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. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

A New Approach to Your Child’s Wellness

Help your child or grandchild stay active this summer through a variety of programs offered by the AmeriCorps Healthy Readers Program. Join the Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Senior Education Program on Monday, May 16, to hear Melissa Berman, Grinnell healthy readers’ taskforce coordinator, present information about the success of the new Wellness Wednesdays program at Bailey Park and Fairview Elementary Schools and upcoming opportunities to promoting wellness throughout the summer.

The Wellness Wednesdays program has local community volunteers who read stories to elementary students related to a variety of wellness topics; everything from meditation and relaxation to exercise can be covered during the program. The volunteers also provide students with a fruit or vegetable taste test challenge. 

Wellness at the Market will held on the second Saturday and third Thursday every month during the Grinnell farmers’ market. Children can come for story time at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and then stay for an interactive activity, such as “Planting a Pizza” or kids’ yoga.  

Berman attended and integrative nutrition program for two years to receive her wellness certification. After completing the training, Berman had done health coaching for community members before joining the AmeriCorps program last fall.

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.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Capstone to Expand into Poweshiek County

Collaboration among four Iowa organizations promises to improve access to mental health services in Poweshiek County.

Beginning later this year, Capstone Behavioral Healthcare—a Newton-based service—will begin offering mental health services in the former Poweshiek County Mental Health Center offices on Fourth Avenue in Grinnell.

The four partners working to make this arrangement possible are Capstone Behavioral Healthcare, Central Iowa Community Services, Poweshiek County Board of Supervisors, and Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Each organization brings critical resources to the table to ensure that mental health services remain in the area.

“We believe this partnership will provide excellent services to patients, preserve local employment, and enhance financial sustainability for all the organizations involved,” says Todd Reding, president of GRMC’s board of directors.

GRMC began providing mental health services in 2013 when the 40-year-old Poweshiek County Mental Health Center closed due to financial difficulties. Over the past three years, the same issues that plagued PCMHC—a shortage of providers and poor reimbursement from insurers—stressed GRMC as well, making it difficult to sustain the service.

A transition to Capstone will improve access for patients.

Capstone’s mission is to promote mental health, and reduce the impairments associated with mental disorders, substance abuse, and chemical dependency by providing education, support, and treatment services. Capstone’s board of directors voted unanimously to approve the proposal by GRMC and Poweshiek County to operate the mental health clinic. The goal is to complete the transition by fall of 2016.

Central to this transition are the expansion of provider availability and cost savings. Capstone is considered a “community mental health center” by Medicaid and Medicare regulations—a designation that GRMC is not eligible for due to a state moratorium on making this designation. The designation allows Capstone to receive a higher rate of reimbursement from insurers—approximately 30 percent more—than GRMC could for the exact same service. In addition, Capstone is able to receive additional types of funding that helps it recruit providers.

“We appreciate all that GRMC has done to keep mental health services local over the past three years,” says Jody Eaton, chief executive officer of Central Iowa Community Services. The agency is charged with coordinating mental health services for the State of Iowa in 10 Iowa counties, including Jasper and Poweshiek counties.

“We understand the inconsistent financial reimbursement at GRMC has made for many challenges. This partnership with the county and Capstone will achieve mutual goals to keep mental health services local and expand care options,” Eaton adds.

CICS will consider assisting in start-up costs to bring Capstone to Grinnell. The county supervisors have agreed to provide affordable rental fees to Capstone to entice them to Grinnell.

“We are pleased to provide an affordable clinic space for this much needed service. We are committed to this collaboration and to making the available resources go as far as possible,” says Larry Wilson, Poweshiek County supervisor.

“Our primary concern has been, and will continue to be, providing quality healthcare for area residents,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “We continue to read daily about the serious shortage of mental health providers and funding for services. Iowa ranks 47th out of 50 states for psychiatrists per capita and 46th in per capita for number of psychologists. We will face this challenge until state and federal funding and policy changes occur.”

 “Our goal has always been to ensure that individuals with mental health needs receive treatment. We’re excited to be partnering with Capstone and to include many of their providers on our medical staff,” Linden says.

“We want to be here and provide the service,” says Julie Smith, director of Capstone. “Our focus is to keep people in the community for services. It is imperative that everyone work together in this transition.”

 “The purpose of this collaboration is to ensure that individuals with mental health issues do not go untreated. Providing high-quality and sustainable mental health services to serve the residents of our community is our first priority,” Smith adds.

Once the relocation takes place, Capstone’s office hours in Grinnell will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Capstone intends to bring additional mental health professionals to practice in Grinnell. Services will include psychiatric medication management, individual counseling, and group therapy. Capstone will also continue to operate the Station Clubhouse, which specializes in group therapy and activities for clients, as well as their integrated health home.

GRMC will continue to operate its mental health program until the transition to Capstone is complete in the fall of this year. Patients can begin inquiring about fall appointments with Capstone by calling 641-236-2347.