Author: Vinton Today

I <3 Nursing!

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Fall/Winter 2017 issue and has been updated. An online version of the entire publication can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) TYLER HENKLE IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND LOVING EVERY MINUTE! For Tyler Henkle the transition to being one of Virginia Gay’s only male clinic nurses has been fulfilling and smooth. “I have experience working as a CNA in a nursing home and working as a nurse in long-term care as well,” says Tyler. “Before that, one of my experiences was compounding sterile IV medications for home infusion. I worked in Cedar Rapids and wore a sterile gown, sterile gloves, and worked in a sterile room. Supplies would come into the room with instructions for making the medication; I would follow the directions, send the medication out and start over again. I often worked four hours or more without talking with anyone. My family tells me this role at the Vinton Family Medical Clinic fits my personality much better.” There are a number of things Tyler especially enjoys about working as a nurse in Virginia Gay’s Vinton location. “On a practical level I enjoy the four block commute instead of the drive to Cedar Rapids,” explains Tyler, “and I also like the benefits we have as employees of Virginia Gay. It’s the best of both worlds really, working close to home...

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Virginia Gay Home Health says “Thanks!”

The Virginia Gay Hospital Home Health Agency is extending their gratitude and appreciation to everyone for the success of their 4th Annual “Angel Tree”. They were able to collect and distribute gifts for a total of 57 clients this year. “Once again we had an amazing response from employees at Virginia Gay Hospital and our community. Every client got a gift and we are so thankful for everyone’s generosity. It truly warms our hearts being able to share these gifts with our clients and seeing their face light up when they receive the gifts,” states the Director of Home Health/Public Health, Melissa Smith, RN, BSN. In addition, to the individual donations received, members of Revolution Church, located in Vinton, generously donated multiple boxes of items so the Home Health department was able to give their clients multiple gifts in addition to their “Angel Tree” gifts. “You have truly helped make Christmas a special time for our clients,” Smith continued, “Each person gave so willingly, and we thank you for your generosity!” Read more about this year’s VG Home Health Angel Tree program...

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Conquering Diabetes Family Style

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Fall/Winter 2017 issue. An online version of the entire publication can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) A Type II Diabetes diagnosis gave Maureen Haisman and her family an opportunity to get serious about healthy habits and good nutrition. When she received a diagnosis of Type II diabetes, Maureen Haisman felt like it was the beginning of the end. “My dad was diabetic and my mother’s family had a history of diabetes,” explains Maureen. “My sister is diabetic as well. I knew that if I didn’t do something, diabetes was going to kill me.” There are two types of diabetes. Telling them apart can be confusing because both involve imbalances of insulin, but the differences are important to understand. Your body breaks food down and in the process of digestion, glucose is secreted by the pancreas. The energy for life comes from insulin moving glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Type I diabetes, also known as “juvenile diabetes” because it is most commonly diagnosed in children, occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Treating this condition requires close monitoring of glucose levels in the blood and administration of insulin through shots or an insulin pump. Type II diabetes is the result of a complex interplay between obesity, carbohydrates and sugar, and genetic predisposition, resulting in either insulin resistance or...

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Weeknight Wonders

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Fall/Winter 2017 issue. An online version of the entire publication can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) As the weather starts to nip at your nose but your schedule doesn’t slow down, it is always good to have a couple healthier meal options ready to go, whether it’s using the crock pot or having it prepared ahead of time so you just need to pop it in the oven! Crock-Pot Chicken Carrot “Noodle” Soup 8 c. chicken low sodium broth/stock 1 c. celery, sliced thin 1 c. yellow onion, diced small 1 garlic clove, minced 3 bay leaves 1-2 garlic cloves, diced small ½ tsp. dried thyme, or 2 tsp. fresh thyme 3-4 large boneless chicken breasts (bone-in creates more flavor) 2½ c. shredded thin carrot “noodles”* salt and pepper to taste *Use a Spiralizer to create curly carrot “noodles” from peeled, large carrots; you can also use zucchini or any other root vegetable of your choice. In 4½ to 6-quart slow-cooker, add broth, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Then add raw chicken. Cover slow- cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours. Transfer cooked chicken to cutting board. Remove bay leaves from soup. Add carrot “noodles” to slow-cooker; cover with lid and cook 30 additional minutes. While carrot “noodles” cook, chop meat to bite size pieces....

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Virginia Gay Hospital takes workforce shortage concerns to Washington DC

Robin Martin represented Virginia Gay Hospital in Washington, DC recently as part of group of education and business leaders from across the nation to discuss workforce needs, concerns about workforce shortages and the need for training to increase the pipeline of employees for in-demand positions with congressional offices. They were sponsored by Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) and National Council of Workforce Education. Martin was joined by Amy Lasack (Kirkwood Community College) and Amanda Russell (Bazooka Farmstar) and met with Senator Joni Ernst, Representative Dave Loebsack and staffers for both Representative Rod Blum and Senator Chuck Grassley on the trip that took place the first week of December. BLU is comprised of employers from a range of industries across the nation who are concerned about our nation’s skills gap, who are working with local partners to train and hire community residents for skilled jobs, and who want our country’s policymakers to follow suit and invest, aggressively and effectively, in the skills of America’s workers. The collaboration between NCWE and BLU allows community colleges to leverage the employer voice as a messenger, to talk about what business truly needs when it comes to training, and how federal policies can better support access to job-driven training and credentials for their current and future workforce. For more information on policy briefs, click on the following links: Making Pell Grants Work...

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VGH Home Health Agency sponsors Fourth Annual “Angel Tree”

Virginia Gay Hospital Home Health Agency has announced that for the fourth year, they will again be hosting an “Angel Tree” to benefit those they currently serve. The community is invited to help make the season brighter for a Home Health patient by purchasing a new gift for an angel that’s been selected from the “Angel Tree” located at Virginia Gay Hospital on the main floor, behind the front registration desk, near the elevator. Tags will be displayed on the tree starting Monday, December 4. Wrapped gifts should be returned to the hospital’s lobby desk by Monday, December 18. Those interested in helping are asked to select a tag from the “Angel Tree,” purchase and wrap a new gift from the suggestions listed on the tag.  Donors are cautioned that used items of any condition cannot be accepted, nor can monetary donations. If multiple items are being donated for the same angel, you are asked to package them together securely along with the tag. This ensures the right gift(s) get to the right angel. Melissa Smith, RN, BSN, Director of Home Health/Public Health explains, “ We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of giving by members of our community in the past couple of years and we are excited to help our clients have another joyful, meaningful Christmas again this year. Many of our clients, who all live in...

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Everything you thought you knew about “Owies” is wrong

Legions of kids grew up with the wisdom of allowing a skin injury to “dry out” so a scab could form. A common phrase was that the scab was “nature’s bandage.” If you were one of those kids, or you’ve been teaching your kids the same thing, it’s time for a better way to heal wounds more quickly and with less risk of infection and scarring. Virginia Gay Hospital’s wound clinic is offering patients the opportunity to receive ongoing wound care without time-consuming travel. Serious wounds often require professional monitoring and frequent changes to the treatment plan as the injured area changes over time. Patients who have experienced treatment for serious wounds know about the weeks or months sometimes required for healing. Virginia Gay Hospital nurse Melissa Sivola, RN, WCC, is a trained wound care provider. Here are some of her tips for better wound care. A covered wound helps tissues stay at the moisture level and temperature of the surrounding healthy skin: the optimum environment for the enzymes and cell functions important in wound healing. It can take as many as four hours after changing a dressing for the wound to return to optimum conditions, and the delay slows wound healing. Tissue cooling also leads to an increased risk of infection by causing constriction of the vascular network. Vascular constriction, whether from smoking, lymphedema, or cooling decreases the...

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Virginia Gay Hospital’s Holiday Tree Walk inspires donations

The Eighth Annual VGH Holiday Tree Walk is now complete. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s title sponsor, Farmers Savings Bank & Trust and a host of other area individuals and businesses who both donated and bid on the numerous holiday items on display almost $9,000 was raised for the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation’s Annual Tree of Lights Campaign. As in year’s past, the hospital’s lobby was decked out in a grand array of holiday decorations from November 1 until November 22. The public was then able to tour through and place silent auction bids on their favorites until bidding ended as it traditionally does promptly at 5 pm on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This allows winning bidders the opportunity to take home their purchases and use them for this year’s decorating. “We raised $8,970 for our Health Care Foundation,” states Kim Frank, Human Resources Director for the hospital and one of the organizers of this yearly event. “But we also raised the spirits of both patients and staff. It’s tough to have a loved one in the hospital, especially this time of year. This is one way we can support our community’s commitment to providing excellent health care, and maybe brighten someone’s day in the process.” For a complete list of those who donated trees as well as the winning bidders, visit this link on...

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Tree of Lights Annual Campaign celebrates 25th Anniversary

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Fall/Winter 2017 issue. An online version of the entire publication can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) Hard work and dedication have created a giving tradition spanning twenty-five years The annual fundraising campaign known as the Tree of Lights is in its 25th year. The campaign that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars during the last quarter century began with the hard work of Ruth Mayhew. Mike Riege, Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator, remembers Ruth fondly. “Ruth was my Administrative Secretary until her retirement in 1999,” explains Mike. “She was a tireless worker filling the roles of secretary, Board Secretary, human resources duties, payroll clerk and benefits administrator. Granted we were a lot smaller then, but it was still a lot of work that three full-time people do now. It was Ruth’s idea to start the Tree of Lights back in 1992. She was very proud of her work at the hospital and her part in reopening of the Youngville Café at the intersection of the Lincoln Highway (now highway 30) and Highway 218.” The photo of Ruth and her husband George was the last one taken of them together and was provided by her son Jim Mayhew. Jim says, “I still hear stories about my mom and dad from people I meet who worked with them or knew them personally.”...

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Giving Opportunities with Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation

(This article is part of Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual publication, “Thrive” Fall/Winter 2017 issue. An online version of the entire publication can be found at https://myvgh.org/thrive/) We believe the legacy of Virginia Walcutt Gay’s establishing donation is still alive in every act of generosity bestowed on Virginia Gay Hospital and Clinics. Virginia moved back to Ohio to be close to family after the death of her husband. Her gift arrived 38 years after she had moved from the community. Worth more than $1 million when adjusted for inflation, Virginia’s gift surprised Vinton, a community without a hospital but a community Virginia held close to her heart. “I have an affection for Vinton and its people because most of the years of my life were spent in it and among its people. They were my happiest years.” — Virginia Walcutt Gay Generosity is an integral part of health care in a small community We live in a troubled world where humanitarian disasters that might have escaped our attention in times past now instantly grab headlines, often on our smartphones. When disasters strike we want to help, and as a nation our citizens are often extremely generous. It’s also true that very personal disasters of all kinds befall friends, neighbors and loved ones every day, but meeting those needs is sadly often more complicated. If someone can’t afford a necessary diagnostic test,...

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Final day for bids at the Eighth Annual VGH Holiday Tree Walk is near

Of all the activities supporting Virginia Gay through the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation, one stands out for raising spirits – the annual Holiday Tree Walk and Silent Auction. The event began eight years ago as a project of the Cardio-Pulmonary Department. Various donors put up fully-decorated trees to be bid on during a silent auction. This year’s event began November 1st and bidding ends at 5:00 PM sharp on Tuesday, November 21st. High bidders will then be determined and the trees may be taken home by their new owners. The event has grown in size through the years, and each year generates more than $10,000 for purchases of equipment or upgrades to Virginia Gay facilities. Creativity Abounds Many donors have participated for several years, and for them planning for the next year’s event begins as soon as the trees are on display. Ideas come from holiday displays, Pinterest, and just plain imagination. Donors often rely on many others to help create their designs and spend weeks preparing. This year is no exception as you view display entries like “Christmas Night Sky” donated by Luke and Kelly Henkle. This tree incorporates horseshoes and wine bottles in a very unique way. Our agricultural heritage is also represented in the tree decorated and donated by Eden Community Aid. According to the display, the ladies of Eden Township have enjoyed fellowship...

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It’s not too late to vaccinate — Get your flu vaccine today!

This fall, when you see signs reading “Get Your Flu Vaccine,” you might ask “Isn’t it too late to get vaccinated?” No, it’s not too late! CDC recommends that flu vaccination efforts continue throughout the flu season. While the sooner you get vaccinated the more likely you are to be protected against the flu when activity picks up in our community, vaccination into November and beyond can be beneficial during most flu seasons. “Flu season most often peaks somewhere between December and March, but activity can linger as long as late May,” says Melissa Macku, Director of Clinic Operations for Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing & Rehab. “We encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now as we’ve begun to see some flu activity in our area over the last week.” It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against the influenza virus infection to develop in the body, so it’s best to get vaccinated early. You may call any of the Virginia Gay Primary Care Clinics to schedule appointments for you and your family: Atkins Family Medical Clinic: (319) 446-7800; Urbana Family Medical Clinic: (319) 443-5000; Van Horne Family Medical Clinic: (319) 228-8000; Vinton Family Medical Clinic: (319) 472-6300. The Vinton Family Medical Clinic is also scheduling flu shot appointments for Saturday, November 18 from 8-11 am....

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