Friday, March 28, 2014

Orville Bloethe Honored for Service on GRMC Foundation

Orville Bloethe Honored for Service on GRMC Foundation

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Foundation Board hosted a recognition lunch for Orville Bloethe for his service to the board and to healthcare in the Victor area.
“I’m so thankful for the people at GRMC and the Victor Health Center for quality healthcare,” Bloethe said. “I’ve dedicated much of my life to supporting the Victor Health Center, our community churches, and the HLV schools. It’s been an honor to serve on this board and support quality healthcare.”
Bloethe shared a brief recap of his life, beginning with a story from his high school days when he began selling little green containers of “Clover Leaf Salve.” His experiences gained have stayed with him and shaped his career and personal commitment to doing what is right. He graduated from law school and became an attorney in 1947 – serving as a lawyer for 67 years. He continues to practice in Victor. He currently focuses his time on setting up planned giving opportunities and estate planning. He added that many opportunities are available to residents but they may not know about gifting options for their land and wealth.
The passion to support the residents and community of Victor pulses through Bloethe’s veins. He has donated generously to the Victor Health Center, HLV School and area churches. In recent years, he’s supported the economic development group to fund downtown improvements.
Orville and his wife of 62 years, Loanna, demonstrated their commitment to retaining quality healthcare in Victor for generations to come. They pledged $100,000 for the construction of the Victor Health Center in 2001 with the understanding the clinic and land were to remain with the City of Victor and the newly formed non-profit Victor Health Center. This significant commitment warranted a personal recognition inside the clinic for the Bloethe family. A tribute to Orville’s brother, Leonard, who died in World War II, is housed inside for generations to view and remember the sacrifices made by others that benefit the next generation.
“I’m so grateful that we have the wonderful medical facility in Victor. We hired an architect who designed a beautiful facility with plenty of parking and staffed by doctors and nurses who have always served the community well,” Bloethe said. “The dollars we contributed to the Victor Health Clinic were wise expenditures and fully half of any credit should go to my wonderful wife, Loanna, who was at my side for 62 years. We did everything together. She’s gone but I view her picture every night before I go to bed. It’s a great way to end the day.”
As would be expected with a vibrant lifetime, Bloethe had many stories to share at the recognition. Many of the stories included Loanna Bloethe and her influence in his life and success. She passed away in 2009.
“The message I want to leave with you is that you need to listen to your spouse. Just recognize that you don’t know it all and that indeed you need to do things together,” Bloethe said.
Todd Linden expressed sincere appreciation for Orville Bloethe during the lunch, adding, “Orville has been the cement in this community. He has made the long-term investment in the community he loves, Victor, and we are so thankful for his passion and love for the community and residents.”

Photo Cutline:

Orville Bloethe received recognition for his service to the GRMC Foundation Board. Shown during the plaque presentation were: Leonard Seda, Todd Linden, Orville Bloethe, and Dave Vander Linden. (check). 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Couch to 5K in Nine Weeks

Couch to 5K in Nine Weeks

Grinnell Regional Medical Center will offer a free training program to help area residents build the stamina to complete a 5K walk or run. The Couch to 5K program kicks off on Monday, April 14, and will run for nine weeks. The program will successfully prepare participants to complete the 5K at the Grinnell Games on June 14.
“We welcome people who want to do a 5K but need a plan to help them achieve that goal,” says Holly Pettlon, GRMC Wellness specialist. “We will focus on walking, jogging, and running schedules, setting goals, and just having fun. The training is geared to the novice runner, that’s why we’re calling this ‘couch’ to 5K.”
The Couch to 5K training group will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, beginning at 5:15 p.m. Initially classes will run for 30 minutes but will increase in length as the individuals build stamina and strength. The program is open to anyone in the community and free. Individuals progress at their own pace and build strength to reach their own goals.
“Grab a friend and come have fun while building the strength to complete a 5K. The culmination of the class coincides with the week of the Grinnell Games, June 13-14.
Please register for this free class by calling the GRMC Wellness Center at 641-236-2999 before April 11.

Friday, March 14, 2014

GRMC Auxiliary Healthcare Scholarship Applications Available

Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary provides scholarships to area students pursuing a healthcare career. Scholarships are for graduating high school seniors, current students, or adult students pursuing a healthcare career. These funds are also available to those currently working in healthcare and seeking advanced training. Applications are now available from area high school guidance counselors and the admissions desk at GRMC. Individuals who are interested in pursuing healthcare careers have until Wednesday, March 19, to submit completed scholarship application forms.

 “These scholarships are important to many individuals,” says Shannon Reding, GRMC Auxiliary chairman. “The need for healthcare workers continues to increase. We encourage anyone seeking a career in healthcare to apply. Supporting healthcare is a big part of our mission and providing post-high school students as well as adult students the funds to pursuing healthcare careers is one of our priorities.”

Selection is based on applicant’s desire to follow a healthcare career, financial need, scholastic ability, and character. Two letters of recommendation that attest to the character and qualifications of the applicant must accompany the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The auxiliary will review applications and notify recipients by early April. Recipients will be introduced at the annual GRMC Auxiliary Spring meeting.  For additional information about the GRMC Auxiliary scholarships, please call the GRMC volunteer coordinator’s office at 641-236-2588.
The Iowa Hospital Association through the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation also offers scholarships of $3,000 per academic year, with a maximum of $6,000 for two years.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:
• Be enrolled in an accredited healthcare education program that leads to licensure or a clinical laboratory degree.
• Be within two years of completing your professional education.
• Be willing to work for an Iowa hospital after graduation (one year per scholarship awarded).
The GRMC Auxiliary gives toward the IHA hospital annually and any healthcare field applicants in the state may take advantage of this scholarship.

Applications are available at, (click Health Careers on the IHA Website). Applications are also available in the GRMC Office of Human Resources. Application deadline is Friday, March 30, 2014.

GRMC Limits Visitors to Prevent Outbreak

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. And, to avoid spreading disease, please don’t go to school, work, or any public places if you are sick.”

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s surveillance report, the 2014 influenza status in Iowa is at “regional outbreaks” but rising. The first influenza-related death in Iowa was reported last week.

“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. “We’ve also had a significant number of norovirus reports, with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

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 18 will not be allowed to visit patients anywhere in the medical center unless they are a sibling. Siblings 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.

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, as this year’s most common influenza strain is hitting children particularly hard. Grinnell Regional Public Health is still offering flu vaccines. For an appointment, please call 641-236-2385.

Heart Health Screening to Be Held

Wellness and disease prevention top the list of healthcare initiatives in 2014. Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Wellness department will host the annual blood screening for the public on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

GRMC’s Community Wellness Screenings will be held from 6:30 to 9 a.m. in the West Tomasek Conference Center, GRMC, in Grinnell.

February’s wellness screening will offer individuals a comprehensive metabolic panel that includes the fasting lipid profile for cholesterol levels, complete blood count (CBC), glucose, and other tests to measure liver and kidney function as well as metabolic indicators of early disease status. This comprehensive screening ensures that your physician has the most complete information about your overall body system function. And, the results may give the motivation to change your lifestyle habits to enhance health and well-being. Heart disease is the number one health concern for Americans.

“GRMC’s wellness department works to improve the health of residents through prevention,” says Chad Nath, GRMC Wellness Services director and a member of the CTG committee. “Maintaining a healthy heart has so many benefits to individuals as well as the healthcare industry. It’s important for everyone to learn about your own heart health and work with your healthcare provider to avoid heart disease.”

The comprehensive metabolic panel requires participants to fast prior to the blood draw for 12 hours. That means no food, although water is encouraged, for 12 hours prior to the screening.

The public may schedule a blood screening by calling 641-236-2999.

GRMC Implements New Decontamination Technology

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in Iowa to protect patients from dangerous hospital-acquired infections using Bioquell’s unique hydrogen peroxide vapor decontamination technology in patient rooms.
GRMC is also the first hospital in the nation under 50 beds to utilize the technology.
Seven GRMC employees recently completed training and certification on the cleaning system, which is designed to eliminate pathogens from all surfaces, including sensitive and expensive electronic equipment.
GRMC plans to use the technology systematically in patient rooms throughout the hospital as a preventative measure, even in the absence of any outbreaks.
“We believe this is an important investment in patient safety,” says Terri Kelling, RN, GRMC’s infection prevention coordinator. “If this advanced cleaning technology saves just one patient from getting an infection, it’s a great investment.”
 “We believe very strongly in making sure the patient experience at GRMC is safe, affordable, and top-notch. In fact, in 2012 GRMC had just one documented hospital-acquired infection,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO.  “Even though our hospital infection rate is well below the national average, we are committed to making sure it stays that way! This extra cleaning process is just one more way that we can make a difference in the lives of our patients.”
“This year GRMC was recognized by iVantage Health Analytics as a HealthStrong™ Award winner for Excellence in Patient Satisfaction and Excellence in Quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation,” Linden says. “In addition, The Leapfrog Group named GRMC a top hospital at its December 2013 annual meeting—the third year the group has recognized GRMC for consistently providing safe, high quality care. Also in 2013, AARP The Magazine named GRMC one of the safest hospitals in the nation. We’re proud of these distinctions and that the efforts that we make on behalf of our patients are noted by experts in the country.”
To use the decontamination system, the room is first cleaned to remove any areas of visible soil and contamination. Then the Bioquell unit is placed in the room. After staff members tightly seal the vacated room, the no-touch decontamination technology is controlled by a panel outside of the targeted area. The Bioquell unit eliminates pathogens by generating a decontaminating vapor from a 35 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide in the room. Once the process is complete, the catalytic aeration unit converts the peroxide into a harmless state of oxygen and water.
Hydrogen peroxide vapor has been shown to be effective against many healthcare-associated pathogens with potential wide-spread environmental contamination, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile, vancomcin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and many multi-drug resistant organisms.
Johns Hopkins Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the nation to use this technology. In a study released in the January 2013 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins researchers found that patients admitted to hospital rooms decontaminated using Bioquell hydrogen peroxide vapor technology, rather than standard cleaning protocols alone, were significantly less likely—64 percent— to acquire multi-drug resistant organisms or so-called hospital superbugs.
Once the process is complete, staff can enter the room to make up the bed and remove the seals, and it’s ready for a new patient.

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.