Friday, January 29, 2016

Grinnell Regional to Assess Community Health Needs

Grinnell Regional Medical Center will conduct a community health needs assessment over the next three months to evaluate progress on the health needs cited in 2013. The assessment will also collect up-to-date community health perceptions and guide the medical center and Grinnell Regional Public Health in addressing current and future healthcare needs for area residents.

All residents and business leaders in the GRMC service area are encouraged to complete the 2016 online CHNA survey by Tuesday, March 1. The short online survey is available at:

In addition, a public town hall meeting will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at the Grinnell Elks Lodge, 720 3rd Ave., Grinnell. Any resident in the GRMC service area is welcome to attend and provide input about health concerns in the county. Lunch will be provided at the town hall discussion.

“We hope that the community and health professionals will take advantage of this opportunity to provide input into the future of healthcare delivery in our county,” says Todd Linden, GRMC president and CEO.

Vince Vandehaar, MBA (VVV Consultants LLC, an independent research firm from Olathe, Kansas) has been retained to conduct this countywide research. If you have any questions about CHNA activities, please call 913-924-2327.

GRMC Board Makes Mercy Decision

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Board of Directors decided last night not to pursue a letter of intent to merge with Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines. 

“The board recognizes that GRMC likely needs to integrate fully with a larger healthcare system to sustain viability because of the changes taking place in healthcare.  However, the board decided that now is not the right time to move toward a full merger with Mercy Medical Center,” says Todd Reding, chair of the GRMC board of directors.

“This was a difficult decision and is in no way critical of Mercy. In fact, we have been pleased with our affiliation relationship with Mercy Health Network over the past six years,” Reding says. “We appreciate all we have learned about Mercy and ourselves during this period of due diligence. We’re impressed with Mercy’s vision for expanding affordable and high-quality care across Iowa. The board is thankful for the excellent input we received throughout the process from GRMC employees, medical staff members, and the community, which contributed greatly to the board’s deliberations.”

Mercy and GRMC spent the last half of 2015 examining whether a more integrated relationship made sense. The conversations focused primarily on a merger.

“GRMC will continue to enjoy its looser affiliation with Mercy Health Network. Both GRMC and Mercy remain open to potential future discussions about partnerships that align with the mission of each organization, and those conversations will be ongoing,” Reding says.

Reding adds that the GRMC board will now take stock of how the medical center can best achieve its goals and objectives. 

Healthcare Scholarship Applications Available

Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary provides scholarships to area students pursuing a healthcare career. Scholarships are for graduating high school seniors, current students, or adult students pursuing a healthcare degree. This year $2,000 has been designated for scholarships.

Applications are now available from area high school guidance counselors, the admissions desk at GRMC, and online at  Individuals who are interested in pursuing healthcare careers have until Friday, March 11, to submit completed scholarship application forms.

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

The auxiliary will review applications and notify recipients in early April. For additional information about the GRMC Auxiliary scholarships, please call the GRMC office of communications and development at 641-236-2590.

State Healthcare Scholarship
The Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) is proud to continue the Health Care Careers Scholarship program for the eleventh year. The Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), an IHA subsidiary, administers the scholarship program.

IHA announced the amount of the scholarship award has been increased to $3,500, the first increase in the 10 year history of the program due to college tuition inflation.

The ultimate goal of this program is to fill Iowa healthcare positions that currently have a notable number of openings by offering significant financial support to students seeking healthcare education or training. In exchange for that financial support, each award recipient must commit to working one year in an Iowa hospital for each year of scholarship award.

All applications will be submitted online at the IHERF scholarship website that will help students confirm their eligibility before beginning the application process. This will allow for electronic submission of their application, college program verification, and references.

Placement opportunities will be identified for each IHA geographic district (a map is included with the application). Scholarship applications will be scored and awards made based on each applicant’s qualifications. All portions of the application form must be submitted by March 30, 2016.

Please contact Clara Stults, Director Operations and Information Services, or 515-288-1955 at IHERF if you need additional information.

Birding with the Van Ersveldes

Take a glimpse of spring during the February 8 Grinnell Regional Medical Center Senior Education Program with Bob and Connie Van Ersvelde. They will present a slide show of birds and tools of bird banding to participants.

More than 500 birds are banded each year. This allows the program to monitor birds and their migratory patterns. Van Ersvelde says he has recapture 75 to 80 birds, with most being two to four years old. He says a highlight of the couple’s work has been to recapture one of the top 20 oldest catbirds known in the world. It migrates to South America and back.

Bob Van Ersvelde has been bird banding since 1996 and earned his license six years ago. The Van Ersveldes are involved in a national research program to monitor birds. They are one of only two locations in Iowa. Van Ersvelde’s SEED program will show birds in the state, explain breeding and feeding patterns in Iowa, and share tips for people to enjoy bird watching and feeding.

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, January 22, 2016

Strong Support for 2015 GRMC Annual Fund Drive

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Annual Fund Drive plays an essential role in the patient experience at the medical center. In 2015, annual fundraising efforts brought in donations totaling more than $150,000.

Gifts to the annual fund support GRMC as it provides high quality patient care with the ability to purchase new medical equipment and provide support to lifesaving programs.

“Gifts to the annual fund drive play a crucial role in GRMC’s ability to provide patient care that is recognized nationally for safety and quality,” says Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development.

All donations may be designated to a specific service, department, or program at GRMC. Gifts may also be given as “unrestricted,” meaning the foundation can determine the greatest need in the hospital at a given time and use funds on those projects.

Projects supported by donations in 2015 include training for clinical staff; services at the Grinnell Regional Community Care Clinic; and the annual distribution of bike helmets to all area third graders. Contributions also support local healthcare needs, such as helping those who are uninsured or under insured and funding services like Grinnell Regional Hospice, Grinnell Regional Home Care, Grinnell Regional Public Health, and Grinnell Regional Mental Health. Donations to the annual fund drive also offset the costs of programs like the Babies Room, the Loan Closet, and the Senior Education Program.

In addition to fundraising activities, GRMC also supports its operating budget through grants. In 2015, GRMC received $23,398 in grants. Those grant dollars helped GRMC give presentations on the prevention of colon and rectal cancers as well as distribute free testing kits to program participants. Grants also funded the bike helmet program and the Babies Room.

In addition to the medical center’s annual fundraising efforts, support continues to grow for its Moving at the Speed of Life capital campaign. The focus is now concentrating on raising funds for the emergency department renovation. GRMC received a $360,000 low-interest loan from Brooklyn’s T.I.P. Rural Electric Cooperative, which must be paid back over a 10-year period. To date, GRMC has raised almost $1.4 million in gifts restricted to the emergency department renovation. Renovations could begin as early as this summer once an additional $500,000 is raised to complete the project.

For additional information about GRMC’s annual fund or other development programs, contact Denise Lamphier at 641-236-2589