hospital Association Auxilian and Volunteer Board recently recognized Fran Davis of Grinnell with a Shining Star Award for outstanding volunteer service.           Davis logs nearly 20 hours of volunteer service each week for GRMC and serves as the GRMC Auxiliary treasurer. Retired after 43 years of employment at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, she volunteers in surgery waiting and helps to coordinate the Auxiliary-sponsored blood drive three times a year.
            Davis joins previous GRMC Auxiliary Shining Stars, Shirley Broders in 2011, Jennifer Cogley in 2012, and last year’s honoree, Shannon Reding.

Cutline:  Fran Davis is congratulated by Todd Linden, GRMC President and CEO, at the IHA Auxilians and Volunteers Luncheon held in Des Moines.

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Ramsey-Weeks and Lincoln Savings Bank Support GRMC Fundraising Campaign

Ramsey-Weeks, Inc., and Lincoln Savings Bank have each made gifts of $25,000 to Grinnell Regional Medical Center for the Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign.
“We are honored to have the support of these two great Grinnell businesses,” says Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development at GRMC. “Their gifts have already been put to use for projects underway at the medical center and we are grateful.”
There is a strong history between Ramsey-Weeks, Inc., and GRMC, dating back to the start of the business in 1923. The legacy of Anna Ramsey and her tireless support for accessible, quality healthcare in Grinnell is evident today.
“Ramsey-Weeks has always supported the hospital in Grinnell, even before the merger of St. Francis and Community Hospital,” says Paul Pohlson of Ramsey-Weeks. “It is an important investment for our customers. Our business thrives with GRMC here. We have invested our profits into the community in many ways, such as improvements to our hospital and recruiting outstanding medical professionals. ”
Generations of the Ramsey-Weeks, Inc., family have served and continue to serve in volunteer leadership roles at GRMC. Rick Ramsey and Debby Pohlson have both served on the GRMC board of directors. Ramsey was the chair of the board from 1984 to 1985 and Debby Pohlson served as board chair from 2005 to 2006. She is currently a co-chair of the GRMC Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign. Jim Ramsey, son of Rick and grandson of Anna, serves as a volunteer on the current comprehensive campaign. Sarah Smith, daughter of Paul and Debby Pohlson and wife of Ramsey-Weeks, Inc. employee, Dustin Smith, recently joined the GRMC board of directors.
“The economic impact of GRMC on our area is often under-realized,” says Jim Ramsey. “When businesses seek to relocate or expand, they consider housing, schools, and accessibility to healthcare as factors in making their decision. A strong healthcare sector is very important to our area economy.”
This gift from Ramsey-Weeks will be recognized with a named examination room in the new F.A. Jones Physical and Occupational Therapy Center.
While the relationship between GRMC and Lincoln Savings Bank hasn’t been as long as the history with Ramsey-Weeks, Lincoln Savings Bank is a very strong supporter of the medical center.
“As a community bank, we’re committed to serving and supporting those things that make for a healthy and vibrant place to live,” says Jim Thielen, Lincoln Savings Bank.
Over the years, Lincoln Savings Bank has supported annual fund drives, sponsored golf outings, fundraising events, and capital campaigns.
In recognition of this gift from Lincoln Savings Bank, the urgent care waiting area is named for Lincoln Savings Bank, LSB Foundation.
“One of our core values is to be a steward of the communities we serve,” Thielen says. “That’s the function of the LSB Foundation and it allows the bank and our associates to give back to the communities that have been so good to us.”
“We certainly appreciate the generous support of time and funds that Ramsey-Weeks, Inc., and Lincoln Savings Bank provide to GRMC,” Lamphier says. “In smaller communities like ours, we all work together for the greater good. These businesses are great examples of that cooperative spirit.”
Gifts to the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign to raise funds for:
§  Extensive renovations to the emergency department to modernize it.
§  The creation of an urgent care clinic.
§  The establishment of an endowment for mental health care services.
§  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.
§  Replace equipment for obstetrics and radiology departments, patient rooms, and nutrition services.
For more information about making a gift to the Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, please contact Lamphier at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GRMC Auxiliary Angel Tree

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary will again fill its tree in the medical center with angels for the upcoming holiday season. This project is a way to honor or remember loved ones through the purchase of an angel ornament for the tree. The GRMC Auxiliary will begin selling the ornaments on Monday, November 3, in The Glass Gift Box at GRMC. 
This year’s angel ornament features an angel inside a small clear globe that lights up. After Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, more angel ornaments are added to the tree as they are purchased. They remain on display in the admissions department of the hospital until December 18 when the ornaments may be picked up and taken home by the person who purchased the ornament or given to the honoree. The tree will remain on display until after December 25.
Funds raised will go toward the GRMC Auxiliary’s $150,000 pledge to the hospital’s Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign, with $100,000 committed to the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite.
To purchase an angel and support the work of the GRMC Auxiliary, stop by the GRMC Auxiliary’s gift shop, The Glass Gift Box. Ornaments will be sold from November 3 through December 17. Angels are $10. For more information, contact the GRMC volunteer coordinator at 641-236-2588.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guidelines on Ebola Protection

With the Ebola virus drawing concerns in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have distributed informational briefs for the public.
“Ebola is a serious virus that can spread if precautions are not taken but it is not as easy to catch as the national news coverage may suggest,” says Patty Hinrichs, Grinnell Regional Public Health director. “We want to educate the public on what to watch for and, most important, how to avoid contracting the virus.”
The CDC provides these guidelines.
Ebola is only transferred through contact with bodily fluids such as sweat, saliva, urine, feces, semen, vomit, or blood.  This means that an individual must actually come in contact with bodily fluids from an individual who is infected, their used linens or clothing, or a used needle syringe, for example. Ebola is not spread through the air, water, food, or casual contact.
 “Some viruses that are transferred through the air include seasonal flu, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella, mumps, measles, bacterial meningitis, among other heavy hitting illnesses.  We have developed vaccines against these illnesses because they are easily spread,” Hinrichs says.
At this time, there is no FDA-approved vaccine to address the Ebola virus. Therefore, prevention through hygiene is the best strategy to avoid the virus.
Avoid travel to countries where the Ebola virus is present.
If you have come in contact with an individual who has traveled to an area with the Ebola virus, follow these guidelines: 
Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
Infected people typically don't become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.
Medical personnel can be infected if they don’t use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves. Medical centers in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes.
Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.

Symptoms of Ebola include
Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
Severe headache
Muscle pain
Weakness
Diarrhea
Vomiting
Abdominal (stomach) pain
Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.
Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.
“Since these symptoms also are common for many other illnesses – viral and bacterial – the public must self-evaluate their risk exposure. Unless an individual has traveled to or met with someone who has been in an Ebola-infected area, the risk is probably low,” Hinrich says.
“However, if you are at an increased level of risk you need to be honest with all healthcare workers and explain your risk immediately. To avoid further exposures to the virus, healthcare workers will need to have proper protective gear when caring for a suspected Ebola infected patient.”
Individuals who are at high risk and have symptoms must not enter healthcare facilities without proper notification. Most medical clinics and facilities will want these patients to enter an isolation area. Before arriving at a healthcare facility, call the clinician and explain your risk and symptoms.
If a person does not develop symptoms after 21 days of the exposure, they will not become sick with Ebola.
Good hygiene practices include staying home until a person is symptom free for 48 hours. This is good common sense for any illness but especially contagious illnesses.
Common questions and answers about Ebola are available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/qa.html.





Friday, October 10, 2014

GRMC Launches New Class for Expecting Parents

Grinnell Regional Medical Center will begin offering a new class for expecting parents. The certified lactation counselors will offer a breastfeeding class at 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28. The class focuses on what to expect in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding.
“In many communities new mothers do not know where to turn for breastfeeding assistance,” says Kayla Sherwood, RN, certified lactation counselor. “At GRMC we offer a breastfeeding educational class that is open to both pregnant and postpartum mothers. We want to help them meet their breastfeeding goals for their baby.” 
This class is taught by a certified lactation counselor. Fathers and/or support persons are encouraged to attend. Topics covered include the benefits of breastfeeding, misconceptions regarding breastfeeding, plus support and counseling to make the breastfeeding experience a success. 
The fee for the 1.5-hour class is $10. Fee waiver is available. GRMC has a sliding fee schedule so that cost does not inhibit anyone from attending this program. Class will be held in the Tomasek Conference Room. This class will be offered again in January.

Please call the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center at 641-236-2324 to sign up for this class.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

GRMC Clinics Welcome Brienna Cameron, PA-C

Grinnell Regional Medical Center announces the arrival of Brienna M. Cameron, PA-C, as a primary care provider for GRMC clinics..
Cameron began September 1. Prior to joining the GRMC affiliated clinic staff, she worked at the Spine and Pain Center of Nebraska, in Lincoln, Neb. She earned her master of physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Neb. She earned highest distinction, being ranked first in her class. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree from Doane College in Crete, Neb.
During her training for the physician assistant degree, she completed rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, geriatrics, cardiology, orthopedics, internal medicine, psychiatry, OB/GYN, emergency medicine, infectious disease, and plastic surgery.
“Brienna brings a great personality to this position. She trained at clinics and grew up in a rural area. She will be a great addition to our rural healthcare team of providers,” says Dave Ness, GRMC vice-president. “Our clinics allow greater access to healthcare services for residents throughout our service area. We have excellent staff now on board.”

Cameron will see patients in GRMC’s primary care clinics when the regular provider is on vacation or ill and will initially see patients at the Lynnville Medical Clinci and Deer Creek Family Care, when not needed elsewhere.  To schedule an appointment at the Lynnville Medical Clinic call 641-527-2929 and to schedule an appointment at Deer Creek Family Care, call 641-484-2602.