Thursday, May 22, 2014

GRMC Announces Leadership Changes

Grinnell Regional Medical Center has promoted Kyle Wilcox, MHA, to serve as the medical center’s new assistant vice-president of finance. He will share financial leadership responsibilities with Mike Creary, GRMC’s controller.
This shift in the top financial position occurs following the announcement that Jack Fritts, CFO at GRMC, will retire effective May 23. Fritts had been with GRMC for nearly 14 years.
“Jack’s role in stabilizing the financial health of GRMC cannot be overstated,” says Todd Linden, CEO and president of GRMC. “He has been a key senior leadership team player in planning, policy formulation, and managing our resources during severe economic downturns, continued severe underpayment for Medicare and Medicaid services, and a rapidly evolving healthcare environment. We wish him well in his future.”
Fritts retirement had been anticipated and a succession plan had been created a year ago. In May after Fritts retirement, Wilcox will become the assistant vice-president of finance with the goal of moving toward becoming the medical center’s CFO in the future.
Wilcox began his GRMC experience in the summer of 2010 when he served as an administrative intern. Following the completion of his master’s in health administration from the University of Iowa in 2011, he returned to GRMC for a one-year administrative post graduate fellowship. He then joined GRMC as the revenue cycle director in 2012.
“I see my role as a catalyst to continue great things at GRMC. We have outstanding people who are intelligent and make good decisions,” Wilcox says. “I want to support their decision making with critical data and financial information. I hope to add value through strategic financial analysis, business plan development and strong alliances with our fiscal partners. We already have excellent health care services. My goal is to help with decisions that support equally excellent financial success.”
Wilcox completed his BA degree from the University of Iowa. He serves as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Grinnell, and as a director on the Healthcare Financial Management Association Board – Iowa Chapter. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Iowa Hospital Association, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Wilcox and his wife, Kaitlin, live in Grinnell. When he’s not working, Wilcox spends time reading, working the yard, and jogging.
“Kyle brings a fresh set of eyes to GRMC’s financial landscape. His youthfulness combined with the experience of Mike Creary, our controller, will make a great team leading GRMC’s financial services,” Linden says.
Creary joined GRMC in 2009 after serving as the Knoxville Hospitals and Clinic’s chief financial officer for more than 18 years. In addition to his controller responsibilities, Creary will now oversee accounts payable and general accounting staff.
Creary earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting from University of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn. He lives in Knoxville with his wife, and son who attends Wartburg College. Creary also has two adult children.  
Both Creary and Wilcox will be part of the hospital’s leadership team and report directly to the medical center’s CEO. Wilcox will remain the administrative lead for revenue cycle operations with the support of a business office manager.
In addition, Joann Salsman, a nearly 20-year veteran of GRMC, has been promoted to the business office manager to assist Wilcox with the day-to-day operations of the admitting and business office teams.
 “Joann has a vast amount of knowledge in hospital billing and our computer software. She has been an integral part of lowering our accounts receivable days to the lowest levels in history, and continues to have ideas and initiatives to further improve the departments,” Wilcox says.

“This financial team brings experience, innovation, and a passion for healthcare that will serve the medical center very well into the future. They have the flexibility, vision, and dedication to handle the unknowns that this every-changing industry will present in the future,” Linden says. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Radon Kits Available from Public Health Office

Radon Kits Available from Public Health Office

Iowa leads the nation in the percent of homes with excessive radon levels. With the high risk for all homes in the state, the Iowa Department of Public Health is working with county public health offices to offer an inexpensive short-term radon test kit. Grinnell Regional Public Health has the $5 Radon Test kits in the office.
Radon can be found anywhere. The colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas is produced from the decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. Risk occurs when the gas enters buildings and the decay products are inhaled. The radon gas in the air can damage the lungs and cause lung cancer.
Once radon is identified in a building, a process can be installed in the building to ventilate the radon out and reduce the risks of damage. For information on radon mitigation, the process to reduce indoor radon levels, contact the Iowa Radon Hotline at 1-800-383-5992. The kit may also be purchased online at www.IDPH.State.IA.US/Radon. Or, stop by the Grinnell Regional Public Health office at 306 4th Ave., Grinnell, Iowa.

GRMC Auxiliary Bridge and 500 Invitational

GRMC Auxiliary Bridge and 500 Invitational

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary invites all bridge and 500 card players to an invitational on Thursday, June 19, at Oakland Acres Golf Club just five miles west of Grinnell. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and games to follow.
Men and women of all skill levels are welcome to this afternoon of fun, card playing, and socializing. A $10 fee is charged and covers the luncheon and prizes. The Auxiliary would like to know that you are coming. Please call Carol Jordan at 641-236-1030 by June 13.
“This annual event brings together men and women in our area for a fun afternoon of card playing and socializing,” says Carol Jordan, GRMC auxiliary committee chair. “Participants do not need to find a foursome to play. We will match up tables during registration. Individuals will be given a tally and table information upon registration.”
Proceeds from the event will support the GRMC Auxiliary’s $150,000 pledge toward the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite, fund healthcare scholarships, and several other projects for GRMC.
For more information or to reserve your space at the Auxiliary Bridge and 500 Invitational, contact Carol Jordan, 641-236-1030.

GRMC Hosts 25th Annual Gold Tournament

Grinnell Regional Medical Center invites the public to its 25th annual golf outing on Friday, June 27, at the Grinnell Golf and Country Club. The public is welcome to register to golf in the morning at this milestone event. Proceeds from this year’s outing will support the Moving at the Speed of Life comprehensive campaign.
For the 2014 tournament, a $5,000 Hole-in-One contest has been added, courtesy of Ramsey Weeks, Inc. Special 25th anniversary golf items will be given to each golfer.
The top flight of three teams will split $1,000, with the best team taking home $500, and the next two teams earning $300 and $200. An additional three flights of three teams will also be awarded prizes of $100. Every hole has a contest or special event. The course is challenging and fun with well-positioned bunkers and hazards. Lined with mature trees and beautiful landscapes, the course sets the perfect backdrop for a great day of golf.
“Over the past 25 years, we’ve raised more than $300,000 for the medical center from the golf outing. This has been an awesome event to support the hospital and have a lot of fun with the community and GRMC’s business partners,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO, and Chamber board member.  “This year, as in the past two years, we will partner with the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce. We enjoy bringing together businesses and individuals who support the community and hospital. ” 
 The format is a four-player, best shot tournament. A special recognition award will be given to the Poweshiek County team with the lowest score, as local teams compete for bragging rights. The 2013 winning team members were Dr. Nick Kuiper, Shane Hart, Dr. Jeff Millet, and Devin Wells. GRMC will also award the “Best Dressed” and “Most Obnoxiously Dressed” titles to individuals.
Entry fee for the tournament is $85 per person and cart rental is $30. A four-person team with two cart rentals may register for $400. Registration deadline is June 20.
The 25th edition of the annual GRMC golf tournament will include special contests, prizes, and giveaways to commemorate the anniversary.
 “We are grateful for our event sponsors as we continue this longstanding tradition in Grinnell,” Linden says.
Eagle Sponsors are: Associated Computer Systems, Ltd.; Bernie Lowe & Associates; Graham Construction, Grinnell State Bank; and Mary and James Duke.
Birdie Sponsors are:  ASI Signage Innovations; Brown Medical Imaging; Great Western Bank; Grinnell College; Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company; Nicholas J. Kuiper, DO, PC; Lincoln Savings Bank; Manatts, Inc.; Patientco; Seim Johnson; and Wes Finch Auto Plaza.
19th Hole Sponsors are: Electronic Engineering; Family Dentistry; Jensen Optometrists; Kevin White Design, Pagliai's Pizza; and Mathew Severidt, DO, PC.
Pin/Hole Sponsors are: Ahrens Park Foundation; Ellis Home Interiors; HyVee of Grinnell; Mail Services; Michael’s; Ramsey-Weeks, Inc.; Schoon Construction;  and T.L. Baker & Co. Rees Vinyl Signs and Designs will provide the pin signage.
Flight sponsors are: Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce, Julin Printing Co.; Leila Maring; Poweshiek Publications; and The Straub Corporation/PAW Marketing.
Raffle items have been donated by Alliant Energy, Jane and Jerry Axmear, Ballyhoo In Ink, Cirks Financial Services, Mary Duke, Edward Jones Investments – Kolpin & Kolpin, Family Dentistry, Grinnell Golf and Country Club, Todd Linden, Montezuma Country Club, Tindall Hotels, Inc, and Total Choice Shipping and Printing. More items are anticipated. 
Mayflower Community will cater the breakfast. GRMC’s catering services will provide the mid-day meal; and afternoon refreshments will be provided by the Grinnell Golf and Country Club.

For more information, contact Jan Veach, GRMC, at 641-236-2946 or email

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Medical Reserve Corps to Host Conference in Grinnell

The Poweshiek County and Tama County Medical Reserve Corps will host a training session for all individuals who want to be a part of the reserve corps to assist others during crisis and disasters. The conference will be Wednesday, June 18, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Grinnell College’s Recreation and Athletic Center, 1201 10th Avenue, Grinnell.
Conference program includes presentations by
Ÿ Clark Christenson, Logistics office for the Center for Disaster Operations and Response, and the Medical Reserve Corps state coordinator for Iowa Department of Public Health.
Ÿ Sonia Jordan, MRC regional coordinator for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Ÿ Mitch Nordmeyer, Emergency Management Coordinator for Butler County, Iowa, presenting on managing volunteers.
Ÿ Brenda Clark Hamilton, leadership motivational speaker, presenting: “Bring Your A-game to Every Aspect of Your Life.”
Ÿ An American Red Cross representative will discuss shelter operations.
            The conference will allow area volunteers to network and discuss support during emergencies and medical reserve corps activities. Nursing CEUs have been requested.
Volunteers in the Medical Reserve Corps donate their time and expertise to assist individuals with health related issues during an emergency. Tama County’s MRC members assisted with sheltering during a wide-spread power outage, administration of H1N1 vaccine during the height of the infection, and provided first aid during the clean-up of the derehco wind storm of 2011. Poweshiek County’s MRC volunteers were called upon to assist with RAGBRAI first aid services and will assist with health promotion in the county.

To reserve your space at this free conference, contact Kristy Reedy, Grinnell Regional Public Health, at  or 641-236-2385 for a registration form by June 11. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GRMC Auxiliary Healthcare Scholarship Recipients Honored

Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary recognized four area students pursuing a healthcare career at its annual spring luncheon on April 30. 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.
2014 GRMC Auxiliary Scholarship recipients are pictured: Juan Jesus Angel of Tama; Katelyn Van Wyk of Sully; Zane Robert Strawser of Grinnell; and Sydney McCulley of New Sharon.
For additional information about the GRMC Auxiliary scholarships, please call the GRMC volunteer coordinator’s office at 641-236-2588.

Community Garden Program Launch

Fresh produce can be easily accessible this summer for participants in the Grinnell Giving Gardens, a new partnership between the Poweshiek County Community Transformation Grant, Imagine Grinnell, and several area churches and youth programs.
Several community gardens will be created this spring thanks to funding support by the Community Transformation Grant’s program, “Our Community Deserves.”
“Giving Gardens expand free distribution of vegetables to low-income families and members of the community, who help plant, nurture, water, and harvest the gardens,” says Chad Nath, Poweshiek County Community Transformation Grant. “We are pairing summer youth programs such as The Galaxy and GRMC’s Summer Camp with garden plots at various locations. The youth will learn the basics of gardening and maintaining a garden. In return, they can enjoy the bounty of their efforts.”
St. John’s Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Summer Street Park will also host and manage garden plots and share their harvest with the community. Plans are to send produce to the MICA Food Pantry during the growing season.
Gardening supplies were purchased with grant funds and seeds have been donated by various individuals. The labor will be provided by various groups and individuals.
Iowa Community Transformation Grant is working with communities across the state to provide healthier food options. It’s much easier to eat healthy when places like convenience stores, farmer’s markets, and community gardens offer fresh produce.

“The renewed focus on fresh, locally grown produce has spurred much interest in the community gardens. We’re excited to see the youth groups getting involved and teaching gardening skills at a young age,” Nath says. 

Children's Grief and Loss Program Scheduled

Children’s Grief and Loss Program Scheduled

Grinnell Regional Hospice is offering a new Children’s Grief and Loss Program this June. This group is designed for children ages 6 to 11 who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The group will provide children with the opportunity to engage in activities to assist them in coping with feelings of loss and grief.
The Children’s Grief and Loss Program will be a two-week program held on Wednesday, June 11, and Wednesday, June 18. Children are welcome to attend both weeks. The program will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Children’s Story Time area of the Drake Community Library, 930 Park Street, Grinnell.
This program is open to children ages 6 to 11 who have lost a loved one. While they may express grief differently, children do experience grief and loss and can benefit from opportunities to express and share their feelings. The group will provide children with activities that will allow them to express themselves and normalize their feelings.

This group will be facilitated by Beth Gallegos, LISW, clinical social worker with Grinnell Regional Hospice. There is no fee to participate, but interested parents or guardians must pre-register and complete a consent form. To register please call Grinnell Regional Hospice at 641-236-2418.

Better Health Class Offered in June

Better Health Class Offered in June

Grinnell Regional Medical Center will offer the “Better Choices, Better Health” workshop in June. 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 Hawn Center at Seeland Park/St. Francis Manor beginning Monday, June 9.  
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.
The class meets every Monday, June 9 to July 14. Each session is two and a half hours, 1:30 to 4 p.m. 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 established 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.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free Bike Helmets to Third Graders

Free Bike Helmets to Third Graders

“If you have wheels under your feet, have a helmet on your head.” These words should echo in the heads of all youth after they have received their free bicycle helmet. Each year since 1996, Grinnell Regional Medical Center and the Grinnell Regional Medical Staff have organized and distributed a free bike helmet to third graders in the GRMC service area. Bikes to You owner, Craig Cooper, along with various members of the Grinnell Bike Club and area businesses and supporters have provided a brief educational presentation to the students about safety at the time of the helmet distribution.
“Our mission each year is to prevent children from experiencing head trauma,” says Holly Pettlon, GRMC wellness specialist and this year’s coordinator. “We use a two-prong approach of education and giving them the equipment to protect their heads. Parents and peers play a key role in encouraging and requiring the kids to wear those helmets. It’s a life-long practice that saves lives.”
GRMC, the GRMC medical staff, area businesses, and individuals will work together to prevent head-injuries by giving 541 new bicycle helmets to third grader in the GRMC service area this year.
Helmets are given out in 12 school districts covering – BGM, Central Iowa Christian Academy, East Marshall, Green Mountain Garwin (GMG), Grinnell/Newburg, Lynnville/Sully, Meskwaki Settlement, Montezuma, North Mahaska, Sully Christian, South Tama, and Victor (HLV).
Financial supporters of the bike helmet distribution raised more than $7,000 for the helmets. Contributors, along with GRMC and the GRMC Medical staff, include: Duane and Pam Blagden; C & K Transfer; Cirks Financial Services; Charlie Clements and Denise Lamphier; Curt’s Collision Center; Ellis Home Interiors – Ron and Kelly Ellis; First State Bank of Lynnville-Sully; Grinnell State Bank; Heater Lawn Care; John and Amy Kalkbrenner; Kiwanis Club of Grinnell; Lynnville Women’s Club; Adam and Jamin Manatt; Medicap – Kevin and Jennifer Stallman; Ramsey-Weeks, Inc.; Bert and Mary Ross; State Bank of Toledo, and Robert Wemer.
If you are interested in supporting this program, contact Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589 or

Thursday, May 1, 2014

GRMC Auxiliary Event Touts $5,000 Prize and Support for New Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite

GRMC Auxiliary Event Touts $5,000 Prize and Support for New Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite
The GRMC Auxiliary wants you to “Drop it for a Cause” with a unique fundraising event this summer. On Saturday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m., a helicopter filled with numbered golf balls will hover over a fairway at Oakland Acres Golf Club. The fairway will have at least 10 designated targets, each with a corresponding prize. When the thousands of balls drop at once from the helicopter, the ball landing in or nearest the target wins the prize. Donors will purchase numbered golf balls like a raffle ticket with winning numbers. Instead of being drawn from a box, the balls are dropped from the sky.
            The grand prize is $5,000 cash. Additional prizes include a single membership to Oakland Acres Golf Club valued at $575, a Smith and Wesson ladies rifle valued at $560, golf lessons from Kristin VanWyk valued at $300, gift certificates to Michael’s Italian Restaurant valued at $300, $100 gift certificate to The Glass Gift Box, cash prizes, and more.
            The GRMC Auxiliary is raising funds to meet their $150,000 pledge toward the GRMC Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite and Moving at the Speed of Life campaign pledge.
            “We wanted to bring this unique fundraiser to the area because it seems like a really fun way to gain awareness of the GRMC Auxiliary and raise money to care for our friends and neighbors who benefit from this new space for chemotherapy and infusion,” says Kerri Olson, GRMC Volunteer Coordinator. “It just seemed like a great fit for our organization.”
            Golf balls are now on sale and can be purchased at The Glass Gift Box at GRMC, Oakland Acres Golf Club, and online Golf balls sell for $10 each or three for $25, seven for $50, or 15 balls for $100.  A maximum of 8,000 balls will be sold.
            “We are creating a fun event around the ball drop,” says Tia Heishman, GRMC Auxiliary Board Member. “We want people to come out and watch this incredible ball drop and stay for dinner and live music to enjoy the night with friends celebrating this great organization.”
            Oakland Acres Golf Club will host the Cody Hicks Band, a local band from Montezuma currently playing throughout the Midwest, following the ball drop. 
            The clubhouse will offer an expanded menu that evening to include an Iowa barbeque with pork sandwiches, brats, hot dogs, salads, baked beans, and dessert, all for purchase.
            Fun activities for children are planned to begin at 4 p.m.
            Sponsors for the event are Ken Beck-Freedom Firearms, Casey’s General Store, Cummings Farms, The Glass Gift Box, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Jerry Henschen, KJWW PC Engineering Consultants, Dr. Nicholas Kuiper, MAS Video, Michael’s Italian Restaurant, Miraco, Oakland Acres Golf Club, Total Choice Shipping and Printing, and Kristin VanWyk.
            For more information on the event, how to become a sponsor, or to volunteer for the event, please contact Kerri Olson, 641-236-2588, or email at