Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GRMC's Communication Department Receives 2015 eHealthcare Leadership Award

Grinnell Regional Medical Center was one of 240 healthcare organizations to receive the eHealthcare Leadership Award for an outstanding website and digital communications. GRMC and the other winning organizations were recognized at the Nineteenth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference held on November 11 in Orlando, FL. Winners of the award were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 entries after being judged by 113 individuals familiar with both healthcare and the Internet.
“This is an incredibly exciting time in healthcare marketing and ehealth, a fact clearly reflected in this year’s award entries,” says Mark Gothberg, eHealthcare Leadership Awards chair.  “Major improvements have occurred in website design, service content, and operational support. In addition, an increasing number of sites are optimized for mobile, in recognition that most people now access the Internet with their phones and tablets.”

Winners of platinum, gold, silver, and distinction awards represented 16 industry classifications, from hospitals and health systems to pharmaceutical firms and online health companies. Awards were given in 15 different categories. Judges looked at how websites and other digital communications compared with others in their organization’s classification. They also reviewed entries based on a proprietary multi-point standard of Internet excellence. GRMC won a distinction award in Best Annual or Special Report for hospitals with under 200 beds.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bernie Lowe and Associates, Inc., Helps GRMC with Physician Recruitment Efforts

A strong commitment to Grinnell Regional Medical Center is driving Bernie Lowe and Associates, Inc., to make a generous contribution toward the organization’s physician recruitment efforts.
“We really see the value in having a local, community hospital,” says Bernard ‘Skip’ Lowe, III, president and CEO. “GRMC is the number one choice to our community members when they need hospital care. For our company, we see it as the only choice. GRMC is the place to receive the highest quality healthcare services in our area.”
Bernie Lowe and Associates has pledged $25,000 to the medical center to support bringing in a topnotch physician recruit.
“GRMC is here to stay. We want to reward doctors who also feel committed to the hospital and stay here to practice medicine while also enjoying the experience of practicing in one of the best communities in the country,” says Lowe, who owns the business with Linda Lowe, his wife.
A physician who commits to GRMC will receive college loan forgiveness in the amount of $5,000 for each year spent practicing medicine in Grinnell, with the opportunity to receive a total of $25,000 thanks to the donation from Bernie Lowe and Associates.
This gift is important for several reasons, says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “Not only will this gift ensure that our patients have access to quality care for years to come, it will also allow us to attract talented physicians to Grinnell—many of whom are facing enormous debt after graduating from medical school.”
Iowa ranks 43rd nationally in terms of access to direct patient care physicians, according to the American Medical Association. This is a slight improvement from being ranked 44th the previous year. This gift will help increase patient access to care in the medical center’s service area by adding a new physician to the medical center’s roster.
GRMC currently has 27 physicians, 17 advanced practitioners, and 10 visiting specialists on its medical staff. Specialty areas for these experts include general surgery, rheumatology, radiology, podiatry, pain management, mental health, pathology, internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics, anesthesia, urgent care, emergency medicine, sleep medicine, oncology, physiatry, neurology, ophthalmology, cardiology, otolaryngology, and dermatology.
Linden believes this gift will be influential in helping the medical center recruit physician talent to Grinnell because the opportunity for loan forgiveness will be very attractive to potential candidates.
The average newly-minted physician in 2014 has $180,000 in medical school debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“It’s because of the support and generosity of donors like Bernie Lowe and Associates that we are able to recruit the physicians we need to provide such an extensive variety of healthcare services for the communities we serve,” Linden says. “This donation will help us be competitive against larger hospitals as we encourage physicians to choose practicing medicine in Grinnell.”
Individuals interested in exploring how their generosity and passions can make an immeasurable difference at GRMC are invited to contact Denise Lamphier, director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589 or for more information.  

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

GRMC Releases Annual Report of Operations

GRMC closed the books on another year with patient-centered progress and advances focused to provide better care to area residents. Ten seems to be the magical number of major accomplishments cited in the 2014 Annual Report. The annual report can be found online at
“With the comprehensive campaign underway and the exceptional community support for the hospital, GRMC upgraded equipment, added new services, and expanded departments and spaces to better serve patients. We’ve created a top 10 list of achievements in 2014. I think you’ll agree that our successes advance medical care services to area residents,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO.
Strong community support helped GRMC experience significant successes and achieve new heights in 2014.
  1. Opened the Manatt Family Urgent Care
  2. Installed a new Computed Tomography Scanner
  3. Installed a new daVinci XI robotic surgical unit
  4. Added pulmonary rehabilitation services
  5. Launched electronic web-based patient record system (patient portals)
  6. Recruited a rheumatology specialist, a second ENT specialist, and two new advanced care professionals
  7. Earned recognition from Healthcare Collaborative with an award for quality
  8. Expanded Mental Health Care
  9. Opened the Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center in the Postels Community Health Park
  10. Dedicated the Marion A. Jones Patient Care Wing

The financial picture at GRMC continued the three-year trend of insufficient reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid insurances and contractual agreements with private insurance.  GRMC billed patients and their insurance carriers for $91,341,498 in services; however, due to required allowances and discounts – including Medicare and Medicaid, charity, and bad debts – GRMC did not collect payment for $48,748,655 of services provided.
 Total net revenue and gifts were $45.1 million. GRMC received $1.2 million from unrestricted gifts, donations, and grants to support the medical center’s operations. The total net expenses were $45.2 million. Expenses exceeded revenues by $87,793, ending the year with a negative operating balance sheet.
For the complete financial report, the lists of donors, and successes in 2014, go to Click on the “Donate” link, then the “Who We Are” and “Annual Report” link. You will find previous and current annual reports of GRMC’s activities.
For a printed copy of our donors or more information, please contact Jan Veach, GRMC office of communications and development, at or 641-236-2946.

GRMC Welcomes Dr. Pease

Carolyn S. Pease, MD, pathologist with Des Moines-based Pathology Associates of Central Iowa, PLC, began as the new pathologist for Grinnell Regional Medical Center in September. She will provide clinical and anatomical pathology services in Grinnell for patients.
Clinical pathology includes the diagnosis of disease through the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids. Anatomical pathology involves the diagnosis of disease based on the microscopic evaluation of tissue specimens. Hematopathology focuses on blood cellular components.
Pease is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and hematology. She earned her medical degree and master of surgery from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She completed her anatomic and clinical pathology residency as well as fellowships in surgical pathology and hematopathology at the University of Minnesota.
Pease joined Pathology Associates of Central Iowa in January 2008. Her special interests include hematopathology and flow cytometry. She received her advanced diploma of medical sciences from the International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 
“We’re pleased to have Dr. Pease as part of our diagnostic team. Our relationship with Mercy connected GRMC with Pathology Associates of Central Iowa many years ago. Our partnership with Pathology Associates assures we have continuity of care and provider accessibity to our medical staff and patients,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO.
Carolyn and her husband, Martin, have four children and live in Clive, Iowa.

GRMC Auxiliary Ready to Help With Holidays

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary will again host its annual wreath raffle and Angel Tree fundraisers. Both activities kick off in November.
This year, the auxiliary will sell tickets for nearly 40 holiday and winter wreaths. Each wreath is 24 inches in diameter and decorated by area businesses and volunteers in a wide variety of themes – traditional, whimsical, and contemporary.
Ticket sales begin Monday, Nov. 23, at the Glass Gift Box at GRMC. Wreaths will be displayed in the hospital hallways by The Glass Gift Box, laboratory waiting, and chemotherapy. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The drawing for wreaths will be Thursday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m.
The auxiliary will fill a 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 sell a choice of two ornaments, for $10 each, in The Glass Gift Box at GRMC. 
After Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, angel ornaments remain on display in the admissions department of the hospital until December 17 when the ornaments may be picked up and taken home by the person who purchased the ornament or given to the honoree to decorate their personal tree at home. The tree will remain on display until after December 25. Ornaments will be sold from November 3 through December 16.
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 ornament and raffle tickets for the wreaths, stop by the GRMC Auxiliary’s gift shop, The Glass Gift Box. For more information, contact the GRMC Auxiliary Gift Shop at 641-236-2522. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SE*ED: Renewing Gratitude, Restoring Grace

The annual gratitude program for the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program is set for Monday, Nov. 16. The featured speaker will be Rob Cabelli, Associate Chaplain and Rabbi at Grinnell College, sharing “Renewing Gratitude, Restoring Grace: Exploring the Deep Spiritual and Moral Connections between Thankfulness, Integrity, and Well-being.”
 Cabelli will prompt reflection and conversation on the nature of well-being. He will explore the role of simple gratitude, as an expression of both intention and habit, in reshaping how we look upon ourselves and others and informing how we relate to the simple fact, and enormous challenge, of our existence and our mortality. He will suggest that infusing gratitude into our lives is a starting point, a necessary corrective to the obsession with material accomplishments and disappointments enforced by our societal conditioning. Cabelli will defend the proposition that we cannot hope to find and sustain harmony and integrity within ourselves, let alone pass a civil and sustainable world on to those who follow us, if we are unable to appreciate and ascribe value to all else with which we share this earth. 
 This program is free and open to the public. It will be held at 10 a.m. in the Drake Community Library, with refreshments beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Parking is available at the Drake Community Library, along Park Street, on Fifth Avenue, and in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot. Seniors needing transportation may call GRMC Communications and Development at 641-236-2593 by the Thursday before the program.

If you are a person with a disability who requires special assistance, please call 641-236-2593. For more information about upcoming speakers, please check GRMC’s website at

Monday, November 2, 2015

GRMC Explores Options for the Future

Grinnell Regional Medical Center began discussions this fall with Mercy Health Network of Iowa that focus on the potential development of a different form of alignment between the organizations. No decisions have been made at the time of this publication.
The primary goal of the conversation is to determine if it makes sense to integrate GRMC more fully into the Mercy system.
“Although nothing changes today—and may not—our board believes it is time to investigate whether now is the right time to develop a stronger relationship with Mercy,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC’s CEO and president.
GRMC has been affiliated with Mercy Health Network since July 1, 2009. Under the agreement in place since then, GRMC has contracted services and shared best practices with all of the Mercy network hospitals. During the past six years, MHN has assisted GRMC with physician recruitment efforts; shared expertise on quality, safety, and service initiatives; provided group access to specialized expertise such as legal services; and allowed GRMC to be part of a larger purchasing pool for things like equipment.
A first meeting with the task force assigned to contemplate a different form of alignment was held at the end of September. Members of the GRMC family serving on the task force include Todd Reding, GRMC board chair; Wendy Kadner, chair elect of the GRMC board; Ron Collins, MD, internal medicine physician and current president of the GRMC medical staff; Nicholas Kuiper, DO, general surgeon and a member of the GRMC board of directors; Doris Rindels, vice-president of operations; Kyle Wilcox, vice-president of finance and business development; and Linden.
A stronger affiliation with Mercy has the potential to offer several benefits for area residents as healthcare consumers.
“Healthcare is changing and GRMC is always planning and looking ahead to those changes. To that end, we are exploring the benefits the Mercy network could provide while keeping the needs of our community front and center. At this time, no decisions have been made,” Reding says.
One benefit could include an influx of capital to sustain medical services in Grinnell. GRMC has done well over the years thanks to philanthropic support from the community, but additional capital will be needed eventually to sustain the physical campus and the purchase of expensive clinical and information technologies.
A stronger affiliation will also expand the benefits of scale and purchasing power available to GRMC.
“The discussion is focusing on how the organizations may work closer together to strengthen access to care and enhance quality and clinical efficiency. We are also exploring new delivery system models and payment programs consistent with the incentives in the Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform in general,” Reding says.
“We do not know what the headline will say after the conversations are completed,” he adds. “What we do know is that we are committed to providing quality care consistent with the needs of our community. Our ability to do this successfully is reliant on a progressive system that is viable in our new healthcare environment. We are actively looking at new models so that our medical center can remain the amazing institution it is today.”
The GRMC board of directors is committed to a transparent process about the affiliation talks. Individuals with questions or concerns are invited to contact the medical center at 641-236-2300 to speak with either Reding or Linden.