Author: Vinton Today

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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VGH Imaging Department observes National Radiologic Technology Week

In 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen invented the x-ray. He continued experiments by placing several different objects between a tube and a screen. At one point, he held a lead pipe up to the ray and saw the bones of his fingers on the screen. This is the base of x-ray as we know it. The algebraic term for the unknown, “X”, was used to describe this ray. Before the invention of the x-ray, doctors had to poke, prod, and use their sense of touch to find the source of injuries. Today’s radiology systems are highly sophisticated machines that can detect abnormalities, injury and illness. X-rays played an important role in WWII by being used in military strategies such as radar, submarine detection, and nuclear weapons development. Today, x-ray is used to screen bags and luggage in airports and security checkpoints to check for bombs and weapons. It is also used to detect underlying artwork on famous artistic masterpieces. CT has been widely used in dating and understanding Egyptian mummies. Dental x-rays can be used as evidence in court proceedings and as a means of determining identification. Help us honor this wonderful invention by celebrating National Radiologic Technology Week (November 5-11, 2017) where we commend the men and women that have dedicated their lives to the fascinating science. View the “Discovering the Inside Story” infographic. Learn more about the imaging...

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“Fall Back” by Checking Home Carbon Monoxide Detectors

As Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend (November 5, 2017), Melissa Smith, RN, BSN, Director of Virginia Gay Home Health/Benton County Public Health shares this message from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) urging Iowans to install new or check existing carbon monoxide (CO) detectors as they turn back their clocks. “CO detectors are to carbon monoxide gas what smoke alarms are to fire,” said IDPH Environmental Health Services Bureau Chief Carmily Stone. “These simple alarms save lives because CO gas has no smell or taste. At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes.” Symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911. According to the Iowa Public Health Tracking program, carbon monoxide poisoning causes an average of 35 deaths and 300 emergency department visits each year in Iowa. Protect your family from carbon monoxide: Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home near every sleeping area and change the batteries every six months. Most hardware stores sell these detectors. Hire a professional annually to make sure your furnace and/or wood-burning stove is functionally sound and vents properly outside the home. Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or in an...

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iVinton Progress Update

Despite being out of the public view for quite some time, the iVinton initiative to bring modern telecommunications to Vinton is still proceeding. In this article we will cover the progress that has been made to date. After almost a year researching potential engineering firms capable of completing an accurate feasibility study for Vinton, Farr Technologies of Sioux Falls, SD, was chosen. Farr Technologies was selected based on recommendations from clients and their familiarity with projects in communities of Vinton’s size. Farr is also very familiar with USA Communications, a possible partner in any project Vinton might do. Completing the study took 9 months and required substantial communication between Vinton Municipal Utilities, (VMEU), iVinton volunteers and Farr staff. The project envisions finding one or more partners to work with, forming a public-private, or public-public partnership (P3). Partnerships will limit the equipment cost for Vinton and could provide management and/or technical expertise. Dwindling landline subscribers and customers moving from cable TV to streaming sources also make investments in the equipment for those services less attractive. The Vinton telecommunications utility would use fiber-to-the-home to provide gigabit service to any subscriber willing to pay for that level of broadband. The Vinton system is envisioned as being a symmetrical service, meaning that speeds for upload and download will be the same. To test your internet speed click here. Current providers using copper provide...

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Monkeythis offers free program for Vinton businesses interested in harnessing the power of video for web and TV

Vinton businesses and organizations have been hampered in their ability to reach new customers through video and television commercials. One big reason is cost. The cost of purchasing a commercial on broadcast channels or the cable company serving Vinton requires paying for all the households in the Cedar Rapids metro area as well. The cost is high and the likelihood of attracting customers from Cedar Rapids is low. Another reason Vinton businesses haven’t advertised with video is the worry about the time required to create a commercial portraying the business or organization in positive a light. On Tuesday morning, October 24th 7:00 AM at the Vinton Kirkwood Center, and noon on Thursday the 26th, at the same location, the creative team of Kurt Karr, Bobbie Hendryx and Maggie Coshow will be offering a free 40 minute program introducing low cost, high quality, locally produced video and television commercial services. The morning program will include coffee and morning snacks. The afternoon session will include sandwiches and drinks. Click here to register if you plan to attend one of the sessions or request more information here. “Vinton businesses have a great opportunity to reach a very large audience at low cost by using a combination of our local production services and ICAN, Iowa’s Independent Cable Advertising Network,” says Kurt Karr. “Our familiarity with the local business makes creating content much easier...

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Virginia Gay Hospital’s Health and Wellness Fair highlighted many community resources

Virginia Gay Hospital hosted a Community Health & Wellness Fair for the Belle Plaine community on Saturday, September 30 at the Belle Plaine Community Center. Attendees had access to approximately 20 displays covering a variety of health and wellness topics as well as activities for individuals and families. The Virginia Gay Hospital healthcare team thanks the many area professionals in the areas of health, wellness and safety that helped bring this special health event to the community at no cost to those who attended. One of the fair features included free health screenings: healthy child screenings (development, hearing & dental), depression screenings for pregnant & postpartum moms, blood pressure checks and Lions Club vision screenings. All fair attendees received free emergency preparedness backpacks provided by the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition. Scott Hansen, Coordinator for Benton County Emergency Management was on hand to give out the backpack starter kits and explain the importance of families being prepared to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours following a natural disaster such as a tornado or major flood. The Benton County Sheriff and Belle Plaine Police Department offered child ID cards at no charge to help provide all the important information about a child to help find them in case of an emergency. Fair-goers also had the opportunity for a close-up look at emergency service vehicles from the Sheriffs office, Belle...

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Virginia Gay Hospital & Clinics Celebrates the PA Profession

Vinton, IA (October 6, 2017) – Every year, we celebrate National PA Week from October 6-12, and recognize the important contributions that PAs (physician assistants) make to Iowa’s healthcare system. This year, PA Week is especially exciting, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the profession – and 50 years of providing the best possible care to our patients. PAs are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. There are currently more than 115,000 PAs in the country and [number] PAs in [state]. “The PA profession is growing every year, which allows us to provide care to more patients, especially in a rural area such as Benton County.” said Mike Riege, Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator. “We’ve accomplished a lot over the last five decades, and we’re ready for five more.” Here at Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing & Rehab, we believe in our PAs and are proud of the hard work they do every day, and during PA Week, we are proud to recognize the PAs in our organization and celebrate all they do for the health of the patients they serve. Part of our mission is to get the word out about PAs in Iowa and all over the country by informing general public about who PAs are and why they’re an essential part of our healthcare...

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October offers awareness opportunities for VGHHCF’s Gifts of Hope

Since 1985, October has been proclaimed breast cancer awareness month. It’s traditionally a time to highlight information and fund raising for research into the disease’s cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. The key to saving lives is early detection. Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation is a announcing a number of local opportunities and events to commemorate this year’s breast cancer awareness month and help raise funds for early detection. On Saturday, October 21, Sauk Valley Pink Heals Tour will be making a stop at the Vinton Fire Station from 11 am to 2 pm. A pink fire engine will be on display that serves as a canvas for thousands of people to sign their names or offer words of support. It is manned by a dedicated crew of volunteers who offer support to people whose lives have been touched by cancer. The Third Annual Playing for a Cure BINGO event, hosted by Vinton-Shellsburg High School, is scheduled for Sunday, October 22 at the Vinton-Shellsburg High School, located at 210 W 21st Street in Vinton, from 2-4 pm (doors will open at 1:30 pm)....

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iVinton committee seeks community input for creating local internet, cable & telephone utility

After nearly two years of work by iVinton, the citizen’s effort to establish a local communications utility, has received a completed feasibility study. After reviewing the study, the group has recommended that five additional areas be explored by subcommittees. The core iVinton committee wants to involve many more community members before a recommendation is made about whether to build a communications network. The group’s goal is to complete the additional research and to have recommendations made within 6 to 8 months. If you have expertise in one of the areas of further research, or simply wish to be involved in one of the five subcommittees, click here. The five additional areas requiring further study include detailed investigation of potential partners under a 28E agreement, market research to determine the services residents currently purchase and how much those services cost, consideration of how various telecom options might be harnessed to improve Vinton’s economic competitiveness over the coming decades, consideration of smart grid technology to improve operational effectiveness of city services, and an investigation of alternative methods of raising capital to reduce borrowing costs. At present the goal is to provide fast reliable internet, cable television and telephone services. The feasibility study looked at what it would take if Vinton took on the project alone. Options for possible partnerships were left for Vinton to determine which potential opportunity best fit our...

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VGH’s Health & Wellness Fair scheduled for September 30 in Belle Plaine

Virginia Gay Hospital is excited to announce the plans for a Community Health & Wellness Fair scheduled on Saturday, September 30. The event will be held from 8 am to Noon at the Belle Plaine Community Center, 1309 5th Ave., Belle Plaine. Additional activities are also planned for next door at the community’s fire department. This is a free event open to all ages. Plans include over 20 displays covering a variety of health and wellness topics as well as activities for individuals and families. The Virginia Gay Hospital healthcare team is partnering with many other area professionals in the areas of health, wellness and safety to bring this special health event to the community. Organizers having been working the last few months to create a morning filled with absolutely something for everyone. For complete event details, just visit the fair’s website at www.bentoncohealthfair.com An important feature of the fair activities will be free health screenings. There will be healthy child screenings (development, hearing & dental), depression screenings for pregnant & postpartum moms, blood pressure checks and Lions Club vision screenings. As September is National Preparedness Month, the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition will be giving away free emergency preparedness backpacks. These will be available one per family while supplies last. “It’s crucial that residents of our county know the importance of being prepared. We are pleased to have...

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Vinton Family Medical Clinic announces moving date

The Vinton Family Medical Clinic has announced it will be closed Saturday, October 7th. During the weekend, the clinic staff will be relocating into the new building, right next to their current location. Patients will be seen in the new clinic building beginning on Monday, October 9. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this move causes you and the entire staff hopes to see you there soon. For more information about the clinic, please visit...

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