Friday, November 4, 2016

Gratitude with Humor

Gratitude is a serious thing. It can restore us or its absence can break us. When we learn to laugh, we learn to live. In living, we discover the joys of being alive. Join Rev. David Crow, pastor of the Grinnell United Methodist Church, for the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Senior Education Program. Crow will present on gratitude with humor on Monday, Nov. 14.

He explains that we can take life seriously without taking ourselves too seriously. Gratitude is the way to embrace the fullness of our lives. This gratitude is a serious thing but it is far from somber. Come and explore this wonderful part of being human.

Crow received a BS from Central College in 1975 and graduated from the Perkins School of Theology with a master in theology degree in 1979.  He has experience in clown ministry and believes that humor is both a gift and essential to healthy living.

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.

GRMC Auxiliary Angel Tree

The Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary will again adorn 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 Thursday, Nov. 10, in The Glass Gift Box at GRMC, and will be available while supplies last.

This year’s angel ornament is a combination of clear and gold acrylic material with an LED light-up feature, available for $10 each. After Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, angel ornaments remain on a tree in the admissions department of the hospital until Friday, Dec. 16, 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 Sunday, Dec. 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. For more information, contact the GRMC Auxiliary Gift Shop at 641-236-2522.

Friday, October 7, 2016

New Physician at GRMC Emergency Department

Stephanie R. Koos, DO, family and emergency medicine physician, began practicing part time at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center emergency department on September 1, 2016. Koos joined Patrick Cogley, MD; Clayton Francis, MD; and Stephen Ellestad, MD.
“Dr. Koos is a wealth of knowledge,” Francis says. “Her enthusiasm for excellence and the variety of her experience make her a welcome and necessary addition to the emergency team.”

Koos completed her residency at Siouxland Medical Education Foundation in Sioux City. She earned her medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to entering medical school, Koos had earned a BS in microbiology from the University of Iowa. She is board certified in family medicine.

“I find that people often come to the emergency room when they feel like they have no place else to go,” Koos says. “I am trained in family medicine, so I try to go beyond just emergency care to teach people on what they can do to improve their health. Just a little extra effort can go a long way with someone who may not see a doctor often.”

Koos has been providing care in emergency medicine since 2012 at Waverly Health Center. She spent two years at Rohlf Memorial Clinic, where she practiced family medicine with obstetrics. Koos also served as an urgent care physician for two years at Family Health Care of Siouxland.

“I worked at GRMC in the past through a staffing agency and I came to love the emergency room staff,” Koos says. “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and everyone works together as a team. It’s really encouraging to see emergency staff have such great comradery.”

Koos, along with her husband, Dan, and their four children, Quinton, Owen, Harper, and Nora, recently moved to the Ankeny area to be closer to family. The Koos family is expecting another baby girl in October. When she’s not at GRMC, Koos enjoys running, biking, and being outdoors, as well as reading, baking, and crafting. Most of all, she likes to spend time with her family. However, Koos is excited to get to know the people of Grinnell and explore the “wonderful relationship that the city of Grinnell and its people have with the hospital.”

Please call 641-236-2380 for more information.

GRMC Launches Annual Fund Drive

It’s all about the patients at Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

“The patients are the heart and soul of the medical center,” says Sally Lang, chair of the GRMC foundation board. “Being able to meet their healthcare needs is of the utmost importance. We wouldn’t be able to do that without philanthropic contributions from the communities we serve.” October heralds in the beginning of the medical center’s annual effort to raise funds to support its ongoing programs. Every year, GRMC’s annual fund works to establish strong partnerships with community members, businesses, patients, and families.

“As a nonprofit organization, GRMC uses annual fund donations to make important investments in technology, offset the rising costs of healthcare, and to increase access to medical care for those who need it,” Lang says.   

The medical center is frequently recognized for its achievements in providing exceptional patient care. This spring, GRMC received an “A” quality safety rating from the Leapfrog Group®, a national patient safety initiative comprised of employers and other large consumers of healthcare. The name, Leapfrog Group, sets the intent that it will help hospitals show “leaps of improvement.” Each year, the hospital completes a voluntary safety survey, providing statistics on patient safety and hospital performance. The safest hospitals – those who score at least .6 standard deviations above the mean – are given an A rating, which less than a third of all hospitals that complete the survey receive.
 In addition to GRMC’s achievements in safety, it has also been recognized for its accomplishments in quality of care. For example, in 2015, the Kintzinger Women’s Health Center earned the Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for delivering quality, affordable maternity care as part of the Blue Distinction for Specialty Care program from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Blue Distinction Centers+ are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes.

Donations to GRMC can be given as “unrestricted,” meaning the organization can determine the greatest need at a given time. Donors can also designate a gift to a specific service, department, or program at GRMC.         

“Some of the new projects to support this year are the installation of energy efficient windows in patient rooms and an innovative telemedicine project,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development.

Several projects receive support from donations to the annual fund. Projects include underwriting trainings for clinical staff, the Grinnell Regional Community Care Clinic, and distributing bike helmets to all area third graders. Contributions also go to support local healthcare needs, such as to helping those who are uninsured or underinsured and to fund health services like Grinnell Regional Hospice, Grinnell Regional Home Care, and Grinnell Regional Public Health. Donations also offset the costs of programs like the Babies Room, the Loan Closet, and the Senior Education Program.

“Please join me in supporting GRMC’s annual fund drive to help ensure compassionate care for everyone locally, regardless of their ability to pay,” Lang says.

Donations may be sent to GRMC Annual Fund, 210 4th Ave., Grinnell, IA 50112. Or, go online to . For additional information about supporting GRMC, contact Denise Lamphier at 641-236-2589 or

Preparing Students Today for Their Tomorrows

Education and educating our young people will determine much of the future. Janet Stutz, EdD, will share her plans to move the Grinnell Newburg Community School District into the future, at the Oct. 17 Senior Education Program, hosted by Grinnell Regional Medical Center. She will unveil district plans so far as well as gather feedback from community members during program about the future of the district.

Stutz became the new superintendent for the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District in July. She has served as a teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent for the last 30 years in Ill. She is married and has two grown children. She is married to Kevin, who is a retired LT. from Kane County Sheriff's Police. 

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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Grow Old Gracefully

The recipe for aging well is a blend of many factors. Margaret Christenson, a retired RN with an EdD from Oklahoma State University, will address this topic on Monday, Oct. 10, during the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program. Christensen’s presentation focuses about what we can and cannot control that affects how we age.  She will review the role of genetics, environment, and life style.

Christensen, a native of Fonda, Iowa, taught Health Services Administration for about 20 years at Ohio University. She is also certified as a dementia practitioner helping families and caregivers understand and cope with dementia issues. Currently she is serving as office manager at her niece’s new geriatric clinic, Renfrow Senior Care, PC.  

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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

SE*ED: Don’t Get Scammed

Imagine you get an email saying that a Nigerian Prince needs your help. He’s transferring money out of Nigeria and needs access to someone’s bank account to help store the funds. Whatever you do, don’t agree! It’s a scam. Scams against seniors are increasingly common, and are being called “the crime of the twenty-first century.” Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program will be presenting on crime targeting seniors and how to avoid it, on Monday, Oct. 3.

Sergeant Chris Wray will be presenting on various kinds of scams and tips on how to avoid them. He will share a checklist regarding likely scams. A Grinnell native, Wray has been a sergeant with the Grinnell police department for 15 years, and in law enforcement for 28.

How do you keep this from happening to you? There are a variety of ways. The most important is to never give anyone your bank information, social security number, or Medicare information without being sure that they are who they say that are, and that it’s necessary to give such information to them. Be suspicious of total strangers offering large sums of money or any official mailing that you are not anticipating. Remember: anything that sounds too good to be true probably is.

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. 

Time to Review Medicare Plan Options

Only 13 percent of people with Medicare Part D plans change their drug plans each year (on average). Relatively few people on Medicare have used the annual open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 to switch Part D prescription drug plans. Yet in Iowa, 50 percent of the people who received help from the state of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) changed plans for 2016 and had combined savings over $16 million. If you’re not doing an annual check of your Part D coverage, you could be missing big savings.

Every year by September 30, people with Part D plans receive the “Annual Notice of Change,” sent out by plans to explain changes to the formulary (drugs covered), benefits, and costs. This is your first chance to review your coverage. You should also do a comparison of Part D plans to see if another plan would provide you better coverage at a lower cost for 2017.

If you would like help doing a comparison of plans, contact SHIIP. In one hour or less a SHIIP counselor can complete a review, let you know if you can save money, and make sure you have access to the drugs you need in 2017. In the GRMC service area, you may call 641-236-2588, or the state office at 1-800-351-4664, to find the SHIIP site nearest you. SHIIP’s services are free, confidential, and objective. Any change you make will be effective January 1, 2017.

Kris Gross from SHIIP, says, “We’re asking everyone to remind family, friends, and neighbors about these important dates. We don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to make their choice of plans for 2017.”

The 2017 Medicare drug plans will be available on the Medicare website,, on October 1. Plans not renewing their contract with Medicare for 2017 must notify their members by October 2. “Notices of Creditable Coverage” are also due October 15. This is a notice from employer/union and other group health plans which tell Medicare eligible enrollees if their drug coverage will be “as good as or better than Medicare’s coverage” in 2017.

If you have questions about Medicare Part D contact SHIIP at 1-800-351-4664 (TTY1-800-735-2942), go to or e-mail

GRMC to Offer Advance Directive Seminar

Do you have your final wishes written down for family members? What would your family do if you became incapacitated in an accident or illness? An advance directive is a valuable tool during these times. Grinnell Regional Medical Center will host an advance directive seminar for the public to explain the value and need for advance directives in healthcare.

The program is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the GRMC Tomasek Conference Center – East. All adults are invited to learn about end-of-life wishes; and, how to put those in writing so that loved ones know what type of care you want in the event of life-threatening conditions.

Class participants will examine their wants and desires not only at end-of-life but also when a major health crisis occurs. The class will be led by Sheree Andrews, LBSW, M.Ed., GRMC hospice social worker.

In Iowa, two documents are available to express wishes and plans for changes in health. These are the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions or the Medical Power of Attorney and the Declaration Relating to Life-Sustaining Procedures or the Living Will. The Medical Power of Attorney assigns the responsibility to another person to make healthcare choices for someone when he/she cannot. The Living Will states a person’s wishes specifically for healthcare.  The Iowa State Bar offers these online at

Forms will be available at the program. Forms are also available by contacting Grinnell Regional Hospice at 641-236-2418.  Many family practice physicians also distribute the forms so they know their patients’ expectations.

This seminar is free and open to the public. Please make a reservation by calling 641-236-2418 by October 7. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016-2017 Seasonal Influenza Season

Grinnell Regional Public Health will offer public vaccination clinics at locations throughout the county for the seasonal influenza vaccine.

The upcoming season's flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. GRMC will offer a quadrivalent flu vaccine, designed to protect against four different flu viruses; two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The high-dose for individuals over 65 will be available as a trivalent vaccine. Vaccines will be injectable and the nasal spray will not be available due to effectiveness concerns with this year’s blend by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted this summer that live attenuated influenza vaccine, also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season.

“The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications,” says Patty Hinrichs, director of Grinnell Regional Public Health. “We strongly encourage everyone who can have the vaccine to receive this dose of prevention. Though it is not possible to predict how and when the influenza season will unfold, you can protect yourself by having a vaccination and following good healthy habits to stop the spread of germs. Equally important, you help prevent the spread of influenza to individuals who could become severely ill from the virus but can’t receive the vaccine.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. More information is available at

CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against flu soon after vaccine becomes available. The vaccine takes about two weeks after administration for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Supply should be adequate for the fall and winter vaccination clinics.

Schedule of Public Health Influenza Vaccination Sites
Thursday, Sept. 29, 2 to 5:30 p.m. GARC, 1500 Penrose St, Grinnell
Monday, Oct. 3, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Mayflower Community, Carmen Center
Monday, Oct. 3, 3:30 to 6 p.m. BGM School - Cafeteria, Brooklyn
Thursday, Oct. 6, 10 to 11 a.m. Seeland Park - Social Center, Grinnell
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. Brookside South, Grinnell
Monday, Oct. 17, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Grinnell Middle School
Thursday, Oct. 27, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Montezuma School - South Gym, Montezuma
Monday, Oct. 31, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Grinnell High School
By appointment only at Grinnell Regional Public Health Office, 306 Fourth Ave.
Monday, Nov. 9, 9 to 11 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 14, 9 to 11 a.m.        
Monday, Nov. 21, 2 to 4 p.m.

“Grinnell Regional Public Health uses electronic medical records and will be entering data into the system during the influenza vaccine clinics. This will allow individuals who have been seen at GRMC as a patient to have their vaccination in their medical record,” Hinrichs says.

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal influenza vaccine is designed to protect against the top four influenza viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.

Children aged 6 months through eight years who need two doses of vaccine should receive the first dose as soon as possible to allow time to get the second dose before the start of flu season. The two doses should be given at least four weeks apart.

For more information, talk to your primary care provider or call Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2385 or go to

Prevention Tips
In addition to receiving a vaccination, you can take everyday preventive steps.
1.      Clean your hands with soap and water and alcohol-based cleaner if water is not available.
2.      Avoid close contact. When you are sick, keep your distance from others.
3.      Stay home when you are sick.
4.      Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
5.      Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
6.      Practice other good health habits like clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.  

SE*ED: Planning for that Inevitable Day

What will happen to your assets when you die? That’s a question best settled now, not put off until tomorrow. Join Melissa O’Rourke, PhD, Iowa State University Extension, on Monday, Sept. 26, at Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program as she presents, “Top 10 Mistakes of Estate Planning.”

O’Rourke will present on common questions and mistakes, such as procrastination, failure to communicate final wishes with family members, failure to coordinate estate plans and property ownership strategies, and other blunders that might cause unnecessary worry and stress on heirs when that day comes. O’Rourke’s position at Iowa State University allows her to combine experience in law, education, and agriculture, in an unbiased and non-selling approach to help individuals document their wishes.

O’Rourke is an attorney experienced in agricultural law and estate planning. She teaches and presents seminars with the Iowa State University Extension.

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. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Help Beef Up Healthcare

As the start date for the emergency department renovation draws closer, donors are coming up with creative ways to help Grinnell Regional Medical Center raise those last few dollars to reach its fundraising goals. 

“The staff in the emergency department are very passionate about the planned renovation and they wanted to do something to help us finish fundraising for the project. We’re very grateful for their support,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development.

The staff donated a heifer to GRMC for silent auction with all the proceeds going toward the emergency department renovation. It will be divided into quarters; four winning bids will be accepted, one for each individual quarter. Go to to place a bid and keep checking in until the auction ends at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. The four winning bidders will walk away with approximately 100 to 120 pounds of high quality, locally raised beef. (Average fair market value $650-$700.) 

For more information about the GRMC emergency department renovation project or to make a donation toward this effort, please contact Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589.

New Physician Assistant Joins GRMC Medical Staff

Kate Van Wyk, MSPA, PA-C, joined the medical team at Grinnell Regional Family Practice. She will practice with Drs. Doorenbos, Koller, and Rebelsky as well as fellow physician assistants Jake Boyer and Kristin Phelps. This clinic is located on the third floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building.

Van Wyk recently graduated from Des Moines University with her master of science in Physician Assistant Studies. She is familiar with GRMC after completing two rotations in the master’s program with Surgical Associates and Grinnell Regional Family Practice. She also completed family medicine rotations at a Pella primary care clinic and a family health clinic in Alaska. She gained experience at the hospitals in Marshalltown, Urbandale, and West Des Moines, during internal medicine rotations.

Having grown up in Lynnville-Sully area and graduating from the Lynnville-Sully High School, Van Wyk was drawn to the home town feel of Grinnell.

“I’ve been drawn to medicine most of my life and have a deep personal desire to help people,” Van Wyk says. “This community is a great place and I’m excited to meet the residents and patients.”

 Van Wyk will see patients of all ages, providing primary care.

“We’re pleased to welcome Kate to our practice,” says Michelle Rebelsky, MD, Grinnell Regional Family Practice. “She brings in the latest in medical teachings and a great personality that our patients will appreciate.”
When not in the clinic, Van Wyk enjoys outdoors activities including biking, hiking, and kayaking; as well as reading and baking.

Grinnell Regional Family Practice, located at 210 Fourth Ave., Grinnell, accepts new patients. The clinic hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For appointments, call 641-236-2500.

“Welcome to Medicare” Seminar Offered in Grinnell

Dennis Day and Kathy Szary
Are you going to be eligible for Medicare in the near future?  Have you been on Medicare for a while and want to better understand what it offers?  Do you have a family member you help with Medicare issues.

“Welcome to Medicare” is for you!  This two-hour seminar offered by the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s SHIIP counselors will be held Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The seminar will be held at Drake Community Library, 930 Park St., Grinnell. Please register by Thursday, Sept. 22, by calling 641-236-2588.

“We’re excited to offer this free seminar to the community,” says Jeanette Budding, GRMC assistant director of communications and development and the SHIIP coordinator. “Medicare is such an important program and understanding what it offers helps assure that anyone eligible gets the health benefits they deserve. We have four excellent SHIIP counselors who will assist individuals with Medicare questions.”

 Maralee Kruse and  Montie Redenius
SHIIP counselors are Dennis Day, Maralee Kruse, Montie Redenius, and Kathy Szary. These counselors received training and certification from the Iowa Insurance Division this summer about the latest Medicare changes.

“Welcome to Medicare” seminar will cover Medicare Part A and Part B benefits, the prescription drug benefit (Part D), Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare supplement insurance. 

For more information or questions, leave a message at 641-236-2588. A volunteer will return your call.

SHIIP, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program, is a service of the State of Iowa.  SHIIP counselors are trained by the state and do not sell or promote any insurance companies, policies or agents.  GRMC is the local sponsor for SHIIP in Poweshiek County. 

SEED Welcomes Grinnell College’s Latham

Grinnell College is an integral part of the Grinnell community, with changes on campus causing changes in the rest of the community. Join Mike Latham, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, on Monday, Sept. 19, at Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program as he speaks about Strategic Transformations at Grinnell College.

Latham will discuss steps that the College is taking to promote innovation in the liberal arts, such as promoting opportunities for student research, new steps in the “digital liberal arts”, innovations in global education, and plans for a new Humanities and Social Studies Complex.

Latham became vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college in 2014. An academic as well as an administrator, he has published several books, including The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and U.S. Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present and Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era, as well as several articles. Before moving to Grinnell, he worked at Fordham University, where he received an award for outstanding undergraduate teaching in the social sciences.

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. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Avoiding Norovirus

With the onset of the new school year, Grinnell Regional Public Health advises taking precautionary steps of handwashing and avoiding school or work while ill to avoiding the spread of illnesses such as noroviruses. Norovirus has been identified in the community.

The most common symptoms are nausea with vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. People of all ages have these symptoms. Diarrhea is more common among adults; vomiting is more common in children. Many persons (25 to 50 percent) also experience headaches, fevers, chills, and muscle aches. Illness usually lasts 24 to 48 hours. There are no known long-term effects.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, there are no treatments for the virus, only symptom management. However, dehydration can be a complication. If you become ill, drink fluids and rest. Do not interact with people until 72 hours after the end of symptoms.

The symptoms may appear 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus, but onset may range from 10 to 50 hours after exposure. Norovirus are most commonly spread through the fecal-oral route, either by consumption of food or water contaminated with stool or by direct person-to-person spread. The virus can also be spread by contact with objects contaminated with stool and by spread due to the virus in the air after someone vomits. This may result in droplets landing on surfaces or entering the mouth and being swallowed. Noroviruses are also spread from person to person, especially among family members. 

Hand sanitizer is not effective with the norovirus. Soap and water with thorough washing is required to stop the spread of norovirus.  People can pass the virus to others while sick, and up to 72 hours after diarrhea has stopped.  Anyone ill with diarrhea, vomiting or fever should not work with food, the elderly, in health care, or child care. Anyone working in these occupations who becomes ill with these symptoms should leave work. Food recently prepared by this person should be discarded.

Individuals with norovirus symptoms should take precautions to avoid the spread of the virus. For more information about care, contact your primary care provider. For information about noroviruses, contact Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2385.

Q& A from Senior Health Insurance Information Program

Local SHIIP counselor Montie Redenius provided answers to a common question about Medicare.

QUESTION: I currently work for a company that includes health insurance and prescription drug coverage as part of my compensation package. I will turn 65 in two months at which time I plan to retire. After my employment ends, my health insurance and prescription drug coverage also end. What are my options?

ANSWER: First, you must decide whether you going to start drawing Social Security at age 65 or are you going to delay drawing it? If you are going to start drawing your Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (physician services). The premium for Part B (there is no additional premium for Part A) will be deducted automatically from your Social Security payment.

If you are married and your spouse is still working for an employer with 20 or more employees and you can be covered under your spouse’s employer health plan, you can defer Part B coverage until such time as your spouse quits working. At that time, you will have to re-enroll in Part B. If there are less than 20 employees, the employer plan does not have to pay primary and you may need to enroll in both Medicare Parts A and B.

If you are going to delay drawing your Social Security, you will have to contact Social Security to enroll in Medicare Parts A&B. If you do not draw Social Security, you will be billed quarterly for the premium.

Medicare has deductibles and co-payments so you might want to consider purchasing a Medicare supplement plan that will cover these health expenses plus some additional coverage not offered by Medicare. Medicare and Medicare supplements do not cover prescription drugs so you will want to purchase a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D). You can enroll in this plan yourself by going to or you can receive free assistance from a SHIIP counselor who can help you compare the various plans available.

Another option is to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan. This policy is issued by a private insurance company so your Medicare coverage will be provided by them. The Medicare Advantage Plan includes Medicare Part A and B and may include Part D coverage. You still have to pay the Part B premium, which Social Security will withdraw from your Social Security payment. The main difference is that the Medicare Advantage plans have networks so you have to make sure your medical service providers are in the network and will accept the plan.

If you still have questions, you may contact a SHIIP volunteer at Grinnell Regional Medical Center by calling 641-236-2588. Four SHIIP volunteers are available to help you in Poweshiek County. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Deer Creek Family Practice Expands Hours

 The Deer Creek Family Practice will increase clinic hours and be open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, effective August 1.

“We wanted to increase hours to accommodate patients and their busy lives. With the arrivals of Daryl Allison, physician assistant, and Dr. Polly Hineman, we are able to implement that goal,” says Brody Hala, GRMC clinic supervisor. “We anticipate more positive changes with providing services to meet the needs of area residents and remain here locally.”

In addition, Deer Creek Health Center has increased the number of visiting specialists who will hold clinic at the healthcare facility.  Specialists at the clinic include Matthew McKnight, Foot and Ankle of Iowa; Elizabeth Tigges, DO, and Mathew Severidt, DO, Surgical Associates; and Lauren Graham, Grinnell Regional Internal Medicine. Grinnell Regional Physical and Occupational Therapy staff also see clients regularly.

For information about scheduling, call the Deer Creek Family Practice office at 641-484-2602. 

The Jay “Ding” Darling Story

If you’re a frequent attendee of Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education program, you may be familiar with Tom Milligan, who has presented past SEED programs on Grant Wood, Henry A. Wallace, and Forrest Spaulding. On Monday, Aug. 1, he will be presenting “The Art of Conservation, The Jay ‘Ding’ Darling Story.”

The story, which will premiere at the State Fair this summer, features Jay “Ding” Darling, an Iowan and a two time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist. He was also an internationally known conservationist, and the founder of the National Wildlife Federation.

Also an Iowan, Milligan was born in Des Moines and now resides in the Amana Colonies. An accomplished thespian, Milligan’s 45-year career has included performances in a variety of theatres, such as Charlie’s Showplace Dinner Theater, The Old Creamery Theater, The Des Moines Playhouse, and Hoyt Sherman Theater.

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. 

Prepare to Care Graduates

 (from left) Rebecca Crady, Danette Johnson, Deb Morton and Nancy Klein. Not shown Steffanie Crady.

Patients of Grinnell Regional Home Care have another assurance of quality care as five home care aids have completed the Prepare to Care core training.
“Completion of this program recognizes our front line staff as professionals. Our staff has completed this advanced training in patient-specific areas such as communication, cultural differences, and lifting so they can do the very best work for clients,” say Carla Doane, Grinnell Regional Home Care manager.

Prepare to Care is a state recognized educational program, administered by Iowa Department of Public Health, and promoted by the Iowa Care Givers to ensure direct patient care staff are well trained to give quality care to patients. Each year, Grinnell Regional home care aids complete classes to ensure they are trained in the best practices.

“Across our staff, we have more than 50 years of service at GRMC. The longevity of our home care staff is excellent and one reason is that we support our staff. For the patient this ensures stability, knowledge, and experience in caring and meeting their needs,”
Doane says. 

OB/GYN Specialist and Surgeons to Offer Clinic at Deer Creek

Elizabeth Tigges, DO, obstetrics and gynecology specialist, and Mathew Severidt, DO, general surgeon, will accept appointments for surgical consults, obstetrical care, and gynecological needs at Deer Creek Health Center, 401 First Ave., Toledo.

Tigges joined Severidt and the surgeons with Surgical Associates of Grinnell in April and has expanded her clinic outreach to Tama, Toledo, and Meskwaki residents.

The clinic in Toledo will increase access for individuals with surgical and ob-gyn needs. Tigges plans to work with area primary care providers for obstetrical care, cesarean births, and gynecological care.

“A healthy child begins with the mother and good prenatal care. I want to support women in the area during their pregnancies,” says Tigges. “I also believe there is a large underserved group of women with gynecological and sexual health concerns. My training and experience can assist all women.”

Tigges spent the last four years providing obstetrical and gynecological care to patients, performing pelvic surgeries, and specializing in women’s sexual health, a niche area. She previously practiced at the Ottumwa Regional Health Center Obstetrics and Gynecology,  as well as in Memphis, Tenn. 
Tigges began her medical journey at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, followed by a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Aultman Hospital, Northeast Ohio College of Medicine in Canton, Ohio. She is board-certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and aspires to cover the full spectrum of women’s health needs.

Severidt began holding office hours at Deer Creek Health Center in May. Severidt will consult with patients for a range of general surgery services including abdominal, hernia, and endocrine surgeries as well as oncology, obstetrical, and bariatric procedures. His residency included training in advanced laparoscopy, allowing Severidt to offer his patients a minimally invasive solution to complex surgical problems.

He received his training at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines after earning his medical degree at A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, Mo. He graduated from Central College in Pella.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Tigges or Severidt, please call Surgical Associates at 641-236-4323.

Friday, July 15, 2016

New SHIIP Counselor Offering Medicare Information in Grinnell

Where can I go to find answers about the Medicare prescription drug plans?  Are mammograms covered by Medicare Part B?  What is a Medicare Advantage plan? I’m turning 65—who can help me understand Medicare?  My medications have gotten so expensive I just can’t afford to take them all, is there any help?

Answers to these questions can be found by meeting with a Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) volunteer at Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Now, three volunteers are available to assist residents in the GRMC service area. 

Kathy Szary from Grinnell completed the extensive training program conducted by the State of Iowa Insurance Division. She worked at GRMC for more than 30 years and retired this past year.

Szary joins Maralee Kruse and Montie Redenius as a SHIIP counselor. People wishing to schedule an appointment with a SHIIP counselor should call 641-236-2588.

SHIIP, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program, was created in 1990 in response to the statewide need for senior health insurance information.  SHIIP provides free informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance with questions and problems related to Medicare benefits, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare and insurance claims, and other related issues.  SHIIP does not recommend insurance companies, plans or agents; the volunteers answer questions and provide impartial information to help Iowans on Medicare make well-informed decisions.

Demystifying the Debatable Definition of Art

One may say “art is in the eye of the beholder” and yet, that is debatable since one person’s opinion is only as good as the information it is based on. Monday, July 25, Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program will welcome Dale Fisher the Curator of Education at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Fisher will discuss the debate regarding the definition of art and the perplexing part it plays in education and everyday life. He will cover the major constants and variables that are inherent to the spiritual, social, and historical function of art throughout human history.

Fisher received his BS in Art Education and a BFA in painting, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He received his MFA from Arizona State University. After completing the MFA program, Fisher worked as a museum educator at the University of Missouri-Columbia Museum of Art and Archaeology where he served on the faculty of the School of Fine Arts. He is currently curator of education at the UI Museum of Art, and lecturer in the UI Museum Studies and Art Education programs.

Fisher’s intent for this presentation is to get the audience to look beyond their personal tastes when considering what art is.

“My goal is as ambitious as opening up a whole new way of seeing for some, or for others, as simple as facilitating the viewer of art to look a little closer than perhaps they otherwise would have prior to the discussion,” explains Fisher. “It is an ongoing challenge that depends on the audience having an open mind, a judicious temperament, and a willingness to explore ideas.”

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.

Brody Hala Joins Deer Creek Management Team

When you want the best from your local healthcare center, know that Brody Hala, MHA, 2010 South Tama County High School graduate, will be on your team. Hala began serving as the Grinnell Regional Medical Center outlying clinic supervisor on July 1.

Hala’s role will be to oversee the day-to-day operations at Deer Creek Family Care and Victor Health Center. He will be responsible for scheduling providers, tracking financial metrics, achieving high patient satisfaction, and assuring the clinics follow best practices for quality patient care.

He comes to the Deer Creek Family Care clinic from the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics as well as Athletico Physical Therapy in Urbandale. He also worked as a student athletic trainer at the University of Northern Iowa Athletic Training center in Cedar Falls while earning his BA in athletic training. He will earn a master’s in healthcare administration from Des Moines University this coming winter.

“We plan to grow the GRMC clinics and are fortunate to welcome Brody to lead our outlying clinics in these activities,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “The addition of a dedicated clinic supervisor will help assure patients receive the best care, especially with the addition of Daryl Allison in July and Dr. Polly Hineman in August, to the Deer Creek Family Care team with Sherry Parks, PA-C. Brody has the hometown knowledge and the training to match patients’ needs with expanded services in the clinic.”

Hala grew up in Toledo and his family lives in the community. He enjoys playing and watching sports, as well as outside activities and traveling. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

GRMC Golf Outing Breaks Record with $25,000 for ER Renovations

GRMC’s emergency department renovations received a power drive as golfers from around the area raised $25,000 during the 2016 Grinnell Regional Medical Center Golf Outing. The sponsorships, contests, and golf registrations raised a record-breaking amount from the one-day event with morning and afternoon tee times. GRMC welcomed 140 golfers on 35 teams to the Grinnell College Golf Course on Friday, June 17, for the annual fundraiser and friend raiser to support GRMC’s Moving at the Speed of Life campaign.

“We’re tremendously thrilled with the support from sponsors, community members, and business partners for this event. The $25,000 was designated for the emergency department renovations, which leaves just $157,000 more to raise before we can start construction,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “I want to say thank you to all involved in this day to support an excellent cause. Based on the scores, we had a great day of golfing, socializing, and fundraising for GRMC.”

With this 9-hole course, par score of 70, GRMC’s outing offered four flights of three teams in each flight. All winning flight teams receive $100 in either cash or gift cards. This year’s top team was Wes Finch Auto Plaza, scoring 56, with members Jeff Finch, Alex Olson, Hugh German, and John German. The second team in the first flight was Dr. Nick Kuiper, Dr. Mathew Severidt, Dr. Scott Collings, and Shane Hart. They scored 11 under par with a 59. The third top flight team went to KGRN, which consisted of Kent Baarda, Brad Zegers, Ben Zylstra, and Tim Zylstra. They scored 60, which was a four way tie.

The second flight included three teams all with a score of 64, with card back determining the order. First in the flight is the Brown Medical Imaging with Tom Mellon, Sr., Tom Mellon, Jr., Matt Byrd, and Jon Osborn. Second in the second flight was the Priority Plastics team with Jesse Hopkins, Randy Masterson, Krystal Smith, and Jamie Wang. Third in the second flight went to Associated Computer Systems team with Andy Bice, Tony Foth, Heidi Thompson, and Jaime Ridgway.

The third flight teams all scored 68, two under par. First place went to the team of Great Western Bank and GRMC with Scott Herbers, Kevin Seney, Zach Weiderspon, and Tom Gallo. The second team in the flight was Duke/Vesely with James Duke, Mary Duke, Emily Vesely, and Jeremy Vesely. The third team in the third flight went to Ramsey Weeks, with Rick Ramsey, Kevin Kolbe, Mike Allen, and Alex Plate.

In the fourth flight, the first place team was Linden/Hatcher with Todd Linden, Dave Stoakes, and Ed Hatcher, with a 72 score. The second place team with a 73 was Duke/Sears, consisted of James Duke, Mary Duke, Kim Sears, and Derrick Sears. And the third place team in the fourth flight was the Double You Marketing team with Katy Wells, Julie West, Brent Isenberger, and Theresa Petersen. They had a 75.

GRMC held pin contests with prizes for men and women:
Hole 1/10: Closest to the pin in two strokes went to Jordan Sherwood and Tyler Beck, winning $50 gift cards from the HyVee in Grinnell.

Hole 2/11: Closest to the pin in one stroke went to Dodi Reilly and Andy Bice, winning $50 cash, sponsored by CI3.

Hole 3/12: Longest drive in the fairway went to Lisa Hart and John German, each winning $50 in cash sponsored by Double You Marketing, Inc.

Hole 4/13: Straightest drive/closest to the line went to Becky Froias and Jon Lacasse, winning a $50 gift certificate to Wine Styles and $50 gift certificate to Massage Heights.

Hole 5/14: Closest to the bedpan winners were Sue Vander Linden and Pete Boeke, each taking home $50 in cash sponsored by The 801 Group of Morgan Stanley.

Hole 6/15: Closest to the pin in one stroke went to Kay Cmelik and Tom Mellon, Sr., taking home $50 gift certificates to Michael’s Italian Restaurant.

Hole 7/16: Longest putt on the green went to Dodi Reilly and Tim Zylstra, each taking home a $50 gift certificate sponsored by Mary and James Duke.

Hole 8/17: Closest to the crutch winners were Jamie Wang and Mike Thorndike, each winning $50 in cash sponsored by Ramsey-Weeks, Inc.

Hole 9/18: Drawing for landing on the green went to Jeff Finch, who took home a YETI cooler, valued at $250.

A 50/50 raffle generated $410, which was split between the winner, John German, and GRMC.

The best dressed contest went to the Lang team who all dressed as a fan from different Iowa sports teams. Members were Sally Lang, Kay Cmelik, Sue Vander Linden, and Dodi Reilly.  

The most obnoxiously dressed award went to the Solera Wine team in their bib overall shorts and tiaras. Team members included Sam Cox, Sara Cox, Colleen Klainert, and Karen Richards.

 This event depends on sponsorships from business partners and community businesses. GRMC offered a Headliner sponsorship again. With a one-time donation, Ahrens Park Foundation, Grinnell College, and State Farm – Brent Nickel are recognized as a sponsor for the Golf Outing, the bike helmets, and for the auxiliary business membership.

The Eagle sponsors for 2016 were Associated Computer Services, Bernie Lowe & Associates, Inc., Brown’s Medical Imaging, Graham Construction Company, Grinnell Convention and Visitors Bureau, Grinnell State Bank, and Manatt’s, Inc.

Birdie sponsors were ASI Signage Innovations, Great Western Bank, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Jeld-Wen Doors Division, Dr. Nicholas and Stacy Kuiper, Seim Johnson, LLP, and Wes Finch Auto Plaza.

The 19th Hole sponsors were Electronic Engineering, Exile Brewing Company, Family Dentistry– Dr. David Smith, Dr. David Cunningham, Dr. Chris Roudabush, Dr. Matthew Miller, Dr. Jeff Millet; Todd and Angela Linden–Massage Heights and Wine Styles; Jensen Optometrists, PLLC, Kevin White Design, Pagliai’s Pizza, Priority Plastics, Dr. Mathew Severidt, Steel Erectors of Iowa, LLC;  and The Straub Corporation/PAW Marketing.

Flight sponsors who made this event possible include: Dan and Jo Becker, Brown’s Shoe Fit, Dayton Meat Products, Inc., Dr. Gene Gessner, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Julin Printing Company, Malcom Lumber, Leila Maring, Poweshiek Publications, Premier Printing, S&F Underground Inc., and T.L. Baker and Co., LLP

Pin sponsors were CI3, Double You Marketing, Inc., Mary and James Duke, Grinnell HyVee, GRMC, Todd and Angela Linden – Wine Styles, Michael’s Italian Restaurant, Ramsey-Weeks, Inc., Rees Vinyl Signs, and The 801 Group at Morgan Stanley.

Raffle prizes were donated by 1854 Deli, Anna Kayte's by Arnold Motor Supply, LLC, Automatic Door Group, Awards Unlimited, Ballyhoo In Ink, Bill's Jewelry, Casa Margarita, Cirks Financial Services, Colonial Life, Cory Hall Photography, CuVerro - Olin Brass, Dayton Meat Products, Inc., Double You Marketing, Inc., Mary and James Duke, Edward Jones - Kolpin & Kolpin, Exile Brewing Co., GRMC, Todd and Angela Linden/Wine Styles, Linder Tire Service, Montgomery's Sandwich Shop, The 801 Group at Morgan Stanley, The Glass Gift Box, Total Choice Shipping & Printing, Van Meter, Inc., and Vonda's Flowers & Gifts.

The GRMC golf outing is a best shot, four-person team format planned by a committee of community members and staff from the GRMC Office of Communications and Development. They are Jeanette Budding, Dr. Scott Collings, Mary Duke, Becky Froias, Jen Hawkins, Dr. Nick Kuiper, Dodi Reilly, Derrick Sears, Jan Veach, Emily Vesely, and Katy Wells.

Monday, June 6, 2016

SHIP Awareness June 2016

Let’s face it - Medicare is confusing. It’s even more confusing when changes in the law occur. Sometimes those changes are easy to understand. Other times laws are so hard to interpret that everyday Iowans throw their hands up in disgust without getting the answers they need.

Luckily, the Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program – better known as SHIIP – is available to provide free, unbiased information about how changes may affect people on Medicare. Recently, SHIIP counselors have been getting many calls regarding a change in Medicare law that will take place in 2020 regarding Medicare Supplement plans C and F.

Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies to fill the gaps in traditional Medicare plans (Parts A and B). Medicare plans help pay for things like coinsurance, copayments or deductibles on Medicare-covered services.

If you own a Medicare Supplement C or F plan before January 1, 2020, there will be no need to replace it. You will be able to keep it after 2020. In fact, as long as you were eligible for or enrolled in Medicare prior to 2020, you can continue to purchase Medicare Supplement Plans C or F even beyond 2020. The change in law simply will take these two plan options off the table for those newly eligible for or enrolled in Medicare after January 1, 2020.

At the 18 Iowa Fraud Fighter events the Iowa Insurance Division held around the state, it was discussed that whenever there is a change in law, there is a certain amount of fear of the unknown. Whenever those changes occur, some individuals try to exploit that fear and make a profit by encouraging people to make a switch that may not be the right choice for the consumer.

SHIIP has been seeing items claiming that once 2020 hits, Medicare Supplement Plans C and F will become unaffordable so people should switch now. That is simply not the case. Medicare supplement plans have come and gone over the years but the Iowa Insurance Division has not seen rate spirals in the Medicare supplement market.

Medicare is confusing. Changes to Medicare are confusing. Don’t try to understand all the changes yourself. SHIIP has over 350 volunteers all over Iowa to help you get answers and assistance with your Medicare questions. SHIIP counselors do such a great job that they helped save Iowans over $20 million last year.

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is a host for the SHIIP program. To speak with a local counselor, call 641-236-2588 or email Residents may also call the state SHIIP office at 800-351-4664 or visit They can answer your questions and even review your policies to make sure you are getting the most from your Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Primary Care Physician Joins Grinnell Family Care

Marjorie M. Renfrow, MD, began seeing patients at Grinnell Family Care on Tuesday, May 24, joining the primary care providers in the clinic, located at 217 Fourth Ave., West, Grinnell.

Renfrow comes to Grinnell from a geriatric clinic in Bella Vista, Ark., where she provided care for individuals in the mature years of life. Her path to Grinnell includes a diverse career and travel background that will fit well with patients in the area.

“I’ve taken care of grandparents and my mother as they aged and passed during the past two decades. The need for quality senior care will continue to expand,” Renfrow says. “I know how hard it was finding good quality medical care for my family members so I decided to take on a second career and focus on geriatrics.”

Once she decided to change careers, Renfrow attended Purdue University initially to become a nurse. With the strong advice of a professor, she switched career paths to become a physician. Renfrow earned her medical degree from the American University of Caribbean School of Medicine, St. Maarten. She completed her residency through the Synergy Medical Education Alliance at Central Michigan University, in Saginaw, Mich. She completed a geriatric fellowship at the University of Hawaii, and returned to Saginaw to work at the Veteran’s Administration. She is board certified in both family and geriatric medicine.

Becoming a physician has been a second career for Renfrow, who was an accountant for 20 years for her family’s farm in Grant County, Okla. During this time, she cared for elderly family members and realized healthcare was missing an important element to help the senior population.

“Geriatrics is evolving in our society as the baby boomer population ages. What I learned caring for family was that this is more than medication. It’s about culture and beliefs as well as challenging family dynamics,” Renfrow says.

“Dr. Renfrow brings excellent experience and compassion to this clinic. Her experience as the primary caregiver and supporter for elder family members will fit well into our practice serving our patients and new patients who seek care,” says James R. Paulson, MD, partner with Grinnell Family Care.

Renfrow moved to Grinnell to be near her aunt and uncle. When she has freetime she enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, bird watching, photography, and family.   

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Renfrow, call Grinnell Family Care at 641-236-7524. 

Opioid Pain Control Epidemic Examined

More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve opioids, which are prescription pain medications. Healthcare providers play a critical role in changing this epidemic. Jennifer Paisley, MD, Grinnell Regional Internal Medicine, will present at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Senior Education Program. She will explain the epidemic and address ways to prevent future deaths. The public is welcome to hear her program on Monday, June 6.

The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include: Methadone, Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®), and Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to reverse this epidemic, America needs to improve the way we treat pain. We must prevent abuse, addiction, and overdose before they start.

Paisley joined the Grinnell Regional Internal Medicine clinic in April 2016. She grew up in Grinnell. She has been practicing in Newton for the past two years.

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.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Deer Creek Family Care Welcomes Dr. Polly Hineman and Daryl Allison, PA-C

Deer Creek Family Care, an affiliated clinic of Grinnell Regional Medical Center, announces the addition of Polly J. Hineman, DO, and Daryl C. Allison, PA-C, to the Toledo primary care clinic. They will join Sherry Parks, PA-C, and Roy Doorenbos, MD, who serves as the supervising physician in the clinic.

The providers will shift their practice to Deer Creek Family Care, 401 First Ave., Toledo, and welcome current patients to the new clinic. Allison will begin seeing patients in early July and Hineman will begin in August. 

“Dr. Hineman and Daryl Allison have well-established practices with years of experience. They have a stellar reputation and strong patient following. I believe they will be an excellent addition to the Deer Creek Family Care clinic staff and Grinnell Regional’s medical staff,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “Current patients of Dr. Hineman and Daryl will not need to seek a new provider or travel for care. We will welcome them at the Deer Creek Family Practice and GRMC.”

As an adult medicine (internal medicine) specialist, Hineman has served the Tama and Toledo area for more than 25 years. She originally began practicing in Toledo and Marshalltown in 1991. She earned her medical degree from University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (now called Des Moines University) and a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. Her residencies were at Des Moines General Hospital, Des Moines; and Bon Secours Hospital, Grosse Pointe, Mich. She is board certified in internal medicine and general practice. She is an FAA certified Aviation Medical Examiner.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Tama County,” Hineman says. “I am excited to join Deer Creek and the GRMC team.”

Allison has also served the Tama and Toledo area for more than 25 years. He began practicing in 1977 after earning his physician assistant degree from the University of Iowa. He is a longstanding member of the Iowa Physician Assistant Society, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants. Allison also served three years in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

“I am looking forward to the opportunities provided by joining the Deer Creek team for my patients and myself. And, I would hope to see all of my current patients and meet many of the current patients at Deer Creek, in absence of their care provider. I would love to see the original concept of the Deer Creek Health Center realized, which would be very beneficial to our patients. The reputations of Sherry Parks, Roy Doorenbos, and the Deer Creek and GRMC teams are well respected and well known to the area.”

Parks concurs with the anticipated benefits of adding new providers.

“I’m looking forward to Dr. Hineman and Daryl Allison joining the clinic team,” says Parks, who has been with the Deer Creek Family Care clinic since 2001. “Practicing with multiple providers allows greater opportunities. It’s a leap toward our original goal for this clinic of having primary care and specialists in one location so residents could remain local and not travel for healthcare. We have a wonderful community and with the addition of providers to our clinic, we will recruit more specialty providers and services.”

This expansion of specialty care includes Surgical Associates, which has committed to offering surgical consultations and exams with Matthew Severidt, DO, general surgeon, and Elizabeth Tigges, DO, gynecology and obstetrics specialist. Currently, Matthew McKnight, DPM, podiatrist, and Lauren Graham, MD, internal medicine specialist, see patients at the facility on a regular basis. GRMC is working with other providers to add specialists to the center.

“This really is part of our vision with GRMC to expand services into the area and serve residents,” Linden says. “The Deer Creek Health Center is a wonderful facility to accommodate health services. We feel the stars are aligning for a successful future.”

For more information about scheduling an appointment with Hineman, Allison, or Parks at Deer Creek Family Care, call 641-484-2602.

Letters Alert Eligible Medicare Beneficiaries about Missed Benefits

Beginning this week, over 28,000 Iowa Medicare beneficiaries will receive a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) telling them that they may be eligible for help with their out-of-pocket medical and drug expenses. The State of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) encourages beneficiaries who receive these letters to contact SHIIP to learn how they can potentially save hundreds of dollars through the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and Part D Extra Help.

The letters are sent annually to people with Medicare with limited incomes who could be eligible for help—but are not enrolled in these programs. The Medicare Savings Programs help with Medicare out-of-pocket costs. Medicare Part D Extra Help lowers the costs of prescription drugs.

“These letters are not a scam,” says Kris Gross, Director of SHIIP. “They are an important notice that people on Medicare should review and consider. SHIIP can help determine if you’re eligible, apply, and understand these new benefits once you’re approved.”

Grinnell Regional Medical Center hosts the SHIIP program and offers local counselors to assist area residents. Call 641-236-2588 to discuss your Medicare benefits with a counselor. Or residents may contact the state office at 1-800-351-4664 (TTY 800-735-2942) if you have questions about this assistance or other Medicare topics. SHIIP’s services are free, confidential, and objective. They do not promote or sell any insurance products.

GRMC Wins Multiple Marketing Awards

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Office of Communication and Development has won Healthcare Advertising Awards including a Merit Award and a Gold Award, as well as an Aster Award in marketing for the third year in a row.

The Healthcare Advertising Awards are sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report, the leading publication covering all aspects of healthcare marketing, advertising, and strategic business development. The Healthcare Advertising Awards is the oldest, largest, and most widely respected healthcare advertising awards competition.

Annually, a national panel of judges reviews entries; 2016 is the 33rd Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards. GRMC earned a gold award for the ‘We are GRMC’ themed elevator skins – only 360 gold awards were awarded from over 3,700 entries – and a merit award for the ‘Are We There Yet?’ themed bariatrics microsite. Entries are judged on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design, and overall impact.

Aster Awards honor exceptional advertising or marketing in the healthcare field. All entries are judged by a panel of industry experts – design and healthcare marketing professionals – and judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, typography, production, quality, and overall effectiveness.  Participant’s entries competed against similar-sized organizations in their specific groups and categories.

The elevator skins displaying the ‘We are GRMC’ campaign, as depicted by staff and services at GRMC, won a silver award in the category of “Poster/Display – Single.” Silver awards honor entries that scored within the top 12 percent in the nation.

Designer of the elevator skins, Jen Hawkins, GRMC graphic designer, said that the campaign has been effective in communicating the passion of GRMC staff as well as the quality of the services.