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.


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

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
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

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.